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Monday, January 29, 2007

Of dog hair and Vacuums

Winter has come and it is cold and somewhat snowy. The pond is frozen and the dogs are staying inside most of the day and overnight. The new dog, Danny, has been spewing hair all over the place. Despite daily brushing and daily vacuuming there are still piles of blond dog hair all over the dark green carpets and floors in the house (lower level only, so far he has not decided to go upstairs-this makes the cats happy as they have a Danny free refuge).

This daily vacuuming is a pisser. First of all I am not in the habit of vacuuming more than twice a week, at most. Secondly (and far more important), this is turning me into my mother who was a vacuuming demon. So much so that she was the butt of many family jokes about her and her Electrolux (which I own but do not use-it's broken and heavy. Though lately I have been threatening to start using it simply to complete the transformation). I remember trying to get her to let me take a picture of her in front of an Electrolux at the Henry Ford Museum, she refused. The scary thing is I am finding quite a bit of satisfaction in this daily vacuuming and even if we get rid of Danny (anyone need a sweet but hairy dog?) I fear the vacuuming habit may not leave.

So my day, since Danny has come to live with us is getting up around 6:30am and letting the dogs out to pee (unless it is warm enough to leave them out all night-preferred method), Than I do the dishes and make coffee and look at email and other web stuff, ignoring the piles of blond dog hair festooning the living room, kitchen and computer room (which has beige carpeting so the hair is not so obvious. But it is still there). Eugene will get up around 7:30 and go out to get the paper and check on the seedlings and he takes the dogs with him. During the 10 minute dog absence I will get out the vacuum and suck up the piles of Danny hair and than start breakfast and drink coffee. Later on in the day Danny will get brushed (he's a burr magnet) and more hair is deposited on the dark green carpet. The dog seems to have an endless supply of hair to shed out in the dead of winter.

I hope that this will stop after a couple of months of being on a decent diet and getting lots of exercise. the poor guy has rarely had food that is free of corn and generally he has been fed cheap, low quality food. So much so that he has lost most of his teeth.

Danny does seem to be happy here considering his lot in life. Saturday he caught his first mouse while Eugene put plastic over the strawberry hoophouse. I believe that mouse was the first critter he has ever caught. Nate stole it from him immediately, probably for the best as I doubt Danny would know what to do with the mouse. Since than he has been VERY interested in finding more mice/voles. I say more power to you Danny.


Justin said...

Hey, is Danny ok now? or else consult a vet if you are finding that he is shedding too much hair.

And hey, just check this out winter care tips for pets

Lucy said...


Danny has been shedding like this for the past 10 years and has seen vets about it. I figure he is allergic to the GMO corn found in way too many canine foods. I have had several other dogs that had this problem and when fed a corn free food they cleared up in a couple of months. Few vets out there realize that corn can be such a killer. well over half the dogs in the US exhibit allergic symptoms that can be traced to corn allergies.

I did read your hints on pets in winter weather but they don't really apply to my northern farm dogs who are used to subfreezing weather-okay Danny is not yet (he has lived the soft unhealthy life of a urban dog, getting to stay in way too much being fed junk food, not enough exercise, no raw bones to chew on), though he is half chow and has the heavy coat of a Chow and does not seemed bothered by extreme cold.

Like I said in my post, I'll give him a couple on months of decent food and lots of exercise before seeking out professional help

Caroline said...

Lucy, can you share options (brands) for corn-free foods?

Lucy said...

I have been feeding Diamond lamb and rice as that seems to be the only food at TSC tthat contains very little corn and the corn is not in the first 7 ingredients. They also do not use animal by-products (which can be the floor sweepings from a slaughter house or all the parts not used for other things) or things like feather meal.

read the ingredioent list and if you see corn, things like poultry meal, feather meal or anything by-products do not use the food.

i have noticed even the "premium" brands that you pay substantially more for have corn in the top three ingredients and by-products in the top 5 ingredients which makes them no better than the cheapest dog food.

To be really safe make your own dog food. It's not that hard to do but is time consuming and can be expensive if you do not raise your own beef, chicken, etc.. Dr Pitcairn's complete guide to natural dog and cat health has many dog and cat food recipes