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One of the best things about owning a pet is that you get to enjoy their furry softness every day.
Cuddling and petting your lovable dog or cat is never a dull affair.
It gives you a chance to enjoy their soft snuggles and feel their soothing, silky fur.
However, this bliss comes to an end after the pet’s demise.
Understandably so, losing a pet is an insanely traumatic experience for pet parents.
Fortunately, there are ways of using your dead pet’s fur to create touchable mementos.
Of course, you have the option of making scrapbooks or pet portraits to remember your furry companion by.
However, nothing beats touchable mementos made from your cat’s or dog’s hair to help you reminisce about their lovable cuddles.
Why Should You Keep Your Pet’s Hair after Death?
The main reason why you should keep your pet’s hair after death is so as to use it as a keepsake.
This is an item that helps you maintain a connection to loved ones who have passed away.
A keepsake also allows you to maintain past memories of your loved ones.
It is a magical item that warms your heart with happy memories of the times you shared with someone you treasured dearly.
So, keeping your dead dog’s fur helps you retain an item of sentimental value that reminds you of your furry companion and hold on to the happy memories of the loving times you shared.
Contrary to popular belief, keeping your pet’s fur is not an unnecessary inconvenience.
It is the only way for you to keep a touchable keepsake that will always remind you of your cherished pet.
As hinted above, what makes pet fur stand out from other memorial pieces, such as pet portraits, is its touchability.
Using the right techniques, you can preserve fur from your pet for years such that it will always remind you of the pet every time you touch it.
Keeping your pet’s fur may also come in handy when you want to do a DNA test for your dead dog in the future.
I know you are probably wondering why you may need to do a DNA test on a dead dog…
See, there are situations when you may need to prove that your deceased dog was a certain breed, a purebreed or mixed-breed.
You may also need to do a DNA test to establish if your deceased dog is related to another dog.
A perfect example of a situation where this may be necessary is when you are trying to find a lost pet or when you are trying to locate a breeder.
Related Post: Can You Register A Dog With DNA Test?
Potential Risks of Keeping Pet fur after Death
The primary risk that comes with keeping your pet’s hair is pet dander.
These are flakes that shed from the pet’s skin over time.
If your pet had dander at the time of its death, you are likely to get exposed to these flakes if you keep the animal’s fur.
Pet dander is harmful to human beings as it can negatively affect the respiratory system, ultimately causing a decline in the lung’s capacity to function healthily.
Early symptoms of exposure to pet dander include a runny nose, coughing, and itchy or watery eyes.
Dog fur may also carry parasites and diseases that can easily be transmitted to humans, so it is always advisable to take proper precautions when handling dead dog’s fur. .
Ways of Keeping Your Pet’s Hair after Death
Here are some of the methods you can use to keep your pet’s fur after death:
1. Safe Storage
One of the ways of keeping your pet’s fur after death is storing it in valid archival storage.
For this, you will need an airtight keepsake box, a plastic bag, and a lignin-free and acid-free tissue roll.
Start by carefully placing the fur strands on a clean piece of tissue.
Ensure you lay the strands in a straight line to prevent them from getting mangled.
Lignin-free and acid-free tissue is a must-have for this process as it has a neutral pH, thus it will not affect the fur’s texture or color.
Next, fold the tissue similar to an envelope, leaving the fur neatly tucked between the folded surfaces.
To further protect the fur from natural elements, place the folded tissue into a clear plastic bag, preferably one with a zip lock.
The final step is to put the plastic bag into your airtight keepsake container.
This way, the fur will retain its distinct texture and color for years to come.
2. Resin Jewelry
Another viable way of keeping your pet’s fur after death is using it to make pieces of resin jewelry.
Start by coating the hair with a polycryclic protective spray to ensure it retains its extra soft texture.
Let the fur sit for thirty minutes before separating it into smaller strands that can fit into silicone bead molds.
Next, slowly pour your resin into the fur-filled molds and let it sit for around twenty-four hours to dry.
Once the resin is fully hardened, simply demold it and voila!
Your finished products will be clear pet hair beads that you can use to create an assortment of jewelry, such as bracelets, necklace pendants, and key holders.
3. Framing under Glass
Another great option to consider is framing some of your dead pet’s fur under glass.
This will not only protect the fur from dust but also gives you an opportunity to display it in your home.
What to Do With Dog Fur After Immediately Death
After your dog dies, you should find sanitary ways of disposing of the body.
However, before that, it would be wise to clip off its fur as memorabilia.
You can use the fur to create resin jewelry or simply store it safely in your keepsake archival storage.
Alternatively, if your pet had a significantly huge chunk of fur, you could seek the services of a professional textile artist to handspun it into a custom yarn keepsake.
But before using the fur as memorabilia or selling it to a professional artist, you should understand how to preserve it, especially after the death of your dog.
Here are a few tips you can leverage:
- First off, clean the fur using dog shampoo and rinse well. Don’t be tempted to use human shampoo or harsh soaps that can damage the fur.
- The next step is to dry the fur. We highly recommend air drying as using heat can damage the fur. If you have to use heat, set it at a low setting.
- After air-drying the fur, comb it out using a coat-specific comb to remove any tangles from the fur.
Finally, store the fur in an air-tight container for storage or memorabilia purposes.
Preserved Pet Hair Shelf Life: How Long Does It Last?
If not preserved appropriately, pet fur has a short shelf life.
After a few days, fur usually gets mangled up into a ball causing the strands to stack up in a disoriented fashion.
This makes it impossible to do anything constructive with the fur.
Worse still, the hair loses its distinct color, making it less appealing.
So the secrete to keeping your pet hair for long or forever is ensuring that it is properly preserved.
This will prevent it from getting mangled up, changing its color, or decomposing.
Important Things to Keep in Mind When Keeping Pet’s Fur after Death
Before keeping your dead pet’s fur, there are certain things that you should consider.
I. Pet’s Health at the Time of Its Passing
You should ensure that the pet was not suffering from any zoonotic diseases.
These are conditions that are transmitted from pets to human beings, such as blastomycosis, which is transmitted by inhaling fungus spores, and cat scratch disease, which is an infection that forms on a pet’s skin after a scratch or bite.
Also, ensure that the pet did not have a pet dander as these flakes can negatively affect your respiratory health in the long run.
II. Pour Dog’s Coat
Certain types of fur may be a bit cumbersome to keep or preserve for a long.
For instance, it is considerably easier to preserve fine, soft hair than thick, coarse hair.
III. Products you plan to use
Only use the best products that have been proven and tested to preserve dog fur.
Like any other pet product, there are tons of brands that claim to work perfectly than others.
For the best result, do your due diligence to ascertain the efficacy of a product.
Alternatives to Keeping Pet’s Fur after Death
Besides keeping your pet’s fur, there are many other ways that you may use to memorialize your canine companion.
I. Plant a Tree in His/Her Honor
Planting a tree or flower in honor of your pet will give you a daily reminder of the memories you had with him.
We recommend planting the tree or flower in their favorite spot in your home or locations he frequented when he was alive.
II. Create a photo album or memory box
Photo album or memory box is an excellent way of compiling your pet’s pictures and other items (toys, blankets, shoes, and other keepsake items) in one place.
You can keep them somewhere in your home so that you can revisit them throughout the years.
III. Donate to pet charity
It is understandable that adopting another pet after the sudden demise of the one you loved can be difficult.
However, you can still honor your pet by volunteering or donating doggie items to local animal shelters to spread some love to other pets without homes.
IV. Donate the fur to birds
If you do not feel comfortable keeping your dead pet’s fur, you may consider donating it to birds.
These flying vertebrates love to use animal fur to build their nests as it gives them extra insulation.
Additionally, fur provides the nest with an extra layer of protection from predators.
So, you could put out your dead pet’s fur and let the birds make good use of it.
V. Sell the fur to a textile artist
You could also give the fur to a textile artist who will turn it into yarn and make a custom keepsake, such as a scarf, a beanie hat, a dream catcher, or a throw pillow.
VI. Create a social account
If you hadn’t created a social media account for your dog when he was alive, now is the best time to create one and dedicate it to celebrating his life.
By and large, your dead pet’s fur has immense sentimental value.
However, you need to store it accordingly to ensure it does not lose its distinct texture and color over time.
This is best achieved by safe archival storage, turning the fur into resin jewelry, framing some under glass, and leveraging the tips we have highlighted above.
The goal is to create an adorable keepsake that will not only last for years, but also retain its value as touchable memorabilia that will always remind you of your pet’s furry softness.
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Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.