We certainly deal with a lot of weird stuff as dog owners, don’t we? But when I think of the strangest things I’ve encountered during my tenure as a doggo daddy, the one that stands out is when I saw my very own flowing locks jutting from my fluffy child’s poop.
Looking like some sort of demonic buildup dredged up from the depths of my shower, I shuddered, feeling equal parts disgust and fear. Why would Luna (my dog) be eating my hair, and where was she finding it?
Sufficiently spooked, I contacted our local veterinarian, and they told me not to worry and that eating hair is perfectly normal dog behavior. “Thank God,” I thought.
“My Luna’s not crazy after all.” “But,” they said, “It’s best if you try and stop her from doing it.”
Being that I’m sure I’m not the only poochie parent out there that’s had to deal with this hairy issue, I thought I’d let you know what I learned about it from my vet and through my own research.
Why Is Your Dog Eating Your Hair?
You’d be surprised how many reasons a dog might suddenly decide to chow down on your mane.
It could be a symptom of something as benign as boredom or something as nasty as an illness. Let’s discuss some of the most common causes and how to solve them.
Puppies will be Puppies
As adult humans, we make sense of the world around us using mostly hearing and sight, but when we were babies, we also relied heavily on tactile sensations and taste.
Puppies are no different. They’re just trying to understand this crazy world they’ve been plonked into, and being that dogs are natural chewers anyway, they like to explore with their mouths.
“But why human hair?” I hear you exclaim. Well, it’s a fairly simple answer. Our hair is somewhat baffling to young pups. They’re not quite sure what to make of it, so they go into detective mode, planning to get a good mouth full to help them figure things out.
You may think it’s cute and let it happen, or perhaps as we’ve no nerve endings in our hair, you didn’t know it was happening, which makes finding your hair in their poop a confusing experience.
The Furry Fix
Puppies grow out of this exploratory phase once they’re more accustomed to you and their surroundings, but if you want to steer them away from your luscious locks early, treat them to some enticing chew toys.
This BUIBIIU Dog/Puppy Teething Toys set is perfect as it contains lots of different fibers and textures.
Bored, Bored, Bored
Like all animals, a dog’s mind and body need stimulation. Otherwise, life can feel like one big snooze fest.
If you’ve had to skip walkies due to extreme weather or schedule conflicts, there’s a good chance your dog may do something wacky, like chew on your hair to get attention and force you to entertain it.
The Furry Fix
Take your dog out for a nice long walk, or maybe even buy them some exciting new toys. Luna absolutely loves this Benebone Real Bacon Durable Wishbone Dog Chew Toy. It could keep her entertained for days on end.
If the reason for your impromptu lockdown is extreme weather, you could still take your doggo for a slow drive around the neighborhood, so they can smell some smells and see some sights.
Hairbrush Chew Toy
Nope, that’s not the name of some hip new band breaking out onto the K-Pop scene; it’s one of the reasons your dog might be pooping out hair that once feathered your fair bonce.
To be fair to dogs, hairbrushes do kind of look like they could be chew toys, and should they wrap their jowls around one, it stands to reason that some loose hair will find its way into their fluffy tum.
The Furry Fix
It’s an easy solution, folks. Remove the hairbrush from the equation. Put it somewhere well out of reach, or alternatively, buy them one of their own to gnaw on.
You may not have heard of this one. Most prominent in senior woofers, pica is the tendency to consume non-food items.
It sounds quite strange and whimsical, but a sudden case of pica could have quite severe implications.
I’m about to reel off a bunch of super depressing doggy diseases, so brace yourself.
Gastrointestinal disease, anemia, liver disease, pancreatic disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and any number of neurological diseases could be the reason for pica.
It might not always be this drastic, but pica is never a positive thing. It could be a symptom of a poor diet or perhaps even anxiety.
The Furry Fix
Take your dog to a vet immediately. Whatever your plans are, put them on hold and book an appointment. Solve the illness, and you’ll solve the confounding case of the furry poop.
A Dastardly Doggo Diet
We’ve all seen our fluffy children have a snack on some blades of grass.
They may do this for a number of reasons, but more often than not, it’s because their bodies are craving nutrients they’re not getting from their food – cats do it too.
As our hair is, well…sort of grassy, they might get the same urge they do when they’re out in the garden and give our hair chomp.
The Furry Fix
Pay extra attention to what you’re feeding your dog. You’ll need to ensure that they’re eating a balanced diet in order to keep them fighting fit and away from your dashing do.
Try especially hard to increase their fiber intake. If for whatever reason, you can’t switch up their diet too much, you could always just throw some of these Glandex-Pumpkin-Digestive-Probiotics into the mix.
Licking Hair up off the Floor
You ever catch your dog giving the carpet a cheeky lick? I do.
Perhaps they’re doing it because we spilled some tasty dinner, or maybe they’re just bored. Regardless, it’s a surefire way to consume some of our shredded hair.
You should always try to find the underlying cause, but in the meantime, you could try hoovering a couple of extra times a week.
What to Do if Your Dog is Eating Hair
A hairy diet probably isn’t an indicator of a big health scare, so if you notice some in your dog’s poop, remain calm.
Just to cover all bases, book an appointment with your vet, and use this article to try and figure out how your dog is ingesting the hair. Once you find the source, at least you can keep your dog from eating anymore.
The truth of the matter is, if your dog is eating hair, the fact that you’re seeing it in their poop is a good thing. It means that they’re passing it fine, and it’s probably not causing any gastrointestinal distress.
If, on the other hand, you have reason to believe your dog has consumed too much hair and that it might ball up in their stomach, you could give this NaturPet Hairball Care a go. But contacting your vet should always be your first port of call.
Could a Dog Digest Human Hair?
As evidenced by the hair we’ve all seen in our dog’s poop, their fluffy tums cannot digest human hair.
It will either go in one end and come out the other or build up into hairballs in their digestive system.
How Can You Tell if a Dog Has a Hairball?
If your poor dog has a hairball, you’ll notice something’s off with them.
Symptoms include loss of appetite, coughing, constipation, and behavioral changes. Once you’ve twigged that something’s up, call your vet and book an appointment.
Should I Call the Vet About Human Hair in Dog Poop?
I did, and although, in Luna’s case, it wasn’t serious, I’m glad I did, as it put my mind at ease. It’s rare, but your dog’s hair eating could be symptomatic of something more serious, so I’d definitely recommend consulting your vet.
There you have it, folks. Dogs eat human hair like they just don’t care. It’s weird, but as you can gather from this article, it’s easily remedied.
Simply identify the source of the hair, call your vet, and voilà – all sorted.