When a man got upset about the hair his dog was shedding all over the car it was enough to drive him mad. Of course he could be reactive and just keep cleaning, or he could be proactive and find a way to prevent the hair deposits on the upholstery in the first place. So he came up with the Shed Defender, a leotard for dogs (and cats, if you dare) to wear so that their shedding is contained.
Tyson Walters founded Shed Defender in 2011 after the shedding of his very furry and beloved Saint Bernard, Harley, was driving him up the wall. He said that he was getting "tumbleweeds" of hair across his hardwood floors and it was interweaving itself into his car's upholstery. Brushing her wasn't enough. So he got his mom involved and together they started trying to make a suit that would help contain the hair. It wasn't long before Walters realized that he needed the help of a professional for this one.
He hired a seamstress and started in on the process of making prototypes. The result is a leotard that is effective and comfortable for the dog. It is made out of a lightweight, breathable, stretchy athletic mesh that does not make the dog hot while wearing it. It is unexpectedly eco-friendly by using partly recycled fiber in the fabric.
While these leotards look "fetching," the dogs wearing them are hardly going to dance or gymnastics class. The leotards are intended only for short-term wear during times when shedding is of particular concern, such as riding in a car, visiting with allergic friends, or a trip to see grandma. The website recommends that the dogs wear the suit no more than a couple of hours a day. It can also allow a dog wearing the cone of shame to be given a short reprieve depending on where their problem is.
The garment allows dogs to move around comfortably with a "sleek, fashionable look." The website says that the leotard can also help an anxious dog feel safer and give it a sense of calmness or a dog with skin disorders. It is not intended to replace proper grooming and care. The company urges responsible use of the leotard. For long-haired dogs they also recommend brushing after removing the garment. Naturally the head, tail, and paws are left free.
Shed Defender is also great in cold weather for keeping your dog warm and preventing all those clumps of snow freezing into its fur. In warmer weather it can help protect against ticks and burrs.
You can choose from seven different colors -- white, black, hot pink, royal blue, Columbia blue, forest green, and red. Strangely hot pink is one of their best-selling colors. The sizes run from mini to XXL so this garment can fit any dog. There is a sizing chart on the website to help you decide which size will best suit your dog. Check out this video and see how easy it is to put on and take off the leotard:
One of the great things about the leotard is that it is completely machine washable and dryable. To remove hair between washings, place it in the dryer and let it tumble for a bit. So you don't have to put extra fuss into cleaning the suit. Another nice thing is that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Shred Defender goes to help local animal shelters.
Images via Shed Defender, Facebook