If you’re the owner of a dog who sheds so much that your house always looks like it has shag carpeting, you need to know about the Shed Defender.
Alternately, if you enjoy seeing very patient dogs in ludicrous outfits, you also need to know about the Shed Defender.
Tyson Walters is a dog owner who described his St. Bernard Harley’s shedding as like “Tumbleweeds of hair blowing across [a] hardwood floor.” About seven years ago, he was having trouble finding a way to minimize Harley’s profuse shedding. So he decided to invent one himself–a skin-tight dog garment that traps in the hair until it can be removed efficiently. He named it the Shed Defender, but fans have already begun calling it what it really is: a dog leotard.
Today, the Shed Defender is growing in popularity, partly because it’s handy, and partly because, well, it’s a onesie for dogs, and the Internet exists. Shed Defenders are made from a blended polyester/Spandex material, and they’re available in shapes and sizes that fit most breeds. All it takes to make your pup look an Olympic Speed Skater is between $45 and $60, depending on size.
Walters stresses that Shed Defenders are NOT meant to be worn continuously. The company recommends limiting use to a few hours at a time, otherwise medical issues might develop.
“While it could help to keep the hair that is being shed from falling into the environment, it also traps all of that hair and even skin that is normally being shed,” veterinary professor Jason Pieper told Today.
“If you are inhibiting this by covering the skin and trapping it in, this could cause other problems such as infections,” Dr. Pieper cautioned. “Granted, if it is being used for a short time and cleaned regularly, then I think it could be beneficial.”
The other question you’re probably asking is, how does a dog in a Shed Defender go to the bathroom? They thought of that too! Per the Shed Defender website: “When the dog is wearing the Shed Defender outside, such as on a walk or needs to go to the bathroom, just partially unzip it allowing room for them to do their business.”
Walters has many plans for Shed Defender in the near future. The company regularly donates to animal shelters and rescue groups, and he hopes to expand his philanthropy. He also plans to develop Shed Defenders for difficult-to-fit breeds like English bulldogs, corgis, and basset hounds. He even wants to make a version of the Shed Defender for cats. Which should hit the market around the time humans colonize Mars.