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Easy Ways To Help Birds Build Their Nests With Dog Hair

Easy Ways To Help Birds Build Their Nests With Dog Hair

A few years ago I was brushing the dogs outside and my clean up afterward was less than stellar. I had left a few piles of hair and when my husband walked outside he asked me if a dog exploded in the yard.

“It’s fine. The birds will pick it up and use it in their nests.” I told him.

A few weeks later I was standing outside on our back deck and I looked up into the big pine tree that sat just off to the side.

I was over the moon excited to see a perfectly made bird nest with some Newf hair peeking out.

A few weeks later I spotted another bird’s nest under our porch and once again, Newf hair was used.

It’s so fun to see it being used and guess what?

Now is a great time to start collecting all that loose dog hair that is blowing from your dog’s coat.

Why? Because it’s spring and the birds are out and about collecting nesting material to build a perfect home for their babies.


Dog hair is a great material for the birds to use to build a nest because it’s warm and it dries quickly, just make sure that the hair is free from chemicals such as topical flea and tick medications and grooming products.

I normally collect a plastic bag full of hair a week and leave it on the top of fence posts for the birds to grab but this year I decided to make a little hanging contraption so that I didn’t have tumbleweeds blowing into the neighbor’s yard.

All I did was take a whisk that I bought at the Dollar Store and hung it on a Shepherd’s hook.

My dog hair came complete with mud, twigs and leaves already in it but if you aren’t as lucky you can search your yard for those materials to use.

Use chemical-free dog hair, twigs, leaves and dirt placed in a wire whisk for birds to easily grab and use for nesting material


Other ways you can offer dog hair to the birds:

In wire cages or a suet bird feeder.

Mesh bags

On the sides or around a birdhouse (I just ordered this adorable RV style birdhouse. It’s so cute!)

Other materials you can offer to the birds


Small twigs

Dead leaves

Dry grass-untreated


Strips of tree bark

Pine needles.


I’ve heard a lot of people say that they also use dryer lint but then I read that dryer lint contains too many chemicals and that when it gets wet it tends to crumble when it dries. I’ve also read that yarn in long pieces and human hair is not ideal for nesting materials because it can get stuck around the bird’s legs or neck.

This year, after the birds are finished with it, I’ll try to get a picture of a nest that used dog hair! It’s so fun!

Easy Ways To Help Birds Build Their Nests With Dog Hair

Easy Ways To Help Birds Build Their Nests With Dog Hair

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Help the birds build their nest this Spring with a wire whisk, dog hair, leaves and sticks and hang in your backyard.


  • Wire whisk
  • Chemical-free dog hair
  • Small twigs or sticks
  • Leaves
  • String or twine to hang


  1. Purchase a wire whisk from the Dollar Store
  2. Stuff whisk with untreated dog hair (not treated with flea/tick medications), leaves and small twigs or sticks from your yard
  3. Hang from Shepherd's hook or tree branch with twine
  4. Refill as needed


You can also use mud, dry grass that is not treated with chemicals, moss, strips of tree bark and pine needles.

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Milly and Marty's Furless Mom

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

We just started doing this a few days ago, it's -12 here so they could use something to bring back to their nests to snuggle into. It's hung right above one of their feeders, hopefully they make use of it.


Friday 24th of May 2019

I have a Great Pyr/Anatolian mix Emma and another Great Pyr mix Chase. Last year a titmouse bird landed on Emma’s rump and pulled out a chunk of fur while she was napping under a tree in the yard. She was so freaked out, she jumped up and headed to a bush, where a chickadee landed so she hightailed it up the hill to find a safer napping spot away from any flying creatures. We’ve joked about ever since. This morning we watched a titmouse scoping out Chase while he was asleep in his favorite freshly dug hole. The bird kept sneaking up behind him to grab some fur. After the bird pulled out some fur, Chase was alarmed, sat up to see what the heck was going on, and then tried to continue with his nap after he saw it was just a small bird, but the bird was determined to get his or her share of fluff! We watched from the window, laughing and wondering if it was the same titmouse that victimized Emma last year? Haha! The bird (or birds?) in my neck of the woods prefer getting their nesting fur right from the source! Haha! :)


Saturday 1st of April 2023

@Adrienne, oh this is so hilarious. I’ve been reading about nesting material and somebody said not to do dog fur because it should be materials that birds find in the wild and I wanted to reply that in the wild there are some fur bearing animals that birds will stalk for the fur even doing as you have seen pulling it straight from the source so it is a natural material. I posted in this thread that Cornell lab of ornithology has posted not to use dog fur because apparently it can be a hazard but I would have to say maybe moderation is the key. Our dogs are chemical free and I have always liked to see the sparrows come and clean the yard up after I brush the dogs out. Maybe this year I’ll just leave a small amount out so it doesn’t make up the bulk of the nesting material they use.

Jan K

Sunday 8th of April 2018

That whisk was such a great idea! I always threw Sheba's fur around the yard for the birds, but it can get messy and not look so nice if the birds don't grab it right away and it gets wet. I'm sure our birds aren't too happy we no longer have any long-haired dogs. :(

Cathy Armato

Thursday 5th of April 2018

I love the whisk idea! That's a great idea to collect & hang dog fur for our feathered friends. We leave Icy's thick Siberian Husky hair for the birds too. I always love to Reuse, Recycle & Repurpose wherever I can LOL! Love & Biscuits, Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

Shadow & Ducky's Mom

Wednesday 4th of April 2018

That's a great idea, Jen! I usually brush Shadow out in the backyard anyway, but I just leave the tufts of hair on the grass (we don't treat our lawn with anything). Shadow doesn't shed nearly as much as Callie used to, so I don't get humongous piles of fur when I brush her out. And Ducky's furs are so short and coarse that they don't make fluff piles; but the birdies might like the mix.

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