Shed Defender

Tyson Walters, 31, of Yuba City, with his St. Bernard, Harley, invented Shed Defender, a onesie for dogs that helps to contains pet hair.

Tyson Walters didn't like having to clean dog hair from his car and home, so he created a suit to help contain the fur.

Walters, 31, a Yuba City resident, invented Shed Defender, a onesie for dogs that helps to contains pet hair, and reduces dirt, dander and allergens.

It stared with my Saint Bernard, Harley, in San Diego," Walters said. "I got tired of taking her to the beach and cleaning out the car all the time afterwards — a simple blanket wouldn't keep the car clean."

There was nothing else on the market," he said. "We started pretty basic and went to Jo-Ann Fabric, but the first prototypes didn't work out."

His mother helped with some of the early iterations of the product before Walters contacted Marysville seamstress Susan Wallace.

"It took about three years to finalize," Walters said. "We started selling about a year and a half or two years ago, with moving about 30 units per month, and in October there were a couple articles written about us and it took off."

Now, Shed Defender is sold in 30 countries around the world and every the state in the country.

"I went to college for business management, but nothing can prepare you for something like this," Walters said. "I hired a manufacturer in San Francisco and sourced zippers and figured out a good customer service plan and hired an accountant."

He said customers have given him good feedback. People have been using it to help minimize allergies and as an alternative to dog recovery cones.

"It wasn't our intention, but people asked about using it for dogs with skin allergies and around people who are allergic to dogs," Walters said. "Its lightweight, so it acts as a barrier — like Under Armour for your dog."

Walters said he signed a deal to be part of the As Seen on TV brand and expects commercials featuring his product to air in April.

"I can finally bring my dog around family and friends or if someone is allergic to dogs," he said.

Shed Defender website: www.shed-defender.com