We love our furry friends. They brighten our mornings, greet us when we get home, help us exercise (another game of fletch anyone?) and show us unconditional love!
But there’s one part of being a furry pet parent that isn’t quite so pleasant… pet hair! Or more specifically pet hair removal!
Most pet owners, be it a dog, cat, or even a house rabbit, have had that moment when they get to work, look down, and realize that they are covered in pet hair! Not the professional look you were going for!
Pet hair removal can seem like an endless battle to any owner. We have pet hair on our furniture, floors, clothes, car seat… everywhere! There has to be a better way to fix it?
Of course, there are some methods for pet hair removal that work very well, but they just take too long! I don’t want to spend hours vacuuming… that’s time I could be spending with my furry buddy!
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The House of Pet Hair
I sometimes feel like the pet hair is taking over my house! Seriously, the stuff gets everywhere! Although it’s kind of understandable when I have 4 dogs and 4 cats!
I was talking to my sister the other day and she just shook her head and said: “You must spend your whole time cleaning”! She knows how house-proud I am and it’s tough to maintain a clean home with so many animals (not to mention 3 kids!). But I don’t spend too much time cleaning up pet hair and I feel like most of the time the house is pretty clean.
So how can you control the fur without spending hours every week cleaning?
Let’s first of all talk a little bit about prevention. As my mother always said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. If we can prevent, or at least minimize, the amount of pet hair then we will be saving ourselves a LOT of time later on.
Tip #1: Brushing
Brushing your pet might seem like an obvious one, but it really is one of the best ways to prevent excess hair around the house.
If you can take the time once or twice a week to give your dog or cat a really good brush, then it will significantly cut down on the amount of loose hair.
It’s a good idea to brush your pet anyway, especially longer coats, to keep them healthy and matt-free.
Different types of pet hair need different types of brushes. The main 4 types of brushes are:
- Slicker Brush: This is suitable for all coat types but especially medium to long hair or thicker coats. They are particularly great for curly coats that are prone to matting.
- Pin Brush: This type of brush is great for medium to long coats that aren’t prone to matting, such as the longer silkier coats. Although they can be used on all coat types.
- Bristle Brush: These brushes are much suitable for short-haired pets. They are excellent at removing debris and dirt from a short coat and giving it a nice shine. They also work well for short-haired cats.
- Rake: This is a more specialized tool, but it really helps with double or thick-coated breeds. They are designed to remove dead hair or debris that is trapped in the undercoat.
You might think that it takes too much time to brush your pet that often. But if you keep the brush near the sofa (I keep mine in a basket under the coffee table), then you can just grab the brush and pamper your pet when you’re watching TV.
I have a long-haired cat who needs grooming frequently. Every time I brush her, I’m always shocked at the pile of hair I get off of her. When I look at that pile of hair, I just imagine it spread around my house! On the bed, on the sofa, on the carpet, on my clothes… you get the idea! It makes the 10 minutes of brushing time soooo worthwhile!
Tip #2: Washing
Following on from brushing your pet regularly, you also want to wash them frequently too. OK… this one is really just for dogs, if you try it on a cat, please send me the video!!!
You don’t want to wash your dog too often, as it can dry their skin and make shedding/dander worse! If you’re not sure, ask a groomer or vet for their recommendation.
The act of massaging the shampoo into your dog’s coat loosens the trapped hair and dirt. That hair would have been on your sofa and clothes otherwise!
Tip #3: Diet
Another way to prevent a lot of shedding is to feed your pet a high-quality diet. Cheap pet food often doesn’t have all the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy coat.
A good diet benefits your dog in lots of other ways too!
Tip #4: Cut off Excess Hair
A lot of people try to tame their pet hair problem by having their long-hair pets cut very short.
In theory, this sounds great. I know someone that even has her long-haired cat shaved short – he looks quite the sight!
However, you want to be careful about doing this, as the long/thick coats actually help the animal to regulate their temperature. In the winter it keeps them warm and then in the summer it helps keep them cooler.
Instead opt to just cut off any excess hair, like a furry tail or ear tips.
Tip #5: Block off Rooms
If you really don’t want your pup or kitty getting fur all over your best sofa, then the best preventative measure is to stop them even having access to it!
You can use pet gates to block doorways, so your four-legged friend can’t get into the living room. Although bear in mind that a cat will be able to jump over most barriers! In that case, maybe you can just close the door to the off-limits room instead!
If you doggo is sneaking onto the sofa during the day when you are at work (yes… Roxie… I mean you!), then you might have to consider putting them in a crate during the day until you have time to fully train them not to jump on the sofa.
There are also electric shock mats that you can lay on your sofa or chair. If your cat or dog jumps up onto the sofa, it will give them a small shock that will convince them that maybe their nice comfortable bed is a better option!
I used one of these in the past to stop my cats from going on the sofa (one of them was PEEING on the sofa!), and it worked very well. The strength of the shock is adjustable (I used the lowest setting). I tested it myself before using it on my pets and it really was just a mild tingle – like a static electric shock. Not painful, just more of a surprise.
Tip #6: Different Breeds
This is a bit of a strange piece of advice because you probably already have a cat or dog. But if not (or if you are thinking about getting a new addition to the family), then you might want to consider some of the non or low shedding breeds.
For many years I just had 2 Standard Poodles and never had any dog fur issues. Breeds, like Poodles, have hair instead of fur, so they don’t shed the way other dogs do.
The Poodle hybrid crosses are very popular right now (Cockapoos, Labradoodles, Maltipoo), not only are they often hypoallergenic, but they shed little to no hair too!
Did you know there are even cat breeds that shed little or no hair too? Yep, and it’s not just the hairless Sphynx kind either. Bengals, Russian Blues, Laperm, and even Siamese.
In the case of the Siamese (and a few other cat breeds), they do shed, but the fur gets caught in the coat and doesn’t transfer much to your furniture or floors. Although they do require frequent brushing to clean out their coat.
If you are interested in getting a specialty breed of dog or cat, please don’t buy from a pet store! The animals sold in pet stores often come from horrible conditions! Instead, you can look for a breed-specific rescue (just google the breed and the area that you live to see what comes up!).
Quick Pet Hair Removal Tips
So now that we’ve talked about ways to prevent it, let’s get down to the quick and easy pet hair removal tips!
Tip #7: Sticky Stuff
Your first line of defense against fur on your clothes should be a trusty lint brush!
The adhesive rollers with the disposal paper can really good, but it’s amazing how quickly you can get through those rolls of paper!
Instead, you can try a reusable lint brush. These are fast to use, and you just wipe them clean when you’re done.
Another option is to use some duct tape or packing tape. Both of these are normally super sticky and great at picking up pet hair. Just tear off a piece, loop it over your hand (sticky side facing out, of course!), and pat all over your clothes. You’ll be fur-free in no time!
If you want a quick solution for your furniture, then you can try a reusable lint brush too. I REALLY like that ChomChom Pet Hair Remover! It’s super fast to use and does a really good job of getting all the hairs off the sofa. Watch the video to see how to use it correctly, as it doesn’t work that well if you don’t use it properly.
Tip #8: Squeegee
A common window squeegee is a great way to clean soft furniture, carpet, and even hard floors.
To make pet hair removal even easier, you can slightly dampen the surface first and then drag the squeegee over it. You’ll be shocked at how much hair it will collect!
It’s especially useful if you get a lot of pet hair stuck in your carpet (even after vacuuming), as it will drag out the hair that’s trapped in the carpet fiber.
Tip #9: Cover Up
This is probably the quickest way to remove dog or cat hair! Just cover your sofa, bed, or chair with a blanket or sheet. Your furry friend can nestle down onto the sofa during the day, and when you want to use it (fur-free) in the evening, you can just remove the cover!
You just have to remember to put it back on again when you go to bed!
If you check out local thrift stores they often have cheap blankets or even comforters that you can use. A large king-sized comforter or sheet will cover most sofas (and of course your bed!).
Even if you don’t want to keep your furniture covered all year round, you might want to consider it when the seasons change. These are the times of year that your pet will have their ‘big molt’ and it feels like they are producing enough fur to cover 3 more dogs! This normally happens twice a year when the weather is getting warmer and again when it’s getting colder. But depending on the breed, it might happen more often.
Tip #10: Wash with White Vinegar
If you find that your clothes, bedding, or sofa covers still have fur caught in them after you have washed them, then try washing them with white vinegar.
White vinegar acts like a fabric softener and loosens the weave of the material. That way the washer and dryer are able to get more ground-in fur out of the material.
I use a fabric softener ball to add vinegar to the wash. I just fill the ball, close the stopper and then throw it in the washer with the clothes and blankets. When the washer spins, the ball opens up and releases the vinegar. Look for the fabric softener balls in your local grocery store, down the laundry aisle.
Tip #11: Rubber Glove
This is a tip that you might have seen floating around the internet and weren’t sure if it was true. I didn’t believe it the first time I saw it either!
Get a regular rubber glove that you would use to do the dishes, dampen it slightly and rub it over your sofa.
That’s it! The glove will collect the fur into a pile that you can then pick up and throw away.
If you don’t have time to do this every day, once a week would work for just one or two pets.
This is also a great chore for kids to do! Just make sure they don’t get the glove too wet. It just needs to be slightly damp (it works with a dry glove too, it’s just not quite as effective).
Tip #12: Dryer Sheets
This is another pet hair removal hack that I didn’t believe the first time I heard it. But it really does work!
Use a dryer sheet to wipe down your sofa, tables, cabinets, baseboards… anywhere that pet hair collects. The sheet will catch it all and also leave an anti-static coating behind which will help repel the hair in future.
If you keep a box of dryer sheets somewhere handy, you can quickly grab one when you need to do a fast clean up before guests arrive! Bonus – it will make your house smell nice too!
Tip #13: Vacuum
Last, but certainly not least – a good vacuum!
If you have furry pets, then you need a good quality vacuum. There’s really no way around it. Cheap vacs just don’t have the power to suck all the pet hair out of the carpet pile. You will end up having to vacuum the same area again and again – not a good use of your time!
There’s a LOT of different pet vac options out there. I’ll leave you to do your research on that one… although I do love my Dyson Animal! That thing is a pet hair removal machine!
If you want a truly QUICK pet hair removal method for your floors, then you might want to consider getting a robot vacuum!
If you haven’t heard of a robot vacuum before, it basically is a small round robot, that cruises around your floors vacuuming while you do other (more enjoyable or important) things!
There is no way I could cope in a house with soooo many pets (4 dogs and 4 cats!) without my robot vacuum. I actually have two! One for upstairs and one for downstairs!
I have them scheduled to run every day and they do a very good job of keeping the fur under control. It does take a bit of effort to “robot-proof” your house (no bundles of electrical cords on the floor for it to get caught on). But if your house is puppy or kitty-proof, then you probably already have a robot-proof house too!
Out of all the robot vacuums I’ve owned (I’ve tried quite a few brands…. it’s an addiction!), I like the Neato brand the most. They seem to have the least amount of issues and are reasonably priced for the features they come with.
The Neato D4 is a great choice because you can schedule it from your smartphone, its brushes are great for pet hair, and it will return to it’s charging station, recharge, and then resume cleaning where it left off, so it can clean an entire level of your home in one go!
Pet Hair Removal – 50% Prevention, 50% Cleaning
So there you have it. The top tips for pet hair removal… from someone that REALLY knows!
Keeping your home looking nice with pets is not always an easy task, but with a bit of prevention and a few quick clean-ups, it is possible to have a clean house AND pets!