Do you find yourself buying clothes or furniture the same color as your dog? Do you wait until just before leaving the house to put on your black dress pants (and hope your fur buddy doesn’t rub up against you on the way out the door)?
Unless you’re the proud parent to a rare hairless breed, you’ve dealt with dog hair at least a time or two. As much as we love our fuzzy little bundles of joy, dog owners can all agree, the one thing we don’t love is that hair – EVERYWHERE!
Here are some of our favorite tried and true methods for removing dog hair from just about anywhere.
On the Furniture:
Dogs are a part of the family. So, naturally, they lounge on the sofa, share our beds and blankets, and sometimes claim our favorite chair as their own. It is called “fur”-niture, after all!
When you find more fur than furniture, use these clever tips to remove hair from fabrics and upholstery:
– For a small area or for quick hair clean-up, a swipe with a slightly wet hand will often do the trick. Have you ever pet your dog after washing your hands only to end up with a fistful of fur? Same concept!
– For larger areas of furniture, a latex glove that’s slightly damp will do the trick. Just make sure your upholstery won’t be damaged if it gets a tiny bit wet. If your sofa is suede, try using a dry glove instead. Just rinse the glove under running water when you’re done!
– If you don’t have any gloves (or are allergic to rubber or latex) a barely damp sponge will do the trick – the only downside is that they’re not so easy to clean after you’re done.
– If your upholstered furniture is particularly stubborn at trapping dog hair, either rub the area with a fabric softener dryer sheet or spray the furniture with a mixture of water and fabric softener before wiping with a gloved hand or sponge.
– To remove hair from bedding, pillows, or cushion covers that can be unzipped and removed, toss them in the dryer along with 2 clean, unused tennis balls. The tennis balls will help remove trapped hair and can be reused about 20 times before they stop working. (When they’re no longer effective in the dryer, pass them on to your dog for a fun game of fetch!)
On the Floors:
If you’ve got shedding dogs and hard or bare floors, chances are you’ve seen a fur-tumbleweed roll by or found a fur-bunny hiding in a corner or under the bed. To effectively control dog hair on wood, laminate, or tile floors, sweep frequently using a microfiber or electrostatic dry mop to trap hair instead of a vacuum that tends to blow the hair around.
If your floors are carpeted, you’ll want a vacuum cleaner that’s especially designed for picking up pet hair. These vacuums are less likely to clog and often include special filters to reduce dander in the air. As a bonus, these vacuums often come with an attachment for cleaning upholstery, too.
For particularly pesky pet hair, a rubber brush or squeegee will lift out hairs when dragged across a carpet or rug. For a small area rug or in corners where your vacuum can’t reach, rub a pumice stone across carpeted surfaces and watch as it collects hair like a magnet.
On Your Clothes:
Have you ever left home only to arrive at your destination and looked down to find yourself absolutely covered in dog hair? Has anyone ever asked if your t-shirt was actually an angora sweater?
While it’s worth a few dog hairs to get in a good cuddle with your dog before leaving the house, here are a few tricks for keeping those rogue hairs at bay:
– Keep several lint rollers strategically placed around your home, office, and car.
– In a pinch, find a source of water (yes, even a few drops from a bottled water will work), very slightly wet your hands and rub your clothing from top to bottom to remove pet hair.
– For lots of hair, toss the clothes in a dryer for a few minutes along with a dryer sheet.
On the Dog:
One of the most important steps to keeping control of the fur means starting at the source – your dog. While many pet parents give their dogs seasonal haircuts, sometimes shaving the fur very close to the skin to minimize shedding, this practice isn’t recommended, especially for thick-haired, double-coated dogs (yes, the same dogs responsible for the worst shedding!).
Although shaving your dog will drastically reduce shedding, your dog’s coat is designed to keep him cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather. Shaving him could permanently destroy his natural thermal defenses.
Instead, try the following preventive measures to minimize loose dog hair in the home:
– Brush your dog often, at least twice a week during heaving shedding seasons. Not only will she love the attention, brushing away loose hair means less of it ends up on you, on the sofa, in your bed, and… well, you get the idea. Find a brush that’s designed for your dog’s specific coat type and, if possible, brush outdoors. If you don’t mind a little fur in the backyard for a few days, leave it! Birds love dog hair as a soft, warm lining for nests.
– Try a shed-control shampoo. While there’s unfortunately no magical shampoo that will stop shedding altogether, these shampoos are formulated to boost skin and coat health, thereby reducing the amount of hair lost.
– Keep your dog free of fleas, protected from bug bites, and away from allergens that irritate the skin and lead to scratching (and shedding!).
– Feed a high quality, appropriate diet. The healthier your dog is in general, the healthier his skin and coat will be.
Do you have any tips and tricks for readers hoping to reduce the amount of stray dog hair in their lives? Please, share your experiences in a comment below!
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