Whether you’ve just brought home your first-ever furbaby or have been a lifelong puppy parent, chances are that dog hair seems like a constant battle. For many of us, it seems like every time we turn around there are new deposits of dog hair. These appear on the carpets, the curtains, the comforters, the cushions, and the closets. Often, going to the office means getting the evidence of our beloved pet OFF of our suit or dress. The only place that hair is welcome is our best friend’s donut bed. Is there any way to control the mess? There sure is. Here are a few ways to keep pet hair at bay.
Brushes are your best friend (almost)
While dogs will always hold a big piece of our hearts, brushes are our best ally in the battle against hair. Like humans, dogs need regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent mats from forming. However, brushing is more complicated than many of us realize. Some dogs love to be brushed, while others hate it. We know of several precious pets that won’t sit still long enough to get a thorough brushing. At least, not without some convincing from mommy or daddy.
There are a few reasons for grooming resistance. For one thing, it is easy for us to brush too aggressively. For another, we often use the wrong tools. This problem is relatively easy to combat, however. While some brushes work for a variety of coat types, there is a brush designed for every coat type. In addition, there are specialized combs which are designed to control shedding. These combs will help keep even a donut bed cleaner. Many experts recommend checking with your vet or dog groomer to see what they would recommend.
Proper grooming is critical
Speaking of dog groomers, they are experts at hair control. That’s because groomers use specialized products which are designed to be healthier for doggy skin. Pet skincare experts have developed shampoos and conditioners that reduce shedding and doggie odor alike. Some dogs are difficult to bathe at home, while others can easily enjoy a soapy rubdown in the house before retreating to their donut bed. Just be sure to rinse, brush, and dry him first.
Even if you bathe your dog at home most of the time, be sure to purchase dog-specific products. These keep your precious pet’s skin from drying out, which not only increases hair shedding but the sloughing off of dead skin cells. Also, you should consider taking him to a professional groomer every 6 weeks to ensure that everything is done properly. Nail trimming is tough on dog owners.
Try grooming mitts
Even with proper brushing and frequent grooming, it might help to try grooming mitts. These allow you to gently clear loose fur from your dog’s coat without his realizing it. That’s because the “bristles” are so short and soft that it feels like you are simply giving him cuddles and belly rubs. However, you can easily extract hair and place it in the trash when bonding time is over. Best of all, there’s little risk of irritating sensitive doggie skin. What’s not to love?
Practice frequent cleaning
Even with frequent brushing and proper grooming, there’s no way to avoid a certain amount of shedding. The easiest way of keeping this remaining hair from taking over the house is with cleaning. In particular, vacuum cleaners are your best weapon. Many models are designed for pet owners, and these are especially good at cleaning up pet hair. Some even come with special attachments which ball up the fur and make it easier to remove. Pet owners with allergies should consider getting a model with advanced filtering. This way, the dirt and dander will not get blown back into your room. Emptying a canister of dog hair into your trash is much easier than picking it up by the handful before throwing it out.
If your dog is sensitive to the noise, consider shutting him in another room while you vacuum. To make him feel better, leave him with a toy like the Nightmare Before Christmas Snake. It’ll be over before he knows it. This sure beats having your pet “attack” the vacuum.
Slipcovers save the day
Especially if your dog is allowed on the furniture (or won’t stay on the floor), consider getting a slipcover for your upholstered furniture. Upholstery collects dog hair like crazy, so you probably don’t want that expensive material getting coated in fur. Even worse, it can be difficult to get the hair cleaned up. A slipcover, on the other hand, can be removed and cleaned. Consider a washable cover for minimal maintenance. Failing a slipcover, consider using a blanket or sheets. These can also be removed easily when company comes.
Tape rollers are great removal tools
When dog hair inevitably gets on your clothes or car cushions, tape rollers are a great way to get rid of it. There are commercial rollers available which are intended for dog hair removal. Often attached to a handle, tape rollers are run over your clothes or surface that needs hair removal. When one exposed area of adhesive is full of hair, you’ll pull off the tape to reveal another sticky surface. These are easy to put in the glove box of your car to use before work.
Many people have also had great results with duct or packing tape. In this case, you will rip off a section large enough to loop around several fingers. Run the tape loop over the surface, allowing it to “roll” around your fingers. When the tape loop doesn’t stick anymore, repeat as needed.
Finally, keep in mind that your dog’s bed also needs regular cleaning. At Best Friends by Shari, we only make beds and blankets that can be machine washed. This way, all that fur and doggie smell goes down the drain. Combined with other efforts, this will help keep your home cleaner.