Does it seem like you are picking up pet hair by the wheelbarrow full? We know the feeling. It’s truly amazing how much hair can come off even one dog or cat. Most vacuums will pick up shed pet hair – as long as it’s just lounging around on a hard-surface floor. The key factor is not so much the vacuum as the location of the hair. It’s usually the fabric of the carpet or furniture or clothing that determines how difficult it will be to remove the hair. I realize that you often have no choice in such matters, but there is a window of opportunity when you purchase these goods. If you’re a dog or cat person, consider pet-hair removal when you’re shopping for new furniture. I’ve had great success with leather instead of fabric. Also consider color: don’t get white carpeting if you have a black Lab.
When you can’t change the carpet or furniture, the vacuum – and its attachments – become even more important. A canister vacuum with above-average suction – seventy-five inches or more of water lift – is recommended. In addition, if you have plush carpeting or pets with long hair, a beater head is best for removing pet hair. Otherwise a well-designed floor attachment will remove hair satisfactorily. Besides getting under more furniture, a canister’s hose separates to allow quick spot removal of pet hair or other debris as needed.
The most important attachment for removal of pet hair from upholstery is the furniture attachment. Look for one whose design uses soft rubber – either a solid piece of rubber or smaller “fingers” of rubber – to rub against pet hairs and pull them out of the furniture’s fabric. Wash the rubber when it gets dirty to maintain its effectiveness.
If a vacuum isn’t handy and there are a few pet hairs on furniture, spray your hand with a bit of Blue Juice and “wipe” the hairs with your hand. The hairs will gather together into a ball that can be easily picked up and discarded.
Probably the single most important thing you can do to combat pet hair is prevention. A neighbor of mine has two indoor cats, yet you will be hard pressed to find more than a couple of hairs in the entire apartment. The secret? The cats get a thorough brushing every day. I try to do the same with my two dogs – only outdoors. When I do, hair in the house is reduces by 90% or more. There are vacuum attachments designed to use on the animal. Many pets enjoy it – as long as they aren’t frightened by the noise.
Limiting your pets to one sleeping spot can help concentrate the hairs and help with flea control at least in one area of the house…that is, until someone opens the front door and hair scatters everywhere.