We all love our fur babies🐶 🐱, but boy do they shed, right?
Aside from a few breeds, cats and dogs alike both leave what seems like an entire animal's worth of hair behind on a daily basis, and that stuff adds up. The big question is, are there any tips to keep your house free of dog and cat hair?
Usually, as a pet parent, you might not even notice just how much has accumulated in the carpet, on the furniture, or in the corners.
The truth is, cleaning pet hair is beneficial for several reasons above and beyond simple appearance.
Removing shed pet hair reduces how much of it breaks down and turns into dust.
You also clean up dander and proteins that trigger allergies.
Pet hair can foster mites and other nasties, so cleaning it up removes them.
We've put together twelve tips to help you clean up pet hair. These range from surface-level "clean your clothes before a night out" to a deep clean of the whole house.
If you are a pet parent seeking to deepen your knowledge 🤓 on dog fur care, I've got you covered. My blog is packed 📚with pet parent education. Simply check the read further section at the bottom. I'm sure you will find some useful stuff that will help you improve the life of your fur baby.
Improving the air quality, appearance, and health of your living space is never a bad thing. Living with an animal – even an adorable, domesticated, loving animal – is naturally going to produce some debris.
Keeping on top of it and regularly cleaning can make all the difference.
The first and foremost tip we can give you is to clean regularly. The longer you go in between cleanings, the more shed fur will build up, and the harder it will be to do a solid deep clean.
Virtually every method on this list can get "clogged up" by not picking up shed hair, so the more often you do it, the less frequently you'll need to clean your tools while you're cleaning.
How often is a regular schedule? Well, it depends. Some of our fur babies don't shed at all, like Sphynx cats or dog breeds like Maltese, Havanese, or Poodles.
You still need to clean regularly to take care of the occasional shed hair or dander build-up, but you won't need to go over your home with a fine-toothed comb the way you would with a Husky, Golden, or Maine Coon.
When left for long periods of time, pet hair has more opportunity to embed itself in fabrics around your home. For example, when your family walks on it over and over again on a rug or snuggles up on the couch, they cause friction which helps to weave those little hairs in.
In general, you'll want to clean at least once per week, with a deeper clean on a monthly basis, and spot-cleaning whenever you notice something that needs it.
#2: Brush Your Fur Baby Regularly
One of the best ways to reduce pet hair accumulating on every surface in your house is to get it before it gets everywhere. The name of the game is regular grooming and a good brush.
All three of these brushes can be used on cats and dogs, and they each serve a different purpose. The pin brush is great if your fur baby has long hair and you need to work through tough matts.
Next is the bristle brush which is great for removing that loose fur that’s just waiting to fall onto your floor. Finally, we have the natural tampico fiber brush, which will help shine up your fur baby’s coat.
It's best to get into the habit of brushing your fur baby on a regular basis, generally every day or every other day. You don't want to have to work at mats or brush out tons of shed hair, but you want to keep on top of their coat to keep it healthy and keep from spreading their fur everywhere.
#3: Try a Rubber Broom
When you're cleaning fur up from around your house, one of the best tools is one you may have never heard of before. That tool is a rubber broom. I have one and I love it!
A rubber broom is essentially just like any other broom, except the bristles are a flexible, grippy rubber.
The texture and grip of the rubber helps pick up pet hair, especially from carpet, though it won't get anything that's deep in the pile of your carpet (this is where regular cleaning comes in handy as the fur won’t be embedded).
It also works on hardwood, though a regular broom or a vacuum work equally well there.
The two biggest advantages of a rubber broom are the ease of cleaning them, and their durability.
To clean it, all you need to do is rinse it with warm, soapy water, and the rubber will come clean in seconds. As far as durability, the rubber is indestructible (as long as your pup isn't trying to chew on it, so keep it out of their reach!), so you won't have to replace it like a normal broom.
#4: Get a Good Air Filter
It’s kind of an obvious solution, but the air filter is often forgotten. When was the last time you changed yours?
Did you know with pets in the home, HVAC specialists will recommend that you change your filter more frequently than a non-animal household? And the reason is because that extra fur clogs up the filter faster.
As you may have seen, a good amount of pet hair spends at least a little time in the air, whether it's kicked up by your fur baby shaking and running around, or just makes its way into the air as you live your life.
One way to help improve your home cleanliness and reduce shed hair is to change your filter regularly and to invest in a good room or central air filter.
If you have central air, you have at least one filter working to help clear the air in your home. In my experience, adding an additional air purifier to a busy space can help reduce furry tumble weeds.
Air purifiers come in all different sizes and they can range significantly in quality. If you or a family member has allergies, getting a better-quality filter can make a huge difference.
As you may have read in my earlier posts, my husband is allergic to cats, so in addition to changing our filters frequently, we bought an air purifier to use in our family room.
It has HEPA filtration so it does wonders for capturing dander. As an added benefit it sucks in a ton of cat fur that would otherwise float around the house.
Pro tip here, when shopping for an air purifier, make sure to look for a product designed to capture pet hair and fur. Air purifiers come in different sizes, so check the specifications to see how much area it covers to make sure it’s appropriate for the room you plan to use it in.
Also consider the cost of replacement filters and how often they need to be changed. There’s no point in paying for the system if the ongoing cost is too much of a stretch for your budget.
#5: Consider Furniture Slipcovers
If your fur baby loves cuddling with you on the couch or has a favorite chair they spend their time in, it might be a good idea to invest in a slipcover for that piece of furniture.
As you probably know, a slipcover is just a piece of cloth fitted to go over the furniture in question.
Some are meant to be almost invisible and fit your sofa snugly, while others are more similar to a blanket draped over the seat, back, and arms of the sofa.
Slipcovers come in a variety of colors, so picking something similar to what your current furniture or home aesthetic shouldn’t be too difficult.
What’s great is a slipcover is easy to remove and launder, and more durable than many upholstery fabrics.
No need to spend hours digging in crevices to remove stuck fur, just slip the cover off and throw it in the wash. They can also be a great layer of protection if you have an older animal and are worried about accidents, stains, and odors.
#6: Use a Lint Roller (or Make One Yourself)
If you don't want a slipcover, or if you need to get pet hair off some clothing before you go out on the town, a lint roller is the way to go.
Lint rollers use a mild adhesive to stick to pet fur and lint without sticking to the fabric beneath, so it pulls off bits quite easily. I’m willing to bet you already have at least one of these in your house.
If you don't want to buy lint rollers (since they're disposable, it causes more waste over time), you can make your own. A paint roller, or even just your hand, can work for the core. As for the adhesive, all you need is some packing tape, turned inside out.
A larger lint roller is ideal for cleaning furniture, while smaller lint rollers work wonders as spot-treatments. Some people even like to keep a travel-sized lint roller in their purse or car, just in case they don't notice some pet hair before they go out.
#7: Invest in a Healthy Diet
Shedding is a natural part of having a fur coat, so there's nothing you can really do to prevent it.
Both dogs and cats need specific kinds of diets to stay healthy, and not all pet foods have everything they need.
You'll want to talk to your vet about a specific diet for their breed and their health situation, but in general, a healthy diet should include:
A primary source of protein, often chicken, but beef and eggs both work as well.
A good array of vitamins. Vitamin A is the most important, but they need enough C and E as well.
Fatty acids. Omega-3s and omega-6s are both essential to a healthy coat. CBD oil is a great source of both. In fact, the many health benefits of hemp seed oil are derived from its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
We're not saying you need to invest in a whole raw diet for your fur babies – there are plenty of well-formulated food products out there – but you need to pay some attention to what you're giving them rather than just buy whatever food is on sale at the store.
#8: Try the Air Blower Method (Outside!)
Sometimes, there's just so much hair that brushing your fur baby will take all day. A "life-hack"-style solution is to use an air blower.
High-velocity blow dryers (on the cool setting), leaf blowers, and even (soft) compressed air can all work, as long as the pressure isn't enough to hurt. Some vacuums can even be put in reverse!
This method tends to work best with dogs, and primarily with dogs that have dense fur coats that shed all at once (like huskies) and who aren't likely to want to sit for an hour while you brush them.
You can see this method in action in the 90 second video below. You might want to wear a mask and some clothes you don't mind getting covered in fur!
How to Remove Fur with Blown Air – 90 second video
#9: Buy a Good Vacuum Cleaner
Cleaning fur up out of your house often requires that you break out your vacuum cleaner, something with enough suction to get stubborn or static-stuck hair.
We don't have a specific recommendation – there are many good brands out there – but you want something that can be quickly emptied and has a good brush extension to help pull off stubborn shed fur.
Some people swear by robot vacuums as a way to ensure that the vacuuming gets done every day.
They can be effective if you have the right kind of floors and house layout for them, but they might be more maintenance than they're worth. You can decide for yourself which fits your lifestyle.
I have a robot vacuum. I’ve had it for about 5 years now and I should say it does a pretty good job. We have hardwood floors throughout the house with some area rugs. We run it once a week on the main floor where most of the fur accumulates.
The one thing you have to make sure you do every time you run it is to pick up anything that can get in the way and become an obstacle as this will stop the robot.
We alternate the robot with thorough vacuuming using a standard pet vacuum every once in a while. It has definitely made a difference in the amount of fur that accumulates around the house.
#10: Give a Damp Sponge a Whirl
A damp sponge is a surprisingly good way to pull fur up from furniture and even carpet, and is gentle enough to be used on hardwood and other solid surfaces as well.
The moisture helps break the static that sticks fur in place, and the texture of the sponge helps pull up the fur and carry it away.
Naturally, you’ll want to use a clean sponge. And what’s great is that you likely have a couple of spare sponges already in the house.
I also like to use a modified sponge technique. I’ll generously wet a sponge, sit it on a plate, then head over to the sofa.
I squish my hand into the sponge to make it damp and then wipe the sofa with my hand. I find this easier to get into smaller corners or around a stitched edge. It also works well on throw pillows. Give it a try!
#11: Prevent Fur from Sticking with Anti-Static Sprays
If you live in a particularly dry climate, you might find that shed fur seems to be glued in place, almost impossible to pull up without serious work. Static electricity can be tough to overcome.
Luckily, there are anti-static sprays on the market that can help you break up that static and discharge it, releasing the shed fur so it can be more easily swept or brushed up, or come loose with a lint roller.
A couple of things worth noting:
Never spray your fur baby with the spray, only your furniture.
Always spot check the spray on a hidden area to ensure it doesn’t discolor your furniture.
Try to keep your fur babies out of the room while the spray dries.
#12: Consider a Humidifier to Reduce Static
Another way to discharge static, especially in dry climates or during winter months, is to add moisture to the equation. It's why the damp sponge method works, too.
A little moisture in the air helps reduce static build-up and can make it easier to clean up shed fur.
On top of that, a humidifier can have numerous health benefits, including reducing dry mouth and dry eyes. It also prevents you from shocking your fur baby when you go in for a good petting session.
Just make sure you don't keep it too moist, or you can end up with mildew problems. Additionally, use distilled water instead of tap water.
Tap water normally has important minerals like calcium, sodium, and magnesium that give tap water its familiar flavor.
When you run your humidifier with tap water, what happens is these minerals end up settling on hard surfaces looking like some sort of white dust. Using distilled water stops this issue from happening.
Distilled water has been stripped of these minerals, so you won't see any accumulation on your hard surfaces. Distilled water is basically hydrogen and oxygen and nothing else.
Investing in a water distiller will help with the cost of having to constantly buy distilled water, not to mention save you time running to the store to pick up another gallon when you realize you're out.
I personally have several humidifiers around the house and a water distiller that I use to distill my own water, so I'm never without. The added moisture in the air reduces the static in the house and fur comes right up during cleaning, keeping my hubby's allergies in check.
How about you? Do you have a secret tip or trick you use to keep pet hair cleaned up around the house? Are you interested in trying any of these listed methods that you may not have considered before? If you answered yes to either question, be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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K. Marie is an animal lover, wife, kitty mom, dog auntie, writer, and co-founder of Toe Beans, a proud American family-owned online boutique pet supplies store focused on the improvement of the life of furry family members via pet parent education, better products, and advocacy. She has over 20 years of experience as a pet momma. She loves sharing her personal journey and experience as a pet parent via her blog and Facebook page where she currently has more than 30K followers (@furrytoebeans) and counting :-).