The Great Pet Hair War

Dear Home-Ec 101,

We have two dogs and two cats, all dark-haired. Our house is COVERED in pet hair-hardwood floors, carpeted floors, tiled floors and counters. Even the back of our television collects HUGE fur-balls.

Help! How do I keep this under control without having to spend 2 hours a day sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and washing? Our animals are taking over.

Before you give me the old, “brush them daily” crap, it doesn’t work. It helps, but it just adds an hour to the 2 hour clean up routine.

Thank you!!

Lost in a sea of pet hair

WinkIvy says:

I wish there was a simple way to keep the cat and dog hair away. I’ve tried miracling it away, I’ve tried waving my magic wand, I’ve even tried to entice the cleaning fairy to come clean it up, but it was all for naught. I’ve even tried teaching the dog to vacuum. Let’s just say that didn’t work out.

No, the only way you are going to get the car and dog hair to go away is to work at it every day.

Brushing your animals daily really does help. I know you have said it doesn’t work, but it does, I promise! You have to keep at it and brush those suckas every single day without fail.

I have found adding brewer’s yeast to their diet helps with the shedding, but you still have to brush them every day. Every day! Brewer’s yeast doesn’t totally stop the shedding, but it really seems to slow it down. During the natural times of the year that they shed more, the brewer’s yeast seems especially work well.

You’ll need to vacuum daily to keep the fur at bay as well. Do an extremely thorough job of vacuuming once a week- move the furniture and get under there, vacuum under cushions, the entire nine yards. This makes the job easier throughout the week.

Hardwood floors especially seem to collect the fur. I find a stick vac to be the best way to deal with pet hair on hardwoods. Make sure you clean the stick vac filter after each use so the vacuum doesn’t lose suction.

I have 2 cats and a dog, myself, so I truly do feel your pain. There just isn’t a fast or easy way to deal with the fur, beyond getting hairless animals, and then they would be no fun to pet.

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  1. Jennifer Drower on May 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    (con't from above)
    it goes from vacuuming carpet to floors with a switch of flip on the handle, and it comes with a regular, replacable filter and a HEPA filter. No, I'm not getting paid to write this, I just love the vacuum and would never consider getting another brand. Ever. Oh, it has special slots on the side so you can put the hose in it and store it upright – a real space saver. OK, I may be overly amorous of my vacuum, but when you have three dogs who shed year round and you find one that works so well and reliably what else are you supposed to feel??

  2. Jennifer Drower on May 18, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I've heard good things about the Dyson, but years ago (about 9) I splurged on a Miele since I had friends who owned one and loved it. It works as well as the first day I purchased it with only one servicing (I'm bad about these things), picks up pet hair like you wouldn't believe (I have a Husky whose under layer of fur is so fine it gets caught in everything, a Yellow Lab who just sheds non stop, and a beagle mix – she's a new rescue, so I can't comment too much on her shedding practices, but so far not so bad). It comes with all the regular attachments, plus a small version of the carpet brush for furniture, the tube running from the floor part to the handle is adjustable, the base floor part swivels so the whole thing goes flat and you can get under tight furniture without a problem, you can adjust the suction from using it on curtains to shag rugs with a touch of a foot, (con't below)…

  3. Rekha on July 9, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Very good solution for the pet owners, Keep posting about this topic

  4. AnnMarie on August 20, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Does your purplr rubber brush look like this ?

    I was wondering of the Home Ec ladies had seen it anywhere and it it really worked. We have two dogs and two cats and hair all over the place in a week! We, too, love our Dyson.

  5. Carol on August 17, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    While you have the vacuum out, try running it over the dog with one of the attachments on it. My friend does that when her dog sheds a lot and the dogs love it. It is through the hose, so it doesn’t have tons of power. Yeah, I thought she was crazy, but the dogs love it, and it keeps down on the hair.

  6. Cindy on August 15, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Unfortunately that Dyson is pretty pricey. lol However, the Arm & Hammer Pet Hair Release carpet powder is a great cheap alternative. It really does make it easier to vacuum up the hair. The Dyson just makes that step unnecessary. The other nice thing about the Arm & Hammer powder is that it helps get rid of pet odors in your rugs and carpets. 🙂

    • Jennifer Drower on May 18, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      I've tried Arm & Hammer Pet Hair Release carpet powder and unfortunately my three dogs can't tolerate it. The scent is so strong it makes them sneeze over and over and when ever they saw me take out the box they would literally leave the room. I also find the scent extremely strong. This can't be healthy for anyone in my family, including my pups. A sprinkling of baking soda mixed with your favorite pure essential oil (I switch between lavender, bergamot, sandlewood…what ever strikes my fancy) works just as well. Just put baking soda in a good size bowl, add about 10-20 drops on the essential oil, mix well, but gently with a wisk (you don't want to cover yourself with baking soda), allow some time for the oil to dry and either put some in a fine meshed colander or a glass canning jar with holes punched in the lid (this is what I do so I can store and use the remainder easily), sprinkle over your carpet, let sit for about 10-15 minutes and vacuum up. Odor gone and much healthier for you and your pets.

  7. deb on August 14, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    I’d love to have a Dyson but can’t afford it right now. We use a shop vac at home and it does a better job on the hardwood floors than the regular vacuum.

    We also have a carpet rake that we use on the carpet. It’s one that came from a local janitorial supply company. I’m always amazed at how much fur that thing picks up.

    We have 3 dogs & 3 cats. I’ll have to look for that purple rubber brush. Thanks for the recommendation, Patia.

    It’s a neverending battle and I’m not giving up on getting a Dyson…it’s just not looking like it’s going to be in the year 2007 lol 🙂

  8. Cindy on August 14, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    I have two cats, and a dog now. My old vacuum cleaner didn’t stand up to just one of the two cats. I found Arm & Hammer Pet Hair release formula which made vacuuming easier, but it clogged my vacuum filters. Then I discovered the Dyson Animal vacuum. Expensive but well worth the money. What used to take 10 minutes of vacuuming, now takes 2 and a single pass usually does it. With my old vac, it was taking multiple passes. I have not been disappointed with it yet!

  9. Patia on August 14, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I feed my two felines the Science Diet Hairball kibble. It reduces the shedding a lot.

    I also recently found a purple rubber brush at PetSmart that is excellent at removing tons of fur and seems to annoy them less than a regular brush.

    Vacuuming, the Swiffer wet and my Flylady feather duster are great for cleaning.

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