Any dog lover will tell you that dealing with their beloved pooch's shedding is one of the downsides to owning a canine. Every square inch of dog skin contains approximately 15,000 strands of hair. That's a LOT of doggy hair dust bunnies that can form on furniture and floors.
Even though many dogs go through a massive shedding once or twice a year, the truth is, their hair is constantly falling out and being replenished. Although this is common for some dog breeds, letting hair fill your home can pose serious health risks to the household and can become the reason why your home will become unsanitary. This is especially important if you or any of your family members suffer from skin allergies and asthma.
If you're finding dog hair everywhere in your home and read on for tips on how to control it.
Groom Your Dog Regularly
Start at the source by targeting dog hair before it has a chance to fall out and collect in your home. Make grooming a regular part of your pet's care routine.
Brush your dog as often as possible, using brushes and combs designed for their coat type. A bristle-type brush is often suitable for short-haired dogs, while those with longer fur may need a rake brush. Your veterinarian or groomer should be able to give you some recommendations for brushes that will work best on your dog's hair.
Some dog breeds—usually those native to areas that experience winter—have an undercoat. This is a layer of soft, fluffy hair closest to the skin that provides extra protection against cold weather. It also tends to shed when warmer weather comes around, contributing to more hair accumulating in your home.
If your dog has an undercoat, you may need a brush designed to penetrate the topcoat and trap loose hairs in that inner layer. And no matter what kind of dog you own, you may want to buy grooming gloves to add to your arsenal of grooming tools. These gloves gently remove hairs from your dog's coat while they enjoy one-on-one time with you.
If you’re not confident about your tools and skills in grooming your dog, schedule sessions with a professional groomer. Depending on the dog’s breed and the type of fur they have, you can visit a professional groomer at least once a month. Aside from taking care of your dog’s fur, a groomer can also pamper your dog by cleaning other parts of their bodies.
Bathing Helps, Too
Bathing your dog not only removes that unpleasant doggy smell, but it also helps remove loose fur that would otherwise end up on your couch and floors. You should also brush your dog before bathing him to help remove mats and tangles and to further eliminate excess hair.
Try dog bathing products that are formulated to help reduce shedding. Always use a shampoo and conditioner designed for dogs; human shampoo often contains harsh ingredients that can dry out a dog's skin and create more shedding.
With the number of dog shampoos available today, consider asking suggestions from your vet, as well. It’ll be easy for you to narrow down your search and end up using the best shampoo for your dog if you ask for their help. This is especially important if you’re looking after a highly-sensitive dog or one that’s suffering from certain skin allergies.
One of the best ways to prevent dog hair from building up excessively in your home is by vacuuming it—every day, if possible. A conventional vacuum with attachments for accessing a room's nooks and crannies should suffice, but you may want to invest in a vacuum that targets pet hair.
These models are often designed with tangle-free brush rolls that resist collecting fur. They also come with special attachments that can remove fine hair from upholstery, stairs, and vehicles.
If you already own a traditional vacuum cleaner and don't want to spend money on a second one, there are handheld pet vacuums available that can remove embedded hair from furniture and clothing.
If you don't have time to vacuum, you can always run a rubber brush over carpeting and furniture. The rubber creates a static charge when it comes into contact with rug and upholstery fibers, attracting pet hair into its bristles. It also forms balls of fur along the surface, which you can then pluck off and dispose of.
Don't forget to vacuum where fur balls build up and hide, such as under radiators and beds and around table legs. Vacuuming also helps reduce the doggy smell from becoming too strong around your home.
Routine vacuuming may not be enough to eliminate your dog's odor from rugs and carpeting, however. In that case, you may want to try a carpet cleaning service to deep clean your carpeting. Use a service such as Chem-Dry carpet cleaning which uses eco-friendly ingredients and steam to clean rugs and carpets.
As dog hair is likely to stick to quilts, comforters, pillows, and sheets, you'll want to launder all bedding at least once a week to keep pet fur at bay. If you often sleep with a furry dog every night, you might need to clean your bedding more than once a week. Don't forget to clean the collected fur from your dryer's lint screen regularly, as well. This will ensure that your dryer will work properly regardless of how many times you wash your beddings (with your dog’s fur on it).
Sweep or Mop Floors
Sweep or vacuum hair away daily from your hardwood floors before it has a chance to build up. Look for a pet hair removal broom that features soft, scratch-proof rubber bristles. They not only sweep up hair from hard floors but are designed to be combed over carpet, bedding, and even clothing to latch onto dog hair.
Identifying whether or not your floor already has fur can be challenging, especially if your dog’s fur has the same or similar color as your floor. If you don’t want to take any chances and ensure that your home is free from furs, sweep or mop your floors every single day. If possible, clean these areas without your dog. This way, you won’t be going in circles when sweeping or mopping the floors.
Mop tile and linoleum flooring in your kitchen and bathroom areas to help eliminate dog hair in these rooms.
Don't Forget to Dust
Depending upon your dog's size and breed, you may find dog hair on hard surfaces such as tables and shelves. Dust or vacuum these areas regularly to remove fur. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters with a damp cloth to collect hair.
Keep Pet Hair Removal Tools Handy
From lint brushes to duct tape, there are a lot of tools you should keep handy when you need to remove dog hair from an area of your home in a jiffy.
A simple pair of rubber household chore gloves, for example, can remove hair from furniture. Sweep them over the upholstery and watch fur ball up, which you can then vacuum up or throw away.
Stock up on lint brushes and rollers for fur-free clothing, chairs, and couches. Extra sticky duct tape should do the trick as well. If your dog rides with you, keep a couple of these items handy in your vehicle as well to maintain your car's interior in between vacuuming.
Give Your Dog Designated Sleeping Areas
If dog hair is a problem on bedding and other furniture, giving your pet a bed of their own can help discourage them from snoozing where you don't want their fur. If you still can't keep them off certain areas (or you just can't say no to them), covering beds and chairs with blankets or sheets will help protect furniture from getting coated.
Put Clean Clothing Away
Dog hair doesn't just stick to furniture; your clothes are likely to get covered in it as well. While you don't want to stop cuddling with your pet, you can prevent them from getting fur on clean clothes by promptly putting laundry away. Leaving clean laundry on beds and the floor is just an open invitation to a dog to lie down on or sniff around in it.
Walk and Exercise Your Dog
Bringing your dog outside for regular walks or playtime can reduce the amount of hair they shed indoors since they'll be losing some of it out of the home. And luckily, their coats are likely to go through major shedding during the spring and summer—when you can let them outdoors to explore their yard, or bring them to a doggy play park to unload some of that fur.
Make Some Areas Off-Limits
You may want to designate some rooms in your home as off-limits to your dog to prevent hair from depositing in these areas. Shut doors to rooms that you don't want your dog to venture into, or use doggy gates to prevent them from wandering throughout your home.
Add Oils to Your Dog's Diets
Sometimes adding moisture to your dog's diet can improve their skin and coat quality and decrease shedding. Flax, olive, and coconut oil are good choices and are all found in supermarkets. You can feed a spoonful to your dog, mix it into his food, or massage a bit of oil topically into his fur and skin.
For you to easily determine which oils to add, talk to your vet or check websites, such as shihtzucenter.com, for you to know more.
Take Your Dog to Regular Vet Appointments
While it's normal for dogs to shed, excessive shedding that doesn't seem to end could be a sign of an allergy or another health issue. It's a good idea to take your dog to the vet for regular checkups to make sure there isn't an underlying condition causing him to lose more fur than usual.
Your vet can also give guidance on what kind of diet to feed your dog that can keep his coat healthy and minimize shedding.
No More Dog Hair Everywhere
Finding dog hair everywhere is a fact of life when living with man's best friend, but following the above tips can help control it. Above all, keeping your home and dog clean should be a priority to prevent hair from accumulating on flooring, furniture, and you!
For more tips on living with dogs, check out our latest pet posts.