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The Truth About Shedding: Every Dog Does It

If there’s one myth about pet ownership that we’re a little sad to bust, it’s that shedding is totally natural and a normal part of having a dog in your home – or a cat, for that matter. (1) Shedding is not something that you can get rid of magically.

In fact, it would be unhealthy for your dog to not shed throughout the year, because by building up an undercoat or thicker topcoat, they can stay warm in the winter, and by shedding it away, they can stay cooler in the summer.

Because pets shed constantly throughout the year, it’s ok to get a little help managing the fluff. Robot vacuums are popular among pet owners for many reasons.

Forbes

Furthermore, animals shed their fur the same way that we shed hair from our scalp. Every few weeks, the hair goes through a cycle where it naturally releases and begins growing a new follicle. The exact number of days between cycles depends on the dog.

Shedding is a natural part of being alive whether you’re a human, dog, or cat. Just like how we keep our hair properly groomed to prevent it from matting up, however, keeping your dog’s coat healthy and properly groomed is an essential part of keeping shedding under control.

Top Tips on How to Keep Dog Hair Off Furniture

You might think that keeping dog hair off your furniture is a futile attempt, but there is a stark difference between a household with pets that does their maintenance and one that does not. Fortunately, learning how to keep dog hair off furniture isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Over time, if you don’t keep up with pet hair, the fur can discolor fabrics with a mat of hairs entangled in the material, and allergies can be difficult to contend with, even with frequent air filter changes. Carpets can become oily and rough as fur collects between the fibers.

A little bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way to keeping a cleaner home. Simple measures, like regular vacuuming, lint rolling, and keeping your dog healthy can all help reduce the amount of hair on surfaces across your home.

But what do you do when pet hair accrues in unlikely places, or how do you tackle the whole home at once?

We wanted to see which cleaning method worked the best, with help from our Canine Executive Officer, Jax!

His Siberian husky fur is a constant battle between keeping the level of shedding down while still enabling him to live his best life, so we had plenty of opportunities to test out different methods that were floating around on the internet.

Use a Lint Roller to Remove Hair from Couches

A good-quality lint roller is any pet owner’s secret weapon when it comes to handling pet hair.

The sticky paper is gentle on household surfaces, but still tugs pet hairs free with ease, all with a swipe of a roller.

Disposable sheets make cleaning the lint roller easy by peeling the diagonal-perforated paper until you reveal a new sheet.

Like you might discover in other lint roller guides, lint rollers are especially useful in areas where a hand vacuum fails, like nooks and crannies in couches, or upholstered chairs. Bedsheets, clothes, and hard surfaces can also be lint rolled, picking up pet hair, dust, lint, and other types of small debris.

When It Comes to Lint Rollers, Quality Matters

The extra sticky paper in Pet Lovers’ lint rollers helps pet owners easily dispose of pet hair collected on furniture, desks, floors, and counters alike, pulling up more pet hair per sheet than the leading competitor.

The ergonomic handle is durable and designed to be used frequently without the roll sliding out or breaking, giving you smooth 360-degree rolling action every time. Best of all, refill rolls are available on auto-ship, so new rolls come right to your door when you need them.

Next time you’re in the market for a new lint roller, see what the Pet Lovers’ difference can make in your home.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

While you can’t prevent your pet from shedding at all, you can prevent them from shedding on items that you don’t want to clean as often, all without denying your pup from certain areas of the home and causing them to act out.

Keeping a couch cover on the couch, for example, is a great way to prevent pet hair from becoming embedded in the couch fibers. When it needs cleaning, simply toss it in the wash and replace it when dry, or with a backup couch cover.

Keeping closets closed and laundry away from areas that the pet can access easily can help reduce the amount of pet hair on your clothes.

Setting up areas where your pet is encouraged to lounge, like dog beds, is another great way to prevent shedding, as dog beds are dedicated spaces for them and easier to clean than a whole couch.

Rubber Gloves Work Great as Pre-Scrub

Many of us have rubber or vinyl gloves in the house for general purpose cleaning or washing the dishes, but did you know they work great as a dry pre-scrub for lint rolling or vacuuming.

The static electricity that the rubber glove generates when it is rubbed against these surfaces attracts the pet hair, and in the dry environment, it has nothing to weigh it down and begins to collect on the rubber. For embedded hairs, it pulls them loose from the surface, allowing you to better lint roll the surface with ease.

Proper Grooming and Diet

Keeping your pooch on a healthy and satisfying, vet-approved diet that meets all their nutritional needs will help decrease the amount that they shed over time. A healthy, happy pooch that is frequently well-groomed will shed normally, with much of it being caught during the grooming process.

A stressed-out, nutritionally-lacking puppy, on the other hand, will shed more than normal. A lack of grooming also means that few, if any, hairs will be caught during the regular grooming process, so all of that fur ends up on your couch or floor.

Try a Damp Sponge

To get pet hair off hard or short-fiber materials, you can use a damp sponge to help pull the hairs off. The sponge should be dense, less like your average kitchen sponge, and more like art sponges. These sponges are much denser and collect the hair better when dampened like an eraser.

To rid the sponge of hair and start again, simply rinse the sponge out and wring it out so that it isn’t dripping any water. It only needs to be damp to collect the pet hair, as the fur is attracted to the moisture on the surface of the sponge.

Does Vacuuming Work?

Yes, vacuuming does a great job of getting rid of pet hair that has fallen to the ground.

In drier climates, this can be difficult, however, as the humidity in your home must be high enough for the pet hair to cling to moisture in the air. Once pet hair clings to moisture, it becomes too heavy to float in the air, just like other allergens floating around, so it falls to the floor where it can be vacuumed up effectively.

No time to vacuum? Robot vacuums can help take some of the work off your chore list. Programming your robot vacuum to run once a day – or even multiple times a day, if you have multiple dogs – can help you keep your home’s floors clean daily, allowing you to save manual vacuuming for the more infrequent thorough cleaning job.

While vacuuming can’t do the whole job by itself, handheld vacuums can help you give fabric furniture like couches and chairs a good once-over during routine cleaning, though it may not get all the hair. It is a great step for preparing the surface for a thorough lint rolling, however.

The Material Makes a Difference

The material you are cleaning makes a difference in how you’ll clean it. Upholstery requires different cleaning methods than wood and leather, for example.

In this article, you’ve learned a lot about different ways to get pet hair off surfaces across the average home, but some methods may not work as well for certain materials. Using a rubber brush, for example, isn’t very effective on suede, but it works wonders on leather and wood.

Some materials require special methods of cleaning to prevent wear and tear to the surface, in which case, it’s important to adhere to these instructions and perhaps even limit how much you clean the surface to prevent excessive wear over time.

Upholstery

While upholstery isn’t often selected by pet owners due to the likelihood of it being clawed or chewed on, it is one of the hardiest types of materials for cleaning pet hair.

You can use any type of cleaning we’ve discussed on this material, from vacuuming to rubber brushing, to lint rolling, dusting, and even using a damp sponge, so long as the material doesn’t become soaked.

Leather

Real leather is different from faux leather; most furniture today is made ethically from faux leather, which can withstand lint rolling, dusting, rubber brushing, and occasionally cleaning with a damp sponge. If you opt to use the sponge here, however, it’s important to test a small portion first; some faux leather has colored polish that can be removed accidentally, leaving the couch discolored.

Real leather can be safely dusted, lint rolled, or brushed with a rubber brush. Using a damp sponge on this material may cause wear over time through frequent exposure to moisture, so it’s best to avoid any kind of moisture contact and keep the leather conditioned properly.

Wood

Wood is a hard surface that, unless sealed, may need regular moisturizing to keep it from drying out and cracking.

Furniture embellishments and hardwood floors are often sealed or processed to a degree that they do not need to be moisturized, but they may still require the occasional polishing to help them retain their beautiful, vibrant sheen.

The most effective methods for cleaning pet hair from this type of surface are a lint roller, rubber brush, or damp sponge.

How Can I Protect My Furniture from Dog Hair?

Ultimately, you will not be able to protect your furniture from dog hair completely. (2) Shedding is a fact of life for dog and cat owners alike. Even people shed hair regularly, which then collects in carpets, bedding, and furniture.  

Every home — big, small, apartment, or vacation home — gets dirty.

NY Times

How you control that hair is what makes all the difference. Protecting your furniture from collecting a large amount of pet hair is easy with the right preventative measures and regular maintenance.

While you don’t need to shave your dog, bringing them to a groomer for maintenance can help remove some of the loose undercoat hairs in dogs that grow a double coat, like our Canine Executive Officer Jax the Husky. Ensuring their diet is rich in the vitamins and minerals they need to keep them healthy will also prevent excessive shedding.

Overall, the best method for picking up pesky pet hairs is a good quality, extra sticky lint roller. For any leftover hairs, you can use a handheld vacuum, but the lint roller tends to capture most of the fur on the first round of cleaning, keeping maintenance simple and easy.

References:

  1. Forbes, Banish Pet Hair From Your Home With These 5 Robot Vacuums, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/2018/10/08/banish-pet-hair-from-your-home-with-these-5-robot-vacuums/?sh=368932ea6457
  2. NY Times, A Smarter Way to Clean Your Home, https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/how-to-clean