How to maintain a pet’s hair

How to maintain a pet's hair

Reviewed and Updated on May 5, 2020 by Jennifer Coates, DVM

Although shedding is usually normal, you’re probably looking for ways to reduce your dog’s shedding so you don’t have to constantly rid your clothes, car, and home of all the hair.

The first step is determining whether the amount of hair that your dog is shedding is normal, or if they are shedding excessively due to a health problem. Here’s what to look for, plus tips for how you can reduce shedding in your dog.

Is Your Dog Shedding Too Much?

What’s considered a normal amount of fur for dogs to shed? In many cases, this will depend upon the breed.

Breed-Related Shedding

“Some breeds shed year-round, as in Boxers or most short-coated dogs, while others, such as Huskies or Akitas, usually shed most [of their hair] twice a year.

Many people think that long-coated dogs shed more often, but that is not usually true. Most long-coated dogs have shedding seasons when the weather changes,” says Dr. Adam Denish of Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital in Pennsylvania.

Once you have an idea of your dog’s usual amount of shedding, then you can monitor your dog for changes. Are they shedding more or less, or at different times than usual? If your dog is shedding more than they usually do, there might be an underlying health condition.

Shedding Due to Health Issues

According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian in Fort Collins, Colorado, you should be concerned if you see an increase in shedding, particularly when it’s accompanied by:

Patchy hair loss

Signs of generalized illness

If you see these signs, your dog needs to see a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

“If shedding is abnormal, such as with thyroid disorders, diabetes, or poor nutrition, it can be helped by improving the health of your pet,” says Dr. Denish. “Animals that have dry skin, dandruff, or skin diseases will tend to have more shedding problems as well.”

How to Reduce Shedding

If you’ve determined that your dog is healthy but just sheds a lot, then follow these tips to help reduce your dog’s shedding.

How to Control Dog Shedding With Diet

Whether your dog leaves a light coating of fur in their wake or clumps the size of small mammals, here are some things you can do to help control their shedding.

According to Dr. Coates, once health problems have been ruled out, a well-balanced and healthy diet can go a long way towards keeping shedding at an acceptable level.

“A poor diet will not supply all the nutrients a pet needs to grow and maintain a healthy coat. Adequate amounts of high-quality protein and fat, particularly essential fatty acids, are needed to reduce excessive shedding,” says Dr. Coates.

When it comes to choosing a dog food, it’s best not to skimp, says Dr. Denish. “The quality of food that your pet eats greatly influences the degree of shedding and the quality of the coat,” says Dr. Denish.

How to Control Shedding With Grooming

A dog groomer is your best resource for controlling your dog’s shedding through grooming.

Mari Rozanski of Plush Pups Boutique and Grooming in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, has been grooming pets for more than 25 years and believes that you’ve got to help keep your pet groomed at home. But how often?

“In a perfect world, I would say [to] brush your dog on a daily basis. It’s good for their coat and skin, and it can serve as quality time with your dog,” says Rozanski. “More realistically, brushing your dog at least once or twice a week should help keep shedding to a minimum.”

The Best Grooming Tools for Controlling Shedding

A few basic (and inexpensive) items are all that you’ll need to manage your dog’s shedding.

“I personally prefer a slicker brush and a metal comb,” says Rozanski. “A hand-mitt, although I have never tried one, is good for a very short-haired dog such as a Doberman or a Dalmatian.”

She continues, “There’s a wide assortment of tools available, but some instruction on choosing the right one is necessary. Usually a groomer or breeder can help with this.”

When to See a Professional Groomer

When it comes to grooming, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the pros.

“Professional grooming every 4-6 weeks is a good way to keep shedding at a minimum and to avoid a mess at home; groomers have all the proper tools and specialty shampoos for shedding dogs,” says Rozanski.

“Bathing at home can be fun, but if the dog is not rinsed or dried properly, or if the wrong shampoo is used, a skin condition can occur. Also, the pH balance for a dog is different than a person, so only dog shampoos should be used,” adds Rozanski.

You’ll still want to brush your dog at least a few times a week in between professional grooming sessions, however.

Keeping Your Home Clean of Pet Hair

If you’re looking to keep pet hair out of your home, you can either pick up cast-off dog hair or keep it from becoming a problem in the first place.

According to Rozanski, it’s always a good idea to keep furniture and other spots that are heavily used by your dog covered with a throw or sheet to make those surfaces easier to clean.

Also, vacuuming is your best weapon in the fight against dog hair. While a conventional vacuum can be used, there are special vacuums with devices and attachments that are designed to deal with pet fur, which can make the job easier.

For quick pickups of dog hair from clothes and furniture, Rozanski is partial to hair rollers (like those for your clothes) from companies such as 3M.

Again, none of these actions will completely eliminate the hair from your home, but they will help you fight it.

Using Air Filters to Control Pet Hair in the Home

Pet hair and dander in the air can exacerbate allergies, asthma, and other conditions. Often, the conventional filtering that comes with heating and air conditioning systems won’t be robust enough to create an easy breathing environment.

There are many standalone air filters you can purchase, but Rozanski says she has had particular success with Aprilaire products.

Be Consistent About Changing Filters

Obviously, frequent filter changes are a must, and for heavily shedding dogs, you might even want to change filters more often than the company recommends.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to stay ahead of shedding is to think ahead.

“My suggestion for most owners is to learn about your dog and the breed before making a decision on adopting the pet. You need to understand the requirements for that pet in terms of veterinary care, nutrition, and maintenance,” says Dr. Denish.

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Just about every pet parent has faced the question of how to get rid of dog hair on clothes. Unless you have a non-shedding dog, chances are Fido’s fuzz is going to find its way onto your wardrobe at some point. My dogs are major shedders and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to carefully navigate around my dogs to make sure they don’t rub against me when I’m getting ready to leave, only to get to my car and realize that I still ended up with half a dog’s worth of hair on my pants! It’s totally annoying, isn’t it? But, don’t panic! Help is on the horizon. Getting rid of dog hair on your clothing is probably easier than you think. Keep reading, to learn a few simple strategies.

How to Get Rid of Dog Hair on Clothes

Affiliate links included below.

Rubber Gloves

Guess what? Not only do rubber gloves How to maintain a pet's hairdo a great job at getting pet hair off of clothing, they also work to remove it from vehicle upholstery. No special gloves are needed. Even a cheap pair from the dollar store will usually do the trick.

Hand Lotion

Many dog owners swear by using hand lotion How to maintain a pet's hairto remove pet hair from their garments. Simply put lotion on your hands as you normally do. Then running your hands over your clothes is all it takes. It important to thoroughly rub the lotion in, before trying this method. If you don’t, you run the risk of getting your clothes a bit greasy.

Lint Brush

Using a standard lint brush How to maintain a pet's hairisn’t a huge surprise when it comes to removing dog hair from clothing. Keeping one of these brushes by the front door makes it easy to give yourself a “once over” before going out. Cleaning your lint brush is easy. Dampen a washcloth and rub the brush over it several times, in the wrong direction.

Make a do-it-yourself lint brush, by wrapping strong tape around your fingers several times… sticky side out. It’s super cheap and very effective. Duct tape and packaging tape are both perfect for the job.

Fabric Softener Sheet/Washer Dryer Combo

Washing and drying your clothes helps to get rid of dog hair. However, it typically doesn’t get rid of all of it. Adding a fabric softener sheet How to maintain a pet's hairto the dryer helps significantly. If the garment isn’t suitable to wash home, skip the washer and put it in the dryer (with the softener sheet) on the coolest setting.

While I’m on the subject, here are two more washer-related tips that will help get rid of any pet hair. Never crowd the washer by attempting to wash more clothes than suggested for a single load. Your garments need room to move around. Moving around helps to loosen the hair and wash it away.

In addition, try adding 1/2 cup of distilled (white) vinegar to the rinse cycle. Why? This actually helps to loosen up fibers in any fabric, which in turn releases pesky dog hair.

Wash Your Dog’s Bedding Frequently

Although this doesn’t technically remove dog hair from clothing, it goes a long way in preventing it from getting there in the first place. Not only that, it’s much healthier for your favorite furbaby!

Armed with this information, it should be much easier for you to get rid of the dog hair that desperately clings to your clothes. Brushing your dog, on a regular basis, will help to eliminate or at least reduce the problem as well. Plus, your dog will love the pampering!

As much as we love our four-legged friends, pet hair can and will be a constant nuisance in the home. If it’s not all over our carpets and furniture, then it’s more than likely to be all over our clothes.

However, it doesn’t always have to be such an extreme situation and is something that can be quite easily maintained. Check out these awesome tips:

A good starting point for controlling pet hair would be to firstly assess your pet. It’s normal for pets to shred hair, but if it becomes excessive it might be a sign of something else. Shredding can be a symptom of fleas, allergies, sunburn or sometimes even pregnancy.

A regular brush down will also help to reduce hair spread around the house, as well as keeping their coat clean and soft. If you’re not sure of which type brush is best, your vet or groomer will be more than happy to assist in helping you find the perfect one for your pet.

Make sure your pet is bathed regularly. A clean pet will equal a healthier coat. Using an oatmeal shampoo can help to calm down dry, itchy and irritated skin and will be available in most pet stores – and of course, online retailers. It is also relatively easy to make your very own just by using oatmeal, baking soda and some water.

So, now that we’ve got our pet under control we need to look at how we can keep our home mostly pet-hair free. Lint rollers are the pet owners godsend – not only are they cheap and easy to get, they will help quickly get hair off of your clothes and can help save any awkward hair-related situation. Buy a multi-pack so that you always have one handy for those emergency situations around the home or when you’re out and about.

Another super useful solution is to sprinkle baking soda over your carpet before vacuuming. This will loosen the pet hairs from the fibres of the carpet and at the same time help to deodorize it. It’s a cheap, effective product and best of all, it’s also non-toxic. Once vacuumed, it might be worth using an electrostatic dust mop as vacuuming can sometimes help to send hair back onto surfaces. The mop will attract those loose hairs and help make your house extra pet hair-free.

It’s a sacrifice we all have to make when owning pets. Having hair is natural and expected, so it’s unlikely to ever have a 100% hair-free house but it’s something we can keep under control if we just add a few extra precautions and tasks to our daily lives. Then, both our furry friends and we can enjoy relaxing after a long day.

Check out the infographic above for some more handy tips, and be sure to add any of your own tried and tested methods to the comments below.

Get pet hair out of even the toughest nooks and crannies of your home with these easy tips that will reduce allergies and make your home feel cleaner.

Tackle the Pet Hair in Your Home So You Can Get Back to Cuddling Your Pet

Our four-legged friends bring us so much joy. Having a pet means never-ending cuddles and having a companion that will always be loyal, but it can be difficult and sometimes annoying to deal with the pet hair that inevitably comes along with pet ownership. With all of the other responsibilities that having a home and a pet requires, sometimes keeping up with the pet hair can fall on the back burner.

Occasionally, it can feel like there is pet hair on everything you own, even in places that your pet has never touched. Sofas, carpets, and clothing are fair game for pet hair, especially if your pet has longer hair. But have no fear — with some occasional maintenance and a few easy tips, you can tackle the pesky problem of pet hair at home in no time. Check out this list for easy, stress-free ways to manage pet hair in your home.

Start With Your Pet

The first step in managing the pet hair in your home is to manage your pet. Try to make a routine of brushing and grooming your animal, as this will routinely purge dead hair follicles from your pet’s coat. Cats and dogs with longer hair may need more frequent grooming. Regular bathing will also help reduce the amount of hair that your pet sheds in the house. With healthy, moisturized skin, your pet will lose less hair in the first place.

You can also work with your pet to train them that certain areas of the house are off-limits. The best way to keep pet hair off the bed, for example, is to keep your pet from getting on the bed. The easiest way to keep a pet out of certain rooms is to prohibit them from entering in the first place, but it is possible to train them to change their behavior.

Fight Pet Hair by Keeping Up With Laundry

Pet hair build-up on sheets, pillowcases, towels, and throw rugs can be difficult to deal with after long periods. Try to get in the routine of washing your sheets and pillow cases regularly — once a week is ideal — to keep up with pet hair before it sets into the fabric. Scented dryer sheets will help to reduce any pet odors that stick to the fabric.

For larger pieces of furniture like couches and chairs, you can use removable slip-covers that can be washed regularly. For an easy fix, cover your couch with a sheet and wash it regularly. When guests visit, just remove the sheet to reveal the pristine furniture underneath. Leather sofas are also a great way to keep pet hair from sticking to the fabric of your lounge furniture.

Consider Your Flooring Options

Dog and cat hair can easily get stuck in the fibers of your carpets and rugs. Wall-to-wall carpeting can be a bit more difficult to throw in the laundry than an area rug, so it’s important to get creative in order to keep your carpets clean. You can start by vacuuming regularly — like every other day — to really keep the pet hair out.

If you have the resources and want to make some big changes in order to get rid of pet hair, consider switching to hardwood or tile floors. Cleaning hardwood floors with a dust mop or swiffer product will pick up most hair and other particles on the floor. There are some brooms and mops on the market made especially for picking up pet hair. The FURemover, for example, has natural rubber bristles that make it super easy to sweep up hair on wood and tile floors.

Get Creative With Pet Hair Removal

No matter how hard you try to get pet hair out of your home, there will always be some traces of your beloved four-legged friend’s locks. To minimize the amount of hair that sticks on furniture, clothes, and other surfaces, you may need to get creative.

Keep a few lint rollers in the house so that you can always give furniture and clothing a last minute de-hairing. Apartment Therapy recommends using a damp rubber glove to remove hair from the surface of fabric upholstery.

Keeping up with the dusting in your home will automatically reduce the amount of pet hair and pet-related allergens in your home. Vacuuming your carpet in a different direction every time will help pick up dust and pet hair that was matted deeply into the carpet. Handheld vacuums are great for getting into hard-to-reach spots, like between couch cushions.

De-Hair Even the Most Difficult Spots in Your Home

Tackle even the toughest pet hair problems so that you can get back to snuggling and playing with your furry companion. Removing pet hair from your home will help reduce allergies while also making your home look neater and more put together. Do you have special hacks from removing dog or cat hair from your home? Tells us in the comments below.

These shoppable products make every load hair-free at last.

Let’s face it: No matter how much we brush, groom, and love our furry family members, they have a tendency to shed all over our stuff. To make matters worse, pet hair naturally clings to clothing—making it difficult to remove. “Pet hair often embeds or entangles itself with the fibers of your clothing,” explains Michael Sweigart, founder of FurZapper. “Some pet hair strands are pointed on the ends, which increases penetration of the fabric. It is very tricky to remove since there is usually an abundance of these hair fibers in all nooks and crannies of your clothing.”

And if all the nonstop lint-rolling wasn’t enough, loose pet hair can also accumulate in your washing machine or dryer and cause much bigger problems for your appliances. “When pet hair gets wet it gets soggy and clumpy, clinging to the insides of the machine,” says Kadi Dulude of Wizard of Homes. “It can also get stuck in your water filter and end up clogging your machine or drains.” Looking for ways to keep your clothes, bedding, and appliances free of pesky pet hair? We asked our experts how to remove unwanted pet hair from your laundry, as well as your washing and drying machines, and here’s what they had to say.

Brush your pets regularly.

The best way to keep your laundry free of fuzz is to prevent hair buildup in the first place. “Comb your pet with special combs to remove loose hairs to help your home (and machine!) hair-free,” Dulude says. “If you find your clothes and bedding are still covered in hair, make sure to vacuum or use a lint roller on them before putting them into the washing machine.”

Throw pet-hair removing tools in your laundry.

Looking for a way to remove the pet hair from your garments once they’re in the washing machine? A specialized gizmo, like the FurZapper or lint removing balls, can be thrown in the washer or dryer to help dislodge and collect stray pet hair strands. “The FurZapper is made of soft, tacky material that pet hair naturally clings to,” Sweigart explains. “So it safely dislodges pet hair from your laundry in the washer and dryer.

Deep clean your washing machine.

If you have a pet that sheds a lot, then Dulude says it’s crucial to keep up with your washing machine maintenance. “Once a month, let your washing machine tub air dry, (by keeping the door open for a day) and use the crevice attachment on your vacuum to clean out as much hair as possible,” she says. “Then give it a detailed wipe down—including the area under the rubber lip of the machine—and run a ‘tub clean’ cycle if you have one. Lastly, throw two cups of white vinegar, a cup of baking soda, and three cups of hot water into the tub to give it a thorough clean before running a cycle.”

Deep clean your dryer.

Much like your washing machine, it’s important to regularly deep clean your dryer to remove pet hair buildup from the lint trap and inside of your machine. Use the crevice attachment of your vacuum to remove excess hair from the lint trap and wipe the inside of your dryer with a cleaning cloth once a month, or as you see the hair starting to build up,” Dulude says. “Your dryer is supposed to be deep cleaned every 6-12 months—check the manufacturer’s instructions if you’re unsure—to keep it working properly and to avoid the risk of fire.”

Cover your pet’s preferred sleeping area.

If you’re dealing with an excess of loose hair in the areas your pet likes to sleep, like your sofa or bed, Dulude suggests protecting the area with designated covers. “If you have a pet that tends to shed a lot or has thick or heavy fur, then you might want to have their favorite sleeping areas covered with a special blanket or a removable sofa cover,” she says. “Get into the habit of washing them weekly to keep the pet smells out, remembering to brush the hair off before you put it into washer.”

In this Article

In this Article

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  • Remedies for Hairballs in Cats
  • When to See a Vet

If you have a cat, you’ve likely come across a hairball in your home on at least one occasion. You may have woken up early in the morning to hearing your cat coughing one up. Whether you’ve seen it or stepped in it first, these gooey masses are anything but pleasant.

Cats clean themselves frequently. Their rough tongues remove dirt, debris, and loose fur, which they then swallow. Typically, the hair passes through the stomach and digestive system without a problem. If a large amount gets stuck, however, your cat can throw it up, producing a hairball.

The occasional hairball generally isn’t a cause for concern, and it doesn’t indicate a serious problem. It’s a by-product of a natural process. However, while rare, hairballs can present dangers if the clump of fur in the cat’s stomach becomes too large to pass or gets lodged in their digestive tract.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help minimize hairball occurrence in cats.

Remedies for Hairballs in Cats

While hairballs aren’t typically dangerous, they’re not pleasant for your cat to cough up. It’s also not enjoyable for you as the owner to hear your cat go through the experience. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help prevent hairballs or reduce their frequency.

Cats are excellent self-groomers. If your cat sheds a lot, however, they may swallow a lot of the loose fur, which increases the likelihood of a hairball. You can help to decrease the risk by brushing them periodically.

Ideally, you should brush your cat at least once or twice a week. If your cat has long hair, you may want to brush them more often. Some cats benefit from daily brushing.

Some cats enjoy brushing, while others may not. If your cat falls into the second category, consider wearing grooming gloves instead of using a brush. With these pet-friendly gloves, your cat will feel like they’re being petted rather than brushed. If they’re resistant to brushing and petting, you could also consider shaving the hair down.

Continued

Use Baby Wipes

After brushing your cat, wipe them with a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic baby wipe. Alternatively, you can use a damp paper towel. A moist cloth such as these helps to remove any remaining loose fur, which helps to reduce the amount that ends up in your cat’s stomach and reduces the risk of hairballs.

Just like humans, cats need fiber to maintain a healthy digestive tract. However, their needs are different from humans and other omnivores, as they typically don’t need plant fiber. Even so, adding some extra fiber to your cat’s diet can help to lower the risk of hairballs by helping to move things through their digestive system better. Some forms of fiber to add include:

  • Pumpkin (or pumpkin powder)
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Cat grass
  • Metamucil (fiber pill or powder)

Keep in mind that a cat’s fiber needs are much different from those of a human. You don’t want to add too much to their diet, or else your cat may experience some unpleasant side effects. If you’re unsure of how much to add, talk to your cat’s vet.

Increase Water Intake

If your cat eats dry food, their diet likely isn’t providing enough water to meet their hydration needs. As such, their digestive system may not be able to function as well as it should.

Offer your cat a clean, fresh water source. Many felines prefer running water to still, and they may not like the smell or taste of tap water. You might consider getting your cat a water fountain to get them to drink more. Canned food may also provide enough hydration to help keep the digestive system moving properly, reducing the risk of hairballs.

Lubricate the Digestive Tract

Incorporating oil into your cat’s diet can help to lubricate the digestive tract, making it easier for hair to pass through naturally. Add a teaspoon of olive oil or melted butter to your cat’s food once a week. Provide your cat with a small amount of canned tuna or sardines occasionally.

Continued

Another effective option is to dip your cat’s paw into some petroleum jelly. They’ll lick it off, and the jelly will line the digestive tract to help the hair pass through their system. There are also petroleum-based remedies available that you can periodically feed your cat.

Try Cat Food Formulated for Hairballs

If your cat coughs up hairballs regularly, you might consider switching to a diet specifically formulated to help reduce the issue. Many cat food brands have a product to deal with hairballs. The formulas typically include things such as increased fiber, oil, minerals, and vitamins that can help the swallowed hair pass through the digestive system naturally.

When to See a Vet

While you might not need to worry about the occasional hairball, there are some instances in which you should see your vet. It’s rare, but hairballs can grow so large that your cat can’t pass them, or they can get lodged in the digestive tract, creating a blockage. If the hairball is too large, surgery may be required to remove it.

You should see your vet right away if your cat:

  • Tries to vomit but can’t get anything out
  • Is coughing frequently
  • Is having trouble defecating (pooping)
  • Has diarrhea
  • Has a bloated, hard abdomen
  • Becomes lethargic (tired)
  • Loses their appetite or won’t drink

Sources

AnimalPath.org: “Shaving Cats Pros and Cons.”

ASPCA: “Cat Grooming Tips.”

Cat Health: “Giving Your Cat Clean and Fresh Water.”

Cat Health: “Should You Get Your Cat a Water Fountain?”

Cornell Feline Health Center: “The Dangers of Hairballs.”

Cornell Feline Health Center: “A Hairy Dilemma.”

Feline Nutrition Foundation: “Answers: Do Cats Need Dietary Fiber?”

Unless you have a hairless cat or a non-allergenic breed of dog, there’s no escaping floating pet hair in your home. Fur and hair even works its way into appliances and electronics and can also affect indoor air quality.

How to maintain a pet's hair

Pet hair doesn’t have to take over your life, though. Below are 9 tips on how to stay on top of pet hair and where you’ll find it in your home.

How to maintain a pet's hair

1. Refrigerator and Stove

Pet hair clings to metal behind and beneath your refrigerator and stove. It also clogs refrigerator condenser coils, causing the appliance to not cool properly.

Solution: Brush off the back and sweep beneath the appliance and then wipe the outside surface with a microfiber cloth. Use a vacuum attachment for vent openings. Be sure to unplug your refrigerator to avoid electric shock, and consult your refrigerator’s manual for instructions before cleaning condenser coils every couple of months.

2. Clothes Dryer

Pet hair accumulates on the dryer drum, door well, lint screen, lint trap and inside the vent hose going outside. A clogged vent hose or lint screen is a fire hazard so it’s important to keep them unobstructed.

Solution: Before cleaning, unplug your dryer and also turn off the gas on a gas dryer. For the lint trap, use a long, flexible dryer lint brush, then vacuum loosened debris. Detach the exhaust hose and vacuum dust and pet hair from the hose and dryer and wall ports. Be sure to clean the lint screen after every dryer use.

How to maintain a pet's hair

3. Computers and TVs

Fine pet hair that drifts into computers fans and other electronics parts can cause a computer to overheat and die. It can also wreak havoc on your television.

Solution: Vacuum regularly around your computer and other electronics, dusting devices often. Use a can of compressed air on the keyboard and a paper towel sprayed with cleaning solution. Cleaning the inside of a computer is more delicate so read up on that procedure before you begin. Don’t forget your keyboards, another notorious catcher of pet hair.

4. Furnace and Air Conditioner

When your HVAC system blows air into a room, it’s also sucking up stale air, including dust and pet dander, to recondition for later use. Pet hair and dander can settle in duct work and clog up your furnace’s air filter, causing your system to work harder.

Solution: Change your furnace air filter once a month and hose off dog hair from your outside air conditioner unit regularly. Bathe pets often to cut down on pet hair and dander. Consider buying an air purifier to remove pet hair and other particles.

5. Under the Bed

“Once a year, I’ll take my bed apart because I know there will be a thick layer of hair stuck to the carpet under it,” says Kelly Meister. “I’ll end up emptying the vacuum cleaner three or more times with the stuff under the bed.”

Solution: Sweep or vacuum beneath your bed, and behind the headboard monthly to minimize fur balls and dust bunnies.

How to maintain a pet's hair

6. Upholstered Furniture

Dog hair and cat fur clings to upholstered furniture.

Solution: Vacuum weekly with an upholstery attachment, says cleaning expert Debra Johnson with Merry Maids. Johnson also suggests using a “pet rake” or brush with nylon bristles. Be sure to move the couch away from the wall to sweep up accumulated fur balls and dust bunnies.

7. Carpet

Pet hair clings to carpet fiber and can settle beyond a vacuum’s reach.

Solution: Invest in a high-suction vacuum with raving online reviews from pet owners and vacuum frequently. Try using a carpet pet rake to dig down deep in the fibers and pull up trapped hairs.

How to maintain a pet's hair

8. Hardwood Floors and Baseboards

Pet hair on hardwood floors gravitates to corners, where it forms long strands of hair and fur.

Solution: Dust mop often and vacuum regularly, finishing with a damp mop. Dust and clean baseboards weekly.

9. Ceiling Fixtures

Just because light fixtures and ceiling fan blades are above your head doesn’t mean pet hair can’t reach them. Fido’s follicles float on air currents in your home and land where they please.

Solution: Use an extendable duster for hard-to-reach fixtures and corner cobwebs.

How to maintain a pet's hair

Many of us love having a pet in our home. Most dogs, however, will shed and leave behind traces of hair. Pet hair can show up on everything from bedding to kitchen appliances. Here is how to keep your home as clean as possible when there is a dog in the house.

The first step is crucial, limit the amount of dog hair that gets into your home in the first place. There are a few practical steps to keep your pet as healthy and obedient as possible. This will hopefully produce less shedding and keep the shedding constrained to only in certain areas.

Keep Your Pet Brushed and Bathed

Keeping your dog regularly bathed and groomed will go a long way to prevent excessive shedding. Short-haired dogs should be brushed once or twice a week. Dogs with long hair may require grooming more frequently. This will keep loose hair in the brush and not all over your home. Bathe your dog every few months with a gentle oatmeal shampoo to keep fur as healthy as possible. Doctors Foster and Smith recommend feeding a dog a diet that includes plenty of digestible proteins. The health of an animal’s coat is related to their diet as well as the owner’s grooming practices.

Train Your Pet

There are certain areas that should be off-limits to pets. DogTime.com explains that to keep dogs out of certain areas, such as beds and sofas, it’s best to never let them there in the first place. It’s recommended to provide comfy spots on the floor for your dog. You can use large throw pillows to give your dog his or her own spot. If a dog needs to be removed from the furniture, put a leash on your dog first. Then gently pull so the dog will jump off. Removing a dog with your hands may be seen as a form of petting or even praise.

Treat Any Medical Issues

There are specific medical conditions that may cause a dog to shed more frequently. PetCareRx states that extreme shedding can sometimes include the loss of entire chunks of fur. Cushing’s disease may cause excessive shedding. Allergies and hormonal imbalances can also cause issues with your pet’s coat. Other problems that may lead to abnormal shedding include fungal infections and immune disorders. A certain amount of shedding should be expected in dogs. However, if your dog is suffering from excessive shedding, it may be time for a visit to your veterinarian.

Often, preventative measures will only go so far. Your home may already have dog hair everywhere. There are practical steps you can take to remove it quickly and easily.

Keep Bedding Fresh and Clean

Many of us love having our pets snuggle up with us in bed. It’s a good idea to put a towel or folded blanket over your regular bedding in your dog’s favorite spot. If your pet does get on the pillows, blankets, and bedding, use a dryer sheet to remove any dog hair. Rub the dryer sheets over the bedding a few times and the hair will normally come right off. Scented dryer sheets will also help remove any pet odor, and leave the bedroom smelling clean and fresh. Make sure to wash and dry sheets and comforters separately to keep any hair of other items.

Clean the Living Room

Dog hair on your favorite sofa or chair is a common problem for most pet owners. According to Apartment Therapy, an easy way to remove pet hair from a fabric sofa starts with a damp rubber glove. Rub the glove over sofas and chairs until the glove is full of hair. Rinse and repeat as necessary. There may not always be time to clean all the furniture. For this reason, it’s a good idea to invest in throws or furniture covers to keep items protected.

Get the Kitchen as Healthy as Possible

Your kitchen is one area that needs to be as clean and free of dog hair as possible. Keep a stack of toothpicks in a small container on the counter when you’re working in the kitchen. Before preparing any food, wipe down the counters and cooking area with a damp cloth. Then use the toothpicks to remove any stray hairs and keep your hands clean as you prepare your meals.

Keep Your Floors Sparkling

Clean My Space suggests cleaning hardwood floors with a dust mop instead of a vacuum. The exhaust on a vacuum may cause pet hair as well as other particles on a hard floor to fly back onto surfaces. It’s also important to make sure it’s an electrostatic dust mop. On tile floors, a damp mop seems to work best for removing pet hair. Make sure the mop is only damp and not soaking wet since this can create more of a mess with the hair.

Creative Carpet Cleaning

Carpet is usually the most difficult type of flooring to keep clean when a dog is in the house. Some pet owners have actually installed carpeting that matches the color of their dogs. If you don’t want to take such drastic measures there are other options. Start by vacuuming the carpet. Then spray the carpet with a small amount of water. Take a damp sponge mop and gently mop over the carpet. The dog hair should clump up so that it can now be picked up or vacuumed.

When your beloved dog is in the home removing every single dog hair is probably not possible. Following these tips, however, can go a long way to eliminating as much of the hair as possible.