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One of the most well-known phrases in the English language is “dogs are a man’s best friend.” For many of us, this is absolutely true. We love our dogs. We think of them as family and treat them just like we would our children. We feed them, play with them, buy them toys and even let them sleep in our beds. Our dogs are our best friends, but the relationship isn’t one-sided.
Our dogs love us too. For all that we give them – time, money, attention or the best side of the bed – they give us just as much right back. They give us cuddles, devotion, loyalty, happiness and lots and lots of love.
They also give us loads of dog hair on practically everything.
Why Dogs Shed So Much?
It doesn’t matter if your dog is short-hair or long-hair, chances are you’ve seen dog hair in places you never thought dog hair could get. My own dog is a gorgeous pit bull, a dog not known for having long, luxurious hair. Even so, I find more short, little, black hairs lying around my house than you could even imagine, and that’s with a short-hair dog!
That’s because all dogs shed, just like humans. Dogs naturally lose their hair over time. This helps them get rid of old, damaged hair to make room for new, healthy hair. In the fall, dogs that spend a lot of time outside will often grow thick, warm coats to help protect them from the coming cold. In the spring, these dogs then shed those big, furry coats so they don’t overheat in the summer.
If your dog’s a mostly inside dog, he probably won’t grow a noticeable “winter coat,” but he’ll have fluctuations in his coat thickness all year long. This means there won’t necessarily be big piles of hair lying around in the summer, but it also means that your dog will shed a fairly regular, routine amount of hair all year long.
How to Minimize Excess Dog Hair
Because shedding is a natural process for dogs, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. You can, however, help minimize the effects of loose hair all over your house by brushing and grooming your dog regularly. There are different brushes that work better for different coat types and lengths, and if you’re unsure which to buy, ask your vet. She’ll be able to recommend a good brush that’ll be the most effective for your dog.
Is There Such a Thing as “Too Much” Shedding?
When you go to make your bed and see that half of it’s covered in dog hair, you may start to wonder if the amount of hair your dog is shedding is normal. Most of the time, it is. Dogs shed a lot more than people realize. There are some things that can cause dogs to shed more than usual though.
If you notice your dog seems to be losing more hair than normal after you’ve recently changed his food, you could be seeing the effects of a food allergy. If your dog is allergic to the food he’s eating or if the food he’s eating doesn’t have enough nutrients, this could cause him to start shedding more hair. Excessive shedding could also be a result of excessive scratching and self-grooming due to fleas, mites, ticks or lice.
Other conditions and illnesses that could cause your dog to shed more than normal include the following:
- Fungal/Bacterial Infections
- Thyroid, Liver, Kidney or Adrenal Disease
- Immune Disease
- Bad Reaction to Chemicals
If you truly think your dog is shedding too much or if you start to notice bald patches on his skin, take him to the vet right away to find out what the underlying issue is.
How to Cut Down on Excess Hair
At the end of this article, we’ll show you some of our favorite products for helping eliminate dog hair in your house, but aside from brushing your dog, there are other steps you can take as well.
1. Bathe Your Dog Regularly
Unlike humans, dogs don’t need baths every day. Dogs don’t even necessarily need baths every week! However, as long as you’re using a gentle shampoo that isn’t damaging to your dog’s coat or skin, bathing your dog regularly – at least every couple of weeks – can help cut down on the amount of excess hair you find in your house. Washing your dog helps get rid of dead hair and excess undercoat, which means less shedding when he’s lying around the house. It’ll make quite a mess in the tub you’re using though, so be prepared to clean that out afterwards, especially if you wash him in your own bathtub.
2. Wash His and Your Bedding Regularly
Make sure you’re regularly washing your dog’s bedding. Once a week is pretty standard for keeping it from getting too stinky and hairy. If your dog sleeps with you, you’ll want to wash your bedding regularly as well. If you don’t want to wash everything in your bed each week, train your furry best friend to lie in one spot and cover that spot with something that’s easily cleaned.
3. Get Rid of the Carpet
If you’re going to have any type of furry pet in the house, whether it’s a cat, dog, rabbit or something else, carpet isn’t the best idea. Carpet is just harder to clean than hardwood floors, linoleum or tile. With those types of floors, you can simply sweep away the hair and then mop over the floors for good measure. Even if you vacuum regularly, pet hair gets stuck down in and entwined with your carpet fibers and is almost impossible to clean 100%. If at all possible, try to pick pet-friendly floors.
4. Invest in Lots of Lint Rollers
Lint rollers are a must-have when dealing with pet hair. You can use them for clothes, furniture, bedspreads, cars and practically anything else. Lint rollers aren’t great for cleaning your entire house, but for cleaning up small areas, they’re amazing.
5. Hide Your Clothes
Don’t leave your clothes lying around the house! When you do laundry, take it out, and put it away immediately. Hang things in closets, and then shut the doors! Put things away in drawers, and make sure they’re tightly closed. If you leave clean laundry lying around or even stacked neatly in laundry baskets, it’s bound to pick up a ton of pet hair in a short period of time.
Best Products for Managing Dog Hair in the House
Whether you’re looking for something to help you groom your dog so there’s less hair to shed or something to help clean up your house, this list has it all. These are our favorite tools to help with the dog hair issue in any home.
Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel HEPA Media Vacuum Cleaner
This Hoover vacuum is the perfect vacuum for picking up pet hair. In fact, that’s exactly what it’s designed to do. It comes with a multi-purpose “pet tools” package, and each piece is designed specifically to rid your floor, furniture, stairs and hard-to-reach areas of pet hair. It’s bagless, so you don’t have to worry about constantly buying new bags for it; simply empty the tank when it gets full. It also features an odor-minimizing filter to trap 99% of dust and allergens and keep them from re-entering the air in your home.
GOOVI 1600PA Robotic Vacuum Cleaner with Self-Charging
This is another great vacuum that’s designed specifically to deal with pet hair. The great thing about this one, though, is that you can simply turn it on and let it do it’s thing. You don’t have to actually do any pushing or manual work with it. It’s a great option for everyday cleaning when you don’t feel like doing it yourself.
Lint Rollers Pet Hair Roller
These lint rollers are extra sticky and specifically designed to pick up stubborn pet hair that’s stuck in fibers. They can be used on couches, beds, carpet, clothes, hard surfaces, car seats and more. They’re so easy to use that children can use them, and they’re small and lightweight enough to be carried in a handbag. This particular case comes with 12 lint rollers in total, which should last you quite a while.
Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Shed Control Shampoo with Omega 3s and Vitamin E
Burt’s Bees is one of our favorite brands of shampoo for dogs. It’s gentle and 100% safe on their skin and coats because it doesn’t contain fragrances, colorants, sulfates or other harsh chemicals. In fact, it’s gentle enough to use on puppies as well as adult dogs. This particular shampoo is specifically designed to help cut down on shedding by strengthening the dog’s fur, reducing breakages and keeping stray hairs leashed. It’s made of high-quality ingredients and really is the best choice if you’re looking for a shampoo that’ll cut down on some of your pup’s shedding.
SleekEZ Deshedding Grooming Tool for Dogs, Cats & Horses
The SleekEZ is marketed as the “World’s #1 Deshedding Tool.” I can’t swear that’s true because I’ve not used every single deshedding tool in the world, but I can tell you that it’s flipping amazing! This little tool doesn’t look like much, and I was hesitant to try it at first, but I’m so glad that I did. It works by attacking your dog’s undercoat. It grabs all that loose, dead hair and pulls it right out in a process that’s completely painless for your dog. It comes in different sizes, so you can choose the one that’s best for your pet.
Complete Professional Pet Grooming Kit
This is the perfect all-in-one kit for getting rid of pesky dog hair. It comes with the self-cleaning slicker brush that removes loose hair, gets rid of tangles and knots and even helps remove dirt and dander from your dog’s coat. The bristles are finely curved and retractable, so when it’s time to clean the brush, you won’t have any problem. There’s also the deshedding grooming brush, which is a heavy-duty tool that helps get rid of stubborn undercoat hairs. It comes with a stainless steel blade that’s detachable and works on both long- and short-hair dogs. This tool alone can cut down on shedding by 95%.
Finally, there’s the pet grooming gloves. These are for use on those days when your dog doesn’t really want to cooperate with the grooming process. Simply slip them on your hands and pet your dog like you would any other time the two of you are cuddled up together. In addition to removing loose hair, these also give your dog a nice massage and can help increase his circulation. They’re comfortable for you as well. Plus, they’re washable! All products come with a lifetime guarantee.
Fur-Zoff Pet Hair Remover
You have to applaud the manufacturer’s honesty in the branding. “It’s not pretty, but it works!” is the claim made by the company, and it’s a truthful one. This weird looking little tool is absolutely unbeatable for getting rid of dog hair from your floor and furniture. It isn’t hard either. You simply have to rub the Fur-Zoff over the surface of whatever you want to clean, and the hair just clears off it like magic.
Best of all, it never has to be cleaned. It works by pushing all the hair into a large pile that can then easily be picked up and thrown away, leaving the stone completely clean and ready to be used again. This thing truly is magical. It got years of caked in cat and dog hair off my couch that I had completely given up on trying to remove. Of all the products on this list, this is probably my personal favorite.
Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls
These cute little penguin dryer balls are perfect for getting excess dog hair off of your clothes. They’re reusable, so they’ll save you a ton of money on dryer sheets, and they’re made of 100% pure New Zealand wool, so they work well for babies’ clothes and the clothes of people with sensitive skin. There are no harmful chemicals in these all-natural dryer balls, and they can be used on any type and/or color of clothes. Best of all, they help catch excess dog hair that’s left over after you’ve washed your clothes, ensuring they come out of the dryer perfectly clean.
FURemover Multi-Surface Squeegee Rubber Broom
When it comes to removing dog hair from hardwood, tile and linoleum floors, there are few better options than the FURemover squeegee broom. It’s extra large to cover a maximum surface area, and it’s made of 100% natural rubber, which is basically a magnet for pet hair. It’s designed for hard-surface floors, but it can also be used on carpet and rugs. There’s also a built-in squeegee for cleaning windows, showers and windshields if you need to do so.
Evriholder FURemover Duo, 2-Sided Lint Brush
This is a great option for removing unwanted pet hair because it works on both your pet and your furniture. This double-sided brush features one head that has thick bristles for grooming your pet. They help remove loose hair from your dog and get rid of much of its undercoat, which is the part of the coat that causes most of the shedding problems. The other side of the brush features super fine bristles for removing hair from upholstery, car interiors, clothing, bed linens and more. It’s practically two tools in one.
The brush is easy to clean and durable enough to last for years, so you can reuse it over and over again. There’s no sticky adhesive to worry about, and you won’t have to refill it with anything. It has everything it needs in one small, double-headed package. Because the brush is made of plastic and rubber, all you have to do is wash it off if there’s any hair clinging to it after you’re done.
Bonus: For When You’ve Just Given Up and Decided to Let the Hair Win
This one is a joke, of course, but it’s actually really cute, and some days, you really will feel like giving up and just letting the hair overtake everything. For those days, you can use this adorable coffee mug that reminds anyone who sees you that “Everything tastes better with dog hair in it!”