As a pet owner, you know the drill: you’d do anything for your little lovebug. But there are still some things you really wish you didn’t have to do, like vacuuming up pet hair. And dog hair really has a mind of its own. Those noxious little tufts wheedle their way into everything, weaving deep into your carpet fibers, sneaking past the dryer lint trap, covering your new wool suit—the one you were supposed to wear this week to a job interview.
Sound familiar? Shedding can definitely make you want to pull your own hair out, and it’s even worse if you have multiple dogs or an especially fluffy breed. But there’s no reason to get too out of sorts. You and Rover (and his or her coat) can live happily after with these four tips.
Treat Your Pup to a Doggy Spa Day
Dogs give us their undying affection, so it’s always nice when we can give back. And when you treat your dog to a special grooming day, you can offer both a token of your love and take a few preventative measures against shedding.
Grooming won’t stop shedding entirely, but it can remove some hair that would otherwise end up on your floor (or in your bed, or on the sofa or your favorite chair). Bathe your dog monthly with a shed control shampoo that will help remove dead skin cells and hair before they cause a mess. Next, take a brush or grooming rake to your dog’s coat until all the tangles are combed out and any excess hair is removed. You’d be surprised what a difference it makes, and even if your pup hates baths, he or she will love the way a good brushing feels.
Take a Look at Your Dog’s Diet
Shedding is a natural part of every dog’s life, but if your pup’s food isn’t providing adequate nutrition, it can increase the frequency of those shedding cycles. It’s good to get your vet’s advice on this, but the ASPCA recommends a diet composed of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Many dogs experience digestive issues, as well, and shedding can be the result of food allergies. Limited ingredient and grain-free foods may offer some relief if your pup seems otherwise healthy. If you notice bald patches or skin lesions or soreness, however, have a doctor check it out, as these can be symptoms of serious health issues.
Keep Your Home Neat With a Couple of Simple Cleaning Tips
It’s all well and good to limit shedding, but no matter what you do, some hair will still find its way to your furniture and floors. However, there are a couple of simple ways you can keep upholstery and carpeting looking great—without taking a microscope and tweezers to your rugs.
For furniture, forget the lint roller and try donning a pair of wet rubber gloves. The pet hair will be naturally attracted to it, and you won’t have to worry about using a cleaner that might bleach the surface. On carpeting, try running a deshedding edge gently over your floors to push stubborn hairs into piles for vacuuming.
Invest in Some Pet-Friendly Slipcovers
Upholstery and pet hair get along like two peas in a very hairy pod. Luckily, manufacturers have finally caught on that some of us like to snuggle up with our pups on the couch—and they’ve begun producing microfiber sofas and dog-friendly slipcovers that will keep pet hair at bay. It’s also a convenient excuse for a bit of home improvement.
As for flooring, any non-carpeted option works best (plus, it won’t harbor dust and other allergens!), but if rugs are your thing, there are some pretty nice machine-washable carpeting tiles out there that will allow you to give your floors a good wash—without renting a steam cleaner and waiting forever for your carpets to dry. Hey, anything for your pets, right?
About the Author: Bryn Huntpalmer lives in Austin, Texas where she currently works as editor-in-chief of Modernize with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.
About Modernize: Modernize is your trusted ally in home improvement—empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big projects with confidence.