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How To Eliminate Pet Hair

May 3, 2008
Step 1: Remove Pet Hair from the Source

Simply brushing your pet regularly can save you much vacuuming later. All dogs and cats should be brushed or combed every 1-2 weeks. If you begin while they're young, they will quickly get used to it. If it bothers them, check with your veterinarian. The animal may have a skin condition.

Some people train their dogs to tolerate being vacuumed. Most dogs and cats fear these noisy home appliances, but a few actually enjoy the experience. You can slowly and gently introduce the dog to the vacuum cleaner, and it helps to keep the main unit outside the room where you're grooming the dog and use a long extension hose with the upholstery cleaning tool. Take it slow and don't terrify the poor guy.

Shedding tends to be heavier in the spring and fall when old coats are being shed for new ones. Even if the dog doesn't get its hair cut at any other time of year, doing it in the spring cuts down on shedding over the summer. If shedding seems excessive all year long, take it to a vet to rule out thyroid or hormonal problems.

Using Diet to Promote a Healthy Coat

Other likely causes of shedding are environmental, diet, or a result of aging. You can't do much about an old dog or cat, but there are steps you can take to reduce airborne allergens like dust and pollen. Many dogs and cats are sensitive to packaged foods. If you want to be really good to your pet, make their food yourself. For my dogs, I cook meat or fish with rice, oatmeal, eggs, and vegetables, a recipe I've used ever since I discovered they don't tolerate corn, which is the first ingredient in most supermarket dog foods. Both of them have terrific coats.

Gently rubbing your pet down regularly with a diaper wipe not only moisturizes the pet's skin but also removes loose hair and dander. A lint roller can collect loose hair, but will not moisturize the animal or make it smell better.

Proper grooming will greatly reduce the problem of pet hair on clothing, floors, and furniture, but it will not eliminate it. Fitting furniture with covers - only those pieces which the pets favor - reduces clean-up to a matter of throwing the covers in the washing machine every so often. And you can remove the covers whenever you wish, such as when you have guests.

For Those Who Don't Fancy Hairy Furniture

Hair can be removed from furniture in several ways:

* Use a soot-and-dirt removal sponge. These look like cellulose sponges. They are made of rubber and pull debris off of upholstery almost like magic. You can find them at home improvement stores and other stores which stock cleaning supplies. * Moisten a rubber glove with water and wipe it over the furniture. * Rub with a clothes dryer sheet. It has a magnetic attraction for hair and fuzz. * Wrap packaging tape or wide masking tape around your hand and run it across the fabric when you're cleaning small areas.

The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair

Picking up pet hair from carpets is best done by using the most powerful vacuum cleaner available. The handbook that Consumer Reports magazine issues on an annual basis generally has a section rating various brands of vacuum cleaners and describes their relative cleaning power. You should also check the reviews on Amazon.com to see which vacuum pet owners prefer based on actual experience with the products.

Some say that mixing liquid fabric softener with water, spraying it on carpets and rugs, and letting it sit for an hour before vacuuming does wonders in loosening hair embedded in fibers. Others swear by following up their vacuuming by running a rubber broom across the carpets.

Sprinkling carpet deodorizer around the house before vacuuming makes the house of a pet owner smell better, but the same thing can be accomplished with a box of baking soda. It does nothing to make picking up hair easier.
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