Can I Vacuum My Dog?

Picture of a brown dog

It’s an unfortunate fact that dogs do shed, and many of them shed A LOT. If you’re tired of devoting your life to ridding your home of those magical fibers known as dog hair, you might be wondering if instead of vacuuming your floors it might be more efficient to simply vacuum your dog. Is it possible to vacuum a dog, and if so, is it safe?

Can I Vacuum My Dog, and If So, How Do I Introduce My Dog to My Vacuum?

If dog hair has become the bane of your existence, you’ll be happy to hear that with a proper introduction and safety measures put in place; yes, it is both possible and safe to vacuum your dog. However, it is important that you not start the process by simply starting up the vacuum and getting right to the job at hand. Your dog will need a slow and gentle introduction to the vacuum to help him become accustomed to the sounds the vacuum makes, and later, to the sensation to expect when being vacuumed.

You can begin this process by taking your dog to the location in your home where you store your vacuum. When your dog becomes familiar with the vacuum, you can then start moving it to areas of the house your dog spends the most time in. When vacuuming your home, be certain that your dog is present, so that he starts to feel comfortable with the noises the vacuum makes while in use. When your dog reacts calmly to the presence of the vacuum, praise him and reward him with treats.

Proceeding in a similar fashion, you can gradually decrease the amount of distance between the vacuum and your dog until your dog is comfortable with the vacuum gently resting against his coat. You may wish to begin this process with the vacuum off and moving the tool and pet hair attachment down your dog’s body in gentle, even strokes. Once your dog is at ease with this motion, you can then turn your vacuum on low and begin to vacuum your dog in short sessions, taking your cues from your dog as to his comfort level. If at any time, your dog expresses discomfort or distress, it is best to turn off the vacuum and to move back a few steps in the process until your dog is at ease with you attempting to vacuum his coat again.

Are There Some Dos and Don’ts When It Comes to Vacuuming Your Pets?

One of the key aspects of teaching your dog to allow you to vacuum him is to use the correct attachment. Do not make use of any of the attachments provided with your vacuum. These attachments may upset your dog as they are not designed to remove dog hair and may provide too much suction, causing your dog to feel anxious and possibly even get hurt. The best vacuum cleaners on the market today offer pet hair attachments for an additional cost. Pet hair attachments contain bristles that are softer, making the vacuuming experience feel soothing to your dog. They are well worth the added investment if this exercise is something you plan to make part of your weekly dog grooming routine.

When vacuuming your dog, you have a definite objective in mind: removing excess hair without causing your dog any stress or anxiety. Pet hair attachments do not offer as much suction as regular vacuum attachments, and therefore, will not hurt your dog.

Are There a Specific Method for Vacuuming Your Dog?

With the correct equipment, it is perfectly safe to vacuum your dog. It is a much more effective method of cleaning then trying to eliminate shed hair that is already in your environment. By vacuuming the dog, you are cleaning the source directly which also greatly reduces the amount of time you will need to spend cleaning since the surface area affected is much smaller.

You will need to begin by buying the correct pet hair attachment for your vacuum. If you don’t have a vacuum that is compatible with a pet hair attachment, you will need to shop for a new one. When searching for the right vacuum, you will need to select one that can do double duty by cleaning your floors and helping you tackle your dog’s coat. One of the key components to look for in your new vacuum is a unit that is quiet. Noisy vacuums can cause your dog to feel very anxious and afraid, emotions that will counteract your efforts to teach your dog to accept being vacuumed.

Prior to vacuuming your dog, it is a good idea to use a brush to loosen any hair on your dog’s body. This process makes it easier for the vacuum to catch the hair and will help speed up the time spent vacuuming.

There are definitely some telltale signs that indicate your dog is not happy about being vacuumed. These include:

  • Your dog looks afraid.
  • Your dog is persistently barking.
  • Your dog is acting hurt.
  • Your vacuum is aggressively suctioning out hair.
  • Your vacuum is pulling the skin.

How Often Does My Dog Need to Be Vacuumed?

If you plan to vacuum your dog to keep the hair in your home to a minimum, it’s important that you determine how frequently this should occur. There is no one definitive answer as to how often your dog will need to be vacuumed. Since each dog is an individual, the number of times per month that you will need to vacuum your dog will depend on your dog’s coat type and how much your dog sheds. If your dog is a heavy shedder, he will need to be vacuumed more often than a dog that is low to no-shedding. Heavy shedders typically require vacuuming at least two or three times each month. During times of excess seasonal shedding, heavy shedders will require even more frequent grooming sessions with the vacuum.

Low shedding dogs can be vacuumed once monthly.

Why Are Some Dogs Afraid of the Vacuum?

When a dog is afraid of the vacuum, it is most often the noise that is causing them to feel distressed. Since our dogs possess very acute hearing, the sound of the vacuum is extremely loud to them, causing them to feel annoyed by it. Most vacuums emit very high frequency sounds which also cause irritation to a dog’s eardrums and may result in fearfulness.

Vacuums also smell funny to dogs. Dogs possess a very strong sense of smell, and the particles contained in the vacuum’s canister or bag can be very overwhelming for a dog, particularly since many different smells are combined in one place.

If your dog is afraid of your vacuum, you will need to proceed very slowly in helping him to learn to overcome these feelings. In some cases, it may not be possible. Always err on the side of your dog’s comfort level. If your dog is upset and anxious when you attempt to vacuum him, it may be best to go back to the traditional route of cleaning up dog hair: vacuum the floors instead of your dog.

Can I vacuum my dog? If you take the appropriate steps, buy the correct tools, and your dog is comfortable with the process, yes, you can vacuum your dog. However, if your dog is distressed by this method of grooming, best to go the old-fashioned route and stick to using your vacuum for your floors only.

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