Living in a Hairy House | The Reality of Owning a Dog

Picture of hair brush full of dog hair

If you own a dog, dog hair has likely become your most consistent fashion accessory. Dogs shed, and try as you might, you’ve not been able to find the secret to keeping that hair off your clothes. You’ve invested untold hundreds of dollars in lint rollers, and you’ve tried all the gimmicks designed to keep dog hair at bay, and all to no avail. You brush your dog faithfully, and though Fido has the silkiest, most mat-free coat ever, all that brushing has done for your house is to contribute to the tumbleweeds that line your floors. If you feel like a slave to dog hair, you are most certainly not alone. A hairy house is part and parcel of owning and loving a dog.

Do all dogs shed?

Though many dogs have been touted as no-shedding or hypoallergenic, the truth is all dogs shed. However, some breeds shed less than others. The idea of a non-shedding dog is a myth, but low-shedding breeds do exist, and if you want to spend the least amount of time cleaning dog hair off your clothes…and your floors…that might be the way to go.

Interestingly enough, it is not the dogs with the most abundant coats that shed the most fervently. Research shows that is dogs with smooth coats are the ones who tend to emit the most hairy fibers into their home environment. However, it is important to note that simply because a dog doesn’t shed much does not mean their coats do not require regular maintenance. In fact, some breeds that shed the least need brushing, bathing, and blow drying the most. So the time you spent cleaning up hair is instead expended in grooming it.

If you’re looking to add a dog to your home that isn’t going to leave you spending all of your free time cleaning up hair, here is a list of some of dog breeds that are known to be low-shedding:

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Poodle
  • Komondor
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese Crested

Shedding does increase at certain times of year and under specific conditions. When a dog is anxious or fearful, you will notice a more rapid release of their hair. But hair loss also occurs seasonally. Animals experience a period at least twice yearly when they “blow coat.” This process helps an animal to get rid of dead hair in preparation of growing a new coat to protect them during critical cold times of the year. When an animal “blows coat,” It will almost appear that they are naked, and you will find thick tufts of hair all over your home. The good news is that immediately following this shedding season there will be a brief reprieve from constant shedding while your pooch works on growing his new winter coat.

How to cope with dog hair in your house

If you’re already got a pampered pooch that you absolutely adore, you know you’d rather live with the hair than live without Fido. After all, a few little hairy accoutrements to your wardrobe is a small price to pay for all the love you receive as Fido’s fave person in the whole wide world. Yet there is no doubt that constantly cleaning up dog hair can get you down. If you find yourself longing for some clothing that doesn’t constantly have that mohair look, it’s time to find some solutions to minimize the dog hair as much as possible. Though you will never be able to completely eradicate it, there are some things you can do to cut down on the hairy mess, giving you more time to spend with your fave furry friend.

  • Feed your dog a high quality diet.

Nutrition plays a key role in how much your dog sheds. High quality diets include essential fatty acids and oils which help nourish the skin and encourage the growth and maintenance of a healthy coat.

  • Have your dog groomed regularly.

There is no doubt that regular brushing will help reduce the amount of hair that finds its way onto your floors, furniture, and clothing. It also allows the collected hair to stay in one centrally located place—your brush—for easy disposal. But faithfully brushing your dog is not sufficient to reduce shedding on its own. It is critical that your dog receive regular baths and haircuts to keep the hair healthy and mat free. Regular bathing and blow drying helps to remove dead hair to make way for new. Since hair has a specific growth cycle, once dead hair is removed, it takes time for new growth to take its place. This process itself helps to keep shedding to an absolute minimum.

  • Purchase a vacuum designed to deal specifically with pet hair.

In order to get a job done properly, you need the correct tools. When it comes to picking up dog hair, not all vacuums are created equally. Today’s vacuum manufacturers have specifically targeted the needs of pet owners by formulating vacuum cleaners with the strength to remove stubborn pet hair from floors, fabrics, and clothing. Dyson has a line of vacuum cleaners designed specifically to deal with pet-related messes, and Bissell has recently introduced a floor tool that does it all—it sweeps, mops, and vacuums all in one efficient machine. What could be better than a clean and relatively hair-free home in a fraction of the time?

  • Consider installing air filters.

Air filtration systems do far more than simply purify the air of unpleasant and harmful smells. They also trap pet hair and dander, removing a great deal of it from your home environment. They are an excellent tool for pet owners who suffer from allergies as dander is the main culprit in allergic reactions. For best results, be sure to change your air filters on a frequent basis to prevent them from becoming clogged.

  • Stay on top of the mess.

The worst possible thing you can do in the battle against pet hair is give in. If you let a little bit of pet hair begin to accumulate over several days, you will very quickly find that that small, overlooked amount has now become a massive, unavoidable problem. Making use of items such as electric brooms can help keep on top of daily pet hair accumulation, making large scale cleaning necessary less frequently.

  • Make use of slip cover and throw rugs.

Slip covers and throw rugs are a life saver! When they get covered in hair, you can simply pick them up and throw them in your washing machine, and voila! The hair is instantly gone.

  • Use a lint roller or rubber gloves to collect hair for disposal.

Items such as lint rollers or rubber gloves can be used to move hair into one section for easy removal.

There is no doubt if you own a dog, you will be living in a hairy house. But the hair doesn’t have to overtake your home! Try out some of our top tips to help you keep pet hair to a minimum.



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