Spring is here! Time to break out the sundresses and pack away the sweaters — for you AND your dog. And by sweaters, we mean pet hair. Lots of it. Most dogs are double-coated and shed their undercoat a couple of times a year. In the Fall, it grows in thicker for warmth. In the Spring, it's time to shed it for something breezier. And where does all that Winter fur go? On your floor, of course. And your couch. And your clothes. And . . . pretty much everywhere.
Whether or not you suffer from allergies, you need some foolproof ways to get rid of the hair without getting rid of your dog. So just in time for Spring, we've rounded up our favorite, tried-and-true methods for total pet hair domination.
1. Invest in a Great Vacuum
First things first: get the right tool for the job. If you have a dog, you'll want to get a vacuum designed to tackle plenty of pet fur. The right vacuum is powerful enough to annihilate the hair, while also agile enough to get into nooks and crannies: under the couch cushions, behind the bed, and beyond. You'll want to vacuum at least once a week, and more during peak shedding season. Put on some loud music and go for it. We hear it's a good workout. Bonus.
When it comes to vacuums for pet fur, there are many good options at a range of price points. Check out a roundup for five of our favorite choices.
2. Brush, Brush, Brush
Regular brushing is key. Depending on your dog's coat, different brushes work best. Breeds with thicker, fuller coats, like Golden Retrievers and Huskies, require a slicker brush. Shorter coats can start with a bristle brush. Either way, regular brushing will help keep shedding at bay. Plus, it's a nice bonding moment for you and your pooch.
Pro tip: take advantage of the warmer weather and brush your pet outside. This helps reduce pet dander for allergy sufferers and makes cleanup a whole lot easier.
3. Amp Up Your Grooming Routine
Sure, brushing is a great place to start. But sometimes you need to get serious. You probably don't want to shave your dog (not all over, anyway), so what else can you do? We've discovered a bunch of awesome fur-removal products that take your average brushing session to the next level. The best tools work by getting at that undercoat, which is the main source of all the shedding.
For instance, the compact, powerful, and easy-to-use FURminator is a perennial top performer. This secret weapon gets a gold star in pet fur destruction, without destroying your dog.
4. It's Bathtime
Many Americans suffer from allergies to pet dander, which can get worse during Spring shedding season. If you're plagued by sneezing, itching, and watery eyes, regularly bathing your dog will help. In fact, frequent bathing can reduce pet dander by up to 84 percent! There are even dander-reducing shampoos that will reduce irritation, hydrate your dog's skin, and result in a soft, shiny coat. After-bath snuggles . . . mmm.
5. Beyond the Vacuum
Sometimes, a broom works better than a vacuum, especially on tile and wood. The FURemover broom, from the same family as the FURminator, might be magic. Designed especially to pick up pet fur, it's amazing at sweeping big fluffy piles into manageable mounds that you can put straight into the trash. For smaller jobs, try pet hair removal mitts, which are pretty darn affordable.
And for the ultimate in simplicity? You can't beat standard-issue rubber gloves. Dampen, swipe over the fur, and voila. The Internet is crazy about this cleaning hack.
6. Cleaning On the Go
Vacuuming, bathing, grooming: these will help prevent excess shedding. But sometimes you need to get rid of fur fast. Say, you're about to walk into a big meeting and you realize that you've got your dog's white fur all over your black pants. Never fear. That's where the classic lint roller comes into play. Most are sized for convenient transport, so you can keep one in your desk, your glove compartment, and your bag. (You can't have too many, really.) There are a range of choices, including some designed especially for pet hair removal. Just don't roll it on your dog . . .
It's hard to tell who's more excited about Spring: you or your dog. It's time to enjoy longer walks, romps at the dog park, and naps in that sunny spot on the living room floor. You know, that one. There's no better season for enjoying the perks of the pet parent life. Fur and all!