If you’re a pet owner, you probably know how much fur your loveable household companions can leave behind on carpets, furniture, clothing, just about anywhere—especially now, during shedding season. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can get (and keep) the upper hand in the constant struggle against pet fur.
Suck it up
Pet fur can range from a subtle nuisance to OMG depending on the number of pets you have, their breed, and their size. The vacuum is a great first line of defense against those ghostly little tumbleweeds of pet fur that seem to sprout from nowhere and collect on floors, stairs, and upholstery. A number of pet-friendly vacs are available, with attachments for a range of surfaces. Some even have pet-safe attachments that let you vacuum your pooch—which is great for those “hall of fame” shedders like Malamutes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Akitas.
Hit the suds
There’s nothing like a warm bath to loosen up dead fur before brushing. Some pets are more amenable to the idea than others, and for cats the process may require some patience and a few treats, but the benefits of bathing are many. It loosens fur from the undercoat, lets you check for ticks, and keeps down allergens like pet dander. Your vet can recommend a good shampoo and some grooming mitts. You can use a hairdryer (set on “cool”) to safely dry your pet after bathing.
Brush it out
There’s no substitute for a good brushing to remove loose fur from your pet. Most dogs and cats enjoy the experience, and even the grumpy ones tend to get accustomed to it if you make it a part of their daily routine. For large breeds and heavy shedders, it may be best to do the brushing out in the yard, at the park, or in a less traveled area of the home such as the garage. Some pet owners even lay down a plastic sheet to ease cleanup after brushing.
Use the rubber glove trick
A pair of heavy-duty rubber kitchen gloves can help create a fur magnet. Just pull on a pair and run your hands over upholstery, carpeting, and even the furry offenders themselves. The static electricity generated will cause any loose fur to cling to the gloves till you can rinse it away.
Try a cover-up
One pre-emptive approach to the pet fur problem is to cover your furniture. A slipcover can collect the day-to-day fur, and if you’re having company, just toss the covers in the wash.
Filter it out
If your home has central heating, you already know how quickly pet hair can collect in floor vents. A long flat duster can keep grates and vents fur-free, and help reduce pet dander in the air. Also, check and replace furnace filters and clean your dryer’s lint screen regularly.
Go where fur hides
There will always be a few sneaky places where fur collects—under floor-length drapes, between cushions, on carpeted stairs. Get to know the less obvious places in your home where pet fur gathers and give them a cleaning. You won’t have to do this often, but spring cleaning is a great time to start.
Hopefully with these simple tips, shedding season will be less of a fur fest and more of a fun fest—for you and your pets.
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.
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