Dog in blankets
In the home

Survival guide for people with pets during the shedding season

Your pets are part of the family, but no one is happy when their hair clogs the vacuum cleaner. Living harmoniously with pets means taking charge and gaining the upper hand in fur control.

At a glance:

  1. Regular grooming interrupts loose fur supply at the source.
  2. Pet shops have a range of rubber aids for hair management.
  3. Accept that regular cleaning is necessary to keep a home free of pet hair. 

 

We love our four-legged friends, but most of us are less enthusiastic about reaching for a towel that is full of pet hair. Pets continue to moult and hair can fly everywhere in the shedding season, so here’s how to manage the flow:

  • Brooms, rubber hand brushes and upholstery hair removers all help get the hair off the floor and furniture and into the bin liner. Pet experts recommend rubber for its hair-gathering, static-cling qualities.
  • Pat your pet with a rubber mitt, combining affection and hair gathering in one. When hair gathers on the surfaces in your home, don a pair of rubber gloves and use them to collect the fur.
  • For clothing full of fur, shake it out to get rid of loose hair, then tumble in the dryer with no heat for 10 minutes to collect as much hair as possible in the lint filter. Then wash the clothes with Surf. Add some Comfort fabric softener, as this is thought to help reduce the static that makes pet hair cling to garments. It should make them easier to iron later too. Tumble dry afterwards, making sure that the lint filter is emptied often.
  • If bed coverings are full of pet hair, get as much off with rubber gloves as you can, then launder with Surf, and add some fabric softener. Tumble dry the blankets, with regular cleaning of the lint filter to remove hair as it gathers. After washing lots of hairy blankets it might be a good idea to run a quick cycle to clean the machine and wipe it out with a cloth to ensure there are no strands left behind that can stick to anything else.

Managing moulting

If pet hair really worries you, it might be worth thinking about a dog breed such as the poodle, which produces minimal shedding compared with the Alaskan malamute and its thick coat.

You may be the owner of a dog such as the German shepherd, sometimes called the German shedder, due to the amount of hair it drops. Apply the “three Cs” to dogs or cats that leave trails of fur behind them:

  • Cut back: Regular grooming, including bathing dogs, will capture loose hair before it falls.
  • Collect: Invest in a good vacuum and a lint roller for gathering fur. In a pinch, wrap sticky tape around your hand – sticky side out – to pick up hair.
  • Contain: It’s possible to get dogs an outfit to keep all the hair in one place – on the dog. Check with your vet to see if shedding can be approached in this way.

Excessive moulting, or a pet losing hair in clumps, could be the result of an underlying condition that requires treatment, so a visit to the vet may be needed.

Top tip:

Some manufacturers produce vacuum cleaners that are designed to pick up pet hair, particularly when it is embedded in the carpet. Robust filters in pet-friendly models also trap allergens.