When it comes to dog hair, we either embrace and accept it, or it drives us nuts.
Alyssa, a Dog Meets Baby Instagram follower, said: ‘Since having my baby boy a month ago, I swear I'm seeing my dog's hair EVERYWHERE now.’
Or Jamie: ‘We have a 100lb golden, and his hair causes me so much anxiety and stress. I hate seeing it all over my baby when he’s on the floor. It’s so hard to ignore.’
The Shepherds, the Huskies, the Malamutes, the Retrievers, the Chow-Chows (and many other breeds). What do they have in common? They shed SO MUCH.
It’s not uncommon that dog fur and shedding bother parents more after having a baby.
If that’s how you feel, please know you are not alone. Quite the opposite, many new parents feel this way.
I only knew how much Labradors shed once I had one.
I also never knew how much having dog hair everywhere affected my mental health until I had children.
As much as I would like to accept and embrace it, I can’t. I’ve tried, but I just can’t. I’ve made it my mission to find easy solutions.
We recently got a Spanish Water Dog puppy, and less shedding than Lola was on my list of non-negotiables. You can read more about Hela and how we selected a puppy for our family here.
HOW TO WIN THE BATTLE
It is doable to win the battle and reduce dog hair in your house, but you need a strategy.
The magic formula seems to be:
Frequent vacuuming + pet hair removal roller + regular brushing during shedding seasons. Just having one piece of that puzzle makes a difference.
Ask the groomer
I asked Lauren from Hello Pup Salon for her expert advice.
Fur-coated dogs shed all year round but more frequently during the Spring and Fall. If possible, brush your dog outside in your backyard. This will minimize the furry mayhem in your home. As a bonus, the backyard critters building their nests will thank you. Or do your brushing in the bathroom to contain the fur to one room. The more you brush, the less fur will drop all over the house.
During shedding season, see the groomer more frequently, about once a month. A bath with a de-shedding conditioning treatment will help release the shedding coat. Seeing the groomer minimizes at-home maintenance.
Every dog should be brushed at least weekly. Brushing releases dead coat and promotes healthy skin.
Here are Lauren’s tool recommendations for each coat type:
Fur Coated Breeds – The Shedders
+Short Coat Shedder – Ex. French Bulldog
+Long Double Coat Shedder – Ex. Golden Retriever
Hair Coated Breeds – Non-Shedders Ex. Poodle and Maltese
+Comb – detects matting
+Slicker Brush – prevents matting
Note: Hair-coated breeds still lose hair but less frequently. That dead hair is likely to cause matting if not brushed out regularly.
I never thought Lola needed a grooming appointment as a Labrador Retriever. It turns out I was wrong! Labs and other breeds who don’t need regular haircuts or trims can benefit greatly from a professional grooming session to get all the dead undercoat out.
“Vacuuming every day, and when I say every day, I mean every hour.”
You need a good vacuum for pet hair. If you don’t have one, add it to the baby registry, make it your push present or a present from Santa.
A robotic vacuum cleaner
Robot vacuums are life-changing. So many parents have said that it’s been the BEST investment they’ve made post-baby. I 10000% agree!
I have a robot vacuum on my 6 Dog Mom Must-Haves to Add to Your Baby Registry listed as the first item. That’s how much the Dog Meets Baby community and I value it.
There are so many robotic vacuum cleaners on the market. They are not all the same, but honestly, even a simple model will change your life if you don’t have one right now.
Decide how much you want to spend on it and what features are important to you (e.g., self-emptying base, covers large areas, 2-in-1 wet mop and dry robot vacuum) and buy it. I promise you won’t regret it.
Features to consider as a dog owner:
- Self-cleaning brush roll with no hair wrap or a brush that resists hair tangling.
- The newest vacuum cleaners identify and avoid obstacles like pet waste! That feature is useful if you run your vacuum when you are not home, and your dog is loose. Even well-house-trained dogs can have accidents when they have an upset tummy or are sick.
Favorite robotic vacuums: iRobot Roomba, Roborock, Neato, Bissell, Shark, Eufy, Wyze. I have added vacuum cleaners recommended by the Dog Meets Baby community to my Amazon store.
“I never put away my vacuum; it just sits plugged in all the time.”
A cordless vacuum cleaner
Many parents like a cordless vacuum for ease and the lack of a long cord that your baby or dog would play with.
Brands Dog Meets Baby community likes: Dyson, Bissell, Shark, Hoover, and Roidme.
To consider: battery life, suction, HEPA filtration, the attachments it comes with such as tools for removing pet hair from upholstery and tight spaces, whether it converts to a handheld vacuum for cleaning cars, etc.
The community favorites are the Dyson Animal Series, Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, and Shark Anti-Allergen Pet Power Cordless Stick Vacuums.
To see all the cordless stick vacuums, go here.
A handheld vacuum
Some stick vacuums transform into handheld vacuums to clean cars, upholstery, or stairs. If you already have a cordless vacuum, check if it has this option. If you’d rather get a dedicated handheld vacuum, there are some great ones on the market that are specifically designed to tackle pet hair.
Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
BLACK+DECKER Furbuster Handheld Vacuum for Pets, Cordless, AdvancedClean+
To see all the options, check out Dog Meets Baby Amazon store.
Here are the upright vacuums most frequently recommended by the Dog Meets Baby community.
Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Ball Animal 2, Strongest suction of any vacuum
Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro All in One Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop, for Hard Floors and Area Rugs
BISSELL 2252 CleanView Swivel Upright Bagless Vacuum with Swivel Steering, Powerful Pet Hair Pick Up, Specialized Pet Tools, Large Capacity Dirt Tank
Shark AZ2002 Vertex Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum with DuoClean PowerFins, Pet Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush & Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush
Pet hair removal tools for carpets, furniture, rugs, clothes, and bedding
ChomChom Roller Dog Hair Remover. I have heard it so often from the Dog Meets Baby community, ‘The ChomChom roller changed my LIFE,’ that I decided to try it. It picks up so much hair! It has been really lovely to sit on a hair-free couch.
Swiffer Sweeper Pet on the floors. ‘It picks up more hair, dirt, and debris, especially on spots the robot vacuum can’t reach.’
Pet hair removal tools for cars
Several people swore by the Fur-zoff pet hair removal rock. ‘Much better than a lint roller!!’
Many dog owners love the Lilly brush. ‘Brought my couch and car back to life.’
And that’s not all! Other things you could try
- Putting a sweater on your dog (genius, especially if you have a dog who runs cold)
- Diet change or supplements (consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist)
- Shed control shampoos and conditioners
- Grooming vacuum attachments
- Dog-free space, e.g., nursery. ‘We want to give our son the freedom to explore without worrying that he’ll lick the rug with a bunch of dog hair.’
- Air purifiers. ‘I am finally eating food without animal hair in it.’
- ‘Upgrading to a leather couch was a game changer for my sanity.’
- ‘Rather than get my 3 year old a toy vacuum, I bought him a real dustbuster. Suddenly, any corner that the robot vac missed is a play opportunity!
How to get rid of dog hair on those black leggings
To see all the products, visit the Dog Meets Baby Amazon store.
My mantra is, ‘And when I start to freak out, I tell myself that kids who grow up with dogs and dog hair have a better immune system.’
How to wash your dog’s bedding, toys, and blankets.
When a Dog Meets Baby Instagram follower asked me how to approach doing baby and dog laundry with only one washing machine, I knew right away that this was a question for the Dog Meets Baby community.
➜Many parents don’t do anything besides washing the baby's clothes and the dog's stuff separately.
Some parents have shared laundry rooms in the building or take their laundry to public laundromats. It’s impossible to know what’s been washed earlier.
Steph says, “Know that nothing will ever be clean again, and make peace with it.” Many of you recommend not stressing over it.
➜The second most common suggestion was doing a cleaning cycle before putting the baby or family’s clothes in the machine. Cleaning cycle with hot water, special cleaning liquid, antibacterial laundry solution, zoflora, affresh tablet, baking soda, or vinegar.
Some of you add a pet hair dissolver (e.g., Vamoosh).
➜Some parents follow a certain laundry sequence
“After washing dog bedding, I put a load of adult clothing before washing the baby's.” Katie does a load of cleaning towels on hot, then socks, before washing baby clothing.
➜Removing the dog hair before dog laundry was another popular solution. Sarah vacuums and shakes off the dog laundry before washing and recommends washing often. “Then it’s not so bad.”
Other parents wash the dog bedding at a hotter temperature and then wipe the inside of the barrel afterward. Gea recommends cleaning the filter regularly.
Louise uses the laundromat for the dog laundry, mainly because of the giant washing machines and driers.
Ashley uses dog cots instead, which are easier to clean.
Rebekah kept the old washing machine and uses it exclusively for dog bedding.
Tip from a pediatrician
Dr. Kathrine is a Board Certified pediatrician and founder of Healthiest Baby. She is a mom of 4, and her Goldendoodle loves mud! Dr. Katherine does the following: “After cleaning some super stinky dog items, we run the washing machine at a high temperature without adding any items.”
If you need more guidance, ask your pediatrician.
Lola’s hair everywhere was driving me crazy for a long time, and I was not doing anything about it. Not the best strategy. I’m still not doing all the things I could be doing, but after investing in a few products that either do the job for me or are actually easy to use, there is less hair.
My favorite products are a robotic vacuum cleaner, a Zoom brush, Furminator, and de-shedding shampoo. There’s no way to stop the natural shedding process but changing Lola’s diet and adding supplements seemed to help with shedding as well. Plus, moving to a house with beige floors, I simply can’t see the hair anymore!