Despite the joy they bring to our lives, dogs can make it difficult to keep a home clean – especially if your pet sheds a lot.
While eliminating pet hair can sometimes seem like a losing battle, the key is to choose a vacuum cleaner that can handle dog hair. You’ll never get rid of all hair, but an efficient vacuum makes it much easier to keep it to a manageable level.
To help you choose the right model, here are the top things to consider when shopping for the best vacuum for dog hair.
Type of Vacuum Cleaner
There are several types of vacuum cleaner on the market, each with strengths and weaknesses. Before you pick one, it’s important to consider factors like:
- The amount of fur your dog sheds
- The amount of space to clean
- The location of fur
Upright Vacuum Cleaners
Upright vacuum cleaners suit homes with large areas of carpet or hard floors. They are great for quickly cleaning big rooms, but struggle more in tight spaces and are often lacking mobility.
The great thing about uprights is that they typically have a powered brush bar in the floorhead. These rotating bars are effective at pulling hair out of carpet fibres.
Canister vacuums are easier to manoeuvre than upright models, as the floorhead is attached via a flexible hose to the main body. This means you don’t need to push the entire vacuum around when cleaning. They also have large capacities, so you don’t need to empty them as often.
The downside to canister vacuums is that the floorheads often don’t have a powered brush bar. The best models still generate enough suction to pull out most hair from carpets though.
These models can be an excellent choice for removing dog hair on pet beds, car interiors, stairs, and other awkward locations.
That said, they aren’t as powerful as full-size models. Handheld vacuums will struggle to remove dog fur embedded deeply in carpets, so they are really only suitable for small jobs.
Cordless Stick Vacuum
Cordless vacuums have become more common in recent years, due to their ease of use and lightweight designs.
While the best cordless vacuums can do a good job at removing pet hair, these models often have small dust capacities. You’ll need to empty them frequently – especially if you have a large dog who sheds a lot.
Motorised Pet Tool
It’s vital to choose a vacuum cleaner with a motorised pet tool.
These are smaller accessories with a powered brush bar that are great for removing hair from places that the main floorhead can’t reach. Without a miniature powered tool, it can be very difficult to remove hair from sofas, curtains, and car seats.
Other tools can also be useful. Mattress attachments, for example, are great if your dog is allowed onto your bed. Flexible crevice tools can also be helpful for cleaning under car seats and in other awkward locations.
A vacuum cleaner that removes dog hair should have an efficient filter. A low-grade filter can release allergens, such as pet dander, into the air and significantly affect your indoor air quality.
It’s advisable to purchase vacuums that contain HEPA filters. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these filters remove about 99.97% of particulates from polluted air. Anything greater than 0.3 nanometres can’t escape through these filters.
HEPA filters won’t release dog hair, dander, and other microscopic allergens into your living space. If you’re allergic to pets, consider cleaning your home using a HEPA-fitted vacuum.
Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums
The method you use to dispose of dog hair should influence your choice of a vacuum cleaner.
Most modern vacuums are bagless (with notable exceptions), meaning they dispose of waste directly from the machine. Below are some of the most common benefits of bagless vacuums.
- Less expensive - you don’t need to purchase replacement bags repeatedly.
- Eco-friendly - you don’t have to deal with bags full of dog hair and dander.
- Easy to tell when to empty – bagless vacuums have clear chambers, making it easy to see whether it’s full.
While bagless vacuum cleaners are popular among dog owners, they have some downsides. Here are some of the reasons not to use them.
- More exposure to pet hair and allergens – a bagless vacuum cleaner will expose you to dog hair and allergens when emptying the chamber.
- Manual maintenance – you must empty the bin and clean the filters more often, as bagless models have smaller dust capacities.
For these reasons, we recommend a bagged vacuum for people with allergies, as they ensure that dander stays trapped when emptying. Bagged models are also a great choice for bigger homes. But if you need convenience, go for a bagless model.
Another vital element you should check in a vacuum cleaner is the suction power. A vacuum with high suction power will remove stubborn dog hair from your floor effortlessly.
Suction power can either be listed in Watts, Air Watts, Amps, or Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The higher the CFM (50-100), the more suction your vacuum will have.
Unfortunately, many vacuum manufacturers don’t provide their vacuum’s suction power. You may need to rely on reviews instead.
Consider getting a vacuum cleaner with a large dust capacity. This is especially important if you have a dog breed that sheds a lot or a big home to clean.
The smallest handheld models can hold as little as 0.1 litres of dust before needing to be emptied. In contrast, the largest bagged models can hold over 5 litres of dirt and hair, meaning you’ll need to empty them much less frequently.
Summary: Choosing The Best Vacuum For Dog Hair
An effective pet vacuum is vital for any dog owner. Unfortunately, many vacuums struggle to pick up hair from carpets and hard floors.
For this reason, make sure you consider the points above when choosing. By getting a vacuum with strong suction, pet tool, large capacity, and a HEPA filter, you’ll find it much easier to keep your home as hair-free as possible.