Every dog owner knows the old joke: "My dog only sheds twice per year, it just happens to be for six months at a time!". Well, in my home that shedding time doesn't actually seem a million miles from the truth.
The battle against dog hair is one without respite. Whether it's seasonal changes, central heating or just the fact that some breeds are prone to shedding whatever the weather, the floors in my home are a battleground where dog hair is a relentless enemy.
When I brush my dog's coats, they seem to take that as a cue to shed more.
If I opt not to brush them for a few days, they shed more.
If it's hot outside, they shed more.
If it's cold outside and the central heating is on, guess what? More shedding.
Eventually, you just have to accept and resign yourself to the fact that some days you will brush a complete bag full of hair out of the dog's coat.
You collect it up and put it in the bin. You clean your floors and carpets to the point you can almost smell victory and then, within as little as an hour, we're looking at dog hair strewn floors in every room.
How do they keep doing it! It's like they can grow new hairs in minutes purely for the purpose of discarding them in clumps.
The war will never be won against dog hairs, but small battles can be.
And this is where I discovered a real game-changing weapon to be harnessed in the ongoing fight against hair floors. But, and here's the thing, this is a brush with a hidden utility.
Please allow me to introduce you to this seemingly innocuous-looking rubber broom from the aptly named Dustpan and Brush Store.
Normally at this stage in a review, particularly when covering the best vacuum cleaners for dog owners, we'd talk about how easy or difficult it was to put the cleaner together. No need here. As you'd expect, our new broom was ready to sweep clean in a matter of seconds.
At the time, I was living with some very old carpet in my home. Carpet that had seen so much dog traffic it was flat, hard to clean and was purchased at a time when we owned two yellow Labradors who, as is their style, tend to shed yellow coloured dog hairs.
Sadly, Chloe and Jackson are no longer with us and the house is now a home to Danny and Christopher, both of whom are black.
Why does this matter? Well, the old, tired carpet is beige. Yellow hairs on beige carpets are not as jarring as clumps of black hairs on a light-coloured floor.
I wanted to try this broom as a way to really lift up the hairs that tend to be almost ground into the carpet and present a difficulty for even the most powerful vacuum cleaners.
My expectation was I could make the vacuum-cleaning a little easier by doing some prep work with the broom.
This was physically harder work than I was expecting. Brushing the carpets did manage to lift stubborn dog hair, but by the time I'd vigorously brushed and scrubbed a couple of large rooms on a hot summer's day, I was pretty drenched.
I have to admit, I'd pictured it being a bit easier, but the effort required to actually lift the hairs out of the carpet fibres was more challenging than I'd initially anticipated.
The bottom line is, it did work. It did result - once the vacuum had done its thing - with a significantly cleaner carpet. I find it very disheartening to clean the carpets only to spot the most stubborn dog hairs left behind.
The ones the vacuum simply can't reach because two large dogs have managed to tread them in deep.
So, if you were thinking of buying this broom for the purpose I wanted it for I would simply say this: It works. It leaves you with a cleaner carpet, but it's physically demanding.
The secret discovery: why this broom is incredible for dog owners
Our brooms and brushes are stored conveniently behind the kitchen door.
Why does this matter?
Well, our kitchen, unlike the rest of the rooms in our house with the exception of the dining room, is home to a hard floor. Moulded concrete, as it happens.
Spotting a neat, new clump of dog hair on the hard, kitchen floor I reached for the nearest broom, which just happened to be this one. The one intended for use on our carpets.
I quickly brushed the dog hair up and noticed something very interesting.
This rubber broom did not leave behind any dust or debris, unlike our standard bristle brooms.
So I explored further. I took the rubber broom all the way around the kitchen floor and discovered that this is, without question, the absolute best broom I have ever used on the combination of hard floor and dog hairs.
Just, worlds of difference. It was almost as if this broom should have been invented for this floor.
Normal brooms with synthetic bristles do an adequate enough job cleaning up hairs in a large, hard floor environment.
But with a floor that it is not totally flat (like moulded concrete), they tend to leave behind bits of dust and some harder to collect dog hairs. That is not the case with this rubber broom. It's truly game-changing in its ability to work a hard floor.
So much so, I've shown it off to people just so they can see the difference. I must look a little like those salespeople who show off products at country fairs and on TV infomercials.
"Here is an ordinary broom. Watch how it leaves behind little bits of dust and debris. Now behold the rubber bristled broom...." - you know how these things go.
If you have a hard floor, be it vinyl, wood, stone, concrete then you simply must give this broom a go. It has been a total revelation in our home.
The surprising twist of using a broom meant for cleaning on carpet that actually turned out to be the best hard floor broom I've ever used has left this particular dog owner very happy.
We don't tend to favour hyperbole at K9 Magazine, so when you read a fairly gushing review of a low priced product like this one, you can believe us.
On checking Amazon to see if other people had found this broom to be similarly impressive, the top review read:
"Where do I start? Yes it’s a broom but it actually works! It really does collect the dust and dog hairs which now do not float across the wooden floor. It actually pulls the hairs out from the carpet - much better than our vacuum cleaner that shouts from the rooftops how it offers the best suction (at over inflated prices). It’s light and easy to carry around the house too."
Yes, this brush really is that good. Once you've used it you will understand why.
The multi-purpose rubber floor brush is currently available on Amazon for under £14.