Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vacuuming the Dog

Since moving in with Dave, I have been waging a vigorous battle against dog hair. I'm used to shedding pets, having grown up with dogs and then owning cats for 20 years. But Ernie and Ruby are especially efficient shedders -- particularly Ruby, with longer, denser fur.

I vacuum the carpet almost every day, and wash the slipcovers and bed sheets weekly. I'm always amazed at the hairballs I pull out of the dryer filter; they look like tired gerbils. Our vacuum cleaner is a Dyson with a clear canister, so you can see what you've vacuumed up, and let me tell you, there's a lot of hair.

At one point, we took the dogs to PetSmart and had them groomed with a special non-shed formula bath. They seemed to shed less for a short period of time, but it's hard to tell.

Dave decided the other day to go directly to the source of the problem. We got out the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed Ruby.

She enjoyed it. She sat still for the entire event, panting and wagging, and the Dyson canister was soon swirling with fur. But the experiment wasn't a huge success -- within a day or two Ruby was back to her old tricks. I don't know how a single dog can generate so much fur.


  1. Oh, if only Reggie and the rest of the Menagerie would tolerate such a direct approach! Perhaps vacuums should come with a special dog-brush attachment.

    (We love our Dysons! We have an old one that is beat up but still works, plus a newer one we keep upstairs. These are the only vacuums I've had that can vacuum Reggie's fur without clogging.)

  2. Oh, I am so tempted to try that on Charlie, my long haired tuxedo. But he's frightened of vacuum cleaners - quite sensible of him really, as, under all that fur is one tiny little cat!

  3. Two ideas: We bought a Furminator at Petco which works pretty well in terms of removing hair that is about to fall out. Also I noticed a HUGE decrease in shedding when I started making Jake's food. I'm wondering if there may be things in the commercial food that dogs are allergic to?

    Good luck on getting the hair level under control. It's one of those things dog lovers often just have to put up with!

  4. Lorianne and Reya: I was SHOCKED that Ruby would sit still for this. But she really seemed to enjoy it.

    Betty: I would definitely NOT recommend this tactic for cats! :)

    Barbara: What on earth is a Furminator? Maybe I need to look into that...as for food, these dogs get a special bagged fish-and-vegetable diet that's supposedly good for their skin. I just don't know that I am ready to commit to making dog food.