Dog owners share their secrets to keeping their homes fur free

Sick of shedding? We asked dog owners and experts how they tackle the fluff from their furry friends. Here's what they had to say...

two white dogs sleeping next to a vacuum, on a rug
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Caring for a dog is one of life’s greatest pleasures – but dealing with the fur and dander that comes along with having a dog in the house certainly isn’t. There’s nothing worse than having to travel with a lint roller just to try and get some of the layers of fur off your clothing, or feeling like you’re constantly chasing after balls of fur around the house. 

If you’re considering bringing a puppy home or you’re at your wits end and want to find a way to keep your house fur free at long last, read on. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways that actual dog owners and pet professionals keep their homes tidy and free of the fur that comes with owning a pet.

Of course, having one of the best vacuum cleaners, or best vacuums for pet hair is the first and most essential tip if you have a furry friend!

1. Keep your dog well groomed

Since most dogs shed, keeping them clean is one of the only ways to prevent hair from being shed all over. Using the right brushes and clips can help you achieve this. “The use of shampoo on your pet dog will also keep him clean along with healthy skin and a shiny coat,” says Andrew Garf, pet parent and professional dog trainer. “You should arrange for regular trips to a professional groomer so that they get rid of all unwanted hair.”

2. Consider keeping your dog out of certain areas

“Keeping certain areas out of the dog's reach would also be helpful in keeping the house free from dog hair,” says Garf. “As human beings, we all love the comfort of our couches and beds for some time before we go to sleep. However, if your dog is a shedder, it might be better to keep him out of the bedroom, so he does not end up sleeping on your bed, ending up with drool and hairs all over it.”

3. Foster a regular cleaning routine

It is important that you know how to remove the dog hair from surfaces to avoid unnecessary problems. For instance, getting rid of dust from your table and floor after every time you have a meal will help you prevent the hairs from resting on your furniture or carpet, says Garf.

4. Keep up with your dog’s medical conditions

“One of the best ways to keep the house free from dog hair is by making sure that your canine friend is well and healthy,” explains Garf. “Ensure that dogs with allergies are on the appropriate allergy medication, and make sure all wounds and injuries are kept clean.” Not only will this ensure your furry friend is happy and healthy, but it will also help keep their shedding under control.

5. Keep your bedding clean

If your dog loves to snuggle up on your bed, Garf suggests putting a towel or folded blanket over the area where they lay. Then shake it off or use a dryer sheet to remove any hair before you make your bed up. Just rub some dryer sheets on the bedding a few times, and the hair should come right off.

6. Employ washable slipcovers

A beagle on a cream carpet looking head-on

(Image credit: Future)

“If you have pets in the house, keeping their hair off your furniture is one of the toughest things to do,” says Garf. “For this reason, invest in some washable slipcovers for your sofa and recliners. This will go a long way to ensure that fur stays on the couch and not all over your floor or carpet." These can be easily zipped off and machine washed, so that your actual sofa stays fur-free.

7. Consider a dust mop

Using a vacuum cleaner alone is not the best way to clean up pet fur from your floors, as the exhaust on a vacuum may cause the fur to blowback into the air and stick to surfaces that may be even harder to remove.

Instead, Garf suggests using one of the best mops, damp, or a dust mop to remove the dog hairs on your flooring. On hardwood floors, a dust mop is particularly effective for removing dog hairs. On tile floors, a damp mop seems to work better.

8. Change your air filters frequently

It’s a little off putting to think about – but the air in your home is probably filled with pet hairs. To ensure that these hairs are not floating around you, change your furnace and air conditioning systems' filters often. Garf also suggests cleaning the air ducts of your home on a regular basis, as this will help remove any hair or skin cells that might be trapped in there, and prolong their life span.

9. Use rubber gloves for cleaning furniture

“Many dog owners find that a damp rubber glove is the most effective tool for removing hairs from the furniture,” says Garf. It's as easy as this: just wet the glove, rub it over sofas and chairs until you see the hair sticking to the glove, and then rinse and repeat as necessary.

10. Invest in a robot vacuum

“Purchasing a high-quality robot vacuum was one game changer for me,” says Laurice Wardini, pet parent and Founder of RelaxingDecor. “I used to sweep/vacuum multiple times per day, now I only have to do it weekly when I deep clean the house. That said, I have tried a few models and I highly recommend a robot vacuum that's tailored towards pet hair.”

Sure, the best robot vacuums will set you back a few hundred, but it's well worth it. The only downside is they don't climb stairs if you have a multi-story house.

11. Select non-fabric seating

On a similar note, when shopping for furniture, there are certain choices you can make that minimize hair accumulation. “After a couple of years of trial and error, I only buy non-fabric seating,” says Wardini. “Leather accumulates hair less easily and is much easier to just brush or wipe the hair off. If you have cats, just make sure they won't scratch at leather.”

12. Match your flooring to your pet fur

If you have carpet or are considering moving somewhere with carpet, Wardini recommends looking for carpet that's a similar color to your pet's hair, if you can. For example, if your dog is black and your carpet is bright white, it will start to look dirty much quicker than a grey or brown carpet. This goes for most other types of flooring as well. 

13. Find perfect pet beds

“My final tip is to buy extremely comfortable beds for your pets that they absolutely love,” says Wardrini. “This deters them from sleeping in areas you want to avoid pet hair on. For example, after I purchased an extremely tall cat tree for my cats, they rarely sleep on the couch or other seats in my home.”


Kaitlyn McInnis

Kaitlyn is an experienced travel and lifestyle writer with a keen interest in interior decorating and home optimization. An avid traveler, she's currently splitting her time between her apartment in a century-old châteauesque building in Montreal and her cozy chalet in the woods (that she built with her own two hands... and many YouTube tutorials!). Her work has been published in Travel + Leisure, Tatler Asia, Forbes, Robb Report Singapore, and various other international publications.