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Got Dogs? These Vacuuming Tips Will Help Keep Your Home Clean

From HEPA filters and warranties to the benefits of baking soda, we guide you toward the best vacuum cleaner and the most efficient vacuuming.

Wendy Newell  |  Jan 4th 2017


Editor’s note: Have you seen the Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our December-January issue. Subscribe to Dogster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.

As a dog sitter, I’m used to having three to eight dogs in my house at the same time. The amount of dog hair and dirt is both disgusting and amazing. It doesn’t help that my own 11-year-old dog, Riggins, is happiest when filthy dirty. Because vacuuming is a regular part of my life, I’ve got some tips to pass on.

Here’s to a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum

It contains filters that can trap dander. Pair that with a dusting brush attachment, and those pesky allergens won’t know what hit them!

Invest in a handheld vacuum

It’s easy to grab and cleans up small areas like the dog bed, your pup’s favorite sofa spot, or baseboards where hair seems to collect.

Vacuum cleaner by Shutterstock.

Vacuum cleaner by Shutterstock.

One made for pets

Almost all top pet vacuums include pet-friendly options, but there are “traditional” vacuums that rank well, too. A pet-friendly vacuum will usually be designed with a filter system and come with useful pet-specific attachments.

Get the warranty

As pet owners, we ask more of our vacuums and because of that can go through them faster. A good warranty can save you a headache and some cash.

Clean your vacuum regularly

Head to the owner’s manual for how-to info. For dog hair that has wrapped itself around the brush, grab a seam ripper. It helps to untangle the mess.

Use the correct setting

Setting your vacuum to the correct pile height does matter. Air flow is necessary for the best suction, and an incorrect setting could hamper that.

When cleaning non-carpeted floors, swap your broom out for a vacuum or dust mop. Brooms tend to push small particles like dander back up into the air.

Need to mask some smell?

Sprinkle cinnamon on your carpet before vacuuming or add it to the vacuum bag. The pet-safe spice will make the room smell nice or, at the very least, a little like delicious morning rolls.

Dog in bathtub by iStock.

Dog in bathtub by iStock.

For extra clean

  • To help slow down the dander your dog sheds — so your vacuum doesn’t have to work overtime — bathe your pup regularly with a good quality shampoo. Use a shampoo gentle enough to be used daily.
  • Lingering pet smells? Try baking soda. First vacuum the area. Next, sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda. The powder needs to touch all the smelly areas, so scrub a bit to work it down into the carpet. Wait as long as you can (24 hours is best), then vacuum the area until all the baking soda — and smell — is sucked up.
  • If your pup sees your vacuum as a monster, offer treats whenever you drag the horrible sucking machine around the room. If that doesn’t work have someone take your pup out for a walk while you clean or isolate him outside or in a separate room.
  • Did you know there is such a thing as a dog poop vacuum?! Also known as power shovels, they make you a poop scooper power player. DON’T ever use your house vacuum. If you choose to ignore that warning, at least take pictures and share them with us. We want to hear how that went!