If watching Ch Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot (aka Sadie the Scottish terrier) in the winner’s circle at the Westminster Dog Show has you pining for that doggie in your local pet shop’s window, be advised that removing pet hair and urine from carpets and upholstery can be an arduous task. Over half of the 5,000 respondents to a recent Consumer Reports survey use their vacuum primarily for pet hair, and our vacuums forum is rife with reports of the damage pet hair can do to vacuums.
Lisa Peterson, the American Kennel Club’s director of communications, emailed us a few tips while watching Tuesday’s Best of Group judging. “The more you brush and comb your dog, especially during shedding season, the less you will have to vacuum off the floors and furniture," she advises. She adds that bathing also helps to dislodge "dead coat," which is the hair that has already been shed but is still in the dog's coat.
Peterson, who also writes the “Ask Lisa” monthly column on the AKC Web site, also recommends placing throw blankets or old sheets over beds and furniture to collect pet hair and tossing them in the washer or dryer. (Our spring cleaning special advises sprinkling baking soda on couches or chairs where pets nap; let it sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum off.)
But at some point, you’re going to have to break out the vacuum, and we’ve been continually toughening our pet-hair tests while putting new vacuums—some specifically marketed to pet owners—through their paces. Back in November, the Eureka Pet Pal 4716, $80, proved a poor picker-upper of pet hair, which wore its drive belt to the breaking point. The Eureka Whirlwind+ Pet Lover 3276[ ], $120, and the Bissell Lift-Off Multi-Cyclonic Pet 89Q9, $180, both proved excellent against pet hair, but the Eureka was so-so on bare floors and the Bissell was middling on carpets.
In December, we found two Hoover upright models costing $140 and $160 that aced both our pet-hair and carpet-cleaning tests. But keep in mind that your dog has to also learn to live with your choice of a vacuum. Two other machines excellent for pets, carpets and wood floors—a $300 Kenmore canister vacuum and the $550 Miele 7210 Twist upright—were also very quiet and thus less likely to stress out a pet. (A recent New York Times report detailed how "Dog Whisperer'" star Cesar Millan was going to help promote Procter & Gamble's SwifferVac rechargable upright vacuum to pet owners concerned about vacuum noise.)
The AKC's Peterson shared some simple training tips to make dogs more comfortable with any vacuum. She advises placing a small doggie treat on an idle vacuum cleaner to attract the dog to the machine and to praise and reward the dog if it shows no fear. Repeat the process while moving the machine around when it’s not turned on, then progress to turning it on but leaving it stationary so that the dog can gradually get used the the appliance's workings. Once you start vacuuming, avoid chasing the dog with the vacuum or vacuuming near its crate. If the dog remains leery of the vacuum, Peterson say to place it in another room while you work.
Essential information: See our free buyer’s guide to vacuums and check out ratings of canister, upright, stick and handheld vacuums and carpet cleaners and carpet-stain removers. Readers' opinions of dozens of models are available on our vacuums forum.
We purchased a Eureka Boss 4D (5893 BVZ)being that we have a dog and a cat. It was recommended by Consumer Reports and we normally use that as a guide when making a purchase. The vacuum worked fine for 2-3 months then started not picking up the animal hair.Eureka had us take it in for "warranty service" and after being charged $25.00 we still had the same problem. Made a second call to Eureka customer service. They mainly troubleshooted the same things that the warranty service people should have or did do. When the problem wasn't solved to our satisfaction he tried to sell us filters. Won't be purchasing anything from Eureka again. So if your looking for a good pet hair vacuum this is NOT the one for you.
Has anyone ever owned an Electrolux? It's the cadillac! My now deceased beagle/border collie was black and white, so I got fur going and coming. Dard and light was covered with those short black and white tough dog hairs. Electrolux ate them up. It is s very pricy vacuum, but well worth the money. My first one lasted fifteen years. I traded it in towards my new one and got $200. It cost $700. for a basic model - but its the best, and I'm a vacuum freak.
Based on a past Consumer Reports review we puchased the Electrolux EL6988D Oxygen Canister. I needed it due to my asthma and pick up pet hair. We have 2 beagles. The Electrolux worked great for about a month, since it has been in the shop more than it has been in our house. 3 months without a vacuum, we bought a Miele S318. Didn't know it was possible to love a vacuum. It goes an outstanding job and it is super quiet.
Since the Miele, no more asthma attacks. We will not buy any other brand again.
Bought a Riccar vacuum 15 years ago. 4 dogs later the vacuum is still going strong. OK, had to replace the motor once for $125.00. I use it almost every day, between 15 min to 1 hour, depending on the chore.
They are expensive but they do hold up. Does an exceptional job on pet hair. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.
I bought a Kirby Sentria system and I absolutely adore it. It's a vacuum with an attitude! These things are so versatile, you can do anything in your home with them. My parents always owned them, and they last forever. Their only complaint was how heavy they were, now the new ones push with two fingers! I also love how the shampooer doesn't soak my carpet. They're expensive, but well worth it. If you want a vacuum that really works (not just appears to) then check the Kirbys. Wow!
UnFORTUNEly, I spent a lot of $ on vacuums until I found one that really picks up dog hair time after time. The Dyson is unequalled!!!
I found a used Eureka unit in the trash, took it in to the shop, it was missing a seal for the dust bin. It cleans far better than my Hoover $80.00. My previous Eureka canaster was an outstanding product, I've used in 74 yrs of my life.
This Eureka, far surpassed my Hoover. I am a retired Mech-Engineer, trained in Ergonomic-Engineering. I am maticullis about vacumming, this vacuums draws up dirt, I thought would not be there. Due to my previous vacuumings and 4 shampoos in over 3 months, prior to cleaning with my new trashed and repaired Eureka. It does take some pushing!!
What about cats? My cats shed silky black fur and I was looking for a vacuum that not only cleaned carpets, but picked up the cat fur, which is usually softer, silkier and adheres more closely to the carpets and furniture than dog fur. It's a very good thing to use as a test.
All your articles seem more focussed on dogs and dog problems. Please provide more information about cats and their problems (and solutions therefor). Thank you.
I use Riccar vacuum cleaner with HEPA bags for three years and am very happy with it. Removing cat hairs from carpet and hard floor worked very well. I prefer bags because it is much easier to dispose bags away better than bagless ones.
The Dyson DC28 is not worth the cost! I purchased this product on April 24, 2010 and it has been to the repair shop twice so far. When the vacuum DOES work it is great but the product is not reliable. I have called the Dyson helpline and asked for a replacement but their policy is to send it in for service. I thought I was buying a quality product but ended up with a lemon and feel the Dyson customer service gives you the run around.
I really don't know if their is a vacuum that can pickup pet hair. I never gave it much thought when I adopted a White short hair cat, until a friend of mine was leaving my house I notice the tons of hair all over her back side. I was shock never did I thought of cat hair. I don't wear dark clothes without knowing I will be needing to brush it off. I vacuum a lot now days.
I heard the Bissell Power Groom cyclonic vacuum is great for animals. I have the hand-held easy to get more closer vacuuming the sofa, when I want to do a heavy duty job I will pull out the shop-vac.
I have both a cat (kitten) with a LOT of white, and a dog who sheds pretty much year round. Fun, fun! I've (they've) killed 3 vacuum cleaners in the last year. Sigh. I have an additional problem, too: I live in a trailer - the carpet is extremely cheap, and the threads come up, then out, with vacuuming, sometimes causing problems with the machine. So I need a maching that will handle all three problems.
AND - I have a request: PLEASE put in complete model info on the vacuum cleaners y'all are talking about. Just saying you like such and such a brand, is like saying you think your Chevy car is great! You really need to at least say which model, and preferably which make, too. Blessings to those of you who already do so. Thank you to the rest of you from here on out! ;
I have both a Dyson that I bought at Sams Club for about $400.00 and a Rainbow Vac (manufactured in 1989) that I bought used on Ebay for about $230.00. I also have 2 Ausies and a lot (and I mean a lot) of dog hair to deal with.
I can tell you that the Rainbow out cleans the Dyson for both dirt and especially for dog hair. This is defiantly the Cadillac of Vacuums. It never clogs and, as you can tell by the age, it last forever. There is however one problem with the Rainbow, it is a water vacuum which means you must fill the canister with water before you start vacuuming and when you are done you must dump the water and all the dirt and hair that you just vacuumed up somewhere. I dump mine behind a bush outside. Though this may not sound like big deal you do get tired of it. That is why I bought the Dyson. I use the Dyson for everyday vacuuming and when I want the house spotless I use the Rainbow.