There is no doubt that being an owner of a dog, cat or rabbit has many benefits, from companionship, through to teaching children how to care for and be responsible for an animal. One of the downsides, though, is dealing with animal hair on clothes, soft furnishings, carpets and even bedding.
The internet is a good source of advice for easy and inexpensive solutions to this problem, yet wading through this information may not be possible for many busy pet owners whose time is limited.
The good news is that we have done the research and have come up with popular and effective solutions for dealing with pet hair.
The number one solution for removing hair from clothes and furniture is also one of the simplest - tape, be it plain adhesive or the packing variety. Wind the tape around your hand, sticky side out, pat whatever you want to clean and the hair will stick to the tape. This is especially effective for clothes.
Cat owner Brendan Hayes says: "I use wide adhesive tape for removing unwanted hair from clothes, as well as soft furnishings, and I find it very effective."
There are also sticky rollers designed for hair removal, and some pet owners use these instead of tape. A lint brush may also prove effective.
Another preferred method is using a damp cloth or sponge to scrape the hair into a ball and then simply pick up the ball of hair.
Dog owner June Robinson uses a rubber glove on her soft furnishings.
"I put a glove on, run it under the tap, shake off excess moisture so that it is damp but not dripping and then scrape up the hair into a ball with the damp glove," she says, adding that this method is particularly useful for cleaning hard-to-reach places, such as the back of sofa cushions.
Other handy tips include grooming the animal on a daily basis with a good-quality pet brush or de-shedding tool, as this will minimise the amount of unwanted hair around the house. This daily brushing is some-thing that children love to do and is also something that many animals seem to enjoy.
For rugs, the most common solution is to use a rubber-bristled broom. Static electricity causes hair to stick to the bristles. A balloon (blown up) also works, based on the same principle, and might be a fun way to get children involved in removing hair from their own clothes or household furnishings.
Vacuuming can be an effective solution for larger surfaces such as carpets, and some pet forum users also suggest giving dogs a quick swipe with the vacuum, although this would depend on the dog's temperament. There are also special vacuums available including one from Dyson, called the Dyson Animal, which may be a better option for owners of several animals.
High temperatures from sources such as heaters can cause an animal to shed more than usual. While this is not an issue at the moment, remember, when the weather turns cold, do not let your pet get too close to a heater or a fireplace.
Diet can also make a difference, so make sure you are feeding your pet a quality product, which, in the case of cats or dogs, will often contain vitamin B and essential fatty acids, both of which promote healthy hair growth and may reduce shedding.
If pets are shedding an unusually large amount of hair, it is best for owners to seek advice from a vet as this may indicate an underlying health or dietary issue.
If you are considering getting a dog or cat and the thought of having to constantly clean up unwanted hair is putting you off, the best option is to get a low-shedding breed, such as a Burmese or Siamese cat or, in the case of dogs, one of the terrier or poodle breeds.
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