Dogs are amazing, but their hair seems to get pretty everywhere in your home.
Finding effective ways to deal with dog hair can make a huge difference in how easy it is to keep your house nice and clean.
One potential solution to help with this problem is to vacuum your dog, but is this safe, and does it work?
The short answer is yes; you can vacuum a dog. It is safe and effective.
But there are some points you need to consider before you give it a try.
So in this post, we will look at how to vacuum a dog safely so that your dog does not get hurt and your vacuum cleaner does not get damaged.
Before You Try to Vacuum Your Dog
Why is it Worth Trying?
Vacuuming a pet dog is a really great way to stop the dog’s hair from spreading throughout your house.
Most dogs shed their hair once or twice per year; then, a steady trickle of hair falls off all year round.
So when you notice your dog is starting to shed, you can give them a really good vacuum, and this will massively reduce the amount of hair you have to clean up from your carpets and furniture.
You can also give them a quick once over every now and then when they are not shedding to get rid of any loose hair before it falls out.
So it really boils down to this, would you rather have vacuuming sessions of your dog’s fur once or twice per year and have a relatively dog hair-free home?
Or would you prefer to have dog hair spread all over your home and then have the fun job of trying to get rid of it all?
Ok, now we have convinced you why it is a good idea, let’s take a look at how to do it safely.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Happy During the Process
So obviously, the most important thing you need to consider is how to make sure your dog is safe and happy during the vacuuming.
- Step One – Make sure your dog is fully acclimated to the vacuum cleaner before you start.
- Step Two – Let them know this isn’t a game.
- Step Three – Pay attention to any sensitive areas.
- Step Four – Stop if your dog gets anxious.
Step One – Make sure your dog is fully acclimated to the vacuum cleaner before you start. Ideally, you would use a really quiet vacuum cleaner for this job to reduce any anxiety from the motor’s noise.
If you can also use one with a long hose, this is also really useful; you can hide the vacuum around a corner or door and use the nozzle on the dog.
Your first job is to let the dog get used to vacuum, let them see and smell it (when it is turned off).
Then turn it on and reassure them it is ok. This may take a while for them to get used to the vacuum noise; treats and praise will definitely help.
Your goal is to get it, so the dog doesn’t react at all when the vacuum is turned on.
Step Two – Let them know this isn’t a game. The dog mustn’t associate the vacuum with fun or playtime.
So if they start to chase, chew or play with the vacuum or the hose, tell them off.
Also, make sure that you are not in a playful mood while you are encouraging and engaged with your pet dog.
You need to set the tone and make sure the dog sticks to it.
Step Three – Pay attention to any sensitive areas. Give your dog a once over with your hands, checking for any bumps, sores, cuts, or tender areas.
If you find anything, either postpone the dog vacuuming, or if it seems minor, make sure you avoid the area when you start.
Step Four – Stop if your dog gets anxious. You do not want this to be an unpleasant experience for your dog.
This is not fair on your pet and will make it much harder to do. If your dog does get really anxious, take a break and go back to step one.
Also, please bear in mind that some dogs may never feel ok being vacuumed. If that’s the case, there are plenty of other grooming techniques that you can use.
How to Make Sure You Don’t break Your Vacuum Cleaner.
When looking after your vacuum, the main thing to consider is, can it cope with all the dog hair?
Especially if you have a large, very hairy dog that is shedding their could be a lot of hair, and some vacuum cleaners will not be able to cope with it.
The dog hair may get tangled up around the appliance’s blades, and if this gets bad, it can wear out or even burn out the motor.
If you do not think your vacuum is up to the job, then you can check this link to find the best vacuums for pet hair.
How to Vacuum a Dog Step by Step
Ok, now let’s take a look at how you should vacuum your pet dog step by step.
- Prepare an area.
- Set the tone with the dog and take your time.
- Start with the easy to reach bits.
- Reward the dog’s good behavior with praise and treats.
- Consider using a dog grooming attachment for your vacuum.
- Give your dog a quick break.
- Use distraction if you struggle.
- Always clean the vacuum once you are done.
- Do it regularly to get the dog used to it.
Prepare an Area
You need a nice clear area, with no distractions for the dog (such as toys, other pets, etc.). You also need plenty of room for you and the vacuum to move around in.
Set the Tone with the Dog and Take Your Time
As we mentioned earlier, the dog will react to your tone, so if you are relaxed but serious, it is much less likely to think it is playtime and get all excited and hyperactive.
Start with the Easy to Reach Bits
Usually, the easiest bits to vacuum are the dog’s back and sides. Start with these and then move on to the neck, belly, legs, and tail.
Reward the Dog’s Good Behavior with Praise and Treats
As always when training your dog to do pretty much anything, you should always reward good behavior with treats (not too many though) and praise.
Consider Using a Dog Grooming Attachment for Your Vacuum
We do not think buying an attachment is a good idea until you can test your dog with the sound of a normal vacuum nozzle (use on with an upholstery brush).
But if that goes ok, then a dog grooming vacuum attachment could be well worth looking at.
Give Your Dog a Quick Break
If you notice your pet pooch is getting a bit anxious or restless, give them a little break to let them ease some tension and settle down again.
Use a Distraction if you Struggle
Using something like peanut butter pasted on a door or wall can be a great way to distract your dog while you hoover their fur.
This video shows a clever owner using it to distract their gorgeous St Bernard dog.
Always Clean the Vacuum Once You are Done
To make sure you minimize the wear and tear on your vacuum, give it a good cleaning after use.
Empty the bag or dust chamber, wash any removable filters and make sure no dog hairs have been caught anywhere that you can get to.
Do It Regularly to Get the Dog Used to It
We suggest that you do this really regularly at first so that your dog becomes very familiar with the process.
Some Dog Vacuuming FAQ’s
Let’s now take a look at some of the most common and popular frequently asked questions about using a vacuum to groom your dog.
- What is the best vacuum for pet hair?
- What is the best vacuum attachment for dog hair grooming?
- Is it safe to vacuum my dog?
- Can I vacuum my pet dog to get of fleas?
- What if my dog will not let me vacuum their hair?
- What is the best way to make sure it is not a stressful experience for my dog?
What is the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair?
That question would be worthy of a long post all of its own, but the quick answer is to click this and take a look at the prices and reviews.
What is the Best Vacuum Attachment for Dog Hair Grooming?
Again that is beyond the scope of this post, but you can click this and take a look at the prices and reviews.
Is it Safe to Vacuum My Dog?
Yes, assuming your dog does not have any pre-existing medical condition or a very nervous disposition, there is no reason why you can’t at least give it a go and see how your dog reacts.
Can I Vacuum My Pet Dog to Get Rid of Fleas?
Vacuuming a dog on its own is not a fail-safe way to get rid of fleas. For that, you should try some medication or visit your vet.
But yes, vacuuming and grooming your dog thoroughly will help get rid of fleas.
What you need to avoid, though, is spreading fleas around your house during the vacuuming, so ideally, do it outside and then empty and clean the appliance to get rid of any fleas that might have survived.
What if My Dog Will Not Let Me Vacuum Their Hair?
We have given you a step-by-step guide above to help you with this, but if you really struggle, you could try taking the dog to a professional groomer and letting them try.
If they do it successfully a few times, then you know that you can get it done with more time and practice.
But also know that some dogs, for whatever reason, may never let you do it, in which case you will have to try more traditional grooming methods.
What is the Best Way to Make Sure it is Not a Stressful Experience for My Dog?
If you follow our step by step guide above, taking it slowly, giving them lots of praise and treats, you will be heading in the right direction.
Finally, A Cute Video of a Dog Getting Vacuumed
Just in case you still aren’t sure if you should try to vacuum your dog, here is a super cute video to give you some inspiration: