Cleaning Up Labrador Retriever Hair
Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the United States, and rightly so. They are fantastic dogs and are easily recognizable. Labs come in several colors (black, gold, brown) and owners debate over which color is the best – black, by the way, black is the best. Labs (also known as Labrador Retrievers) are known for their great personalities and intelligence. And, of course, they are also known for the prolific hair shedding. That is why shopping for the best vacuum for Labrador Retriever hair is worth your time.
A Labrador Retriever’s short, thick coat is designed to be weather resistant. If you look closely you will see that Labrador Retrievers have two layers of fur; a coarse over-coat and a softer under-coat. The over coat is tough, thick, straight, strong, and sometimes coarse. The under coat is typically short, soft, and gives the dog a layer of protection from heat, cold, and sunlight.
Because of this double coat, Labrador Retrievers, and many other dogs with similar hair (e.g. Huskies, German Shepherds, Akita, Shiba Inu, and too many to list here) will “blow” their coat twice a year. If you have one of these breeds, you know exactly what that means. If you don’t, let me enlighten you. It means LOTS of shedding. It seems like your dog is personally trying to shed enough hair to fill every corner of the room, every nook in your sofa, every shoe in your closet, AND have some left over. Hair everywhere. But don’t get discouraged, there are some things you can do to help minimize the effect of too much Labrador Retriever hair in your home (Like looking for the best vacuum for Labrador Retriever hair).
Grooming Rake for Labrador Retriever Hair
The first thing I recommend to minimize Labrador Retriever hair throughout your home is to perform regular grooming. If I don’t have time to do it myself, I take my Labrador Retriever to a groomer. If you have time, do it yourself at home with the GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake for Labrador Retriever Hair available from Amazon.
I have tried the glove brushes, the Furminator comb, the brush that has all the needle-like tips that everyone seems to have, and many other styles, and in my opinion, the grooming rake for Labrador Retriever hair works best. The tips aren’t sharp like pins, which I think my dog appreciates. Before you begin the brush out, take your Labrador Retriever for a long walk or play around in the yard until she is tired; we play catch. When she tires and is ready for her nap, you are ready to brush away. Grab a trash can or bag and your grooming rake, maybe a bottle of water, and you are ready to go. I personally prefer to do this outside on the back deck. If you really want to get crazy, brush your Labrador Retriever at least once a week. You will see a significant decrease in the amount of errant Lab hair on your furniture, floors, and clothes.
Grooming Tips for Labrador Retriever Hair
Ok, back to the groomer… When I first begin to notice more hair than usual, that’s my sign that my Labrador Retriever is getting ready to blow her coat. That’s when I get my Lab into the groomer. This usually happens mid fall and early spring for my Lab. We live in a northern climate with four seasons, it might be different for your Lab. My groomer washes and brushes her really well. Then a few weeks later (if I don’t have time to do it myself) I take her back in to get the rest of the “blown” coat brushed out. I do not have her bathed on the second visit, just a thorough brushing.
Helpful grooming tips for Labrador Retriever hair here – ask your groomer to NOT use perfumes and smelly shampoos. Even though you may like them, they are annoying to a Labrador Retriever. Because dog noses are sensitive, being sprayed with perfume bombards their sense of smell with chemicals and takes away one of their primary senses. Also, dogs don’t like to smell like perfume. If you notice your freshly shampooed Fido rolling in feces, dead animals, dirt, etc., don’t be alarmed. He’s trying to cover the smell of the perfumes. Labrador Retriever are predatory animals and rely on their stealth to sneak up on prey. They can’t do that if they smell like people. Ask for unscented shampoo. I promise your furry friends will thank you. If you prefer to bathe your Lab at home, there are many un-scented shampoos on the market. I have been using for years the Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Shed Control Shampoo & Conditioner from Amazon. It’s priced well and it is free of dyes, which is good for my septic tank, lawn, and Labrador Retriever.
Another hint for grooming your double-coated Labrador Retriever is NEVER ask for a shave just to save yourself from shedding fur. I know it makes the fur situation easier to deal with, but it can be harmful to your Lab. By shaving your Labrador Retriever you remove their cooling (yes, fur helps keep them cool) and warming layer of fur. Shaving also removes their tough outer coat, which is their natural sunscreen. Just imagine having someone pet or scratch your freshly sunburned skin over and over and there’s nothing you can do to tell them to stop? Shaving can also change the way their hair grows back in and make your dog very itchy. So even though you might be tempted to shave your Labrador Retriever to alleviate the shedding in your home, maybe you should reconsider.
Best Broom for Labrador Retriever Hair
Now that we have discussed the grooming side of helping to prevent some of the hair problems we pet lovers deal with, let’s move on to the bulk of this article. Once the hair is off the Labrador Retriever and on my floor, what do I do? The best suggestion I have is regular vacuuming and sweeping. The problem is, not everyone has time, or wants to take time, to do this every day. And sometimes even when you do sweep or vacuum it feels like you left half the hair behind making the whole effort feel wasted and worthless. So, after lots of trial and error, new products and gimmicks, talking with friends and family who have pets (and long-haired children), I have found my favorite tools for keeping dog hair off my floors and furniture.
I recommend the best broom for Labrador Retriever hair is Evriholder FURemover Broom from Amazon. It is the #1 best selling indoor push broom on Amazon and is the top-rated broom for dog hair.
Evriholder FURemover Broom from Amazon
The FURemover really feels like it grips into the carpet and hardwood floors. The Labrador Retriever hair doesn’t stick to it as bad as it does on a regular broom. I’m always having to hold the regular broom over the trash can and use my hand to pull the hair out of the bristles. I like this rubber broom so much I even use it after I cut my kids’ hair. Another thing I really like about it is that it doesn’t flip the hair and dust into the air. I feel like it keeps things grounded, because it’s a rake, you pull the debris toward you instead of flipping it away from you like a traditional broom. After I finish with my fur remover broom, I like to go over the floors with a Swiffer Sweeper to pick up any remaining dust and very small debris.
Best Handheld Vacuum for Labrador Retriever Hair
We have all seen the commercials and advertisements for the latest and greatest fur remover tools only have our dreams of clean sofas and beds shattered by their inability to work as advertised. I have lived out this scenario many times in the last few years. Well, over the years we (my friends and me) think we have it figured out.
There are a variety of small hand-held vacuums on the market right now. My personal favorite is the Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum. I believe it is the best handheld vacuum for Labrador Retriever hair. It’s priced well, very light, and easy to use. The one thing I don’t like about it is it has a canister and air filter instead of a bag. I prefer to use vacuum bags even though they cost more money in the long run. What I do like: It’s fantastic for picking up Lab hair and other small debris from sofas, beds, stairs and cat-houses (my friend tried that one).
If I just need to spot clean my sofa or my pant leg, I like the sticky roller removers. Most people have tried the different types of sticky roller type hair removal gadgets and I think most people have the same frustration. You have a fresh piece of sticky paper ready to go, you roll one time on the sofa and then it decides it’s full and repels every other bit of hair and lint until you peel off that layer of paper and get a fresh one ready. I went through SO MANY rolls of sticky paper playing this little game. I knew there had to be something better. I found this one on Amazon and I haven’t looked back since: iLifeTech Reusable Sticky Pet Hair Remover Brush
To be fair, I haven’t tried very many of these reusable models. I found this one and kind of stopped looking, but I have tried a few others at friend’s homes and one at a store demo. They seem to operate similarly. I just really like the one I have already paid for. One tip when using this one is to wash the roller with warm/room temperature water and one very small drop of soap. I use my fingers to gently rub the surface clean. Let it air dry and it’s ready to go again. That’s probably my biggest complaint, waiting for it to dry.
Best Vacuum for Labrador Retriever Hair
Now, on to my favorite portion of housekeeping: Vacuums. I love vacuums. They make my life so easy! But not all vacuums are created equal and some work better than others on Labrador Retriever hair.
My favorite all time vacuum is my Roomba. I believe it is the best vacuum for Labrador Retriever hair. I currently have the iRobot Roomba 650 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner. I love my Roomba because it works for me while I am sleeping. Before we purchased it, I was vacuuming my house at least every other day. Sometimes every day, due to dog hair. Now, I only run my vacuum once a week, and only in small areas of the house my Roomba doesn’t reach. I am hoping to upgrade to the Roomba 880 or 980 soon. My friend (who has a yorkie and a pound “mutt” that sheds) just got the 880 for Christmas. She says the battery life is better and they are better at grabbing the fur than the previous models.
iRobot Roomba 650 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Pros of the Roomba Vacuum Cleaner for Labrador Hair
- It runs when I’m asleep, giving me more time to do other things during the day, like read a book.
- It’s relatively quiet, fun to watch, and I have less Labrador Retriever hair and dust to worry about.
Cons of the Roomba Vacuum Cleaner for Labrador Hair
- Has to be stored in the open so it can dock and charge and do it’s job properly – no hiding it in a closet.
- It will pick up anything you leave on the ground, e.g. small toys, jewelry, coins, etc, so you need to do a quick walk-through of the vacuuming area before it starts it’s work.
Learning Curve Frustrations of the Roomba
- GREAT on hard floors and low pile carpets, not so great on lofty carpets or rugs with tassels. I have tile and hardwoods on my main floor with some light-colored low-pile rugs. My vacuum is great on my floors but I bought my rugs specifically for the Roomba. If you have rugs with tassels, the Roomba can end up sweeping some of the fur into the tassels and leave it there.
- The Roomba gets stuck sometimes. We have very little furniture on our main floor, but we do have kitchen chairs. The Roomba doesn’t really like chairs and sometimes gets stuck. I put my chairs up at night, which sometimes seems like a pain but I would have to move them to sweep or vacuum anyway, so I don’t let it get to me too much. So while it can be annoying, I wouldn’t consider this a “con.”
Overall, I love my Roomba and would buy another one tomorrow if this one died on me. And their customer service is really great.
Best Upright Vacuum for Labrador Retriever Hair
Bissell Vacuums have a great reputation and it is well earned. For my loftier carpeted areas that my Roomba can’t reach, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum works superb. The Eraser Vacuum has numerous dog hair features you’ll love.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum
Pros of the Bissell Dog Hair Eraser Vacuum for Labs
- “Tangle-free brush roll. Goodbye hair-wrap.”
- “Patented Cyclonic Pet Hair Spooling System for a Hands-Free Empty.”
- “Specialized Pet Tools with Quick Release Wand to capture pet hair anywhere.”
- “LED-lit crevice tools uncovers hidden dirt and the Pet TurboEraser Tool removes embedded hair from carpets and upholstery.”
- “Smart Seal Allergen System with Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator helps trap allergens inside the vacuum and eliminates pet odors as you vacuum.”
- It picks up EVERYTHING, especially pet hair.
Cons of the Bissell Dog Hair Eraser Vacuum for Labs
- Tool storage seems like a poor design. People have complained of it breaking easily.
- No headlight on the main portion of the vacuum.
- Better on carpet then on hardwood floors.