Can You Vacuum Your Dog? Is It Safe?
If you have been a pet parent for a while, you will be aware of the shedding of hair that happens almost everywhere.
If you have got used to it by now, then that is a different ball game altogether. However, if you haven’t got a hold of it yet and are looking for measures that might buy you some time to spend elsewhere, then you have landed on the right page.
Specially designed pet vacuums (read our buyer’s guide here) for floors and upholstery are fine but the latest trend is to vacuum your dog so that shedding is considerably reduced and you have your peace of mind at the same time.
Well, vacuuming loose fur off your dog’s skin is a trend because it is so convenient to do so instead of vacuuming a hundred other things where fur might be.
It could be a frightening experience for your dog for the first couple of times but if you prepare them in advance, it could be easy for both of you.
Vacuuming your dog is absolutely safe if you are using the right equipment and are aware of the procedure. It is also more effective than vacuuming the whole house periodically.
Introduce the vacuum to your pet by letting him or her play with it. Let him get used to the idea of a stationary vacuum.
Leave it in places where your dog is almost always present, for example, the living room, the kitchen or the balcony. Let him sniff it out. Sniffing is a huge stress reliever for dogs.
Never start vacuuming in the midst of a crying baby, a running food processor or a whistling pressure cooker.
The vacuum will invariably make its own sound while running so in order to reduce the anxiety build up in your dog, look for a calm environment where you could begin the process of vacuuming gradually.
Take micro-breaks in between vacuuming sessions. This will give your dog a breather and it will also let you look for places that you might have missed vacuuming.
Positive reinforcement is scientifically proven to work best.
If you have trained your dog for obedience, then he must be aware of the concept of rewards for good behavior. Special treats that he loves can make up for the constant sound of the vacuum and for staying still the entire time.
Keep sweet treats at hand for such situations. After the first couple of times, your dog will understand the concept and will start behaving better while being vacuumed.
Make vacuuming a routine for your dog. Things done twice or thrice a week will easily become a habit for your dog and there will be no more tears while being vacuumed.
Hold the vacuum in a way so that it does not face your dog. Instead, turn your back towards your dog and hold it in the opposite direction. This will be somewhat relaxing for your dog.
All vacuum cleaners cannot be used to vacuum clean your dog. The suction force would normally hurt your dog. Specially designed dog attachments are available that can remove your dog’s loose fur without hurting your dog in any way.
While vacuuming your dog, remember to use the vacuum in one stroke. Be careful about not pulling out any hair strand. If your dog wears a collar then you can hold it steady while it is being groomed.
Even the safest procedures have their drawbacks and since animals cannot express their feelings in words, it is important to read their expressions through signs and symptoms. Here are warning signs that you should keep an eye out for.
- If your dog looks scared or is whining too much.
- If you have accidentally hurt him.
- If there has been more than one hair pull.