Pet hair is one of the realities that dog owners just have to contend with. Although some breeds have minimal shedding, you're likely here because your dog leaves you with a trail of fur on a daily basis.
As temperatures rise towards the tail end of spring, you’ll also need to contend with the dreaded shedding season. Thankfully, dog clothes help keep the abundance of fur away from your own clothes and furniture.
But how you do keep those clothes clean?
Choosing the Right Dog Clothes
Dog clothes make shedding easier to manage because they keep fur inside and away from all the surfaces of your home. However, it’s also critical to choose dog outfits wisely as some will be harder to maintain than others.
When choosing clothes specifically to manage shedding, your best options are those made of water-resistant material. These are often dog raincoats and windbreakers that are made of technical fabrics that fur won’t stick to. To clean up, all you need to do is shake it off and possibly do some light wiping.
Dog hoodies also help manage shedding, not to mention they keep your pup looking snazzy. However, these softer and cozier materials are often harder to keep clean.
When buying dog sweaters, opt for those made of cotton, as these will be more resistant to static than their cheaper counterparts. Polyester and rayon are materials you want to avoid if you’re concerned about pet hair sticking to clothes.
Additionally, opting for machine-washable dog clothes will definitely offer much more convenience.
How to Choose a Detergent for Dog Clothes
The cleaning products you choose will keep dog clothes not only fresh-smelling but also fur-free. Don’t be tempted to go for the most powerful detergents as these might have toxic ingredients that could harm your pup, especially if they have sensitive skin. Ingredients you should avoid include synthetic surfactants, chlorine, and ammonia.
Whenever possible, opt for non-toxic and biodegradable detergents for all your dog’s things. That includes their clothes, accessories, and beddings. To keep their things clean and fur-free, find gentle surfactants that will help unwanted hair to slide off the garments during washing.
Fabric softeners and dryer sheets also help reduce the static that makes fur so difficult to remove. Nowadays, you can find pet-safe alternatives for these products. You can also opt to use diluted white vinegar instead.
How to Wash Dog Clothes
Whether it’s a stylish dog jacket or a cozy hoodie, the proper way to wash dog apparel depends on whether they’re machine-washable or will require hand-washing. Here are the best ways to deal with both:
Having machine-washable dog clothes doesn’t mean you should just throw them in the washer. Make sure you remove excess hair before tossing the clothes in for a cycle. Turn the garments inside-out and pick out clumps of fur that might have accumulated there.
Not only will this help make sure everything gets really clean and fur-free. It will also help keep your washing machine from clogging.
Apart from removing excess fur before running a cycle, it helps to find ways to remove static. Static is the biggest reason why fur clings to fabric. So other than buying clothing with anti-static properties, simply reduce static in your dog's current clothes before washing.
Dryer sheets, fabric softener, and vinegar all work for this purpose. You might also want to try wool dryer balls and fur zappers.
These are great products and easy to use - simply throw them in your washing machine and use them with your regular wash cycle. They collect loose pet hair into one place and make it much easier to remove.
They also prevent pet hair from clogging up your washer and dryer's lint trap. After every wash, use a damp cloth to wipe down your washing machine. This will help with removing pet fur that has evaded the wash cycle. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, wiping around the door and hinges too.
Hand-Washing Dog Clothes
Washing sweaters and hoodies by hand might be a pain, but it is a good way to prolong the life of your favorite dog apparel. To do this right, start by diluting pet-safe laundry detergent in a bucket of lukewarm water.
Soak all the clothes you’re washing for at least 30 minutes. This will help loosen up deep-seated dirt and fur.
After soaking, discard the water. Take every piece of soaked clothing and use a soft brush to spot-clean areas with stubborn dirt and clingy, embedded hair.
Then, prepare another bucket full of soapy water and gently swish the dog clothes through it before rinsing every garment thoroughly. Once you’re confident there’s no more soap residue, you can hang the clothing and leave them to dry, ideally under the sun.
Other Tips for Managing Pet Hair
Although learning how to wash them properly will be incredibly helpful, there are many other things you can do to keep dog hair away from clothes. These will help not only keep your dog’s clothes clean but yours as well. Here are some useful tips, especially for the shedding season:
Bathe with de-shedding shampoo
De-shedding shampoos work by loosening up dead undercoat and washing off excess hair during bath time. So, you have less fur to contend with. Also, these are often enriched with nourishing ingredients to keep the skin healthy and minimize shedding overall.
Brushing your dog doesn’t just keep their skin and coat healthy, but it’ll also trap loose hair in the brush itself. So, brush your dog at least once a week, and up to once a day during shedding season.
Use a de-shedding tool
Tools like undercoat rakes and de-shedding brushes remove loose hair much more effectively than regular dog brushes. These are especially useful when dogs are blowing their coats and a regular slicker brush just won’t cut it.
With a few firm downward strokes, you'll be able to remove any pesky dog hair before they become an issue.
Cost-effective Ways to Remove Pet Hair
As a dog owner, you’ve probably tried different implements to manage all the fur that your pup leaves behind.
Some of the most popular pet hair removal tools among pet owners are lint rollers and rubber brushes.
A lint roller simply removes loose hair from your clothes and furniture like couch cushions.
If you prefer something cheap and convenient, you might also want to try scotch tape, or packing tape to pick up any loose hair.
And for the ultimate DIY hack - Put on a rubber glove, get it slightly damp, and gently brush over the fabric. The loose hair will stick to the damp glove.
But What About Delicate Fabrics?
If you're worried about damaging delicate clothing like silk, wool, linen, or other items of clothing with embroidery or embellishments, there are alternative methods you can use.
Use a clothes steamer to simply dampen the fabric, before using a sticky lint roller or clothes brush before removing pet hair.
If you don't have access to a steamer, try placing your clothes in a steamy bathroom, it will do the same job.
In Conclusion (h2)
Dealing with dog laundry and the never-ending supply of shed fur are undeniably some of the more frustrating parts of pet ownership.
Thankfully, all you need are the right dog clothes, pet-safe laundry products, and knowledge of the most effective cleaning techniques.
Armed with all these, even shedding season will be a breeze to manage. So, you can spend more time enjoying the company of your dog rather than cleaning up after them.