The Vacuum Cleaner Vs Our Pets

dog and vacuum cleanerHalf of Kiwis have pets that shed hair in their home. And of those pet owners, 69% say their pets are afraid of their vacuum cleaner.

So how do you clean up all that pet hair lying around? And can you train your pets to trust the terrifying vacuum?

Vacuums Models Know For Tackling Pet Hair

This year, Dyson has won the Canstar Blue award for most satisfied customers –  barrel vacuum models, while Shark has taken the award for most satisfied customers – upright vacuum cleaners.

Some comments from survey respondents with Dyson vacuums included:

“Good at picking up cat hair and does a good vacuum job.”

“Great for dog hair.”

“Don’t know which model, but it is made for cat hair. It does the job well.”

“Sucks up all the dirt and cat hair.”

If you’re brave, Dyson’s upright even has a grooming tool that you can use to suck shedding hair straight off your furry friend’s back! We’re sorry to say this one isn’t suitable for use on long-haired human breeds.

Shark owners were equally pleased with their vacuums’ sucking power:

“It does an excellent job, as I have 6 cats and it deals with the cat hair covering the carpet excellently.”

“They extract cat and dog hair out of the carpet better than any other vacuum cleaner I have used.”

“A strong, sturdy, hand-held vacuum excellent for vacuuming dog and cat hair, etc.”

“Very good. I have two dogs and the Shark vacuum cleaner sucks all the hair up.”

“Sucks up the dog hair. Easy to use and lots of different tools/nozzles to use.”

“Great for picking up dog hair.”

“Excellent cleaner, especially for dog hair.”

One brave Shark owner admitted to owning eight large, inside dogs and said their vacuum was “great for dog hair.”

Why Pets Fear The Vacuum

Pets hate the vacuum for good reason. There are tons of funny videos online of dogs and cats hiding from the vacuum, or attacking it ferociously, but the truth is that for your pet, it’s just not funny.

First, dogs and cats both have excellent hearing – much better than humans. So the loud and often high-pitched noises the vacuum makes are actually quite painful for them. It’s the same thing with the coffee grinder and the lawnmower.

Several owners of non-award-winning models commented:

“Loud, so the dog doesn’t like it.”

“Too loud for the dog.”

In fact, if your pet doesn’t react to the noise of the vacuum, the most likely reason is that they are going deaf!

Secondly, cats and dogs have better eyesight than us. It must be unnerving to see dust and dirt molecules literally being ripped out of the carpet and thrown about the room before being sucked up into the mouth of that noisy beast.

Thirdly, dogs and cats are trained from a young age to chase things that run back and forth in a pattern, such as threats like other dogs, and prey like mice. So expecting them to sit quietly while the vacuum runs back and forth is not going to work.

Fourthly, have you seen how big that thing is? And you, the pet’s owner, appear to be fighting with that giant machine and losing. After all, the machine keeps gaining ground while you try to pull it back.

Protecting Spot from the vacuum

To keep your pets safe from the noise and motion of this terrifying machine, try locking them in another room at the other end of the house while it’s on. Or provide an escape route – something tall to climb to get away from the vacuum.

You can also try desensitising your dog to the vacuum by giving the dog a treat when he stays in the same room with a turned-off vacuum and doesn’t attack it, then raising the stakes. But when you think about it, how would you like to be desensitised to someone running an earthmover inside your house?

A robot vacuum might also be a lifesaver, since it is a lot quieter. But you better keep an eye out while the robot is in motion – one owner of a Hoover robotic model said:

“Keeps running over my cat.”

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