At my wit's end over dog hair on the sofa

pammyfayOctober 24, 2010

I loved the sofa when I bought it about 7 years ago. Sofabed with a navy blue chenille-like fabric.

A few years later, in walks my first puppy (a gray-haired terrier). She sat on the sofa a few times but liked being on the wood floor much better. So there was only a little bit of fur on the sofa and the skirt.

She's gone now, and I have a second pup, a terrier who's a mix of colors--a little more blonde mixed with gray. And she's forever resting on the couch next to me. I love her, I love snuggling next to her, I love giving her belly rubs and full-body massages and scratches, so I know I'm adding to the amount of fur that gets left on the sofa.

The chenille kind of traps that fur--it's hard to remove. A vacuum attachment works, with a few repeats. Those Pledge pet-fur rollers, not all that much better.

I put a blanket down on her side. Quickly realized that microfleece traps the fur, too, and too much remains on the blanket after I wash it.

I'm hesitant to buy a slipcover: The shape of the queen-size sofa is more modern, with the arms and back making a C shape--that is, the arms are as high as the back, like one continuous piece. The slipcovers I have seen (and one I've purchased for the sofa in the basement) seem to have shaped rounded arms, not just the tops, but the whole arm profile.

What are some options? The dog blankets at Bed Bath & Beyond that say they won't collect fur are microfleece, so I know that claim is wrong.

I've been looking for Vellux blankets but haven't found one I like. I don't really want to throw a sheet over the sofa, because it's in the living room (which you see right when you walk into my home) and it'll look cheesy, and I don't want that look when my neighbors pop in!

(Of course, the pup has full custody of the sofa now!)

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If it's just the neighbors popping in, go ahead and put a sheet down. I do that on our sofa. My friends know about my dog shedding and it's no big deal. If I'm having expected company over, I take the sheet off.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 1:56PM
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My parents put some nice looking standard throw blankets that weren't too expensive on their sofas. They look fairly nice and can be folded up or removed quickly if company comes over.

In terms of hair removal, the best way I've found to remove really embedded dog fur is to put on rubber dish washing gloves and rub the hair right out of the material. My dog rides in my vehicle and sheds a lot. The hair would get deeply embedded in the carpet where she would lay and the vacuum could never get the hair out. The rubber gloves work really well to rub the hair right out of the material.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 2:02PM
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I use the fleece type throws one can find at Target, BBB, etc. When I wash them the dog's hair just balls up and I quickly pick it off, but, it could be due to the type hair/fur my dog has (long & silky). For removing any pet hair, the best item I've found is the pick-up roller that has sticky tape on it. It'll pull hair out of anything!

One type of fabric throw you may want to try is shown in the link below. If you don't want to spend that much, you can buy faux suede at a fabric store and either glue or sew edging on all four sides.

Here's another option.

I can't suggest buying slipcovers since you'll then have to deal with cleaning a large, removeable piece of fabric.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pet throw

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 2:15PM
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I use a lint brush - the kind with red velvety material. I know it sounds too simple but it works really well. It's basically the same material on those overpriced Pledge pet-rollers but much more material and a lot more user control.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 2:38PM
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How big is the dog? Could you use a mat instead of a blanket?

I have a couple of these for the cats.

Here is a link that might be useful: West Paw dog mats

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 2:48PM
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Low tech - that's my motto!!

I won't give up the pleasure of sharing some 'couch time' with my dog but I won't tolerate dog hair on my furniture, either.

For me, a sheet is the best and easiest option. I keep it one side of our family room sofa - Cajun gets to be on the sheet and I (or DH) can be next to him. It gets tucked in behind and to the side of the seat cushion and goes up and over the back and arm on one side. It's not gorgeous, but it's not horrible. It's easily whisked away to the laundry when company comes and hair doesn't stick to it after laundering - it's all in the dryer lint trap. I'll also take it outside and give it a good shake if I don't need to wash it but want to shake off the bulk of the hair.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 2:56PM
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When you say you haven't found a Vellux blanket you like, do you mean the color? They have even off white and tan. I have a few and love the blankets in general. I'd personally rather have that folded up on the couch than the sheet.

Also, if you can find one of those old school velvet lint rollers, that's the way to go. I was thrilled when I found my ceramic duck one and it's so much easier to take that over the top of my furniture than the sweeper. I think they make them in the stores still but they don't seem to work as well.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 5:06PM
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Believe it or not, the furry blanket doesn't hold fur. I have 2 huskies, a rottie and a pomeranian who get up on the sofa on a regular basis, plus 1 more husky who rubs against it all the time. This hasn't been cleaned in a couple of weeks, and I don't de-fur it in between washes because I am just that lazy. Best sofa cover ever.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Fleece really holds hair well, try one of those!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 7:28PM
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Meghane: What kind of blanket is that? Who makes it?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 9:33PM
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Fabric and dogs do NOT MIX. Trust me. I have 3 dogs (70 lbs, 90 lbs and 100 lbs respectively). I decorate for the life I HAVE, not the life I wish I had.

Leather is utterly the way to go with dogs. It does not cling to fabric that is actually not there. Even better? go with "distressed leather." Dog nail marks only ENHANCE the look of distressed leather.

The big black hard nails of the dog in this pic only make the leather look better and better.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 3:11AM
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Timely post because I just bought a pet throw from Target last week! I have the same problem with fur everywhere! Our sofa is microsuede which attracts hair like a magnet, not to mention my sofa is green and my dog is blonde! Not a good mix! My pet blanket is by 'Surefit', the same company that makes the slipcover. I found it in the same aisle as the slipcovers at Target. It is a khaki quilted fabric like the one pictured in annz's post from Penney's.

Here is a link that might be useful: Surefit pet throw

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 7:21AM
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Since you already like to give your dog a lot of love and affection I would recommend using some of that time for grooming. You might have to experiment with different brushes based on her coat but frequent grooming can really cut down on shedding and hair loss.

I have a long haired, double coated really furry dog and I get by with a bath mat towel in the car, mostly for dirt, not so much hair. She tends to smell bad so she gets a bath about every ten days. My parents had a long haired cat and daily brushing was the only thing that worked for them.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 9:21AM
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Have you tried the Furminator brush? My neighbors have one and it does a wonderful job on fur, better then anything else I have seen. Their dog really enjoys it, too.

I have a friend with a shedding dog and he keeps sheets over all his furniture. I have never seen his furniture uncovered. I peeked once when he was out of the room and his actually has a nice sofa! Too bad no one ever sees it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 11:44AM
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I love my microfiber sofa because the hair literally falls off. Pup owns the ottoman so when I see hair on it all I have to do is smack it and the hair flys up and away. They I vac it up. Or if I see it when using vac it sucks right up.

You might be able to get a swatch of microfiber fabric and make your own cover to fit that side of sofa.

I had a hurculon (sp?) sofa that I loved. But it loved to trap my german sheps hair. The only, and I mean only, way to get the hair out was to take a damp washcloth, barely moisten my hand, then use hand to wipe the hair off fabric. I got really used to doing this and it works really well. Pain in the arse but it does pull the hair out.

My new sofas are microfiber again for both the hair removal and also my cat will not shred it to pieces.

I will second the mention of grooming. It really does help a lot. Even if only done once a week.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 12:17PM
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I buy twin blankets as throws for winter cuddling. You could do this too and would fit the entire couch. A lot of options availble for fabric, etc., plus cheaper than some throws.

Also, bought a pet upright vac. It has a rubber attachment to it that really grabs dog hair, rotates. I wish they had other sizes, shapes of these.

There is the option of a damp cloth which has always worked for me in getting dog hair off of clothes.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 12:19PM
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Flylady sells a rubber brush sort of thing that works very well getting pethair off of stuff.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 5:48PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Shave the dog???

No dog, but we have a cat. We use the vacuum and the short velcro like fabric wand to remove the pet hair...we are also coping with tracked kitty litter everywhere including the couch....I swear that stuff is as insidious and xmas glittter!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:51AM
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