Flying Fur?

The first order of business in keeping house with a family pet is regular brushing and grooming. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about this — in general, though, the longer or heavier the coat, the more shedding will be likely. Some pets are relatively tidy, while others shed fur constantly. The more you comb out loose fur, the less of it will become embedded in rugs, carpets and upholstery, or land on other surfaces.

If you live in a dry climate, consider dampening the brush or comb slightly before brushing your pet. This helps break the static-electricity bond that hinders removal of loose strands of the animal’s coat.

You’ll have to vacuum rugs and carpets more frequently thanks to both shedding and the stuff that Fido and Fluffy bring inside on their paws and in their coats. Daily vacuuming is recommended when your pet must be treated for fleas. This will help reduce the chance she or he will suffer a re-infestation from the carpet after treatment ends.

Damp cloths or sponges easily remove fur from hard surfaces, and they’ll help with the upholstery, too, if vacuuming doesn’t seem to get it all. If your pets shed a lot or you have several in your household, simply remove excess fur, discard the fur in the trash, rinse the sponge and keep working. (Caution: Washing large amounts of fur down the drain may clog it.)

Consider buying a pet rake at a pet supply store. It’s not for your pet, but for your furniture, helping to remove fur from many soft surfaces with its stiff bristles. Lint rollers are also highly effective; janitorial suppliers now offer long-handled models for applying the adhesive-covered roller to carpets and rugs. In a pinch, you can also use wide strips of adhesive or masking tape wrapped around a hand with the adhesive side out.

© 2006

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