Which Vacuum is Best for Cleaning Up Dog Hair?


Vacuuming dogs regularly is important to remove loose hair and keep your home clean. Dog hair and dander can build up quickly on floors, furniture, and in carpets. Vacuuming helps collect all that hair before it spreads around your home. It also keeps hair from matting and forming tight knots if your dog has a long coat.

However, vacuuming dog hair can be challenging. Dog hair gets wrapped around brushes and fills vacuum bags and containers fast. It may require more frequent emptying and cleaning of the vacuum. Choosing the right vacuum for your specific needs is key.

Types of Vacuums

There are several types of vacuums to consider for effectively cleaning up dog hair:

Upright Vacuums

Upright vacuums are one of the most popular choices for pet hair. They are easy to maneuver and have powerful suction that can deep clean carpets. Most upright vacuums come with specialized pet hair attachments as well. A potential downside is that the bristles can get tangled with dog hair. Models like the Shark NV752 1 are recommended for pet owners.

Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuums are another excellent choice, especially for hard floors. They offer strong suction power in a lightweight package. The removable canister makes them very versatile for accessing hard to reach areas. One con is that pulling the canister behind you as you vacuum takes more effort. Miele vacuums like the C3 Cat & Dog 2 are known for their pet hair picking capabilities.

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums provide lightweight and portable cleaning for quick dog hair pick up. Cordless stick vacuums in particular are convenient and easy to grab for a quick clean. However, they may not have as strong of suction as uprights and canisters. Dyson stick vacuums like the V8 Animal 3 are top choices for pet owners.

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums are useful for vacuuming upholstery, stairs, cars and other areas. They are convenient for quick, small clean ups but are not designed for whole home use. Most uprights and canisters come with a handheld attachment for portable cleaning.

Important Features

When choosing a vacuum to use on dogs, there are several important features to look for:

Strong Suction

Strong suction power is crucial for picking up dog hair. Look for vacuums with high air watts or water lift ratings to ensure it has enough power to deep clean carpets and lift embedded pet hair.

Brushroll/Beater Bar

The brushroll helps loosen debris and hair so they can be sucked up. Opt for a vacuum with an adjustable brushroll that can be turned off for hard floors and delicate rugs.

HEPA Filtration

HEPA filters capture 99.97% of particles like dander, dust and pollen. This is essential for controlling allergens when vacuuming dog hair.


Look for vacuums that come with attachments like a crevice tool, upholstery brush and pet hair brush. These allow you to clean pet hair from furniture, stairs, cars and other areas.

vacuum attachment tools

Cordless vs Corded

Cordless vacuums offer the convenience of not having to plug into an outlet, making them easy to maneuver around furniture and clean hard-to-reach areas. Battery-powered models are ideal for quick cleanups, spot cleaning, and vacuuming cars or stairs.

However, cordless vacuums have limited runtime before needing to be recharged. Battery life is typically 30 to 60 minutes on a full charge, depending on the model and power setting used (1). This makes cordless vacuums better suited for smaller homes or light, maintenance cleaning.

Corded models have unlimited runtime since they plug into constant power. Their motors also generate strong suction performance for deep cleaning carpets. Cordless models have improved in recent years, but corded vacuums tend to still outperform them in terms of raw cleaning power (2).

Ultimately, cordless vacuums offer superb convenience while corded models excel at thorough, whole-home cleaning. Consider which factors are most important for your needs when choosing between the two.


(1) https://www.abt.com/learn/cordless-vs-corded-vacuum

(2) https://global.dreametech.com/blogs/blog/is-it-better-to-buy-a-cordless-vacuum-than-a-corded-one

Bagged vs Bagless

When choosing a vacuum for dogs, one of the key decisions is whether to get a bagged or bagless model. Both have their pros and cons.

Bagged vacuums use disposable bags to collect dirt, dust, and hair. The advantage is that the bags seal in the debris, traps allergens, and makes disposal clean and easy. You simply remove and replace the bag when full. However, the ongoing cost of buying replacement bags is a downside. Maintenance is minimal though – just changing bags.

Bagless vacuums collect dirt in a removable container that must be manually emptied. This avoids the need to buy bags. However, emptying the container releases some dust and allergens back into the air. Bagless models also require more maintenance like washing filters. Overall, bagless is cheaper long-term but involves more hands-on cleaning.

For households with dog allergies, bagged models provide superior trapping of allergens according to consumer testing (Source). This makes them a better choice for dog owners sensitive to dander and hair.

Budget Options

There are some quality affordable vacuums for under $200 that get the job done on pet hair. When shopping on a budget, focus on these key features:

affordable vacuum cleaners

  • Cordless – Cordless vacuums offer great convenience and maneuverability without a cord getting in the way.
  • Brushroll – An adjustable brushroll helps lift pet hair from carpets and rugs. Make sure it can be turned off for hard floors.
  • Attachment tools – Look for a crevice tool and upholstery brush to clean pet hair from furniture, stairs, and hard to reach areas.
  • Filtration – A filter that captures pet dander and allergens is ideal for pet owners.

Some top budget-friendly models include the Dirt Devil Power Slim, Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo, and Shark Navigator Freestyle. Check consumer reviews and try out in-store to find the best vacuum for your needs.

Mid-Range Options

If you’re looking for an upgraded vacuum with increased power, capacity and features compared to budget models, mid-range options from $200-$500 are a great choice. Here are some of the top vacuums in this price range:

Dyson Ball Animal 2

Dyson is known for their innovative vacuum technology, and the Ball Animal 2 combines powerful suction with whole-machine HEPA filtration. It has a self-adjusting cleaner head that seals in suction across carpets and hard floors, and a tangle-free turbine tool ideal for pet hair. Retails around $500.

Shark NV501 Rotator Powered Lift-Away

This Shark vacuum offers the best of both worlds with upright cleaning and a detachable canister for portable cleaning. It has swivel steering, LED headlights, and a pet multi-tool. The HEPA filter captures dust and allergens. Priced around $300.

Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet

The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet packs serious power at a reasonable price. It has triple action brush roll, swivel steering, and a large-capacity dirt tank. Specialized pet tools allow you to thoroughly clean pet hair. Usually just over $200.

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet Rewind

Another great option, the Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet Rewind features five position carpet height adjustment, pet hair accessories, HEPA media filtration and easy-to-clean hair wrap tool. Retaills approximately $220.

Premium Options

When it comes to vacuuming your dog’s hair, the top-of-the-line models offer maximum power and advanced features for the deepest clean possible. These premium vacuums typically cost over $500 but are worth it if you want the very best.

The Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum is one of the best models for pet hair. It has a powerful motor and whole-machine filtration to capture allergens. The fully sealed filtration system retains over 99.99% of particles and expels cleaner air. This Dyson vacuum comes with a mini motorized tool specifically designed for removing embedded pet hair on furniture.
woman vacuuming with dyson stick vacuum

Another excellent premium choice is the Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum. This Miele vacuum has an adjustable suction control so you can use maximum power on carpets and gentle suction on delicate areas. It also has an AirClean sealed system with HEPA filters and an active charcoal layer to retain dirt, dust and allergens. The turbo brush and parquet twister make it easy to remove pet hair from any surface.

With premium vacuums, you pay more but get unbeatable cleaning performance. Advanced features like HEPA filtration and mini motorized tools target pet hair in the deepest crevices. Investing in a high-end vacuum ensures excellent cleaning and may help reduce allergy symptoms.

Vacuuming Tips

When vacuuming dog hair, there are some tips to make the process easier and more effective:

Brush your dog first before vacuuming. Using a slicker brush will help loosen up the hair and remove any tangles, allowing the vacuum to pick up more hair. Brushing also helps reduce hair being spread around the house between vacuuming sessions. [1]

Vacuum frequently, ideally every day or every other day. Frequent vacuuming prevents built up layers of hair and allows you to stay on top of shedding. For homes with heavy shedding dogs, daily vacuuming may be necessary during peak shedding seasons. [1]

Use vacuum attachments designed for pet hair pick up. Most vacuums come with a brush tool, upholstery tool, or pet hair specialized tool. The brush tools help groom and agitate the hair so it gets sucked into the vacuum. [2]

Empty the vacuum canister or bag frequently. When full of hair, the suction and cleaning performance will decrease. Empty the canister or change bags when they reach max fill lines to maintain optimal function. [2]


When choosing the right vacuum to use on dogs, it’s important to consider cordless vs corded, bagged vs bagless, and key features like strong suction and a motorized brushroll. Budget vacuums can get the job done on short dog hair, but medium to long hair often requires a more powerful mid-range or premium vacuum.

person vacuuming dog on floor

For most pet owners, a cordless stick vacuum like the Dyson V8 or Shark ION P50 is the best bet. These provide convenient cordless cleaning and enough power for most dog hair situations. Other great options are the Miele C3 Cat & Dog for maximum suction or the Shark Apex Upright with Zero-M for whole-home cleaning. Just make sure to avoid budget vacuums with weak suction, as those will struggle with dog hair. Investing in a quality vacuum designed for pets will make maintaining a dog hair-free home much easier.

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