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The best vacuum cleaner for pet hair

This is a misleading title and a misleading advertisement as far as selling vacuum cleaners goes. There is nothing magically powerful about pet hair that makes it any harder to vacuum up than it is to vacuum human hair, dust or dirt.

Some of the many, many vacuums I have used.
Some of the many, many vacuums I have used.
THE vacuum cleaner

There are vacuum cleaners that are the best overall though. Over the past 30 years I believe I have used every kind of vacuum ever made. Though the best one is really the one that you like and is easy to use (so that you will use it often), some vacuums are better than others.

One of the first things I look for is on board tools. If I have to stop and turn the vacuum over to attach tools or extract them in a complicated process from somewhere inside the handle I am never going to do it. Which means corners and hard to reach places aren’t going to get vacuumed.

The next thing I look for is power. Pet hair is easy but will the vacuum cleaner pick up a Q Tip? That’s one of the true signs of a vacuum with powerful suction. Another sign is if it eats the cord when it’s accidentally run over. (I actually read the instructions for my favorite vacuum once and it warned me to never vacuum barefoot or wearing open toed sandals. That’s the kind of power I’m looking for.)

Very important to me is the presence of a bag to catch the dirt. I honestly don’t know what all the hype is about “bagless” vacuum cleaners. I don’t want to see the dirt I just vacuumed up and I sure don’t want to touch it; which is what you’ll end up doing with a bagless vacuum cleaner. They really don’t empty themselves; you almost always have to reach in there with your hand and scoop out the contents. Yuk!

An upright vacuum cleaner is a must, no canister for me, too many banged up walls and tipped over tables using one of those. A light at the front is nice as well; it really helps point out dirt you don’t usually see even when cleaning in bright daylight.

I want a light weight vacuum because with pets I am going to be vacuuming a lot. I also want it to be able to fit under cabinets and between pieces of furniture. I’d like it to be easy to use on stairs though I recommend having a vacuum on each floor of your house and there are very nice little stair vacuum’s that are very powerful yet small and lightweight.

I suggest adding an extension cord to any vacuum. Once I get into the vacuum groove I don’t want to stop to plug in more than once or twice, I don’t want to have to do that in every room. I also tend to pull the cord out of the wall rather than walk back to the plug so if it gets bent it’s just the extension cord that I am replacing.

Some vacuums are quieter than others and I will admit to sweeping with a broom often because it just seems more Zen, but a vacuum gets in the crack for any flea eggs that may be hiding so really is essential in a household with pets.

So, what brand is it? What do I think is the best vacuum? That would be a Panasonic, hands down, no contest. I have two that I’ve had for more than 10 years each. No need for an expensive Panasonic either. If it’s more than $100 trust me it’s more than you need.

If you like to buy American you can get a Panasonic that was made in the USA. You won’t regret it. I think my two Panasonics have a lot of life left in them though I am shopping for a low priced robotic vacuum cleaner. Seems like it would be nice to share the work. I’ll do the weekly cleaning with my beloved Panasonics and let the robot do the daily sweeping. (Not sure how it will do on pet hair but I’m excited to see what my pets will think of it.)


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