Can I Vacuum My Dog? (Flea Vacuum and Dirt?)

While having a dog comes with a lot of joy, it comes with a lot of work too. It just so happens that your favorite companion in the world has a common trait of shedding its hair to give room for newer growths of fur.

Hence, it is not uncommon for dog owners to be faced with cleaning up after their dogs multiple times. However, vacuuming over the long haul has proven to be a suitable method of grooming that helps you get the shredded hair first, before the floors, curtains, or bedspreads get it. Why wait for the hair to get all over the place when you can get it off the ‘shedder’ first?

can I vacuum my dog
Can I vacuum my dog? (Flea vacuum and dirt?)

When we say vacuuming, we do not mean you should use the same vacuuming equipment that you use to suck up all the dirt in your home. That is pretty unsafe and can be harmful to your little pooch.

However, there are attachments you can fix to the vacuums if you must use them, that are safe for cleaning up those dead hair follicles falling off your dog’s skin.

If you’re new to the dog parenting business, then you’re wondering, “How the heck can my vacuum cleaner that cleans floors and carpets also clean my dog’s hair?”

Read closely, you’ll get to know in a few.

How Long Do Dogs Shed?

Dogs are furry animals whose coats (hair) serve as a major regulator of temperature for their vulnerable skin in certain climactic conditions. As climate change occurs, dogs will shed their hair to help them cope with the condition.

Generally, dogs are known to shed dead hair from time to time. Some breeds of dogs are known for shedding a lot of hair, while others are known for subtle shedding. In the same vein, how long a dog sheds also varies across different breeds.

The major factor that determines how long a dog sheds is the thickness of its coat.

Specifically, the process of shedding dead hair in dogs is referred to as molting. Dogs can molt or shed dead hair twice a year, while some others shed consistently.

As established earlier, the type of coat a dog has largely influences how long it can shed. For instance, dogs with long hair coats shed more during the peak season, while dogs with smooth short hair tend to shed all year round. Nonetheless, double-coated dogs with very thick coats shed less than other types of dogs. 

Border Collie shedding
Border Collie sheds a lot on the couch.

Can Vacuum Cleaners Clean Dogs’ Hair?

The answer to this question is affirmative! Vacuum cleaners are capable of cleaning your dog’s hair much in the same way they clean surfaces in your home, like floors, carpets, and furniture, among others.

However, the attachment that comes with the vacuum cleaner originally can only be used for cleaning surfaces in your home. They are not effective and end up hurting your dog’s coat.

Proper care should be given to your dog when they are shedding. This is because in the process of shedding or molting, there are tendencies of the dead hairs to tangle on your pooch’s coat. To avoid that during the molting season, make sure to brush your pet’s hair regularly.

Better yet, you can vacuum your dog frequently to get the first and second scent it emits from its coat.

Also, if you seriously want to avoid dealing constantly with the dirt and smell of dead pet hair all over your place, vacuuming your dog is the best option for you.

vacuuming couch
A woman vacuums couch thoroughly to remove any residue used for treating dog smell!

Does Vacuuming Work for Fleas?

Vacuums are triple-action equipment that not only gets rid of dirt in your dog’s hair and on your floors as well, but is also capable of exonerating your dog from fleas. There are vacuums specifically designed to get the job done quickly. 

Fleas are an issue that dog owners are inevitably forced to deal with. Most of the time, your digits are fleas from outdoor adventures. But, they can also get indoors, especially when their other dogs come to visit them.

Dogs can also contract fleas from family members or friends that visit and often unknowingly carry fleas in their clothes, which eventually get transferred to your pet.

If you start noticing fleas in your canine’s coat, the fastest way of getting rid of them is by vacuuming your dog. With the right attachments, every flea infestation is sure to go down the hole.

Alternatively, you can also remove fleas by using flea shampoos to wash them out or using flea combs to get them out of your pet’s coat. Also, for mild infestations, homemade solutions like washing your pet with mild soap and lukewarm water can do the trick.

dog scratches at fleas
A dog sitting on a lawn scratches at fleas

Does Vacuuming Kill Fleas?

In case you were wondering if vacuums do more than remove fleas. Your pooch’s coat. The answer is yes, they do.

In fact, they kill the fleas in the process of removing them from your dog’s coat.

According to a study done by astute researchers from Ohio State, vacuuming kills most of the fleas sucked into the vacuum. Empirical evidence from the study further discovered that 96% of adult fleas sucked into the vacuum died.

dog biting tail due to fleas
Fleas and parasites can irritate the skin in the tail region – causing dogs to bite their own tail

Should I Vacuum My Dog Often?

How often you vacuum your dog is largely dependent on the type of coat your dog has and the rate at which it sheds.

For dogs with shorter and smoother hair that shed a lot, you should vacuum them more frequently compared to double-coated dogs with long and thick coats.

For dogs that shed a lot, you can vacuum them 2-3 times every month. The vacuuming frequency can be duly increased during the shedding season. However, for their low shedding counterparts, regular vacuuming once a month is fine.

That being said, let’s examine another important question: Do dogs even like vacuums? You should know before you decide to vacuum your pet, or at best, learn tips to help your pet get used to the idea of vacuuming.

pet dryer and vacuum
Is it safe to vacuum dogs coat?

Do Dogs Hate Vacuums?

Most dogs are generally not fans of disturbance, noise, or anything that puts them on the edge. So having a vacuum close up to them might send them billowing away in anxiety. Although not all dogs see vacuums as scary devices, the ones that do are completely terrified of them.

Reasons Behind Your Dog’s Fear of Vacuums

A major reason that accounts for a dog’s fear of vacuums is their irritation with loud noises. Dogs have ears that are more sensitive than humans. And as such loud noise in the human ears is 3× louder than it is in the ears of a dog.

Additionally, the high-frequency sound produced by the vacuum is very annoying or frightening for most dogs. The other reason for the dog’s fear of the vacuum is the obnoxious and confusing odor it emits.

Having a highly developed sense of smell, the multiple odors the vacuum picks up during cleaning are confusing for most dogs, who do not know what to make of the scent without a physical profile. As a result, most dogs see vacuums as an object of fear.

scared dog looks up
A dog is scared while looking up.

Tips and Tricks to Help Your Dog Use Vacuum

If your dog is utterly scared or afraid of vacuums, how do you vacuum your pet? Vacuuming your dog would be hard to crack in that case. Luckily, there are some tips you can employ to change your dog’s intuitive belief about vacuums.

Let’s get to it.

The best thing you can do to help your dog overcome its fears of vaccines is to expose them to vacuums in their “puppyhood.” When your dog is accustomed to the sound of vacuums and having the vacuums used around, it deals with the normal anxiety or fear induced by vacuums. But if your dog is already an adult, you can expose them to vacuums gradually by bringing the vacuums into the rooms.

Once your dog is used to seeing the vacuum around, start by switching it on from a distance, and then gradually bring it closer to them. This eventually helps them to see the vacuum and be less threatening.

grooming dog
Grooming a thick-haired dog.


In all, it’s imperative that whatever you do, you make use of pet-friendly vacuums.

Pet-friendly vacuums does the opposite of inducing harm from too much suction. They are also quite unnerving and suitable for cleaning your pet. Additionally, pet-friendly vacuums make less noise and are less repellent to dogs.

We hope this answers your questions about vacuuming your dog for fleas and dirt. Vacuuming your dog is a great and easy way to do your ‘dog cleaning’ job fast and neat.