Our four-legged friends brighten up our lives with their awesome personalities, surprise antics, and heart-melting affection. But some pets can shed so much fur that you often wonder how come they haven’t gone bald yet. Beside the grooming brush, a vacuum cleaner is one of the most critical (and expensive) tools in keeping your home pet hair-free. 

Here’s a quick buyer’s guide to finding a vacuum cleaner for pets who shed like crazy. We’ve analyzed the chief features you should be looking in a new machine to see if it is good for your pet and home.



For heavy shedders, strong suction is very important. When assessing a machine’s suction look at air watts (AW), not watts, CFM, or amps. A good upright should have at least 100 AW, while a canister should sport at least 200 AW.

Great suction means that the vacuum is up to the task of deep cleaning large surfaces. Deep cleaning is a code word when your pet sheds too much as you’ll be doing that a lot. Canister vacuums come with more suction, but they are less practical than uprights since you’ll have to lug them around (and some of them are quite heavy). 

However, suction is not everything when you have to battle pet hair. Fur can cling so tightly to a rug or upholstery that you’ll need the right attachments to pick it all up.


Attachments can make or break a vacuum cleaner for pet hair. If the attachment is not properly engineered pet hair can pool around the head on hard floors or just get tangled in the brush instead of ending up in the vacuum’s collection chamber.  

Look for a machine that has multiple head options and especially an upholstery or pet brush. In many vacuum cleaners, the upholstery brush is a fantastic tool for stubborn pet hair even though it isn’t labeled as a “pet” tool by the manufacturer. Many users had this pleasant surprise with powerful vacuum cleaners like the Shark Navigator DLX, for instance.

That’s why some vacuum cleaners that don’t have “pet” or “animal” in their names are better that vacuums engineered around getting rid of pet hair specifically. Regardless of the model you choose, look for attachments designed for multi-floor surface, which can easily move from rugs to hard floors, and for tangle-free brushes. 

If you’ve gotten rid of all the rugs because your pet sheds too much, pick a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush that won’t scratch hard wood floors or snowplow through larger bits of debris.

More expensive models even have attachments equipped with rubber fingers that can dislodge pet hair stuck in carpeted surfaces and upholstery. Other high-end models sport even a pet grooming tool that will enable you to brush your pet’s coat and get all the excess hair sucked directly into the vacuum as you go.

If you are not committed to investing into an expensive machine or attachments, just use anti-static spray on the surfaces before you start vacuuming them.


Look for a vacuum cleaner with a flattened head that allows you to sweep hard-to-reach surface. Also, make sure that the vacuum is compact enough to fit in a small storage space or even allow you to vacuum your car if Fido is taken often for a drive.

Some of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hairs are stick vacuums with tons of suction that can easily be turned into handhelds. You’ll need a handheld to get the fur off the couches, your car’s backseat, and tight places. 

A handheld is also great for fixing both small dry messes such as spilled cat litter or dry kibble and small-scale wet disasters like spills and other pet “accidents.”

So, if your vacuum cannot be turned into a handheld, it is best to get a separate handheld vac as you’ll need it more than you can imagine with a pet around. The best handhelds right now are made by Dyson, but you can do your research and find some hidden gems at a fraction of a Dyson’s price.