Dog Hair Is Expensive

It’s soft. It’s light. It’s everywhere.

But who’d have thought dog hair could be so expensive?

Honey the golden retriever sits in the living room.

My fur matches the floors and furniture. I don’t think anyone would even notice a little dog hair.

Dog Hair Follows Me

I shed almost as much as my golden retriever, Honey.

When I get up from my office desk, I see golden hairs clinging to the back of the seat. I have to allow enough time in my car share rental to clean up clinging dog hairs from the upholstery. And emptying out my backpack means shaking a shower of golden fur into the garden.

But dog hair shows its true power of ubiquity when I’m painting. And since we’re listing the house for sale in a few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of painting.

Let me share my pain.

Honey the Golden Retriever sheds.

Go ahead, groom me all you like in the summer.

Painting With Dog Hair

I live in a house that’s more than one hundred years old. Which means that painting involves more than just washing down the walls and painting.

There’s the inevitable sanding and scraping. Throw in a little caulking. Don’t forget the actual repairs—door knobs that fall off, windows that were painted shut.

But the real grief comes from the dog hair.

When everything is prepped and ready to paint, I bring out the vacuum cleaner to get all the dog hair up. Then I wipe the surface down with a damp cloth (after an earlier, heavy cleaning). And now I’m ready to paint.

Damn. What’s that? It’s a dog hair stuck to my paint brush. Or worse, one painted into the surface.

Thanks, Honey.

Honey the golden retriever walks in the snow.

But leave me a little something to keep me warm. Don’t you see all this snow, woman?

Sanity vs Money

Once the house goes on the market, we’re moving out temporarily.

I want the place to be available for showings at any time with no notice. And I don’t want to be fighting with dog hair every day until the house sells.

So we’re hoping to rent a friend’s apartment while buyers are looking at the house. Luckily, I live in the sexy neighborhood in Ithaca and houses in decent shape sell in a few days, often for more than the asking price. So we’ll move out for a week and count it as a moving expense.

But then my husband Mike said, “Y’know, I think we should plan on being out of the house for two weeks. After all, you won’t want to shampoo the carpets and do a final cleaning with Honey around the house.” Ka-ching. My fuzzy dog just cost me another $600.

Actually, an extra week is probably overkill. If we do intensive vacuuming and cleaning two days before listing the house, we should be okay.

Whew, Honey. You dodged one there.

Because paying hundreds of dollars for accommodations because I can’t trust my dog not to shed for a few days might have me reconsidering this whole relationship.

Nah. Not really.

Because as expensive as dog hair is, it’s a small price to pay for all that golden love.

Pam and Honey the golden retriever at Ithaca Falls.

Admit it, woman. You’re warmer because there’s a fine coating of dog hair all over your clothing.

Your Turn: Have you ever felt it was absolutely crucial to clean up EVERY. SINGLE. DOG HAIR. in your house? How did you manage it?

Giveaway: Don’t miss out on your chance to win a copy of Kari Neumeyer’s book, Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog From Training Mistakes. Just leave a comment here stating you want to enter. Good luck.




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  1. With my Kuvasz sister Katie, fur is a way of life. The house remains reasonable. Mom’s clothes aren’t too bad, but the car fur drives her nuts. Somehow in the car it always flies around and she can’t stand it. Bailie and I don’t really shed, thankfully, but between Katie and the cats, we have more than enough fur.

  2. Sand spring Chesapeakes says:

    Your leaving a little piece of honey behind. I have hair everywheres and can’t help you how to clean it up besides bathing and brushing to try and keep it to a minimum

  3. Although we sold our house last January, I can’t help you with the notion of getting every single strand of dog fur picked up. We dusted and vacuumed to the best of our abilities and whatever was left behind, well, so be it.

    We wish you good luck on selling quickly, for a good price. :-)

  4. With three goldens, there is a corner of this house or an inch on our clothes that doesn’t have golden hair! lol We go through vacuums, a lot! Good luck on selling your house! :)

  5. Pffffttttt, Are you kidding me? Torrey is a shedding machine.

  6. I’ve never been able to get rid of all traces of dog fur. I’ve gotten so used to dealing with it, it doesn’t really phase me anymore. Although the dog hair in the car does bother me. When I have all the windows open, it flies around, often landing in my eyes and impeding my sight while driving. Even if I give the car a good cleaning, Blueberry is in it pretty much every day, so I feel like it is a losing battle.

    I loathe painting – and painting while fighting dog hairs…well, I feel your pain.

  7. Jack is our big shedder – I don’t think Maggie sheds much at all and Becca was pretty bad too. But Jack is yellow, so it shows more. If I felt the need to de-hair my house, that’s all I would do…so no I let it accumulate till I can’t stand it.

  8. MEH! John feels that way about dog every single day to the point of being a PITA! He complains about it non-stop. Loves the dogs but is an OCD neat freak.

    If your house is in a desirable neighborhood, a few hairs aren’t going to matter!

  9. Mr. N doesn’t really shed so it’s not a huge concern. Now my hair is everywhere.

  10. Oh I do feel your pain – it’s the annoying black fluffy hairs that get into the white gloss paint and ruins the skirting boards! BUT – It’s Harvey’s hair and I still love it!

    My main erk is Willow’s hair on one particular rug – her fur is like tiny little pine needles that stick in and don’t ever ever let go – the rug is dark, she is light – and it drives me round the twist! I’ve never hoovered as much as I have since I got her…but I wouldn’t change it :)

  11. I have convinced people that dog hair and spider webs improve the strength of paint and give it that textured look that everyone wants.

  12. Never felt the need to keep a furless house. Much happier for that decision LOL

  13. forty2alz22 says:

    We have 2 Black Newfi/lab mixd siblings…No one can hide their hair…At least HOney is Golden..Our Golden shedded as much as these girls do ….8(

  14. Funnily enough I have a post in my drafts all about hair.
    It’s one of those ‘it’s a good job I love you things, isn’t it?’
    Good luck with the move!

  15. I feel your pain. However I am learning to love finding hair everywhere. It reminds me I am lucky enough to have two wonderful dogs in my life and I will miss it so much when I no longer find their furballs everywhere!

  16. Gosh, I hope I never have to do that, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have the patience to get it all! :)

  17. Those little dog hairs are amazing, right? How does one end up on the table top in a restaurant right after you sit down? So, glad your house should sell quickly. Things are moving right along for you!

  18. Leo didn’t get the memo that Doodles aren’t supposed to shed. We were constantly waving and fanning and blowing – Harley isn’t as bad, however newsflash – everything with hair, fur sheds #hellosomebody So I vacuum and dust a little more, because just like you – I wouldn’t have it any other way! Good luck with the sale – we’ve got paws crossed for you!

  19. Everything looks so much nicer with a frosting of white hair! It’s impossible to get rid of them all – they appear in the most unlikely places!