September 8

Pet Vacuums: How to spot a good one


Getting a Vacuum To Clean Up After Your Pets

I was chatting to a customer the other day. He'd brought his "Pet Vacuum" in for service because it wasn't picking up the hair from his German Shepherd. The man had bought the machine from a big box store after seeing an infomercial on late-night TV. But unfortunately for him, not everything labeled a pet vacuum lives up to the hype. Some models out there don't do a decent job of cleaning up after pets.

So, if you're in Lexington or Central Kentucky and currently shopping for a new pet vacuum what should you be looking for? And what machines do we recommend?

Where To Start

Begin by understanding your general needs. Yes, a large part of your cleaning will be taking care of the mess your pets make, but it's not the only thing your vacuum will need to do.

We've explored some of the things you might want to consider in another post. But it includes such things as the size of your home, the different flooring types you have, your preference for a canister or upright.

Once you've thought about these factors, then consider your pets. How many do you have? What are their breeds? Some cats and dogs are notorious shedders. Persians and Golden Retrievers, to name two. Others not so much.

Then consider how your house smells. Is pet odor a problem?

The answers to these and other questions will help establish what sort of vacuum you might need.

We can help you. Come in and see one of our A-1 Vacuum product specialists, and we will work with you to narrow down your choices.

So, you've got the answers to these questions. Now what?

Here are some of the features that a vacuum that will be good with pets should have.

It Needs To Have a Bag


If you walked into A-1 Vacuum today looking for a new vacuum, then we are going to start by asking you a series of questions.  The aim is to find out what you need in a cleaning solution and then find the vacuum that is going to be perfect for you.  One of the first questions we ask new customers is, do you have pets or allergies? As soon as you say yes, then we steer you towards a bagged vacuum.

Why? This is not a knock on bagless vacuums since we sell both. However, bagged vacuums are better at keeping dirt and allergens out of your environment.

And the better pet vacuums don't just use any old vacuum bags. They use HEPA bags. These will trap the tiny particles of dirt, dust, and allergens that live in your flooring and stop the vacuum from spitting them back into your home.

Better vacuums also tend to have large capacity bags. Which means you don't have to change them too often.

If you haven't ever used a bagged vacuum or it's been a while. Then don't worry. Modern vacuums have indicator lights that will tell you when they need their bags changed. They also come with docking systems which make changing the bags easy.

Some even have dust caps for the bags, which you can use to ensure no dirt escapes when throwing the old one away.


Filters, Filters, Filters

The bag is just one part of a vacuum's filtration system. Any decent pet vacuum should come with at least three layers of filtration.

And one of these must be a HEPA or S-class filter.

Again, HEPA is the gold standard for filtration. It will stop 99.7% of the microscopic dust, dander, and allergen particles your vacuum sucks up from getting back into the air you breath.

It's worth emphasizing this point. It's not just the dirt that you can see that is the problem. You're also dealing with dust mites, allergens, and pet dander that isn't visible to the naked eye.

A decent pet vacuum will suck up this stuff. Then the HEPA filter will stop it from getting back out of your machine. This is good because pets tend to be a leading source of allergies.

So, look for multiple layers of filtration. Some vacuums even have hospital-grade filtration. These superior machines will have a HEPA bag, a HEPA filter, and a charcoal filter.

Why is this last one important? Simple. It stops smells. A charcoal filter will absorb pet odors and prevent them from stinking up your vacuum and your home.

The problem of pet odors is another reason we don't recommend bagless vacuums for pet owners. The smell of your pets will quickly get into the filters of your machine. And this stink is hard to dislodge.

I've Got The Power

Any good pet vacuum needs to be powerful. Getting pet hair off your floors and furniture is a tough job. Wall-to-wall carpets make this worse. Your vacuum needs to be able to do a deep clean.

The sad truth is that a lot of vacuums aren't doing a decent job of cleaning. As a result, your floors and in particular your carpets might not be as free of dirt as you think.

We often have customers buy a vacuum from us and then tell us they filled up a bag or two with dirt within the first day or so of using it. They were picking up dust, allergens, and other debris that they never suspected was lurking around their home.

Just because your dust bin on your bagless vacuum is filling up doesn't mean you are getting all the nasty stuff hiding in your home.

Since you're dealing with pet hair, dirt, and pet dander, pick a powerful machine. You're looking for a device with a large motor. But you also want one with good airflow and good agitation. It's a combination of these three factors that get you a deep clean.

Look For Something That Is Well Built

Cleaning up after your pets is probably one of the more demanding jobs your vacuum will face. So, it would help if you had something designed to last, a device built from quality materials that will work hard. The better pet vacuums are built from commercial-grade components, well-engineered, and will last 10-15 years.  With care perhaps even 20 years. Their seals are tight, which means they won't leak dirt and allergens back into your home. They are tough work-horses. They look and feel solid.

Specialized Attachments


Your current vacuum probably came with a standard set of attachments. These vary but might include a crevice tool, upholstery tool, and dusting brush.

But a good pet vacuum will usually offer some additional, specialized tools. These include tools designed to help you deal with pet hair.


The Fur-Get-It tool from Riccar is one such tool. The SEBO turbo tool optimized for pets is another.

These tools are worth it since they make getting pet hair off your floors, stairs, and furniture so much easier.


If you have pets, then at some point, your vacuum will clog up. Or it will get hair wrapped around the brush roll. The better the vacuum, the longer this is going to take. But it will happen.

The better brands understand this and design for it. For example, on some machines, you can easily pop off the brush roll without using tools and clean the hair off. On others, they will give you quick access to the internals of the vacuum so you can clean clogs out.

Of course if you buy a pet vacuum from A-1 Vacuum, this isn't going to matter so much. Because all the pet vacuums we sell come with the A-1 Advantage plan, which includes free clog removals!

And Here's Three Examples of Excellent Pet Vacuums.

Here are three of the Pet Vacuums we stock and why they make cleaning just so much easier.


SEBO X7 Automatic Pet

This German made machine is tough and versatile.  What makes it a good pet vacuum includes:

  • Powerful motor, great suction, and agitation
  • Multi-layer, hospital-grade filtration
  • Commercial-grade construction
  • Anti-odor charcoal filter
  • Power boost override button for tough ingrained hair and dirt
  • Turbo Brush tool

Riccar R40Pet

Riccar is an American company with its headquarters and factory in Missouri.  The R40Pet is their top-of-the-line pet vacuum.  Advanced features include:

  • Two motors so very powerful
  • HEPA bags and filters
  • Six layers of filtration
  • Anti-odor charcoal filter
  • Includes the Fur-Get-It pet tool
  • Great build quality

Riccar R25Pet

Riccar also make a range of machines called the R25.  There are three models.  The top of the range is the R25P.  It has several features which make it a good choice for families with pets.  They include:

  • Good motor, great suction and agitation
  • Multi-layer filtration
  • HEPA bags
  • Fur-Get-It tool included
  • Anti-odor charcoal filter

So, there you have it. These are three of the better machines currently available. So, if you're in Lexington or Central Kentucky and are looking for an effective pet vacuum them come and try one them out.

As always, if you have any questions, then contact us here.


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