To avoid making the wrong decision, you need to know a few things before buying a robot vacuum cleaner for dog hair and other pet hair.
A robotic vacuum should be able to remove pet hair if it wanders around a household with pets.
However, we also take a close look at other critical criteria that make living with your four-legged friend much easier.
Here is an overview of the essential facts:
- Requirement: The model must be an overall good robot vacuum cleaner
- How good is the suction power?
- How often do you have to maintain and clean the brushes (side brush and main brush) ?
- How big is the dust container?
- Do you need an self-emptying station?
- Does the robot vacuum have an integrated mopping function?
- Does the robot vacuum have a HEPA filter?
- How good is the cleaning along the ledges and in corners?
- Can you define no-go zones (virtual walls / boundaries)?
- What’s the volume of the robot vacuum?
- Do you want your Robot Vacuum Cleaner to detect and avoid obstacles automatically?
- What’s the price-performance ratio like?
In the following, we will go into the individual points in more detail.
The requirements: The model must be an all-round good robotic vacuum cleaner!
For the category "Best Robotic Vacuum for Pet Hair", we only consider excellent robot vacuum cleaner models that could handle the challenges pets give them.
A "good robotic vacuum cleaner" must meet particular requirements. These include: Strong suction on hardwood floors and carpets (low-pile carpets and medium-pile carpets), clear and practical mobile app, good navigation, long battery runtime, low noise level and good price-performance ratio.
If you want to find out more about what makes a good robot vacuum, take a look here: Robot vacuum review.
Let's be honest: What's the point of having a smart vacuum cleaner robot that removes all dog and other animal hair...
..but can’t clean up the rest of the dirt in the flat?
That wouldn’t help much.
Again: The perfect solution is an „allround good robot vacuum“ that works great for pet hair, too.
As a pet owner, you have special requirements for your robot vacuum.
We’ll get more into detail about that in the following.
Strong suction power
A robot vacuum cleaner for pet hair must have a strong suction power.
That might be self-understanding for most. But especially with pets, excellent suction performance is even more important.
And that both on hardwood floors and carpets.
Because pets don't just lose a lot of hair, they also bring all kinds of dirt into the flat.
That’s why you have to be able to rely on the robotic vacuum.
Make sure that the appliance has several power settings.
Maintenance of the brush
Robot vacuums usually don’t have any problems with hairs. Dog hairs are very light, so the vacuum can pick them up and remove them at ease.
However, Pet hair (especially long hair) can wrap around the brushes (side brushes and main brush).
That happens to almost all tested robotic vacuum cleaners (exception: iRobot Roomba i7).
Then why not just leave out the brush?
That wouldn’t make much sense.
The brush usually consists of bristle hairs and lamellae. The brush’s texture and rotation ensure that it picks up all the dirt from the floor.
Only an excellent main brush can lead to good cleaning results on hard floors and carpets.
But how can you remove hair from the brush?
It’s not the end of the world if a few long hairs get wrapped around the brush.
The robot vacuum can still clean your home as usual.
At some point, however, you’ll have to remove the long hair.
When buying your robot vacuum cleaner, you should make sure that you can remove the brush and disassemble it at the sides. That’s where many long hairs get stuck.
You can use conventional scissors to remove the stuck hairs.
Many manufacturers offer a more convenient solution for this. They put a unique cleaning tool under the lid.
This cleaning tool is designed extra for hair removal.
You can remove the long animal and human hair quickly and reliably with it.
Also convenient: Since you can store the cleaning tool under the robot’s lid, you’ll always have it at hand and can’t lose it.
Some manufacturers realised that this is a common problem and offer unique solutions.
- Some manufacturers include a special attachment - without the brush - in the delivery scope. It prevents dog hair, cat hair etc. from wrapping around the brush. You won’t have to clean the brush anymore, but the cleaning result is much worse without the combi-brush.
- iRobot takes a different approach with its models. Instead of using one brush made of slats and bristles, the US manufacturer uses two plastic brushes that rotate in opposite directions.
The significant advantage: long hairs can’t get stuck here. If a few dog hairs get caught on the sides, you can simply pull them out again without much effort.
Size of the mobile dust bin
We all know this too well: You've just cleaned the flat, and the floor is already dirty again.
Even our little Fina - as sweet as she may look - makes a massive mess on a daily basis.
It doesn’t take long until the robot vacuum’s dust bin is full.
Pet hair takes up a massive amount of space.
Therefore, it’s better to have a large dust container.
Self-emptying dust bin
Especially if you have many big, hairy dogs at home, a robot vacuum reaches its limits quite fast.
The mobile dirt container fills up relatively quickly if the vacuum collects all that dog hair.
This means that you have to empty the dust bin by hand every day.
But there’s a solution at hand for this problem: a self-emptying dust bin.
And that’s how it works: Once the robot vacuum returns to the charging dock, a special device empties the mobile dust container. It stores the dirt in a separate dust bag in the self-emptying base.
You have to change the dust bag in the auto-emptying dustbin every few months or so.
This makes your daily cleaning much easier and more automated.
Especially for heavily soiled households with several dogs, a robot vacuum with an auto-empty dock could be a perfect help.
Does the robot vacuum cleaner have a mopping function?
Robot vacuum cleaners with a mopping function have a significant advantage: they can vacuum and wipe in one go.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that the so-called 2-in-1 hybrid robot vacuum/mop are so popular.
A robot vacuum cleaner with a mopping function can also be very interesting for pet owners.
You can target specific areas to remove paw prints and water stains from your four-legged friend.
However, we have to point out that even if they continuously improve the hybrid models’ mopping performance, it can’t replace mopping by hand yet.
If your four-legged friend had a nice mud bath earlier, even the best suction-mopping robot in the world can’t save you here :)
Nevertheless, the wiping function removes light stains, small bits of dirt and dust residues and thus ensures a tad more cleanliness in your home.
If you want to know more about robot vacuums with wiping function, then read our detailed review: Robot vacuum cleaner with wiping function review.
A tip: Pay attention to the size of the water tank. The larger the water tank, the more living space the vacuum can mop in one go.
Does the robot vacuum cleaner have a HEPA filter?
We strongly recommend that you ensure that your robot vacuum for pet hair has a HEPA filter.
Especially as a pet owner, you know all about the countless types of dirt that our pets take into the home every day.
It’s not enough if the robot vacuum sucks up the coarse dirt only and leaves the smaller and invisible dirt behind (such as allergens, fine dust and pollen).
Luckily, there’s the HEPA filter.
It removes even the smallest dirt particles from the airflow before it gets back into the room.
Especially for allergy sufferers, a HEPA filter is a "must-have" in a robot vacuum. It’s enormously helpful.
How good is the cleaning of ledges and corners?
Many pet hairs accumulate along the ledges and in corners.
Therefore, the robot vacuum should achieve good cleaning results in these hard-to-reach areas.
Cleaning along the ledges:
The robot vacuum must have side brushes to achieve good results when cleaning along the ledges.
The robot vacuum moves very close to the bar so that the side brush can reach the dirt there and transport it to the suction opening.
Robot vacuums usually have a round shape.
Therefore, it’s physically impossible to remove 100% of the dirt in corners.
Nevertheless, the robotic vacuum cleaners have a good cleaning performance here, too.
The side brush can’t reach only a small area very deep in the corner.
As the proud owner of a robot vacuum, it’ll clean your flat almost daily. This means that significantly less dog hair will get stuck in the corners.
Therefore, it’s not a big issue.
The Roborock S5 Max cleans our flat every day, too. This means that almost no dirt accumulates in the corners. We only have to vacuum the corners once a month with a conventional upright vacuum (more information here: cordless vacuum review). That's all it takes.
D-shaped vacuum robots achieve somewhat better results when cleaning corners. Neato Robotics (f. e. Neato Botvac d7) has some interesting models of this kind. However, even these can’t deliver 100% satisfactory results.
However, the "D-shaped" vacuum robots have numerous weaknesses in other categories, which is why we wouldn’t recommend buying a "D-shaped" model.
Virtual Walls / No-go zones
If you share the flat with pets, there’ll always be areas where the robot vacuum shouldn’t clean.
Typical examples are the drinking bowl or the litter tray.
Therefore, it’s very convenient if you can quickly define no-go zones in the mobile app.
Not just people aren’t fond of noisy vacuums.
Our four-legged friends have very sensitive hearing. Loud noises can frighten pets.
Therefore, you should choose a robot vacuum that is as quiet as possible.
The volume of a robot vacuum cleaner is usually 50-65 dB.
You can control most models’ suction power via the mobile phone app.
If you select one of the lower power settings, the noise level will be more pleasant for your pet.
Automatic obstacle detection
If you have several pets at home, you’re undoubtedly familiar with this problem: There are always objects lying around. You can't keep up with cleaning up.
However, it can become a big problem for robot vacuums if the flat is untidy.
The robot vacuum could get stuck on objects that are lying around, such as dog toys. Then you have to rush to help and free your little household helper so it can continue cleaning.
In other words, laser navigation isn’t the best solution here.
Instead, the “Artificial intelligence" is here to save the day.
This way, the robot vacuum identifies an object as an obstacle and bypass it.
The Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI, the Roborock S6 MaxV or the Deebot OZMO T8+ / N8 Pro already use this modern technology.
It reliably recognises dog excrement as an obstacle and drives around it.
Even though the technology doesn’t have 100% accuracy yet, it’s still beneficial for large households with several dogs.
Your new robot vacuum will accompany you and your pet for many years to make your life easier.
Therefore, we strongly recommend looking for an excellent price-performance ratio when buying a new robot vacuum for pet hair.
Many people make a mistake looking for the cheapest offer available and making huge compromises on the functions.
We want to spare you from making such a mislead purchase decision with this guide.
You should always consider the purchase of your robot vacuum for pet hair as a well-thought-out investment.