Best Dyson Vacuum for Pet Hair and Fur

I remember my first introduction to Dyson like it was yesterday. It was roughly 15 years ago when my parents asked me to go to Bed Bath & Beyond with them to snag what was then a very fancy vacuum, something my mom could hardly contain her excitement over. Fast forward to today, and here I am, my mother’s daughter, genuinely jazzed about vacuums. 

A lot has changed since Dyson launched its first Ball vacuum, a machine specially designed to maneuver around corners, in 2005. Now, in addition to new iterations of the iconic design, the brand also has cord-free vacuums that have earned endless accolades. In fact, it was the Dyson V11 Animal, which came out in 2019, that first grasped my undivided attention. Ahead of my move to my first solo apartment, I added the cordless vacuum to my arsenal of cleaning products and tools largely in an attempt to keep my pup, Cash’s, stray fur at bay (given that it’s specifically designed to target pet hair)—and quickly fell in love. For two years, I swooned to every dog owner I knew about just how much they needed the Dyson V11 Animal in their home, thanks to its suction, runtime, and lightweight silhouette. 

But then the top-seller got nixed from Dyson’s lineup. And thus began my research into the brand’s other vacuums to find the most worthy recommendation for pet owners hoping to live in a tidier home. At the end of the day, it came down to three top-selling products: the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra, Dyson Outsize Absolute, and Dyson V12 Detect Slim. Spoiler alert: the Dyson Outsize Absolute was the top contender. But remember, each vacuum cleaner has different capacities and capabilities; keep reading to find which might work best for you and your four-legged-friendly home.

Dyson pet vacuums
Courtesy of Dyson


  • It’s efficient on all floor types, including carpet, rugs, hardwood, and tile.
  • It comes with an attachment to groom your dog (not just clean up after them).
  • You don’t ever have to worry about the battery dying, since it’s a plug-in.
  • It has a 35-foot cord.
  • It features Dyson’s new hair detangling technology.
  • Great suction power


  • It only includes four attachments.
  • The 15-foot hose recoils on itself a bit.
  • It weighs a bit more than 17 pounds, which can be heavy to carry up and down stairs. 
Type: Upright
Weight: 17.3 pounds
Capacity: 1.7 liters
Battery Life: N/A—corded design
Ease of Use: Moderately easy to maneuver around corners and beneath furniture
Noise Level: Medium to loud


  • It comes with eight attachments, as well as a wand clip, docking station, charger, and additional battery.
  • It has the largest canister of any Dyson cordless stick vacuum.
  • It features Dyson’s new hair detangling technology.
  • It features laser technology to pinpoint dust particles for more effective cleaning.


  • It has up to 120 minutes of run time, but you have to swap out the rechargeable battery to capitalize on it.
  • Weighing about eight pounds, it’s heavier than the average stick vacuum.
  • It takes 4.5 hours to charge, so you have to remember to plug in before you intend to clean.
  • Only sold at Dyson
Type: Cordless Stick
Weight: 7.98 pounds
Capacity: 1.9 liters (i.e., .2 liters larger than the upright, which is basically unheard of)
Battery Life: Up to 120 minutes with two included batteries (or 60 minutes per battery)
Ease of Use: Very easy to maneuver
Noise Level: Medium to quiet


  • It comes with five attachments, as well as a wand clip, docking station, and charger.
  • It’s incredibly lightweight but features powerful suction.
  • It features Dyson’s new hair detangling and laser technology for more efficient and effective cleaning.


  • It turns on differently than traditional Dyson stick vacuums, which takes a beat to get used to.
  • It only has up to 60 minutes of run time.
  • It has a notably smaller bin, so it’s best used for quick tidying sessions, not deep cleans.
Type: Cordless Stick
Weight: 5.2 pounds
Capacity: 0.45 liters
Battery Life: Up to 60 minutes
Ease of Use: Incredibly easy to maneuver
Noise Level: Quiet

Vacuum Type

Believe it or not, cordless stick vacuums, ubiquitous as they seem, have only been around for the past 10 years. Meanwhile, the classic upright vacuum has been around since the late 1920s. In both cases, the two silhouettes have evolved over the years—and Dyson is largely to thank for it. The brand’s stick vacuums and upright vacuums have set the precedent for non-robotic vacuums and, quite simply, they’re tough to beat. Hence why I’ve been so determined to find a product to replace the now discontinued V11 Animal. 

  • The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is an upright vacuum with an innovative ball head to make maneuvering around corners less of a challenge (in comparison to traditional uprights).
  • The Dyson Outsize Absolute and the Dyson V12 Detect Slim are both cordless stick vacuums with notably different sizes and capacities. 
Dyson Slim Detect vs Dyson Outsize closeup, attachment
Courtesy of Rebecca Norris

Generally speaking, upright vacuums offer the most suction, so much so that stick vacuums often pale in comparison. That’s not the case with the Outsize Absolute,, though. Although the V12 Detect Slim has great suction given its size, the Outsize Absolute shines. Equipped with 220 AW suction (FYI: AW stands for air watts—the higher the watts, the stronger the suction), the Outsize Absolute sits squarely between the Ball Animal 3’s 290 AW and V12 Detect Slim’s 150 AW. In that way, it’s a very powerful and effective cordless stick vacuum that’s a great option for quick and deep cleans alike. 


Upright vacuums are also generally known to have the highest capacity. That’s part of what makes the Outsize Absolute such a stunner of a vacuum. 

  • The Ball Animal 3 Extra has a 1.7-liter bin.
  • The Outsize Absolute has a whopping 1.9-liter bin, making it even more capable of a deep clean. 
  • The V12 Detect Slim features a 0.45-liter bin, which is why I think it’s best suited for quick cleanups (more on that later).

Capacity aside, all of the Dyson vacuums are easy to empty. Simply press the obvious red button/handle, and the bin will easily dispense, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty trying to release dirt and debris. 


Part of what makes Dyson’s stick vacuums particularly alluring is the number of attachments that come with them. 

  • The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra comes with a pet grooming tool, combo brush-and-nozzle tool (which is handy when switching between tasks), stair tool, and tangle-free turbine tool (which is great for upholstery and cars). 
  • The V12 Detect Slim comes with five attachments, including a hair screw tool for picking up long hair and pet hair, a fluffy cleaner head (complete with laser technology to expertly pick up dust), and a tool for getting dirt out of crevices. 
  • The Outsize Absolute reigns supreme in this category. In addition to many of the same attachments that the V12 Detect Slim includes, the Outsize Absolute also comes with a fabric and mattress tool, soft dusting brush, stubborn dirt brush, and low-reach adapter, which makes it easier than ever to vacuum far beneath furniture. 

Let’s talk more about the pet grooming tool. Considering Cash sheds a lot, I knew I had to give it a go. Let’s just say it didn’t go well. I tried coaxing him to explore the vacuum by giving him treats, but as soon as I turned it on and reached for him, he ran under the couch and hunkered down. When I finally was able to get him to come check it out, one pass of the finely bristled, high-suction brush left him spinning and running in the opposite direction. I think the tool is great in theory, but unless your dog is totally cool, calm, and collected around vacuums and/or loud noises, it likely won’t prove successful. 

Battery Life

Only the Dyson Outsize Absolute and Dyson V12 Detect Slim deal with battery life—the Ball Animal 3 Extra is a plug-in, so it never runs out of juice. It’s that very reason that so many people rely on traditional upright vacuums to deeply clean their home. As annoying as being tethered to a cord may be, it’s a lot better than running out of juice halfway through your cleaning sesh. It’s with that understanding that Dyson has been working on extending its stick vacuums’ battery life. 

  • The V12 Detect Slim lasts for up to 60 minutes on a full charge (which takes four hours). 
  • The Outsize Absolute lasts for up to 120 minutes (though it takes four-and-a-half hours to charge). 

Now, this is where I think the Outsize Absolute gets away with a touch of marketing genius. The only reason the Outsize Absolute touts a twice-as-long runtime is because it comes with an additional battery pack. The idea is that once one battery runs out, you’ll have the fully charged backup ready to go. However, if you forgot to charge it separately, you’ll be out of luck. And even if it is juiced and ready to go, you’ll still have to stop what you’re doing to make the swap before you can carry on with your cleaning. 

It’s also worth mentioning that those numbers are under the assumption that you’re operating in eco mode. If you bump it up to auto or boost mode, which are more powerful, the battery doesn’t last quite as long. That said, I’ve never had an issue with any of my Dysons dying on me. I’ve found that I can easily sweep through my four-bedroom, three-bathroom, two-story home without worrying about the batteries. When it comes to my biweekly deep cleans I prefer using the Outsize Absolute or the Animal Ball 3, simply due to their better suction.

Ease of Use

Dyson Slim Detect, hair removal vanes, closeup
Courtesy of Rebecca Norris

Dyson is pretty much synonymous with ergonomic. The brand prides itself on launching products that quickly reach cult-favorite status due to their effectiveness in addition to just how easy they are to use—whether it’s a hair tool, purifier, or vacuum. 

In the case of the three vacuums we’re discussing today…

  • The Ball Animal 3 Extra is the most difficult to maneuver, which I chalk up to its girth and weight. That said, it’s still much easier to operate than old-school upright vacuums, thanks to its pivoting ball head. 
  • The V12 Detect Slim is super lightweight, making it incredibly easy to maneuver. 
  • The Outsize Absolute is easy to run over different floor types, though it provides a bit more resistance on carpet than the V12. Additionally, since the Outsize is around eight pounds, it can feel a bit more cumbersome to carry up and down stairs compared to other stick vacuums (despite still being relatively lightweight), but its high-quality suction and various attachments make it well worth the extra work. 

Noise Level

There’s no denying that the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is the loudest vacuum of the bunch. As for the cordless sticks, both are relatively quiet, though the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is on par with the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, so it’s barely above a whisper and easy to talk over. 


I’ve always loved Dyson, and the past month of testing has only confirmed that. As much as I love all three of Dyson’s best-selling pet hair vacuums, I found the Outsize Absolute to be the clear winner, thanks to its large bin, lighter weight, and long battery life (even if you do have to swap out the battery). That said, I still think that Ball Animal 3 Extra and V12 Detect Slim are worth considering, as each vacuum has perks. I think the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is best for the person looking to deep clean their carpets and hard floors. Meanwhile, the V12 Detect Slim—with its small bin, ample suction, and lightweight silhouette—is the ultimate vacuum for quick daily cleans or for the college student hoping to maintain a tidy dorm. 

Dyson pet vacuums

Dyson Vacuums

Dyson is renowned for high-quality floor cleaning. The brand’s Ball Animal 3 Extra, Outsize Absolute, and V12 Detect Slim vacuums live up to the hype and work wonders for homes with pets, thanks to new and improved hair detangling technology, which features hair removal vanes to keep long hairs from coiling around the brushes.

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