Half of pet owners overlook a problem before getting their pals and are disgusted by it – can you guess what it is?

MORE than a third of devoted pet owners admit they were totally unprepared for the commitment – and mess – their furry friends would bring to the household.

But vet bills (27 per cent), picking up poo (26 per cent) and barking or meowing all hours of the night (19 per cent) are nothing compared to the chaos caused by the molting (31 per cent) of four-legged family members.

A poll of 2,000 dog and cat owners revealed half are disgusted by the hair and mess their pets create in their home.

And 27 per cent admitted to finding cat or dog hair in their food, while one in 10 have even found them on their toothbrush.

As a result, nearly a fifth went as far as to say they weren’t prepared for the hair and muck their furry friend would create.

It also emerged 32 per cent have been left red-faced after guests had pet hair in their food, with 15 per cent refusing to invite people into their home as a result.

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Luke Harding, general manager of Electrolux UK & Ireland for home and kitchen appliance maker AEG, which commissioned the research, said: “Pets always make a great addition to the home, but they come with a number of commitments.

“Whether it’s paying vet bills or insurance, ruining furniture or shedding all over the house – they can be a handful.

“But they can also give back so much more, and I think our research just goes to show that no matter how much hair or embarrassment your pet may cause, they are still worth the graft.”

The study also found 35 per cent of pet owners wished their fluffy pals didn’t shed so much hair, with 28 per cent feeling like they spend all of their time cleaning up fur from around the house.

In fact, the average owner estimates they spend two hours and 18 minutes a week sweeping and vacuuming up unsightly pet hair.

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The sofa, clothes, in their bed and even their mouth are among the spots that frequently gather canine and feline hairs.

However, six in 10 reckon they reached a point where they ‘accepted’ their home would always be riddled with cat or dog hairs, and simply stopped caring – taking a year and eight months to get to this point.

It also emerged 24 per cent find they notice pet hairs less often in other people’s homes than their own.

But 61 per cent even find themselves questioning how their animal’s hair has managed to find its way into the most unusual of places.

And 38 per cent claimed dogs are the biggest culprits when it comes to leaving fur lying around the house.

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Despite the research findings, conducted via OnePoll, seven in 10 wouldn’t dream of getting rid of their pet for a cleaner house.

Although 41 per cent think they need to replace their broken or tired vacuum cleaner to make lighter work of the pet’s shedding coat around their home.

Luke Harding added: “Keeping on top of animal hair in your home can be tricky – especially when you can’t see it and it’s not until you find it on your clothes that you realise it’s there.

“But a decent vacuum and cleaning schedule can make a huge difference – tackle the hair before it gets elsewhere.

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