The groomer is well-equipped to handle any fur-related disaster with an armada of dog brushes, but who’s to say what tools work best for your dog’s coat when YOU’RE the one doing the work? More coat brushes exist than you might think possible, but there are an equally vast number of coat types out there to match! And all that fur is finding its way onto your clothes and into your coffee cups—consider it a fashion statement. A secret ingredient, if you will.
Shiba Inus blowing out their coats, Goldendoodles getting tangles, and Pit Bulls leaving their tiny hairs on everything you own all have a brush meant just for them—take a look at this simple guide to find exactly what you need.
You couldn’t expect to see a list of dog brushes without the ever-popular FURminator making an appearance. This brush claims to reduce shedding by up to 90% by removing loose fur from below the top coat. (For you fur anatomy novices, dogs’ coats are made up of a coarser primary coat, commonly referred to as guard hairs, and a soft and fluffy secondary coat, which we often refer to as the undercoat.)
When we remove the loose, dead hairs from the undercoat, they don’t end up everywhere else. It’s not a bad idea to give your dog a good brushing once or twice a week, or more during season changes when shedding tends to be heavier. The FURminator even ejects the hair directly from the brush so there’s no manual removal necessary.
Slicker brushes are characterized by their super fine wire bristles. They’re flexible and pointy to the touch, and suitable for detangling or removing light mats from most coats. When brushing your dog it’s most effective to use short strokes rather than pulling it through the fur from head to tail; it’s much gentler this way (no tugging on tangles) and makes short work of tough knots.
This self-cleaning brush from Hertzko even has a button that pulls in the bristles so you can easily wipe the hair away. Try pulling the fur out yourself from pointy slicker brush bristles and you’ll realize pretty quickly why this is such a great feature.
Pin brushes are a lot like our everyday hairbrushes. They typically have rubber or plastic-tipped bristles and are great for getting through medium to long coat lengths or especially curly hair (think Poodles or Portugese Water Dogs).
The Safari wire pin brush is available in small-medium and large sizes and has an easy-to-grip handle.
We’re looking specifically at the darker bristle side of this brush, though Safari outdid themselves with the convenient double-sided design. Bristle brushes are awesome for all coat types, but you’ll want to pay attention to the length of the bristles and the wideness of the spaces between them to best suit your dog’s hair length.
Generally, the longer and further apart the bristles, the longer the coat. And the shorter and closer together the bristles, the shorter the coat.
Undercoat rakes are fantastic for getting down into your dog’s undercoat and removing loose or dead hair. This is especially important to keep fur detangled and prevent painful mats from forming. Rakes are best for medium to long haired pups, particularly for dogs like German Shepherds, Huskies, and Golden Retrievers with their thick double coats.
The stainless steel pins on the Pet Republique undercoat rake are designed to be gentle on your dog’s skin while moving easily through hair.
Unlike a straight-pin rake, this tool has curved blades with rounded edges to gently work through knots and mats without damaging skin. It’s the one tool I don’t think I could live without with my double-coated dog. Even without mats present, it does an amazing job of getting through her thick undercoat and removing any tangles there.
This rake is good for most breeds, though you will want to avoid using it on dogs with very thin coats.
Even short-haired pups need some light grooming now and then. Shedding blades are perfect for removing loose hair from dogs like Beagles, Boxers, Corgis, and Labradors, and get the job done with only light pressure against the coat.
This blade from Safari is double-sided and can be used as a straight or curved blade—you can remove and reinsert it safely from the handle.
The ZoomGroom by KONG has quite a few loyal followers who praise it for removing loose hair, massaging shampoo into the coat at bath time, and even entertaining their dogs as a toy. Its blunt rubber bristles catch any free-floating hair and “stimulate capillaries and natural oil production,” as KONG claims. As of yet, not many disagree.
My favorite use for this “brush” is working up a lather in the tub and getting the shampoo deep into my dog’s coat. By the look on her face, it doesn’t feel too bad either.