The Best Dog Brushes For Grooming Any Type Of Coat

Every kind of brush you could possibly need 🐶

deshedding brush and slicker brush

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Finding the best brush for your dog can definitely seem overwhelming. There are just so many options out there — and of course you want your dog’s hair to look nice.

To help you out, The Dodo spoke to Dr. Gabrielle Fadl, medical director of Bond Vet, to find out what to look for when choosing a brush for your dog.

Plus, here are some of The Dodo’s picks for the best dog brushes, no matter what kind of fur your pup has.

Types of dog brushes

There are a bunch of different types of dog brushes you can choose from:

  • Slicker brushes have short plastic or wire bristles and are good for detangling and removing dead hair and loose fur. They’re useful for dogs with thick or curly fur or an undercoat (basically, dogs who are prone to knots and matting).
  • Bristle brushes have soft bristles that don’t penetrate deep into the coat, so they won’t irritate the skin of short-haired dogs. They also stimulate oil production in your dog’s skin, which can help reduce shedding. These brushes are good for dogs who don’t have a ton of fur and don’t need a lot of detangling.
  • Deshedding tools remove a lot of fur to control shedding. Since all dogs shed, they can be helpful for most pups, but they’re especially useful during periods of high shedding (usually around the spring and fall seasons) for dogs with double coats, since they tend to shed more during those times.
  • Pin brushes have widely spaced metal pin bristles in a cushion (they look kind of like a human brush) and gently remove loose, dead hair from long fur. These brushes are useful for dogs whose fur can become frizzy or staticky because slicker brushes can cause static.
  • Combo brushes with a bristle brush on one side and a pin brush on the other can be good, too, since they’ll get out any tough tangles while making her coat shiny. Bristle brushes stimulate oil production in your dog’s skin, which can also help reduce shedding.
  • Grooming gloves aren’t actually a brush. They’re what they sound like — gloves that remove loose fur. These are great for dogs with short fur that doesn’t get a lot of knots and who don’t like being brushed.
  • Curry combs have flexible rubber or plastic tips to remove dirt and loose hair on short-haired dogs. They can also be used to shampoo your pup in the bath.

How to find the best dog brush

Here’s what you should keep in mind when choosing a brush for your dog:

  • Type of coat — “Many [brushes] are specifically labeled by breed or fur type/length,” Dr. Fadl told The Dodo. “That can be a great starting point to narrow down your choices.”
  • Bristles — For dogs with short hair, you should look for brushes with soft or shorter bristles that won’t irritate your dog’s skin. “Compared to long-haired dogs, it’s more likely that the bristles of the brush would go through the fur and scrape against the skin, which can cause discomfort and irritation,” Dr. Fadl said. For dogs with long hair, “look for [a brush] with tips long enough to get through your dog’s fur,” Dr. Fadl said.
  • Function — “Some may simply need detangling, while others may need a brush that will help with shedding,” Dr. Fadl said. “Look for the features that your dog needs.”
  • Ease of cleaning — You might want to look for a brush that’s easy to clean to help you out. Brushes with retractable bristles or that are waterproof will be easy to remove dog hair from and rinse.
  • Comfort — The brush should be comfortable for your dog and not irritate her skin (especially for short-haired dogs), and it should be easy for you to hold while brushing.

You may have to try out a few different brushes on your pup to see what she likes, too. “It may be necessary to experiment with different kinds of brushes to see which ones get the most agreeable response from your pet (while still positively contributing to coat health or helping with deshedding),” Dr. Fadl said.

How to brush your dog

Here are some tips for brushing your dog:

  • Brush in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Don’t press down too hard, or you could hurt your pup or damage her fur.
  • Be gentle around any sensitive areas, like ears.
  • Gently untangle any knots you find in your dog’s fur.
  • If your dog has any knots or mats that you can’t get out yourself, take her to the groomer or to the vet to have them professionally removed.
  • Give your dog treats if she gets nervous when it’s time for brushing.

How often should you brush your dog?

How often you’ll need to brush your dog will depend on the type of fur your dog has.

If your dog has short and smooth fur, you should brush her about once a week. Dogs with short, wiry hair (like dachshunds) or short hair with an undercoat (like Labs) should be brushed about twice per week.

Dogs with long fur (like border collies or Bernese mountain dogs) need to be brushed more frequently to prevent matting. They should be brushed a few times per week, and some dogs who are prone to matting (like doodles) may need to be brushed daily. “Dogs with a long coat are more prone to tangles or mats in the fur and may need to be brushed much more often than dogs with short fur,” Dr. Fadl said.

If you’re not sure what’s best for your dog, you can ask your vet or groomer.

Why do some dogs get matted hair?

Mats occur often in dogs with curly, fine, long and double coats, especially if they’re not brushed or groomed frequently. This is because mats form when a dog’s hair gets tangled and wraps around itself, which is more likely to happen with long hair or in dogs who have a double coat since the topcoat and undercoat can get knotted together.

Dogs with curly fur, like doodles, are susceptible to matting because the curls can easily trap debris or dead hair if they aren’t brushed. And pups with thin hair, like silky terriers, have fur that tangles super easily.

Best dog brushes

Here are some of the best dog brushes for every type of dog — from pugs to collies.

Best slicker brush: HERTZKO Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs

This slicker brush is so good that it earned The Dodo’s Paw of Approval. It detangles knots and removes loose hair, dirt and dander. The wire bristles get deep into your dog’s coat, making it great for dogs with double coats or dogs with long fur that tangles easily. The retractable bristles make it super easy to clean. They just go back into the brush to let you remove all the fur when you’re done brushing. The brush also has an anti-slip handle to make brushing comfortable for you.

Best bristle brush: HERTZKO Bristle Brush for Dogs and Cats with Long or Short Hair

The densely packed soft bristles on this brush are super gentle, so it’s great for dogs with short hair since it won’t dig deep through their fur. It also has a comfort grip and anti-slip handle to prevent fatigue while brushing.

Best deshedding tool: Dog & Cat Comb and Deshedding Tool By Hertzko

This deshedding tool earned The Dodo’s Paw of Approval for being so amazing. It works as a deshedder and a comb, so you get two brushes in one. The deshedder has fine comb teeth to remove loose fur, and the comb detangles knots. And it has a flexible neck to make it easy to get to the hard-to-reach areas of your dog’s body.

Best pin brush: Chris Christensen Dog Brush

This pin brush is made of durable and lightweight wood that won’t tire out your arm during long brushing sessions. It has 30 percent more pins than the average pin brush, so it’s super effective at detangling even the tightest knots. 

Best combo brush: Hartz Groomer's Best Combo Dog Brush

You can remove tangles and make your pup’s fur shiny with this combo brush. One side has dense nylon bristles to distribute oils throughout your dog’s coat, and the other has stainless steel pins to remove knots and loose fur. The handle is ergonomically designed for extra control when brushing. 

Best grooming glove: HandsOn Pet Grooming Gloves

These grooming gloves have non-abrasive rubber tips on the fingers and palms to gently capture loose fur and even give your pup a massage. They’re made of a comfortable nylon fabric and are machine washable to make cleanup easy. 

Best curry brush: Bodhi Dog Grooming Dog, Cat & Small Animal Shampoo Brush

This waterproof brush can be used to lather shampoo on your pup during bath time. The soft rubber bristles scrub away dirt and hair, and it can be used on wet or dry fur. It’s handheld, so it’s super easy to use. Plus, your dog will feel like she’s getting a massage.