Choosing the best dog brush doesn’t always come to mind when we think of the most important purchases for our pups. Dog beds, leashes, food, and other things tend to come first.
What we don’t realize is that proper grooming is linked to overall dog health and we should all have our pups on a regular grooming schedule to ensure they’re happy and healthy.
While the FURminator is our favorite dog grooming tool, this guide outlines some of the best dog brushes for various breeds and hair types. Continue below for more.
7 Best Dog Brushes: Top Picks
Best Dog Brush for Loose Hair and Shedding
4.8 out of 5
- Great option for large dog breeds with longer hair
- Small razor teeth help work through the outer layer to get loose hairs underneath
- This dog brush reduces the number of times you need to groom your dog
- Comes with different sizes based on the size and age of your dog
The FURminator is one of the most popular dog brushes on the market for a reason. Your dog needs a quality deshedding tool that can dig down deep to remove loose hair without irritating their skin or cutting them.
The ergonomic handle allows you to comfortably groom your dog for long periods while strengthening your bond and building trust with your canine companion.
Best Dog Brush for Short Hair Dogs
4.5 out of 5
- Features a massaging action to help soothe anxious dogs
- Short but precise bristles are great for short haired dogs
- Gentle bristles cut through matted fur without tugging or irritating the skin
- The bristles retract with the push of a button to make cleaning the dog brush easier
This self-cleaning slicker brush is the best dog brush for short-haired dogs because it has short and gentle bristles. It features an anti-slip handle that will make it easier on you during extensive grooming sessions.
What makes this brush a top pick among slicker brushes is that it’s self-cleaning. You push a button on the back of the brush and it’ll retract the bristles to release all the excess fur, dirt, and dust.
Best Brush for Long Hair Dogs
4.5 out of 5
- Excellent bristle brush for sheepdogs, retrievers, and huskies with long, dense fur
- Double-sided bristle brush offers the best of both worlds for deshedding and dematting
- Gentle enough to not irritate your pups skin
- Ergonomic design makes brushing even the densest fur a painless experience
We’re calling out the Bichon, Collie, and Saint Bernard owners here. You know as well as we do that your dog’s coat is extremely thick and you can’t go at it with just any bristle brush.
The best thing about the Hartz Combo Brush is that you get the stainless steel pins on one side and the nylon bristles on the other. The pins help to remove and untangle fur while the bristles are there to remove loose surface fur and leave your dog’s coat looking nice and shiny.
Best Dog Brush for Double Coated Dogs
4.7 out of 5
- Long bristles help penetrate deep to the second coat
- Great for removing mats and tangles in the undercoat without pulling the skin
- Anti-microbial materials minimizes the growth of bacteria
- Reduces loose hair and shedding up to 90% with regular use
Grooming double coated dogs like Huskies or German Pointers requires you to have a brush that extends well below the outside coat you usually brush. These dogs have a second layer of fur underneath to protect them from cold weather and insulate their bodies.
The FURminator rake uses long stainless steel pins with metal teeth that rotate to remove loose fur without pulling existing hairs.
Best Dog Brush for Matted Hair
4.5 out of 5
- Double-sided containing a 6 tooth side for tangles and an 11 tooth side for grooming
- Easy to clean and hygienic stainless steel teeth
- Pet Republique donates 15% of all profits to the American Animal Rescue Society
- Great choice for long-haired dog breeds
This dematting rake is a great option for a wide variety of dog breeds. It comes with two sets of teeth to help you accomplish two things at once. You can remove the mats and loosen up their fur while also removing excess hair and thinning out your dog’s coat.
We also love the fact that they donate a portion of their profits to a great charity. If your dog is frequently experiencing matted hair, getting on a regular regimen of using this brush can make a difference and improve their quality of life.
Best Curry Brush for Dogs
4.3 out of 5
- Boned-shaped brush is perfect for dogs that might be a bit nervous about grooming
- Soft, gentle, and easy on the skin
- Great option for lathering your pup up during bathtime
- The gentle bristles also remove loose hair
A curry brush is a great option for bathtime and for pups with sensitive skin. If your dog gets upset every time you need to brush them, this could be a great way to introduce them to comfortable grooming.
Get your pup in the bath, lather them up, and work the Bone Dog Curry Brush on them and they won’t even know they’re being groomed. You’ll be able to get all the excess fur off without having to sweep it up all over the house.
Best Undercoat Brush for Dogs
4.5 out of 5
- Comfortable rubber handle makes undercoat grooming easier on you
- Comes with a short and regular tooth length ideal for both short and long-haired dogs
- Ideal for loosening undercoat tufts without tugging or irritating the skin
- The rake can dramatically decrease the amount of loose fur around the house
Your pups undercoat can be a difficult area to brush. Not every dog is totally receptive to it, the fur can be excessive, and it’s hard on your arms and wrists. The JW Undercoat Rake is a great option because of its ergonomic design and gentle bristles.
You can rake your dog wet or dry depending on how you prefer and the brush works on all breeds, coat types, and sizes.
Best Dog Brush Buying Guide
Now that you’ve seen some examples of the best dog brushes, it’s time to break down some of the thought process behind choosing them. Of course, certain dog brushes are better for specific tasks than others.
When we choose a dog brush for our canine companion we want to make sure they love it just as much as we do. Read through the following sections to better decide on the right brush for your friend.
Which Dog Brush is Best?
The FURminator Long Hair Dog Deshedding Tool is our overall favorite. When we think of specific dog owners that really need a high-quality brush, we think of Pyrenees, Rough Collie, and Shih Tzu owners.
These dogs have extremely dense coats that get matted and accumulate a ton of extra fur. This can irritate your dogs skin and leave them feeling ornery or nervous.
Choosing the best dog brush that not only grooms but desheds not only ensures you won’t find a ton of fur around your house but it’ll help keep your dog healthy and happy as well.
We also can’t go without shining a little light on the Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Bristle Brush because this brush offers a lot. With the precise stainless bristles on one side and the nylon bristles on the other, you’re essentially getting two dog brushes in one.
These factors also mean that this is a great brush for multiple dog owners. You can use the dense nylon bristles on short-haired dogs like Boxers while saving the stainless steel bristles for your German Shepherd.
What Kind of Brush do Dog Groomers Use?
Van Gogh has his paintbrush and dog groomers have their dog brush. One great way to ensure you find the right brush for your dog is to see what groomers are using. The good news is, you can use the same dog brushes as them and get the same results without having to pay.
Here are some recommendations from groomers.
Slicker Brush and Comb
Many groomers recommend using a dog grooming comb combined with a brush. The slicker brush helps to fluff out your dog’s coat making it easier to find the mats. Then you can move through it with the comb and work around sensitive areas like ears and tails.
Groomers also recommend using an undercoat rake on longer haired dogs. Don’t try to use the same brush you use on the rest of their coat on the undercoat because it’ll clog up quickly and could get tangled which will pull on your dog’s skin.
The FURminator gets mixed opinions from a lot of groomers because some think it’s too rough while others think it’s okay to be used in moderation. We think the best option is to use the furminator for removing mats but you’ll want to use a slicker dog brush along with it so you don’t strip their top coat.
What Kind of Brush is Best for Short-Haired Dogs?
Different dogs require different brushes. For example, you’d use a much different brush on a short-haired Dachshund than you would on a Pyrenees. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in the best brush for dogs that have short hair.
Dogs with smooth coats have a lot less fur in between their skin and the bristles so you need to make sure that the brush won’t irritate their skin by being too rough or sharp. Bristle brushes work best on short-haired dogs but you can use a rounded tip pin brush as well.
Nylon brushes are good for short-hair dogs with dense fur if they shed a lot. These bristles help penetrate through the outer protective layer of the coat without irritating the skin below.
You want to always make sure your pup is comfortable during the grooming process because it can be a nice experience that will strengthen your bond.
Clean and Bacteria-Free
You’d be surprised by all of the bacteria and microorganisms that build up in your dog’s fur. While your pup is outside rolling around in the puddles and mud, a lot of unseen things are accumulating inside their coat.
As they shed that fur and it comes off onto your brush, it’s now living in the bristles of the brush. For that reason, the brush needs to be easy to clean and should contain some type of anti-microbial material.
The FURminator Dog Grooming Rake is a great example of this. It’s designed for your dog’s undercoat which can carry a lot of bacteria. The anti-microbial plastic helps ensure that bacteria doesn’t bond to the brush.
We try so hard to ensure that our pups are comfortable at all times but we do need to think of ourselves every now and again. A comfortable handle will make brushing your dog a lot easier.
If the brush has an ergonomic design, it’ll make grooming more enjoyable for you which will allow you to have more patience and spend more time brushing your dog when they need it the most.
Choosing a brush that is too large or long for a short-haired dog will cause you some issues. If the bristles are too long it could end up scraping against their skin and causing irritation or even cuts.
If the brush itself is too large for a small breed it can make the process take longer and you’ll have a harder time working around their legs, tail, and ears. Make sure you choose a brush that fits the size of your dog and the length of their hair.
What’s the Best Dog Brush for Dogs with Long Hair?
Choosing the best brush for long-haired dogs is easy when you understand each of the various brush types. Chances are, if you have a long-haired dog you’ll end up with more than one brush, each with their own purpose. Let’s break down some of these details.
Flexible Pinhead Slicker Brushes
The first thing you’ll want to have is a slicker brush with flexible pins. The flexible pins ensure that you can work around their coat and remove mats and tangles.
The reason you want the pins to be flexible is because they need to bend and flex with the contour and shape of your pup.
The slicker brush design is the ideal choice for long-haired dogs because it’s what you need to penetrate through the outer layer of fur to the layer underneath. Even if you don’t have a double coated dog, their long fur can accumulate really easily in a traditional brush so the slicker design helps you pull everything out from even the deepest and densest fur.
Another tool you’ll want to have is a dematting rake for those stubborn mats. In most cases, the slicker brush will be enough to remove most tangled fur but you should have a dematting rake for extracting the most difficult mats.
Keep in mind that a dematting rake is not intended for use on your dog’s entire coat. It’ll take a long time to work through all their fur and overuse of the dematting rake can thin their coat out too much.
Slicker Brush vs Pin Brush
These two types of brushes are very similar in their appearance but they each have situations where you’d prefer one over the other.
What’s a Slicker Brush?
A slicker brush is your typical square or rectangular head brush with short stainless steel pins. The purpose of this dog brush is to penetrate down into your dog’s coat and remove loose hair, mats, and debris.
We consider slicker brushes to be multipurpose because you can use them on a wide variety of breeds including other animals as well. They’re the better choice for long haired dogs because they’re able to break through the outer layer of fur without getting overly clogged and requiring frequent cleaning.
Best Breeds for a Slicker Brush
A slicker brush is most popular for breeds with thick coats because of the thin bristles. Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, and Spaniels can benefit from this type of brush.
What’s a Pin Brush?
A pin brush is very similar to the type of brush you may have had as a child. These dog brushes have wooden handles and small pins with a protective ball at the end.
Pin brushes are commonly used with show dogs who require frequent brushing but can’t ruin their coat with static electricity. These brushes aren’t as useful for short-haired dogs because of the round cover on the end.
The bristles on a pin brush tend to bend more and they’re much more spread apart which can make brushing a short-haired dog more difficult. You’ll pass through the fur rather than accumulating it on the brush.
Best Breeds for a Pin Brush
These brushes are more gentle and they don’t cause any static. We find that pin brushes are better for dogs with curly hair because the bristles are spread apart so they don’t get tangled or aerate their coat too much. Breeds such as Poodles, Terriers, and Schnauzers are best qualified for pin brush grooming.
Should I Brush My Dog’s Hair Everyday?
Grooming is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your pup. The biggest challenge with brushing your dog’s hair is getting them on a regular regimen so they know what to expect and you can work it into your daily life.
Regular brushing is an important way to remove dead hair and distribute oils so your dog can have a nice and healthy coat.
It’s recommended by the Humane Society that you brush your dog every couple of days. Brushing does a lot more than simply prevent mats. Many dogs have seasonal coats that need to be removed and the only way to do so is with a regular brushing schedule.
Does Brushing a Dog Hurt Them?
If you think that brushing is hurting your dog, chances are you’re doing something wrong or you’re not using the right brush for them.
Believe it or not, there is brushing etiquette. There is a right and wrong way to do it so follow these steps to ensure you don’t hurt your pup during their grooming:
Brush Away – You want to brush away from your dog’s skin and in the direction that the coat grows. Do not brush backwards, most dogs do not like that and it can pull on their skin and break up healthy hair growth.
Be Gentle – This goes without saying but sometimes we don’t realize how hard we’re doing something until we’re told. A dog’s skin is actually much more sensitive than you think because it’s protected by a heavy layer of fur all the time.
Don’t Pull – When you encounter a mat, don’t assume that the only answer is to pull on it with your comb. Consider applying a mat spray or coat conditioner to the area and giving it a few minutes to set in before you try and remove it.
What is a Curry Brush?
A curry brush is actually a tool used most commonly on livestock such as cows, goats, and horses. The brush contains a large number of tiny coarse teeth to remove dead hair and stimulate hair growth.
These brushes generally come with a strap on the back so you can hold them in your palm while working the area and spreading the natural oils from the skin around.
Many manufacturers have modified curry brushes over the years to make them more gentle and more affordable using rubber and plastic materials. These brushes are most commonly used in bathing now as massagers and ways to lather your pup with shampoo.
What is an Undercoat Brush?
Undercoat brushes come with sharp curved blades that are much closer together than some other style brushes. They’re used on a variety of different breeds but the overall goal is to remove excess undercoat.
Doing this regularly helps keep your pup cool and comfortable. It’s also important for their hygiene. Your dog’s undercoat picks up a lot of debris as they walk, run, and play. They can pick up irritants and other things that could damage their skin.
We think the FURminator Long Hair Dog Deshedding Tool is the best option for your dog because you can use it on a wide number of breeds and it’s a great option for getting rid of loose fur, dead hair, dematting, and general grooming.
Using it alongside the Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Brush is a great choice because the brush contains two different styles of bristles. Combining these two brushes together gives you everything you need to groom dogs of various sizes, breeds, and hair types.