Less Shedding? Yes, Please! Your Guide to the Best Dog Brushes to Groom Your Pet

By: Catie ParrishUpdated:

best dog brushes and combs
Chewy Studios

Less Shedding? Yes, Please! Your Guide to the Best Dog Brushes to Groom Your Pet

We all want our pets to look and feel their best, and that includes regularly brushing their fur. Much like the perfect dog collar or dog crate, finding the best dog brushes or combs is an important and a highly personal decision based on your pet’s specific needs.

“Breed and personality determine little. Ideally, one will choose the proper dog brush and comb for your dog’s coat type,” says Master Pet Stylist Daryl Conner, owner of FairWinds Grooming Studio in Appleton, Maine.

Brushing your dog’s fur isn’t just about making your pup look pretty. “Your pet’s coat is more than something lovely to pet. It protects the dog’s largest organ: it’s skin,” Conner explains. Not to mention, frequent brushing will cut down on your dog’s shedding—and the fluffy tumbleweeds collecting in the corners of your rooms.

Conner recommends investing in quality tools. Not only will they last the lifetime of your pet (if the tools are well cared for) but “well-made combs and brushes will have smooth, finished teeth or tines that will glide smoothly through the coat and not cause damage as you work.”

We’ve culled the best dog brushes and combs for different coat types to help you identify the most appropriate one for your pet. If you’re still not sure what to pick for your pet, talk to your breeder or groomer for tool recommendations.

What to Consider Before Buying Dog Brushes and Combs

Examine your dog’s coat and determine the following:

  • Does your dog have long or short hair? Most dogs do well with slicker brushes, while a rake can be handy on double-coated, long-haired dogs (think Malamutes). Rubber curry combs are a good choice for dogs with short hair, such as Pugs, according to Conner.
  • Is your dog’s hair prone to tangling? You will likely need to tackle stubborn knots with a combination of both combing and brushing with a slicker brush. “The brush removes the tangle, while the comb finds anything you missed,” Conner says.
  • How much does your dog shed? Deshedding brushes can really cut down on loose hair. It’s important, however, to use it with a gentle touch, so you don’t irritate your dog’s skin.
  • Does your dog have an undercoat? Rake-style dog brushes are very effective at removing shedding undercoat. For longer coats, look for brushes with longer teeth. For shorter coats, smaller teeth.

Now that you have a solid understanding of your dog’s fur and grooming needs, you’re prepared to shop for the best dog brushes or combs.

Types of Dog Brushes and Combs

best dog brushes - slicker brush

Slicker Dog Brushes

Slicker dog brushes gently work through snarls and get rid of loose and dead hair. They usually have fine wires spaced closely together on a flat brush surface, with shorter teeth for shorter coats and medium or long teeth for medium or long coats. As many breeders’ “go to” brush, slicker dog brushes tend to work well for most breeds, although Conner notes that, “This slicker brush from Frisco, because it has short teeth, is best for dogs that have a fine, thin coat.” Bonus: It self-cleans with a push of a button.
Perfect for: Most dog breeds.
best dog brushes - safari slicker brush

Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs


Shop now!
best dog brushes - hertzko slicker dog brush

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - bass slicker brush

Bass Brushes De-matting Slicker Style Dog & Cat Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - pin brush

Dog Pin Brushes

Dog pin brushes look similar to what you might use on your own hair. They usually have a rounded shape and wires with plastic balls on the end. While popular with some pet parents, Conner warns they aren’t the best at getting out tangles because the rounded tips often get stuck in the hair. Instead, they can be useful for separating, stretching and straightening hair after a bath. She says, “This brush from Frisco would be good for separating the coat while the owner fluff dries.”
Perfect for: Show dogs with curly coats (such as Poodles) or long coats (such as Lhasa Apso).
best dog brushes- safari pin brush

Safari Wire Pin Brush for Dogs


Shop now!
best dog brushes - andis pin brush

Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - bass pin brush

Bass Brushes Style & Detangle Oval Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - bristle brush

Dog Bristle Brushes

Short-haired dogs tend not to struggle with knots, and so usually only need a light brushing. Dog bristle brushes have tightly packed groupings of natural or nylon bristles that sweep away loose fur and distribute their hair oils. If you’re looking for a brush that gives you options, this dual-sided Frisco brush is a smart choice. Use the pin side for fluff drying, and the bristle side for smoothing, shining and softening your dog’s coat.
Perfect for: Smooth-coated dogs (which can also mean any dog with short hair), such as Dalmatians or Dobermans.
best dog brushes - safari bristle brush

Safari Bamboo Pin & Bristle Combo Dog Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - martha stewart bristle dog brush

Martha Stewart Adjustable Strap Massage Bristle Dog Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - bass bristle brush

Bass Brushes Shine & Condition Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - metal comb

Dog Combs

Metal dog combs are first-rate for tackling unruly coats. Conner says to use a comb after brushing with a slicker dog brush. “A dog grooming comb like this one will show which areas need more brushing.” Start with the wider spaced teeth, and then move to the narrower teeth, making sure you comb every part of the dog, particularly anywhere there is friction. “If you find a knot, go back with the brush to get any tangles out, and then recheck with the combs.” Grooming sprays, like this one, can help remove difficult tangles.
Perfect for: Dogs with medium to long coats, such as Golden Retrievers and Huskies.
best dog combs -conair

ConairPRO Dog Medium Comb


Shop now!
best dog combs - li'l pals

Li'l Pals Double-Sided Dog Comb


Shop now!
best dog combs - baby bliss

Babyliss Pro Pet Pet Comb


Shop now!
best dog brushes - dog deshedding brush

Dog Deshedding Brushes

Vacuuming nonstop? Give a dog deshedding brush, such as this one from Frisco, a shot. It won’t prevent or clear away mats, but it’s effective at gathering up dead and loose hair. Conner emphasizes that a delicate touch is key, especially on your dog’s spine, shoulders and hips. Ideal for short-hair dogs, “this style brush may also be used every few days on dogs with longer coats (such as Malamutes) during shedding season, in conjunction with a good slicker dog brush and comb,” she says. “Used too vigorously, it can seriously irritate the skin.”
Perfect for: Smooth-coated dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers or Beagles.
best dog brushes - paws and pals deshedding brush

Paws & Pals Best In Show Deshedding Tool


Shop now!
best dog brushes- frisco deshedding blade

Frisco Shedding Blade Dog Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - hertzko deshedding dog brush

Hertzko 2-in-1 Dog & Cat Grooming Tool


Shop now!
best dog brushes - rake

Rake Dog Brushes

Similar to a dog deshedding brush, rake dog brushes use soft, short strokes to discard loose hair. “This style tool works well as an add-on to a slicker dog brush and comb on medium-coated dogs,” Conner says. “It is designed to remove shedding undercoat on double-coated breeds.” Pay attention to the length of the teeth. This rake from Frisco, for example, has short teeth, so it would be better on medium-coated dogs (such as Australian Shepherds) than double-coated dogs with longer hair (such as Collies).
Perfect for: Medium double-coated dogs.
best dog brushes - frisco rake dog brush

Frisco Dematting Double-Sided Dog Rake


Shop now!
best dog brushes - safari rake brush

Safari Single Row Undercoat Rake Dog Grooming Tool


Shop now!
best dog brushes - chi rake brush

CHI Shedding Rake and Blade Dog Grooming Tool


Shop now!
best dog brushes - curry brush

Curry Dog Brushes

Curry brushes, like this one from Frisco, are made of cushy rubber or plastic that loosens hair and dirt. They have bendy little nubs that are gentle enough to get right down to the dog’s skin without poking them. “Curry combs are dandy on smooth-coated dogs, and work really well in the bathtub. Suds the dog up, and curry away lots of dead hair,” Conner says. However, they won't remove tangles on medium- to long-coated dogs, she notes.
Perfect for: Smooth-coated pups, such as Doberman Pinschers.
best dog brushes and combs - furbliss curry brush

Furbliss Multi-Functional Pet Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - aquapaw curry brush system

Aquapaw Pro Dog Grooming Tool


Shop now!
best dog brushes - kong curry brush

KONG Dog ZoomGroom Multi-Use Brush


Shop now!
best dog brushes - dog brush gloves

Dog Brush Gloves

Give your pooch a spa treatment with dog brush gloves, like these ones from HandsOn that come in five different sizes for a perfect fit! Designed with nodules on the palms, dog brush gloves provide a similar sensation to petting and can be an outstanding option for dogs who dislike being groomed. “A lot of dogs would enjoy a rub down with these gloves. They will help remove some dead and shedding coat, but don’t count on them to reduce or remove tangles,” says Conner. In addition to ease of use, pet parents love that they allow more pressure control than with a brush.
Perfect for: Smooth- or medium-coated dogs, such as Dachshunds or German Shepherds.
best dog brush gloves - mr. peanut's dog brush gloves

Mr. Peanut's Hand Gloves Grooming & Deshedding Aid


Shop now!
best dog brushes - chi dog brush glove

CHI Wet & Dry Dog Grooming Glove


Shop now!
best dog brush gloves - rinse ace glove

Rinse Ace Pet Shampoo Mitt


Shop now!
The right dog brush for you and your dog will make grooming more pleasant for both of you. When you find a brush that’s effective and comfortable to use, brushing Fido can evolve from being just a task to a bonding activity.


By: Catie ParrishUpdated: