4 Best Dog Brushes

Whether your pooch is a high-maintenance breed like a poodle or a short-haired pup like a Pinscher, you’ll learn that having a good dog brush in your grooming toolkit is essential to keeping Fido well-kept. By regularly brushing your dog, you’re not only adding luster to that mane, but you’re also getting rid of dead hair, skin cells, and dandruff before they have the chance to shed and spread all over your house. The dog brushes we’ve included here vary from those best suited for long-haired canines with double-coated fur, to other kinds of brushes that are better for short-haired breeds.

Chris Christensen Long Pin Slicker Brush

Costly, but hard to beat

Capable of getting to the root of ultra-dense, curly manes, this slicker brush is the standout choice for poodles, doodles, and other curly breeds
Best for Curly-Haired Dogs

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We know that no matter how much you love your dog, caring for a kinky-curly coat can be incredibly frustrating for both you and the pooch. Tangles, knots, and matted fur can be a nightmare to unravel, and even if your dog is patient and cooperative enough to let you try to brush through it all, it can be really painful if you don’t have the right tool.

The Chris Christensen Long Pin Slicker Brush is the ideal choice for dealing with these tangles and knots without resorting to the brute-force method of scissor-snipping them off. It’s also great for brushing and fluffing a dense mane, such as that of a goldendoodle. The brush’s pins are long enough to penetrate to the undercoat, and the flexible frame has some cushion to it. This means that while you’re trying to work through those stubborn matted locks, the brush will bend and give a bit to accommodate the force, rather than staying rigid and potentially tugging on already-sensitive patches of your dog’s skin.

All in all, we deem this one quite capable of dealing with curly manes, although it may be best to use it in conjunction with another brush, like a rake-style option.

Pros:

  • High-quality construction built to last
  • Lengthy ergonomic handle
  • High pin density decreases brushing time

Cons:

  • Price is hard to justify despite the quality
  • Pins are too long for short-haired breeds

Glendale Slicker Brush

A Tool to Tame a Free-Flowing Mane

An ideal choice for those hoping to minimize the follicular fallout of pooches prone to shedding
Best for Long-Haired Dogs

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If you’re not keen on the idea of dishing out a huge sum on a dog brush, you can get the job done well for cheap with the Glendale Slicker Brush. Its pins are a bit stiff, but if you handle it mindfully and gently, you’ll have no problem using this one as your daily go-to. It’ll cut down on shedding, help improve blood circulation, and add shine. If you’re lucky enough, your dog may take a liking to it, too.

The design on this one is small enough to get to hard-to-reach places, like the armpits or under the legs. However; because it’s so small, you’ll need to frequently remove the clumps of hair that build up. If you have a big dog, this may become a real annoyance. Still, if you have a long-haired breed, this one provides great value all-around. It’s especially popular with husky owners.

Pros:

  • Good value for the cost
  • Offered in multiple sizes
  • 90-day warranty
  • Comfort-grip handle

Cons:

  • Fairly difficult to clean
  • Bristles aren’t the most durable

Kong ZoomGroom

A soft-bristled wonder

Inexpensive, effective, and easy to clean, it's no wonder the ZoomGroom is a favorite in the industry
Best for Short-Haired Dogs

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Having developed a sterling reputation for itself in the dog-grooming market, the Kong ZoomGroom is a fantastic option for short-haired canines. It features soft, 3/4″ rubber fingers that massage your dog’s skin while removing dead hair, dander, and debris. True, your short-haired companion may not have as much of a mane to deal with, but this brush can help stimulate blood flow to the area. This increase in circulation can encourage the production of healthy natural oils, which protect your dog’s skin and add shine to his coat.

The rubber glides soft on the skin, which means you won’t be dealing with a wincing, whining Buster trying to wriggle his way out of your lap come brushing time. Its construction makes it a good pick for terrier breeds, beagles, basset hounds, mastiffs, boxers, Rottweilers, bulldogs, and more. It’s also backed by a ten-year warranty that covers defects by the manufacturer.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Fits well in the hand
  • Incredibly easy to clean
  • Works when wet or dry

Cons:

  • Flyaway hairs make a mess
  • Not great at de-shedding

Furbuster 3-in-1 Grooming Glove

Who Said Brushing Can't Be Fun?

More of a bonding implement than a grooming tool, this one is for pets who enjoy brushing as a comforting ritual
Best for Gentle Brushing

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Let’s face it: no matter what you do, some dogs are simply not going to allow you to brush them. No delicious treat offered as a bribe is enough to convince the pooches that fall into this camp to let you drag pins or rubber fingers across their manes. But what about a grooming glove?

Furbuster’s 3-in-1 model offers its users the ability to groom, scrub, and massage under the guise of a glove. Slip it over your hand and your dog will hardly notice it until — cue dramatic music — it’s too late! Only there’s nothing sinister about this. The glove itself can hardly be compared to the brushes that professional groomers wield. Those, while effective, are heavy-duty, and they sometimes remove dead hair in an unnecessarily rough manner. While this glove may not (read: will not) be sufficient as a standalone grooming tool, it’s not uncommon for dogs to get excited about a glove-brushing session. That’s because the tiny finger brushes on the glove do provide some level of stimulation and exfoliation, but it’s done so gently that it actually becomes enjoyable.

The Furbuster 3-in-1 is probably best utilized as a bonding tool, rather than a grooming essential, but it can work really well as a complement to other brushes in a grooming routine. Why not reward your furry friend’s patience after a rigorous brushing session by petting her softly with the glove? Aside from the feel-good massage it provides, it’ll also help remove any loose hair and lingering debris.

Pros:

  • Fits hands of all sizes
  • Wrist strap keeps it secure
  • Can also double to remove hair from furniture

Cons:

  • Not great for heavy shedders
  • Bunched-up hair is hard to remove

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I brush my dog?

This depends greatly on the kind of dog you have. Some breeds require frequent attention, while other low-maintenance pooches don’t need nearly the same level of care. If yours falls into the first camp, it may be necessary to brush those locks on the daily. Neglecting a regular brushing routine can lead to serious mats developing, and this can restrict movement and cause your dog real pain depending on the location of the mats. However, if you have a short haired breed, brushing serves a different purpose, and can probably be tackled as a weekly or bi-monthly ritual.

Should I brush before or after bathing my dog?

Generally, it’s recommended that you brush before the shower. There are two main reasons for this. First, brushing a dog’s wet coat can be painful, especially considering that water can make mats and tangled knots even worse. Trying to brush these out on a wet coat is definitely not okay.  The other reason for brushing before a shower is that the water will help wash away the exfoliated debris and loose hairs that may linger after a thorough brushing.

Will these tools help me de-tangle extremely matted knots?

No. Depending on the severity of the matted fur, you’ll need to exercise judgment, always erring on the side of caution. If you notice your dog displaying signs of discomfort when you try to tackle a matted area, that means stop. Forcing your way through those tangles can tag on patches of skin and could potentially hurt your dog in a serious way. In this case, we advise contacting a professional groomer to remove the mats — or if you insist on keeping things in-house, delicately cut the mats with scissors while extra careful to make the snip far away from the roots at the skin.