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How to Choose the Right Brush for Your Dog

Keeping your dog’s coat looking clean and healthy involves regularly brushing it. Doing so helps prevent mats and gets rid of fur that’s being shed so new, healthy fur can grow.  Brushing also distributes natural oils along your dog’s skin and coat, which helps reduce pet odor problems and ensures a shiny coat rather than a dull one. It’s important to make sure you’re using the right kind of brush on your dog. The type you should use and how often you need to use it mainly depends on the type of coat your dog has. The following guide can help you choose the right dog brush.

Bristle Brushes

These brushes have natural bristles that are designed to get rid of loose fur. Bristle brushes can be used on any type of coat, but choose one with longer bristles that are farther apart for dogs with longer coats and one with stiff bristles for dogs with rougher coats. Use a brush with soft or medium bristles for dogs with shorter and smoother coats, such as greyhounds and chihuahuas.

Slicker Brushes

Slicker brushes have a flat surface covered with short, thin wires. These brushes are usually used for getting rid of tangled fur or mats. You can use a slicker brush on dogs with short fur and wiry coats, such as many types of terriers, and dogs with medium or long coats. Slicker brushes can also be used on dogs with more delicate coats, but make sure you use one with softer wires.

Wire-pin Brushes

These brushes typically have an oval design and are covered with wires that have pins or rubber tips on top. Wire-pin brushes are ideal for dogs with coats that are medium or long in length, such as golden retrievers and Lhasa apsos. They can also be used on dogs with double coats, such as a rough outer coat and a softer undercoat, such as German shepherds and Pomeranians. Wire-pin brushes work well on dogs with long, thinner coats as well, Yorkshire terriers and Maltese. 


Rake brushes, which typically resemble razors that are used for shaving, have a row or two rows of pins that help remove dead fur. Use rakes on dogs with thick coats or double coats, such as malamutes and chow chows. Make sure you get a rake with pins that are the right length depending on how long your dog’s fur is.

Comments (1)

  • Sharon W. on Sep 30, 2016

    Rakes definitely work best on huskies! Helps especially when they are blowing their coat.

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