Grooming 411: The Difference Between Dog Brushes

Most pet owners know that brushing their dog on a regular basis is a great way to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy and also help reduce the amount of shedding. But if you’ve ever walked into a pet store looking for a brush, you may be amazed—and even confused—by all the choices.

Instead of grabbing the wrong brush, use the following information to learn more about the different dog brushes to buy the right one for your breed.

Bristle Brushes

You are likely to find bristle brushes as an option for pet grooming. Bristle brushes are a great go-to option if you don’t know which brush to get, as they can be used on almost any type of coat. It’s important, though, to pay attention to the width and length of the bristles. If your dog has a long coat, you will want to use a brush with longer bristles. If you have a dog with short hair, you’ll want to choose a brush with shorter bristles that are spaced close together.


Dog rakes are meant to reach under the dog’s top coat in order to remove their older fur. These are especially useful if your dog tends to shed, as removing the undercoat with a rake can reduce the amount of shedding.

When choosing a rake for your dog, it’s important to choose a rake that has bristles the same length as your dog’s coat. If you buy a rake that is too long, you could end up hurting your dog, as the rake can penetrate their skin. If you choose a rake that is too short, it will not reach the undercoat and will not remove the dead fur.

Slicker Brushes

Slicker brushes tend to have wire bristles, and these are most useful when trying to remove knots and tangles from your dog’s fur. Slicker brushes are mostly used with dogs that have long coats or curly coats, such as chows, sheepdogs or Pomeranians.

Due to the wire bristles, it’s important that you are careful when combing your dog, as the wire bristle could cause discomfort or even injury if you apply too much pressure. Slicker brushes also come in a variety of different sizes, so be sure that you buy the right size for your dog (i.e., smaller dogs need a smaller brush; larger dogs need a larger brush, etc.).

Wire-pin Brushes

Wire-pin brushes look similar to your hair brush. They use wire pins as the bristles, and they may come with the rubber tips or they may not, depending on the brand. These brushes are typically best for dogs with thin coats, such as yorkies.


The Furminator is a brand of brushes used to help reduce the amount of shedding by eliminating your dog’s dead undercoat. This product is meant to use only to remove dead fur from your dog’s coat and should be used along with your dog’s regular brush. When used correctly, the Furminator can reduce shedding by 80%. There are different options for different size dogs, so be sure to choose the right one.