Here Comes the Groom: The 5 Best Dog Shedding Brushes

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Key Points

  • The best dog shedding brush for your dog depends on their coat length and fur texture.

  • The bristle brush is the best dog shedding brush for short coats.

  • The slicker brush, undercoat rake, and rake are the best dog brushes for medium to long coats.

  • The pin brush is suitable for all types of coats.

Do you constantly reach for the lint roller before you walk out the door because you're covered in dog hair? Is your vacuum cleaner quickly filling with pet hair? Shedding is a natural part of being a dog, but that doesn't mean you must live in a home filled with dog hair everywhere. Regular brushing reduces the amount of fur your pup sheds, no matter what dog breed you own.

Before you head to the pet store to stock up on de-shedding tools, learn about the five best dog shedding brushes for your dog's needs, how to use the brush properly, and other grooming tips that help minimize the shedding problem.

Why Do Dogs Shed?

A dog's coat protects their bodies from extreme temperatures and weather conditions. During winter, they grow their fur to keep them warm. When days become warmer, their bodies naturally shed their thicker winter coats and grow out their summer coats.

Although this "blowing coat" process only happens to double-coat dogs, single-coat dogs tend to shed constantly. Because their hairs are much shorter and less visible, they are sometimes harder to spot and clean.

How To Stop Your Dog From Shedding

Unless you happen to have a hairless breed, there is no way to completely stop your furry buddy from shedding altogether. It's simply part of a dog's life. However, there are several ways to minimize shedding. Providing your dog with a balanced diet full of vitamins, minerals, and essential fats gives them the needed nutrients to grow a healthy coat with strong fur that withstands breaking.

Regular grooming is also essential in reducing shedding. No matter what length and coat your pup has, brushing their fur consistently removes the loose hair and prevents them from making their way onto your clothes and furniture.

Dog shedding

Other Benefits of Regular Brushing for Your Dog

Although the main goal of brushing your dog is to manage the shedding problem, it offers many other advantages.

Promote Skin and Coat Health

Your dog's sebaceous glands secrete oil to keep their fur and skin from drying out. By brushing, you help this natural oil reach all areas of the coat and leave the hair looking healthy and glossy. The oil distribution also keeps the skin moistened, so it does not become flaky and produce dander.

Remove Parasites, Dirt, and Debris

If you allow your dog to play outdoors, brushing your dog at the door prevents parasites and small bugs from setting up camp in your canine's coat. At the same time, the brushing removes dirt, leaves, dust, and allergens in your furball's coat.

Improve Circulation

Brushing your pooch's coat helps bring blood circulation throughout their bodies and promotes a healthier immune system. The motions also act as massages to their lymph nodes to help rid their bodies of toxins.

Detect Skin Problems

It is hard to detect your dog's skin problems until they start scratching nonstop. When you brush your furry friend, you are able to detect any skin problems and tumor growth on their bodies. By catching these health problems in their early stages, you prevent these issues from spiraling into severe complications.

Bonding Time and Promote Emotional Health

Bushing isn't just about physical health. It's also a perfect opportunity to bond with your dog. When you hug and brush your dog, both of you release the oxytocin love hormones that promote a sense of love and trust while lowering the cortisol stress hormones.

Brushing also allows them to get comfortable with you and helps build trust in humans in general. According to Ethos Veterinary Health Clinic, "dogs who suffer a lack of kind human contact can be fearful, aggressive, and have other behavioral problems."

Five Types of Brushes Used by Professional Groomers

If you are new to the world of dog grooming, you may find the process overwhelming. With all the different types of brushes, it's hard to know which ones suit your dog. Here are the five most common types of the best professional dog grooming brushes.

1. Slicker Brushes

Every professional pet groomer knows that one of the most important tools in their toolboxes is the slicker brush. These brushes look like small paddles with fine, short wire bristles on one side. These brushes are perfect for removing dead fur, dirt, and debris from dogs with medium to long fur coats.

Slicker brush for dog grooming

How To Use a Slicker Brush

When using a slicker brush, start at the top of your dog's head and work your way down their bodies in gentle strokes going from the root to the tip of their fur. Avoid brushing too harshly, as the wires may hurt your pooch. Do not try to tug too hard when you try to remove mats and tangles. Instead, use the tips of the bristles to gently tease apart knots before brushing them out.

Benefits of Using a Slicker Brush

Slicker brushes are great at distributing natural oils throughout the coat while detangling the hair from knots and mats. If you find yourself cutting those nasty tangles from your dog's coat, the slicker brush is your best solution.

2. Undercoat Rakes

The undercoat rake is the best dog brush for shedding long hair breeds with fur that tangles and mats easily. These brushes have either a single or double layer of curved metal blades lined closely. Instead of untangling the mess, these blades cut through the undercoat, dragging out the clumps and dead hair.

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These brushes come in different blade widths to compensate for different hair types and animal size needs. Professional groomers tend to have several sizes in their tool kits. Even for large-size dogs, a finer blade is necessary to remove dead hair from more delicate spots, such as under the armpits and near the ears.

Undercoat rake for dogs

How To Use an Undercoat Rake

Just like using any brushes, pull the rake in the direction of the dog's fur growth. Always begin with a wider blade rake to take out the general debris, loose hair, and big tangles. Then switch to a finer teeth rake to work through the smaller tough tangles.

Be patient with the process, and don't dig into the coat because the blade can puncture your dog's skin.

Benefits of Using an Undercoat Rake

The wonderful thing about undercoat rakes is that they are usable on both dry and wet coats. When you run the rakes through your dog's coat before a bath, you loosen up all the debris, dead skin, and hair clumps clinging to your dog's coat. These steps make the bathing process much easier as you don't need to work through all that mess. After you towel dry your pooch, run the rake over their coat again so that they become smooth and bouncy.

The GoPets Dematting Comb and the MalsiPree Pet Grooming Brush are two great options that work wonderfully to thin out the undercoat of thick double-coat breeds, like German shepherds, Samoyeds, and golden retrievers. While the GoPet rake concentrates on just the undercoat, the MalsiPree brush includes an undercoat rake on one side to thin out the coat and a rake brush on the other to detangle knots.

3. Rakes

Many people confuse rakes with undercoat rakes. While both detangles the coat, rakes do not cut off the fur. They simply drag out the dead hair and debris. These brushes tend to come in a single row of rounded pins. The lengths of these pins vary; shorter pins are suitable for thinner coats and smaller dogs, whereas longer pins are better options for thick coats.

Rake for dog grooming

How To Use a Rake

Just run the rake from the root along the length of the coat. Although the pins have rounded heads, they still are able to injure your dog's skin if you apply too much pressure to their fur. If you are not able to detangle a clump, work through the problem section several more times.

Benefits of Using a Rake

Unlike the undercoat rake, you don't have to worry about taking too much coat off your dog. The method is gentler, and they work extremely well on rustic breeds, such as the Portuguese Water Dogs, Irish water spaniels, Labradoodles, Pulik, and Komondorok, with single coats with different textured hairs on other portions of their bodies.

The DakPets Pet Grooming Brush and the FURminator Medium Dog Undercoat Brush are two revamped versions of the rake brush. Unlike the original rake brushes, these two have a thinning function that rids the clumped undercoat to make the whole coat look more polished. Both brands come in extra-large sizes and work as excellent de-shedding brushes for large dogs.

4. Bristle Brush

Bristle brushes are the best dog brush for shedding short hair breeds, such as pugs, Labrador retrievers, and Italian greyhounds. They pick up loose hair and debris while distributing their oil evenly throughout their coats. These bristle brushes are also suitable as a finishing brush for long coats breeds, such as the Afghan hounds, the Cavalier King Charles spaniels, the Lhasa Apsos, and the Yorkshire terriers.

These soft brushes come in various sizes, materials, and stiffness for different dog fur types. Although professional groomers and show dog owners swear by boar bristles, synthetic and nylon bristle brushes are also available.

Bristle brush for dogs

How To Use a Bristle Brush

If you have a short hair dog, start by running the brush from the root down the length of the fur coat with steady strokes. Remember to clean the bristles of debris and loose hair in between strokes every now so that the brush performs better.

For long hair dogs, the bristle brush works as a finishing brush to de-frizz and bring out the natural sheen of their coats. After you completely remove the tangles and debris from your pup's coat, go over the fur again with the bristle brush. Run the brush like a comb, starting from the roots and working your way down.

Benefits of Using a Bristle Brush

Much like the boar paddle brush for humans, the bristle brush stimulates the dog's skin to produce more natural oils for a shinier coat. The bristle brush is also great at removing the fur's frizziness so that your dog's coat looks sleek and show-dog quality. It is the best dog brush for shedding super short hairs on Labradors and Frenchies. It is also the best dog brush for sensitive skin as the bristles are gentle.

5. Pin Brushes

The pin brushes look just like the human pin brushes with many flexible wires with pins on top. These brushes are suitable for working with medium-length coats and textured hair. Although some groomers use it as a finishing brush for long-hair coats, it's less effective than the bristle brush.

Pin brush

How To Use a Pin Brush

Use your hands to feel around your dog's coat for any tangles. Use the pin brushes to detangle the knots first. After completely smoothing out the locks, run the pin brush throughout their coat again, starting from the roots.

Benefits of Using a Pin Brush

Many of these brushes come with foldable handles for easy storage in your car and bag. If you are going to the dog park, just flip out the brush and give your furball a quick go-over to rid their coats of debris and dirt. This way, none of that gunk enters your car and your home.

The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs is a wonderful pin brush with an automatic hair removal button. The brush is suitable for coats of all lengths and textures, so it's an all-in-one solution for your dog's grooming needs.

Time To Shop for the Right Brush for Your Dog

To keep your pup looking and feeling healthy, the best dog shedding brush depends on their fur texture and length.

Rake brushes suit medium to long double coats and single rustic breed coats, while bristle brushes work best for shorter hair. The pin brush is perfect for medium-length hair and a finishing brush for longer coats. Last but not least, the slicker brush is a great all-in-one solution for most longer coats.

Feel free to experiment with these different dog brushes to find the perfect fit for your furry companion.