Which Grooming Brush do I Need for my Dog?

September 20, 2021 | General,Pet Guides | Cari Evans
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Which Grooming Brush do I Need for my Dog?

There are several types of grooming brushes for dogs and cats. Are you using the correct grooming brush for your dogs coat type? Did you know some dogs have more than one coat type (double coat)? Do you know what type of coat your dog has?

If you’re not sure how to answer any of those questions, then stick with us and we will cover the different types of grooming brushes and what works best for different breeds.

Not all fur coats are created the same, which is why there are many types of grooming brushes available. When shopping for a grooming brush it is best to take your dogs coat type into consideration. Here is a quick guide on the types of brushes and their matching dog coat types to help you determine what you need.

Types of Fur Coats

Smooth Hair Coats

Smooth dog fur requires soft to medium bristle brushes. Smooth coat breeds include Basset Hounds, Beagles, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Great Danes, Greyhound, etc.

Wiry Hair Coats

Wiry hair coats benefit most using a slicker brush. Wiry breeds are Schnauzers, Border Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Jack Russell Terriers, Irish Wolf Hounds, Wire Fox Terrier, Wire-haired Pointers, Wire-haired Dachshunds, etc.

Long Hair Coats

Dogs with long hair need wire-pin or soft to medium bristle brushes. Slickers are also beneficial combating tangles and matting. Long coats include German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Afghan Hounds, Irish or English Setters, Siberian Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, etc.

Double Hair Coats

Double coated or thick haired dogs require wire-pin or firm bristle brushes as well as slickers and undercoat rakes to maintain tangles and matting. Double coated dogs have a softer layer of fur under their coarse topcoat. The undercoats tend to mat easily and will also shed out in bulk about twice a year. PRO TIP: Brush your dog outside, during shedding seasons, to keep your air ducts from getting clogged. Just kidding… sort of.

There is not a single brush type that will work for double coated dogs. Double coat dogs need a specific tool for the undercoat and also one for the top coat. Double coats are comprised of Labrador Retrievers, Pomeranians, Siberian Huskies, Great Pyrenees, Chows, Border Collies, Newfoundlands, etc.

Curly Hair Coats

Curly hair dogs are best paired with wire-pin brushes and soft slickers to manage tangles and mats. Curly coat dog breeds include Bedlington Terriers, Bichon Frises, Bolognese, Poodles, and several doodle breeds such as Aussie Doodles or Golden Doodles.

Thin Hair Coats

Dogs with thin fur should be groomed with wire-pin brushes or rubber brushes. Thin coat breeds include Boston Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Dalmatians, Whippets, German Pinschers, Basenjis, etc.

If you’re very attentive in your reading, you might have noticed a couple of these breeds are listed in TWO categories. For example, a Golden Retriever has a long coat and a double coat. This means using the proper brushes on a regular basis is very important to keeping their fur coat manageable and healthy.

Types of Grooming Brushes

There are many types of pet grooming brushes which include the slickers, pin brushes, bristle brushes, undercoat rakes, de-shedding tools, and rubber brushes.

The Slicker Grooming Brush

A slicker brush has lots of fine wire bristles packed on either a flat or a curved brush base. A slicker brush helps remove knots in long, medium or curly coats. The slicker can also be used to remove loose hair and de-shed undercoats.  Slickers are a must have for heavy shedding breeds. There are “Soft Slicker” brushes and “Regular Slicker” brushes. The soft slicker brush bristles are much softer than the standard. The Soft slicker brush is ideal for smooth coats, fine coats, and cats as they are not as harsh as the regular slickers. The pin bristles have more flex and bend. A Regular Slicker brush is tailored for larger dogs with double-fur coats or long hair coats. Use special care when using a slicker in thin skin areas such as under the legs, behind the ears and paws.

The Pin Grooming Brush

A pin brush is a gentler brush than the slicker but won’t remove loose hair quite as well. Pin brushes have widely spaced bristle with a soft protective cap at the end of each bristle to be soft against your dog’s skin. Pin brushes are best for non-shedding dogs and dogs with curly coats, long coats, or fine and silky fur.

The Bristle Grooming Brush

A bristle brush is considered a soft finishing brush. It works well for short coat breeds as a regular grooming brush. Use the pin brush once all mats, tangles and debris has been removed with other brushes. Ideal for all types of fur coats, use this brush to give your pet a shiny and smooth coat.

The Undercoat Rake

An undercoat rake is ideal for dogs with thick fur and an undercoat or double coat that tends to shed in big clumps. The undercoat rake easily removes loose and unwanted fur in a more efficient time than a standard brush. The long and sturdy prongs pull out chunks of hair in a matter of minutes.

The De-Shedding Tool

A de-shedding tool, such as a FURminator or similar is the best tool for getting deep into the undercoat and removing excess hair, both loose and thickened. You will be amazed at just how much hair gets removed with these tools.

The Dog Comb

Dog combs are good for use after a slicker or pin brushing to catch any missed tangles. The dog comb can be used around the ears or fur around the face when a slicker is just too pokey. The teeth spacing on the comb should be determined by your dogs fur. A narrow, fine toothed comb works best for short fur while a wider tooth comb works better on long or thick fur.

The Rubber Grooming Brush

Silicone or rubber brushes are for any type of fur-coat. It even doubles as a massage tool. These brushes work especially well for dogs that shy away from grooming time. Rubber brushes are great at picking up loose hair on and off of your pets coat. You can even use this brush with water at bath time to help penetrate products to the skin and undercoat.

The Flea Comb

A flea comb looks and works just like a lice comb. The teeth on flea combs are tightly packed into a row to catch and remove fleas, flea dirt and eggs. Using a flea comb can be a time-consuming process. If done properly it is a very effective way to rid your pet of fleas. This is assuming you also take other steps to ensure the flea eradication such as treating your home, your pets bedding, and your yard. For more information on tackling a flea infestation, see our blog Get Rid of Fleas Fast.

We hope the above information is helpful to you on your quest for appropriate grooming brush for your unique furball. Remember, the more you brush your pet the better their coat will look and feel. If you have a high maintenance coat dog and only brush them a couple of times a year, you can expect it likely won’t be a pleasant or quick experience. Brush your dog least a couple of times a week to pamper and bond with them. After all, our dogs deserve it!

UPCO has a knowledgeable staff with years of experience. They are available to help you find a solution that works best for your furry friend. Do you have a blog idea or story to share you think would be helpful to our pet owner readers? Send it to us at [email protected]

About UPCO Pet Supplies

Founded in 1952, UPCO® was one of the first retail animal supply companies in St. Joseph, MO.  A third generation, family owned and operated company boasting a knowledgeable staff and offering products from over 700 brands. UPCO® provides pet and farm supplies to the local community and throughout the U.S. Customer service focused with low wholesale prices, they are the animal supplier of choice. Voted Reader’s Choice Winner for the past 12 years.

Located at 3705 Pear Street, Saint Joseph, MO 64503

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