9 Common Types of Dog Grooming Brushes

woman brushing sleeping golden retriever puppy

Taking care of your dog’s coat is a necessary part of grooming. Although all dogs need coat care, nail care, ear care, dental care, and more, the grooming level of their coat will vary from dog to dog. Knowing what grooming tools to use for your dog’s coat can be a big help in taking care of this basic maintenance. Here are some common types of dog grooming brushes to get you started:

1. Bristle Brush

The bristle brush is one of the dog grooming brushes that most resembles a hairbrush that a human might use. It features rows of soft bristles made from natural or synthetic fibers. A bristle brush* (Amazon Affiliate Link) is a great fit for dogs with short coats and dogs that have wiry coats.

This type of brush excels for distributing your dog’s natural oils throughout their fur for a nice, healthy shine. This brush is also used to remove debris and gently remove loose fur. It can also be used as a finishing tool to smooth out your dog’s fur.

2. Slicker Brush

A slicker brush* (Amazon Affiliate Link) is usually rectangular or oval-shaped and can be used on all coat types. It is particularly useful on curly-coated dogs, medium-to-long-haired dogs, any coat type prone to tangles and mats, double-coated dogs, and any coat that sheds a lot. It tends to have bristles made of fine wire that are also packed tightly together.

Like the bristle brush, it’s used for removing debris and loose fur. But, it tends to gather a bit more than the bristle brush and can also be used to work out tangles, knots, and small mats in the fur. You can even get one that is “self-cleaning” that will push the collected fur off its bristles with the push of a button.

3. Pin Brush

The pin brush* (Amazon Affiliate Link), or pinhead brush, is similar to the slicker brush in that it has wire bristles. The difference is that the pin brush’s wire “pins” are tipped with rubber or plastic.

The wire bristles are also sometimes spaced further apart than a standard slicker brush and may also be longer, but not always. This type of dog grooming brush is best-suited to longer and silkier coat types.

4. Double-Sided Brush

A double-sided brush* (Amazon Affiliate Link) can vary depending on the types of brush bristles it combines. Generally, there is a soft-bristled side and a hard-bristled side. The most common combination is a bristle brush and pin brush or rubber brush.

Double-sided brushes are a great combination tool that can give you more flexibility with grooming without the hassle of additional tools. Because there are two types of brushes combined, a double-sided brush can make grooming a wiggly, impatient, and excitable dog a little faster and easier.

This type of dog grooming brush can be used on all coat types. It’s a good tool for removing dirt, debris, and loose fur from a dog’s coat. The pinhead bristles can also help work out tangles and even small mats from longer coats.

5. Shedding Blade

The shedding blade* (Amazon Affiliate Link) may have a scary name, but it’s not a blade at all and is not used for cutting. This dog grooming brush is horseshoe-shaped and has small, ridged, harmless “teeth” on one side. It’s not meant to cut fur, but it is useful for removing loose fur from short, flat, or combination coat types.

You simply drag it across fur gently and it gathers the loose fur as it goes for easy removal. It does not collect the fur and contain it to the tool like a brush does, but it does bring loose fur to the surface and collects it together for you to pick up and throw away.

6. Undercoat Rake

An undercoat rake* (Amazon Affiliate Link), also called a stripping comb, is like a pin brush and a shedding blade put together. It tends to have fewer, longer, and thicker metal “teeth” and, like the shedding blade, it’s meant to remove loose fur. You do have to be careful, however, as it can cut the top coat while removing the undercoat on some heavy-coated dogs and some coat types.

This type of dog grooming brush is designed specifically for dense double coats, heavy coat types, and wire coats. It is built to reach near the dog’s skin and remove tangles and loose fur without pulling or harming the skin as long as you are using it correctly.

If you use too much pressure, you can harm your dog’s skin, especially in areas with thinner skin. It’s one of the dog grooming tools you will definitely want to have on hand, especially during those seasonal shedding sessions! If you’re not confident in using it on your own, you can always take your dog to the groomer to have them help handle the undercoat during seasonal shedding.

7. Rubber Brush

A rubber brush* (Amazon Affiliate Link) is like a curry comb. It is a soft brush with short “teeth” or bristles and is made completely of rubber. These are great tools for removing loose fur from dogs with short, smooth coats or on the surface of wiry or medium and long coats.

This makes it a good option for dogs who shed a lot. They can also be useful for working the shampoo into a dog’s coat during a bath.

8. Flea Comb

A flea comb* (Amazon Affiliate Link) is a type of dog grooming brush every dog owner should have in their kit. These combs usually have long, thin metal prongs that are placed closely together and can be used on any coat type.

Although they can help with detangling, their most helpful use is capturing any flea dirt, eggs, or fleas that may be on your dog’s coat. In addition to using year-round prevention, a flea comb can help you protect your dog from fleas.

9. Wide-Toothed Comb

Although similar to some combs used for human hair, wide-toothed combs* (Amazon Affiliate Link) for dogs typically have metal bristles spaced a little further apart on one half and a little closer together on the other half. This type of comb is typically used on long coats and silky coat types to remove tangles and work out small mats.

Grooming your dog and caring for their coat is a necessary part of dog ownership. Although the grooming level of each dog will vary, having the right tools or a combination of tools on-hand can help make the process easier. Reviewing these common types of dog grooming brushes and getting the right ones for your dog is a good start.

Common Types of Dog Grooming Brushes - Infographic by Greenfield Puppies

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