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- A high quality dog brush is soft, efficient and easy to use.
- The type of coat your dog has will determine the type of brush you use, whether it is a pin, curry or smooth brush, weed tool or mitt. grooming.
- Our top pick for the best dog brush is Hartz’s Best Combination Brush, which is ideal for dogs of different hair types.
Brushing your dog may seem like a chore, but regular brushing prevents tangles and mats – the knots of grunted hair trapped in the coat. Mats are not only uncomfortable for your dog, but they can be painful and irritating to the skin, even causing infections. Frequent brushing also distributes healthy oils and removes loose hair from the coat before it gets on your clothes and home.
To help you choose the best brush for your dog, I tested 23 different grooming tools over a three month period with two dogs, a short straight haired Labrador retriever and a long curly haired miniature poodle. I have received samples of editorial reviews from manufacturers with the exception of Millers Forge, Chris Christensen, and ConairPro brushes, purchased by Insider Reviews.
I am not new to dog brushing. I have brushed, bathed and trimmed my poodle all of its life (over a decade now). I have also brushed and bathed thousands of pets during my eight year stint as a vet assistant. For additional expertise on brushing dogs, I consulted with groomer Cassie Edmond, who looks after animals at the San Diego Humane Society.
Dog brushes are available in different styles for different coats. To find out what type of brush is best for your dog, first identify their coat type.
Smooth: This type of hair is made up of short, closely spaced hairs that grow in a single layer (without an undercoat). Some smooth-coated breeds include Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Boston Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Greyhounds, and Weimaraners.
Double layer: Double-coated dogs have two types of coat. The outer layer (the outermost layer of the hair) is longer and the undercoat (which is located near the skin) is shorter and usually woolly or soft. Some double-coated breeds include Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers.
Long hair: Long-haired dogs can have silky or coarse hair. Some long-haired dogs have an undercoat while others do not. Long-haired breeds include Afghan dogs, Maltese, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire terriers.
Curly or wavy hair: Dogs with curly hair should be brushed regularly to avoid rugs. In general, they do not have an undercoat, although some mixed breed dogs, including doodles, may have an undercoat. Curly-coated breeds include Bedlington Terriers, Bichon Frize, Poodles, and Portuguese Water Dogs.
To avoid skin irritation, choose the right brush for your dog’s coat type and avoid overbrushing. “There may be too much brushing,” Edmond said. “Excessive brushing causes what’s called a brush burn, which is irritation of the skin. Smoother brushes used on short-haired dogs can cause a faster burn.
Edmond recommends brushing your dog every day. Beyond grooming and hygiene, there are additional benefits. “Regular brushing gives pet parents the ability to touch their pets anywhere, which can help quickly identify possible health issues,” she says. “As a groomer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found lumps, bumps, cuts or skin issues.”
Here are the best dog brushes you can buy:
Prices and links are up to date as of 07/31/20. We’ve picked new picks based on research and testing and added an extra category for the best pin brush. We’ve also added a slide with frequently asked questions about brushing a dog.