Looking for a dog brush to remove dirt and tangles? We’ve tested and reviewed some of the highest-rated options to help you find the best dog brush for your pet.
Brushing is a vital grooming task for almost all dogs, but it’s important to use the right brush for their coat and fur type. For example, a long-haired, double-coated dog has very different grooming needs than a short-haired, single-coated breed, so the “best” brush depends on your requirements.
As we mentioned in our article on dog clippers, it’s also essential to buy high-quality pet grooming tools and supplies. While brushes are relatively cheap, they should still be durable, safe to use, and comfortable to hold.
To help you make the right choice, we’ve reviewed six of the best dog brushes. We’ve included top picks for slicker, de-shedding, bristle, undercoat, pin, and rubber brushes, so there’s an excellent option for every dog.
Our Top Recommendations
- Our Top Recommendations
- Best Dog Brush for Dogs: Our 6 Top Picks
- How We Chose And Tested Our Best Dog Brushes
- How To Choose a Dog Brush
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Dog Brush for Dogs: Our 6 Top Picks
The best brush for your dog depends on their coat type and grooming requirements. For this reason, we’ve listed our top picks by category, with pin, bristle, de-shedding, undercoat rakes, and rubber brushes all included.
Best Deshedding Brush: FURminatorVIEW PRICE
If you’re looking for an undercoat de-shedding brush for your double-coated dog, then the FURminator is our top pick. We found the FURminator to be great for removing loose hair and can greatly reduce the amount of fur dropped around the home.
The FURminator is made with a stainless steel edge. We found that this easily passes through the topcoat, so it can remove hair from the undercoat layer. It’s also safe when used in moderation and won’t damage your dog’s skin or topcoat, although it’s important not to press too hard or over-groom your dog.
During our testing, we found the “eject” button to be useful. When the brush is full of hair, you can use this to empty the hair into a bag or bin. There are also various sizes available and options for short and long-haired breeds, so it’s suitable for almost any double-coated dog.
Keep in mind that the FURminator is designed for use on dry and non-matted fur. While it can remove smaller mats, it may pull on tangled hair. It’s best to use it after removing mats with a different brush. It also won’t be as effective if the hair is wet, and it shouldn’t be used on non-shedding dogs or those without an undercoat.
Note: An honorable mention goes to the Oster ShedMonster. While we don’t think it’s quite as effective as the Furminator, it’s a good choice for long or thick coats. The FurGoPet is another option.
The FURminator is an outstanding de-shedding brush that’s great for dogs with undercoats. It’s more expensive than other options, but we think it’s worth the money for double-coated breeds that shed heavily.
Best Slicker Brush: Hertzko Self CleaningVIEW PRICE
Our top pick for a slicker brush is the excellent Hertzko Self Cleaning Brush. During our testing, we found that it was great for gently removing tangles, knots, and loose hair. The Hertzko is also durable and has a handy cleaning feature.
We think the Hertzko ticks all the boxes for a high-quality slicker brush. It’s effective at removing mats and trapped dirt, so your dog’s hair will look and feel much better after being groomed. The fine wires can also tackle deep hair, rather than just the top layer.
As you can see from the photo, the standard Hertzko has a relatively broad head. This allows it to groom large areas of hair quickly, although there is a “Small” option for smaller breeds. Considering the very reasonable price tag, we think it provides great value for money.
A helpful feature is the bristle retraction button. When you’ve finished grooming, pressing this button retracts the bristles, making it easy to remove caught hair. We also found the anti-slip handle to be comfortable to hold, which is important for long grooming sessions.
Note: As with any slicker brush, you need to be careful to avoid hurting your dog when using the Hertzko. Pressing too hard can make grooming uncomfortable for your pup – especially as the pins are small and tightly spaced.
We think the Hertzko Self Cleaning Brush is one of the best slicker brushes on the market. It’s comfortable to hold, durable, and affordable. It’s also great for getting rid of mats and removing loose hair.
Best Undercoat Brush: Rubold Pet RakeVIEW PRICE
If you want a rake for de-matting your dog’s undercoat, then the Rubold Pet Rake is our top pick. Unlike the FURminator, the Rubold is designed to both remove mats and de-shed the undercoat. It has two sides with different teeth configurations, making it a versatile rake for double-coated breeds.
The first side has nine precision teeth for removing mats. These teeth gently break apart mats, which prepares the coat for grooming. The second size has 17 teeth that we found do a decent job of de-shedding once the mats have been removed.
We like that each tooth is curved, so that the rounded edge contacts the dog’s skin. This makes it gentler on your pet’s skin and helps to prevent scratching or irritation.
You still need to be careful when using any stripping comb though. While they are safe if used correctly, the sharp insides of the teeth can cut if you’re not careful. This type of comb is generally best left to professional groomers.
We found that the Rubold Pet Rake is a great choice for removing mats from your dog’s undercoat. The curved teeth protect your pet’s skin and it’s highly effective at untangling hair. Keep in mind that this is an undercoat brush though – it shouldn’t be used for short-haired breeds or those without an undercoat.
Best Bristle Brush: GoPets Professional Pin & Bristle BrushVIEW PRICE
For gently removing hair from the top coat, we think the GoPets Professional Pin & Bristle is a great choice. It’s a double-sided brush with a side of pins and another of bristles, plus we found it comfortable to hold and available for a very reasonable price.
The bristle side of the GoPets is effective for gently removing dirt and hair from the top coat. You can use it as a daily brush to keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny – and we think it’s soft enough for most dogs to enjoy it.
You can also switch to the pin side to get rid of tangles in dogs without an undercoat (such as Poodles). Pin brushes aren’t as effective at removing mats from undercoats though. If your dog has a thick undercoat, we recommend the FURminator for shedding.
We like that each pin is rounded at the end. While you still shouldn’t push too hard, this makes brushing more comfortable for your pet. We also like the flexible pin bedding, which helps the brush contour to your dog’s body shape.
The GoPets Professional Pin & Bristle is a great brush for daily grooming. While the bristles aren’t designed to penetrate to the undercoat, they are useful for removing dirt and loose hair from the top coat. The pin side is also handy for removing light tangles and mats.
Best Pin Brush: Chris Christensen Oval BrushVIEW PRICE
If you’re looking for a pin brush, the Chris Christensen Oval is our top recommendation. It’s a durable, lightweight, and highly effective pin brush that’s comfortable to hold. It also has smooth tips to avoid scratching your dog’s skin.
The Christ Christensen Oval has a beech body and smooth handle. We found that the firm cushion provides some give without reducing the brushes’ effectiveness.
Most importantly, we found it easy to glide this brush through a dog’s coat, spreading healthy oils and removing dirt. The rounded pins reduce discomfort for your dog, which makes grooming more pleasant for both of you.
A bonus is that hair is easy to remove from the pins after grooming. If you’ve ever used a pin brush that seems to tangle hair around the pins, you’ll know this is a huge time saver!
The Chris Christensen Oval Brush isn’t the cheapest pin brush, but it’s a high-quality product that we think is worth every penny. The rounded bristles make grooming more comfortable for your dog, while the wood handle is easy to hold.
Best Rubber (Curry) Brush: Kong ZoomGroomVIEW PRICE
When it comes to gentle grooming, especially for short-haired breeds, the Kong ZoomGroom brush is a great choice. It has relatively long rubber teeth, so it can penetrate the coat to stimulate natural oil production. We also found that the Kong does a great job of removing dirt and loose hair.
The ZoomGroom has an ergonomic handle for comfortable grooming, along with a soft-yet-firm rubber design. If you want a curry brush that’s great for removing dead hair and leaves your dog’s coat looking refreshed, our testing found it to be an excellent choice.
Aside from daily grooming, we found that the ZoomGroom is great for bath time. You can use it to gently rub shampoo or a soothing conditioner into your dog’s hair while giving the skin a stimulating massage. It’s also suitable for puppies or small breeds.
It’s important to have realistic expectations of a rubber brush though. Curry brushes are designed to massage the skin while removing dead hair, but they aren’t great at tackling mats or tangles. The Kong ZoomGroom also isn’t designed to be chewed – it’s certainly not as durable as a Kong toy!
The Kong Zoom Groom Grooming Brush is a great choice for short-haired breeds. The soft teeth gently massage the skin while removing dead hair. It’s also great for using in the bath.
How We Chose And Tested Our Best Dog Brushes
All of the dog brushes we’ve reviewed on this page were chosen based on a combination of our experience as dog owners, hands-on testing, and deep research into customer reviews.
We wanted to recommend a selection of different types of dog brush, so there is a great option for almost every type of coat on this page.
For the reviews, we looked at factors such as:
- Safety (particularly for de-shedding brushes and rakes)
- Ease of use and ergonomics
- Value for money
How To Choose a Dog Brush
The key when choosing a dog brush is to select the right options for your pet’s coat. Some brushes are designed for thick double coats, while others are better suited to thin hair. Here’s an overview of some of the main considerations.
There are many dog brush types, but the most common are:
- Bristle brushes. These brushes have many bristles, making them helpful in removing dead hair across large areas. They can also spread healthy oils and remove loose dirt. Bristle brushes can be used on most dog coats, but are best suited for short-haired breeds. They are also often used at the end of a grooming session on a double-coated dog. Bristle brushes with close bristles are great for grooming short-haired breeds, such as a Terrier, Pug, or Miniature Schnauzer, while wider spacing is more effective for longer hair.
- Slicker brushes. Slicker brushes have a dense set of wire pins that are brilliant for removing mats. These brushes can be used on many types of coat, including curly and long-coated breeds. It’s important not to press too hard, though, as the pins can cause pain and discomfort.
- Pin brushes. These brushes are handy for removing dirt and small tangles from dogs with wire-like coats. They are also relatively gentle on the skin, with most having ball tips to prevent irritation. However, they aren’t as effective at removing mats or tangles in double coats as slicker brushes. Pin brushes are often sold as a “combo” with bristle brushes.
- Rubber brushes (also called curry brushes). Rubber brushes, like the Kong ZoomGroom, have a flexible design that can remove dirt from short-coated breeds. They can also provide a mild skin massage, which helps spread healthy oils. Rubber brushes are usually not very effective for grooming dogs with thicker coats though.
- Undercoat rakes. Rakes have a set of pins that can remove fur from the undercoat of double-coated breeds. Undercoat rakes should not be used on breeds with a single coat, and it’s vital to choose the correct pin length for your pet. It’s also important not to press too hard, groom for too long, or use rakes too often, as they can cause damage to the coat if misused.
The size of a dog brush is often overlooked. However, choosing the right size is vital for grooming your dog safely and effectively.
For example, if you have a large breed, such as an Akita or Great Dane, then a tiny brush will make grooming take a lot longer than necessary. On the other hand, a brush that’s too big for a small dog makes it impossible to groom your pet effectively.
Many brushes are available in multiple sizes, so check the manufacturer’s sizing chart to find the right option for your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dog brush vacuum attachments suck hair into the vacuum when you groom them. We don’t think they should replace regular brushes, but vacuum attachments can make it easier to keep a house clean – particularly if you can’t groom your pet outdoors.
There are a few downsides to a vacuum attachment though. The main one is noise: most dogs are scared of vacuums and won’t feel comfortable next to one when it’s switched on. There’s also a lot less choice regarding the type of brush you want to buy.
With that said, vacuum attachments can be helpful in certain situations, but only if they are introduced using positive reinforcement and don’t cause stress to your pet. One of the best is the Penn Plax VacGroom, as it fits any vacuum with a circular intake channel.
Note: Some vacuum attachments are made to fit any vacuum cleaner. Others are designed for specific models or brands. If you decide to buy one, make sure it fits your current vacuum.
Detangle sprays lubricate the hair, which makes it easier to brush out tangles and mats. They aren’t a complete solution – brushing is still the best way to maintain a healthy coat – but they can certainly help.
For more information, take a look at our guide to the best dog detanglers.
While some dogs need grooming more often, all canines can benefit from regular brushing. Aside from making your dog’s coat look neater, brushing eliminates mats, reduces dead hair, can help manage dog dandruff, and spreads healthy oils over the skin.
It’s important to choose the right type of brush for your pet though. This depends on the length of hair, coarseness, and whether your pet has an undercoat.
To summarize the top picks in this article:
- To remove dead and loose hair before it sheds, the FURminator is an excellent choice.
- For eliminating minor mats and tangles in short, medium, or curly-haired dogs, the Hertzko Self Cleaning slicker brush is our top pick.
- For tackling mats and tangles in your dog’s undercoat, the Rubold Pet Rake does a great job.
- If you want a bristle brush for removing dirt and tangles from a top coat, the GoPets Professional Pin & Bristle Brush provides great value.
- To groom dogs with medium, long, or woolly hair, a wire pin brush is a good option – and the Chris Christensen Oval is our #1 pick.
- For grooming short-haired breeds or gently massaging skin, the Kong ZoomGroom is a cheap option that does a decent job.
We hope this article has helped you choose the best dog brush for your pet. We’ve also written guides to the best brushes for Goldendoodles, best brushes for Australian Shepherds, and best dog brushes for Labradors if you’re looking for grooming tools for specific breeds.