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The best dog brushes for all coat types, according to experts

Brushing your dog regularly can keep their coat soft, shiny and clean — these are the best brushes our experts recommend.
Types of dog brushes and combs include slicker brushes, pin brushes and curry combs.
Types of dog brushes and combs include slicker brushes, pin brushes and curry combs.Kara Birnbaum / NBC News

Brushing your dog’s fur isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary to ensure their coat looks and feels healthy. In fact, skipping out on regular brushing can lead to more shedding and loose hair around your home. You’ll also increase their chances of getting severe tangles and mats, which are not only uncomfortable for your pup but can lead to skin infections and irritation, according to our experts. Plus, a good brushing routine can help build a stronger bond with your pet and give you more control over the grooming process, experts say. 

To help you choose the right brush for your dog’s coat type, we spoke to professional groomers about the different types of brushes, combs and deshedding tools available and how to use each one for varying hair lengths and textures. We also compiled their recommendations for the best ones to shop, as well as Select staff-favorite brushes to consider.

SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best dog brushes | Best dog brushes | How to choose the best brush for your dog

Selected.Our top picks

How we picked the best dog brushes

When shopping for the best dog brush, our experts recommend keeping the following factors in mind:

  • Brush type: The main types of dog brushes and combs are slicker brushes (the top favorite among our experts), pin brushes to detangle long hair, rake combs (like the Furminator) to reduce shedding and regular combs to catch any leftover tangles after the initial brush, according to our experts. You’ll also find curry combs, which our experts say are designed to remove loose strands on short-haired dogs before and during bathtime
  • Coat type: “The longer-hair breeds do better with a firm, extra-long pin slicker brushes,” says Wynona Lynch, a dog groomer at VCA Mountain View Animal Hospital. Short-haired breeds, on the other hand, need softer brushes like those made of rubber, or fine-toothed brushes that help prevent shedding, she says.

Best dog brushes of 2024

Below, we compiled expert-recommended and NBC Select staff-favorite dog brushes, combs and deshedding tools for all coat types, including long-haired, short-haired and tangle-prone dogs. Each of the following products are also highly rated and in line with our experts’ guidance.

Best overall: Maxpower Planet Pet Grooming Brush

What we like
  • Dual-sided
  • Helps reduce shedding and mats
  • Non-slip handle
Something to note
  • Nothing to note at this time

If your pet has very thick fur that gets matted easily, this grooming brush — an NBC Select Pet Awards winner — has sharpened, fine-rounded teeth that help to de-shed and untangle their coat. I use this brush on my 6-year-old havanese and bichon frise mix, Bella, several times a week to help prevent her tangles from getting out of control. Though Bella’s breed doesn’t shed, some loose hair will almost always show up on my dark clothes. I’ve noticed significantly less fur on my black leggings and T-shirts after using this brush, too.

One side of this brush has nine teeth that’ll help comb out tangles, while the other side has 17 teeth that trap and remove loose pet hair from your companion’s coat, according to the brand. The tool also weighs 3.5 ounces and has a non-slip rubber handle.

Best slicker brush: Dog by Dr. Lisa Slicker Brush

What we like
  • Available in two sizes
  • Helps distribute oils on coat
  • Easily removes loose hairs
Something to note
  • Smaller than other options

A slicker brush — the most popular type among our experts — comes with tightly-packed wire pins angled to brush through your dog’s coat without touching too much of the skin. They remove any tangles or mats on long-haired dogs before and after a bath, according to Allie Akhmarova, owner of New York City-based grooming business Posh Groomer. I regularly brush through Bella’s coat using this Dog by Dr. Lisa brush, and it easily glides through her coat to reduce tangles. Since Bella weighs 15 pounds, the small version succeeds at giving her a quick, thorough brushing and fits comfortably in my hand. It’s also available in a larger size for bigger dogs.

Best for short-haired dogs: Furminator Short Hair Dog Deshedding Tool

What we like
  • Rubber grip handle
  • Great for heavy shedders
  • Durable stainless steel teeth
Something to note
  • Edges can dull without care

The stainless steel edge of the Furminator — recommended by Lynch for short-haired breeds — reaches beneath your dog’s short topcoat (the layer of stiff, thick hair that protects their skin and repels dirt) to remove any loose hair from their undercoat (the soft hair underneath the topcoat that helps regulate their body temperature), according to the brand. It also has a curved edge to prevent it from cutting or scratching your dog’s skin, and an ergonomic handle for comfort, according to the brand.

Best for long-haired dogs: Artero Dematting Slicker

What we like
  • Great for long hair
  • Easy to grip handle
Something to note
  • Not for short-haired dogs
  • Not for smooth-haired dogs

This Artero slicker brush is Akhmarova’s favorite everyday brush for long-haired dogs. The metal pins can easily smooth and detangle knots, and its double-sided design helps save time while brushing, according to the brand. It also has a rubber handle to help you get a better grip, according to Artero.

Best for curly-haired dogs: Chris Christensen Mark VII Curved Slicker Dog Brush

What we like
  • Gentle for curly hair
  • Polished tips stop scratching
  • Large surface for big dogs
Something to note
  • Higher price point

Chris Christensen is a favorite brand among our experts, and the Mark VII slicker brush is one that Los Angeles-based dog groomer Jess Rona uses regularly on her curly-haired clients, specifically Goldendoodles. “The key is to push the fluff up, then use gentle strokes and brush down while you’re lifting up with one hand so you can see the [under]coat,” she says. The slicker brush is made of lightweight Beech wood and has stainless steel pins with polished tips to prevent it from scratching your dog’s skin, according to the brand.

Best multipurpose: Kong ZoomGroom Dog Brush

What we like
  • Can be used wet or dry
  • Gently massages the dog’s skin
  • Comfortable to use
Something to note
  • Removes less hair or tangles

This rubber brush from Kong has soft, wide bristles that can not only brush through your dog’s dry coat, but also thoroughly clean and gently massage the hair during bathtime, says Allie Akhmarova, owner of New York City-based grooming business Posh Groomer. Akhmarova uses this tool on short-haired breeds that shed easily.

Best dog brush for matting: Les Poochs Pro Brush

This durable slicker brush from Les Poochs is Akhmarova’s favorite to use on long-haired, double-coated dogs with lots of matting. The head of the brush gently glides through your pet’s fur and the curved bristles let you get closer to the skin where most mats form, according to the brand. The brush is designed for short, soft, curly and wavy hair breeds with coats measuring up to 3 inches.

Best dog comb: Chris Christensen 7.5-Inch Greyhound Style Comb

What we like
  • Rounded corners stops friction
  • Easily glides through fur
Something to note
  • Higher price point

Combs are best used on long-haired breeds after brushing them out with a slicker brush to get any leftover tangles, says Rona. This Chris Christensen option, a favorite of both Rona and Akhmarova, has wide teeth that smoothly comb through your dog’s hair without snagging it. “After brushing with a slicker brush, I always go through the coat [again] with a Greyhound-style comb,” says Akhmarova.  The comb also has rounded corners to prevent friction and reduce breakage, according to the brand.

Best curry comb: Le Salon Essentials Rubber Curry Grooming Brush

What we like
  • Catches lots loose hair
  • Great for short-haired dogs
  • Primes dog hair for baths
Something to note
  • Not for long-haired dogs

Curry combs are great for short- and smooth-haired dogs because they act like a primer to help remove any loose hair, says Jun Takama, founder and CEO of DOGMA, a dog daycare and grooming service based in New York City. This highly rated option from Le Salon, which has a 4.5-star average rating from over 5,100 reviews on Amazon, is made of rubber, which attracts shedding like a magnet and is easy to clean, according to the brand. Keep in mind that most rubber curry brushes aren’t recommended for long hair, and won’t help matted or tangled fur, our experts say. 

Best pin brush: Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush

What we like
  • Great for all coat types
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Doesn’t pull too hard on hair
Something to note
  • Pins might fall out over time

Pin brushes, which have long, spaced out bristles on a rubber base, are great for removing loose hair and tangles on long-haired breeds, experts say. This is another Chris Christensen favorite among our experts, this pin brush has thick stainless steel pins that glide through your dog’s coat, according to the brand.

Best grooming gloves: Delomo Pet Grooming Glove

What we like
  • Easy to use
  • Soft rubber feels good on skin
  • Fuzz sticks to gloves
Something to note
  • Won’t get out most tangles

Massage this flexible, slip-on grooming glove over your pet and the loose hair and fuzz sticks directly onto it, according to Alison Chamberland, a professional dog groomer and owner of Best in Coat Grooming Salon. One of our favorite dog grooming tools, the glove is made of soft rubber, so your pet feels more comfortable and relaxed while they’re getting brushed, Chamberland says. It’s also one size fits all with an adjustable wrist strap to provide a more comfortable fit.

How to choose the best brush for your dog

There are a few types of dog brushes to consider, each with their own unique benefits.

  • Slicker brushes: This is by far the most popular type of brush among our experts. “These brushes are extremely versatile and, as long as you are brushing down to the skin and not just surface brushing, they keep the coat in excellent shape,” says Lynch. Look for ones with coated tips for shorter coats, which avoid scraping or scratching the skin, she says.
  • Rake combs: These are often used as deshedding tools because of their rake-like teeth that help pull out dead hair in both short and long coats. A popular example of a rake comb is the Furminator.
  • Pin brushes: These look like typical hair brushes with thin, spaced out pins on a rubber base. This type of brush is great for all coat types and helps decrease tangles and any dead hair, says Lynch.
  • Combs: These are great for long hair to help keep tangles away and their coat healthy, says Lynch. However, you should only use a comb after you’ve first brushed them with a slicker brush to make sure there’s nothing left. “If you’re running a comb through a curly-haired dog before brushing them, the comb is just going to pull all the tangles,” says Rona, who emphasizes that this can be painful for your pup. Comb your dog gently and use a conditioning spray beforehand to soften tangles, she says.
  • Curry combs: These combs have small rubber bristles that work great for short-haired dogs. “They remove hair like a magnet and can be used during shampooing or alone after bathing,” says Lynch.

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Wynona Lynch is a dog groomer at VCA Mountain View Animal Hospital
  • Allie Akhmarova is a professional dog groomer and owner of Posh Groomer in New York City.
  • Jess Rona is a professional dog groomer based in Los Angeles, California.
  • Jun Takama is the CEO and founder of DOGMA, a New York City-based facility that offers dog daycare, boarding, grooming, training services and more.
  • Robert Haussmann is a certified dog trainer and co-founder of Dogboy NYC. He is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Counselors.

Why trust NBC Select?

Mili Godio is an editor at NBC Select who covers a variety of pet essentials, including dog food, travel carriers and beds. For this article, Godio spoke to five dog groomers about how to shop for the best brushes for all coat types. She also compiled their recommendations for the best dog brushes to consider, as well as Select staff favorites.

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