Are You Using the Right Dog Brush?

Written By: VetriScience

girl brushing her dog


When you’re unsure if you’re using the right dog brush—or you’re just in the market for a new brush for dogs—where do you start?

Picking the right tool to give your dog a shiny, healthy, and comfortable coat really just comes down to a simple consideration: how does the hair category fit the brush category?

If the two match up, you and your dog are good to go. Of course, the way you brush is important, too. We'll cover that later.


Step 1: Choose your dog’s hair type


Step 2: Choose your brush type

  • Bristle brushes are appropriate for any coat type, but are a broad category. If a brush has widely spaced, longer bristles, it’s more appropriate for a long coat, whereas a short, smooth coat would do well with more densely spaced and shorter bristles. Look for stiff bristles for coarse hair, and bristles with a little give for smoother coats.
  • Fine-wire bristle brushes, called slicker brushes, are better for mat removal and tangles, so are more appropriate for coarse or unruly coats.
  • Wire-pin brushes are good for curly, wooly, or especially long coats. These look quite a lot like a human’s normal hairbrush.


brushed dogStep 3: Learn the style

Use your answer from step one to determine the best way to brush. 

  • Short, smooth coats need with-the-grain brushing. The more wiry types also need with-the-grain brush strokes, but with a firmer brush.
  • For medium or long, flowy coats, use a wire-pin or a soft-bristle brush with wide-spaced bristles to again go with the grain. For mats and tangles, pick up the slicker brush and gently work through the tangle.
  • The hardest coat to brush is the double-layered coat. For the outer coat, brush with the grain, and for the undercoat, brush lightly against to help shed out the loose, fluffy fur.
  • Finally, for thin and delicate coats, a back and forth style works well. Going both with and against the grain with a wire-pin will get your pup a soft and beautiful coat in a few easy steps.


Check out this article from Chewy to learn more about all the different types of dog brushes and combs to help you groom your pet no matter what coat type they have.

And to help support healthy skin and coat (and help your grooming efforts), be sure to check out all of our skin & coat supplements for dogs!

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