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10 Best Dog Brushes of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Grooming Maltese Bichon haircut

The grooming process is a routine every dog owner is familiar with. Brushing is a part of coat care and keeps excessive shedding off our in-home materials. We all know what it’s like to get dog hair on our favorite shirt before an outing, and it’s not an ideal situation. You can alleviate a lot of the headache of shedding, tangles, and mats by brushing your dog regularly.

To cut some corners for you, we’ve compiled a list of tested top-notch brushes on the market. Below are the reviews revealing our findings. You can find the one that’s right for your dog the first time around.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
  • Feature icon3 sizes
  • Feature iconVersatile
  • Feature iconSelf-cleaning
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Hartz Groomer's Best Combo Dog Brush Hartz Groomer's Best Combo Dog Brush
  • Feature iconAffordable
  • Feature iconDual-sided
  • Feature iconFor all coat types
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog Slicker Brush Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog Slicker Brush
  • Feature iconHigh-quality
  • Feature iconSelf-cleaning
  • Feature iconCurved bristles
  • JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush
  • Feature iconPadded grip
  • Feature iconMakes coat shiny
  • Feature iconGood for sensitive dogs
  • Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush
  • Feature iconFor larger dogs
  • Feature iconSpreads natural oils
  • Feature iconStimulates hair follicles
  • The 10 Best Dog Brushes – Reviews 2021

    1. Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush – Best Overall

    1Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs

    The Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is our favorite because it has everything you need in your dog brush without a hefty price tag. It works for short hair, long hair, and any texture in between. When it comes to all the factors that make a product great, we think this selection wins the prize.

    There are 3 sizes: small, medium, and large. You can choose the size that’s best for your pooch based on their size and coat difficulty. If you get a brush that’s too big or small, it may not work for your dog, so buy accordingly.

    The stainless steel bristles are gentle and comfortable. You won’t have to worry about irritating your dog’s skin, but still be mindful of sensitive areas since these bristles can snag. The pin arrangement provides efficiency, even with tough double-coats.

    The handle is sturdy, fitting nicely in the palm without slipping. It’s a breeze to clean—you simply press the handle and release the pins to remove hair and debris. Since it works for so many dogs of all sizes and coat types, it wins overall versatility points.

    It may not work for overly rambunctious dogs since the pins can hurt them if they move around unpredictably.

    Pros
    • Versatile
    • 3 sizes
    • Self-cleaning
    • Great for tough coats
    Cons
    • Might not work for all dogs
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    2. Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush – Best Value

    2Hartz Groomer's Best Combo Dog Brush

    The Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush has multipurpose features—plus, it’s the best dog brush for the money, which makes it especially attractive.  If you’re looking for an affordable option that gets the job done, it is worth your consideration.

    This dual-sided brush has stainless steel pins on one side, perfect for getting out those tough tangles that are so hard to manage. The other side has nylon synthetic bristles for a smooth finish that gently leaves your dog’s fur well-kept.

    The nylon bristles also help distribute natural oils through your pet’s fur, making it soft and shiny. It’s an excellent choice for curly, wiry, or otherwise tricky coats. It isn’t necessarily going to do the job of de-shedding, but it does take care of dead hair buildup.

    This option isn’t self-cleaning, so you’ll have to pull out the hair from the bristles manually after every use. But for the price, it’s hard to complain.

    Pros
    • Dual-sided
    • Affordable
    • For all coat types
    Cons
    • Not self-cleaning
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    3. Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog Slicker Brush – Premium Choice

    3Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

    If you don’t mind making a small investment, Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog Slicker Brush May work wonders for your dog. Unlike other slicker brushes, the stainless steel bristles curve slightly to give the design extra grabbing qualities. This feature helps to remove dead hair deep in the undercoat as well as on top.

    This selection is ideal for dogs who frequently get tangles or debris stuck in their fur. If you have a dog who loves to explore the great outdoors, the bristles penetrate the layers, removing any burrs or sticky things they may have picked up while they ventured.

    The high-quality bristles work without scratching the skin, so it keeps your dog happy and pain-free while you’re brushing. Then, you simply push the button to release the hair and store away for next time.

    Pros
    • High-quality
    • Curved bristles
    • Self-cleaning
    Cons
    • Pricey
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    4. JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush

    4JW Pet Gripsoft Bristle Brush

    If you want a dog brush that’s easy on the hand, consider JW Pet GripSoft Bristle Brush. This selection has an ultra-padded grip to make holding on an easy experience. It’s non-slip, so you don’t have to worry about readjusting the position often.

    The nylon bristles are perfect for sensitive pooches, especially around the facial area. You can get all the viral areas without irritating your pet’s skin for a quick, painless finish. This brush isn’t suited for deep grooming like—say—a slicker brush, but it’s perfect for keeping your dog’s coat beautifully maintained.

    Another upside—this choice is suitable for all fur types. If you’re looking to promote good circulation and adequate shine, this brush serves the main purposes.

    Pros
    • Good for sensitive dogs
    • Padded grip
    • Makes coat shiny
    Cons
    • Not for deep grooming
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    5. Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush

    5Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush

    The Andis Premium Large Pin Pet Brush has longer, widespread bristles that work very well for larger dogs. It can also work quite well with little dogs who have thicker, fluffier, or coarser hair. It’s a simple, straight-to-the-point design.

    The handle isn’t the most comfortable choice for extended use, but it is moderately padded so you can get some relief. The way the brush combs through the fur stimulates the hair follicles to promote healthy growth and roots.

    This brush option also spreads oils through the hair to create a lovely shimmer on the surface. This look leaves your pet looking fresh in between washes.

    Pros
    • Stimulates hair follicles
    • Spreads natural oils
    • For larger dogs
    Cons
    • Not for short hair
    • Not for little dogs
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    6. Li’l Pals Coated Tips Dog Slicker Brush

    6Li'l Pals Coated Tips Dog Slicker Brush

    Li’l Pals Coated Tips Dog Slicker Brush is a terrific selection for toy and small breeds. This brush is both effective and affordable. The bristles are made of thin stainless steel that contours to your dog’s body so it effectively reduces shed and debris without irritating the skin.

    There are plastic tips on all of the stainless steel bristles to prevent unnecessary rubbing, which is helpful especially for dogs with thinner hair. The bristles are meant to massage the skin, circulating blood flow, and distributing natural oils.

    This brush is 4.9 inches in length, making it ideal for little ones. The handle is comfortable enough for the groomer, too. This selection won’t work for bigger dogs, though. So, if you have a more sizable guy with thicker hair, it may not work out.

    Pros
    • For small dogs
    • Massage skin
    • Reduces shed and debris
    Cons
    • Not for bigger dogs
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    7. ConairPRO Dog Slicker Soft Brush

    7ConairPRO Dog Slicker Soft Brush

    ConairPRO Dog Slicker Soft Brush is an incredibly unique design that could be just what you’re looking for. You can choose from the small or medium-sized brush depending on what you need for your dog’s size and coat type.

    This tool has a gel handgrip, making a smoother grooming experience for the person using it. The handle is thick and sturdy, so you have optimal control over how the brush passes over the fur.

    Rather than a square bristle design like most slicker brushes, this tool has an oval construction. It removes tangles effortlessly, leaving the coat smooth and healthy.

    While it’s a fabulous choice, it may not work as well for double-coated dogs. The bristles might not get to the thick undercoat as well. But for all others, this brush should work just as it should.

    Pros
    • Gel handle
    • Oval design
    • Different size options
    Cons
    • Not for double-coats
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    8. Miracle Care Slicker Dog Brush

    8Miracle Care Slicker Dog Brush

    If your dog is prone to matting or tangles, the Miracle Care Slicker Dog Brush will get the job done. This Brush’s overall design is ideal for getting out tough knots to give your dog a lustrous coat. It’s powerful enough for double-coats but sufficiently gentle for short fur.

    The handle is suitable even when it’s wet, keeping an excellent grip. The flexible pins contour to your dog’s body to make a smooth, irritation-free grooming session. It’s capable of withstanding difficult situations, such as matting and bad tangles.

    This brush can easily double as a de-shedding tool since it gets rid of access fur down to the base coat. It may be best for dogs with very thick hair or textures that are tougher to maintain.

    This selection doesn’t have a self-cleaning feature, so you have to take the hair build up out manually.

    Pros
    • No-slip grip
    • Flexible pins
    • Great for knots and matting
    Cons
    • Not self-cleaning
    • May not be for all dogs
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    9. Four Paws Magic Coat Slicker Dog Brush

    9Four Paws Magic Coat Professional Series Slicker Dog Brush

    The Four Paws Magic Coat Slicker Dog Brush could be just what you need for your little dog. The wires are ultra-fine to give a close and efficient brush. The bristles lift up dirt, debris, and dead skin to the surface of your dog’s fur and skin can be fresh and shiny.

    The handle is straightforward to hold, but the brush doesn’t feel completely sturdy in your hand. It’s not entirely flexible, so if you have a dog with extra-sensitive skin, it may be too abrasive. This is better suited for dogs with longer or thicker hair.

    However, all dogs can benefit from this brush if they have no sensitivities. It might be a bit large for toy breeds, depending on body structure.

    Pros
    • Gets rid of buildup
    • For longer, thicker hair
    Cons
    • A bit abrasive
    • Might not work for toy breeds or big dogs
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    10. Pet Republique Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

    10Pet Republique Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush

    The Pet Republique Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush can be a good choice if you’re compatible with the design. The handle is a non-slip ergonomic, so you can get into hard-to-reach areas. But if your dog has ultra-short hair, the bristles may irritate the skin.

    One really cool feature is that this company donates a portion of its proceeds to the American Animal Rescue Society. With each sale, 15% of the profits go directly to that foundation to keep it up and running, so you’re giving to a good cause.

    Cleanup is simple, but this brush would work better with longer-haired dogs. The bristles are made of stainless steel that is extremely hygienic and easy to clean. This brush wouldn’t be the best choice for larger breeds with thick coats like Huskies or Golden Retrievers.

    Pros
    • Could irritate skin
    • Non-slip handle
    • 15% of proceeds are donated
    Cons
    • Not for larger breeds
    • Not best for very short hair
    • Not best for thick hair
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    Buyers Guide

    You probably brush your hair daily to prevent tangles. Most dogs require the same—I mean, could you imagine being covered in hair? Everything from your furniture to your clothes benefit from brushing your canine regularly. Regardless of if you’re trying to minimize shedding or your dog is prone to matting, it should be a necessary part of routine care.

    So, how can you pick a great product that takes care of your dog’s grooming needs? You simply need to know what you’re in search of.

    Learning the Different Brush Styles

    There are a few different brush styles to choose from. But ultimately, the brush that works best has everything to do with your dog’s coat type. You can have one or even a few different brush styles for various uses.

    • De-Shedding Tool—these brushes aren’t meant for everyday use. Typically de-shedding tools are to help owners combat excessive shedding by reducing dead hair at the root. The whole purpose of these tools is to reduce and thin existing hair without cutting your pet. However, since the bristles are abrasive, use with caution infrequently. It can scratch or irritate your dog’s skin If you use it too frequently.
    • Slicker Brush—this type is one of the most common dog brushes on the market. It helps combat matting by gently removing tangles with close rows of thin wire tips. Many slicker brushes are self-cleaning, which means you push a button to release trapped hair. Slicker brushes can be oval, circular, or rectangular in style. There are several brush handle sizes and materials, too. You can get the best fit for your hand and your dog at the same time.
    • Soft-Bristled Brush—these brushes are generally made of synthetic nylon bristles or pig hair. You can give your dog a few passes of the brush to remove dead hair, but these types are likely too weak for dogs with heavier or thicker coat texture. Soft-bristled brushes create a sheen on your dog’s coat. It’s perfect for distributing natural oils to build a shiny appearance.
    • Glove Brush—if your dog isn’t one who enjoys brushing too much, glove brushes can be a good alternative. You can make your dog think he’s getting a petting session while getting rid of unwanted hair. This style is usually plastic or rubber—and it’s important to buy the right size for your hand. These gloves can also come in handy with anxious or aggressive dogs who don’t take kindly to grooming. This method creates a sort of closeness between you and the dog so they feel a sense of calm or comfort. Plus, the glove can protect your hand if they decide to bite.

    Features to Look for When You Buy
    • Size—yes, brushes are different sizes. You can buy based on the size of your dog. If you have a brush that’s too big or small, it may complicate grooming. You may also have to empty the pad many times during use, making the process drag out for both you and your pooch.
    • Material—everything from bristles to handles will be a different material. It’s important to have an irritant-free, easy-grip brush that gets the job done. Many handles will have gel or some form of padding to keep your hand from getting fatigued. The bristles are often either nylon, stainless steel, or plastic-tipped stainless steel—but they can also be rubber and other alternatives.
    • Convenience—it’s nice to have a brush that’s simple to clean. Many brushes have self-cleaning features where you simply push a button to release the hair trap and toss away. Many designs also tightly pack the hair together so you can remove the hair with a single swipe.
    • Comfort—you’re the one who’s using the brush, so a comfy handle is crucial. You won’t want to hold onto a brush that hurts your hand. Pick a selection that has adequate padding and a perfect palm fit. Comfort for your dog is even more vital. If the bristles don’t agree with your dog’s skin type, it can cause some major irritation issues.
    • Ease of Use—who needs a complicated dog brush? Select one that looks straightforward and simple, but is also effective. You won’t want to fiddle with a release to get the hair out on self-cleaning models. Buttons that provide a quick, simple release are best.
    Regular Brushing
    Image Credit: sonsart, Shutterstock

    Know Your Dogs Fur Type

    Different coats require different care—it’s pretty simple. So, here are the brushes that work best for your pooch based on their fur type.

    • Double-Coated Dogs—double-coated dogs need a more aggressive type of brush, so a slicker brush is usually best for regular grooming. A de-shedding tool can also help a few times per month to thin out dead hair and cells on the under and overcoat.
    • Long-Haired Dogs—to prevent matting, long-haired dogs benefit from a slicker brush. But if your dog has exceptionally silky hair, you can use a bristled brush for general upkeep.
    • Curly or Wiry Coats—because these coat types can be tangly and tough, a slicker brush will thin out the hair and remove tangles. Using a regular nylon brush can also work in between slicker sessions to keep the coat shiny and healthy-looking.
    • Short-Haired Dogs—if you have a short-haired dog with a well-behaved, smooth coat, any brush on the market will do. You probably won’t need anything too fancy, just a bristle brush would do the trick.

    However, if your short-haired dog has a double-coat, they can benefit from many different styles, including de-shedding tools.

    • Tip: Some dogs are more sensitive than others. If you have a dog with sensitive skin, make sure to keep grooming sessions short but thorough and look for any signs of irritation.

    Dog Brushing Pointers

    Brushing your dog doesn’t have to be complicated or overly time-consuming. However, if your dog has a more complicated coat, it can be a bit more of a task. It is also harder if your dog resists brushing or is all over the place when you need them to hold still.

    Here are some ways to hold your dog's interest while making the grooming experience a positive one:
    • If your dog is uncooperative, get treats to persuade them to relax
    • Always brush in the direction of your dog’s coat
    • Be especially careful when combing around the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth
    • Don’t yank at tangles or mats, as you can damage their skin
    • Gently break up any knots by working the hair from the bottom
    • For more serious matting, you can use conditioner or spray
    • If your dog tends to nip, be sure to wear sleeves or gloves to protect yourself

    Each dog will respond differently to grooming, so you have to adjust to their preference and comfort, too.

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    FAQs

    How Often Should I Groom My Dog?

    The frequency of grooming has a lot to do with your dog’s particular coat. A dog who is a heavy shedder would benefit from daily brushing. But a dog who is a lighter shedder may only need a few brush sessions per week.

    Every other day is a good rule of thumb. But tailor that based on your individual pooch.

    Do Non-Shedding Breeds Need to be Brushed?

    Even though non-shedding breeds aren’t littering your couch with fur, they do still need some coat care. They can become matted, tangled, or dingy if you never brush them. Brushing your hypoallergenic dog is still helpful to both them and you.

    Does Brushing Prevent Shedding Completely?

    You can never stop your dog from shedding completely. Even non-shedding breeds shed slightly. Regular brushing can, however, greatly reduce hair build-up.

    Divider 2Conclusion

    We think that the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is the best for its range of practical qualities. It works for long, short, curly, coarse, and double-coats. It’s incredibly easy to clean and gentle on the skin. It won’t wear your hand out or be hard to hold, either.

    Or maybe you’re on a budget. The Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush is quite a good deal for a few reasons. It’s affordable, multipurpose, and distributes natural oils. It will serve the purpose without being too hard on your wallet.

    Whichever of these 10 caught your eye, we hope you have found the brush you’re looking for.

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    Featured Image Credit: David Pio Caviedes, Shutterstock