Why Are We Still Scratching Instead of Brushing?– Simple Guide to Pet Combs and Brushes

I was walking around a pet store the other day and I noticed the very slim selection of brushes for pets.  In fact, I only saw those long, prickly brushes that kind of look like porcupines on a flat brush and the rake type brushes.  The thing is, neither of these are optimal for a short haired animal.  I mean, with a short haired dog, you’re literally just scratching it’s skin to get excess hair off.  It would be the same thing as using a comb to brush your arm hair, doesn’t sound quite pleasant doesn’t it?  Except these combs aren’t normal plastic combs with nice rounded edges, most of them are metal and sharp as heck.  So why are these usually the main ones being advertised?  

If you have a long haired, siberian cat, who is prone to matting, a comb like this is perfect for detangling (if you can stray away from stabbing the skin), but that is not the only type of coat our pets have.  So I decided to make a post about the different types of brushes  and what type of coats they work best with.


Bristle Brush

Bristle brushes work to smooth fur and spread skin oils, making the skin glossy.  For short, thin coats a bristle brush is usually ideal to remove any loose hairs.  Some breeds with shorter hair include labradors, beagles, chihuahuas, and pitbulls.

Note: Bristle brushes do come in a lot of different sizes, so for extremely short hair I’d personally recommend shorter bristles that are closer together!



Rubber Brush

A rubber brush is suitable for all breeds but works best with shorter coats.  Basically, the rubber coating and nubs kind of work like a “sticky substance” (although it’s not sticky, I promise) to which excess hair sticks to, removing it from the coat.  Although it does work on any coat, I personally wouldn’t use it when brushing out a longer coat or double coat because it may pull the hair rather than brush it.



Slicker Brush

A slicker brush is one that has wire bristles on a flat surface.  These are the ones you usually see advertised for cats (and because cats generally have thicker coats than dogs this works perfectly on most cat breeds minus extremely short haired ones).  Slicker brushes are very good for removing tangles and mats from curly haired dogs, long coats, and double coated  breeds.  It’s also very good for dogs who shed a lot (especially the dogs that have combination coats of short and long hair). Curly haired dogs include poodles, irish water spaniels, and airedale terriers.  Double coated breeds are the ones that typically withstand harsher weather, such as Huskies and Golden Retrievers.




Rakes are very good for dogs with undercoats (double coated) in order to remove any mats that may occur underneath, and remove excess hair from their layers.  These dogs typically have longer hair, and breeds of double coated dogs include (as mentioned) huskies, golden retrievers, shelties, and akitas.




Obviously, there are a lot more types of brushes out there that are specialized for flea removal, shedding and moulting.  Most of the time (except the flea removal brushes) these brushes are better for thicker and longer coats than it would be for a shorter coated dog.  For more information on the types of brushes available, or if you’re still unsure of what can be used for your dog, make sure to send me a message on facebook, or send me a DM on instagram and I’ll get back to you!