Grooming your pets is the single best thing you can do to prevent pet hair from building up in your home. Thorough, regular brushing helps you stay ahead of the shed, so to speak! You can remove big clumps of fur at once, without it ever getting on your furniture or spreading around the house.
There are quite literally hundreds of different pet brushes available today, though. It’s quite tricky for the average pet owner to tell what’s a crappy, sharp import and what’s an actual tool that’s designed to be safe and effective on animals. So, we decided to put this buying guide together!
We’ve compared and reviewed tons of the dog and cat brushes on the market today. We looked at a few different criteria. First, how well did each brush remove fur? Second, how easy was it to clean after it filled up? Third, and most importantly, how did dogs react?
The models below topped our rankings for effectiveness, user-friendliness, and animal comfort! Check them out!
Best Dog Brush Reviews 2018
Best for all animals
Kong’s ZoomGroom is labelled as a toy, but it’s one of the most effective grooming tools you can buy! This is a firm but rubberized one-piece brush. The nubs are the same material as the grip, and there are no sharp or hazardous parts anywhere on it. And it still works phenomenally well! We recommend it for all dog owners, especially those who appreciate keeping things simple.
It’s gnaw-able. That’s where the “toy” label comes in! Since the whole thing is a slightly rubberized plastic material, dogs can chew on it without any fear of injury. There are no metal bits or sharp tines, and they won’t break anything on the tool.
It’s gentle but effective. The Kong tool has nubs with flattened points, unlike many other tools that have scratchy tips. You can massage relatively firmly without worrying that you’ll hurt your pet!
It pulls away an awful lot of loose fur, too. The material has a slight grip that works like the upholstery tool on your vacuum, and the spread of the nubs covers a nice wide area.
The best thing about it is you can collect more fur at a time than you could using something with a comb-like/fine-toothed design.
You can use it for dry grooming, or while you’re giving Fido a bath. It’s not affected by shampoo or water, unlike most metal tools.
It’s made in the USA! The quality control on these is pretty great, as well. You don’t have to worry about sharp seams the way you do on a lot of cheap Chinese pet products.
It’s still cheaper than many tools that are made badly overseas!
There’s no self-cleaning feature, though this one rinses off easily in the sink or with the garden hose.
This isn’t a good tool for cats, since its tines are quite large, and cats generally like a finer comb-like treatment.
The normal model, which we’ve linked to above, is on the bigger side. If you have a smaller breed or a puppy to look after, try this smaller Kong:
Furminator deShedding Tool
The Furminator is the best-selling grooming tool on the market today. It claims to reduce shedding by up to 90%! While we haven’t found a good way to measure that objectively, it sure does a great job! This is a good choice for folks who want something more sophisticated than the Kong. The Furminator has a button that releases collected fur, and the stainless steel comb nabs every tangle and loose hair.
It has a familiar profile. The rake design is much more mainstream than the palm grip on the Kong. You can get a lot of leverage on the Furminator, and you can use it the same way you’ve used other grooming brushes previously.
The handle is very ergonomic, too! That’s not always a huge priority, but if you have a big dog who needs constant grooming, you’ll definitely appreciate the design.
It has a much finer-toothed comb head than the Kong. This gets huge amounts of loose fur out, and you can pull it off in bunches. You can definitely work more quickly with one of these, though it isn’t so good at tangles.
The stainless steel is quite resilient. It won’t rust, and although you shouldn’t use this on wet fur or with shampoo, it stands up very well over time.
It’s excellent for long-haired, shaggy dogs. The Furminator is designed specifically to remove clumps of loose hair, and its fine teeth do so in swaths. It reaches down into fluff well, too. The Furminator is designed with breeds 2” or longer hair in mind.
There are actually several models available, and they’re all listed as options when you follow the link in this review. There are options for both hair length and the size of the breed.
You can dislodge collected hairs by pressing a button. It’s a feature that’s been copied on many cheaper tools, but none of them are as effective as this one.
It comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if the Furminator turns out not to be a good fit for you and your pooch, no worries!
It’s not as indestructible as the Kong. There are moving parts, and the tines are quite thin. You should also keep this out of reach of adventurous pooches, since it’s not meant to be gnawed.
You also can’t use it on wet coats or while bathing pets. The tines are stainless steel, but this isn’t meant to get wet or to mix with shampoo.
It’s not quite as fun for pets as the Kong, though it’s almost certainly more thorough. This is a purely practical brush, not a fun massager.
You should be careful not to brush too firmly with something like this. It has metal tines, and they’re not flattened at the tips as much as the Kong’s. So, a pressure that would be a massage using the Kong can aggravate pets with the Furminator.
The advantage of something like the Kong is that you can work on any sort of fur issue, from tangles to shedding. This won’t detangle thick clumps well. It’s mostly for shedding reduction, not for separating snags.
Like the Kong, you probably wouldn’t want to use this on a cat. It’s a little aggressive, and it’s definitely too large.
The Furminator is pricy, and extremely popular. If you know anything about shopping online, you’ll know that that’s a recipe for knock-off’s! Be sure you’re buying from the listing in our links, since Amazon itself is an authorized reseller (check that the size and type you select is sold by and fulfilled by Amazon!). Many places who also list on Amazon aren’t selling the real thing, though.
Our all-purpose recommendation for cats and dogs (and other furry friends), the SleekEZ uses a wave-pattern steel “blade” to remove loose fur. It’s particularly good for short-haired pets, but it’s surprisingly effective on German Shepherds and Retrievers, too! This is the only tool we recommend for cats, and you can get it in several different sizes.
Contrary to what you might think when you see the metal edge, it’s quite safe! As long as you follow the directions and use it flat-ways, it removes loose fur without hurting pets.
It’s quite effective, too. While most grooming tools use long tines like our other recommendations, the SleekEZ has a wave-pattern edge that doesn’t penetrate quite as far. Instead, it works on a drag principle. You wouldn’t think it would be very good at removing undercoats, but it really is!
It’s ergonomic. This one fits in your palm like the Kong, or you can go for the 10” model and use it with both hands. Either way is nice and comfortable, and the wood is much more satisfying to hold than plastic.
It’s a great tool to have for all furry pets! There are three different widths to choose from (2.5”, 5” and 10”), The smallest is ideal for kitties, while the middle and large options are best for average to big pooches! You can even use the big one on horses.
You’ll also find that it’s a superb pet hair remover for furniture upholstery and car seats. It doesn’t damage most fabrics, and it’s better than any lint-roller.
Like the Kong, it’s made in the USA! The SleekEZ has high-quality poplar wood and steel construction. No plastic here! As vacuum reviewers, we get pretty sick of cheap, lightweight plastic components, so this is satisfyingly solid.
It’s covered by a lifetime warranty!
It’s not something you want to let dogs gnaw on. There’s a metal blade, even if it’s not very sharp, and the wood won’t resist teeth.
It doesn’t have a de-clutching feature like the Furminator, but the short saw-like design prevents too much fur from accumulating at a given time.
It’s not designed for matted or tangled fur. That’s where the Kong shows its worth over other tools. You should get mats and tangles out before you use this one.
Since it doesn’t penetrate far into a fur coat, the SleekEZ isn’t the best for the largest, shaggiest pooches. It works on short-haired and average dogs, but the longest fur lengths are better dealt with using something that goes a bit deeper into the coat (we suggest either the Kong or Furminator).
Not everyone will like the ergonomics of this one.
If you’ve enjoyed our look at the best dog and cat brushes, check out our other buying guides! You can find links, reviews and recommendations to answer all your pet hair questions on our homepage.