Brush Guide

When brushing your pet for the first time, it’s important to be gentle and take your time. Be especially careful when removing mats or tangles. Brushing can and should be a pleasant experience for your dog or cat, as the repetitive motions feel good on their skin, much like stroking. Be patient and you can make brushing a procedure your pet will invite, rather than avoid. The best way to build trust and make this an enjoyable bonding time for both of you is to brush your pet often, daily if possible. Regular brushing can also prevent problem mats and tangles from developing, that can often cause your dog or cat discomfort.

Brushes Banner For Guide

Brush Types

So how do we go about choosing the right brush? This is an important first step for even the most basic home grooming. Although there are many different shapes and sizes, there are basically three different brush types:

Bristle brushes - can be used on all coat types and vary according to the length and spacing between bristles. In general, the longer the hair coat, the more widely spaced and longer the bristles should be. Also, the coarser the hair, the stiffer those bristles need to be.

Ancol Ergo Palm Bristle Brush
Double Sided Bristle/Pin Brush

Pin brushes - with or without cushioned tips, are the preferred choice for pets with medium to long hair and those with curly or woolly coats.

Ancol Flexible Palm Pin Brush
Double Sided Bristle/Pin Brush
Rubber Cushion Pin Brush

Slicker brushes - have fine wire pins and are especially useful for removing undercoat, matts and tangles. You can also get slicker brushes with a flexible head to better aid matt removal.

We have a wide range of slicker brushes with varying pin types and sizes - see the selection here
Single No Knots Flexible Slicker Brush
Double No Knots Flexible Slicker Brush


Coat Types

The right brush and brushing technique will depend on your pets hair type...

Short, smooth coats – are probably the easiest to care for from a grooming point of view. Brushing once or twice a week with a bristle brush to remove excess fur and prevent shedding is usually sufficient. Brush with the coat's growth using a soft to medium bristle brush with short, closely spaced bristles.
Dog Breed examples: most Retrievers, Hounds, Chihuahuas, Pointers, etc.
Cat Breed examples:
British Shorthairs, Burmese, Manx, Bengals, Savannahs, etc.


Wiry coats - using either a high quality firm pin or a bristle brush with short, closely spaced bristles are ideal for regular grooming of these breeds. A daily brushing with the coats growth will help to keep a wiry coat from matting.
Breed examples: Terriers, Schnauzers, Wire-haired Dachshunds, etc.


Medium to long coats - Brush with the coat's growth using a wire-pin brush or a soft to medium bristle brush with long, medium to wide-spaced bristles. Use a slicker brush for mats and tangles. These brushes when used regularly can give the coat a polished shine. To reduce shedding, brush out the undercoat with an undercoat rake on a regular basis.
Breed examples: Golden Retrievers, Spaniels, Setters, Lhasa Apsos, etc.


Harsh outer coats with soft, woolly undercoats - Brush with the growth on the outer coat and against the growth on the undercoat using a wire-pin brush or a firm bristle brush with long, wide-spaced bristles. Use a slicker brush for tangles and mats. Because these dogs have undercoats, it’s essential to follow up by brushing through with an undercoat rake, to remove loose hair that collects in that region. Don’t apply too much pressure when using an undercoat rake or you could scratch your pet’s skin.
Breed examples: Sheepdogs, Collies, Shepherds, Chows, Pomeranians, etc.


Thin, delicate coats - Brush with and against the coat's growth using a wire-pin brush and a soft slicker brush for tangles and mats. Be sure to choose a brush with coated pins to avoid scratching your pet’s delicate skin. Pets with thin, delicate hair should be brushed dry. A wet coat makes the fur weaker and even more delicate which can result in hair loss and damage.
Dog Breed examples: Afghans, Yorkies, Maltese, etc.
Cat Breed examples: Maine Coons, Ragdolls, Persians, etc.