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Best Pet Deshedding Tools

Tired of finding pet hair here, there, and everywhere? These tools may do the trick.

Which Deshedding Tool Should You Choose?

Most brushes and combs do essentially the same thing: They remove dead hair from your pet before it has a chance to fall out.

So which is right for your pet? That depends, because different coats respond best to different combs and brushes.

  • Wide-toothed combs are Bird's tool of choice for cats. "A widely-spaced comb will remove more hair gently than a fine-toothed comb." Fine-toothed and blade-on-a-handle combs can both require more pressure to use than many cats are able to tolerate. 
  • A slicker brush's fine metal bristles are best used on long-haired, dense-coated dogs. Some groomers recommend using a small slicker brush for toes, legs, face, and tail and a larger brush for the rest of the body. Slicker brushes are also helpful at removing tangles in the coat of cats or dogs. 
  • Blade-on-a-handle metal combs are ideal for plush- or medium-coated dogs, says Bird, "because they have very, very narrow teeth that seek out the fine, soft, fuzzy undercoat and leave the overcoat alone." Steer clear of this type of brush if your pet's top coat is long as "it's hard to get that blade to do a good job," Bird says. 
  • Bristle brushes are very versatile and make a good, basic brush for both cats and dogs of all coat types.
  • Pin brushes are often used on medium- and long-haired dogs and are a good choice to help release tangles. 
  • Rubber brushes are good for short-haired dogs and help loosen hair and dirt while also stimulating circulation. 

Depending on your pet's coat and its tendency to tangle, you may want more than one deshedding tool. Bird's must-have coat-taming trio includes a blade-on-a-handle comb, a slicker brush, and a coarse-to-medium metal comb.

If these suggestions mean you've been using the wrong brush for your pet's coat type all this time, that's OK. As long as you and your furry friend are both happy with the results, don't worry too much about which deshedding tool is recommended for which species or coat type. In the end, successful grooming "boils down to what works for you," Bird says.

4 Quick Tips for Good Grooming

Brush regularly. Regular brushing is one of the best ways to manage pet shedding, Bartges says. So schedule a little time to keep up on your pet's grooming.

Short-haired cats and dogs benefit from weekly brushings, while most medium- or long-haired dogs may need grooming several times a week. All long-haired cats and some long-haired dogs, like Yorkshire terriers or Afghan hounds, do well with daily brushing.

Stop brushing when you can no longer pinch out a tuft of hair, says Bird.

Avoid brush burn. Your precious pooch and feline friend need gentle care. Don't press the bristles of any brush hard against your pet's tender skin or tug at knots or tangles. When grooming, be aware of -- and stay away from -- warts, moles, whiskers, and any lumps or bumps your pet may have.

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