How to Use a Slicker Brush on Your Dog

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Brushing your dog is perhaps the most basic form of grooming, and yet is one of the most important ones. It not only keeps them healthy and good-looking but strengthens your bond with them as well. Brushing your dog is an excellent way of quickly making your dog feel more comfortable, especially during the warmer months. Here is how to use a slicker brush on your dog to keep him looking and feeling great.

What Is A Slicker Brush?

There is a pretty wide variety of dog brushes available nowadays, all with different purposes. A slicker brush is one of the less commonly used brushes among dog owners. Slicker brushes are a type of grooming tool that is primarily used to remove any loose hair and tangles in a dog’s fur.

They are generally rectangular, with tightly packed thin wires. Each wire is angled ever so slightly so that they do not scratch your dog’s skin.

This brush is perfect for keeping your dog’s coat in excellent condition, in addition to removing hair and dirt, and its bristles aid in the distribution of the natural oils that your dog’s coat produces. Slicker brushes are best suited for use on dogs with longer, thicker coats that require more thorough grooming. Their thin, wiry bristles penetrate thick coats to untangle mats close to your dog’s skin.

Slicker Brush Safety

Slicker brushes can seem daunting due to their somewhat harsh bristles, but, if used correctly, are entirely safe to use. The pressure is important, as it is with any grooming tool. Too much pressure could cause pain or discomfort or actual physical injury in extreme cases. Remember that you are working with fine, tightly packed wires, so always be cautious.

It is also wise to avoid using this brush if your dog has any skin conditions, such as flea bites, broken skin, or eczema. Using a slicker brush on a dog with any of these conditions can cause extreme irritation, damage, or infection. You should also take into consideration the length and density of your dog’s coat before going out and buying a slicker brush.

Slicker brushes are best suited for dogs with long and thick coats, such as golden retrievers, huskies, Salukis, and poodles. Using a slicker brush on dogs with short coats, like Staffies or boxers, will most likely lead to skin irritation and damage, and will not be effective at actually removing any hair.

How to Use a Slicker Brush on Your Dog

Which Brush Is Right For Your Dog?

Not every brush is created equal. You will often find that specific brushes are suited to different needs and are designed for use on different types of coats. Like we said earlier, slicker brushes are best used on dogs with long or thick coats, as their bristles are designed to penetrate those coats and remove excess hair closer to your dog’s skin.

Bristle Brush

A bristle brush is designed to be used on dogs with short hair and smooth coats. They feature clusters of closely-placed bristles that are able to remove loose hairs as well as stimulate your dog’s skin. These brushes are perfect for Greyhounds, Pugs, and Terriers.


Similar to slicker brushes, rakes are made to penetrate into thick coats and remove mats and tangles, as well as excess undercoat near your dog’s skin. They are shaped like a razor blade and generally have one or two rows of tightly-packed pins. They are intended to be used with as little pressure as possible and should be used on thick-coated breeds like Chow Chows and German Shepherds.

Pin Brushes

These brushes look similar to hairbrushes most commonly used by people. They feature an oval shape, with loosely arranged flexible wires with pins on top. While pin brushes are often the most widely used, they are the least useful. They pick up loose hair but provide virtually no benefits to your dog.

Using A Slicker Brush

Start by spraying a small amount of leave-in conditioner onto your dog’s fur before you begin brushing. Then, brush with slow, short strokes, from your dog’s neck down to their tail in the direction that their hair grows. If you encounter any mats or tangles, work them out with the brush individually.

You can do this by pulling the brush in short strokes over the mat, ensuring that you use little pressure. Avoid using a slicker brush on your dog’s face, as this can cause discomfort and pain due to the brush’s sharp metal wires. You can use the slicker brush on your dog’s beard without it touching the skin if they have one.

Remember, although a slicker brush is excellent for each grooming session, you will probably still want to keep a few other brushes on hand for grooming.

With these simple tips and tricks, grooming your dog with a slicker brush will be a breeze, and your dog will soon learn to look forward to each grooming session.

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