The 10 Best Deshedding Tools
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in October of 2015. Dogs and cats are marvelous additions to any family, especially if you rescued them from an animal shelter. But they do tend to leave a ton of hair all over the house. Cleaning up after them doesn't have to be an ongoing chore if you regularly groom them using one of these handy brushes or deshedding tools. They not only take care of existing fur, but can reduce future shedding as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 01, 2021:
No changes to the Wiki this time, as the Furminator Undercoat Tool is still the clear number one and the choice of many groomers. With two version for long and shorthair dogs, there's something for every pup, and it's also especially durable. We do want to mention that aside from being gentle and attentive when deshedding your pup, it may take a couple tries to find one your dog's comfortable with, because not all dogs find all deshedding brushes comfortable. Animals with the tightest, sleekest coats might even prefer the SleekEZ Original, which is even popular for use on horses.
February 18, 2020:
Those who work with long-haired animals, from pet owners to groomers, will probably not be surprised to see that the Furminator Undercoat Tool still comes out on top. It's well-known for a reason; it is both robust and effective, so you can count on it to get the job done right. And because it comes in several sizes, there's a version that will suit a wide variety of breeds. If it's a matted cat that you happen to be working with, you might also consider the Oster ShedMonster, designed specifically for felines. It offers smooth edges that, when used properly, won't hurt the skin, and it's not too pricey, to boot. We've kept the popular DakPets Furblaster, as well, and added the SleekEZ Original. The latter is robust enough to be used on a horse, but the fur tends to fly around as you use it (unlike most other options or pet grooming gloves, which contain the hair for easy cleanup). Finally, we've selected the handy Pet Portal Slicker Pro. Its teeth are a bit sharper than those you'll find on some other slicker brushes, so you'll need to be gentle, especially with animals that have short coats. The bristle retraction is a nice touch, though.
One final note: Deshedding tools can be exceptionally helpful for long-haired breeds with thick undercoats, but they need to be employed carefully. Use them too forcefully, and you risk hurting an animal's delicate skin. Always watch the animal as you brush it for signs of discomfort or distress.
King Komb Crafted as more than just a brush, the King Komb boasts a unique three-bladed design utilizing a completely handle-less operation. In addition to deshedding, the rubber bristles can be used to massage shampoos and moisturizing oil treatments into Fido's dry skin. kingkomb.com
Tips To (Finally) Get A Handle On Your Pet's Shedding
The first and most obvious thing you can do is to brush Fido regularly.
You love your pet. You'd take him with you everywhere you go, if you could. Then you realize you have been taking him everywhere — his fur's all over your clothes, your car — it even got in your coffee mug somehow...
If you're tired of always looking like you're wearing a fur coat, here are a few tips that can help you finally get the problem under control.
The first and most obvious thing you can do is to brush Fido regularly. By limiting how much excess fur he has at any given time, you'll reduce the amount that gets on you, as well. As an added bonus, it will help keep your pet softer and cooler, while cutting down on the number of hairballs you have to pick up.
Of course, even the most thoroughly-cleaned animal will still leave some hair behind. That's why you need to vacuum regularly and luckily, there are many models out there that are specifically-designed for animal fur.
Consider what you're feeding your dog. Many cheaper foods won't have the vitamins and minerals necessary for keeping his coat healthy, so you should either upgrade to a better option or add olive oil, fish oil, or other supplements to his dinner.
Another reason to mix up puppy's diet is because many animals suffer from allergies that can exacerbate shedding. If you simply can't keep up with your pet's hair, or you're worried there's something wrong with him, try foods with different ingredients, or even a raw diet. That said, there is some debate as to the efficacy of such regimens.
Ultimately, you'll have to resign yourself to a lifetime of maintenance, rather than expecting a permanent solution. By keeping your animal healthy and well-groomed, you'll enjoy all the benefits of pet ownership with fewer of the downsides.
How To Convince Your Pet To Love Being Groomed
If you've ever tried to brush a dog or cat, you may have discovered that many pets don't appreciate being groomed. You may even have the scars to prove it. It is possible to get your furry roommates to tolerate and even enjoy their spa days, however, and it all starts with positive reinforcement.
All of the following techniques are best done when the animal is still young (when you should be socializing them in general), but they can work on pets of any age. Don't try to do everything in one day, though; this is a process that takes a couple weeks.
Next time you call them to you, hold them loosely — think cuddle more than headlock.
Start by introducing them to the brush. Let them sniff it, bat at it, whatever they like — just don't force it on them. Every time they interact with it, give them tons of praise and even a few treats.
Next, have them get used to being in your general vicinity while you have a deshedding tool. Sit next to them, or call them over to you, while you have your brush in your hands. Again, don't use it on them — you're still building trust, after all. Give them more treats and praise. Once they're fine with being around you and the implement, it's time to introduce gentle restraint. Next time you call them to you, hold them loosely — think cuddle more than headlock.
The next step is to start manipulating them (physically — the emotional manipulation is for another time). Grab their paws, look in their ears, inspect their snouts. In addition to helping you with grooming, getting them accustomed to these movements will come in handy when it's time to visit the vet.
Now you're ready to use the brush. Start off with only a few strokes — and be gentle. Slowly build up the time you spend grooming, while continuing to heap on the praise. Try to minimize the treats, though, because having a fat pet is neither funny nor cute.
By this point, your pet should view getting brushed as a fun bonding experience, and he'll never have to deal with the shame of knowing you don't enjoy wearing his fur as a badge of honor.
When You Should Be Worried
Almost all animals shed. It's a fact of pet ownership, and it gets worse in the spring and summer, when they're dumping off their winter coats and trying to stay cool. That doesn't mean that shedding can never be indicative of an underlying health issue, however.
Regardless, the first step should always be to talk to your vet.
First off, you need to understand that there's a difference between hair loss and shedding. If your pet has bald spots, or the shedding seems to be localized in a few specific places, then it's time to be concerned. It could be the result of parasites, allergies, or an underlying condition like mange.
Check the condition of the actual fur, as well. Just like in humans, animal hair can reveal a lot about its owner's overall condition. If it's dry, brittle, or cracked, it may be time to consider a medical intervention.
Be on the lookout for other telltale signs of ill health. These can include pacing and restlessness, uneasiness with being touched, excessive panting, incessant scratching or itching, and open sores or other skin irritations. The cause of such issues could be something as simple as stress, or it could be an indicator that something more serious is going on.
Regardless, the first step should always be to talk to your vet. They can run tests to eliminate any grave possibilities, while also giving you advice that's customized to your specific buddy.
After all, your pet is family. Don't take any unnecessary chances with his health.