When the Fur Flies: Pet Deshedding Tools

Tired of finding pet hair here, there, and everywhere? These handy deshedding tools can help.

By Wendy Fries
WebMD Pet Health Feature

Reviewed By Audrey Cook, BVM&S, Dip ACVIM

It's on the sofa. It's all over your favorite sweater. Tufts of it drift across the living room floor like tumbleweeds.

Face it, our furry friends will shed, but fortunately there's an ever-growing array of deshedding tools to help us handle the hairy onslaught.

Pet Shedding 101

It's healthy for cats and dogs to shed.

"Shedding is a natural process that allows for loss of older and often dead hair so that new hair can grow in," says Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN, professor of medicine and nutrition at the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Some pets shed seasonally, "blowing" their winter coats come spring, Bartges says. Others, like indoor pets and short-haired pets, may shed all year. Making time to brush your pet can help you decide where a lot of that hair ends up -- in the trash or on you.

Even if you don't mind finding a little fur on your favorite pants, grooming your cat or dog can offer both of you real benefits, including preventing painful knots and tangles, minimizing pet dander in the home, helping you catch signs of pet illness or parasites, and boosting the pet-person bond. All you need is a bit of time and the right tools.

Basic Deshedding Tools

You don't need a suite of complicated brushes and combs to get a handle on pet shedding. As a matter of fact, "professional groomers are using the same grooming tools as owners," says Barbara Bird, a certified master groomer practicing in Arizona. "We use the same things you do." A few of those deshedding tools include:

  • Wide-toothed combs

Usually plastic or metal, with widely separated teeth

  • Slicker brushes

Often rectangular-headed, these brushes have fine metal tines

  • Blade-on-a-handle metal combs

The new kids on the block for pet deshedding tools, think the FurBuster or Furminator

  • Bristle brushes

The bristles of these familiar-looking brushes may be made of synthetic or natural bristles

  • Pin brushes

Often shaped like a bristle brush, but with metal (or sometimes wood) pins instead of bristles

  • Rubber brushes

These can have a host of shapes, but each has rubber tines