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What Is A Slicker Brush?

what's a slicker brush

A slicker brush is one of the most essential tools in your dog grooming arsenal. This product can do it all when grooming, from improving circulation and clearing dirt to lowering stress and minimizing shedding – all reasons why you should groom your pet in the first place. If you’re new to the grooming game and want to know what is a slicker brush, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into what this brush is all about, what features make it great, and how best to use it in the grooming process.

What is a Slicker Brush For Pets?

A slicker brush has a similar grip and body to a human hair brush. A soft fabric base with densely-packed, fine wire bristles is at the end of the handle. Slicker brushes usually have a curved end, ergonomically designed for easy grooming. Given that our pet’s bodies are not flat surfaces, this curved design helps makes the tool more efficient.

The slicker brush is made from hard plastic, with a soft fabric base in the head of the brush, supporting the wiry metal bristles. A protective ball is at the end of each wire to ensure they don’t scratch the dog’s skin.

This grooming tool can be used on cats or dogs. Whereas the brush can be used on all cats, in dogs, it is best used on breeds with a thick double coat or curly-haired dogs. Here are some dog breeds who’ll benefit greatly from a grooming session with a slicker brush.

  • Jack Russell Terriers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Schnauzer
  • Poodle
  • Cocker Spaniel

what is a slicker brush

Benefits of Using a Slicker Brush

There are multiple reasons why the slicker brush is the most commonly used pet grooming tool. Fundamentally, it is the efficiency with which this brush deals with the challenges of a pet’s coat.

Slicker brushes help to keep your pet’s coat clean and healthy by removing dead hair, cells, dirt, and debris. If these aren’t taken care of, they provide a happy hunting ground for bacteria, fleas, and mites.

Another issue slicker brushes resolve, especially in long-haired dogs, is mats and tangles. Hair can get knotted up pretty quickly in longer-haired dogs, leading to irritation and sores due to reduced airflow. A slicker brush is specifically designed to take care of most tangles and mats, unsettling the clump with its fine bristles.

Beyond improving coat health, clearing loose hair, and removing mats, this brush can help owners reduce shedding. Clearing dead hair from an animal’s coat allows for airflow through the coat, reducing the build-up of moisture and preventing irritation. Brushing your dog or cat regularly will improve the coat’s general health, minimizing the risk of over-shedding.

How to Use a Slicker Brush

Using the slicker brush is very simple, so let’s take you through what you’ll need and how to make sure that you use the product effectively on your cat’s or dog’s coat.

Prep Work

The tools you will need are:

  • Slicker brush
  • Conditioning spray
  • Metal comb
  • Bristle brush

Using the Soft Slicker Brush

Kick things off by spraying your pet’s coat with a conditioning spray. This will give you a smooth coat for your slicker brush to glide through and protect hairs from any damage. If you don’t have any conditioning spray, you could use some water in a spray bottle. This isn’t as good an option, but it will still help protect the hair.

Once you begin brushing, work gently from the head downwards. There’s no rush here; you need a slow, meticulous approach to remove dead hair. Take long strokes down the body, clearing out dead hair and feeling for any mats and tangles.

what does a slicker brush do

To remove mats when you feel them, use gentle, short strokes in different directions to pull away at them with the brush. Don’t be too rough here, or you’ll risk pulling on the skin and follicles, which your pet will not enjoy.

You can also remove tangles using a little olive oil to loosen them up if they won’t come away with the brush. As you brush a dog’s coat in different directions, you see the brush fill up quickly with hair, more so than cats. Be sure to empty the brush regularly, as the fuller it becomes, the less impact it will have.

Once you feel confident that there are no more hair, dirt, or mats to remove, you can use a bristle brush to finish. With its softer bristles, this tool can be used on the face and the coat. This process also distributes the natural oils in your pet’s coat, giving it a sheen that other brushes cannot.

Tips on Using The Slicker Brush

Remember to brush using slow strokes, brush in different directions to attack a tangled area in your cat or dog’s fur, and groom your pet at least twice a week to ensure a healthy fur coat. Don’t apply too much pressure, and avoid using the brush on your pet’s face.

Choosing The Right Slicker Brush

The key aspects to consider when choosing the right slicker brush are the type of coat your dog has, the dog’s size, and the health of your dog’s fur. For most cats, a soft to medium bristle brush will be ideal for grooming.

Dogs with thick and wiry coats, like a Jack Russell, need a firm, slicker brush to pull through the matted hair and remove dead hair; the same goes for double-coat dogs such as a Schnauzer.

Soft slicker brushes are suitable for use on dogs with long hair. The softer wire pin on this product will glide through your dog’s coat, protecting the skin and clearing tangles.

Ensure the slicker brush you buy is the correct size for the dog. The product is typically rectangular with a wide surface area, but the more compact tools are better for miniature and smaller dogs.

Don’t forget yourself here; you’re the one doing the grooming, so be sure to get a product that feels comfortable, with a good grip that is easy to clean.

Slicker Brush Vs. Pin Brush

There are many different types of dog brushes out there to choose from. Slicker brushes are often confused with pin brushes owing to their similar design. The key difference between these two products is the spacing between the bristles. A wire pin brush has more bristles that are more widely spaced than a slicker.

Both products have the same function, although the slicker is more efficient at removing dead hair. A pin brush is great for brushing through low-level shedding, and this is also a great product if a dog has sensitive skin or long hair with no knots or tangles.

If your pet has healthy hair with not too much loose fur, the slicker brush is always the better option.

EzSlicker Brush

EzSlicker no bg

For our money, there is no better product on the market than the EzSlicker Brush, which many love for its durability, ease of use, and innovative design.

This product can be used on all pets and coat types, from dogs to cats and even guinea pigs. Not only is this an efficient option, but it also creates next to no mess when you brush your pet’s hair.

The EzSlicker Brush comes with a lid to protect the bristles and a button that will eject the fur from the brush right into the trash can, ensuring clean grooming. It is a clean tool and has been designed for the user and the pet’s comfort. A curved design improves your pet’s experience, and an ergonomic handle ensures a comfortable grip for pet owners.


The slicker brush is an essential tool that all pet owners will need. Brushing with the slicker removes dead hair, skin cells, pesky tangles, and mats. This is the best type of brush for promoting a healthy coat in your pets, who will love you brushing their troubles away.

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