Do Dog Deshedders Work?

A happy dog getting attention from his owner.
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When you love Fido, but you don’t love the fur that Fido is shedding constantly all over the house, it is probably time to consider using a dog deshedder. Fido will love the attention he gets during deshedding and you will love finding less fur around the house.

What is a Dog Deshedder?

A dog deshedder is a product designed to remove dead fur and excess undercoat gently from a dog’s body. Two types of products are considered dog deshedders: deshedding shampoos and deshedding tools. There is not one shampoo or one tool that will work for every dog, but with a little help, you should be able to find the right deshedder for your canine friend.

Deshedding Shampoos

The primary function of deshedding shampoos is to moisturize and protect a dog’s skin and coat. The idea behind these shampoos is that a healthy coat equals strong fur, which is less likely to shed. Deshedding shampoos contain Omega 3 fatty acids along with a combination of Vitamin E, aloe vera, oatmeal, coconut and other ingredients depending on the brand. Most brands recommend using a shedding tool in addition to the shampoo for maximum effectiveness. Deshedding shampoos are available in waterless, spray formulas as well as traditional foaming shampoo formulas.

Deshedding Tools

There are four general types of deshedding tools: brushes, combs, rakes and grooming blades. Each of these tools is available in a variety of sizes and styles. Brush varieties include those with traditional bristles or pin bristles, as well as rubber brushes and slicker brushes with fine, short metal bristles. Combs vary in tooth spacing from fine to extra-wide-toothed. Rakes are similar to combs but they have a handle in the middle and are available with different tooth lengths. Grooming blades have short, dull teeth, like clipping blades, but they don't cut. They are available as a straight blade on a handle or as a loop with a handle.

The Fur

Different types of fur warrant the use of different deshedding tools. Brushes, in general, are good all-around tools for the majority of fur types and lengths. Rubber brushes, in specific, work best on dogs with short hair and slicker brushes are especially good at getting to the undercoat of dogs with long hair. Combs can be used on any hair length, though combs with finer teeth may be more difficult to run through thick-haired dogs. Rakes, too, are good for all hair lengths and many people find them easier to use because of the handle. Grooming blades work well for dogs with medium to long hair and thick undercoats.


For further advice about selecting a deshedding tool, your veterinarian may be able to suggest the best tool based on an analysis of your dog's fur. Also, keep in mind that while regular grooming with a deshedder will reduce the amount of loose fur in your house substantially, none of the deshedding products will stop a dog from shedding completely. Try to brush or comb your dog at least twice a week for best results.

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