This site is reader-supported. If you buy something through any link on this page, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (learn more here). We are not veterinarians, and this article is not intended to be pet medical advice.
Have you adopted a small dog for the first time and want to know what brush is best to groom them with? If so, you’re not alone. With so many brushes on the market, choosing the right one can be a challenge, especially if your dog is too small for a regular-sized brush.
So, what should you use?
Virtually any type of brush can be used to groom a small dog, including pin brushes, bristle brushes, rakes, combs, rubber brushes, and slicker brushes. However, it’s important to match the brush you choose with your dog’s size, as this can help you brush around the legs, face, and other areas properly and can lead to a more pleasant brushing experience for your dog.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the different types of brushes I just mentioned in more detail and show you what specific brushes we recommend for teeny tiny dogs!
What Are The Best Brushes for Tiny Dogs?
Regardless of your dog’s size, different brushes are good for different purposes. So, in this section, I’ll walk you through the different main types of brushes on the market and what they’re used for, and then I’ll show you what our top choices are for each brush type.
Our top picks mostly came down to factors such as how well the brush is designed to work for small dogs, its features, user reviews, quality, and price.
So with that said, let’s get right into it!
The pin brush is a great all-rounder and is ideal for dogs with medium-length to longer coats. Pin brushes are excellent at detangling and removing tough mats, can lift dirt from a canine’s coat, and pull out loose hair, so you can keep the fur off your floors and furniture.
Most pin brushes feature plastic or rubber tips on the edge of each bristle that won’t hurt your small dog’s skin as you brush them, even if grooming takes a while.
Small dogs don’t need a huge pin brush, so it can be worth investing in a new one if you’ve already got a large pin brush laying around, especially if you find that a larger brush is too bulky to groom the smaller, more delicate areas of your dog.
As for what pin brush is best, there are lots of options on the market, but we like the ConairPRO dog & cat small pin brush because it’s ideal for small dogs, it’s affordable, and it’s made by the same company that helps us humans brush our hair, Conair.
This small brush is 8 ½ inches long with a brush head height of 3.5 inches and a width of two inches (excluding the handle).
As for the brush head, it’s made with stainless steel pins, and each pin is covered with a comfort tip so that you don’t yank your dog’s fur out when brushing them.
The pins are also reinforced into the brush so that if your dog has thick fur or a double coat, you can reach deep into their fur without damaging the brush.
Not to mention, the brush head features an intentional hole to allow the bristles to flex.
Conair recommends their bristle brush for dogs with long, flowing coats. And I would suggest this brush for the Pekingese, Papillon, Yorkshire Terrier, Shih-Tzu, Silky Terrier, and Skye Terrier, especially.
The next type of brush we’ll discuss is the bristle brush, which is ideal for dogs with shorter coats and whenever you want your dog’s coat to shine.
Some bristle brushes consist only of bristles, while others are double-sided (half pin, half bristle brush). The latter represent great value for money as you can switch from side to side to suit different occasions and groom several small dogs in your household.
Another benefit of the bristle brush is that it can help stimulate the skin, spread skin oils to reduce itchiness, and pull out loose fur to help control shedding. Using a bristle brush on a small dog also removes surface dirt, so it’s quite multifunctional.
A bristle brush needn’t overwhelm your tiny canine companion, either. The Li’l Pals bristle brush is ideal for the smallest of small dog breeds.
This colorful, two-toned purple and neon green brush features high-quality bristles throughout, and best of all, you can use it without worrying about tugging too hard on your dog’s delicate coat, making it ideal for tiny dog breeds like the Chihuahua, Dachshund, and Boston Terrier.
If your dog has an undercoat, then it’s always worth having a rake in your at-home dog grooming arsenal. A rake is a great tool for controlling shedding, too, as it pulls out loose fur.
There are numerous different types of dog rakes on the market, but the one we like best is Poodle Pet’s de-matting rake, as it’s not too big to use for small dogs.
Some of the larger de-matting combs can simply be too big and clunky to use on small dogs, but this one has a narrow set of stainless steel de-matting blades and a comfortable handle that makes removing loose undercoat fur quick and easy.
A rake isn’t needed for everyday brushing and/or single-coated dogs. But if your dog has two coats and medium-to-long hair, like the Bichon Frise, Miniature Schnauzer, or Havanese, for example, this type of brush is ideal.
Although dog grooming combs and rakes might look alike, they’re two separate tools.
In contrast to de-matting combs or rakes, regular combs have more tightly spaced teeth and are better equipped for everyday grooming instead of removing loose undercoat fur.
Also, some combs work well for removing fleas and ticks, especially those that are smaller and have very tightly-packed teeth.
What comb is best for small dogs?
We like the Coastal double-sided dog comb for grooming the coat of your tiny, four-legged friend. This pretty, sea-green brush with a rubberized handle is double-sided.
One side features teeth that are super close to one another for discarding fleas, while the other side has teeth that are spaced further apart, which is better for everyday grooming.
And while de-matting combs are better for removing stubborn mats, knots, and tangles, this comb can help remove mats from your dog, especially with regular brushing. So a comb can be a great choice for dogs with medium-to-long hair.
A rubber brush is a multifunctional tool that will massage your tiny dog’s skin while pulling out dead fur before it sheds. And these are a great option if your pup is sensitive to bristle brushes or other brushes that aren’t particularly soft (these are gentler and less intimidating).
Some rubber brushes are essentially regular brushes with rubber bristles, while others are rubber gloves with knobs across the palm and fingers. And either can work well.
What’s the best one for small dogs?
Our top pick here is the Furbliss dog brush, which is suitable for small dogs and cats alike. Its size is not so overwhelming that your dog should yelp and run away in fear when you pull it out.
This brush is constructed from medical-grade silicone, feels gentle on your tiny dog’s fur and skin, and it’s not too big like some other rubber brushes on the market.
You can also choose from a version for short-haired or longer-haired breeds, both of which work to exfoliate, massage, comb, and remove old fur from your dog.
Another plus is that you can use it whether your dog just came out of the sink and is shaking off from a bath or if their coat is dry.
The slicker brush features short, fine wires with protective rubber or plastic tips on the end that are affixed to a flat surface. And these are great all-around brushes that are ideal for dogs with medium-to-long hair, whether it be curly, straight, or wavy.
Slicker brushes will detangle, detach tough mats, and pull out loose hair from your dog’s undercoat and overcoat alike. And they can be used for everyday brushing, too.
The downside? Most slicker brushes are quite big!
That’s why we scoured the internet to find a slicker that will not only get the job done but one that’s well-suited to smaller dogs. And our top choice is ConairPRO’s slicker for small dogs, which is designed for dogs that weigh less than 30 pounds.
This slicker features soft black plastic pins attached to a small oval-shaped surface that won’t scratch your dog’s skin. And it has a comfortable non-slip, gel grip handle that makes brushing a breeze. So if you’re looking for the best slicker for small dogs, give this a go.
Despite some common misconceptions out there, small dogs can shed. In fact, some small dogs can shed at a rate that may surprise you!
The difference is that, compared to large dogs, they don’t have as much hair on their body, so the amount of fur they drop is often not as noticeable.
Still, some small dogs can be little hair-dropping factories in their own right, and that’s where a de-shedding tool can be ideal if your goal is to live as fur-free as possible.
Our number one de-shedding brush (for any dog size) is the FURminator, but they make one that is specifically designed for dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds.
What’s more, with that option, you can choose between one that is for small dogs with long hair or short hair, depending on what your dog has.
The reason we like this tool so much is that it makes removing loose hair safe and easy, even if your dog is double-coated.
It also features a fur ejection button, which makes it easy to put the fur you’ve collected into the bin when you’re done. And the handle is very comfortable to hold, making the grooming process easier and more effective.
Recommended: Go here to see our top-rated dog hair blow dryers
There you have it, seven different types of brushes for small dogs compared.
At the end of the day, the best brush is one that’s appropriate for your dog’s coat type, the task at hand (i.e., everyday brushing, de-shedding, or de-matting, for example), and size.
That last factor is often overlooked, but the size of the brush is important because a brush that’s too large could cause your dog anxiety, make brushing around the legs, face, and other areas more difficult than it needs to be, and generally just be too harsh for a small dog.
So, even if you decide not to go with one of our picks, I hope the tips I’ve shared in this post help you choose a brush that’s more suitable for your dog.