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How Do I Choose the Best Thinning Comb?

By Kathleen Howard
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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A thinning comb is a comb designed to remove fur or hair from an animal’s coat. To choose the best comb, select one according to the size of your pet, your primary goal, and the thickness of your pet's coat. Thinning combs typically fall into two categories: razor combs and stripping combs. If you want to improve the appearance and manageability of a pet’s coat by reducing its thickness, a razor comb might be the best option. To remove loose fur from a dog or cat, a stripping comb might be more effective in thinning the coat.

While most thinning combs can be used on different animals, many are specifically designed to thin the coat of a dog, cat or horse. If you need a comb to thin a horse’s hair, select a mane thinning comb made specifically for horses. A fur thinning comb made for smaller pets might not be sturdy enough to produce the results you want. For smaller animals, a generic fur thinning comb will probably be sufficient.

You will also want to choose a comb according to the results you want. Razor combs are frequently used in dog and horse grooming to thin and shorten an animal’s hair. To choose the best horse thinning comb, look for one with a large handle and sturdy blade that will help you comb through the animal’s thick mane. To thin a very coarse mane, you might want to choose a rake-shaped razor comb as these will provide more leverage.

While a cat or dog thinning comb might not need to be quite as sturdy, you will want to choose one made from a durable metal, plastic or other material. Many dog and cat thinning combs are double sided with one side larger than the other. This helps users trim both the larger areas of the body like the back, and smaller areas like the ears and tail. To make sure the comb will last more than a few uses, also look for a product that allows you to change the razor blade.

If you want to thin the coat by removing loose hair, look for a comb designed to strip the coat. These combs usually resemble small rakes or metal loops that are dragged across an animal’s fur. To choose the best stripping comb, look for one wide enough to quickly comb your pet, but small enough to comfortably cover the neck, limbs and tail. It is also important to choose a comb according to the thickness of your pet’s fur. For long, thick coats, choose a heavy-duty comb that will effectively remove a large portion of your pet’s loose fur.

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Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Jan 15, 2015

I bought a stripping comb for my golden retriever last month to help her shed her undercoat. I think it's the most sensible purchase I've ever made for my dog. It works great and gets out the loose hairs without a fuss. My dog actually really enjoys the process. I think she's relieved when the dead hairs are removed from her coat. And since shedding happens faster with the use of a stripping comb, she feels more ready for hot weather when summer has fully arrived.

By fBoyle — On Jan 14, 2015

@burcinc-- No it doesn't cause any discomfort. I have a maltese with long hair that mats easily and I use the same type of comb. Mine is called a "de-matting comb" but it's basically a thinning comb with razors. Anything made for pets should be totally safe to use. But it's a good idea to read some customer reviews to make sure.

In my experience, if you use a thinning comb once every two or three weeks on your medium to long-haired dog, you can prevent the mats altogether. My dog is also very gentle and doesn't like it when I pull on her hair. So grooming regularly with this comb prevents huge mats that are difficult and painful to remove. I get the small mats out soon after they form.

By burcinc — On Jan 14, 2015

My terrier has very thick, curly, unruly hair. She gets a lot of tangles and mats for this reason despite the fact that I brush her several times a week. Will a thinning razor comb help out with this? I think if her fur is a little bit thinner, there would be an improvement. This kind of comb doesn't cause any discomfort or pain right?

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