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What is a Curry Brush?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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A curry brush or curry comb is a tool which is used to groom animals. There are a number of different curry comb designs, which are intended for specific purposes, but all of them share the trait of having teeth on the part of the comb which faces the animal. Curry brushes are extremely useful grooming tools for all sorts of animals, from cats to horses, and they are essential for long-haired animals.

When a curry comb is used, it is moved in firm but gentle circular motions. The teeth of the comb pull out dead hair and stimulate the skin, removing flakes of dead skin and encouraging healthy blood flow near the skin. Curry brushes also encourage the production of natural oils which keep hair healthy and clean. Regular use of a curry brush will keep an animal silky and glossy, and it will ultimately keep his or her skin cleaner and healthier as well. For long haired animals, curry combs help to eliminate tangles and snarls which can be uncomfortable, unsightly, and potentially unhealthy.

The gentlest form of a curry brush is made from rubber or a rubberized material. The rubber is highly flexible, allowing the comb to bend with the animal's body. The teeth take the form of gentle rubber nubbins, which will slowly wear down over use. Rubber curry brushes are great for cats and dogs, and they are sometimes greatly appreciated by the animal, especially during shedding season.

More heavy duty curry brushes come with metal teeth and more rigid construction. Metal curry brushes have to be used with care, as they can hurt an animal; they should definitely not be used on tender bellies and faces, and pressure should be applied gently. A metal curry brush can also be useful for cleaning out other grooming tools; simply run a brush over the metal teeth to pull out hair, hay, and dirt.

Many pet and animal supply stores carry curry brushes. Heavier brushes are designed for use on horses and cattle, while more lightweight brushes are appropriate for furred house pets along with goats. A gentle curry brush can also be used on creatures like angora rabbits to pull out dead hair for the purpose of carding, combing, and spinning it. You may find that your animals greatly enjoy being curried, as the brush acts almost like a massager, easing tired muscles while removing heavy dead skin and hair.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By orangey03 — On Jul 11, 2011

I have a friend who owns a collie, but he is clueless about how to care for it. The last time I went to his house, I saw that the dog had many massive tangles, and cuckleburrs were rolled up inside of his fur. Those could cause a lot of pain if he laid down on them just right.

I took him to the pet store and made him buy a curry comb. It took a bath, some scissors, and hours of meticulous detangling, but we got the collie's fur looking great. I could tell by how playful he became afterwards that the dog felt so much better.

By wavy58 — On Jul 10, 2011

My sister-in-law has a curry brush that she uses on all thirteen of her dogs, as well as her pet goat. That's right - she has an indoor goat that thinks it is one of the pack.

It eats, sleeps, and plays with the dogs. It will even get in her lap. Much like the dogs, this goat loves to be groomed with the lightweight curry brush. It is gentle on the skin, so it's like a more thorough form of petting, and this goat loves being petted.

She uses a metal curry brush to clean the other brush between animal groomings. With a goat and thirteen dogs of various fur lengths and sensitivities, she doesn't want to risk allergic reaction.

By SarahSon — On Jul 10, 2011

I have a long haired dog that needs to be brushed on a regular basis. Using a dog curry brush helps keep her coat smooth and free of tangles.

I think one of the most important things to remember when grooming your animals is to work slow and smooth. Sometimes it can be easy to put too much pressure on and they don't like it if you hurry through the process.

If you approach it slowly and methodically, it can be as relaxing for you as it is for them.

By myharley — On Jul 09, 2011

We live in the country and have horses, dogs and cats. This also means we have a wide assortment of curry combs around. I have found that I usually prefer a metal horse curry brush. These work especially well for getting tangles out their manes and tails.

We always brush our horses down after a ride, and the metal curry comb is the one I always reach for first. While our horses are being brushed, it looks like they are falling asleep. One of my mares would stand there all day long and let you brush her.

The metal comb also works well in the spring and early summer when they are doing a lot of shedding.

By manykitties2 — On Jul 09, 2011

This is the first time I have heard about curry brushes and they seem like a fantastic tool. I have a few cats and I love grooming them, but up until now I have only been using a regular pet brush for the job.

For cat owners, do you find that the curry brush does a better job than a brush with straight bristles? Also, do curry brushes come in a specific size for cats, or are they sold for all house pets?

I am definitely going to head to the pet store sometime soon and see if I can find some curry brushes for my kitties. I am betting they will love the massage.

By letshearit — On Jul 08, 2011

If you have pets in your home investing in some good curry brushes is a great way to keep your extended furry family happy. We have a few cats, a dog and some rabbits and make sure that we stay stocked up on the rubber curry brushes.

The rubber curry brushes make our cats purr and our dogs fall asleep. I am convinced the massage it gives them really improves their moods.

As a pet owner I haven't found that the brush heads wear down too fast either. While you do have to replace the brushes every year or so, I really don't find that too often considering how much use we get out of the brushes.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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