There is an affiliate link in this post. I did not partner with either brand mentioned on this post. I was sent a furminator to review on my other blog a few years ago. I have no connection to the Kong brand.
When we first got or pugs I was surprised at how much they shed. My male pug has a very thick layer of fur around his neck and upper shoulders. His fur in that area is thick, and more furry (less shiny/slick) than the rest of his body. My female pug doesn’t have that fluffy fur area around her neck and she seems to shed less. They both shed year round though.
I searched for brushes for pugs when I first got my dogs, because the one I picked up locally didn’t seem to bring much hair off of them, yet if I scratched them with my fingers or bathed them it would come out in clumps! So I knew the brush was not working well, and turned to the internet for advice. At the time most people were recommending a furminator. I was sent one to review on my other blog. It was the size intended for small dogs with short to medium hair. It worked really well compared to the cheap brush I had purchased. The brush would fill with hair after just a couple of runs through their coat. However, I found that it never seemed to stop! I could brush them for 30 minutes and still bring out hair so eventually, I would say good enough.
We used the furminator for roughly 3.5 years. My dogs were never fans of having their coat brushed but I thought it may be because I usually brushed them before bathing them and they dislike baths. Then one day a few months ago I had brushed the dogs and put frank in the tub. I took a cup under the still-running faucet and tossed most of it over his back. He jerked away from me, startled. He whimpered. I dipped my finger into the cup to check the temperature, thinking the faucet must have adjusted itself. But the water in the cup wasn’t hot. He must just be being a big baby today, I thought. He is prone to being rather dramatic. I poured a couple more cups of water on him with no problem, and then suddenly he jerked and whined again. I realized it was in the same spot as before. I looked over his back and realized he had cuts or scrapes in his back, in a perfect row. The prongs on the furminator had scratched into his skin, so the dog shampoo and/or water was causing him pain. I felt terrible. I didn’t think I had brushed him any harder than before, and he hadn’t whined or acted any different than usual while being brushed.
I decided to look online for other brush recommendations and this time, I saw the Kong ZoomGroom mentioned over and over. It sells for around $6 so I bought it. The first time I used it on my dogs, I felt even worse about having used the furminator. With the furminator, my dogs would let me brush them a few times and then they’d walk away until I called them back over. It was tiring because they just kept trying to get away. Seems how it was the only brush I had really ever used on them, I had no idea that wasn’t normal for them. Yet when I used the Kong ZoomGroom for the first them, they *Both* stayed in place almost the whole time, easily twice as long between wandering sessions. It made me realize they disliked the sensation of being brushed with the furminator, at best. At worst, maybe it was causing them discomfort even on “regular” use. I hope that the day I saw scratches on Frank was the only time it had injured him, but unfortunately, I’ll probably never know for certain.
The Kong ZoomGroom is a little unusual to hold, I find it a bit on the big side. However, it does a great job of removing fur. It doesn’t seem to remove quite as much fur as the furminator, but i’d say at least 85% as much. I suspect that the furminator was pulling out hair unnecessarily, seems how it would pull hair as long as I kept brushing.
I would highly recommend that pug owners try out the ZoomGroom. It’s a great brush for the price and with it being a rubbery or silicone type of material I know it won’t hurt my dogs. If you have a dog of any breed and are using a furminator please check their skin closely to make sure it’s not harming them.