Matted dog hair can be a huge problem for pet owners not to mention for their beloved pets. It is often a frustrating problem that can lead to skin irritation, fungal infections and considerable discomfort for many a dog. In extreme cases matting can even reduce the dog’s mobility. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately, with the right tools and time-proven techniques, dealing with matted dog hair can be a manageable task.
The following article provides information on what you need to know about the causes of knots in your dog’s hair, techniques you can use to remove them and practices you can employe to prevent them reoccurring.
Table of Contents
What Causes Matted Dog Hair?
Before learning how to tackle mats, let’s first look at the real causes of dog matting.
Dog matting usually occurs when your dog sheds hair that then remains in the coat, not having been removed by brushing. Over time the hair collects and forms a clump leading to matting.
The new coat grows and because it gets entangled with the shedding hair, it forms clumps that can be quite hard to deal with. If the matting becomes severe, then brushing or combing can cause considerable pain for your dog.
Wondering why your Poodle is also matting?
You thought Poodles are a non-shedding breed didn’t you. Well, all dogs shed to some extent, including Poodles. And dogs with curly, thick coats are more prone to matting than breeds with a very short, straight coat type.
In fact, in some cases, with some breeds, the only solution might be to shave the coat or the badly-affected areas. But let’s see how to avoid that.
So how do you remove mats from dog hair to ensure you do not have to resort to such adverse solutions as shaving the coat? We’ll cover this in the next section.
Types of Dog Mats
The type of matting that you find can vary according to where you find the knotted hair. Some common types of mats include:
- Mats on the surface of the coat: These are small tangles that occur at the outer edges of the coat and can usually be easily removed with a comb or brush.
- Undercoat mats: You can expect to find this kind of matting closer to the skin. Not only that you can expect to find larger knots or tangles which prove more difficult to remove.
- Felted mats: These are severe tangles that have become tightly woven and can be painful for the dog during the removal process.
How to Remove Mats from Dog Hair
Keep in mind that the whole detangling process can be quite painful for your dog if the matting has built up over an extended period of time so you should expect some resistance from your pooch.
Here are some of the more common ways to deal with matted dog hair (this section contains affiliate links):
Removing Matt with Your Fingers
For one, you could opt to use your hands to gently detangle existing matted hair on your dog. But, first, trim the excess outer layer of hair so that you can get to the very root of the knot. Use a slicker brush to brush the hair around the matt to loosen it. Then gently tease the matt apart with your fingers until you can lift it out completely.
Using a Dematting Tool to Remove Mats
If the matt is close to the skin, use a comb to gently lift the matt away from the skin. You could then remove the smaller tangles with a metal comb or a dematting tool. This method requires patience. Taking it slowly, you are less likely to hurt your dog.
Loosening the Mats with a Detangling Spray
Alternatively, there are quite a number of detangling sprays on the market that work quite well to help loosen the mats. Once you have sprayed the affected area, use your fingers to work the solution into the matted hair. Let it sit for a few moments and then start to pull the matt apart as best you can. Your fingers might work here, or you can try to gently separate the matted hair with a comb.
Matt Removal by a Professional Groomer
In the case that the matting is too severe you should consider seeking the help of a professional dog groomer. If you have spent a considerable amount of time without success trying to detangle the mats yourself then it’s time to consult a professional. The same would apply if your dog is in pain because of excessive matting.
Tools for Matted Dog Hair
Are you using the right grooming equipment, and does it include a dematting comb?
Note: this section contains affiliate links.
In addition to having the necessary information on how to remove mats from dog hair, it is equally important for you to have the right dematting comb to make the whole process much easier.
For dogs with long hair, a slicker brush can be effective at removing tangles and mats. For dogs with short hair, a bristle brush or rubber curry brush may be more appropriate.
It’s important to use the right tool for your dog’s coat type, as using the wrong brush or tool can actually cause more tangles and mats.
A pin brush, with the round endings at the end of the bristles, tends to work best in teasing the hair apart and grabbing any knots. However, you should start off with a shedding rake to detangle as much of the matted hair as you possibly can. With its wide teeth you do not have to worry that it will pull your dog’s hair too much.
Click here for Dog Matting Combs & Rakes (affiliate link)
You can finish off the whole process with a flea comb to really get down to the root hair and rid your dog’s coat of any hair clumps.
Detangling Sprays to Help Dematting Dog Hair
To facilitate the whole process there are some available dematting treatment options. A detangling pet spray can save you and your dog a lot of hassle.
Lubricating and loosening the matted dog hair will make combing much easier. There are also conditioners available that work to detangle the knotted hair.
Preventing Matted Dog Hair
Still, why wait until your dog’s hair is severely entangled? The problem can be prevented in the first place and thus save on costs and most importantly save your dog from pain.
One easy way to prevent this matting of dog hair is to simply brush your dog’s coat on a regular basis and inspect it closely for any beginning signs of matting. Using the right brushes can also help prevent matted dog hair.
You can use a steel comb (affiliate link) to get rid of the discarded fur.
The habit of regular brushing will be a time-saver in the end and of course will help minimize shedding inside the house as well as help to maintain a happy, healthy, groomed pet.