How to Groom a Dog With Matted Hair

Dogs with long fur can be stunning to look at, but they require regular brushings in order to remain free from mats. Without regular care and brushings, matting may become out of control and it becomes hard to demat your fur with scissors or de-matting tools without hurting the animal.


Brushing your dog on a daily basis is one of the best ways to avoid matting and keep their coat healthy and glossy. But even with regular grooming sessions in place, some animals may still develop tangles and knots despite your best efforts; these often form in hard-to-reach spots like behind ears, on back legs or underneath arms.

If left unremoved, tangles will continue to form and may pull on the skin beneath, causing pain and discomfort. Therefore, using a detangling spray or conditioner while brushing is vital to ensure optimal hair health and prevent further discomfort.

Larger tangles may be difficult to untangle using traditional brushes alone, making a mat splitter an effective alternative. This brush features what amounts to a blade – some look similar to combs while others resemble seat belt cutters – that cuts through mats, splitting them apart into smaller sections for easier brushing away.

Be extra cautious when using a mat splitter as it can easily accidentally cut your pet’s skin if not handled with care. A pair of small scissors could be another viable option; just make sure they remain parallel to their body instead of pointing the tip toward its skin as this could lead to accidental cuts.

If all else fails, professional grooming may be necessary to remove matted fur from your fur baby. Make sure they’re prepared by familiarizing them early with the grooming process by scheduling mini visits between regular appointments where they get to see their friends and enjoy treats from their groomer – this will help your pup associate grooming as something positive rather than frightening; hopefully this can prevent future matting!


As any pet parent knows, a beautiful coat is one of the reasons we fell in love with our canine companions. However, that luxurious, long hair comes with some upkeep requirements that, if neglected, can turn into an absolute nightmare for both you and your fur baby. Brushing alone won’t always be enough to keep their coat tangle-free; matting may occur and trying to brush or shave it away can be painful and even damaging to their skin.

Finding a groomer you trust and who understands your grooming preferences is key. Before dropping your pup off for his or her haircut, spend a few minutes conversing with them so they know exactly what you want; also allow them to assess for any problem spots on their body.

Small to medium mats can usually be untangled using detangling spray/product and a slicker brush, while larger mats may need a dematting comb, which looks similar to a comb but features sharp teeth with which you can cut through knots in their fur. Be very cautious when using this tool as missteps could potentially harm your pup; its use should only ever be attempted at home by experts.

When handling matted hair, it is also crucial that we work close to the skin. This prevents cutting the skin (which is extremely painful for dogs) and ensures that we do not accidentally shorten his/her coat too drastically.

If your pet has an extensive matting issue, professional groomers are usually the best solution for providing professional sedation shaves to get rid of matting as this will spare them of pain, discomfort and stress, while potentially saving their ears or legs if their matting becomes too tight to remove with clippers alone.

Finding a trustworthy groomer and following a coat care routine (including brushing regularly, and brushing or shedding/brushing after play) are key components in preventing severe matting from developing in your dog. But should matting become severe, be prepared for an extended and expensive grooming session at the groomer.


Occasionally if a dog’s coat becomes so thick that brushing or combing are no longer sufficient to remove it, groomers must resort to shaving the entire coat in order to be kindest possible for both pet and owner. While it can be stressful and painful for the animal, shaving remains one of the kindest approaches available for pet care.

Before shaving a dog with matted hair, a groomer must first attempt to untangle their mats using detangling spray or other gentle methods. This process works best on dry coats since knots won’t tighten as quickly. Furthermore, keeping as much moisture out will lower risk of skin infections after grooming.

Before beginning their shave process, groomers should cover their work surface with a towel and sprinkle generous amounts of cornstarch on it – this will prevent grooming clippers from overheating and causing additional pain or irritation.

Next, carefully comb through the mats, gradually breaking them apart as much as possible. Do this slowly and carefully as matting can become quite tangled and won’t always respond to gentle tugging of fur. If the comb gets caught in knots it is likely too difficult a job for this method and will have to be cut away instead.

If matting is too thick to be removed with combs or detangling spray, cutting will need to be done. Usually this involves grooming clippers being used, though if covering an expansive area it could require scissors as well. In such instances, it is vital that short blades be used so as not to cause additional discomfort to the skin and risk further injury.

Unfortunately, it can be painfully necessary for the health of your dog to take such measures if necessary. Matting can cause extreme discomfort for dogs as well as potentially leading to skin conditions or even fecal impaction due to trapped feces in matted fur. In order to avoid such incidents occurring again in future, make sure your routine includes frequent brushing with regular attention paid towards any tangles that arise and brush regularly!


One effective way to prevent matting in dogs is through regular brushing and combing sessions, especially if they have thick double coats that shed or are going through their “shedding season.” Regular brushing helps remove loose hair before it tangles into knots; using specific brushes and combs tailored specifically to their coat type (an undercoat rake/rotating pin comb/slicker brush for double coats; or single layer curly coats — as applicable) can also be helpful.

Avoid using too rough of a brush as this could cause pain to your pup, making the grooming process much more stressful for both of you and more challenging to brush out any matting that has formed on his fur.

Mild matting may be brushable off using detangling sprays and brushes; however, this process may be time-consuming and uncomfortable for your dog; therefore, only attempt this if safe and effective methods exist.

If the matting is severe enough for brushing to resolve, or is beyond repair, your dog may require professional grooming using clippers to shave. While groomers use clippers that get hot during shaving processes, there is plenty of room for error when cutting mats close to the skin.

Finding a groomer you and your pup feel at ease with is key for both of you. Spend some time talking with them so that they understand your pet and your preferences for how he should be groomed, while an excellent groomer should reassure you they will do their best to keep him comfortable throughout.

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