How To Groom A Dog With Matted Hair


I know many dog parents who get a bit stressed on how to groom a dog with matted hair, since dogs with matted hair are some of the most difficult pets to care for. They have long and kinky hair which trap debris and bacterial matter; it’s these trappings that we refer to as mat. The problem with mats is that they pause a glaring health risk not only to your dog but also to everyone or other dogs that come into contact with your dog. They also increase the chances of your dog contaminating its kennel or dog bed.

Even more awful is the thought that matted hair causes a lot of discomfort to the dog, and usually, the dog might want to rub or scratch the mat away. Unfortunately, when the dog does so, it either scratches or makes the dog’s skin sore. Come to think of it, sore on the dog’s skin is exposed to the tons of bacteria trapped in the mat. Before you know it, the dog will be licking the sores, and this significantly increases the probability of getting infected.

Grooming A Dog with Matted Hair

With that preface in mind, it’s easy to tell why a matted dog needs to be groomed more frequently than other dogs. If the mats are left unattended for too long, they pose a great health hazard. However, grooming a dog with matted hair may not be a walk in the pack. You see, a troubled dog is a rattled dog, and its temper may be flaring. That’s to say, it’s angry, and there’s a good chance you’ll suffer a biting unless you take a calculated approach.

Why Does Dog Fur Get Matted?

Mats tend to form in areas with intense friction such as; under the armpits, behind the ear, on the belly, under the collar, on the lower legs, and on its hind due to friction. Mats usually start to form at the base of the fur close to the skin and work their way up to form tighter knots and tangles. If not attended to fats, they get bigger, sturdier, more painful, and more challenging to remove. What makes them more easily on dogs like maltase dogs is because they have long hair, which makes the conditions ideals.

How To Groom A Dog With Matted Hair

matted dog

1. Know the Breed, Size, and Type of Coat

First, you need to know the type of breed, its size, and the type of coat (double coat or single coat) the pup has. Knowing these will give you ideas on the products that will be comfortable on your pet and the appropriate brushes for your pup’s fur. You can also get this information from your professional groomer.

2.Train Your Dog to Stay Still During Grooming

To get everything right the first time, and to make the cleaning process as seamless as can be, the dog has to be comfortable with the process. Every stroke of the grooming brush should be more calming and relaxing than punishing. Remember that quote on teaching an old dog new tricks? It’s true—it helps if you start grooming your dog at an early age so that they are used to it. For older dogs, brush them gently often so that they get used to it. When they cooperate, reward them with their favorite dish; that way, they will associate the reward with the cooperation. 

3. Pay Close Attention to Areas That Get Tangled

The elephant in the room is the mats. They are tangled pieces of far that cause great discomfort to your furry friend. When you stroke them, it hurts the dog so much that it’d want to unless some of its furry on you. It’s nothing personal; it’s a basic instinct.  To avoid a nasty situation ensuing, you have to be more pragmatic about how you stroke these sensitive points. Brush them gently and make it seem more of a massage than a lush. If you can, use a pair of scissors to prone the mats off.

4. Know the Best Brush to Use on The Pup.

Depending on the breed, size, and the type of coat that it has. Consult a professional groomer if you are not sure of what brushes to use. The most common way brush to use is the line brush because it’s efficient. Using a line brush, push the fur with your hand to line it off the skin, then put the brush in the hair and pull away from the dog gently and slowly.

5. Use a Detangle Cream or Spray

Grooming a dog with mats is more cumbersome when the fur is dry and kinky. It’s exactly the same case with human hair; it’s difficult to groom when shaggy. Like we all use hair creams, shampoos, and gels when maintaining our hair, dogs, too, need their hair moistened when being groomed. Pet hair creams and gels are the magic trick in making grooming fun and worth looking forward to.

6. Visit A Professional

In case your dog has too much-matted fur, it’s recommended to take him to a professional pet groomer or a veterinarian. Matted hair can cause skin irritation, sores and may most probably be harboring pests and, therefore, so if it looks like your dog may need more attention than you can offer, seek special attention from a professional.

Methods for Grooming Matted Dog Fur

There are two essential methods that are recommended for grooming matted fur. These are:

  1. The remove mat out method.
  2. The work mat out by cutting method.


1. The remove mat out method

Requirements: Slick brush, Pin brush, DE shedder, DE matter, Comb, Spray, Shampoo, and Towel.

Step 1.

Brush and separate the matted hair from the non-matted hair using the slick brush. Also, be sure to pat down to the skin since mats begin to form from the base close to the skin.

Step 2.

Apply corn starch or commercial detangle cream that’s appropriate for your pup’s fur and rub it in properly down to the base of the fur. This makes the hair moist, slippery, and workable before you start working on the matted hair.

Step 3.

Work the hair with your fingers thoroughly to remove as much of the matted fur as possible. Use the DE shedder, DE matter, or the splitting tool \ to cut off the mats and break them up. Cut in the direction in which the hair grows.

Step 4.

Use the brushes and the comb to remove the remaining matted hair on your pup’s fur. Again, while doing this, work in the direction in which the fur grows.

Step 5.

On completely removing the mats, bath your pup. In case of injuries and sores, bath it in a soothing oatmeal bath or use shampoo designed to soothe the skin. In case of bacterial and fungal infections, make inquiries from the veterinarian on appropriate medication to use on the skin of your pup.

2. The Work Out Mat by Cutting Method

Requirements; Slick brush, Pin brush, DE shedder, DE matter, Comb, Clippers, Scissors, Spray, Shampoo, and a towel.

Step 1.

Set up the working area. Ensure that you can efficiently reach all your equipment. If convenient, have an assistant around to help you hold your pup down in case it’s anxious around the equipment.

Step 2.

Use the slick brush to separate the matted fur from the non-matted fur—Pat the fur down to the skin.

Step 3.

Use short blade (#10) clippers or scissors to cut off the matted sections on the fur. Hold the clipper blade parallel to the fur against your pup’s body.

Step 4.

Remove the mats in sections, start from the neck and move towards the back, work your way up from the belly to the pups back and finish up with the legs and the paws. Use a comb, DE shedder, DE matter tools, and scissors to remove the matted hair as much as possible. Again, be gentle every time you pass any equipment through the pup’s fur. Check your clippers on a regular basis to ensure it does not overheat.

Step 5.

Bath your pup, if need be, and use appropriate shampoo on its skin. In the case of bacterial and fungal infection, consult the veterinarian for appropriate medication.


If your pup has matted fur, it’s not quite the best look. Furthermore, apart from it having an unpleasant appearance, these mats may lead to bacterial infections, skin irritations, and harboring of pests. Therefore, it is required of you to appropriately take good care of your pups’ fur by regularly grooming its fur. Clipping is advisable depending on the situation, and if the dog has too much-matted hair, consult a professional groomer or a veterinarian.

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