How to Deal with Matted Dog Hair

Dealing with matted dog hair can be a hairy situation, quite literally! As much as we adore our furry friends, those pesky tangles can cause discomfort and even health issues for our beloved pups. Whether it’s due to long hair, moisture, or just some good ol’ rolling in the dirt, mats are a common hassle. In this blog post, Splish Splash Mobile Dog Grooming helps to explore the right approach, tools, and a bit of patience, we can tackle those mats and keep our doggos looking and feeling their best. So, let’s dive into this guide on how to handle matted dog hair and bid adieu to those tangled woes!

Understanding Matted Dog Hair

Mats are tangles or clumps of hair that form when loose fur becomes entwined and compacted. They often occur in areas where a dog’s hair is longer, thicker, or prone to friction, such as behind the ears, under the legs, around the collar, and in the tail area. Matting can be caused by various factors, including:

Lack of Grooming: 

Dogs with long or curly coats require regular grooming to prevent matting. Failure to brush their fur regularly allows loose hair to become tangled and form mats.

Failure to maintain a grooming routine for your furry friend can pave the way for mats to form in their coat. Long-haired breeds particularly suffer from this neglect, as loose fur becomes entwined, creating stubborn mats. Without proper care, mats can tighten, causing discomfort, skin irritation, and even restricting movement. Regular grooming, including brushing and appropriate grooming tools, is crucial to prevent these tangles and ensure your pet’s coat stays healthy and free from painful mats.

Pet grooming services in Gulfport pride themselves on delivering personalized grooming experiences, catering to various breeds and coat types. These services offer a range of treatments, including baths, haircuts, nail trimming, and specialized grooming techniques tailored to meet individual pet needs. With a commitment to quality care and attention to detail, Gulfport’s grooming services ensure a clean, comfortable, and stylish appearance for your beloved pets.

Moisture and Dirt:

 When a dog’s fur gets wet and remains damp, it becomes more prone to matting. Dirt and debris can also contribute to tangles, especially in outdoor or active dogs.

Moisture and dirt are culprits behind tangled mats in a dog’s coat. Wet fur tends to clump together, making it more prone to tangling and mat formation, especially if left unattended. Additionally, outdoor activities expose your pet to dirt and debris, which can intertwine with their fur, exacerbating the matting issue. Regular drying after baths, keeping your dog clean, and thorough brushing help combat these factors, reducing the chances of mats caused by moisture and dirt.

Friction and Rubbing:

 Areas where a dog’s collar, harness, or other gear rub against the coat can cause mats over time.

Friction and rubbing from collars, harnesses, or constant contact with certain surfaces contribute to matting in specific areas of a dog’s coat. Continuous rubbing against these accessories or rough surfaces causes the fur to tangle and form mats over time. Dogs with longer hair or sensitive skin are particularly susceptible to this type of matting. Ensuring proper fitting of collars and gear, as well as rotating or adjusting them regularly, can minimize friction-related matting and discomfort for your furry companion.

Underlying Health Issues:

Some health conditions, such as skin allergies or parasites, can lead to excessive scratching or licking, causing mats to form in the affected areas.

Underlying health issues can also trigger matting in a dog’s coat. Skin allergies, parasites, or dermatological conditions may lead to increased scratching, licking, or skin irritation. These actions can cause fur to tangle and form mats in affected areas. Addressing the root cause of these health issues through veterinary care, including appropriate treatment and management, is essential. By managing the underlying health concerns, you can mitigate excessive scratching or licking behaviors, subsequently reducing the likelihood of mats forming in your dog’s fur.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention is key to managing matted dog hair. Here are some proactive measures to prevent mats from forming:

  • Regular Grooming: Establish a grooming routine suitable for your dog’s coat type. Brush your dog’s fur at least a few times a week, using appropriate brushes or combs recommended for their specific coat.
  • Bathing and Drying: Ensure your dog is thoroughly dried after bathing. Use a dog-specific hair dryer or towel-dry them completely to prevent moisture-related matting.
  • Trimming and Maintenance: Regularly trim your dog’s coat, especially in areas prone to matting, to prevent excessive hair length and reduce the likelihood of tangles forming.
  • Proper Collar Fit: Ensure collars, harnesses, or any accessories fit properly without causing constant friction against the fur.

Dealing with Matted Hair

If mats have already formed in your dog’s fur, gentle and careful handling is crucial to avoid causing discomfort or pain. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively tackle matted dog hair:

Assess the Severity: Before attempting to remove mats, assess their severity. Minor tangles can often be addressed at home, but extensive or tightly knotted mats may require professional grooming assistance. Assessing the severity of matted dog hair is crucial before attempting removal. Minor tangles may be manageable at home with patience and gentle care, while extensive or tightly knotted mats might require professional grooming assistance. Careful evaluation helps determine the best approach to avoid discomfort or harm to your pet.

Gather the Right Tools: Gather the necessary tools, including a detangling spray, a slicker brush, a wide-tooth comb, and a pair of blunt-tipped scissors. Gather essential tools before addressing matted dog hair. Ensure you have a detangling spray or conditioner, a slicker brush, a wide-tooth comb, and blunt-tipped scissors if necessary for trimming. Having the right tools at hand facilitates the safe and effective removal of mats without causing distress to your furry friend.

Use Detangling Products: Apply a pet-safe detangling spray or conditioner to the mats. This helps soften the hair, making it easier to loosen the tangles. Utilize pet-safe detangling sprays or conditioners when dealing with matted dog hair. These products help soften and loosen the tangled fur, making it easier to work through the mats without causing discomfort to your pet. Apply the detangler to the affected areas, allowing it to penetrate the mats and facilitate smoother detangling with grooming tools. Patience combined with the product’s assistance can significantly ease the removal process.

Work in Sections: Divide the matted area into smaller sections and work on one section at a time. Start from the outer edges of the mat and gently work your way inward, using a slicker brush or comb. When tackling matted dog hair, divide the affected area into smaller sections for easier management. Start from the outer edges of the mat and gradually work inward, focusing on one section at a time. This approach allows for a more systematic and gentle handling of the tangled fur, minimizing discomfort for your dog. By breaking down the task into smaller parts, it becomes more manageable and less overwhelming, ensuring thorough attention to each area with care and precision. Remember, patience is key when working through each section to untangle the mats.

Be Patient and Gentle: Take your time and work slowly to avoid causing pain or discomfort to your dog. Use your fingers to carefully separate tangled hair before using the brush or comb.Patience and gentleness are paramount when addressing matted dog hair. Take your time and handle the grooming process delicately to avoid causing pain or distress to your furry companion while detangling the mats.

Trim Carefully: For mats that are too tight to detangle, carefully use blunt-tipped scissors to carefully trim them. Exercise caution to avoid cutting your dog’s skin. When dealing with severely tangled mats that cannot be detangled, carefully consider trimming as an option. Use blunt-tipped scissors to cautiously trim the mats, ensuring extreme caution to avoid nicking or cutting your dog’s skin. Work slowly and with precision, trimming small sections of the mat at a time. It’s crucial to maintain a safe distance from your pet’s skin while cutting, as mats can be close to the skin, and accidental cuts may occur. If uncertain or uncomfortable, seeking professional help from a groomer or veterinarian is advisable to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort during the trimming process.

Post-Mat Care and Maintenance

After successfully removing mats, it’s important to establish a grooming routine and preventive measures to maintain your dog’s coat:

  • Regular Brushing:

 Continue brushing your dog’s coat regularly to prevent new mats from forming.Regular brushing serves as a fundamental preventive measure against the formation of mats in your dog’s coat. For breeds with longer or thicker fur, consistent brushing sessions are crucial in removing loose hair and preventing it from tangling and forming mats. Establishing a routine tailored to your dog’s specific coat type not only maintains their fur’s cleanliness and shine but also enhances bonding through regular grooming sessions. By regularly running a brush or comb through your pet’s coat, you remove debris, distribute natural oils, and significantly reduce the chances of mats forming, ensuring your dog’s comfort and overall skin health.

Moreover, routine brushing isn’t just about maintaining a pleasant appearance for your furry companion. It’s an opportunity to check for any abnormalities, such as skin irritations, lumps, or ticks, providing an avenue for early detection of potential health concerns. This grooming ritual not only keeps your dog’s coat in top-notch condition but also allows you to monitor their well-being, fostering a proactive approach to their overall health care.

  • Hygiene Maintenance:

 Keep your dog clean and dry, especially after outdoor activities or baths.Maintaining proper hygiene for your furry friend is pivotal in preventing the formation of mats in their coat. Regular bathing, done according to your dog’s needs and lifestyle, helps keep their fur clean and reduces the likelihood of dirt and debris causing tangles. However, it’s crucial to ensure thorough drying after baths, as moisture left in the fur can lead to mats forming more easily, especially in dogs with long or dense coats. Towel-drying or using a dog-specific hairdryer on a low setting can help eliminate excess moisture, reducing the risk of matting.

In addition to baths, keeping your dog clean in between grooming sessions is equally essential. Regularly checking and cleaning areas prone to matting, such as behind the ears, under the legs, and around the collar, helps prevent the accumulation of dirt or moisture that could contribute to tangles. Periodic wiping with a damp cloth or using pet-safe wipes can assist in maintaining cleanliness, reducing the chances of mats forming in these vulnerable areas. Maintaining good hygiene not only aids in preventing mats but also promotes your dog’s overall comfort and well-being.

Furthermore, paying attention to your dog’s environment and activities can contribute significantly to hygiene maintenance. After outdoor adventures or play sessions, inspect your pet for dirt or debris that could get lodged in their fur. Regularly brushing or combing out any foreign particles caught in the coat helps minimize the potential for tangling and mat formation. By combining regular grooming practices with attentive hygiene maintenance, you can effectively mitigate the risk of mats and ensure your dog stays comfortable and healthy.

  • Professional Grooming:

 Schedule regular grooming appointments to keep your dog’s coat in optimal condition.Professional grooming plays a vital role in the overall care and maintenance of a dog’s coat, especially for breeds prone to matting or those with complex grooming needs. Groomers possess specialized expertise and tools to effectively manage mats, ensuring the removal process is gentle and precise. Their experience allows them to assess the severity of matting and employ appropriate techniques, such as deshedding using professional-grade detangling products or specialized tools, to safely and efficiently address stubborn tangles without causing discomfort to the dog.

Additionally, professional groomers provide comprehensive grooming services that extend beyond mat removal. They offer trimming, bathing, nail clipping, and other essential grooming tasks tailored to your dog’s specific coat requirements. Regular grooming appointments with a professional not only keep your dog’s coat healthy and free from mats but also allow for early detection of potential skin issues or abnormalities. Groomers provide a stress-free environment where dogs can be handled with care, ensuring a positive grooming experience that contributes to their overall well-being and hygiene.

In Biloxi, pet grooming services offer professional care tailored to your pet’s specific needs, including bathing, brushing, and specialized grooming for various breeds. These services in Biloxi prioritize your pet’s comfort and well-being, providing expert grooming to keep their coats healthy, tangle-free, and looking their best.


How do you untangle severely matted hair on a dog?

Use a slicker brush to break up the mats. Start small–focus on one area at a time and individual mats. For tougher mats, use detangling spray in addition to the slicker brush. Finally, run a comb through your pet’s hair to make sure you untangled all of the mats.

Can matted dog hair be saved?

Spray detangling spray on the matted areas and rub it into each mat in turn. Using your fingers, gently work through each mat individually by easing the hair apart, a little at a time. If your dog feels any discomfort, reassure him and move on to a different area so as not to put too much pressure on the same place.

Will matted fur grow out?

But, cat matting will not go away on its own. It will need to be removed before it can cause further pain and damage to the skin. If you are uncomfortable with either of the techniques below, then the best thing would be to reach out to a professional cat groomer near you for the best options for your cat.

Is a matted dog abuse?

It’s certainly mistreatment and considered cruelty. Matting of fur is very painful for an animal. It pulls at their skin constantly and as the matting increases, the pain increases. They need to be reported because this is considered cruelty.

What causes dog hair matting?

There are many ways your dog’s fur can get matted. It is easy for the knots and matted texture to get out of control if you do not carefully clean and look at your dog’s fur. The most common reasons for knots or matted fur are dirt, weeds, a lack of brushing, bathing, and sticky substances.


In conclusion, managing matted dog hair demands a proactive approach encompassing regular grooming, attentive hygiene, and prompt action when tangles arise. Prevention remains the cornerstone, achieved through consistent brushing, maintaining cleanliness, and addressing underlying health concerns promptly. When mats do form, patience, the right tools, and gentle handling are key to safely detangle or trim them. Professional grooming assistance is invaluable for severe cases or if discomfort arises during home grooming. Ultimately, by prioritizing regular care, monitoring your pet’s hygiene, and seeking professional help when needed, you can keep your furry companion’s coat healthy, free from mats, and ensure their well-being and comfort.

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