Matted dog hair is the result of knots and tangles appearing in your dog’s fur, and it can cause them all manner of health issues. If your dog has matted fur, it won’t be long before it causes them a lot of irritation and discomfort. Your dog’s skin and coat can suffer from this, so you must take action when you notice any level of matted dog fur. Dog owners can often resolve this on their own, and this is how.
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How To Remove Matted Dog Hair
When your dog’s coat gets matted, it pulls on its skin and can cause sores and even some bleeding. This is why it is so important to be careful when you are getting any knots or tangles out of your dog’s hair.
These are some of the most commonly used techniques for untangling matted fur.
Call The Pros
If you don’t feel confident getting rid of knots in your dog’s hair, you should put your faith in the experts. A professional groomer sees this kind of thing all of the time, and can painlessly untangle matted fur.
Groomers have both the skills and the know-how to get rid of matted hair without causing any pain or damage to your dog’s skin. This may be costly, but it will leave your pooch with fine fur, free from mats in just a few minutes.
If your dog usually has a healthy coat, you will probably be able to spot it when matting occurs. Mats begin very small but quickly grow into a real problem, so taking swift action is important.
For small mats, you can use a detangling spray and a soft bristle brush to get rid of knots in your dog’s hair. Simply grab the mat with your fingers underneath it, closest to your dog’s body, to isolate it.
Once you have the matted dog hair in-between your fingers, spray it generously with the detangling spray. Allow the spray to seep through the matted hair, and then gently pull at the knots with your brush.
Repeat this process a couple more times to try and get rid of all the knots. If you aren’t successful after a couple of attempts, it is best to try something else to get the matted hair out of your dog’s coat.
If soft bristle brushes won’t work on your matted dog fur, you may need to use a metal, detangling comb. The thin teeth of the comb can get in between the matted dog fur and is usually more effective than a brush.
Using a brush should always be your first option, as it is generally less painful for your pooch, especially around the dog’s ears. If the brush won’t work, use a comb once you have covered the mat in spray or pet hair conditioner.
Cutting It Off
Sometimes the matted dog fur is just too clumped together and untangling it is near-impossible. This often happens in a dog with a curly coat, because those hairs can get so tightly entwined with one another.
If this is the case then the best solution is to get a set of dog clippers and cut the mat right off. This kind of mat removal won’t cause your dog any problems. They may look a little odd afterward, depending on how big that tangled fur was before you cut it off.
The best dog clippers have individual attachments that are designed for cutting mats off your furry friend. When you remove mats, ensure that you get rid of every tangle, to prevent matting in the future.
Home Remedies For Matted Dog Hair
If you do want to use the options above for mat removal, some home remedies have proven to be very effective. The number one hack here is to use cornstarch to untangle your dog’s hair.
Very simply, rub cornstarch directly onto the affected area, and then use a pin brush, slicker brush, or stainless steel comb to detangle the matted patches. Some will also recommend using baby oil to remove mats, suggesting that it makes the tangles more supple, thus undoing the knots.
The reason that vets are yet to recommend baby oil, however, is that it can cause some irritation to the dog’s skin. You may find a wide array of home remedies online, suggested by people who swear by the treatment to remove mats.
We would always recommend that you speak first with your vet, to ensure the safety of any treatment. Unfortunately, many people will attempt home remedies, without thinking of other potentially damaging consequences.
It won’t do you or your dog any harm to wait for the green light from your regular vet, before trying out that home remedy.
What Causes Matted Dog Hair?
Mats form just about anywhere on a dog’s coat, although they are more prone to happen in areas where there is a lot of hair. This is often why a long-haired dog is likely to have more issues than a pooch with shorter locks.
In all dogs, the most common areas for mats are beneath the legs, behind the dog’s ears, and on the butt cheeks. A matted coat will often begin with a small tangle, that can then tangle itself into other hairs, continuously growing all the time.
The reason why tangles form in the first place depends on the type of dog you have. Some dogs get mats easier than others because they have curly coats or naturally greasy fur. In other cases, it comes down to your dog’s behaviors.
If you have a pooch who is regularly getting dirty and covered in who knows what, they can end up with areas of hair clumped together. Even if you give your dog’s hair a good clean after they’ve been out and about, there may still be some mud, sand, or wet grass left behind.
The key is to know your dog, its behaviors, and its body. This will help you to identify why they end up with matted dog fur, and how to prevent it.
Dealing With Severely Matted Dog Hair
As we mentioned earlier, the quicker that you can relieve any mats that form on your dog’s coat, the better it will be. Removing mats at an early stage will be much easier for you, and will require less effort and less patience.
If however, you fail to get rid of mats early on, they will grow and begin to cause your dog a lot of problems. The most frustrating of these problems is the constant need to scratch the affected area.
The more that your dog scratches, the more damage it will do to its skin. Another risk here is that your dog gets its paw stuck in the mat. This can easily cause mobility issues and if nobody is around to help, a great deal of pain.
The best way to deal with severe matting is to cut the area off. The more that you try and tease the tangles out, the more irritation you will cause. You may even end up pulling fur from around the mat, leading to further tangles.
If your dog regularly gets mats, keep your eye on them and deal with them swiftly. This will help you to avoid them growing and causing further issues.
How To Prevent Matting in Dogs
The best mat prevention is frequent brushing of your pet’s coat. This will ensure that any loose fur is removed and also that very small knots that have formed, are untied.
Making sure that you regularly wash your dog is also important. This is essential if they have been outside playing, given the wide range of foliage, dirt, or even burrs that their coats can attract. The cleaner your dog’s hair is, the less likelihood of mats forming.
When it is time for grooming, take off your dog’s collar and any clothing they have. Begin with a good brush from their head to their feet, removing any dirt, debris, loose hair, and dead skin.
This is a daily routine you should be doing with the dog, to prevent future mats from forming. Most dogs love being groomed, but be sure to keep the dog treats handy just in case yours wants to wriggle around.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can prevent mats from forming on your dog’s hair, and many more ways to remove them when they do. Ensure that you understand that these tangles don’t just look bad, but that they can cause problems for your dog.
Mats can harbor bacteria, can cause skin irritation, and will ultimately cause your dog to be bothered and annoyed. Keep an eye on your doggy’s coat and get rid of those mats as soon as you see them.