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My Top 6 Matted Dog Hair Remedies


Your dog is matted, it’s awful because you feel bad for them.

They seem itchy, uncomfortable, and you know your groomer will have to shave them next time they have an appointment.  

What to do?  

You’ve read articles online, but they don’t seem to go in depth.

You’d ask your groomer but they are always busy and never really seem to have time to answer your questions.

You’re at a loss and it seems like there really aren’t any great resources for finding out how to truly remedy your dog’s matted hair.

Welp, I’ve got answers for ya!

In this post, you’ll discover my TOP 6 MATTED DOG HAIR REMEDIES

I want every pet parent in the world to get their hands on the answers in this post because it makes me sad to see dogs covered in mats.  Mats hurt, they cause skin issues, and yeah, we brush and take care of our hair, our dogs–four-legged family–deserve to have their hair taken care of.

1. Proper Tools, Products, and Brushing schedule

The number one question I’m always asked is, “what brush should I use for my dog’s hair?”  

And the second question I always get is, “how do I brush my dog’s hair?

It’s best to have the RIGHT brush and the best brushing practices if you’re looking for a real way to remedy matted dog hair. A cheap brush or the wrong brush can make brushing hurt for your dog or simply waste your time and you’ll see no results.  

Here are the tools that you really need to properly brush, comb, detangle, and blow dry your dog with:

Slicker Brush

Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush

Greyhound Comb

Greyhound Comb

Detangler/Conditioner/Spray Bottle

Brush Spray

Blow Dryer/Human Hair Dryer

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

If you have a long-haired dog, no matter what–a slicker brush hands down is going to be the best brush for your dog. It doesn’t matter if their hair is curly or straight, a slicker is the best.  

Some people always ask if a pin brush is a good tool.  It is, but not when it comes to dealing with a coat that is consistently matted.  A pin brush is great for brushing out a tangle-free, knotted-free coat that is in perfect condition

Brushing Schedule

It also helps to have a consistent brushing schedule.  A brushing schedule doesn’t have to infringe upon your life. Instead, you can fit it into your everyday events.  I always tell my clients that brushing during the commercials of your favorite t.v. show is the best way to keep your dog brushed out EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK!!

I have a really awesome brushing schedule that you can download and keep around the house! You can just click here!!

2. Correct Combing Brushing and Detangling

Additionally, brushing improperly can cause your dog’s coat to never detangle, creating a feeling of failure when grooming and pampering at home.  Plus improper brushing techniques can cause pain and discomfort for your dog, especially if you’re brushing areas that are super sensitive or too hard digging into the skin.

Here’s a great instructional video on how to properly comb and brush your pup by an amazing grooming professional, Andis Grooming Educator Diane Betelak.

3. Great bathing practices

THE EASIEST WAY FOR A LONG HAIRED DOG TO GET MATTED IS TO BATHE THEM WITHOUT DRYING THEM. AND SIMPLY LET THEM RUN AROUND THE HOUSE AND AIR DRY.

Improper bathing tactics doesn’t mean that you didn’t put the soap on and didn’t lather and rinse correctly.  

That is part of it

………………………………but proper bathing for matted dog hair remedies really covers what you do after your dog has been bathed. A few of my clients wash their dog at home really quick, don’t use conditioner, don’t blow dry them, and don’t comb or brush them out.

Instead, they allow their dog to run around the house or the back yard, roll around—FURTHER MATTING AND TANGLING THEIR HAIR!

It makes me sad because I just groomed their dog two or three weeks prior and removed every.single.knot.and.tangle.

I think I am crying right now just thinking about it.

The best thing you could do as a pet parent is the following:

  • Wash And Condition
    • It definitely helps to wash your dog very well, getting them completely lathered up and rinsed well.
    • Following up with a conditioner can help your dog’s coat much healthier. Which will help with keeping the coat soft and easier to brush out and keep mat free.
  • Rinse Thoroughly
    • Rinsing all of the soap and conditioner will keep residue off the coat. Keeping the skin and coat clean.
  • Blow Dry
    • Drying the coat thoroughly will help blow through the hair. This will help break up any mats and tangles that are forming.
  • Brush
    • A slicker brush is by far the best brush for a dog with a long-haired coat. It can catch and pin mats (small tiny mats forming in the coat). If you can catch smaller mats you can prevent them from turning into larger mats overall.
  • Comb completely through the coat
    • It is very important to comb through the coat after brushing through it. Start from the very base of the coat near the skin Don’t push down into the skin because you can cause discomfort. But definitely start where the hair begins to grow out of the scalp. Comb as if you’re rowing a boat. If your comb can’t get through, then your dog may need to be brushed out more first. But by the end, you should be able to completely brush through your dog’s coat without any problems.

I’ve even made an infographic for a visual reference!

4. The BEST Collars Harnesses

Oddly enough, using the wrong leash or collar can cause friction. This friction, depending on the coat type, can cause matting. Once a mat has formed in one isolated area, it can begin to spread along the body. Which is a pain because before you know it, your dog will end up becoming one big mat!

And…….

I always recommend rolled leather collars for dogs with soft, long, and/or curly coats.  The leather or vegan leather, whichever you choose, is made out of a material that naturally lessens friction against the coat. Cotton or nylon materials have a stitching pattern that rubs up against the hair with natural movement. Causing individual hairs to knot up and tangle together.

Photo by Nathan Moore from Pexels

A leather collar, especially a rolled leather collar is a material that has an even surface.  And over time, leather material absorbs your dog’s natural oils, distributing it back into the hair. Which then causes even less friction by allowing the leather material to move against the hair easily and freely. Which is by far my easiest matted dog hair remedy!

5. Swimming pools, Lakes, Mud Puddles, and Playing in the Rain

My 5th matted dog hair remedy is to keep swimming pools, lakes, deep puddles, and playing in the rain to a minimum when you keep your dog’s coat longer than half an inch. This year I have seen soooo many dog’s come in with matted coats and underneath their hair is mildewed. And under the mildew are tons of scabbing and somtimes fungal infections.

Photo by Murilo Viviani on Unsplash

If you’re going to allow your pup to play in the water, it’s best to keep their coats in a shorter cut, ensuring that their coat can dry easily and effortlessly. But……..it also doesn’t hurt to keep a blow dryer on hand and blow them after they have gone for a swim.  Your vet bill will definitely thank you later.

6. Boarding/Daycare/Petting Rigorously

For all of my seasoned pet parents out there, you know that boarding facilities DO NOT brush your dog out unless its inside of an actual grooming salon. A lot of the larger facilities will not brush your dog. PERIOD.

And if you’re away for more than five days, your dog’s long, lush coat will turn into a Matted, Pelted, Mess. Covered in pee, smelling a mess. And those mats can be quite impossible to get out.

The best way to remedy this issue is by asking your boarding facility to set up quick visits to the groomer daily to keep them brushed out! Easy peasy remedy for matted dog hair!

I’ve actually worked at a boarding facility that asked for their dog handlers to brush the dogs out.  And if the mats were too challenging, the handlers would bring the dogs to the groomer for us to help brush out.  It was a win-win for everyone.

Additionally, it’s funny because I have a client who is always so annoyed because her goldendoodle always gets mats in the top of his head. And she says, “my husband just puts his hands all through his hair”.  And literally, he comes in with mats in the very top (with a kind of alfalfa look) and mats behind the ears.

It’s totally okay to pet your dog, but if you’re going to spend that much time running your fingers through their hair, you might as well brush it out while you’re at it!  

In conclusion,

Mats don’t have to be a common occurrence.  There are definitely easy fixes, some easier than others. But your dog will thank you for taking better care of their hair, and you’ll feel like a better human for doing so! Also, matted dog hair remedies don’t have to be challenging. Hope this helped!

And if you’re having trouble with finding time to keep your dog mat-free with a super busy schedule you can check out this blog post which can be helpful as well!

With Gratitude,

Tina!

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