Matted Dog Hair: Learn How To Manage Your Marvelous Mutt's Mats

Aryan Khanna
Sep 08, 2022 By Aryan Khanna
Originally Published on Nov 19, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Matted dog hair isn't a new discovery but is still as problematic as it was years ago.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.3 Min

We all love dogs for their numerous uses and with some of them practically seeming like balls of fur.

Then we wish to adopt a dog, play with it, love it only until we see its hair getting entangled making it difficult for you to comb. Chances are high that if your pet dog has long, curly hair it will experience matted fur sooner or later.

Not only is matted hair bad looking but also very painful for your dogs to experience.

The more you postpone dealing with this issue, the worse it gets.

The dog breeds which have long hair or relatively more dense hair are more prone to such conditions.

The most frequent occurrences of matted fur can be after your dog has returned from a long walk, hike, and accidentally wet itself in a stream or pond midway.

Those body areas of a dog that experience continuous friction are more susceptible to forming matted hair than some of the other parts of its body.

In the initial stages, the matting only affects the dog's hair which can easily be solved using a brush but if you decide to ignore the issue at hand, then it can come back to haunt you at a bigger spectrum.

Untreated matted dog hair can entangle the fur with the skin which then can lead to various skin issues such as skin irritation, sores on the skin and can also disrupt the temperature maintaining mechanism of the dog.

The shedding season sees a stark rise in matting in a dog's fur, it also rings warning bells for dog owners of a long-haired dog.

Usually, a slicker brush or a soft bristle brush is enough to remove all the loose fur which caused the matting in your dog's coat in the first place, but at times, you might need to contact a professional groomer and provide your dog with a proper grooming session so that it doesn't experience any further pain from its matted fur.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about how to keep dogs from diggingand how to get your dog to drink water here on Kidadl?

Why Your Dog's Coat Gets Matted

In order to manage your dog's hair and prevent the formation of sores on your dog's skin, you must first know what is the primary cause behind matted dog hair.

The basic idea or reason behind the formation of matt in a dog's coat is the same but the severity and the intensity are different depending upon the kind of dog you are dealing with. If your furry friend has long and dense hair, its fur can get matted much more easily than that of any other dog.

The coat type thus plays a very important role in determining if your dog can have matted hair issues, and if yes, how severely.

The mats which form on a dog's coat are mainly due to the loose fur and the active fur which get tangled up with each other eventually forming clumps.

The reason why one must treat this issue at the soonest is, if the matted dog fur is left as it is, it will continue to trap more and more fur forming denser clumps that are more difficult to disentangle. With continuous clump formation, it is capable of spreading to the entire coat in some time.

Pet parents who own dogs that can swim such as the American Water Spaniel, Barbet, and English Setter are more prone than some of the other dog breeds to get mats as the moisture content present in dog hair after a swim causes the dog hair to curl, leading to mats.

On a smaller scale, a similar phenomenon can be noticed when after bathing the dog's hair isn't properly dried.

The moisture present in the dog's hair can lead to mat formation and eventually harm the healthy coat of your dog.

Now there are some dog breeds that experience matted hair even without the interference of any external factor. Dogs such as poodles, Bichon Frises are a mixture of double coats and curly coats, these breeds can thus form mats if they aren't brushed for a few days.

Dogs of different coat types thus have different kinds of matted fur formation.

Prevent Matting In Your Dog's Fur

There are a number of ways you can prevent matting in your pet's coat.

Now the occurrence of serious matting cases which require a professional groomer is very low so you can carry out the basic grooming on your own.

In order to prevent matted dog fur, the best thing you can do is comb and brush the hair of your pet on a daily basis. Now you need not brush your dog's coat daily if it has very small hair such as that of a dachshund or a pug.

On the other hand, if you own a poodle and it is shedding to transition its winter long coat to a summer coat, you necessarily need to brush it daily.

Now even though you can brush the coat of your pet dog on your own, there are a few things you must keep in mind.

Some of the most common mistakes which dog owners do are only brushing the top layer of the fur and that too by using an ordinary comb or brush.

You might not be aware of this, but different coat types actually require different kinds of brushes. If your dog has a double coat fur such as that of a Labrador Retriever, one must use an undercoat rake to brush their fur.

Additionally, if you own a single coat dog you can either use a slicker brush or a rotating pin comb.

Other than simply brushing the coat of your dog, you can also use a detangling conditioning spray to not only prevent your dog's hair from tangling but also make it easier to brush your dog's fur.

There are a number of pet owners who keep on their dog's harness even when they aren't on a leash, this is actually a cause of mats formation.

Your dog's collar is commonplace for it to form mats along with its chest and armpits. Now if the harness isn't always attached to your dog's collar, it will significantly prevent the formation of tangles around the neck area.

Moreover, there are some dogs who now cannot be treated by mere home grooming, so you can contact a professional groomer as a haircut might be necessary.

Trimming of your dog's hair will require the use of dog clippers which shouldn't be used by you as you can unknowingly harm your dog's skin, and thus, it is for the best if a trained professional undertake this job.

The sooner one deals with matted dog hair issues, the better it is at preventing any potential health issues.

Treating Matted Dog Fur

When it comes to treating the mats formed in the fur of your pet, the key is to identify the pattern of the mat. You need to carefully look at the base of the skin of your dog and comprehend how tightly knit is the fur that is causing the mat formation.

Once you have figured out the mats and how to get rid of them, you now need to start brushing or combing the fur of your dog.

Your dog might feel agitated and experience some pain; it is thus important that you offer treats to your matted dog while you comb through its fur. This will encourage it to stay still during the process.

Identifying the areas that might mat easily such as in the armpits, behind the ears or legs, near the collar helps in clearing the mats in a mannered way.

When you newly adopt a dog, it is best that you take some lessons from a professional groomer about how to undertake the grooming sessions effectively without fail.

It is important that you do not leave your dog unattended for long periods of time when it comes to grooming as it can then lead to more intense mats in its fur.

In case the mats that have formed on your dog's skin are very tightly knit and cannot be undone using a comb or a brush, pay a visit to the vet immediately.

When you brush the fur of your dog for mats, make sure to not hurt the skin of your dog when you hold its fur from the bottom.

You can then use cornstarch for loosening the mats formed on the skin of the dog.

You can now easily brush through your dog's fur and finally use a steel comb to comb the entire area.

Moreover, it is best if you take your dog to a groomer from time to time to have its fur trimmed and kept short.

Where do mats form?

Matted hair is not a new issue as dog owners have been facing it for years and thus now people are well aware of the body areas of a dog that are more susceptible than others for mats formation.

Interestingly, mats aren't restricted to dogs, if you have a cat at your home you can also see mats formation on its fur.

Mats are formed due to dog hair coming in close contact with each other rubbing against each other again and again.

This collision of loose hair with active hair is the main reason behind mat formation.

So where is it that the collision rate is maximum? It is around those body parts of a dog that experience a lot of friction such as the neck area where the collar sits, behind the ears, in the armpits, under the chin, and between the paws.

All those areas which contain a lot of furs are especially vulnerable to mats formation.

Additionally, when a dog goes swimming, the matting is increased by a great extent as the moisture which remains in the fur of the dog helps in forming mats.

The rate of mats formation also depends upon the season; during the change from winter months to summer months, there is a lot of shedding as dogs shed a large amount of their fur to maintain their body temperatures.

Also, you can see a lot of matting on your dog's skin after it has taken a bath, some of the water which does not dry up leads to forming mats on the fur in a lot of different areas.

If some part of your dog's body is infested with itches and fleas, it will lead to your dog scratching that particular part again and again which eventually leads to mat formation.

Similar to fleas and itches, if a dog is experiencing some allergies in its skin, it will tend to lick and scratch that area of its body repeatedly.

Things To Know About Dealing With Matted Dog Hair

Whether you are owning a dog for the first time or you are an experienced dog parent, being worried about your canine friend when it is experiencing pain due to mats is normal but what you should not do is panic and take any wrong steps.

It is best if you consult with a vet or a professional groomer and take only the recommended steps for grooming your pet.

People often tend to use scissors when they see mats on their dog's skin, but this must be completely avoided.

Scissors aren't easy to use when it comes to trimming the mats of a dog, instead one must use clippers, and this too should be used only by professionals.

As dog parents, the best you can do is identify the spots of matting and then undertake basic grooming using a comb or brush. When there is pelting in your dog's fur instead of matting, the only way to treat it is by trimming it, do not hesitate when the professional groomer suggests this action.

Grooming the dog completely would in fact help it and relieve your pet from any pain it might be experiencing.

Another thing you must remember is, it is common for dogs to have matting behind their ears, so you must be extra careful while brushing this area as a dog's ear is very thin and sensitive.

However, at the same time, you must not waste a second in treating the matting near the ear because if left untreated the mats could potentially rupture the blood vessels present in the ear of your pet.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for matted dog hair then why not take a look at how to stop your dog from licking its paws or Lhasapoo facts?

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Written by Aryan Khanna

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Aryan Khanna picture

Aryan KhannaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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