How to remove matted dog hair (WITH VIDEO)

Posted by Argos, December 20th 2015, last updated September 11th 2020.

Removing matted hair in dogs is part and parcel of being a pet owner – especially if your dog has long hair.

More often than not, hair clumps and matted hair is not anything serious, but it is something that needs addressing to help your dog feel more comfortable and looking pristine!

What is matted hair?

Matted hair on your dog occurs when the hair of your dog becomes tangled into tight knots over time. These tangled knots are also known as “mats”. It can often look a little unpleasant and is difficult to brush through.

What causes matted dog hair?

There are a few factors that cause matted dog hair. Dog hair can become tangled and matted for a variety of reasons and different hair lengths can have their own types of matting. Dogs with long hair often have two layers, while some can have just one soft coat that mats easily.

Matting is most common in areas where there’s friction – around your dog’s ears, near the collar and between legs. Because dogs shed hair, matting also happens when old hair is not properly brushed away. This is why grooming your dog regularly is so important.

Matted hair can also be caused when your dog runs through woodland or gets muddy. So, if your dog is an outdoor type who likes to run through the great outdoors, then he or she will be more susceptible to matted hair.

This Chihuahua puppy is combed with a brush to prevent matted dog hair

Why is matted dog hair a problem?

Aside from not looking very nice, matted hair can affect your dog’s health.

Matted hair can prevent air and moisture from getting to your dog’s skin and the clumps can also put pressure on the skin, causing your dog some discomfort. Matted hair is also a haven for fleas and external parasites, as they can live on your dog’s skin easily disguised underneath matts and clumps of hair.

How to get rid of matted dog hair

The best way to remove matted hair from dogs is to get stuck in and gently brush.

Firstly, start with your fingers and gently work through the matter hair as much as you can before you take a brush to it. Once you have done this, take a dog brush or metallic comb to the matted hair that is left over. You can also buy dog-friendly coat spray that will the job easier.

Hold the fur in one hand so that you’re not pulling your dog’s skin and use short, sharp strokes to brush the tangle away from the skin.

Do not be tempted to cut the matted clump away using scissors as the clusters build up so close to the skin that there is a risk of cutting your dog’s skin. Even a small cut to the skin would be at risk of infection.

If the matting is too severe, it might be too painful for your dog for you to attempt to remove the clumps. You should then consider taking your dog to have his or her coat shaved by a professional dog groomer.

See how to remove matted dog hair

Although there are plenty of good videos on the internet which show you how to remove matted dog hair, we think this advisory piece below is one of the best around.

It gives a detailed look at the different types of combs available to use, when and why you should use them.

How to prevent matting in dog hair

Grooming your dog regularly is the best way to prevent hair matting. A good grooming regime will include grooming your dog and bathing your dog.
Brush his or her coat regularly – daily if it’s long – and bath them at least every month. If you’ve been out on a muddy walk, treat your doggy to a good wash and a thorough comb through. Hair with mud still in it can be easily clumped up, resulting in hair clumps and matted lumps that may look and feel uncomfortable.
If your dog has particularly high-maintenance hair, you might want to find a dog groomer who can professionally groom your dog for you.

Matted hair that falls out in clumps

Sometimes you might find clumps of matted hair around the house. This can sometimes be hair that your dog has managed to remove themselves, but make sure to regularly groom your dog to check their hair health. If you think your dog is losing hair dramatically you might want to take them to a vet to check for any underlying problems.

Now you know how to keep your dog’s coat in tip top condition, remember to keep your furry friend protected with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our dog insurance policies today.

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