Bad Hair Day? How to Brush and Detangle Matted Dog Hair

August 1, 2017


A severely matted dog coat is more than a bad hair day. Matted fur traps dirt, feces, and bacteria next to your dog’s skin causing irritation, pain, and infection. This creates an unhappy and uncomfortable dog who is constantly biting, itching, and scratching at the matted area.  As a result, the mat grows bigger, your dog’s coat gets more tangled, and their skin will become more irritated.


The best way to avoid a matted coat is prevention. Brush your dog daily to keep his/her coat tangle-free and clean of debris. If you’re in crisis mode, here is the best way to manage matted dog hair:

  1. Spray a pet hair detangler product directly onto the problem area and gently rub the product into the dog’s coat.

  2. Gently pull and ease the matted hair apart with your fingers a little at a time.

  3. Hold the hair closest to the skin as you work to prevent tugging.  

  4. Use a wide-toothed comb or a dog grooming rake to slowly loosen the outside hairs of the tangle

  5. Once the matt is loose, brush gently. Never brush the same area more than 10 strokes at a time to ensure you don’t further irritate your dog’s skin. Go onto another section and come back if necessary. 

  6. Be sure all the mats and tangles are gone before you bathe your dog. Water will make a tangle worse and a mat tighter and harder to get out.

If your dog’s coat has a particularly bad case of matting, visit the professional groomers at Soggy Doggy Shop for a clip or a shave.  Clipping the coat to a very short length will enable you to start over and help prevent mats and tangles from forming in the first place. We will talk through options with you and are always happy to give you a demo on proper combing techniques.


If your dog has developed a skin irritation or sores as result of having a matted and tangled coat, you may want to schedule a trip to the veterinarian.






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120 Wexford Bayne Road  |  Wexford, PA  |  15090

(724) 719-2788  |

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