What causes matted hair in dogs?

Matting often occurs in areas of friction. Under the collar, behind the ears, in the armpits or on the lower legs are the most common areas. Sometimes, dogs that sit a lot, will get matting on the spot that they are sitting on. Dogs also get matting, tangles and knots from a lack of being regularly groomed.

How to Prevent Matting

Regular brushing

The best way to prevent matting is with regular brushing. Learning how to brush properly can make a big difference in maintaining your dogs coat. Talk to your groomer about what kind of brush to use. They will be more than happy to share the best tools to use and the best techniques for brushing your dog. The more you stay on top of daily grooming, the easier your groomer’s job will be. And the happier your pup will be.

dog brush

Train your dog to enjoy grooming

Make a big deal about heading to the groomer. Give lots of praise and be sure to use one of their favorite treats whenever they get groomed. This will make the process of daily grooming as well as trips to your professional groomer much easier.

Consider a conditioner or detangler

Using a good conditioner and a detangler spray after bathing can be a big help in preventing matting. Consider a detangler spray or cream before letting your dog go for a swim. Then be sure to brush them out after they are done with their swim.

Pay attention to common matting areas

The common areas for matting are under the collar, behind the ears, in the armpits or on the lower legs. Dogs that sit a lot may also get matting on the rear end and this is usually one side or the other depending on how your dog favors their sitting posture.

Watch their paws

The hair between the pads need to be kept short to avoid matting in that area. You’re going to want to keep this hair short. This matting can be painful and make it difficult for your dog to walk because of the pulling on the skin.

A good diet

Consider an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to add to your dog’s food or supplement list. These supplements have been known to help dog’s keep a healthy coat. Be sure to check with your veterinarian to determine the amount of all supplements.

What to do with Matted hair

Don’t bathe your dog if they have matted hair. Water will actually make the matting worse by tightening the matted area.

Try corn starch to loosen up matted hair. Just rub the corn starch into matted area and brush it out.

Don’t attempt to cut out severely matted hair. With very tight mats it can be easy to cut your dog and make it more difficult for a professional groomer to remove the matting.

If a dog’s coat has become severely matted or hasn’t been cared for in a while you may need to take a trip to your veterinarian. Extremely matted hair can cause serious skin irritation or infection that will need to treated by a medical professional.