Dog Grooming Basics: How to Remove Matted Dog Hair

Part of the Dog Grooming For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Matted dog hair can be painful for your pet, so prevent matting by brushing your dog's coat regularly. Instead of going to the dog groomer, save some money and learn to remove matted hair yourself. Badly matted fur should always be remedied by a professional dog groomer.

Follow these tips for removing snarled, tangled, matted dog hair:

  • If the mat isn't too bad, spray it with detangler solution and use a comb to slowly work the mat free. Work from the outside of the mat (where the hair isn't tangled) and slowly untangle the hair without pulling.

  • If the mat won't come out with a comb, try cutting through the mat with a mat rake. Be careful when using this tool because it has sharp tines on it — you want to alleviate your dog's pain from mats, not put her in worse pain by cutting or scratching her with the rake.

  • If the mat rake isn't cutting it (so to speak), try using a mat splitter. Start by splitting the mat in horizontal or vertical strips and then use either a mat rake or a comb to tackle the smaller pieces individually. (Be very gentle! This tool has a sharp blade and can slice your dog's skin.)

  • If the mat is in the worst shape it could be, then use a guarded electric clipper to slowly shave it away.

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Dog Grooming For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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