Matted Dog Hair! (Matted Dog Hair Removal in 3 Simple Steps)

If your dog has a long, extravagant coat, chances are that you will find mattes in its fur unless you groom it regularly. Matted dog hair build-up when loose hair tangles with dead skin cells and dirt.

However, getting rid of matted hair is just as easy as developing it in the first place. 

Matted dog hair can be easily removed with a detangling conditioner, a matte spitting tool, and a slicker brush.

The detangling conditioner smoothes out the matte buildup and the slicker brush gently detangles hair, removing mattes. A matte splitting tool can be used to cut off hardened and thick mattes. 

Follow this step-by-step guide to remove matted dog hair at home easily! 

What Causes Matted Hair in Dogs?

Matted Dog Hair! (Matted Dog Hair Removal in 3 Simple Steps)

Mattes on your dog can be caused by a number of reasons, the most common being lack of grooming and neglect. Regularly brushing hair to remove excess loose fur is essential for the health and wellbeing of your dog.

Loose fur and dirt tangle to build knots and mattes. If your dog is old or constantly sits at one particular angle, the fur on that side may compact and cause mattes, affecting the aeration of your dog’s skin. 

Matted dog hair can also be a symptom of an underlying allergy or flea infestation. Allergies or fleas that itch dogs make them lick the affected area.

Sliva from licking can collect dust, causing dirt clumps that will stick to your dog’s hair. Static electricity is also a lesser-known cause of matted hair. 

Matted Dog Hair Removal in 3 Simple Steps:

Matted hair can sometimes simply be removed through brushing. Dirt clumps can be brushed out with a gentle slicker brush. For thicker mattes, follow a three-step process of three C’s.

Step 1: Condition

Use a detangling conditioner to loosen mattes. The matte buildup is often thick and hard to work with. A conditioner will combine with the matte dirt and make it softer.

Matted hair is dry and can break easily, which is why using a conditioner nourishes matted hair and makes the detangling process much more manageable.

Generously apply a detangling conditioner to your dog’s matted hair and work it through with your fingers. Massage mattes till they loosen up, and hair strands can easily move past each other.

Be gentle while dealing with matted dog hair and take your time working with the conditioner. 

Step 2: Comb

Once your dog’s matted hair is nourished and the hair strands are able to move in the viscous conditioning liquid, you can now move on to the next step: combing! Gently combing will help separate individual strands of hair and remove any dirt clots. 

Use a wide-tooth comb or a slicker brush to slowly work your way through the conditioned fur. Being too aggressive or not using the right brush can break off your dog’s hair and cause them much pain. 

Step 3: Cleanse 

After you have removed all the mattes through combing and conditioning, it’s finally time to rinse off the conditioner. Use slightly cool water to wash off any remaining product, so your dog’s hair remains nourished and silky. 

Matted Dog Hair Remedies

Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair

There are many at-home remedies to remove matted dog hair. You can make your own detangling spray or conditioner using everyday items.

Olive oil, baby oil, coconut oil, cornstarch, jojoba oil, and aloe vera gel can be used as effective detangling conditioners. Eggs can also be used as a conditioner, but it is hard to get rid of the egg’s smell.

Use your fingers to work the conditioner on matted hair. Use apple cider vinegar to rinse out the products to remove any remaining mattes. Lastly, use water to remove all other products.

While grooming your dog, you can use a slicker brush, or you can also brush your dog’s fur with your fingers, but that is not the most effective way of removing excess loose hair.

Lastly, if nothing works, you can shave off your dog’s matted hair. A matte splitting tool or an industrial detangler can be used to remove thick matted hair. 

Dangers of Severely Matted Dog Hair and Fur knots

Severely matted hair can be extremely painful. Mattes are sticky dirt lumps that attract more dirt. Parasites, ticks, mites, and fleas can also hide in these lumps.

There are plenty of matted dog hair painful infections and sores that can affect your dog’s health and wellbeing.

The effects of matted dog hair are fairly visible. Mattes that continue to grow can also restrict the movement of your dog by constricting its limbs. 

Mattes on your dog’s fur make the fur more compact, and less air reaches your dog’s skin. Your dog’s skin will start to itch from the lack of aeration, making them continuously lick the matte.

Licking mattes makes them more sticky and hence more prone to attracting dirt. 

Things to avoid when your dog has matted hair?

There are a few things to avoid when your dog has matted hair because they can make the mattes worse and cause pain to your dog. 

  1. Do not shower your dog while they have mattes. This may seem very odd, as dirt is a big contributor to causing mattes. But, shampoos used while showering can dry out matted hair, causing them to break and damage your dog’s coat. Hair breakage can cause more tangles.
  2. Do not bring water in contact with mattes. Water makes mattes tighter. Damp hair is more prone to developing mattes. 
  3. Do not comb your dog’s matted hair without a conditioner. Pulling on mattes can cause a lot of pain to your dog. 

Matted Dog Hair Prevention Tips

The best remedy for any disease is prevention. Avoiding matted hair is very simple and easy. All you have to do is brush your dog’s fur every other day. Use a slicker brush or a fur-detangling rake brush to gently comb your dog’s hair. 

Dogs, like most mammals, shed their coats seasonally. Look out for all such seasons, mainly because they are when your dog will have the loosest strands of hair. These strands can quickly tangle or mix with surrounding dirt to cause mattes. 

Shower your dog once every two weeks or once a month. Overshowering your dog can strip their skin and hair off necessary nutrients and make them dry and itchy. Regular showers are essential to ensure that no dirt buildup can tangle your dog’s fur to create mattes. 

How to groom your dog 

Most dogs enjoy grooming sessions. You can get your dog professionally groomed, or you can do it at home yourself by following a few protocols. 


While combing is important, it is even more important to comb the correct way. Roughly brushing or using a brush with stiff bristles can damage your dog’s hair. Comb in the opposite direction of hair growth to effectively remove all excess hair. 

Use the right shampoo

Excessive use of shampoos or using harsh shampoos can make your dog’s hair dry and brittle. A paraben-free shampoo is the best option for washing your dog’s fur without damaging it. 

Use a conditioner

 Supplementing a shampoo with a conditioner will make your dog’s coat shiny, smooth, and silky. You can visibly notice the difference because conditioned hair is softer and allows more aeration. 

Rinse multiple times

While using products on your dog’s fur, it is important to ensure that the products wash out thoroughly. Any remnants of shampoo or conditioner can cause mattes. 

Keep away from water: After every shower, use a blowdry or a towel to dry your dog’s wet fur. Wet hair is compact, and dust can stick to it, causing mattes. 



Matted dog hair can end up being dangerous and painful if not treated quickly. They can cause blisters, sores, infections, and attract parasites. However, removing mattes is very simple and easy.

With a three-C step process of conditioning, combing, and cleansing, you can get rid of any mattes in your dog’s hair. The best way to deal with matted dog hair is to prevent it by practicing good grooming habits. 



How can you detangle dog hair?

Use an oil-based detangling spray and a detangling brush to comb out the matted hair in your dog’s fur.

Use a detangling conditioner to make the detangling process easier. Hold the matted hair just above the skin while gently stroking the matted hair to not cause any pain to your dog. 

Why is my dog’s hair matted?

Dogs need to be regularly groomed to remove loose hair and dead skin cells. In areas of greater friction, like under the collar, dog hair wraps around itself, causing knots.

Loose fur mixes with dead skin cells to build mattes.

Matted hair can also be caused by skin infections, fleas, or lice infestations. 

What products do I need to detangle dog hair?

You need three products to get rid of any mattes in your dog’s hair: a detangling conditioner spray, a matte spitting tool, and a slicker brush or a fur detangling rake brush.

Use the slicker brush to find mattes and spray the detangling conditioner to ease out the mattes. Use a matte spilling tool to cut off mattes too thick and stubborn for the conditioner. 

How to prevent matted dog hair?

Regularly groom your dog to prevent matted hair. Use a slicker brush to brush through your dog’s fur to remove any loose hair. Regularly shower your dog using shampoo tailored to your dog’s coat type. 

How to remove matted dog hair?

Matted dog hair can be removed using a matte conditioner spray and a slicker brush. Gently comb with a slicker brush through your dog’s fur using a conditioner to remove knots and mattes.

If the matte builds up and becomes too thick, use a matte splitting tool to cut it off. 

How to remove matted dog hair naturally?

You can use any natural hair conditioner as a detangling spray. Eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, aloe vera gel, and cornstarch can be used to make an at-home detangling conditioner. If natural remedies don’t work, you can give your dog a trim to remove mattes. 

Is matted dog hair painful?

Matted hair can become extremely painful, even more, painful than combing through it to remove knots. Mattes affect the aeration of dog hair and skin, causing sweat and excess moisture. It can also affect blood circulation, causing hematomas.

Can you cut a dog’s matted hair? 

Mattes, over time, worsen and become extremely hard to remove. In some cases, matted hair cannot be smoothed out and must be cut using a matte splitting tool. 

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Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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