Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. February 21, 2018
Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair

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It's not always easy to find effective commercial products to detangle your dog's coat. They may be too cheaply made, unsuitable for your dog's fur type or simply not available in your local pet store. Also, different pedigree and mongrel dogs may need special treatment to make sure their fur is taken care of proficiently. This is why AnimalWised has these home remedies for matted dog hair. You can make sure your pooch is looking pristine as well as avoiding any health risks which matted fur can provide.

Ignoring matted fur in your dog and not maintaining a healthy coat can lead to problems with hygiene, in turn posing significant health risks. This is due to parasitical infestations, dermatological infections and being a breeding dog for bacteria. These home remedies, not only help keep your dog healthy, but also anyone they come in contact with, canine and human alike.

You may also be interested in: Can You Cut Pomeranian Hair at Home?

Basic care to prevent knots

Prevention is always better than cure, so before we look into some home remedies to untangle your dog's fur, we're going to show you some basic care tips to stop tangles in the first place. Good personal care for your dog means the fur will be less likely to form knots.

If we don't provide some basic care for our dog's coat, it can lead to the promotion of bacteria and parasites. This is not to mention the cosmetic issues it can cause. If your dog is particularly prone to knotted hair, then the tangles can progress to the point you can not get rid of them. If this occurs, there may be no other choice but to clip or shave the dog. This can provide any number of inconveniences. In order for this not to happen, we have the following measures to enforce as soon as a dog is in your care:

  • The first is to do some research on the type of dog you bring into your home. You should have some information from the source of the dog, but you can also ask your vet when you take them for vaccinations, etc. Long haired dogs will need daily coat care, although even shorter dogs will need their fur taken care of. If you haven't got your dog yet, this may be a consideration for your lifestyle.
  • Although our new furry companion may only be a puppy, we must accustom them early to being groomed. We can begin with short sessions, providing rewards for small amounts of brushing. We can then gradually increase the amount of brushing time until we don't need a treat at all to reward them. This not only helps them be comfortable (and therefore less stressed) when brushing, but can help when it comes time to bathe or take them to the vet.
  • Using a specific table or areas for brushing can be helpful. This will help the fog associate the area with this activity and provide a more controlled experience. A plastic table in an area with no carpets or fabric is ideal as this prevents stains and the accumulation of fur. It can also help to keep them at a comfortable height so you won't hurt your back when grooming.
  • It's a good idea to start in places where tangles most frequently occur such as behind the ears, the chest, on the legs, tail or belly.
  • Your vet will also be able to recommend an appropriate grooming routine as well as contact for a good canine hairdresser or dog groomer. Many veterinary clinics also have these services incorporated into their premises.
  • When a professional dog groomer is not available (or even too expensive), we should have our own grooming kit to make sure we have what we need to take proper care of our dog's coat. Combs, brushes, scissors and shampoos are the bedrock of your kit, but there may be other elements you should incorporate for your particular dog. Investing in a good quality dog comb will also keep your dog's fur unmatted as well as ensuring their comfort.
  • Finally, grooming is not the only element for our dog's healthy coat. Having the appropriate feed, ensuring they have the right nutrients (in supplements if required) and an adequate deworming and vaccination schedule will keep it in tip-top condition.
Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair - Basic care to prevent knots

How to untangle dog hair knots

Sometimes, no matter how much we groom our dog's coat, we might find it gets tangled. Some long haired dogs will find themselves tangled up in knots imply from taking a leisurely walk. Their long coat sways as they move and sways into these tangles and knots naturally. This type of fur should be brushed after walks, at least in these areas which are most prone to getting caught up, such as back of the legs and tail.

In more extreme occasions, we may also find ourselves with a dog which has either been lost or abandoned. Not having anyone to groom them can lead to seriously matted fur. This can lead to knots and tangles so strong, they resemble dreadlocks. Also, they can be very close to the skin which provides other hygiene concerns. If this is the case, it is likely, we'll need to leave them in the hands of a professional.

If we are able to tackle the situation ourselves, here are some of the best home remedies for matted dog hair:

  • First, go through the coat to see the extent of the damage so we can work out our approach, see what utensils we need to use as well as how long it will all take.
  • Start the process by tackling the largest tangles first. As they are the most ingrained, they'll take the longest, so you want to work your way down and not up.
  • Check the distance between the knot and the skin of the dog. If the knot is too close to the skin, pulling on it can cause the dog pain. We need to have enough room to hold the base of the knot so when we pull, we pull the fur, not the skin.
  • Before trying to untangle the knot, we need to moisten it. We can use this with a special detangler spray, but water should also suffice. We shouldn't wash the dog first as this won't untangle the knots. Instead, you'll want to give them a proper wash and bath afterwards so that they feel new again.
  • Start by trying to undo the tangle by hand. Start at the tip and separate the fur strand by strand. This will only get the easiest parts of the know, but it can help to get a bigger knot started in unravelling.
  • When this is no longer enough, we need to get a fine toothed metal comb. Always holding the base of the fur, slowly pull the comb through the knot. It may give some resistance, which you should meet, but don't pull too hard.
  • If the density of the knot makes it impossible to untangle even with the comb, then it means you will need to cut it off. If cutting it, use sharp scissors which are long enough to cut with ease. Regular hairdressing scissors can work well. Hold the base of the knot where you cut it so that your hand protects the dog's skin. Again, if this job is too hard, then take it to a professional to ensure a good job and the dog's well-being.
  • Once the tangles and knots are all undone, you can give the dog a thorough brush with a suitable comb.
  • Finish with a bath and make sure you use the right treatment suitable for dogs. Special shampoos and conditioners can work great and are more affordable than they used to be (see below for homemade alternatives).
  • Use a towel to dry the dog off if you can, but protect sensitive areas and don't rub too hard. The same goes if you use a hair dyer and be careful not to spook the dog.
  • Comb thoroughly once more and don't forget to reward them with treats and love for being a good dog.
Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair - How to untangle dog hair knots

The importance of the dog's coat

These home remedies to untangle our dog's hair should serve to maintain a fine and healthy coat, hopefully in perfect condition. Although it may not be given much consideration, the role of the coat is important and fulfill such functions as:

  • First barrier for the skin against physical, chemical and mechanical injuries
  • Protection against the sun's rays
  • Controls the dog's temperature, protecting from both cold and heat

Remember to take the dog to the vet if you see any areas where bald spots might appear, especially if you think they may be suffering from canine alopecia, unhealed wounds, eczema, dermatitis, brittle or dry fur or any damage to the skin or fur.

Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair - The importance of the dog's coat

Homemade hair conditioner

There are lots of natural home remedies which can work wonders for your dog's hair whether it is to detangle it or simply condition for strength and shine. Making a homemade conditioner for these purposes is a great way to save money and improve your dog's coat. Aloe vera, rosemary and even egg can be great canine hair care treatments.

However, best for detangling will be to use a coconut oil homemade hair conditioner. Doing this needs a few particular steps, so check out our article on homemade hair conditioners for dogs to make sure you have all the info you need.

If you want to read similar articles to Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair, we recommend you visit our Fur care category.

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