How to Deal With Knotted & Tangled Fur on a Dog

by Amy Hunter
Once tangles develop, it takes a lot of patience, from both you and your dog, to remove them.

Once tangles develop, it takes a lot of patience, from both you and your dog, to remove them.

Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Dealing with knots and tangles in a dog may tempt you to break out the clippers -- in severe cases, that may be the only option. With some patience, however, you may be surprised at the tangles and mats you can work out of your pet's coat. Of course, the best option is frequent grooming to prevent tangles from developing in the first place, but life sometimes gets in the way; when it does, some aggressive grooming on your part may be enough to get your pup's coat back in top shape.

Step 1

Spray your dog's coat with a detangler spray. Detangler sprays soften and smooth your dog's coat, making it easier for tangles to slide out of the hair.

Step 2

Work your way through the coat with a metal comb. Comb the hair in small sections, working through one session completely before moving on. Pay special attention to the area under the collar, at the base of the ears and where the legs join the body, as these spots are particularly susceptible to tangles.

Step 3

Separate mats with your fingers as much as possible, then use a mat splitter. When your comb comes to a stop in the coat, you have hit a mat. Use your fingers to work as much of the mat loose as possible, then cut the remainder out with a mat splitter. Use the splitter to cut into the mat, working from the skin out -- never cut toward your dog's skin. Make several slices in the mat, then finishing picking the mat out with your fingers.

Step 4

Finish with a slicker brush to remove loose hair and smooth the coat down. Start just behind his ears and work down his body to his tail. Don't forget his belly.

Items You Will Need

  • Detangler spray
  • Metal comb
  • Mat splitter
  • Slicker brush

Tip

  • Spend time every day grooming your dog to prevent mats from developing.

Photo Credits

  • Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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