While a dog groomer may have to tackle mega mats or mats that grow too close to your pup's skin, you can remove small mats with dog brushes. To fully tackle the mat, you'll need several different brushes that work best to loosen, then comb out the tangled hair.
While you won't get mats out with a bristle brush, you can work de-tangling agents into your pup's coat that make the removal process easier. Work from the underside of your pet's coat toward the top layer, brushing all of the hairs. To make this effective, use the right bristle brush for your pooch. Wiry-haired dogs need stiffer bristles than smooth-coated pups; long-haired dogs require longer bristles than short-haired dogs.
After you've prepped your pup with the bristle brush and detangling agent, switch to your slicker brush. This brush has wiry tines that bend slightly at the end. Holding the matted fur in one hand, work through the mat with the slicker brush to loosen the tangled hair. When the mat has come mostly loose, stop. Avoid using the slicker brush directly on your dog's coat.
The pin brush, which has straight wire bristles and looks similar to a human hair brush, will loosen any final tangles remaining. Work through the matted areas with the pin brush until no traces of the mat remain. Use long, gentle strokes rather than short strokes. Pin brushes are particularly effective for wiry-haired, curly-haired and long-haired dogs.
Once the mats have been removed fully, use a metal comb to brush and part your pup's fur, completing the grooming process. The comb cannot be used on the mat itself, because it can pull on the mats and be painful for your pup. However, it's a great tool to finish your grooming session and put very last hair back in its place.
- Andrea Arden Dog Training: How to Remove Mats form Your Dog's Coat
- Guide To Home Pet Grooming: With Full-color Photographs; Chris C. Pinney; 2005
- Ultimate Dog Grooming; Eileen Geeson et al.; 2004
- Dana Neely/Photodisc/Getty Images