How to Unmat Dog Hair

Dogs with long hair need regular grooming to avoid mats.
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While the thought of daily brushing may seem overwhelming, it is much easier, on both you and your dog, than the time and effort required to remove mats. Once you've gone through the process once, you are unlikely to want to do it again.

Step 1

Brush your dog thoroughly with a slicker brush. This removes many of the smaller tangles and lets you find the larger mats. Typically mats are located under the legs, on the belly, in the long hair under the neck and under the ears.

Step 2

Apply a silicone-based detangler to the matted area. Work on one area at a time so you and your dog don't become a greasy mess. Work the detangler into the hair thoroughly so it penetrates into the mat.

Step 3

Use your fingers to separate the mat gently. It is typically easier to pull the hair gently from either side rather than working from the top or bottom. You may be able to completely remove a mat that is relatively new, and not tangled too tightly, using this method. For older, tighter mats, continue to work with your fingers until you quit making process.

Step 4

Use a mat splitter to remove the rest of the mat. Place the splitter close to your pet's skin, pointing away from the skin. You don't want to cut toward your dog, or across the mat. You want to cut through the mat, away from the skin.

Step 5

Cut through the mat several times, until you can pick apart the rest of the mat.

Step 6

Repeat the process until your pet is mat-free. If your dog has many mats, you may want to break the grooming session up over a few days to prevent boredom and irritation.

Step 7

Bathe your dog thoroughly to remove loose hair and the detangler, which will attract dirt. Follow with a rich conditioner and thorough grooming.

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