Groomer Shares 6 Tricks To Stop Your Dog's Fur From Matting

A joke that often does the rounds online is that, "no one lives more lavishly than a dog owned by a woman in her 20s". Ironically, there's some truth to the internet meme as most people who have a bit of disposable income lying around do love to spoil their fur-babies.

Aside from stocking up on their favorite toys and treats, much of a dog owner's designated pup-fund will go on keeping them well-groomed and in good hygiene. However, it's hard to know exactly how to keep a dog's coat in the best possible condition.

Something that all dog paw-rents have to grapple with is keeping their pup's coat healthy, and warding off matted hairs. With more pet owners than ever, and with more on the market to help owners out than ever, what's really the best way to keep matted coats at bay?

How To Know If Your Dog's Fur Is Matted

Matted hair on a dog's coat is just unkempt, dense and tangled hair that has become clumped together due to a lack of regular or appropriate brushing. Matting on a dog is never a good look and can be a sign that the dog has not been groomed properly for a while.

It's important to note that dog breeds vary, and that every single breed will require different levels or types of brushing to keep on top of matting.

Generally, long-haired or double-coated breeds like Pomeranians or even huskies are more prone to matting. While short-haired breeds typically need less brushing and grooming, they do still shed and do still mat.

dog matted fur
Stock image of a dog groomer and matted fur. Groomers advise a regular brushing schedule to keep on top of your pooch's matting. Getty Images

How To Stop Your Dog's Hair From Matting

1. Regular Brushing

Jeff Safenowitz is the L.A.-based CEO of dog grooming company Barkbus. He told Newsweek: "First and foremost, establishing a brushing routine is key for a healthy coat and for the overall wellness for your dog".

"Brushing your dog's coat has a number of health benefits. It supports blood circulation to the skin, distributes oils, and it also prevents matted hair," he added.

However, Safenowitz said it's crucial for dog owners to take into consideration their pup's breed and hair length, as that will alter the type of brush needed to keep their matted hairs under control.

"Tailor the care to your pup's needs, breed, and coat type," he said.

Regular brushing is a tip that dog salon owner Shaunna McGoverin also swears by. The owner of The Holistic Dog Groomer told Newsweek: "Get your dog used to being brushed as early as possible".

"Slowly introduce and desensitize your dog to a brush and comb, and ask your groomer how to appropriately brush and which directions to brush in," she added.

2. Know Your Dog's Hair Type

Like Safenowitz, McGoverin argues that owners should take note of their dog's breed and hair type before they even begin brushing their coat, and that dog paw-rents should conduct thorough research into their breeds' grooming needs.

"Every dog's coat needs a different brush type to effectively brush the coat and to get to the root of the coat—and make sure that you are covering the entire dog while brushing so that you don't miss any areas," McGoverin added.

3. Dry Your Dog Properly After A Bath

Aside from brushing, Idaho-based dog groomer Molly Bissantz told Newsweek that owners shouldn't disregard the importance of properly drying their dogs after bath-time.

"While it can be tedious, especially for long-haired dogs, it's important. Don't just let your kids rub down the dog with a towel—you'll need to brush out the dog's coat as you dry it otherwise you risk getting matting," said Bissantz.

To get this step done as thoroughly as possible, Bissantz recommends gently running a hair dryer over your pup's coat. However, she advises owners of long-haired breeds to squeeze the towel they're using to dry the dog at intervals, instead of rubbing their coat with it.

"For double-coated breeds, like German shepherds, you need to dry them properly, and I do not recommend letting them air-dry. If you do, you risk the undercoat becoming compacted and matted," Bissantz added.

4. ...Or Avoid Bathing Them At All

While Jazz Kiel agrees that thorough drying is an important way to keeping matted hairs at bay, the Liverpool-based employee at Grooming Gorgeous argues that this step should be left to the professionals.

The dog salon employee told Newsweek: "I would say that the best tip to stop dogs from matting is to not bathe them at home. The hairdryers that people have at home are too hot and can cause skin irritation, which encourages dogs to itch which then leads to matting".

5. Use The Correct Dog Shampoo

Kiel also advises that owners steer clear from using human hairbrushes or shampoos on dogs, saying this approach can lead to owners simply brushing over matted hairs instead of removing them.

The number of pets in the U.K. dramatically rose during the pandemic. Roary the Pomeranian is a regular at Grooming Gorgeous in Liverpool. Jazz Kiel from the dog salon says that the secret to Roary's luscious locks lies in his regular brushing sessions.

6. Invest In Regular Professional Grooms

One of Kiel's favorite clients is Roary the Pomeranian. The handsome pup is a regular at Grooming Gorgeous and Kiel says that the secret to his luscious locks lies in his regular grooming sessions.

The pampered pooch gets bathed every month by groomers at the salon, and gets his hair tidied up professionally to avoid matting on his undercoat.

Due to their small stature and double-coated nature, Pomeranians are rather high maintenance and will require more consistent grooming than single-coated or short-haired breeds. They are most prone to matting on their undercoats.

What Brush Should You Use On Matted Dog Fur?

Bissantz says that wide-toothed combs are a reliable option that will suit most dog breeds.

"Using a comb ensures you have made it down to the dog's skin to comb the undercoat and ensure no matting. It can comb out any matting," she advised.

Matting may start out as a purely aesthetic problem, but when owners fail to consistently look after their dog's coats the issue can escalate and matting can lead to serious health issues.

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