Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

6 Home Remedies for Matted Dog Hair

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

De-tangling dog fur

As a dog parent with fur babies that have long hair, you probably have experience with matting. Suddenly, your canine friends are full of hair clumps that can be a nightmare to undo. Not to mention how unappealing they look.

Dogs with long and curly hair are prone to matting, which can even lead to health issues. Some health conditions to watch out for include skin irritations, bruising, poor blood and air circulation to private parts, and a breeding space for parasites.

The good news is you don’t have to rush to the dog groomer each time your pets experience matting. There are numerous home remedies you can use to untangle the hair and remedy the situation. You can detangle the clamps and knots at home with the right tools and detangling agents. More so, you can make a natural detangler for dogs with sensitive skin. Today, we’ll show you how to detangle dog hair. Here are the 6 best natural home remedies for matted dog hair to try today:

divider 10

The 6 Home Remedies to Remove Mats from Dog Hair:

1. Coconut Oil For Matted Dog Hair

Coconut oil
Image Credit: DanaTentis, Pixabay

Some dogs have sensitive skin that doesn’t respond well to numerous dog products and nasty chemicals. In that case, you need a homemade detangler to use when de-matting.

You'll need:
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Coconut Oil
  • Spray Bottle
How to make it:
  • In the spray bottle, mix the aloe vera gel and coconut oil.
  • Shake thoroughly, and then start spraying a generous amount on each clump of hair.
  • Massage the oil mixture and follow the steps listed below to detangle.

How to Detangle Dog Hair Using Coconut Oil:

Preparation

Matting requires more than just your fingers. Most of the time, the mats are too thick to work on with your fingers and need a little extra help. So it’s crucial to gather the right tools and products for the task.

Honestly, only metal matting combs will do in this situation. They make it easy to work out the mats while not causing discomfort to the dogs. Go for top-quality combs made for dog hair; some are even specific for certain breeds.

After getting de-matting brushes and combs, you can get the coconut detangler.

Locate the Matted Areas

Now that you have all the tools and detangler you need for the task, gather your fur friends. It’s better to work on one after the other. Trying to work on all of them at the same time can turn into a nightmare. Keep the rest away and get dog number one comfortable.

After that, start assessing the extent of matting. How bad is it? The size can give you a hint of how long it can take to de-mat.

Using the metal comb, start brushing the coat to check where all the matting is. Some can be on the surface and others more pronounced, especially if the dog has thick and long hair. Check behind the ears and other areas notorious for hiding clumps.

Remember, any clumps too close to the skin will need extra care. Rapid detangling on these areas can cause the dog undue pain. Also, the whole process is uncomfortable for the dog, so be extra cautious and gentle.

close up matted dog hair
Image Credit: munalin, Shutterstock

Start Detangling

Next comes detangling. You’ve noted all the parts with matting and even those next to the skin. Now you can start detangling the knots and clumps. Get the detangler spray and start on one part. Spray a generous amount and work it using your fingers to undo as much of the clump as possible while being extra gentle. It’s better to spend time doing this rather than rush and hurt the dog. Keep adding the detangler when you need to. Then use the brush to straighten the hairs you detangled.

Using your fingers relaxes the dog and gives you a chance to undo as much of the mat as possible. Afterward, you can bring in the metal comb and brush to complete the task. Always start at the top of the mat, working towards the skin for the best results.

Start with the Small Mats and Move to Larger Ones

Some mats are small, while others are big. It’s why you need to start by assessing the situation and work on the small ones first. The large ones can take time and require frequent splitting using dog scissors. Take care not to split the clump too much to avoid the dog getting a bold spot.

After detangling using your fingers and combs, brush the dog hair as gently as possible. Hold the hair at the base and brush from inside out. Always brush in the direction the hair grows for the best results but avoid touching the dog’s skin with the metal bristles.

Touching the skin can frighten the dog and even cause injury. So make sure your hand is at the base of the hair for extra protection. All while doing this, talk to your dog in a soothing tone to keep it calm during the de-matting process.


2. Cornstarch

cornstarch
Image Credit: Michelle Lee Photography, Shutterstock

Another great way to remove mats from your dog’s fur is by rubbing a generous amount of cornstarch on it. Cornstarch is a great option, especially if you want a less allergenic product.

How to use it:
  • Start by sprinkling the corn starch on all areas with mats and clamps. Rub it in with your fingers making sure not to hurt the dog in the process.
  • Brush each mat at a time. Don’t try to do too many or be in a rush. Some mats are too close to the skin and can cause pain for your canine friend.
  • After brushing all the mats, wash the dog with an organic shampoo while gently brushing the coat.
  • Use a dog conditioner to help keep the coat soft and shiny, then rinse off.

3. Use a De-matting Comb

person combing miniature schnauzer
Image Credit: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

You can sometimes catch the mats right on time before they clamp up too much and need detangling solutions. Here, the best tool to use is a de-matting comb to ease the knots and mats on the dog’s hair.

Frankly, there are numerous brands of de-matting combs available in the market. Some are even designed for specific dog breeds, so do some research before making a purchase.

Once you have the suitable combs, create a routine to comb your fur pet’s hair regularly. It’ll help keep mats at a minimum and leave them with a healthy coat.

How to use a de-matting comb:
  • Fetch the dog and de-matting comb. Find a relaxing place to sit and start working on the mats.
  • Start breaking apart larger ones with your fingers before using the de-matting combs.
  • You can get a detangling product that makes it easy to work out the kinks without harming the dog.
  • Comb out all the mats and knots. Check behind the ears and joints for knots that aren’t easily visible.

4. Olive Oil

olive oil
Image Credit: Pixabay

Did you know that the olive oil that you use on your hair can have immense benefits for your canine friends? Using olive oil with a de-matting brush leaves the coat mat-free, shiny, and healthy. Here’s how to use olive oil for matted dog hair:

How to use it:
  • Get the olive oil and de-matting brush.
  • Rub the olive oil on parts with mats.
  • Start gently brushing each mat and knot.
  • Repeat this until you remove all the clamps from the hair.

4. Use Eggs to Clean Your Dog’s Hair

a dozen egg

Eggs can make your dog’s hair soft and shiny when used as a shampoo during bath time. They can also help loosen tangles so you can easily brush the tangles out. To clean your dog’s hair with eggs, just beat a few eggs together in a bowl, as if you were going to scramble them or make French toast. One or two eggs should be enough for small breeds, and up to six may be necessary for larger breeds.

Use the egg wash like you would shampoo while bathing your dog. Gently massage the eggs into your dog’s hair, giving special attention to the tangled or matted areas. Let the egg mixture rest on your dog’s hair for several minutes before rinsing it off. After the bath, your dog’s hair should be much easier to comb or brush out. Your dog should have fewer tangles, if any, left at all.


5. Make Your Own Detangling Spray

water spray bottle
Image Credit: Squirrel_photos, Pixabay

You can also make your own detangling spray to use between baths that will help you brush tangles and mats out of your pooch’s hair. Once your spray is made, you can use it directly on your dog’s tangles before they get too bad. The spray will loosen the tangles so a comb can break them completely apart. You’ll need the following supplies to make your own detangling spray:

  • A clean reusable spray bottle
  • Unrefined coconut oil
  • Aloe vera gel
  • About a cup of water

To make the spray, pour 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil into your spray bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel, then add 1 cup of water. Close the spray bottle, and vigorously shake it for a few seconds to make sure that the water and oil are well combined.

Then, spray your dog’s tangles before combing them out. You can use the spray as a general conditioner too. Just lightly spray your dog’s entire coat with the coconut concoction before each brushing. Always shake the spray bottle before you use it to combine the ingredients, as they may break apart when settling.


6. Bust Out the Clippers

Grooming the Shih Tzu dog
Image Credit: siamionau pavel, Shutterstock

If all else fails, you can always bust the hair clippers out and give your dog a little haircut. You don’t have to cut all their hair, just the tangled areas that can’t be washed or brushed out. If the tangle is bad enough, your dog may look like they have a bald spot after being cut out. But the look is just temporary and the hair should grow back quickly.

If your dog isn’t used to hair clippers, turn the clippers on for a few minutes at a time while your dog is in the room to see how they react. Once your dog seems relaxed around the running clippers, you should be able to clip their tangles out without getting a scared reaction. Make sure not to cut too close to your dog’s skin to avoid injuring them. Stay an inch or so from the hairline.

Divider 5

Natural Ways to Detangle Dog Hair: Final Thoughts

Taking care of a dog means more than just giving them love and making sure their belly is full. You need to make sure that their hair stays clean and tangle-free over time. Regular grooming is the most effective way to keep tangles at bay. However, even the most well-groomed dog can get tangles occasionally. Leaving those tangles to fester could result in a coat full of matted hair before long.

Matted hair isn’t just an eyesore. It can be painful for your dog, and the tangles can get caught upon objects as your dog moves around, yanking the hair and skin. Tangles can lead to mats, which can lead to skin irritation and even infections. So, how do you get those tangles out?

There are several natural ways to detangle your dog’s hair without having to buy any special detangling products that may contain toxins that your dog shouldn’t be exposed to anyway. We hope you enjoyed learning these natural ways to detangle your dog’s hair.


Featured Image Credit: ThamKC, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further reading

Vet Articles

Latest vet answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database

dog-recall (1)
Did you know: an average of 18 dog foods are recalled every year?

Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts by email whenever there’s a recall.

Get FREE Dog Food Recall Alerts Get alerts