Example of an extremely matted dog

When long haired dogs don’t get proper grooming and brushing then the fur can get tangled and matted.  This makes life for your beloved friend very uncomfortable.  This matting on a dog can cause pulling on the skin which will then result in the dog licking that area to try to relieve himself of the pain.  This licking in turn makes the matting worse and if left unattended can cause major skin irritation and disorder.  The only way to prevent matting is to brush the dog each day with an appropriate brush for your dog’s coat.  If you are not sure what is the appropriate brush refer to our page on dog grooming brushes.

Sometimes fleas.can be the cause of a dog’s coat getting matted.  If the dog has an allergy and licks the area where he has been bitten the fur will get tangled up and matted.

Depending how badly matted the dog is then you will need to either cut the area with scissors or get yourself a de-matting comb and work the knots out if they are not too bad.  If the dog is matted all over, as in the picture then the only option is to shave the dog very short .  You may find once matting has been taken off, particularly around the eye area, that the skin is red raw underneath.  This is the damage done by the fur pulling on the skin.  This may need some cream or solution to help the area to heal quickly.

If your dog is matted shave the mats off first before giving the dog a bath.  If you wash a matted dog it only makes the matting worse.


If your dog is matted then you will require a dematting or shedding tool.  Purchase them here:


Any dog with long coats have a tendency for matting up and certain areas need to be given particular attention.  The areas most prone to matting are:-

  • Under the front shoulders – here the fur mats up as the dog moves it’s legs and needs to be kept brushed regularly.  If the area gets matted up then a de-matting comb can be used if it is not too bad, otherwise the matts will need to be either shaved or cut out with the scissors.  Care must be taken not to cut or hurt the dog.
  • Around the ears – particularly on small dogs if brushing is not a regular habit.  The little designer dogs have undercoat which, if not brushed out reguarly, will accumulate and mat up.
  • Between the paws – sometimes the longer fur between the back and front pads clumps up and becomes matted.  The easiest way to remove this is cutting it out with the scissors.  Just be careful not to cut the dog.
  • Under the belly – is also an area to watch out for.  The fur on the inside of the hind legs and around the tummy area is very prone to matting if not kept well brushed.  Sometimes little matts start to appear.  These are best cut out with the scissors or clipping them off with a short blade.
  • Tail – if long coated tails are not regularly brushed they will quickly matt up.  Some dogs have undercoat which does not get groomed out and on the surface it appears the dog is not matted however this coat matts up very close to the skin and is then difficult to cut off, even with scissors.  In this case it is best to just shave the whole tail very short and start again.

    A matted dog needs to be clipped off very short


The best way to tell if your dog is matted close to the skin from undercoat is by running a comb through the coat.  If the comb easily goes through then you know your dog does not have any matts.  If the comb gets stuck and you are not able to get it through then you know the coat is matted.

For coat which is matted very close to the skin then the best remedy is a full body clip.

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