With great fur comes great responsibility—pets with long coats definitely need a little more upkeep than short-haired breeds! But even with daily brushing, tangles and matted hair can become a problem.
For long-haired dogs, mats and tangles are just part of life. But that doesn’t mean that they should just be left alone!
In addition to looking unsightly, tangles and mats can be uncomfortable or even painful for your pets. Matted or tangled fur can get caught on paws or edges and can become larger and heavier over time if not dealt with.
The best way to deal with tangles and mats is to prevent them from happening in the first place! Do this by talking to your vet or regular groomer about your dog’s grooming needs—and getting into a routine of regular and thorough brushing and baths and haircuts as needed.
If you’re facing a mess of matted hair, make sure you go in armed with the right tools. Metal combs and brushes with fine teeth/bristles designed for de-matting are absolutely essential. It’s also a good idea to keep a pet-safe detangling spray on hand to help loosen up tangles.
Once you’ve determined that your pup’s fur is too tangled to be taken care of with a good brushing, it’s time to take action. Start by spraying detangling conditioner on the affected area, and gently break the tangled hair apart with your fingers. Keep your dog secure and talk with soothing tones to keep them feeling calm.
In the instances of large mats, it may be necessary to split the mat into smaller pieces. This can be done with scissors, although it’s recommended that you only snip the hair into two to three smaller chunks, so that your pup doesn’t end up with an uneven ‘do or a bald spot!
After you’ve broken up the matted or tangled fur into something more manageable, it’s time for some brushing! Continue holding the affected fur in one hand, and gently brush it out without letting the brush bristles touch your dog’s skin. Be careful not to pull hard on your pup’s hair—patience and gentle motions are key to getting the tangle out for good.
Once the hair is successfully detangled, it’s time for a bath, and a thorough, all-around brushing!
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