Tangles, knots, and mats ... oh my! If you're raising a medium or long-haired pooch then chances are you've dealt with knots before. Here are some grooming tips to help you gently demat your dog's tangled coat. 

Home Grooming Tips: How To Demat Your Dog’s Tangled Coat


Tangles, knots, and mats … oh my! If you’re raising a medium or long-haired pooch then chances are you’ve dealt with knots before. Even the most diligent pet parent who regularly combs their pup’s coat will find themselves head-to-head with a stubborn mat at some point.

I grew up with six poodles in the house. So, trust me, I get it!

When you spot a knot, though, it’s important to bust out your grooming tools and work through it ASAP. If ignored, little tangles can grow into large, nasty mats. And not only is it frustrating for you, it’s extremely uncomfortable for your pooch. 

Here are some grooming tips to help you gently demat your dog’s tangled coat. 

Most Common Areas Tangles and Mats Form

  • Ears
  • Under the arms
  • Along the back of the legs
  • Under the belly
  • Below the neck

Have The Right Grooming Tools On Hand

There are several different grooming tools on the market that can help break up your dog’s tangles, knots, and mats. I personally keep a little arsenal of grooming tools that includes the following: slicker brush, steel comb, mat remover, and long-blade de-matting rake.

The video below — featured under #3 in this article — will showcase these various brushes and show you how to use them!

Demat Your Pooch Before Bath Time

When self-grooming your pooch, you may feel inclined to just pop your pup into the tub without combing through his coat first. I know – we’re all pressed for time. But, seriously, this is a major no-no. You see, water will actually make a tangle or mat worse. The mat will just get tighter and tighter, becoming harder to work out. So, make sure to spend time working out all knots before bath time.

Find The Mats & Gently Work Them Out

This video by Jun — a professional groomer who shares his tips and tricks on YouTube — is filled with useful info! I highly recommend watching the entire video to see how Jun locates and then safely works out those pesky tangles and mats.

  • Start with a slicker brush to help identify various tangles and mats in your dog’s coat.
  • Use a steel comb to continue locating mats and begin to gently work them out.
  • Bust out a dematting rake to break up stubborn mats.

A Few Dos and Don’ts

  • Never try to pull out matted fur with your hands. Rather, use the proper tools as highlighted in the video above.
  • You may want to try a detangling spray. These types of sprays are designed to help relax the hair, making it easier for you to comb through.
  • Hold the matted hair in one hand and then use your comb/dematting tool with your other. This will allow you to pick apart the mat without irritating your dog’s skin.
  • Brush the mat in the same direction as the hair grows.
  • Work from the end of your dog’s hair to the skin vs. starting from the skin and workout out.
  • Be patient!

Know When You Need To Shave, Cut, Or Enlist A Professional

If a dog’s coat has been neglected for too long, the mats may need to be shaved or cut out. Consult with your groomer when needed. 

Develop A Regular Grooming Routine

To avoid uncontrollable mats in the future, set aside some time on a daily (or at least weekly) basis to comb through your dog’s coat. Plus, regular brushing is essential for a healthy, rich, and shiny coat!