No More Mattes and Tangles

No more mattes and tangles

If you have a dog with short hair then you probably don’t spend much time worrying about mattes and tangles. But, if your dog has long hair you may spend a considerable amount of time not only thinking about mattes and tangles but trying to come up with ways to prevent them or get them out of your dog’s coat. Even with frequent brushing some dogs seem to get mattes overnight.

100 strokes a night

The best way to prevent your dog from getting mattes is, as you might expect, to brush his coat frequently. Your dog may have a single or double coat but your long-haired dog can have either hair type, depending on the breed. The beautiful Maltese, with his long, flowing coat, is single-coated, so you shouldn’t think that having a single coat means that a dog will have less hair. A double-coated dog has an outer layer of guard hair and an inner layer of softer hair that usually acts as insulation. Collies, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are examples of double-coated dogs. A single-coated dog only has one layer of hair but it may can be of different textures, depending on the breed.

Whether your dog has a single coat or a double coat, if your dog has medium or long hair you can avoid most mattes and tangles by brushing him several times a week. Use a good brush, such as a boar bristle brush or boar bristle with nylon bristles mixed in, to brush through your dog’s coat. (Boar bristles help spread the natural oils in your dog’s coat and don’t break the hair.) Then you can go over his “furnishings” (the long parts of his coat that hang down, such as chest hair, leg hair, hair below the stomach) with a pin brush. Pin brushes have metal pins set into a brush back. They allow you to brush through and gently separate the hair. Finally, you can comb out your dog’s hair after you have carefully brushed it out to leave every hair in place.


When you’re brushing your dog’s coat, if you do find a mat or tangle you can take your comb and gently work it loose a few strands at a time. If you brush your dog frequently then any mat or tangle you find should be fairly easy to work loose.

You can also use Ruff to Smooth on mats and tangles. The emollients in Ruff to Smooth can help loosen mattes and tangles when you’re grooming. Just spray a little on and work through the mat. Then use your comb to work the tangle out.

An ounce of prevention

You can also prevent matting by using shampoos that don’t overly strip the coat of natural oils. Using harsh shampoos can result in the coat matting. Use gentler shampoos that are free of Sodium Laurel Sulfate and which don’t strip the coat. Follow up with a conditioner after shampooing. Fur Butter leaves the coat silky and easy to brush while providing colloidal oatmeal to heal dry, itchy skin.

To prevent tangles from ever occurring you can use Ruff to Smooth on your dog right after his bath. After you bathe your dog you can lightly mist his coat with Ruff to Smooth and it will keep the hair from tangling while you brush him out.

If you’re ever brushing your dog and you find a mat that is too much to tease out, you may, on occasion, have to trim it out. If you do, be very careful when using scissors with any mat. Try to stay away from cutting near your dog’s skin. It can be very easy to cut your dog and that’s the last thing you want to do. Cut just a little snip of hair in the mat and try to work on it with your comb.

Brush your dog frequently and he can be gorgeous and matte-free. He’ll also enjoy grooming a lot more if you don’t have to deal with mats and tangles. Try to prevent mattes and tangles and you’ll both be happy.

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