How do I remove tangles from my dog?

May 22nd, 2022

Dog Grooming

5 min.

Long-haired dogs are particularly prone to hair mats and tangles and these tangles are not only ugly but can be damaging to your dog’s skin and painful.

Mats occur more often in dogs through their shredding season, as their new hair grows, mats can occur close to the skin if your dog is not regularly groomed.

The areas most prone to tangling include your dog’s legs, under your dog’s front legs, at the base of their tail and behind their ears.

How Do I Remove Tangles From My Dog?

Preventing tangles in your dog

To prevent your dog from getting matted and tangled in the first place, brush your dog right down to its skin. It is not enough to simply brush the outercoat, because these mats tend to form in the underlying inner coat.

You do need to be careful, not to brush the skin itself, which can irritate it, especially with some of the sharper metal brushes. If you hurt your dog’s skin, they will come to hate being groomed. If they hate being groomed, they’ll be more unpleasant to work with, which will make you avoid the task and the coat will become steadily more matted. At this point, you will have to take them to the groomer, where most of the coat will need to be shaved off.

The lesson? Groom your dog frequently and gently.

If your dog gets stressed by the grooming process, try using the Dorwest Soothe & Calm shampoo which uses natural herbal extracts to calm your dog and make them less anxious during grooming.

One of the best products we sell and highly recommend is the Pet Tangle Teezer, this product uses a patented comb design that allows mats and tangles to be gently removed without causing irritation to the skin. This brush was featured on dragons’ den and has picked up a number of awards.

A dogfoods4u hack for helping with tangles

Whilst there are many products on the market to help you with a mated dog, you may not need to look any further than your own pantry.

This secret ingredient? – Cornstarch!


If you’re the owner of a Goldendoodle, Poodle mix, or a long-haired dog, you’ve probably encountered a nasty mat hiding behind a fluffy ear, underneath an “armpit,” or along the collar area. Even with consistent brushing, at-home grooming, or taking your fur baby to a professional groomer, mats can happen.

The culprit is basically friction. Rubbing causes the hairs to tangle. Over time, the tangle turns into a mat—a combination of loose and attached hairs.


How to remove tangles from your dog using cornstarch

First of all, in my opinion, this hack is for detangling small mats. If your dog has large mats or is severely matted, it will be in your dog’s best interest to consult a trusted grooming professional or your vet. The last thing you want to do is pull on mats and potentially hurt your dog.


1. First, check you have all the necessary grooming tools and supplies


2. Find a spot in your home (or even outside) that’s comfy for your dog.

In choosing your work surface, keep in mind that cornstarch is messy! You may want to choose a location that’s easy to clean, or try placing a towel over your work surface.

3. Sprinkle cornstarch onto your dog’s mat.

Use your fingers to sprinkle a liberal amount of cornstarch onto the matt


4. Hold the mat at the base (near the skin) with your fingers.

To prevent your dog from feeling an accidental tug of the comb, hold the mat in your fingers near your dog’s skin. Also, you can loosen the matted hair a bit with your fingers before combing.


5. Starting at the tip of the hair, comb or brush the mat and gently “work” the tangle out.

It’s important to start at the tip of the hair and comb it first. Then keep working toward the root. The cornstarch helps the comb glide through the mat.


6. Sprinkle more cornstarch on the mat if needed.


7. Give your dog lots of encouragement and praise as you work on their tangles

We recommend talking to your dog all the time, but sweet talk should really ramp up when working on a dog mat. Between praise and the Beco Reward treat, your dog hopefully won’t even notice as you work on the mat.


After you’ve worked the mat completely out of your dog’s coat, run your comb through their hair one final time. Then give your dog a reward for being patient!


Other helpful tips for removing a mat from your dog’s coat

  • If your dog has a number of mats or is badly matted, talk with your groomer and decide what to do that will cause your dog the least distress.

  • Don’t give your dog a bath before removing mats. Water can tighten the mat and make it harder for you to remove.

  • Frequent brushing is your best defence against mats and tangles.

  • Since Goldendoodles are a cross between a Poodle and Golden Retriever, coat types vary from straight to wavy to curly. This means some coats are more prone to matting and require significant daily care while other coats are easier to maintain.


If you’re in any doubt about the best way forward with your dog’s grooming needs contact your local professional groomers or your veterinary professional.

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