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How to Remove Mats on my Non-Shed Dog?

All coats shed even 'non shed' fleece and wool coats still shed. However, instead of dead coat dropping to the ground, on furniture, or on your clothing, in 'non shed' coats that dead coat gets trapped in the coat. Because that dead coat gets trapped in the coat, this makes most non-shed coats much higher maintenance than shedding coats. That stuck coat can quickly form knots and mats unless removed with regular brushing (daily brushing is recommended). 

What Brushes do I need? 

For regular maintenance and daily brushing, a pin brush is a great choice as these brushes are gentle on the skin, yet still have long enough pins to reach down into the coat to identify any knots or tangles that are forming close to the skin. Once a knot or tangle is found with your pin brush, you can switch to a slicker brush for targeted knot removal. Slicker brushes are the best brush for removing knots, however depending on the severity of the knot, this process can be time consuming and painful for the dog. The earlier you find the tangles, the easier they will be to remove. We recommend using a detangling spray, such as the Amazonia Detangler with Guarana, to aid in the detangling process and help reduce coat damage. Once you have brushed out all the knots, you can use a grooming comb to run through your dogs coat and check for any finer knots or tangles you may have missed.

If you find your dog has a very thick, dense coat, you may also benefit from the Andis Deshedding Rake. This rake works to remove the undercoat, while still maintaining the correct texture of the top coat. Though these brushes are most commonly used on double coated dogs for undercoat removal, these brushes can help to make the coat more manageable on non-shedding dogs too. 😊 This rake will help to thin out the coat and remove the dead undercoat that falls from the skin and becomes trapped within the coat.

For more information to help you choose the right brush for your dog, read our brush guide here.

Shop: Pin Brushes, Slicker Brushes, Grooming Combs, Detangling Spray, Deshedding Rake

Poodle Dog Grooming brushing ear with poodle greyhound comb

How to Remove Mats: 

To remove matts with a slicker brush, you want to find the knot and hold it between your fingers. Pull the knot apart as much as possible with your fingers, and spray detangling spray on the knot until it is damp. Then, use your slicker brush to brush out the knot using a “pat and pull” technique. Avoid dragging the brush through the coat, as this can cause discomfort and brush burn. Make sure to stop the brushing process if your dog shows signs of pain or discomfort. Start at the tip of the knot, and work your way to the base of the knot, towards the skin. You can also use a de-matting tool or a pair of thinning scissors to help thin out the knot to make it easier to brush out.

Shop: De-matting Tools, Thinning Scissors

If the matts are very close to the skin, or if your dog wont tolerate having the knots brushed out, often the kindest solution is to clip the knots out with a clipper or trimmer. You will need a short blade to clip underneath the knots. Remember, longer blades and comb attachments cannot cut through a knotted or matted coat, you will need to shave under the mats, close to the skin. If there are only a few knots in the coat, you can just spot clip the knots out with a trimmer, however if the full coat is matted, its best to shave the body short all over and then start a daily brushing routine to keep the coat in good condition as it grows back. Shaving a matted coat can be dangerous if the matts are very close to the skin. A badly knotted or matted coat can cause discomfort and can lead to infection. If you are not confident with clipping, its best to have a groomer remove the matting for you, so you can start fresh. 

For help choosing the right clipper to match your dogs coat type, read our clipper guide here. 

Shop: A5 Clippers, Cordless Trimmers