How to Brush Matted Fur

When trying to brush matted fur first make sure there are no wounds or irritation under the mats you are trying to brush, otherwise you may be hurting your pet more or creating a more severe situation. Then determine if it will hurt your pet more to brush the fur out, or simply clip them out. It can be painful to your pet to attempt to brush them out, when the fur is matted right to the skin. You will have to determine what is more important, your pet's comfort, or just having short hair for a while? Then when it starts to grow out, brush them more often to avoid this problem.


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    Try to divide the fur into small sections with your metal comb.
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    Sprinkle with a generous amount of cornstarch. This absorbs oil and dirt in hair and helps break up the mat.
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    Work through with fingers. If the pet is matted all over start at the bottom of legs and work your way up. That way you know you are getting right down to the skin and not just brushing the top of the coat.
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    Start at the end of fur with slicker brush and work you way towards the skin. Make sure you are not making contact with the skin, otherwise you will cause your pet to get what is called brush burn. Which is, you are basically causing a red rash that can create more problems for your pet.
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    Follow up with a greyhound comb. When the bulk of the mat is brushed out, comb through with your greyhound comb to remove any smaller mats you may have missed with the slicker brush.


  • If pet is severely matted it is always a good idea to give your pet a break when you see it is getting uncomfortable for them. About that time, you will also probably be ready to take a little break yourself.
  • It is easier to de-mat dirty fur than clean fur.
  • If you decide to bath your pet after the de-matting process, look for any areas that may have gotten irritated during the grooming and keep an eye on it. When you are drying the pet with a towel never rub the towel back and forth it will create mats. Rather use towel and squeeze water out of fur.


  • If you decide to use scissors to cut out the mat, always slide your greyhound comb between the skin and the mat, that way it will be almost impossible to accidentally cut the skin while cutting out the mat. Because sometimes it is hard to tell just how close you are to the skin, if the mat is tight against the skin..
  • If using a clipper always have a can of kool lube to spray blades, often, not only will it help keep your blades sharper, it will also cool down the blades so it will not burn your pet. The friction when clipping can make the blades get red hot really quick and they will burn your pets skin.So when you are using a clipper stop every few minutes and feel the blades, and see if they are hot to the touch
  • If you decide it is easier to cut mats out there are a few things to be aware of.

Things You'll Need

  • Large, Medium or Small slicker brush (depends on what size pet you want to de-mat)
  • Metal comb (called a greyhound comb)
  • Box of cornstarch

Article Info

Categories: Pets and Animals