Tools to Remove a Dog’s Mats

A variety of products are available for owners who want to tackle a dog’s matted coat at home.

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Q. Do you use any product in particular to help get out mats from a dog's coat? At one time, I thought there was a product that you could rub on the mat, let it sit, then comb out. What would you suggest?

A. I have used several products to help soften and split mats so they can be brushed from the coat more easily. One called “The Stuff” is a leave-in conditioner that’s hypoallergenic and non-toxic. Sprayed sparingly into the coat, it conditions while removing tangles, penetrating mats to cut grooming time. It is formulated with silicone so it is slippery to the touch. Try not to spray any on the floor or you could take a spill! Another is GloCoat made by Top Performance. Made with human-grade cosmetic ingredients, it instantly penetrates tangles for faster comb-outs, repels dust, dirt, and urine, and adds luster to the coat. Both products are available in small bottles, convenient for pet owners like you.

Nowadays, many groomers also use leave-in conditioners prior to the bath rather than completely dematting the pet before it goes into the tub, a rule that was carved in stone when I started grooming! These products are best used with a high-velocity dryer after the bath. Some groomers swear by them for cutting dematting time, making the process easier on both pet and groomer and since time is money in the salon, they are more cost-effective as well. They include Best Shot Ultra Plenish Conditioner, Shed Patrol Shampoo and De-Shedding Solution, and my grooming manager’s favorite, Espree Luxury Remoisturizer.

Leave-in conditioners like these do wonders but are not foolproof, so coat maintenance between grooming visits is still vital. Even a miracle can’t save matted coats that are pelted to the skin and must be shaved down and re-grown.

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