How to shave a Matted Poodle?

10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Poodle’s Hair From Matting

When you have a poodle, you have to pay attention to their dense and curly fur because failure to which it will start matting. Now, if yours is a matted poodle, I recommend that you get the grooming started before the condition spreads out and gets worse. And as I have repeatedly mentioned, you don’t really need professional help to keep your pet groomed, provided that you know the Dos and Don’ts. Today I’ll give you the tips for keeping the poodle’s fur healthy and also the best ways to groom a matted poodle.

Who Wants to Know More About Matted Poodle?
Who Wants to Know More About Matted Poodle?

Do Poodles Get Matted?

Yes, they do – Poodles are of the the dog breeds that have the highest tendency to form mats. While Poodles and Poodle mixes (Doodles) are often sold as non-shedding, easy-to-care-for dogs, their coat does require maintenance and care.

Poodle’s coat is dense and curly and if they are not brushed and washed regularly, they can mat badly.

Is Matted Hair Painful For Dogs?

  • Unfortunately yes, matted hair is very uncomfortable for your dog and can even lead to a variety of problems down the line.
  • Even small mats can irritate the skin. They cause itching and painful sensations for your dog. When those mats are removed, the skin is red and inflamed underneath.
  • Especially if your dog scratches or bites those spots, they can progress to lesions that get infected. They are often very slow to heal.
  • Seeds such as foxtails can burrow into the dog’s skin, cause extensive infection and require surgery to be removed.
  • Fleas and ticks can live in the mats, unnoticed by the owner, and cause around-the-clock itching and discomfort for your dog.
How To Prevent Matting In Your Poodle's Fur
How To Prevent Matting In Your Poodle’s Fur

What Coat Type Does A Poodle Have?

  • Poodles have an unusual coat.
  • Most dogs have a double-coat, meaning that they have two layers of hair: a dense undercoat consisting of wooly hairs, and a top coat of longer hairs that are called the guard hairs. Examples for such dogs are Shepherds and Huskies.
  • Poodles and their mixes (such as the Goldendoodle or Bernedoodle) have a single-layer coat. It consists of dense and curly fur. It does not shed and is considered hypoallergenic.

How Do You Groom A Matted Poodle?

If your Poodle is already matted, you have several options to take care of it:

Professional Groomer – Expert Interview

A professional groomer can fix your dog’s hair the fastest. They have the experience and tools to get your Poodle’s coat in shape again. With a combination of clipping and brushing, they will be able to do the best job possible.

We interviewed a professional groomer on our podcast about exactly this topic – check it out here:

Clipping Your Poodle’s Coat

If you want to take care of your Poodle’s mats at home, the easiest and fastest solution is to shave your dog. Once the mats are removed, you can start over and keep up with the brushing as the hair slowly grows out again.

Clipping the coat is the most comfortable option for your dog, and especially if he does not like to stand still, you should pick to just shave him. The hair will always grow back!

Brushing Out The Tangles

You can brush out your Poodle’s tangles with a lot of patience and conditioner. You need to be aware that this can be uncomfortable for your dog though.

If your dog’s mats are too tight and close to the skin, it can be impossible to groom the dog appropriately without causing him pain.

You should not attempt to brush out bad mats. It is not fair to the dog! Choose to shave them off and then take good care of the coat as it is growing back.

How Do I Stop My Poodle’s Hair From Matting?

It is extremely important to brush your Poodle regularly. Depending on the haircut you choose for him, this might be as often as once a day.

You should bathe your Poodle regularly with the right shampoo and conditioner and blow-dry him afterwards.

If you are out and about and your Poodle gets muddy and dirty, you need to take care of his coat as soon as you get home. Letting mud dry out on your Poodle’s hair will create a mat nearly instantly and make it impossible to brush out later.

There are different detanglers on the market that can help to make the hair slicker and less likely to mat.

The best and easiest way to keep your Poodle’s hair from matting however is to give him a haircut that you can keep up with. If you are a busy owner or take your dog outside a lot, your Poodle loves the water or playing with his doggy friends in the fields – choose a sport cut. The shorter your Poodle’s hair, the easier it will be to prevent mats and tangles.

A haircut like the one this little guy is sporting will make your life a lot easier:

Proper nutrition goes a long way to a healthy coat, too. Make sure you feed your Poodle a high-quality dog food that meets his nutritional needs.

Should You Shave Poodles?

Absolutely, you should always shave your Poodle as much as you need.

Depending on your lifestyle and how much time you have to invest into grooming your dog, a short cut can be an excellent option. It will keep your Poodle free of mats and tangles while also saving you time!

Do Different Poodle Colors Mat The Same?

There is no difference in coat maintenance between the various Poodle colors. Whether your Poodle is black, white, apricot or a Parti Poodle, he will need to be brushed, clipped and washed. You cannot pick a “low maintenance coat color” – they all require the same amount of care and grooming.

10 Easy Ways to Help Prevent Matting in Poodles

While it’s common for poodles to become matted at times, it doesn’t have to be that way. Poodle owners can prevent most cases of matting by developing a proactive grooming routine and incorporating these easy prevention ideas.

Easy Ways to Keep a poodle’s Hair From Matting Include:

Brush Your Poodle at Least Once a Week

Brushing your poodle once a week will remove dead skin cells and excess hair, reducing tangling and matting in your dog. Brushing your poodle’s hair will also give your dog a fresh and healthy look. When you are brushing your dog, make sure you start under their collar, behind the ears, armpits, on their back, and near their tails.

If you live in a wooded area, make sure you are looking for anything that gets stuck to their hair like:

  • Grasses
  • Leaves
  • Bugs

Make sure you invest in two types of brushes if you are concerned about matting or tangles:

  • bristle brush that can smooth your dog’s hair
  • fine-tooth comb grooming tool from any dog supply store that can quickly get tangles out

If you develop a grooming routine that fits you and your dog, it will be a lot easier to keep your poodle’s hair from matting.

Many dog owners brush after a walk so that the dog is a little tired and can sit for some time while you check their hair.

Gently Brush Small Knots or Cut Out Tangles

To take out tiny knots when you are brushing your dog, hold the tangle where it meets the skin so that when you pull on it, you do not irritate your dog’s skin. Slowly work at it, starting at the tip of the hair and move up until it is out. Before brushing your dog, make sure you are looking for tangles in the right spots.

The best places to look for tangles in your poodle’s coat are: 

  • Chin and neck area
  • Underneath the armpits
  • Behind the ears
  • Near the tail

You can also cut out the tangle using clippers. Sometimes tangles can be so knotted that it is hard to find a cut spot. Consult your veterinarian if you cannot get between the tangle and the skin so that you do not accidentally cut your dog’s skin.

If you cut the stubborn tangles out, your poodle will be healthier snd happier. Start by checking the areas where your dog may be more moisture prone than others, and then go from there. If your dog’s skin and coat are healthy, your poodle’s overall health can greatly improve.

Use Conditioner After Shampooing Your Poodle

Conditioner is a detangler and smoother that also gives a nice shine to any dog coat. Do not bathe your dog with human shampoo and conditioner. Dogs have different allergies than humans, and the ingredients in human products might cause skin irritation. 

Look at the store for a dog conditioner. After you rinse out the shampoo when you are bathing your dog, rub conditioner on your dog. Let the conditioner sit for three to five minutes while praising your dog and giving them a treat or two. Then rinse it out.

Give Your Poodle a Bath Every Two to Three Weeks

Every two to three weeks, bathe your poodle. However, you should ask your groomer or veterinarian for the right cathing frequency for your dog. Bathing them will keep your poodle’s coat looking healthy and your dog feeling good ino matter where you live.

Ask your groomer or veterinarian for a dog shampoo or conditioner that they would recommend. Talk about price points because some dog shampoos can be a little pricey.

When bathing your poodle, keep in mind:

  • If your dog has tangles or knots before bathing them, make sure you brush them out or use a detangling spray.
  • If you wash your poodle while their hair is matted, this matting will likely just get worse.

Bathing your poodle will keep his coat looking and feeling great and is just one extra step to keeping matting under control. Ensure you are brushing your poodle and giving them what they need nutrition-wise.

Cut Your Poodle’s Hair Shorter

The easiest way to prevent tangling, knotting, and matting is to cut your poodle’s hair short. The shorter the hair, the less likely your dog will have matting or tangling problems. 

You can trim the areas that get matted easily, such as the armpit, neck, or behind the ears. You could also choose to give a full haircut if this matting is widespread.

If you decide to trim your poodle yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Keep dog treats nearby so you can reward your dog for sitting still.
  • Hold your dog down or put him on a leash, so they do not run away mid-trim.
  • Use dry clippers and trim in the direction that the hair lays.

Ensure you are comfortable giving the trim. If you are not, consider taking you dog to a professional groomer.

Feed Your Poodle Nutritious Food

Keeping your poodles’ coat and skin healthy always begins with their diet. If they eat food that does not agree with their stomach, it will show in their coat. If a poodle’s coat is ratty, matted, or tangled, changing your dog’s food can make a huge difference over time.

Discuss food options with your veterinarian. If your dog is not getting proper nutrients in his current diet, or not getting enough fatty acids, you probably need to consider a change.

It’s important to read the labels on your pet’s food. Pay close attention to ensure any food you feed your dog is made from healthy ingredients and does not contain fillers. Unnecessary ingredients could harm your dog in the long run, so if you notice something peculiar, it’s time to change.

Avoid any dog foods that:

  • Contain unnecessary ingredients 
  • Do not follow the Association of American Feed Control Officials: (AAFCO) guidelines which are strict dietary measures for animal food that include the right amount of vitamins and nutrients that animals need
  • Do not include meat as an active ingredient (too many grains is not the best for a dog)

Talk to your veterinarian and find the food that works for your poodle. Sometimes, the perfect food for your dog is just down the aisle at the local grocery store.

Use Detangling Spray or Conditioning Spray

Along with bathing your dog and feeding your poodle good food, you should also use a dog detangler spray to prevent further tangles or knots.

Follow these steps to apply a detangling or conditioning product correctly: 

  • Spray the detangler all over your dog’s fur and keep them still.
  • Work in the detangler into the fur by using your hands and fingers on the skin.
  • Let the detangler soak into the coat until it is almost dry.
  • Use your fingers as a comb to go through the fur.

If your poodle is getting small tangles or tiny knots, using a detangler spray can help prevent these knots from getting too big in the future. This spray usually has some conditioner that will repair any damage to the hair and give it a nice shine.

If you want to keep your dog’s long flowy locks, a detangler spray is an essential tool. You can use detangler spray after you bathe your dog or right before he is fully dry.

Avoid Putting Clothes on Your Poodle

Although dogs can look quite cute in clothes, your poodle’s hair will thank you for avoiding them altogether. The detergent chemicals on the clothes often cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

A good rule of thumb is if it is not meant for a dog, it probably should be left in the drawer. This also can be said for human food, and even excessive treats you give your dog as poodles have sensitive stomachs.

Here are some clothes to avoid putting on your dog: 

  • Shirts
  • Costumes
  • Sweaters
  • Snug-fitting outfits

If your dog has short hair and you are concerned that your poodle will get cold when he goes outside, check with your veterinarian for clothes products made for dogs. You do not want anything too snug-fitting or too loose, and you want your dog to feel comfortable.

Treat Itching and Scratching Promptly

Itching and scratching can also cause hair to tangle and knot together. Fish oil pills that have Omega-3 fatty acids are safe to give dogs. If a dog does not have enough fatty acids in its diet, its coat can become scratchy and matted.  

Dogs can have seasonal allergies just like humans, and these allergies can be another contributor to the matting of the hair. Poodles can develop harmful skin irritations due to scratching and itching if left untreated.

The most common causes of itching and scratching in poodles include:

  • Allergies
  • Ticks
  • Mosquito bites
  • Fleas

If an animal in your house does have fleas, make sure you are cleaning your home thoroughly so that fleas do not stay. If you live in a wooded area with the possibility of ticks, make sure you check your poodle for ticks when you brush them each week.

If you live in an environment with an abundant mosquito population, especially in the summer, you can purchase all-natural bug repellent that is safe to put on dogs. Spray this bug repellent under armpits and near the collar for maximum effect

What does tangled and matted poodle fur look like?
What does tangled and matted poodle fur look like?

Shave Your Poodle in the Summer

If your poodle’s hair is prone to getting tangles because of its excessive length, it might be time to take him to the groomer to be shaved. Not only will this relieve excess weight from their body, but it will also let the skin breathe and give your dog’s skin a chance to heal.

Matted hair is frustrating and takes a lot of patience from the dog owner. Matting can also cause severe health problems.

Getting your dog completely trimmed is the least expensive way to prevent tangles and knots over time.

Think about the climate where you live.

Consider shaving your poodle in the summer because:

  • If it is sweltering in the spring and summer, getting your poodle’s hair shaved will help take off a layer of warmth.
  • He might even become more active after you get him shaved.

How Do I Remove Mats in my Poodle’s Hair?

There are several things you can do and tools you can use to prevent mats in the future. Be patient and follow the direction your groomer or veterinarian provides to prevent future matting.

Owners can remove mats in their poodles by:

  • Taking to a professional groomer: If you are getting frustrated, more than likely your dog is too. Consider asking a professional for their advice. Your dog’s mats may be too big or severe for you to work on them, so make an appointment with a professional groomer.
  • Working the knots out of the hair gently: Do not pull on the skin or hair when brushing. Work out the knots gently and use that detangler spray more often if you need to.
  • Untangling with the right tools: Use dog-friendly detangler spray correctly by spraying it all over your dog’s coat and letting it soak before working it out. Also, purchase some dog-friendly brushes, shampoo, and conditioner.
  • If severe, consider clipping the hair: Talk to a professional groomer about this, but if it is essential, you might need to shave off or clip areas of your poodle’s hair. Keep in mind that the hair will grow back.

Final Thoughts

Poodles and their mixes are no low-maintenance dogs. While they don’t shed and are hypoallergenic, they will require combing and grooming. You need to prevent your Poodle’s coat from matting – mats are painful for your dog and can lead to serious health conditions.

If your Poodle is already matted, take him to a groomer, clip his coat at home or try to very gently brush out the tangles. However, not all mats can be brushed out, and it is unfair to the dog to subject him to the pain of trying to brush a badly matted coat.

Shaving your Poodle and keeping him in a short cut is an excellent way to keep his coat tangle-free while also cutting down on grooming time.

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.