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


Your poodle’s hair can get tangled easily without frequent brushing and proper grooming habits. Tangling and matting in your poodle might seem like a minor issue, but your dog can develop health problems due to matting, such as significant skin irritation, infection, or sores. So, how do you prevent matting in your dog before it becomes a serious problem?

Ten easy ways to prevent your poodle’s hair from matting include:

  1. Brush Your Poodle at Least Once a Week
  2. Gently Brush Small Knots or Cut Out Tangles
  3. Use Conditioner After Shampooing Your Poodle 
  4. Give Your Poodle a Bath Every Two to Three Weeks
  5. Cut Your Poodle’s Hair Shorter
  6. Feed Your Poodle Nutritious Food
  7. Treat Itching and Scratching Promptly
  8. Avoid Putting Clothes on Your Poodle
  9. Use Detangling Spray or Conditioning Spray
  10. Shave Your Poodle in the Summer

Without proper hair maintenance and care, your dog’s hair is likely to tangle up and become matted. Frequent grooming can help keep your dog’s hair tamed, but you can also employ some simple techniques that can keep your poodle’s coat healthy and fresh. Read on to learn ten easy ways to keep your poodle’s hair from matting.

Why Does Your Poodle’s Hair Get Matted? 

Matting occurs when your poodle’s hair forms tangles. Once the tangles start, they are hard to remove, and over time, the tangles get bigger. Depending on how long your dog’s hair is, these tangles can get heavy, in the way, and hard to brush out. 

Poodles most commonly get matted as a result of inconsistent grooming habits, improper nutrition, environmental allergens. Severe matting prevents proper airflow resulting in severe skin irritation and discomfort in dogs. Poodles should be brushed at least once a week and bathed twice a month to give a poodle’s coat optimum protection against matting.

When poodles are born, their coats are much different from when they grow up to be adult poodles. A poodle puppy’s hair is straight until around nine months of age when their hair begins to change into the curly puffs we all know and love. 

When a poodle puppy’s hair changes, the hair can become matted because hair falls out and gets stuck in the newly formed curls. Adult poodles are single-coated, meaning they have one thick covering of curled hair. When they shed, their hair usually falls back into their coat.

A poodle’s coat will often get matted because of these daily activities:

  • Playing outside with other dogs
  • Rolling around on the floor
  • Scratching themselves and getting their hair tangled

Without proper brushing or grooming, your poodle’s tangles will become matted. 

How Do I Prevent my Poodle’s Hair From Matting? 

To prevent your poodle’s hair from matting, you should start a maintenance routine with your dog. You should invest in a couple of brushes, some dog conditioner or detangle spray, and some clippers so that you can take care of your poodle’s coat. 

The best way to prevent your poodle’s hair from matting is to simply take care of your dog’s coat. A poodle’s coat is most likely unhealthy and needs some attention if it looks tangled and out of sorts.

Here are some strategies to prevent your poodle’s hair from matting: 

  • Brush at least once a week with fine-tooth and bristle brushes (dog-friendly).
  • Gently take out tiny knots by brushing them out or cut out the tangles. 
  • Use conditioner after shampooing your dog. 
  • Bathe your poodle every two to three weeks with shampoo and conditioner.
  • Trim your poodle’s hair or go to a professional groomer.
  • Feed your poodle good dog food.
  • Treat for scratching or itching: If scratching at the skin, poodles fur will mat easily. Look into why your dog is scratching or itching (seasonal allergies, fleas, etc.) 
  • Avoid putting clothes on your poodle.
  • Use a detangling spray or conditioning spray and leave it in for about six hours before brushing.
  • Shave your poodle’s hair.

Some Things to Consider to Prevent Matting 

If your dog is getting tangles in it’s hair, consider thinking about what is causing it. If your dog is outdoors a lot, rolling around, playing, or not getting adequate nutrition from the food they eat, consider brushing or changing your dog’s food. 

The age of your dog can also affect tangles and matting. The older a dog gets, the less likely they are to groom itself well, as many dog breeds tend to do. An older dog’s hair generally tangles more quickly than a younger dog does. Depending on your preference as a dog owner, you might choose to keep your poodle’s hair long or short.

Long hair increases the probability of tangles and matting in your poodle. keeping your dog’s coat short or shaved will virtually eliminate matting and decrease your poodle’s required grooming time substantially.

Poodles deserve to have the shiniest and most healthy coat possible. After all, your dog looks and feels its best when his coat is well-groomed. Why not start some new routines found in this list to keep your dog feeling healthy and comfortable in his hair all of the time? 

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:

1. 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:

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

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.

2. 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: 

  • Behind the ears
  • Underneath the armpits 
  • Chin and neck area 
  • 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.

3. 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. 

4. 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. 

5. 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. 

6. 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:

  • 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
  • Contain unnecessary ingredients 
  • 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. 

7. 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 

8. 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. 

9. 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.  

10. 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:

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 


A good, healthy coat starts with some simple maintenance techniques you can use at home with your poodle. Your poodle will benefit if you ensure your dog’s skin and coat are healthy too. Make some minor changes to prevent mats from forming in your poodle’s hair. 

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Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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