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Best Dog Detangler Spray: 7 to Help With Mats and Knots

Dog laying on a mat with lots of fur needs detangling spray
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Many dogs can get away with a quick brushing, but some breeds, like Poodles and Doodles are prone to getting tangled and matted fur. 

Combing out these knots and tangles can be a frustrating challenge to undertake, without the use of a dog detangler spray. If you own a pup with a long or curly coat, having these products on hand can be a big help. 

A good dog detangler spray also helps save your pup from the groomer having to cut out large chunks of fur, which could result in a shorter haircut than you planned on getting for your dog.

We asked professional dog groomers to share some of their top dog detanglers that can help pet parents with brushing and grooming between appointments. 

The Dangers of Matted Dog Hair

Matted dog hair is not only aesthetically unpleasing, it can also pose some threats to the health of a dog. “A tangle-free and mat-free coat will allow the dog to maintain a proper body temperature and healthy skin biome and keep a regular shedding cycle,” explains professional dog groomer Molly Bissantz, owner of Boise, Idaho-based Grooming by Molly

Tangle free coats, she adds, can also help to reduce skin infections, hot spots, sores, raw skin spots, fleas, ticks, and other parasites from affecting a dog’s skin.

“A dog’s skin and fur goes through growth and shed cycles,” says Bissantz. “If the shedding fur isn’t able to fall out on its own, it will get caught up in the other hairs, thus creating a tangle.” 

If left alone and exposed to water, friction, and time the tangle will turn into a mat. These mats, she warns, are too tight and too close to the skin to be able to be brushed and combed out without causing discomfort to the pet. So, the process of detangling them without the proper dog hair detangler or detangler spray for dogs can make the process painful for the pup.

Best Dog Detangler Spray: 7 Top Picks 

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Overall Dog Detangler Spray

Our Pick: Crown Royale Ultimate Detangling Spray

Crown Royale Ultimate Detangling Spray

The Crown Royale detangler spray for dogs is a go-to for Bissantz. In fact, she calls it the best detangler for matted dog hair that she has in her salon. It comes in a convenient spritz bottle, which makes it easy to direct and spray a matted fur area.

Highlights

  • Works on wet or dry coat
  • Helps to also keep coat clean and repel dirt
  • Made in the USA
  • A favorite of professional dog groomer Bissantz

Things to Consider 

  • Several users reported it can leave a built-up residue on your pet’s coat
  • No ingredients listed on the bottle
  • More expensive than some other dog detangling sprays

Best Dog Detangler for Tough Knots

Our Pick: Artero Matt X-Dematter

ARTERO Matt-X Dematter

Artero Matt X-Dematter is another go to dog detangler spray for professional dog groomers. “I’ll rub the product into stubborn tangles and let it work its magic for a full 5 minutes,” says Katlin Primrose, a groomer with Primpaws Grooming. “I’ll then use my slicker brush and typically, this removes 80 percent of tangles I come across in my salon.”

Highlights

  • Removes mats gently 
  • Non-greasy and antistatic formula
  • Helps to keep the coat soft and serves as a shiny coat spray for dogs
  • Moisturizing

Things to Consider

  • Works best if applied before a bath, so not as much flexibility on when to use this
  • Customers complained of not liking the smell
  • Pricey

Best Dog Detangler Spray With Conditioner

Our Pick: Bark 2 Basics D-Mat Dog Conditioner

Bark2Basics d-Mat Dog Conditioner

This dog detangler and conditioner is soap-free, cruelty-free and made from 100% biodegradable ingredients. The product is concentrated and per the package, you can dilute it to 16 parts water to 1 part conditioner. It can also be used at full strength, if needed. 

Highlights

  • Made in the USA and handcrafted in small batches
  • All natural ingredients
  • Aids in deshedding
  • Eliminates static
  • Received good customer ratings for scent, moisturizing capabilities, and softness

Things to Consider 

  • Some customers complained that the lid came off easily, causing the product to leak
  • When diluted, the product has a watery consistency

Best All Natural Dog Detangler Spray

Our Pick: Bodhi Dog Detangling Spray

Bodhi Dog Natural Apple Detangling Spray

Bodhi makes an all-natural dog detangler spray that helps rid a dog’s coat of matted and tangled hair with its professional-grade quality formula. In addition to dogs and cats, it can be used on guinea pigs and rabbits. It’s formulated with ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil and mineral oil.

Highlights

  • Hypoallergenic formula, great for sensitive skin
  • Alcohol free
  • Made without chemicals, parabens or sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Appropriate for different pet species 
  • Sweet apple scent

Things to Consider

  • The formula is very thick and works best if worked into fur with your hands versus using the spray bottle
  • Some people mentioned it can leave the coat greasy if not washed out afterwards

Best Dog Detangler for Puppies

Our Pick: Burt’s Bees Lemon & Linseed Oil Detangling Dog Spray

Burt's Bees Lemon & Linseed Oil Detangler Dog Spray

If you’re a fan of the Burt’s Bees human line, you may also want to check out their dog detangling spray. This spray is PH balanced for adult dogs and puppies, so you can safely use it on young dogs without concern. It can be used during a bath or in between baths as a way of helping to work knots out of your dog’s fur.

Highlights

  • Safe for both dogs and puppies
  • All natural ingredients, including lemon oil and linseed oil
  • Spray bottle makes it easy to apply

Things to Consider 

  • Some people complained that there wasn’t much of a smell
  • The sprayer has a tendency to get stuck, frustrating some pet parents

Best Smelling Dog Detangler Spray

Our Pick: Pet Head Dog’s BFF Detangling Spray

Pet Head Fur Ball Detangling Spray for Pets Strawberry Yogurt

The Pet Head dog detangler is PH balanced specifically for canine coats and it smells delicious with a strawberry and yogurt scent. The formula is eco-friendly and safe if a dog licks or swallows it. It will work on dogs with dry or tangled coats.

Highlights

  • Tames flyaways and conditions skin
  • Strawberry yogurt scent
  • Made in the USA
  • Free of parabens, sulfates and DEA

Things to Consider

  • Expensive
  • Some customers said that the smell was too strong
  • The shape of the bottle isn’t too comfortable to hold in your hand

Best Tearless Dog Detangler Spray

Our Pick: TrueBlue Lavender & Olive Extract Easy Comb Dog Hair Detangling Spray

TrueBlue Hair Detangling and Cleansing Spray

If you’re looking for a tearless and toxin-free dog detangler, this could be it. TrueBlue is a natural botanical blend that helps to condition your dog’s coat while also working out the mats. It’s made with ingredients like lavender, which provides a nice scent, and olive oil to help keep a pet’s fur soft.

Highlights

  • Tearless formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • Safe for puppies and dogs
  • Free from detergents, alcohol, parabens and phosphates 

Things to Consider 

  • Some customers complained that it left their pet’s coat a bit oily
  • It does have a decently strong lavender scent, which everyone may not like

How to Detangle Dog Hair

Combing dog fur

Detangling pet fur, says Bissantz, is very similar to detangling human hair. “Start from the outside of the tangle and work your way in towards the skin,” she explains. Dog skin is thinner than human skin, so it is easy to cause brush burn and irritation from improper technique and over brushing or brushing too hard. 

Here is a step-by-step guide, provided by Bissantz on how to properly detangle a dog:

Step 1: Lightly spritz the tangle (if it is small and loose) with a conditioning dog hair detangler spray.

Step 2: Hold the base of the hair, under the tangle with your non-dominant (non-brushing) hand.

Step 3: With a slicker brush or pin brush, start gently brushing from the ends to the roots.

Step 4: With a comb, gently comb from the ends to the roots. You can gently “pick” at the tangle to lift it closer to the ends. 

Step 5: Alternate brushing and combing until the tangle is all gone.

Step 6: Lightly spritz the area one more time with a detangling spray for dogs.

Step 7: Brush the area using the line brushing technique (see this video for how to do it).

Step 8: Comb the area using both the wide tooth side and the fine tooth side using the line brushing technique.

Step 9: Make sure the entire dog is completely brushed and combed out.

Step 10: Think about a style and length that is suitable for your pet’s lifestyle. If he/she likes to be in the water or mud, consider a shorter haircut for easier maintenance. If your dog sheds a lot, consider a regular de-shed service from a professional groomer.

Dog Detangler Buying Guide

Dog at the groomer

There are a few things you should keep in mind when buying a dog detangler spray. Here are some shopping tips and advice:

Consider your dog’s breed and coat type. Read the reviews of the product to see what types of dog breeds that it’s recommended for. For instance, some dog detangler sprays may work well for dogs with undercoats, like Golden Retrievers and others may be better suited to different breeds. 

Be aware of the fragrance. Another thing to consider is the scent. While you may enjoy specific scents, some detangler dog shampoos or dog detangler sprays may have a very strong fragrance. This could be bothersome to a dog so you may want to search for something that has a milder and has a more natural scent to it.

Stay away from harsh ingredients: Whenever possible, look for ingredients that are naturally derived. Try to avoid dog detangler sprays with parabens and sulfates. 

Ask your vet or groomer’s advice. You should also check with your vet or groomer to make sure that your dog detangler is compatible with any topical flea medications that you are putting on your pet.

Dog Detangling Spray FAQs

Two dogs with lots of fur on bed

Here are a few of the top questions people ask about dog detangler, along with answers to help you navigate the world of detangling a dog. 

Can I use human detangler on my dog?

No, you shouldn’t use a human detangler spray on your dog. Humans and dogs have different PH balances of their skin. Using a human detangling product on your pup can also make a dog’s fur dry and can disrupt its acid mantle, leaving it prone to bacteria, parasites and viruses. “I would not use a human detangle spray because they are going to be heavier causing a greasy, oily look and feel on the dog’s coat,” says Bissantz. Human hair styling products may also contain ingredients that could be harmful to a dog.

Can you cut out mats in dog hair?

When detangling a dog, is it best not to cut the tangles out of their fur. This is because you could accidentally cut the dog’s skin in the process. Cutting out mats can also cause you to disrupt the look of your dog’s current cut. 

If you have a mat that you cannot work out at home, your best bet is to head into the groomer to let them tackle it with their variety of professional tools and dog detanglers on site. Groomers are well-versed in these types of situations. 

How do I keep my dog’s hair from tangling?

When it comes to preventing your dog’s hair from tangling, regular brushing and combing at home is key. Bissantz recommends completely brushing and combing your dog at least once a week and keeping up with regular professional groomings. 

“Maintaining a length and style that is appropriate for your lifestyle and your dog’s lifestyle is also helpful,” she says. 

Understanding why the tangles are getting started and reducing the reason is the best way to keep a dog tangle-free. For example, if the tangles are forming behind the ear or under the ear, Bissantz says to look into the ear to see if there is something causing the dog to scratch the ear, like an ear infection.

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