DeMatting a Dog with Corn Starch

Who would have known that corn starch can not only be used in making pies and sauces, but also as a grooming tool for your furry friend? As a dog caretaker, you may find it very difficult to deal with their mats since it takes so much time and effort to detangle those knots. You may not even know this but such matting poses a lot of danger for your dog’s health! 

We will cover the causes of matting, their possible effects to your pup, and how you can treat the discomfort with something as cheap and accessible as corn starch! Read on to find out about dematting a dog with corn starch.  

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Causes of Matted Hair in Dogs 

This painful condition, frequently seen in long-haired dogs, is caused by many different things. Here are some of the common causes of matted dog hair: 


When dogs roll, play, wear a collar, or sit on whichever hip they’re most comfortable with, there is friction which rubs their coats against a surface, causing the mats to form. 


Moisture from bath times (especially when you doesn’t use a conditioner), swimming, and even snow and rain, can cause your dog to produce hard clumps of tangled and matted fur. 


Lack of grooming leads to matting. This is why we see most stray dogs with unhealthy knotted fur wishing for someone to brush their hair or give them a haircut. If your dog is quite hairy they will need more regular grooming and maintenance to prevent this situation. 

Breeds That Are More Susceptible to Matting 

Lucky for the Puli and Komondor, they are meant to have corded fur. However, the following types of dogs are more prone to the dangerous matted coat: 

  • Dogs with soft and curly hair 
  • Dogs with long, straight hair 
  • Double-coated dogs with undercoats.

Here are the breeds that fall under all three: 

  • Poodles 
  • Doodles 
  • Bichon Frise 
  • Shih Tzu 
  • Yorkshire Terrier 
  • Maltese 
  • Tibetan Terrier 
  • Cocker Spaniel 
  • Golden Retriever.

Risks Brought by Knots in Dog Hair 

Matting is not only unpleasant to look at as a sign of poor hygiene, but it is also very painful to your pooch’s skin despite how mild it can be.

It can disrupt the blood supply to the leg and make the air unable to circulate properly, resulting in redness and irritation. In addition, these sores may lead to grave infections like thrush and yeast that cause foul odors on your pup.

The offensive smell then attracts internal and external parasites, like insect larvae and maggots, that stay on your pet’s skin. The tiny pests munch and munch on the decaying skin and can cause complications in the bloodstream. 

Want to know the risk it can cause you? Violating the anti-animal cruelty laws. Anyone who sees your dog looking “neglected” can report you. 

Yeast Infection 

Yeast infection may just be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Characterized by itchy, stinky, and irritated skin, this disease is actually fungi that live in the skin, paw, and ears. Other signs that your dog has yeast infection include the following: 

  • Changes in color and texture 
  • Greasy and scaly skin 
  • Head shaking, scratching, rubbing, and licking
  • Uneasiness or discomfort 
  • Swelling and warmth 
  • Hair loss 
  • Drooling.

Dematting a Dog with Corn Starch 

Corn starch does wonders not only for your cooking but also for your dog! It works in a couple of ways. 

First, sprinkle some on your dog’s tangled fur before you start brushing it. This will make the brushing smoother and less painful for your dog as it reduces friction among the fibers of hair. A cheap and safer alternative for a detangling spray or dry shampoo, indeed!  

Try Argo 100% Pure Corn Starch, it’s 100% pure, and gluten-free. It’s also one of the most affordable options.

Following the first procedure will also help you to remove dirt and odor from your dog’s body. This is because the corn starch absorbs excess oil, moisture, and bad odors lingering on your dog. It can also help to soothe your furry friend’s skin irritation caused by the discomforting knots.  

This second method is also super easy to follow! Just combine 3 tablespoons of corn starch with cold water, apply to the coat like a shampoo, and rinse thoroughly. This will dry out scabs, rashes, and other skin irritations and help them heal without your fur baby hurting.  

Other Treatments for Matted Dog Hair

Don’t expect your dog to look like they just got a full pamper session after a little sprinkle of corn starch though. Dematting will take more than that! Here are some other treatment and prevention options that you should consider: 

Brushing out the Mats 

Brushing your dog’s fur will be very time-consuming and painful, especially if the condition is severe. It is, however, the best way to prevent mats from reforming once you have removed them.  

Remember to pick the right grooming tool and use proper technique in doing so. For instance, you can follow the “line brushing method” with a soft-bristled brush where you gently brush a small section at a time from under the coat all the way up. 

Watch this video by Leading Edge Dog Show Academy for a guide on line brushing a dog. 

Regular Haircuts

If you can’t bear your dog’s pain, the best solution is always a short haircut. This procedure requires clippers to cut the mats against the skin. There is also a specific technique to avoid your dog from stressing out. This is why it is more advisable to entrust your dog to a professional groomer for this one.

Regular Baths 

Success lies in proper sanitation! Regular baths using products with softening properties (such as dog conditioners and leave-in conditioners) can do the trick. Remember to rinse off all the soap suds from soaps and shampoos to avoid residue that can cause greasiness and flakiness.  

We highly recommend John Paul Pet Oatmeal Conditioning Rinse for Dogs, it’s perfect for a dog’s dry skin and matted fur. This incredible conditioner restores a silky, shiny, healthy feel to your pet’s fur. It also improves dry and wet combing and enhances overall manageability

Wrapping It All Up 

Matting, as you can see, can be quite a major issue for many pups. It starts with tiny tangles caused by lack of brushing and increased friction until it becomes more serious with severe infections on your four-legged friend’s skin.  

Treating the condition can be less arduous, thanks to corn starch’s smoothing properties. With it, brushing can be less painful, more dirt can be removed, and infection can be avoided.  

Of course, it doesn’t always end there. Make sure your furry dog gets regular haircuts and baths to maintain their healthy coat. Also, if the knots get severe, consult a vet right away to see if there are parasites or underlying problems in the blood. Trust us, their silky, detangled fur will feel surely feel like a permanent hug from you to them!