June 27, 2023

Why dogs and cats get those knots

Why dogs and cats get those knots
Dr. Chris Brown

No one thing is more responsible for a sudden yelp, limp or lick than a knot. But there’s a reason why knots and mats often seem to occur….down there! 

It’s almost like knots, mats and tangles don’t want to be seen. After all, why else would they choose the most hidden of all areas to do their painful skin pulling and even tearing.

Because ultimately the most common places to find them in dogs and cats are in the underarms, the groin, under the collar, behind the ears and on the back of the hind legs.

So why these areas? Well, something is happening in these places to cause knots to form…

The secret? It’s all about FRICTION baby!

That’s right, these are all places where there’s lots of rubbing. When that happens, static electricity builds up between individual hair fibres causing them to stick together and twist on one another.

Two fibres stuck together becomes three and then four. Eventually you have a painful clump that starts pulling on the skin…

The more hair fibres found in thicker winter coats and shedding season only makes this tangling more likely…


So what can you do? Understand the enemy of friction…is MOISTURE.

Quite seriously. Yes I did just say that. If hair fibres are hydrated (and have their protective oils present) then the rubbing against each other in places like the underarms doesn’t result in friction, static electricity and then tangling.

They stay free and easy. But really dry and harsh coats (or those washed in detergent based washes) are a magnet for static and knots.

It’s how detangling sprays like my No Time to Wash Spray work. Nourishing oils reduce the friction between hair fibres and protect the coat from tangling plus dirt and odour.

Combining with some brushing means painful knots just do knot happen…


The quick way to fix a knot!

Just two steps:

Step 1: Spray plenty of detangler into the heart of the tangle. This lubricates the fibres involved and starts the knot separation process.

Step 2: Using a comb or brush, work your way through the tangle. Hold as close to the base as possible to minimise painful pulling on the skin.

If the knot can’t be brushed through, it can be kinder to clip the knot at the base. But just make sure you don’t cut the skin. This is where a professional can help!


No Time to Wash Spray
No Time to Wash Spray

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