For Us Dogs Grooming Is Essential
Mats are a serious problem and can be detrimental to your dogs well being. Many owners do not understand how wretched this condition makes their dog. Often people obtaining a puppy/new dog are not aware of how much time and care is required to properly maintain their chosen breeds coat.
The dog may chew, claw at themselves and suffer greatly if the mats are not removed. Mats can become so tight it can tear the skin and cut blood circulation off to areas that are affected. Matting can also restrict the pet’s movement. Some pet owners think that because the dog is chewing and scratching there must be a flea or skin problem but this is not always the case. Many problems can result from or be aggravated by the presence of mats. Matting can also hide other issues, such as sores, infections, cuts, etc often the result of un-maintained coats.
Why has my dog become matted?
The simple answer is that the owner has not brushed their dog regularly enough or has not used the proper tools. Combing and brushing needs to be done on a regular basis and this should be carried out from puppy age so that it can be taught to get used to being groomed as part of its regular routine.
Matting does hurt!
Imagine how your head would feel if your hair was matted. Imagine trying to brush those mats out. Now imagine how your pet feels. Unfortunately for your dog this is worse as mats occur in the sensitive areas such as the groin, armpits, tail area, the mat is constantly being tugged on as these areas move when the dog moves. A dogs skin is just as sensitive as ours!
How can I keep my pet from matting?
Regular brushing with the following tools should keep mats at bay. Some dogs need to be brushed every day and others a couple of times a week should suffice.
A stainless steel comb
A slicker brush
For more stubborn mats sometimes a de-mat spray with silicon in can do the trick.
How should I use these tools?
For most breeds you should start at the bottom of the feet and pushing the coat up with one hand begin using the slicker to brush the coat below with your other hand, the slicker should be used to pull down a small bit of hair at a time, brushing all the way to the skin. Do not push too hard on the brush otherwise you could give your dog a burn. Work your way up using this method. Once you have gone over the entire coat you can then use the comb to run through the coat and find any tangles and knots you have missed. Make sure you can part the coat to the skin with the comb. Just using a slicker brush isn’t going to work as this will just skim over the topcoat and wont reach to the skin where the mats have formed.
What if I can’t get a mat out?
If the mat isn’t removed before they become tight they will eventually become a major problem for your pet and extremely uncomfortable. In the worst case scenario mats can rip the skin. Do not wet your pet as this only makes the mat worse by tightening it further and pull harder on the skin. The only humane thing to do at this point is to have your pet shaved short. Never try to remove a mat with scissors as you could accidentally cut your dog.
Why not just let the groomer deal with it?
You can take your dog to a groomer to deal with but you should not expect this to be part of your dogs regular grooming. It takes extra time and care to de-mat a dog and you will be charged extra for this on top of your normal fee. Do not be shocked if your groomer will not de-mat if it is too extensive to do humanly and suggests a complete shave off. A caring groomer will not torture a dog because you do not want it shaved. It is not the groomers fault your pet has fallen into this condition.