If you are not aware, matting refers to fur that is densely tangled. This results in the fur clumping together. It happens when the dog’s coat is not properly maintained. In a mild form, these can be brushed out. However, if left untreated matting can harm the dog. Here are a few things you should know about matting and how it affects your dog.
What Breeds Have Mats?
This is most prevalent in dogs with longer fur during their shedding season. When the excess hair that is shed cannot properly be removed from lack of brushing, matting can become an issue. This is why brushing a dog’s coat is so important. Not only does it prevent mats, it also helps keep their fur healthy and shiny.
The Dangers of Matting
Many people think that matting is bad because it looks ugly. In reality, severe matting can be very painful to the dog. When the fur is this matted, brushing will only remove the live hairs which will cause even greater pain for the dog. It is important to note though that even mild matting can still cause a dog pain.
In addition, matting can cut off the blood supply to the legs and keep air from circulating properly. When the skin does not get the blood or air flow it needs, it will become red and this can lead to sores. These sores can cause infection that causes foul odors. Even weeds, stickers and other materials can get stuck in the mats, along with feces and fly larvae. Not only is this unsanitary, but it can further irritate the dog’s skin. In some cases, the matting can be so bad that a vet will need to treat the issue.
How Mats are Removed
Chances are you have heard the term dematting. This simply means to remove the mats. There are some groomers out there who will rip the mats from the dog’s fur with no regard to the comfort of the dog. Here at Splash and Dash we take a stand against this cruel treatment of dogs just to make a buck. This is why we will not remove mats that will hurt a dog and we will not bathe a dog that has mats as this will only make the mats tighter. We ask that you respect the professional standard we have set by not requesting we do so. Severe mats will be shaved to get under the mat, though we will consult with the pet parent before doing so.
You should know that shaving mats is a slow process that can only be done by an experienced groomer. The dog’s skin is thin and even more fragile with mats, so it is essential that the groomer be even more careful when dealing with mats as they become loose. Additionally, clippers can cut a dog’s skin which is why it is important for the process to be done slow and carefully. Once the shaving is done, the dog may develop an itchy response to the shaving. Since the dog’s skin is already fragile at this point, it is important that the pet parent ensure that the dog does not itch after this has been done to prevent further irritation.
How to Prevent Matting
Regular brushing is the only defense against matting. This is even more important for long haired dogs during their shedding season. On top of getting rid of excess hair, brushing helps to aerate the skin and fur. Professional grooming is another way to help keep mats at bay as the groomer will bathe and brush the dog while paying attention to areas of concern with the matting.
Another way to prevent matting is to keep the dog’s fur at a manageable length. Grooming should be done every 4 to 6 weeks. When a dog goes 8 to 10 weeks between grooming sessions the coat can become unmanageable and matted. This varies depending on the lifestyle breed of your dog. If you want to save money on your grooming expenses, we recommend you join our Signature Service Unlimited Bath and Brush program.