Dematting In Dog Grooming

What is Matting?

Matting is clumps of tangled fur that form over time in certain areas. Some of the most common areas for matts to form are under his/her front legs, behind the ears & around the tail. Or in areas where the dog is wearing a collar harness or clothing. 

What breeds are prone to matting?

Almost any longer haired breed can become matted but some are more prone than others. Curly and cottony breeds like bichons poodles and Maltese tend to mat and can mat up pretty quickly if not taken care of properly. Also, any dog with longer hair that sheds and needs to get their coat deshedded is most definitely grounds for some matting at the very least. 

How can I tell if my dog’s hair is matted?

At first glance it may not look like your dog’s fur is matted. You may even be able to brush the fur on the outer part. However, unless you can comb through with a grooming comb all the way down to the skin then there are still knots and mats.

How did my dogs hair get matted?

Your dog’s hair became matted because he needs more frequent grooming. The only way to prevent matting is to make sure your dog’s coat is clean and brushed. 

How can I prevent my dogs hair from getting matted?

It is 100% possible to prevent matting. With regular brushing & bathing, the mats will not have a chance. Brushing daily may be necessary however most dogs are ok with every few days to weekly brush outs. It is safe to bathe your dogs as often as once a week. If you do bathe him weekly be on the lookout for any reaction or irritation. If there are any mats or tangles it is best to brush him out completely, if possible, before bathing.

What tools and products should I use to maintain my dog’s coat healthy & mat free?

I always advise my clients to use a gentle and natural shampoo. Using a “dog” tearless shampoo around the eyes is always highly recommend as well. The right slicker brush and a greyhound comb are the essentials. Be careful not to cause harm using some of the more aggressive tools like dematting tools. Most dematting tools should only be used by a well-trained professional because they can be dangerous if not used correctly. There are dematting sprays that are very effective when trying to brush your dog with little pain as possible.

My dog’s hair is matted. Is that bad?

It depends on how severe and how long the matting has existed. When your dog’s coat is matted it can be extremely uncomfortable as well as painful for them. This can cause them to develop skin conditions and irritations from it. The dog endures pain due to the skin being pelted as the matt pulls on the skin. It takes a very well experienced and skilled groomer to remove the coat in this condition. 

Can I just brush out the matting?

It depends. In most cases yes. A groomer skilled in dematting can take out minor matting. However, when there is more severe matting, a shave down is the most comfortable and safest option. Putting your dog through such vigorous brushing is unfair to him to have to endure this painful process. It can be very hard on him and cause him to associate grooming with pain.

What do I do now that my dog’s hair is matted?

Have him professionally groomed and ask your groomer about the safest and best options for your needs. It is also best to schedule more frequent grooms, as well as, proper care at home to prevent a repeat.

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