How to Groom Dog with Mats? (Expert Guide)
When you neglect the proper grooming and brushing of long-haired dogs, their fur can become tangled and matted. This creates discomfort for your beloved pet. The mats in the dog's fur can lead to skin pulling due to the tension, prompting the dog to lick the affected area.
Unfortunately, this licking only worsens the matting. If not addressed, this can result in significant skin irritation and issues.
To prevent matting, it is essential to brush your dog daily using the appropriate brush for their specific coat type. In this article, I will show you how to groom a matted dog.
How to Groom a Dog with Matted Hair?
Initiate the process by meticulously brushing and untangling the mats. Employ a slicker brush to separate the unmatted hair from the tangled portions. In some cases, strands of hair may have interwoven themselves into the mats, but these can often be extracted with relative ease.
Applying Detangling Solution
I strongly recommend utilizing a professional-grade detangler to aid in the detangling process. Adhere to the guidelines indicated on the detangling spray's label.
Generally, the procedure involves massaging the spray into the mats and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. Nonetheless, the specifics may vary from product to product, so ensure to verify the instructions.
The objective is to make the hair as slippery as possible before you proceed with tackling the mats. In a pinch, you can use cornstarch, although commercial products tend to yield better results. Thoroughly work the product into the mat, addressing all sides if feasible.
Initiating with Fingers
Begin by employing your fingers to work on the mat. Divide the mat into sections without causing undue hair loss. It is possible to detangle some of the hairs around the edges, especially those that have not become deeply ensnared within the mat.
Even if progress feels modest at this stage, manipulating the mat with your fingers facilitates deeper penetration of the detangling spray, thereby aiding the subsequent steps.
Utilizing a Brush
With the initial work on the mat accomplished, it is time to tackle the more challenging phase—brushing it out. Utilize a slicker brush or a de-matting comb to fragment the mat as much as possible.
You may alternate between using the comb to tease apart the mat and employing your fingers to separate it further. This step demands the most time and effort. Although it can be time-consuming, untangling the mats is achievable.
Apply additional detangling spray as you approach the center of the mats, where the initial application may not have fully permeated.
Depending on the number of mats, you might need to let the detangler sit again once you reach the center. Don't necessarily anticipate removing all mats in a single attempt. Both you and your dog have limits to your patience. If necessary, consider dividing the process into phases.
In some instances, despite your best attempts with a brush, complete mat removal might remain elusive. This could be due to your dog's restlessness or the need for a trim anyway.
In such cases, using scissors becomes a viable option. However, exercise extreme caution during this step. Accidentally cutting your dog's skin is a genuine risk, especially when mats are close to the skin.
Once you've diligently detangled your canine companion, a bath is likely in order. This serves to eliminate the detangling spray and offers relief to their skin, which has undergone pulling and tugging. Opt for a shampoo formulated to soothe skin, particularly if your dog has sensitive skin.
This bathing juncture also provides an opportunity to inspect your pup for potential fungal and bacterial infections that often accompany matted areas. If you identify any skin issues, promptly consult your veterinarian, as these necessitate appropriate medication. Additionally, be vigilant for the presence of parasites that might warrant your vet's attention as well.
How do Mats Occur?
Matting is prone to develop in regions of a dog's body that undergo considerable friction. These areas include the inner hips, behind the ears, under the collar, and along the belly. This friction causes the hair to clump together, twisting and tangling into tough knots that can swiftly turn uncomfortable for your dog and cumbersome for you to untangle.
Furthermore, dampness can contribute to mat formation, especially if your dog isn't properly brushed and dried after swimming in a pool, or lake, or even after a regular bath. Dogs fond of frequent swims demand extra attention during grooming and bathing to prevent matting.
Other outdoor elements also pose matting risks, including twigs and small parasitic creatures that can latch onto your dog if they lack proper protection.
The presence of fleas and other bothersome parasites escalates scratching and friction all over the dog's body, increasing the likelihood of matted fur patches. Moreover, the natural shedding that occurs between seasons can lead to mats and knots if you don't consistently brush out the loose hairs.
Where Do Mats Commonly Form?
Mats have the potential to arise in various spots on a dog or cat's fur, with a heightened likelihood in areas where their hair is particularly long. These areas include the back of their ears, buttocks, belly region, and beneath the arms and legs.
Consistently upholding a well-kept coat is a preventative measure against mat formation. This involves the essential practice of eliminating excess hair through consistent brushing and grooming. However, it is not uncommon for mats to unexpectedly catch you off guard.
How to Prevent Matting in Dogs?
We are aware that dogs have an innate love for embracing their true nature. They find delight in the simplest pleasures, such as rolling in the dirt, frolicking in puddles, engaging in water play, and sharing playful moments with both you and fellow canines.
Yet, it is vital to recognize that while these enjoyable endeavors bring happiness, they can also contribute to matting.
From my vantage point as a groomer, I consistently advocate for moderation when it comes to collars, harnesses, or clothing. Allowing these items to be worn incessantly can inadvertently lead to mat formation.
It is prudent to incorporate a routine where, post-playtime, swimming, or the removal of clothing, a gentle brush is run through your dog's coat. This proactive step significantly diminishes the likelihood of mats taking root.
Irrespective of your dog's breed, the necessity of regular brushing remains consistent. The frequency hinges on your dog's specific type and their engagement level in activities. Without exception, every dog reaps the rewards of a thorough brushing, with a minimum guideline of once per week being an optimal starting point.