“Matting” is when a dogs coat/fur tangles and becomes tightly knitted, knots form and create matts. Dogs not properly and/or frequently brushed or groomed are more prone to matting, as well as dogs that swim, have long or “double coats’. Sometimes mats can be combed and brushed out, but if left too long, it is not possible to do, without hurting the dog.
Although mats are easier to see and find on the outer coat(behind the ears, in their hind area and groin), sever mats form in the undercoat and are unnoticeable because of a heavy outer coat. This means when removing the mats, the only way to remove such deep matting is to get a short blade between the matting and skin.
How to prevent matting
Keeping matting away can be done in many ways.
Brushing and combing your dog regularly is a must, see our blog on ‘Oodle Coat Care’, this blog is great if you have a poodle or poodle mix, a dog with a curly/wavy coat, double coated breed and if your dog gets knots and matting.
Another great way to stay on top of your dogs coat care is regular grooming sessions, fully brushing your dog when they swim or get bathed and opting for a shorter, more maintainable groom.
The aftermath of matting
Matting and knots create tension and pressure on your dogs skin, so when removing mats, it releases pressure on their skin nerves and can cause skin irritation. They may show signs of such as itchiness, which may result in scratching, spinning around and signs of discomfort.
In severe matting can cause bruising and haematomas around their ears. Haematomas can come from matting on the dogs ears, when removed the blood rushes to the tips of the ear. Generally the dog will shake their head which will encourage a haematoma form.
Ensure your dog does not constantly shake its head when matting around their ears/head, has been removed. If they are, you can put a ‘happy hoodie’ or bandage around their head as that will stop their ears flying around too much.
Moving forward from matting
Depending on your dog’s coat type and resilience to brushing and combing, sometimes matting can be brushed and ‘worked’ out.
Some dogs have little to no tolerance for the de-matting process in this case the groomer has not much choice other than to remove the matting using a short blade to get under the mat,this will then result in a short groom.
If your dog is young or always matted or knotty, it is best to take them shorter. The de-matting process can be painful or lengthy for young dogs and can create negative and unpleasant experience.
Going forward, it is important to brush and comb your dog. Taking extra care in the sun to avoid any sun burn!
Speak to your dog’s groomer on what they recommend for maintenance on your dogs lifestyle and coat type to keep your dog in top condition.