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How to Groom Matted Pet Hair

By Doghaus University, Aug 2 2017 07:43PM

How to Groom Matted Pet Hair

If you have a pet that, even the day after their pet grooming ritual, manifests matted clumps of hair, it can be frustrating. Some dogs are more prone to mats in their fur than others, and if you have a breed like a Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, or any other dog with long fur and heavy shedding, they will need to be groomed frequently or you will end up with a matted ball of fur. However, is there a way to prevent mats?

Causes of Matted Dog Hair

Most commonly, mats occur in areas of heavy friction including by the tail or collar area as well behind the ears and in the armpits where the legs and body rub together. Sometimes if they have long hair on the feet, mats can occur just from the act of walking. Of course, if you let a dog go ungroomed for long periods of time, even if they aren't prone to mats, they can occur.

How to Prevent Mats

You know what they say, the key to dealing with mats is to not let them occur in the first place. If you are trying to prevent matted dog fur, then you need the right tools for the job. Preventing mats is all about regular brushing, but you need to do it with the right brush. What you need is a wire brush as well as a spray bottle of water. By gently wetting the fur beforehand, it allows your brush to better detangle and reduce friction on the dog hair without hurting your dog.

However, brushing technique is also important. Most groomers will use the gentle line brushing technique. This process involves brushing small sections at a time by pulling up an area of the fur away from the skin and brushing it so that it pulls away from the dog's body. By going through the process of lifting, brushing, and then smoothing down it allows you to find and deal with any tangles that are hidden under the top of the coat. If you just do the top layer, you are likely missing a number of small tangles that are turning into mats quickly after each session of brushing. Depending on the dog breed, you may need to do this every couple of weeks or even every could of days.

If your dog is prone to matted hair, it may also be beneficial to consider trimming away the extra long hair in easily matted areas. This is the reason that you see so many shaved Poodles since they look fine with a short coat and it dramatically cuts down the mats that they have. However, you don't need to shave the whole dog, but merely trim down the hair around their haunches or in their armpits. If your dog isn't one of the breeds you typically see shaved, like a Cocker Spaniel, you will definitely want the help of a professional dog groomer when trimming them so that their coat still looks natural and not like a completely chopped up mess.

Dealing with Mats

While there are shampoos and sprays to help untangle mats, there is sadly no magic potion out there. If your dog has developed a mat, only good old-fashioned elbow grease can get it out. You need to untangle the mat using your fingers, gentle tugging until it comes loose. Of course, snipping it off with a pair of scissors is easier, but again, that can ruin the integrity of your dog's coat, depending on where the mat is located.

However, there is no question that the easiest way of dealing and preventing mats is to take your dog to a professional pet groomer. They have not only the skill, but all the tools to make sure that mats are a less common occurrence. If you are in the Madison area and need grooming for your matted dog, contact us today.

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