Mats – What are they and how do they happen?

Mats are a portion of densely tangled fur that can involve the topcoat, undercoat and dirt etc.  Matting is more common in dogs with a longer coat during shedding if the excessive hairs are not removed. This can be painful and damaging to the dog’s skin. Although mats can occur anywhere throughout the coat, they are more commonly found under the front legs, under the base of the tail and behind the ears.

Dangers

Mats can cause discomfort and even lead to health risks, such as bacterial infections as they trap moisture and cause damage to the skin which can cause irritation and pain. Heavily matted hair can alter a pet’s movement, cut off circulation, or hide infected wounds. In an extreme case, matting can tighten around a dog’s leg or tail, slowly constricting until it has cut through to the bone!

Removing a Mat

In order to conquer mats and tangles, you need the right equipment. A de-matting tool, a mat splitting tool, a slicker brush, a comb and possibly a pair of grooming scissors would be the essentials needed for this task. Remember that in order to make the de-matting process easier for you and your pet, use a detangling/condition spray to help ease those mats out. For cases of severe matting, a Groomers last resort may be Clippers. If you believe there may be a danger to the pet, you may have to consult a vet.
Mats can cause discomfort and even lead to health risks

Prevention

There are ways in preventing mats and tangles occurring.  Regular brushing is absolutely necessary to not only prevent mats and to help you bond with your dog, but to keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy.  Severe matting can be extremely painful to your dog during brushing. Excessive brushing can damage coat, therefore it is vital that a brushing or de-matting spray is used. When brushing your dog, make sure that you brush all of the coat, a good way to do this would be to work in sections. For a thicker coat – use a brush with longer pins. This will go further into the undercoat and pull out any loose/shedding hair.

Remember

Getting all matted hair off a dog not only helps their appearance but is important for their health.