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Matting is a condition in your dog’s fur that is caused by dense tangles and knots. It’s a painful condition that can lead to other health concerns such as infections or skin irritations and can also mask other health issues or parasites. Mats cut off the air flow in your dog’s hair and can trap moisture, which can cause irritation and sores on your dog. Even mild matting can be painful, but in severe cases, matting can cut off circulation to your dog’s skin and cause hematomas.
Some dogs have coats that are higher maintenance and more vulnerable to matting. Any long hair dog can get matting, but certain breeds and coat types are more prone to matting, such as Poodles, Doodles, Curly coats, Cocker Spaniels, Bichon, Shih Tzu, and any variation of these breeds. Dogs with long silky coats such as Yorkies can also get matting as well as double coated dogs.
Friction – Matting is typically found in areas of your dog with the most friction. This includes armpits, where the collar or harness sits, legs where they lay down or come in contact with wet grass, behind the ears or areas of the body where they may be scratching.
Seasonal – Matting can develop during the time of year when they are “blowing their coat” and getting their summer coat. If loose fur isn’t brushed and removed, dead skin mixes with fur and it becomes a breeding ground for mats.
Allergies – Long hair dogs who have allergies that cause them to lick and itch will almost always develop some matting.
Fleas – If your dog has fleas and itches, the scratching will result in matted fur.
Water – Water can also contribute to matting. If your long hair dog goes outside after rain and belly rubs the wet grass, he/she is likely to get matting between the legs and belly. Swimming often causes matting as well. This is why we cannot bathe a dog if there is matting. Bathing only causes the mats to get tighter. If you wash your dog at home, be sure to thoroughly dry and brush-out to prevent matting. Always brush and remove mats before getting your dog wet.
If the matting on your dog is mild, it can sometimes be brushed out with the use of detangling sprays and tools. This is time consuming and can sometimes be painful. Therefore, this should only be done if the matting is very mild. If you detect some matting in your dog, do NOT bathe them. Water will cause the mats to get tighter. Bring your dog to the groomer before the mats get too bad. Early treatment of mats will help prevent skin conditions and may salvage some hair length.
Imagine trying to brush out dreadlocks in your own hair. It would not be comfortable! The dematting process involves taking small sections of hair at a time and working to release the mats utilizing dematting tools and products and then brushing. This can only be done humanly when matting is very mild and taken care of early. If the matting on your dog is not mild, the safest and most humane way to remove the mats is to clip the hair short. The length of hair will depend on how tight the mats are. We must be able to get the blade under the mat right next to the skin to remove them. If mats
aren’t too tight, we can get longer blades underneath the mats to salvage some hair length. However, if the mats are tight to the skin, we will need to use our shortest blade available to remove the mats. The result will be very short hair but gives a fresh start and will make your dog more comfortable. This is often not the style that most owners would prefer but is the safest and most humane option if your dog is matted.
We do not brush-out matted dogs as it is painful, inhumane and not a service we offer.
We love your dogs just as much as you do, and this is why we do what we do. We are passionate dog lovers who have made a career choice of spending time with dogs and doing what we love. We only want what’s best for your dog!
If your dog is matted, we believe in doing what is best for your dog. In many cases this means shaving the mats off. Shaving is not a “short cut” to get the job done quickly. This can be a very slow, tedious, and dangerous process. We are working on areas of your dog where skin is thin, likely already irritated and sometimes their hair is being pulled because of the tight mats. Removing a heavily matted coat includes risks of nicks, cuts or abrasions due to warts, moles, and skin
folds trapped and hidden within the matted hair. Therefore, shaving a matted dog must be done slowly and with utmost care and even then, it is sometimes not possible to prevent minor nicks and abrasions depending on how tight the mats.
Cutting the mats out – Never cut the mats of your dog’s fur with scissors. It is very easy to catch your dog’s skin in the mats and unintentionally create a large wound on your dog. Please do not ask us to just “cut out” the mats. This is dangerous and we will only remove mats with clippers for the safety of your dog.
Brushing – Many owners who brush their dogs regularly may feel the thick layer of pelted matting under the layer of brushed fur and mistake that for the skin. Your groomer must be able to get a comb all the way down to the skin and through the coat. When the fur is pelted to the skin, it needs to be removed. If your dog has severe pelting , this is not something we can brush out. This matting must be shaved out.
Your dog’s ears – The skin on your dog’s ears is very sensitive and thin. If your dog’s ears become matted, the mats can cause delicate blood vessels in the ear to rupture, causing hematomas in the ears. Hematomas can be very painful for your dog and must be treated by your veterinarian. This is why it is best to not attempt to demat severely matted ears, but instead, shaving the ears is the safest option. We often uncover those hematomas and recommend a veterinarian visit.
Realistic expectations – We know the pain that mats cause, and our priority is to ensure your dog’s comfort and safety. Shaving out mats with clippers is the safest way to remove mats. This will leave a bare patch in your dog’s fur. If your dog only has one or two small areas where mats are severe, we may be able to shave those areas and keep the coat length on the remaining part of the body. However, if your dog’s legs are matted and the body is not, he may look a little silly with shaved legs. Therefore, often it is best to start over.
Prevention – the best way to deal with a mat is to avoid getting them.
Diet – A strong healthy coat relies on proper nutrition to stay in peak condition. Dogs need plenty of Omega-3’s in their diet to maintain a healthy coat and keep their immune system strong. Most commercial diets are unbalanced with fatty acids. Feeding animal-based oils such as fish oil, krill or salmon oil is recommended over plant-based oils (such as corn oil) as it’s already in a usable form of Omega 3 for your dog to assimilate. In addition, it prevents an overload of Omega 6
which can result in further skin inflammation, allergies or skin issues.
Bathing – Bathing your dog regularly will help keep his/her skin and coat in optimal condition. Bathing helps to remove the dead skin and hair. Some dogs require bathing weekly and others monthly. Using a gentle shampoo and moisturizing conditioner will help keep their coat and skin in the best condition.
Brushing – is the best way to prevent matting and exfoliate the skin. Using a moisture or detangling spray can help prevent static electricity, which contributes to matting. When brushing, take small sections at a time, being sure to brush the entire body.
Choosing the right brush
Slicker brushes have fine wire bristles that bend and are great for long heavy-coated dogs. There are different sizes and designs based on your dog’s coat length.
Soft Bristle brush – ideal for short hair dogs, but they do not help with matting. Pin Brushes have metal bristles in a rubber base – great to separate and untangle silky coats.
Comb – a comb is helpful after detangling.
We do this for the Love of Dogs! If your dog needs to be shaved, the good news is that hair grows back. In the meantime, your dog will be much more comfortable with mats removed and his/her skin will have proper air flow to begin the healing process.
Edina: (952) 852-7155 7459 France Ave S, Edina, MN 55435 White Bear Lake: (651) 492-1888 995 Wildwood Road, White Bear Lake, MN 55115 Rogers: (763) 428-3555 12809 Main St. Rogers, MN 55374 Email: email@example.com
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