Removing Mats From a Dog's Coat Cut Grooming Costs with Brushing and Trims at Home Mar 17, 2010 Joy Butler
When long haired dogs develop mats from tangles, shedding, or fleas and ticks, skin irritation, pain, and sores can result. Regular grooming is easier than mat removal.
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Dogs, especially long haired breeds or breeds with undercoats or curly coats, often get mats in the hair that need to be removed. Mats start when hair tangles and collects burrs, sticks, shedding hair, or other debris. Flea and tick infestation can add to the matting problem as dogs tend to bite, chew and scratch the irritated areas. Mats often grow in size over time and pull on the pet’s skin causing discomfort. Severe mats can irritate the skin and even cause sores. Repeated wetting and drying only hardens and tightens the knot, making it even more irritating to the dog and more difficult to remove. Where Matted Hair Typically Develops
Mats are often seen where hair is the longest or where friction occurs such as behind ears or tips of ears, collar area or chest, lower front legs, the feathery skirt on the hindquarters, or the tail. Preventing Mats in a Dog’s Coat
Preventing mats before they develop is much easier than removing them. Good flea and tick control, regular baths to keep coat clean, and daily brushing to remove shedding hair and tangles before they become a problem will help to prevent mats. A groomer or veterinarian can recommend grooming products and flea and tick control products that will also help in preventing matted fur. Removing Mats from a Dog’s Coat
Small mats can usually be picked apart with a brush or mat breaker or cut into or cut off using scissors. Do not simply pull a mat out as it can be very painful or cause injury to the skin. Large mats are usually too hardened to pick apart and must be cut off. Severely matted dogs may need to be shaved by a professional groomer.
Mats in areas such as ear tips and toes, or mats very close to the skin, can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the body part itself. To prevent accidentally cutting the skin, slide a comb between the mat and the skin and cut only above the comb. If the mat is too large or too close to the skin for a comb to fit underneath, it should be removed by a professional groomer. Cutting Costs on Dog Grooming
In a tough economy, the expense of the dog’s haircut by a professional groomer may not be on the list of priorities but grooming is an important part of health care for dogs and should not be neglected. When the budget is tight, daily brushings to keep tangles and mats under control, regular baths, flea and tick preventives, and simple scissor trims at home can help stretch the time between trips to the dog groomer.