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Why is my dog matted?

As a professional dog groomer, I've heard this question many times. Everyone wants the dog to look fluffy and cute, including groomers! But the reality of maintaining this coat is hard work and consistency.

Most often, dogs with a coat type like the cute chap in the photo to the left, will start to matt close to the skin, which is easily missed under all the long, fluffy hair. This can shock the owner when a dog groomer says the dog is matted because the owner can't see the matts. This is the result of incorrect brushing or no brushing at all!

To learn some brushing techniques click the link below

Mats in a dog's fur can develop for a variety of reasons, and it's important to address them promptly to ensure your dog's comfort and health.

Why cant you just brush the mats out?

This is also a common question I hear once the dog's owner has learned about the mats in the coat. The reality is brushing mats out will hurt your dog, it will damage the skin and the coat will break, become fragile and so damaged it will just mat back together in no time! There are situations where a professional groomer can work on some mats, but most often than not the kindest thing to do is to shave the dog down to the skin, and maintain the coat as it grows back. Your groomer will be able to help you with a regular schedule and brushing techniques or click the link above for an excellent line brushing technique!

Here are some common reasons why a dog's fur may become matted:

  1. Irregular grooming: Dogs with long or dense fur are prone to matting without regular grooming. Brush their coat a few times weekly to prevent mats.

  2. Badly fitted harness, friction will cause the hair to rub against itself and will quickly start to mat.

  3. Shedding: Some dogs naturally shed their old or damaged fur, and if this loose fur isn't removed through grooming, it can become tangled and packed out the coat and form mats, affecting the thermal regulation of the dog.

  4. Moisture, dirt, and debris can cause matting in a dog's fur, particularly after outdoor or wet activities.

  5. Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to matting due to their distinct coat types. Breeds with curly and soft fur that continually grow are at a higher risk of matting, whereas breeds with coarse or smooth, shorter hair are less prone to matting.

  6. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as skin allergies or dermatitis, can cause dogs to scratch or chew their fur excessively, leading to matting.

  7. Age: Older dogs may have a harder time grooming themselves, leading to mats forming in their fur.

To address mats in your dog's fur:

  1. Brush Regularly: Regular brushing is the best way to prevent mats from forming. Use an appropriate brush or comb for your dog's coat type. Follow our social media pages for tips on brushing and maintaining different coat types.

  2. Professional grooming: Severe mats cannot be brushed out. You should always consult a professional dog groomer to avoid damage to your dog's skin while removing mats. Regular visits to your dog groomer will help keep your dog's coat in a manageable condition

  3. Bathing: A bath can help loosen mats Use a highly conditioning natural shampoo like Berries and Leaves

  4. Consult a Veterinarian: If mats are accompanied by skin irritation or appear to be causing your dog pain, consult a veterinarian. Underlying skin conditions may need to be addressed.

As you can see from the photo, this dog's coat is clipping off in one big mat. Just imagine your own skin being pulled tight in all directions and then trying to move around or get comfortable. Regular grooming and maintenance are essential to prevent mats from forming in the first place. Mats can be uncomfortable for your dog and can lead to skin problems and behaviour issues if left untreated, so it's best to address them promptly and establish a grooming routine suitable for your dog's coat type.


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