How Matting Occurs and What to Do About It

Regular dog grooming has many positive benefits for both you and your dog. It’s always nice to hear compliments about your “beautiful dog” when you go for a walk, while for the dog, keeping up with grooming is all about feeling good and staying healthy. Without regular dog grooming, your pet’s fur may become matted. This is not only a less-than-desirable look, it’s also uncomfortable for the dog and can even pose health risks if not taken care of properly.

What is matting?

When a dog’s live and shed fur becomes entangled and knotted around itself, it’s referred to as matting. This is not uncommon in dogs with longer hair—especially those with fine, curly and double coats—and it tends to happen more frequently during seasonal sheds. It is sometimes avoidable with daily brushing, but regular dog grooming appointments are usually necessary to assure this doesn’t happen to your pet.

Matting starts at the skin and works its way out. This is one reason why it’s so hard to handle on your own. For starters, it’s not always easy to tell when matting begins. If it’s noticed too late, it’s unlikely that any amount of at-home brushing will be able to fix the problem.

When a dog’s fur is severely matted, it’s referred to as pelted. This is when matting is very tight to the skin. Its name comes from the fact that when it gets to this stage, the fur is so matted that it comes off in one big sheet. This is an extreme case and should be handled right away to prevent discomfort or health issues in your dog.

Why is matting dangerous for dogs?

Matting is uncomfortable for dogs. It’s like having their hair constantly pulled in random places around their body. If left untreated, it can prevent proper temperature regulation and can cause skin irritation. Because it’s so dense and hard to brush, it’s also a great hiding place for ticks, fleas and other parasites.

What can be done to fix matted fur?

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to relieve matting and even prevent it. In extreme cases, the only option may be to shave your dog’s fur entirely and let it grow back naturally. If you don’t want your dog to get a shave down, your pet should have regular dog grooming appointments every six to eight weeks.

Regular and thorough brushing is one way to help prevent matting, but it won’t be enough for some breeds. Just bathing your dog at home and brushing them all the way down to the skin is not always enough to prevent matting, especially in curly-coat breeds, like poodles and bichon frisés, and long-coat breeds, like bearded collies and golden retrievers.

Dog grooming can be a tough job to tackle on your own. Whether your dog’s coat is at a stage where you need some major help or you just want to keep up with a regular grooming schedule, contact Canine Country Club today.

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