26 Feb 2019 Guest Blog Post — How to Groom a Dog with Matted Hair
If you own a dog, particularly the hairy type, then you should probably get used to the idea of matted hair. Many of the online reviews will educate you that there are ways in which you can prevent matted hair, grooming being one of them.
However, you can be using the best matted hair dog grooming tools. Such as best dog clippers for matted hair, read more about it here; best shampoos and hair conditioners; yet the mats would still appear. This implies that proper grooming only serves the purpose of containing the mats. The dog would live with them but with more comfort.
Before we get to the part of grooming the dog with matted hair, let us first understand some basics of the mats.
Causes of Matted Hair in Dogs
1. Lack of brushing the hair
If you go for long durations of time without brushing your dog’s fur, then chances are that the hair will get tangled and matted.
2. Dog fleas
If the flea bites the dog and the dog has an allergy, it causes an irritation on the skin. This would cause the dog to regularly lick and bite the sore area. The fur in this area will then get tangled and matted if the problem is not attended to in due time.
Normally, when dogs shed their fur, they leave the hair all over the place. This is common with single layered coat dogs. However, there are those with double layered coats; a soft inner layer and a thick outer layer.
You will have to conduct thorough grooming on this type of dogs so that you can get to the deeper layers. Otherwise, the outer layer would fool you that all is well while tangling and matting are going on beneath.
Common areas where matting takes place
Generally, mats tend to form where there is a lot of friction. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following areas.
1. Under the front shoulders
In this region, the tangling occurs as the dog moves its legs.
2. Around the ears
This is most common for the smaller dogs. If you do not brush the fur regularly, then the hair will definitely mat up.
3. In between the paws
You may have noticed that the fur between the back and the front pads gets tangled and then matted. In dealing with this tangle, you should be extra careful not to hurt the dog.
4. Under the belly
You should pay extra attention to this area. The fur on the inner part of the hind legs going all the way to the tummy is very vulnerable to matting; therefore you should ensure that it is always well brushed. If the Matts are quite little, you can always clip them off.
You should be particularly careful with furry tails. This is because, apart from Matts, they tend to get caught up in other items such as twigs and grass.
Why pay attention to mats?
We should be concerned with them since they are a source of pain and discomfort for the dog. The dog will end up biting and scratching at the source of pain just to be relieved but only complicates things.
Dealing with the matted hair
If the tangles are still small knots, you can deal with them yourself at home. If severe, you may need to contract a professional groomer. Here’s a guide on you on how to do it yourself with these simple steps:
1. Gather the tools
For starters, ensure that all the tools are close by. They include a dog’s brush, mat rake, comb and/or an electric clipper. You should also have detangler spray, the dog’s shampoo and his conditioner.
2. Locate the tangles
To do this, you will have to brush your dog and pay particular attention to the potential hotspots such as the tail, the ears, the belly, the armpits and his legs. Once you locate the tangle, spray it with the detangler. Alternatively, rub it into the tangle to be sure it has penetrated it. Then, try and use your fingers to work out the tangle. If this does not work, proceed to use the mat rake to cut the mat. Just be careful not to hurt your dog with this tool.
3. Bathe the dog
Once you are sure that you have gotten all the mats and tangles, you can bathe your dog. Ensure you use the shampoo and conditioner to prevent more tangles when drying him off. Once dry, spray him with a detangler. In fact, make it a point to spray him with a detangler whenever he is going to come into contact with water, as this can help prevent him from getting mats.
If you are unable to get off the mats and tangles, just clip it off. Grooming a dog with matted hair is not that hard. Just follow the tips above and ensure you are careful with the tools so that you do not hurt your dog.
Guest post by Rosita Calvo.