Matting is a condition that affects your dog’s fur that is characterised by dense knots and tangles forming within their coat. Unsurprisingly, matted hair can be very painful for your doggo, particularly when it comes to brushing the tangles out. Many owners are also surprised to learn that matted hair can also lead to other health problems in their precious pooches including skin infections and irritations. This is because dense knots in your dog’s coat can trap dirt and bacteria. In severe cases, matting can even cut off the circulation to your dog’s skin and cause hematomas.
How does my dog’s hair get matted?
There are a few different reasons why your dog’s hair may become matted.
Dogs who aren’t brushed regularly and those with undercoats that aren’t deshed by their owners are much more likely to experience matting. Brushing and deshedding helps to remove loose hair from your canine’s coat, eliminate tangles and encourage the spread of natural oils through it, which helps keep it smooth and glossy.
Dogs can suffer from allergies too, and those that do nearly always scratch and lick their fur to try and ease the irritation that they are experiencing. This can result in tangles and areas of matted fur forming.
Similarly, fleas are a very common cause of canine itching. These parasites don’t only cause regular irritation due to the toxins in their saliva, but some doggo’s are actually allergic to flea bites, making the itching that they experience even worse!
Matting is particularly common during certain times of the year when your waggy-tailed friend may shed their summer or winter coat to make way for the new season. If the loose fur isn’t removed, dead skin mixed with it and matting is more likely.
How to remove matted dog hair
Many people mistakenly believe that the easiest and best way to remove matted sections in dog hair is to clip the hair short. However, this should only ever be viewed as a last resort is all other techniques have failed. Fortunately, there are tools that can be used to detangle and remove matts in your dog’s coat. These include de-matting combs, rakes, breakers and deshedders. Exactly which will work on your furry friend’s matted hair may vary, and you may need to try several options to find one that works successfully.
Before you start, remember that pulling your dog’s hair is as painful as pulling on your own, so always be as gentle as you possibly can.
- First, spray a small amount of onto the area and try and loosen it with your fingers if you can.
- Isolate the matted area from the rest of your doggo’s coat and select the that you want to use.
- Hold the base of the matt with one hand to prevent the hairs from pulling on your dog’s skin.
- Start to work your tool through the matted fur, beginning from the furthest point away from your dog’s skin. It is much easier to work out tangles and knots from the outside, otherwise you will simply pull them further down the length of your canine’s coat.
- Use very small, gentle strokes, all the time making sure to offer your furbaby kind words of reassurance.
- The most important thing it to not expect to get the whole matted section out at once. Try and work on it little and often so that your dog has frequent rests. Make sure you reward them for their patience too!
Preventing matted dog hair in the future
The very best way to prevent matted dog hair in the future is to make sure that you prioritise brushing your canine’s coat regularly. How often they need it will depend on their breed and coat type, and whether or not they are going through a period of shedding. Some short-haired breeds only need to be brushed once a week, while others can benefit from daily brushing to keep their coat healthy and free from matting.
Using a detangling leave-in conditioner spray can be particularly helpful for mid and long-haired breeds, and dogs with undercoats. Leave it in your furbaby’s coat after their bath or spray it over their dry coat before you brush it through. Always follow the instructions included exactly as directed.
If you bath your doggo at home, you may wish to consider buying specialist shampoo to help prevent matting too. There are a range ofand that are recommended for your four-legged friends since they do exactly what their name suggests. You can check out some of them on our website!