Managing and Identifying Matted Dogs
Ok everyone today I would like to touch base on an issue that all of us who have ever owned a long haired dog knows all to well MATTING!!! SO i thought i would let everyone know it is a common thing to happen/come across and give a few tips and tricks of what are some causes, and some tips to ensure you don't end up being in that position. Not only does it cost more to groom, but it also limits the choices available for length and style.
When i go to a clients house that has matting, i normally recommend to cut it down low! The reason for this is that when you groom a matted coat, the clipper blades catch due to the thickness therefore causing it to pull the hair and hurt the dog. This is not something that ANY groomer likes to do as it can cause the dog to hate the experience and remember it next time and it makes the job very difficult and time consuming. The closer you can get to the coat the neater and less painful it becomes for the dog, hence why this is the recommended option.
Now what causes matting - Matting can be caused by a number of things. Sometimes it can be from life happening and just not being able to get to a groomer, moving and being unable to find a groomer, illness and sometimes it can be from your beloved coat (winter jumper) YES that's right the coat you put on to help protect your furry friend.
Firstly - The issue with jumpers and coats are that because they sit on top they push the hair down and rub as they move around. Now this isn't saying don't use coats it is simply a matter of making sure you take them off every day for a little bit and if you can giving the dogs coat a brush through. This will help retain the coat and minimise the chance the coat is matting underneath. The picture i have shown below is off a severely matted dog. This is not a rare case and i have had a couple that have ended up like this. As you can see it is almost sheared off like a sheep coat and is very time consuming as well as difficult for the dog and groomer.
Secondly is brushing!! Overall for whatever dog you have it is important to maintain a schedule to give them a brush over at least weekly to help remove the loose hair, move the hair and if you find any matting it is normally small enough that you can brush it out straight away and stop it getting worst.
Third - Regular grooming! Most breeds of dogs that require grooming work on a rough 6 to 8 week cycle. This ensures that the coat is looking its best, their is minimal matting and helps keep those pesky hairs away. Now i know you are thinking it ends up costing a lot but overall you will save as if it is a simple, constant booking you know you will not have to worry about possible surcharges from matting, thick coats also have a higher chance of allowing fleas to breed and can attribute to skin irritations easier so you can save a lot by maintaining a healthy grooming schedule. I have included a few pictures of the types of combs and brushes that I personally like to use to help keep my dogs coats healthy and managed. In the pictures i have included a slicker brush and a stainless comb. The benefits and uses for these are below:
Slicker Brush - These are used to remove the loose top coat on your dog. I use this brush on my german shepherd and find know matter how much i brush it keeps getting the hair out. This leaves your coat shiny and clean however doesn't get right to the undercoat in some dogs. I prefer the style with the little protectors on the brush instead of the straight wire bristles
Comb - These come in a variety of styles and brands. I like the double sided ones with the finer teeth at one end and the coarser teeth at the other. These are great when removing burrs and due to the length and stiffer bristles and allow you to work through matts a lot better as you can use them like a blade as such by turning them on the end and separating the knots. They are usually a longer bristle and will reach through the coat and get down to your undercoat helping loosen the loose hair up and removing it from the body. Using a combination of the two will give you the best results for your pets.
Slicker Brush (Right)