Matts, dreadlocks, tangles, there are many words we use for the clumps of hair that prevent owners from getting the style they want and groomers from being able to give them what they want. So lets break it down.
What is a mat?
A mat is essentially just tangled hair, it usually starts as knots or clumps of hair that require detangling or a firm brushing out to get rid of. The worst part about them is that without attention they will only get worse. Mats will never go away on their own. When a groomer tells you your dog is too matted to do a certain hairstyle they are signaling to you that it is going to be painful and many times downright dangerous or even impossible to try to brush out the mats.
How mats happen
Matting happens for several reasons, they can form from friction or rubbing, we see this often in dogs that wear clothes or certain harnesses. They can form when a dog is not being brushed and new hair growth comes in with no place to go but to tangle into the current hair. The longer this goes on for the closer to the skin the matt becomes and the more painful it is for your dog. Mats will also start to trap in dirt and debris causing skin issues and infections.
Less commonly some dogs have a coat that just make them matting machines and no matter how much you brush it seems like there is just no way to maintain a longer coat. For these dogs it is just kinder and easier to keep them short and groomed regularly.
Double-coated dogs mat too! While some double-coated breeds can be rather low maintenance,many have issues with matting and require regular brushing and grooming to keep them comfortable. Unlike the mats on poodles theirs often take on a clump or tuft like appearance usually near the rear and chest. To keep the magic that is a double-coat working efficiently and to keep the skin healthy it is important to remove these mats for them.
What you can do
The easiest solution to this problem, is to brush and comb your dog regularly and be sure to brush down to the skin.This in combination with regular appointments with your groomer will keep your dog mat free and feeling great! If for some reason life gets crazy and your dog gets matted, don’t fret, it happens to the best of us. Take your dog in as soon as possible ,allow your groomer to safely remove the mats and start over!
Mat removal, especially in the case of severe matting can be a delicate and often dangerous process, please do not listen to the many ill informed videos and articles out there, if you value your dog’s (and your) safety please do not cut out mats at home!
Controlling your dog’s mats
Get your dog’s coat on the right track with a thorough groom with our professional, Suzi. Receive tips to keep your dog’s mats under control at home.