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Mat ALERT! All you need to know about dog coat matting

Mat ALERT! All you need to know about dog coat matting

Without frequent brushing, dog fur often becomes tangled and knotted around itself, called matting. Mats frequently occur in dog breeds with curly or double coats. In extreme cases, the dog’s coat will become what groomers call “pelted” when matting is very tight to the skin, preventing proper airflow. Matting and pelting prevent adequate temperature regulation, cause skin irritation, hide parasites like fleas or other nasties, and cause extreme discomfort and pain for the dog. The excellent news is mats are preventable!

Mats form when dog fur tangles and wraps around itself, starting wound clumps of loose dead hair and live fur. If not brushed out, they continue to trap more fur, becoming closer and closer to the dog’s skin. Mats tend to form in areas where there is lots of friction, and frequently around the neck area where the collar sits, behind the ears (where we lovingly scratch them), under their chin, their armpits, under where their harness usually sits, their feet, and on the back of their rear legs.

Regular and thorough combing and brushing is the most important thing you can do to prevent matting in your dog’s coat. However, one of the most common mistakes when brushing a dog’s fur is only combing the top layer, which can cause matting to get worse. If you only focus on the top layer of your dog’s coat, your brushing pushes any loose fur and tangles down closer to the skin.

Some breeds and breed mixes require intensive coat maintenance to prevent matting, such as Poodles, Doodle-mixes, Coton de Tulear, and Bichon Frisés. Even with regular at-home brushing, their fine fur becomes matted very quickly, especially after it gets wet. Consider booking a professional brush-out service with your groomer between full grooming appointments to keep matting at bay or request a partial grooming appointment (such as a Maintenance Groom, which includes feet, face and sanitary areas).

Overall, you can best prevent mats from forming with regular brushing and coat maintenance. Make sure you’ve connected with a trustworthy dog groomer who can give you tips and tricks for managing your dog’s fur and keep your pup gorgeous, happy, and healthy.

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