You may not be aware of it, but
mats are a serious problem and can be detrimental to your pets well being. Pets
left in a matted condition are usually ignored or neglected by their owners,
often un- intentionally. Many owners do not understand how wretched this
condition makes their pet. Often people obtaining a puppy/new dog are not
aware of how much time and care is required to properly maintain their chosen
The pets may chew, dig at themselves and suffer
greatly if the mats are not removed. Mats can become so tight it can tear
the skin and cut blood circulation off to areas that are affected. Matting can
also restrict the pet’s movement, creating a veritable straight jacket.
Some pet owners think that because the dog is chewing and scratching there must
be a flea or skin problem.... but not always, many problems can result from or
be aggravated by the presence of mats. Often Matting will also hide other
problems, Sores, infections, cuts and maggots often result from un-maintained
coats.The most common places mats start are: Behind the Ears
The neck where the collar sits
In the armpits and the crotch area
A badly matted animal is actually a prisoner in
it's own hair.
Why did my pet become matted?
simple. The pet’s coat has not been properly cared for. Many pet owners
do not take the time to maintain there pets coats. Often they do not
understand or have been advised how to properly comb and brush their pet.
Combing and brushing needs to be done on a regular basis, and the pet should be
taught from puppy hood to accept grooming as part of it's daily routine. A dog or cat cannot brush himself or herself, and home care is a part of
the responsibility one accepts when owing a companion animal. Matting is Painful!
your head would feel if your hair was matted. Imagine trying to brush those
mats out. Now imagine how your pet feels. But on pets, the matter is
worse, as mats occur in the groin area, in armpits, around tails - all areas
that move when the pets move, and the hair is constantly being tugged -
ouch! Pet’s skin is just as sensitive as our own skin. What if I can't get the mats out?
the mats are not brushed out before they become to tight to remove
safely, they will eventually become an extreme health hazard to your
pet. In the worst case, the mats can rip the skin. Wetting the pet
will just make it worse, and the mats will weave tighter and pull harder on the
skin. About the only humane way to remove mats at this stage is to
have the pet shaved. Even then, the pet will be at risk from clipper
irritation and possible nicks from the clipper blades as mats are usually very
close to the skin. This is especially dangerous for cats and
puppies. NEVER try to remove mats with scissors, as the skin can be
easily cut open unintentionally. Fleas and ticks can hide under matted
coats making their extermination almost impossible, If the mats cover the
'private' areas, urine and faeces will be pressed against the skin or stick in
the coat, causing further irritation and possible infection and rotting of the
coat and skin.
How can I keep my pet mat free?
The amount of coat care will depend on
how much coat your pet
has. Medium to
long coats, and those with more undercoat will require more attention than
short coats. Even short coats need some kind of attention. The proper
tools are essential.
The Basic tools required for most coats
A metal comb, preferably stainless steel.
A slicker brush.
De-mat spray with silicon.
Depending on your
particular breed other tools may be recommended. These tools should be
available from a local Pet Supply store or online. Your Groomer should also be
able to help you find the proper tools.
I have the tools, now what do I do?
On most breeds it is recommended to start at
the bottom of the feet and pushing the coat up with one hand begin using the
slicker to brush the coat below with your other hand, the slicker should be
used to pull down a small bit of hair at a time, brushing all the way to the
skin. Work your way up using this method. Once you have gone over the entire
coat you can then use the comb to run thought the coat and find any tangles and
knots you have missed. Make sure that you can part the coat to the skin with
the comb. Many people spend plenty of time brushing there dog only to find that
they have merely been brushing over the top and the coat they though was well
brushed is in fact solidly matted near the skin.
I Found A Mat!
Now is when you use
a little elbow grease and ALOT of care. Mats are usually in delicate
areas, and since they were formed, they have been tugging on the dogs
skin. That means, if you are not gentle, it will hurt a lot when you
pull. You must hold the mat in one hand, dampen with the spray, and work
it a few hairs at a time to break it up. If you have not taught your dog
to be handled for brushing & combing then you'll have quite a job on your
hands and will probably need the help of another person to hold the dog.
Why not just take the dog to a
Yes, you can take your dog to the Groomer to
have it properly groomed, but do not expect de-matting to be a regular part of
your grooming. It takes extra time and care to de-mat a pet, and you will
be charged an additional fee for it on top of your regular grooming
charge. Do not be surprised if your Groomer will not de-mat, if the
matting is too extensive the only option they will give you is to shave your
pet. A caring groomer will not torture a pet because you do not want it
shaved. Remember, it is not the Groomers fault your pet has fallen
into this condition.
REMEMBER - DAILY COAT CARE IS TRULY THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PET'S OWNER.
You will find in the long run, proper coat
maintenance will cost you less and your pet will be much happier.