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Having dogs with long or woolly fur can be so much fun. You can style their hair with matching sets, scrunchies and hair bows or leave it hanging, letting the locks flow majestically as your dog zooms in and out. But it can be a handful, too. Hair all over your stuff? No thanks.
With all the shedding, you might think you and your house are the only ones suffering from your dog’s long hair. But if you look closer at your fur baby’s coat, you’ll see how severely tangled and knotted his hair strands have become—matting.
Matting happens when a dog’s hair tangles together and eventually forms tight clumps. It often occurs around high-friction areas (e.g. neck, underbelly, etc.) and when dogs are shedding. The remaining dead hair can get entangled with the growing fresh fur during this time. If left unattended, mats can even form near the skin, which can be very painful.
But how exactly do these extreme cases happen? Well, there are a lot of factors, but human care has a lot to do with it. Common causes of dog hair mats include:
If your dog’s already suffering from mats, try to stay calm and don’t even think of brushing or cutting the mat right off the bat. You might do more harm than good. Instead, read on and learn how to fix matted dog hair with these steps:
Spray, spray, spray, make the mats go away!
It’s best to start loosening the mat using a detangling spray as it softens the hardened clumps of hair, makes detangling hair easier, and ensures that your dog is unharmed throughout the process.
Once the matting loosens, you can, little by little, untangle the hair strands. This might take time, depending on the severity of your dog’s matting issues. But we’re sure you’re willing to go through the trouble for Snuggles, right?
After untangling most of the clumps, gently brush your dog’s coat while ensuring that you’re not hitting the skin. For greater efficiency, do this while applying more detangling spray.
Like humans, dogs sometimes struggle to stay still for the brushing. They might even try to run away and think of the activity as a stressor. To keep the brushing fun for your fur baby, reward good behaviour with treats!
That way, your dog will surely look forward to the next brushing session!
Once you get rid of matted dog hair, give your pooch a fresh start with a good bath using an all-natural shampoo!
If you think your dog’s mats are too severe to handle on your own, consult a veterinarian or a grooming professional for more effective and safe matted dog hair solutions. Just be prepared. Shaving might be the only option.
"Forewarned is forearmed."
Save your dog and yourself from mat trouble by getting to know these preventive measures:
Regularly brushing your dog's coat helps prevent matting, maintains a healthy and shiny coat, and strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion. Just make sure you’re using the right brush!
Brushing also allows you to monitor your dog's skin health and reduces shedding. The frequency of brushing depends on your dog's breed and coat type, but making it a consistent part of your pet care routine ensures a happier and healthier dog.
Apart from keeping your dog’s good looks, pet grooming eliminates tangled hair that’s still at a manageable level. And worst comes to worst. Expert groomers know how to fix matted dog hair.
As a rule of thumb, most dogs benefit from grooming every 4-8 weeks. Long-haired and active dogs, on the other hand, thrive with grooming intervals of 2-4 weeks, whereas dogs with lower grooming demands can comfortably stretch the sessions to every 6-12 weeks.
You are what you eat.
This applies to dogs, too! On top of frequent brushing and grooming, diet also plays a crucial role in keeping your dog’s coat healthy.
A well-balanced diet with essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids helps promote healthy skin. Healthy skin is less likely to become dry, flaky, or irritated, which can reduce the likelihood of mats forming.
It’s too tight, mom!
Dogs would probably say that when we unintentionally make them wear tight gear. After all, a tight collar or harness can rub against your dog, tangling its fur, especially breeds with long or thick coats.
Hence, make sure that you’re able to fit two fingers comfortably between the collar or harness and your dog's skin or better yet, use an adjustable dog harness to be certain!
Ensuring the well-being of our fur babies includes keeping their coats in good condition. By taking proactive measures against mats and knots, we can help our dogs stay comfortable, healthy, and happy, fostering a stronger bond between us and our beloved pets.