Matting (also known as knots) refers to the densely tangled areas of fur on a dog’s coat. Matts are generally tightly woven and close to the skin, which can lead to different health conditions and is why we advise both at-home brushing techniques as well as professional grooming to keep them at bay. We highly recommend a regular grooming schedule (we recommend every 4-8 weeks for poodle breeds and 6-8 weeks for breeds like shih tzus, westies, border collies, Aussie shepherds etc) as well as having a good brushing routine at home using the correct tools and technique for your pups’ coat type. If you are wanting a longer coat it is important to note that daily brushing is required as well as bathing and drying fully after beach/creek adventures.
Effects of matting
Matting can lead to serious health conditions, so it is imperative to keep on top of coat maintenance as best as possible. Matting becomes tighter and tighter the longer you leave it and can lead to bruising, hotspots, limited air circulation to the skin, inhibited blood circulation to extremities and can become a hidey hole for fleas and ticks. At the very least, matting can make your dog quite smelly.
Removing matting is a tedious process that can often take hours (hence the additional cost at most groomers). When removing matting we have to use a short blade in order to get between the coat and the skin; this can sometimes result in skin being nicked, hematomas, skin conditions, bruising or parasites being found and often results in blades and other equipment becoming blunt. As groomers, we want the best for the pups we groom which is why we are so passionate about preaching matting prevention so that these close shaves aren’t needed.
Causes of matting
Causes of matting can include swimming, wearing coats or harnesses, rolling in wet grass, bathing without drying or even just rolling around or rubbing themselves against things around the home. These activities are of course enjoyable parts of everyday life for pups, so it’s important to take care of their coats to allow for these kinds of activities regularly.
How to prevent/treat matting at home
To correctly maintain your dog’s coat, it is important to make sure you are using the correct tools. We recommend a firm pin long slicker brush as well as a fine-tooth metal comb. As long as you can get a comb to the skin through the coat, we can do any length comb attachment/blade on your dog. It is recommended to line brush with both of these tools. It is also recommended to come in for a combo (bath, blow dry and brush) and or a maintenance groom every 4 weeks to help maintain your dog’s coat between grooms. Prevention is key. Click here to read more about our grooming services, or to make an online booking!
There are many videos online showing easy at-home techniques for brushing your pup. Here is one that our groomers recommend watching: