Almost overnight, a tangle can appear even in the most well groomed of pooches. When the fur becomes tangled, it forms a knot.
The reasons these knots are formed is because a dogs hair actually consists of many barbs along the side of the hair, much like the thorns on the stem of a rose. When the fur remains un-brushed for some time, these barbs begin to hook into each other, creating more and more tight and complex knots.
If left for too long, lots of these little tangles and knots begin to join into a single masses which we call ‘Matts’. These Matts can range hugely in size, from the size of a pea to the WHOLE animal being one giant Matt.
Obviously a Matt of any size is going to be extremely uncomfortable for your dog and leaving them too long can lead to extreme situations.
What can cause fur to Matt?
Incorrect brushing & bathing
The Life Of A Matted Mutt.
With a little twist or tousle of the fur, the barbs get tangled. Combine this with some wet mud rolled in or some dry/damaged skin or even a collar and you have the beginnings of a Matted Mutt.
Now we plop the poor pooch into a bath, completely soak the fur and cover it in a shampoo and conditioner that will be impossible to remove from tangle and matted fur and we are well on our way to creating a nice, tight Doggy Dreadlock.
Repeat this process a few times along with missing out on regular grooming and you are now the owner of a fully fledged and increasingly uncomfortable Matted Mutt.
Now you’ve noticed your dog is matted, but it’s winter….. Your brain tells you to not worry about a grooming session till after the winter as over as your poor pooch may get cold without their coat.
However, while the dog is matted, the fur underneath is still growing but without anywhere to go. The hairs and barbs and pushed into the Matt which eventually draws the tangled mess flush with the skin. You’ll begin to wonder were the Matts end and your dog starts!
Now Rover is starting to smell like a laundry basket as muck and dirt starts to integrate into their fur. You try desperately to wash, clean and brush them because that’s what you assume is best.
Oh dear…. Now the Matts so tight against the skin that the skin is having an extremely tough time breathing. The skin lets of small amounts of moisture that now cannot go anywhere and evaporate. The skin starts to get sore, turn red and eventually will Start to rot!
At this point, you are the owner of a serious mangy looking mutt. No one wants to stroke or pet the smelly, tangled beast and the dog suffers from this. Some animals can even become aggressive when they feel uncomfortable or sore.
So now you have a grumpy dog. You try to cheer them up by taking them on a nice long walk. You struggle to find the clip for the collar and drag your dog outside in the worlds, heaviest, smelliest most uncomfortable coat.
And guess what? Your dog is probably absolutely freezing! They still haven’t dried from the bath yesterday and are now walking more mud and plant material into their smelly, wet, matted fur.
What a sight for sore eyes….. It’s finally time to take Rover to the groomers.
You try and explain the state of your pooch. The groomer gives what you assume are funny looks as you can both see you don’t have an outdoors dog, so your excuse of getting cold doesn’t quite sound right once it’s spoken aloud.
On first sight, the groomer could tell that this dog is going to require a lot more attention than normal. They know that the signs of matting usually tell that the animals nails haven’t been clipped, teeth, eyes or ears haven’t been cleaned and also that the dog is more than likely to be under trained.
Brushing the dog is out of the picture now. Even cutting and shaving is going to massively irritate the dogs already sore skin. Their is a good chance the dog is now going to bite and be aggressive to our obviously unknown trainer.
The owner is then most likely going to complain at the amount of time taken, the higher cost for the length of time, the fact that the dog couldn’t be groomed to breed specifications because of the Matts, or even because the dog is nervous/aggressive during the session.
This scenario is unfortunately one that happens all to often. But remember that the state of your dog isn’t the groomers fault, neither is it the dog’s. The responsibility is yours alone.
Grooming at home.
If you are going to go through the mighty effort of bathing your dog at home, it is extremely important that before the dog enters the bath, you have brushed through every inch of fur, removing any Matts or tangles, to the point where you can run a fine tooth comb over every inch of your pooch, against the skin, without hitting a single snag.
Don’t make the mistake or wrongly assuming that dog fur mimics human hair and is easier to brush out when wet. Bathing tightens dogs Matts where as it may loosen ours. However, we have hair, dogs have fur.
Be extremely attentive to drying your dog after a bath and make sure the dog doesn’t stay wet for any longer than necessary. A damp dogs fur will clump and Matt very easily!
Also, if you try to cut the Matts out of your dogs fur yourself, you run a huge risk of injuring your animals skin which could easily lead to a skin infection in a matted dog.
Do some dogs Matt faster than others?
Of course! Depending on how many barbs the fur has and how thick and strong they are will determine the rate at which your dog’s fur Matts. Barbs and fur are not breed specific, while certain breeds have certain fur traits, nothing is set in stone.
Two siblings from the same little will generally vary greatly on how they Matt and tangle so each dog must be groomed with their individual needs in mind.
If you have Matted Rover or a slightly tangled pooch, it’s never too late to correct it with a grooming session before things escalate any further. We can’t even bring ourselves to show you some of the images of seriously matted dogs, some in such a critical condition they have to undergo surgery to have their Matts removed. Click here to see our grooming services and prices and help us help you and your dog to avoid a nasty Matt ever taking hold in the first place!