Matting occurs when dog fur becomes tangled and knotted around itself. Mats occur frequently in many dog breeds with curly, fine, or double coats. Matted fur does not only look bad, but it is very painful for dogs. If not removed, it can also cause other health issues including discomfort, skin disorder, flea infestation, mites, worms, and other parasites.
The best thing you can do to prevent matting in your dog's coat is regular and thorough combing and brushing. You should also be aware that the number one cause of matting is water; water + long hair = mats! Groomers recommend brushing your dog when their coat is completely dry. So if you bathe your dog, brush before the actual bath, bathe with a high quality shampoo and conditioner, and then brush again after their coat is fully dry.
But what should you do when your dog’s coat is already matted?
Removing mats from dogs is usually not an easy task, but if you have the right tools before you begin, it will definitely make things go much smoother for you and your furry friend. Make sure you take things slowly and always start a dematting session with a calm and relaxed dog.
TOP 5 TOOLS YOU NEED TO GATHER BEFORE DE MATTING YOUR DOG
1. High Quality Dematting tool
Many people fail completely when they try to remove their dog’s mats because they use the wrong brush. They get frustrated, and their dog fears the day they pull out the brush to try to groom them. If you want to de-mat your dog, why not use a brush that is specifically designed to remove mats?
We love recommending the Freshly Bailey dematting brush because it has proven to be effective at removing mats while creating a positive grooming experience. The brush is terrific for getting into the undercoat and for working through the stubborn tangles.
Groomer's Tip: Always use short strokes when dematting your dog. Do not pull through the mat as it can be very painful.
2. Slicker Brush
Mats are often found around the ears, below the neck, under the stomach, and along the back legs. A slicker brush is a great tool to locate the mats. Make sure the bristles don't touch your dog's skin to avoid irritation. You can also use the slicker brush at the end of a de-matting session to slowly and gently brush through any remaining tangles.
The slicker brush is the number one dog brush recommended by vets to prevent matting in dogs. This type of brush is super effective, easy to use, and really comfortable to dogs.
We love the Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush by Freshly Bailey. You just brush, click, and clean the brush. The bristles retract after brushing so they are kept from being damaged or bent. Well kept bristles prevent uncomfortable poking to your fur baby and create a positive grooming experience for both you and your dog.
3. Detangling Spray
A detangling spray is a great addition to your dog grooming tools. A good spray is created to penetrate strands to release tangles. A spray is especially helpful when you find those stubborn mats, and your dog doesn't seem to cooperate. You can spray on the area, let it sit for a while, and then brush it out.
We love this Detangling Spray because of its natural ingredients, its effectiveness, and its amazing smell! It penetrates through mats and helps you brush through each mat. Also, we recommend spraying your dog outside or on a towel because it will make your floors super slippery.
Bear in mind severe mats may need to be cut.
4. Blunt-end Scissors
Grooming scissors are great to have on hand just in case there is a matted area that is too difficult to untangle with the use of your hands, the spray, or the brush. Make sure they are designed with a safety round tip so you can cut through without hurting your dog.
We like the Freshly Bailey Grooming Scissors because they are sharp, professional grade scissors so you can smoothly cut into any mat. They have the rounded tip so you won't poke your dog’s skin, and they come in a set of 2 pairs - one straight and one curved for hard to reach areas.
5. Dog Treat Mat
Dog treats are essential to create a positive grooming experience when dematting your dog. You want your dog to cooperate and be patient as you tackle this task. What better way to do this than to let them lick through a yummy treat while you de mat their coat? That’s why we love this Treat-Mat.
HOW TO DE MAT YOUR DOG
1. Start your de - matting session with a calm and relaxed dog. Do not randomly begin brushing in the middle of a play session. Wait for your dog to be calm.
2. Make sure your dog’s fur is completely dry.
3. Brush your dog with a slicker brush to locate the mats. Start with the bottom area of the coat. Do not just brush the top coat.
4. After you’ve located the mats, grab your dematting tool and begin brushing using the 9-rounded-teeth side (specifically designed for dematting purposes). Use short strokes and never pull through a mat. When you reach a mat, hold the fur closest to the skin with your fingers before brushing or pulling at the mat. This helps control the resistance from your brushing and avoids pulling on the dog’s skin. Start at the end of the mat and work your way up. This helps prevent the pain of the brush getting stuck.
5. Use a detangling spray when you reach really stubborn mats to loosen them up.
6. Give your dog a treat and praise them for their patience.
7. When a mat is too knotted, you may use some blunt-end scissors to cut through the mat. Carefully slide the scissors along the skin into the mat, holding them perpendicular to the skin; the bottom blade should slide along the skin. Cut up, into the mat. Make a clean cut and try not to pull the hair while cutting.
[VIDEO] HOW TO BRUSH DOODLE HAIR AND REMOVE MATS UNDER EARS
TIP: Watch in fullscreen ;)
This mat removal method works on any breed that tends to mat.
Depending on the severity of the mats, it could take several days to tackle them all, and you need your dog’s cooperation and patience, so don't push it all at once. After you have removed most or all of the mats, groom daily with a slicker brush or even the same dematting tool (You can use the 17-teeth-side for thinning and deshedding). Always end your grooming session with a treat.