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Do you remember growing up as a kid, how much brushing your hair was a pain at first?

Eventually, you got the hang of brushing out tangles. You found the right brushes and tools. You even forgot how frustrating it was and painful it was until this moment.

When your dog has matted fur, it’s not a pleasant experience. Imagine what happens when you neglect brushing your hair for extended periods of time. It’s unkempt and starts to clump and matt itself even.

What is matting?

Matting occurs with hair, or fur, wrapped around each other. What happens then is these clumps of fur begin to form and the clumps of matted hair is a combination of dead fur and living fur.

It’s a frequent occurrence during seasonal shedding periods. When dogs are transitioning and shedding coats from season to season, loose fur can accumulate. If not brushed out, what ends up happening is the fur clumps against the skin. Curly breeds are more susceptible to matting especially when exposed to wet conditions.

According to the pet advice colum at PopSugar Living, “Matting is a condition in which a dog's fur becomes so densely knotted or tangled that it cannot be brushed through with a comb. Matted hair is not only extremely painful for your dog to experience, but it can also cause a variety of serious skin issues that require professional attention.” 

What causes matting?

Aside from the seasonal shed, matting can occur as the result of any of the following:

  • Allergies
  • Fleas
  • Friction
  • Moisture

How does matted fur hurt dogs?

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming spoke with a groomer and reported, “Mats cut off the air flow in your dog's hair and can trap moisture, which can cause irritation and sores on your dog. Even mild matting can be painful, but in severe cases, matting can cut off circulation to your dog's skin and cause hematomas. In some circumstances, matting may be so severe that you would need to take your dog to a veterinarian for treatment.”

What To Do & What Not To Do

If your dog is in a position of severe matting, take them to a local groomer for assistance. Because of how risky matt removal can be, they may ask for you to sign a waiver.

If the matting is minimal and not impacted at the root of your dog’s fur (it’s loose hanging), use grooming clippers gently. 

Do not use scissors to attempt matt removal. Scissors are not equipped to cut through the matts safely and can result in an unexpected trip to the emergency veterinarian.

It’s All About Prevention

It’s imperative that you follow a grooming schedule for your dog especially if they have thicker coats and are more likely to experience matting. During seasonal shedding, brush them twice as much as you normally would.

In addition to a proper grooming routine, evaluate your dog’s diet to ensure that they’re receiving the necessary nutrients to have a healthy fur coat. An unhealthy coat is also prone to matting and may also be an indicator of an underlying issue.

When concerned, consult with your trusted local veterinarian.

This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog in this section.

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