Managing Matted Fur

Matted fur on your dog can be a serious problem. Hamilton Dog Spaw is here to help with some facts about matted fur and what you can do about it.

What causes matting?

Matted fur on your dog is typically caused by environmental circumstances, most commonly by a lack of grooming. Fleas are another common cause as they cause the dog to scratch an infested area, tangling up the hairs and eventually forming into a matted mess. If your dog spends time in the water or gets wet and is not brushed both before and after they dry off the perfect conditions for matting to occur and can worsen existing matting severely.

Some medical conditions can cause matting as well, including dermal allergies, food allergies and canine skin diseases. If you suspect there is a medical cause to your pets matting please contact your vet as soon as possible. Untreated matting can also cause skin disease in your pet so tackling those matts is really important for the health of your dog.

What can I do to prevent my dog’s fur from matting?

The simplest and best way is to brush your dog regularly and keep an eye on the condition of their fur. Be on the lookout for fleas always as you brush and treat the fleas as soon as you find them. For recommendations on the best way to treat fleas on your dog please consult your veterinarian. Regular professional grooming is also highly recommended and here at Hamilton Dog Spaw, Heather would be happy to help show you how to brush your dog in a way that is comfortable for you both!

Okay, so the dog is already matted. Help?

Our best and most honest advice for dealing with matting is to take your dog to a groomer. We don’t say this because it benefits our business here at Hamilton Dog Spaw, we say it because it is the best way to safely treat the problem without harming your dog. Heather will be able to best assess your dog and take into account specific details about the dog’s breed which may change the treatment plan. Some breeds have very thin skin which is intolerant to repeated combing and a shave may be necessary to avoid harm to your dog and further complications.

What happens if I don’t remove the matting?

Well, first off matting is uncomfortable for your dog at best, painful and leading to medical complications at worst. Matting in your dogs fur can conceal and provide a perfect breeding ground for fleas that can be missed by shampoos and other treatments. Matting can also conceal wounds, usually occurring from the dog scratching at the matted hair, which can become infected as the knotted hair accumulates dirt and bacteria. This can lead to serious skin conditions and illness in your pet.

I think I can handle it by myself.

Heather does not professionally recommend you attempt to take on matted dog fur on your own. It can be a really difficult process for both dog and owner and serious injury to your dog can occur.

If you choose to attempt to deal with the problem yourself, Heather would like to make sure you know the following:

  • Never use scissors to remove matted fur on your dog. It’s very dangerous. Please don’t do it.
  • If a matt cannot be brushed out, it should be shaved off
  • Use proper de-matting tools (you can purchase them from pet stores but they really should be used by professionals)
  • Use latex gloves to protect your hands from contaminants in the knotted fur such as feces
  • Take time and be gentle. Give your dog breaks in the process.

Again, we really don’t recommend handling matted fur yourself. It’s a big job that requires professional care, equipment and facilities. If your dog is matted bring him or her down to Hamilton Dog Spaw and Heather will have a look and give you her opinion on how to proceed. She can safely remove the matts with the least discomfort for your dog and she can teach you how to handle the routine brushing and bathing in between professional grooming visits.

Or you can book your appointment right now by clicking here: BOOK APPOINTMENT

 

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