Why Do I Brush My Dog Regularly And He Is Still Matted?

Why Do I Brush My Dog Regularly And He Is Still Matted?

matted dogWhy Do I Brush My Dog Regularly And He Is Still Matted?
Every day we talk to pet owners that are trying to keep their long-haired breeds from getting matted but why does it seem to happen anyway?

My dog doesn’t look tangled or matted.    Most people focus on the top coat when brushing and the back of their canines.  This area is the easiest to brush but also the last area that gets tangled and matted.  Concentrate on the legs, butt-area and the head, ears & neck.  Coincidentally, these are the hardest areas to get cooperation from your pet.

What causes the matting in the first place?  Many factors can cause matting, including change of seasons, snow and wet weather, other dogs licking your dog such as the ears and face and the change from the puppy coat to the adult coat that happens anywhere from 7-10 months of age. One common mistake that pet parents make is bathing their pet before they brush them.  ALWAYS, brush your pet out first.  Bathing tightens up the matting, making your job harder and the brushing becomes a less than pleasant experience for you and your pet.

Why can’t my matted dog be brushed out?  Pets that have more of a fine, downy coat are harder to keep detangled than a pet with a coarser, more bristle-like texture.  We see this in many Golden Doodles as their coat types are not consistent.  Once the tangles are tight up against the skin, there is no way to humanely get under those tangles without doing potentially damaging the skin and causing injury to your pet.  We practice “humanity before vanity”.  Length of coat can make a big difference between getting out of control and being able to brush regularly.  Sometimes just an inch or two shorter can keep your pet’s coat much more manageable.

What do I need to be effective when brushing my dog?  We recommend a good quality slicker brush, this allows for less pressure to get through the coat but the pins will reach to the skin.  After using a technique called “line brushing” and covering an area for instance, one leg.  Go back through with your metal comb.  This will check your work and see if you can easily run a comb from the skin out.  If the comb does not go through the coat easily, then work through with the comb or grab your slicker and go back to your line brushing.  We also recommend HIGH-VALUE reward treats that you offer your pet while you are brushing.  Keep it to a short session at first, especially with puppies and tell them how good they are being!

I don’t want my dog shaved!  We completely understand and we don’t want to shave your pet either!  Shaving a tightly matted dog is NOT easier for us and becomes technically challenging.  The chance of injuring your pet becomes higher due to the matting and skin becoming harder to differentiate from each other.  The matting will only get tighter which can create health issues, pain and discomfort.  The matting can actually bruise your furry friend’s skin, pulling as they walk.  Wonderful little pesky bugs such as ticks and fleas love this humid, protected environment.  We also see yeast infections, mange and other health risks affect a matted pet.  Your pet’s hair will grow back and then we can work together as a team to get your pet’s coat exactly how you would like it to be!

Help!  I just can’t seem to do this!!  We would love the opportunity to show you how to properly brush your pet with the proper tools (the slicker brush and metal comb) so that you can keep your pet at the length you prefer.  There are tips and tricks that we are happy to share with you!  The longer the coat, the more upkeep at home and more often a groomer needs to see them.  We recommend starting your puppy out with professional grooming at about 16 weeks, even if they don’t need a haircut, we can get them used to the brushing, bathing, and drying processes, so they learn to love these necessary tasks.  We also can provide a bath and brush if you would rather have us do the dirty work!

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