Is there anything worse than dirty, smelly, sometimes painful, matted dog hair? For dogs suffering from it, we’re pretty sure they’d agree that it’s a terrible thing to have to work around. And unfortunately, once matted dog hair starts, it can snowball out of control in no time at all and can even become a very serious health issue.
For dogs with long hair, all it can take is a hike in the woods, a few romps around a stream, getting caught in the rain, or just a roll in the yard, and they can end up with some seriously matted fur. But, what’s the best way to deal with this? Do you brush? Do you cut? It takes a bit of patience, the right tools, and the skillful hands of an attentive caregiver. So, let’s take a look at some grooming tips to help you better deal with your dog’s matted hair:
- Train Your Dog – First things first, you need to teach your dog to enjoy grooming, as there’s going to be quite a bit of it in their future. You want them to be able to stand still long enough for you to get the mats out of their fur. The best way to do this is to start training them when they’re young. Even if they don’t need it, practice having them sit while you brush their hair, and be sure to give praise and provide treats for a job well done.
- Catch Target Areas – You’ll need to pay close attention to the areas that are more likely to mat easily. Make it a habit to check behind your dog’s ears and legs, around their armpits, on their undercarriage and around where the collar rubs.
- Use Detangler – To keep matted hair from forming, stay ahead of it, and practice regular grooming. Try a detangler cream or spray to help prevent fur from getting clumped up. You can even apply this to your dog’s coat before they go swimming or go out in the rain so that it’s easier to manage once you dry them off.
- See a Professional – If your poor pup is suffering from severely matted hair or hasn’t been cared for in a while, it’s best to schedule a session with your veterinarian or groomer. Unfortunately, un-kept fur that’s been taken over by mats can cause skin irritation and even infection that will need to be treated by your trusted medical professional.
- Ask a Professional – The best way to learn how to care for your pet’s fur is to talk to your groomer. They can tell you the best way to brush your dog’s fur, what kind of brush to use, what products (if any) to use, etc. After all, the better your daily grooming skills become, the easier their job will be in the future.
- Watch the Paws – To many pet owners’ surprise, even the hair between your dog’s paw pads can become matted, so always be on the lookout. You want to keep this hair short.
- Watch the Rear – While this certainly won’t be your or your dog’s favorite place for you to groom, it is very necessary. From all of the sitting and “squatting,” this area can get messy fast, so it’s important to keep things clean and trim.
- Stick to a Good Diet – A healthy diet will make for a healthy coat. Pets who enjoy nutritional meals are less likely to have terribly unruly matted hair. If you’re not sure what your dog should be eating or what supplements you should provide, speak with your veterinarian.
Don’t make your pup suffer from matted fur ever again. With these tips, put together a basic grooming routine so that both you and your pet can get back to living and loving life together mat-free.