There are a number of reasons for matted dog hair. During the period when a puppy sheds its puppy fur and grows an adult coat matting occurs more easily. In other cases the coat may be dirty, or in a bad condition with hairs that are worn and splintered.
To avoid matted dog hair your dog needs regular brushing. New arrivals at dog shelters are often covered in tangles and sometimes even family pets are as well. Some owners aren’t very conscientious about their pet’s grooming needs. Don’t be one of those owners.
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Problems with Matted Dog Hair
Tangled hair is a prime spot for parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites to thrive. It is not unusual for dandruff to build up and the dogs coat will probably not smell very good.
Also, a dog relies on its coat to regulate body temperature by raising and lowering individual hairs via the folicles. If the coat is dirty and matted this system will not work properly. In addition, a matted coat will retain humidity which worsen matters even further.
How to Deal with a Matted Coat
Then check out the extent of the problem. How far into the hair is the knotting? Does it go all the way to the roots? Is it in small isolated clumps or all over? Is it dirty too or just tangled?To begin with always put the dog on a table where you can easily work on him. This will also signal to the dog that he is expected to behave.
If the problem is really severe, your best solution may just be to shave the animal and allow new hair to grow. Be sure when hair does grow back to take good care of it, wash it and brush it regularly to prevent this problem from happening again. As with dog nail trimming the more frequently you brush the coat the sooner your pet will get used to it and start to enjoy it.
If the matting is mainly near the ends of the hair and not all over, the problem isn’t quite so bad. Get a small pair of trimming scissors and a large pair. Use the large pair of scissors to cut out big knots and mats on the animal’s body. When you’re finished with that, use the small pair of scissors to work on the delicate areas of the dog: the face, the paws and the ears.
Use a slicker brush to brush the rest of the dog’s coat to get rid of smaller tangles and matted hair. Work by small sections, starting from the roots and working outwards. Brushing the legs usually requires a second smaller sized brush.
Be sure to check for parasite infestations and treat them if applicable.
If you think the tangling and knotting is simply due to the coat being dirty, snipe out large tangles from the dog’s coat. Then wash him thoroughly with some dog shampoo and conditioner.
Dry your dogs coat and brush through it with the slicker brush.
Regular Care for a Healthy Looking Coat
Preventative measures are the best way to deal with matted dog hair. Be sure to bathe your dog often, use preventative flea/tick medicine if necessary and to brush him on a regular basis, preferably every day. Take care of your dog’s coat like you would take care of your own hair and your dog will appreciate it greatly.