What are mats?
Mats are tangled up knots of fur that develop in an animal’s coat. Both dogs and cats can be afflicted by them. There are several factors that can lead to mats:
- They tend to occur where there is frequent rubbing or movement, like around the legs, tail, chest and neck.
- Matting can develop when loose fur is not brushed out and removed.
- Certain breeds are more prone to developing mats than others. This depends on the pet’s coat and activity level. Dogs with longer coats and active, outdoor lifestyles are at greater risk for mats because the outdoor debris can get caught in fur.
- A lack of proper grooming and care.
- Drier climates and the winter season can make matting worse.
Why are they problematic?
They pull on the skin, causing discomfort and pain for your pet. In more severe cases they can lead to serious health issues. Mats can damage the skin, become a breeding ground for parasites, fleas and ticks, and around the backside can trap feces, putting the pet as risk for infection.
What to do & how to prevent
Regular brushing and grooming are key to preventing mats. Mats that aren’t too big or tight and caught early may be brushed out gently using a slicker brush, followed with a metal comb. De-tangling sprays and leave-in conditioners can be helpful during the bathing process for mats that haven’t advanced very far. There are also shampoos and conditioners specifically designed to treat the coat and keep mats at bay, and sanitary trims can keep the hair on their backsides free of debris and mats. Do not bathe your pet to get rid of mats, as this may just make them worse. Mats occur close to the skin, so avoid attempting to cut them out with scissors or a sharp object as you could cut their skin instead.
Our spa staff is trained and able to help you tackle your pet’s mats, as well as provide them with a regular brushing schedule to prevent matting in the first place. Ask our team how we can help!