Not only do you want your dog's fur to be soft and beautiful, but you also want your dog to be healthy and comfortable. When your dog's hair mats into clumps of fur it can be difficult to brush out and remove. These thick mats grow larger, making it harder to groom your dog. But more than difficulty brushing, mats in your dog's fur can become incredibly uncomfortable and even painful to your dog's skin. If these mats are left in your dog's coat, they can cause sores at the skin’s surface which can become infected, itchy, and painful. Knowing your dog, his breed, his fur and undercoat, and what your dog's needs are for maintenance will help you know better how to prevent these mats from forming and becoming a problem.
Grooming is key to keeping mats out of your dog's fur. If you cannot brush your dog daily, brush her at least once a week. Know your dog's fur and undercoat well so you can provide the best grooming possible. Using the wrong grooming tools for your dog's fur will not only make it difficult to rid your dog of any existing mats, but incorrect grooming tools for your dog’s specific length texture and thickness of fur won't do much good in ridding the dog of excess fur which causes knots to form and expand. If you have a short haired dog, a bristle brush and grooming once a week is probably enough. If you have a long haired dog with a thick undercoat, you may want to consider a rake brush so you can rid your dog of excess fur before it becomes too tangled and uncomfortable. As you are grooming your dog each week with the correct tool, using a detangling spray or a detangling dog shampoo may help with small tangles before they become an issue of larger mats. Maintaining a grooming regimen will help prevent mats from forming.
Bathing is also essential in keeping your dog's fur smooth without excessive shedding and matting. Excessive bathing could cause dryer skin for your dog, though, which will cause your dogs to fur to fall out more frequently. This loose fur becomes tangled in the dog’s existing fur causing mats. So again, familiarize yourself with your dog’s breed and your dog's needs, so you are bathing them on a regular basis yet not too frequently as to cause skin issues.
Use a hypoallergenic shampoo with a detangling component and brush your dog thoroughly after each bath. While your dog is in the bathtub, she will probably enjoy the massage of a brush across her skin and through her fur, gently detangling any small knots before they form into larger problematic mats. If matting is an issue with your dog, you can talk to a professional groomer or to your veterinarian for recommendations on shampoos that can help keep her fur soft and free of uncomfortable and painful mats. Use bath time to de-shed your dog of their undercoat. Talk to your veterinarian or your professional groomer about a de-shedding shampoo and conditioning products that will help rid your dog of excess fur during bath time.
The overall health of your dog is imperative for skin and coat condition as well as internal health. Feeding your dog a high-quality diet with lean proteins, healthy fats, and supplemental omega-3 and amino acids can help keep your dog's health in tip-top shape as well as keep their coat soft and manageable. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about high-quality dog foods that will address any skin issues as well as coat issues for your dog’s specific breed. Supplementing your dog's diet with omega-3 fatty acids is easy to do with natural foods added to their meals such as blueberries, flax seeds, and yogurt. These foods, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, are great for your dog's skin as well as their coat. Healthy skin and healthy fur will eliminate shedding issues, which will help to prevent matting issues in the future. You can also supplement omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids in your dog's meals through treats and supplements you can buy from your veterinarian or local health pet food store.
Grooming by a professional can sometimes be quite expensive. However, professional groomers are great resources for your dog’s skin and coat issues. Ask questions: you can learn a lot by asking your groomer for product recommendations. You may not want to pay a groomer to bathe your dog weekly. However allowing your dog's fur to go to mat can make grooming in the future nearly impossible, uncomfortable, and incredibly painful for your dog. Preventing mats before they happen can save you on costs for additional or more frequent grooming from your professional groomer and lower the cost of skin care from your veterinarian.
Preventing huge hair mats from occurring in your dog's fur is rather simple to do but requires some maintenance. Keeping your dog healthy with a top-quality diet is key for overall health as well as for the health and well-being of your dog's skin and coat. Grooming your dog with baths, a professional groomer, as well as daily or weekly brushing will also help keep your dog comfortable, mat-free, and beautiful. Dense and difficult-to-remove matting in your dog's fur can be extremely painful for your dog as she sleeps, as she moves, as she plays, and as you pet her. Avoiding these mats will make you and your dog happier together.