We tend to focus on the inside when it comes to keeping our furry friends healthy. We make sure they’re eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and seeing the vet regularly. But what about your pet’s external health? If not properly tended to, your pet’s fur can become matted, which can eventually lead to discomfort and other health issues. Let’s take a look at what causes matting and how you can prevent it from happening altogether.
Causes and Dangers of MattingMatting typically occurs in longer-haired pets and is usually more of an issue during the winter. Cooler weather stimulates hair growth to keep your pet warm and help maintain their body temperature. While it may be more prevalent during colder months, matting can occur at any time of the year if the pet’s coat is not maintained. Matted fur is more than just an aesthetic issue. Even mild matting can lead to serious problems for your pet, from irritation and pain to hot spots, infections, broken skin, and more. Matting can occur in the outer coat and the undercoat, the latter of which is often difficult to detect.
How to Prevent MattingThe most straightforward way to prevent your dog or cat from getting matted is to brush their fur thoroughly and often. Ideally, you should brush your pet daily – especially if they are a longer-haired breed. Here are a few more tips:
- Make sure your pet’s fur is completely dry before brushing.
- Use the right brush and technique (ask your groomer or vet for recommendations)
- Pay specific attention to the areas of your pet’s body that are more prone to matting, such as behind the ears, neck, armpits, legs, chest, belly, and feet.
- Choose a shorter, more manageable style for your pet’s coat.
- Have your pet professionally groomed regularly