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 Matting
Matting 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 Matting
The 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
What to Do if Matting Has Begun
If your pet is already experiencing matting, you should take action as quickly as possible to prevent the situation from worsening. If the knots are small enough and infrequent, try brushing them out of the coat carefully in small sections. It would be best if you never attempted to cut a matt out using scissors. Doing so will almost always result in injury to your pet.
When matting becomes too much to handle on your own, seek the assistance of a professional experienced in de-matting animals. Understand that this process can be long, painstaking, and expensive, and severe cases may require a complete shave, which is why prevention is always the best option.
At Santaluz Animal Care, we want to help you keep your pet as healthy on the outside as they are on the inside. If you have questions about caring for your pet’s coat or need to schedule a grooming appointment, give us a call today at 858-258-5590. We’re here to help! At our animal clinic in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, we are committed to providing excellent veterinary services. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.