Why does my dog’s coat mat so quickly? I brush her coat every night and she still gets mats – this is frustrating! A comment we frequently hear. Even the best of the best dog owners can be challenged with this task – it is very easy to overlook mats in our dog’s coat unless we run our fingers to the base of the coat – right to the skin! And once those mats start they can be stubborn and multiply or expand so quickly ……
Did you know that many times a dog may look fluffy and not in need of a groom but under the fluff a multitude of problem can be found. One of the reasons we recommend grooming every 4-5 weeks to maintain a healthy coat is because often that fluffy coat is hiding a problem.
Dogs have between 7 and 32 hairs per hair follicle and there is one “guard” hair that is coarse and grows more slowly. The other hairs in the follicle are soft “undercoat” hairs, and this is the problem. The guard hair grows slowly and stays in the follicle longer. The undercoat hairs are constantly falling out and the new ones are growing in. THIS is what causes the “shedding” problems so many breeds have. The coats with the most serious problems are found on animals who have trouble shedding their coats completely clear of the skin. In other words, the dead coat that loosens gets entangled or matted into the remaining live hair! It’s not only the long –coated dogs that have problems – Jack Russell Terriers and Labrador Retrievers shed off massive amount of hair.
Some people try to remove mats in the coat by using scissors, which is extremely dangerous – you can easily cut your dog’s skin! There is usually only about ¼ or 1/8 inch clearance between the bottom of the mat and the skin and your dog is wiggling all the time you are trying to cut out the mat. An accident can quickly and easily happen resulting in a trip to your Veterinarian for stitching! Don’t do it – take your dog to a professional groomer who will take the time to discuss your dog’s grooming needs, skin condition and health! Call our offices today to schedule your furry student’s groom!