Dogs lead active lives with a lot of exploring, sniffing, and rolling around in a variety of places that can leave their coats in a mess of mats and tangles. Whether you have a long-haired or a short-haired pup, mats and tangles cause discomfort for dogs. Unfortunately, sometimes, trying to remove them is just as uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be! Use these tips to say goodbye to dog mats and tangles without pain:

The Causes of Dog Mats and Tangles

Mats and tangles are common for many dog breeds, but certain factors can increase a dog’s risk of dealing with them. These include:

  • Infrequent brushing
  • Improperly brushing
  • Extreme hot or extreme cold weather
  • Excessive hair
  • Excessive scratching or biting of the fur can be a side effect of parasites like ticks or fleas
  • Going in and out of water, such as lakes or pools, without thoroughly brushing and drying afterward

Matted fur is dangerous because it irritates the skin and creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria or fungi to grow, leading to painful infections. Severely matted fur could even cut off circulation. If this is located on an appendage, it might lead to the need for amputation.

Tools to Remove Dog Mats and Tangles

Arming yourself with the right tools is one of the most important steps to avoiding mats and tangles. Here are some of the most helpful tools to conquer these hairy situations:

  • Slicker brushes: When used regularly, they can remove knots and mats before they become an issue.
  • Detangling sprays are especially helpful for dogs with longer coats prone to dealing with tangles. Use in conjunction with the slicker brush for the best results.
  • Dog-safe conditioner: Using conditioner after baths can help prevent significant hair tangling.
  • Deshedding tool: Get rid of excess hair before it has the chance to get tangled with a de-shedding tool.

Avoiding Future Issues

If your dog is prone to mats and tangles, there are preventive measures you can take to avoid them. Regular brushing is one of the best tools against these hair issues. You should thoroughly brush your dog’s coat at least once every two weeks. More often is better. Baths are also helpful for reducing the potential for tangles. De-shedding tools to remove excess hair can also prevent issues before they start. Also, regularly check for fleas and ticks and use a monthly preventive.

When to Seek Professional Help

Professional groomers make it easy to avoid issues with dog mats and tangles, but how do you know when it’s time to rely on them? Depending on the breed and hair coat, scheduling a regular visit every few weeks to months is a great way to ensure that you nip any mats or tangles in the bud. You should also leave it to professionals if the mats are reaching the skin or your dog is not letting you work on them.

Living with a Mat-Free Coat

Preventing mats is extremely helpful for dogs and provides many benefits. Dogs without mats tend to have healthier skin without the need to constantly bite or scratch at an uncomfortable tangle. Mat-free coats are also less inviting to parasites like fleas and ticks. Your veterinarian can also see your dog’s skin better during an exam, which allows for a more thorough check.

At Union Lake Pet Services, we offer professional grooming to help you battle mats, stinky coats, long nails, and a host of other issues. Our expert grooming staff is here to help your pets look and feel their best. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (248) 363-6262.