All of our dogs get knotty sometimes but de-matting your pet by brushing isn’t always in their best interest. It can often cause pain or even fear or distress, which directly contradict the 5 freedoms stated in the Animal Welfare Act.
The removal of matted hair is however a necessity as matted coats can cause the following problems:
As matts grow, they get tighter, pulling on the dog’s skin. This is painful and can cause sores and hair loss.
Skin irritation can result from dirt, dander and parasites trapped under the matted hair
It is not uncommon to find pre-existing conditions such as hot spots, sores and other skin issues, once the matt is removed
In severe cases, maggots can infest skin sores
For these reasons, when a coat becomes tangled beyond the ability to brush or comb through it, it needs removing, and the most humane method is to clip off the matted hair. This may seem extreme, but it is the least painful and least stressful way to groom a matted pet.
It is important to note that in some instances:
there is a chance that our pet’s skin may become irritated from being clipped so close. Aloe Vera will help in these instances.
If ears are heavily matted it can create a lack of circulation. By removing the mats, the blood rushes back into the area and can cause a tingling sensation. If this happens the dog may respond by shaking his head which can result in bruising, and although unlikely, bleeding of the ear tips is possible.
The de-matting/close-clipping procedure requires extreme care and attention, and will take extra time. There will therefore be additional charges depending on the severity of the matting. Dog groomers occasionally come under fire when clients notice unattractive patches of very short hair after the removal of mats, but it must be acknowledged that this is the most humane treatment and the coat will soon grow back and recover a healthy appearance.
Remember all good groomers will work to the motto, ‘humanity before vanity’ and if indeed ‘It’s a Dog’s Life’ then surely we can work together to ensure it’s a good one.