Every dog owner has some version of the same story. At the end of a long workday, you finally arrive home and feel a rush of joy as a wagging tail and an adorably, cuddly face rounds the corner to meet you. No one loves us quite as well as our pets. That said, when we scoop up our pups for an excited embrace and notice their fur is a bit more crusty than it is cuddly, it can give us pause.
Dogs love to get themselves into all kinds of messes, and it is quite common for dogs to experience dirty, tangled, and even matted fur. Fur mats can cause health problems for your pet if left unattended, so it’s important to diligently comb and maintain your dog’s fur.
What is fur matting?
Fur mats occur when dog fur becomes very tangled, leading to tightly wound clumps of both loose and live fur. Fur matting is common, especially in dog breeds with curly or fine coats. Mats occur most frequently wherever there is movement and friction — so for our fast-paced four-legged friends, we know that constant movement also means constant opportunity for tangles and mats.
Fur mats are not cute — the unsightly shag can trap bacteria and fleas, and create opportunities to enhance that infamous smell (“wet dog” has never been a more accurate descriptor). Even worse, though, is the health issues that long-term fur matting can cause for your dog.
Fur matting can cause skin irritation, prevent proper temperature regulation, and is very painful for your pooch. Matting that continues untreated can lead to pelting, an issue caused by mats wound so tightly to the skin that they prevent proper air flow.
How do I prevent fur matting?
Fortunately, the best way to prevent fur matting is also the easiest. Regular combing and brushing goes a long way to prevent mats and tangles. Not only does regular brushing prevent matting, it also promotes circulation and exfoliates the skin, all while giving your dog a lovely little massage in the process.
If you’re looking for a brush to get the job done, Furbliss is a favorite option among dog people everywhere. Ever seen a majestic mastiff become reduced to a whiny baby at even the mention of grooming? The Furbliss brush is made out of rubber, meaning it is soft and gentle on your dog’s skin.
It can be used with wet or dry fur, and features a two-sided design for versatility and easy clean-up (the back of the brush works to remove fur from clothes or furniture!) Mastiffs will beg for the Furbliss, knowing they are in for the dog spa-like treatment.
Here’s a quick brushing tip that might just make all the difference: make sure to brush beyond the first layer of fur. By only brushing the top of a dog’s coat, the brushing motion will push loose fur closer to the skin and lead to more matting. Be sure to thoroughly brush your furry friend, and make your dog’s coat the silkiest ever.
What do I do if my dog’s fur is matted?
Matted fur can be a tangled mess to try and treat. If the mat is small enough, you may be able to work through and detangle the mat with your hands, a brush, and de-tangling or grooming spray (Furbliss has a great, calming option.) Be sure to be gentle on your pup and use fast, short brush strokes away from the skin.
There are also many mat combs on the market, which are designed to work through mats with combs and rakes. While these mat combs can be effective, they typically contain sharp metal teeth. These can be harsh on your dog’s skin — especially if they are wiggling away out of discomfort. If your mutt’s mats are very mangled, the safest and healthiest option for your dog is to get them to a groomer and shave off the affected areas.
When you greet little Rex at the end of the day he shouldn't be more knotted than normal! Brushing and grooming your dog is the best way to ensure those pesky mats stay at bay. Regularly brush your dog with a gentle rubber brush like Furbliss and give your dog’s coat some puppy love — and detangle yourself from the stress of fur matting in the process!