A matted coat is usually caused by neglect. Not enough professional grooming, a lack of brushing, or sometimes fleas or skin allergies which make a dog scratch can cause matts. A matted coat is extremely uncomfortable for a dog, often inhibiting its ability to move freely and pulling on the skin. The only solution for a matted coat is to clip it off, under the matts, extremely close to the skin. This in itself can sometimes cause problems, such as skin irritations, as the skin is suddenly ‘released’ from the coat, causing itching, which the dog will want to scratch, which will in turn irritate and so on, therefore they will often develop a rash. It is much more difficult for a groomer to clip off a matted coat as the matts pull the skin up towards the clippers, making it easier to accidentally nick the dog. They will often act differently after having a severely matted coat removed, going from one extreme to another, and may also act strangely afterward.
Letting your dog ‘GO’ over winter is NOT the right thing to do. The idea is to maintain more length in the coat if you’d like to keep them warm that way. You would be better off having your dog clipped shorter in the winter and keeping them warm with jumpers, bedding, and blankets than to keep a coat on them which is knotty and matted.
Other than the obvious discomfort, matted fur inhibits air getting to the coat, and is perfect breeding ground for bacteria causing skin irritations and problems, if your dog gets wet, matts hold moisture for a long time, close to the dog’s skin, which is cold and also causes bacterial problems. Think about it – would we feel happy, healthy and comfortable with a head full of matted hair? Even if it was cold and someone thought it might keep us warm? The health of a dog’s skin and coat is often overlooked when people consider the grooming needs of their pet. Your dog is covered in it’s coat -from head to tail – so obviously it is just as important to look after as the rest of them!
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