When the hair on a coat gets tangled, usually with the dog’s undercoat it forms a tight knot that resists brushing, This is what is known as a mat, and they can be quite frustrating. Mats often form in areas where there are corners, such as the base of legs, under the tail and around the ears. I know that Chase gets mats quite often around his ears and they need attention regularly. Sometimes a daily brushing and combing can reduce the mats but they can come from nowhere seemingly.
The hairs on a dog are covered with tiny scales that tend to stick up when the hair is treated harshly. These “scales” then get tangled with the undercoat or with dirt and other debris and can form hair. They are similar to Velcro, or the tiny stickers that cling to your pants leg and accumulate when you walk through them. Eventually they grow and form a solid bundle of hair that no brush can find it’s way through.
Most people tend to just cut the mats out with scissors and leave holes in the dog’s coat, and at times mats are so bad that it leaves you no choice but to shave the dog, ridding it of all the mats at once. The method that you choose should take into consideration the comfort of the dog since it can be quite uncomfortable if you try to comb the mats out.
There are some tools available to help you get the mats out from your dog’s coat. These help keep the coat intact and make it a more pleasant experience for both you and the dog.
Oil based coat conditioner: This spray will prepare the dog’s coat and helps to smooth out the scales that caused the mat in the first place. With the use of the oil based conditioner spray it can help you to move a comb through the coat easier
Mat Comb: This is a comb tool that is similar to a comb but it has blades instead of teeth. This cuts the mat into smaller slices that can then be combed out easier.
Mat Splitter: This is a blade with a curved handle that’s job is to cut through a mat to make it more manageable.
Scissors: If you are going to use scissors to cut out the dog’s mats make sure that it is sharp and that you have someone help hold the dog if necessary so you do not harm the dog
Slicker Brush: for finalizing the coat after you brush out the mats
Using these tools in the right way will help you to take good care of your dog when they have mats.