Pet hair can become matted for many different reasons. Allergies, excessive scratching, fleas, lack of regular maintenance and bathing your pet before combing them out can all lead to matted hair. Once your pet’s hair becomes matted you will have to decide whether to de-mat or shave your pet’s coat. The answer will depend on the degree of the matting. If the matting is extensive or very tight, then the most humane thing you can do is shave them off. Matted hair is extremely painful and uncomfortable for pets.
Severe matting can lead to a number of different health conditions including:
- Fungal and bacterial infections
- Yeast infections
- Flea infestations
- Moist eczema
- Mites and lice
- Scalding from urine and feces
- Eye and ear infections
- Severe itching
De-matting is time-consuming and can be extremely painful for your pet. While there are a large number of sprays, conditioners, shampoos and tools available to assist you with mat removal, there is no grooming shortcut that will simply make the mats fall out. Once your pet’s hair becomes damaged it is impossible to reverse the damage to the hair shaft. The damaged hair must be removed much like split ends on a human’s hair. The end result of de-matting is much less attractive than the end result of shaving. Additionally, because of the time it takes to properly de-mat, de-matting is much more expensive than simply shaving your pet.
De-matting of both younger and older pets can cause severe mental and physical stress, placing their health and well-being in jeopardy. De-matting large areas can easily lead to brush burns, which can be just as serious as a third degree burn on a human. In addition, de-matting younger pets can make them fearful of the grooming process, leading to biting and other difficulties.
Shaving the matted hair is the most humane thing to do. How short it must be shaved depends on how tight the mats are and what must be done in order to make your pet look good. Sometimes only certain areas must be shaved, such as the ears or the belly.
Frequently, mats will be so tight that they actually pull up the skin. This makes it easy to nick or seriously injure your pet if you aren’t careful. Shaving matted pets is best left to a professional groomer. A professional groomer understands exactly how to remove the mats and make your pet look their best.
Once the pet’s matted coat is removed, the skin underneath is typically red and irritated from lack of air circulation. Occasionally a severely matted pet will have sores and/or infections underneath that require veterinary treatment. This is caused by the matting and is NOT a result of shaving.
Regardless of whether you choose to de-mat or shave your pet, professional grooming for matted pets is more expensive. The very best way to prevent matting in the first place is to brush and comb your pet daily between regularly scheduled professional grooming appointments. If this is not an option, then it is recommended that you book weekly maintenance grooming appointments so that a professional groomer can brush and comb your pet’s hair for you.
Claws N Paws Day Spa practices Humane Grooming. We will NEVER attempt to de-mat a pet if we feel that it will cause them harm.
Claws N Paws Day Spa has been taking care of Orange County’s pets since 2001. For more information please contact us today!
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