The holidays are coming, as are the visits from family and the photos. We know the importance of making sure your pup looks adorable for the festivities and portraits – and wanting them fluffy for winter. It’s incredibly satisfying to see a happy fluffball walk out our door looking stylish.
However, there is something more important to us than the perfect “cute” haircut and that is the comfort of our clients.
Serious matting is where things go sideways
Serious matting is tight and close to the skin and occurs over more than 25% of your dog’s body. Serious mats will appear as clumps sometimes resembling dreadlocks. They are painful and dangerous as they are pulling at the skin, restricting blood flow to the skin, trapping moisture and restricting air flow which can cause hidden sores and, in some cases, bruising or hematomas. Dogs with serious matting must be clipped or shaved down. Clippers cannot cut through mats, therefore the groomer must go UNDER the mats which therefore results in a very short (and sometime uneven) haircut. This presents its own challenges and requires a signed release, because dogs with serious matting can have hidden sores and abrasions in addition to issues and discomfort from the lack of blood flow caused by the intense pulling of the mats for an extended amount of time.
Mats begin as tangles and, just like with human hair, tangles are generally caused simply by living. Friction from the collar can cause tangling, as well as scratching, rolling around in the dirt, running through brush…you know. Being a dog. Brushing your dog’s coat every few days can take care of these tangles while they are loose, which is to say before they turn into dreaded mats.
Minor and localized matting occurs in those areas that rub constantly. Like around the dog’s neck under her collar, behind her ears, in the tuck-up, armpits, and around the tail. These also happen to be some of the more sensitive areas. Minor matting can be brushed out in less than 10 minutes with minimal pulling. Localized matting in sensitive areas is best clipped out and usually does not require a full-body haircut.
Pelting is the final and most serious stage of matting
“Pelts” are mats that cover the dog in one piece almost like carpeting. Pelting occurs very close to the skin and often occurs when a pet owner is not brushing routinely or is brushing regularly but is not brushing down to the skin.
Clippers cannot cut through pelting, therefore the groomer must go UNDER the pelt resulting in a short (and many times uneven) haircut. Much of the same (or worse) happens with pelting with restricted blood and air flow to the skin, hidden sores, skin infections, etc.
Pelting presents its own challenges and requires a signed release.
With serious mats and pelts, we will not offer to de-mat your dog. It is incredibly painful, slow, and difficult work that would put far too much stress on your dog. We understand the desire for a fluffy pup, but we also want to do what’s best for them.
If you’ve taken your dog to the groomer and gotten the dreaded “smoothie” or “shave down” you may need some help and pointers on how to properly take care of your dog’s coat in between grooming. Make sure you are brushing your dog no less than 3 - 5 times per week if you want to keep their coat full and long.
Expect to have your dog groomed every 4 - 6 weeks.
Maintenance is very important and the more often we see your dog, it is less likely serious problems will develop. We offer a $5 discount if you schedule your next appointment when you pick up your dog. HOWEVER, even with a monthly visit you will need to care for your dog’s coat in the meantime.
We do offer brush-only services for our clients. Brush-outs start at $15 and depend on the size of the dog and the length/thickness of the coat. Between grooming brush-outs are only available to clients who go no more than 6 weeks between grooming appointments. Brush-outs need to be supplemented by in home brushing as well.
Not sure of the best way to brush your dog’s coat? No problem! Our groomers are more than happy to show you the proper way to brush through your dog’s coat to ensure proper maintenance between grooming appointments.