Mats are tangles that develop into rigid knots in a dog’s fur. When the mats get to tight and dense to brush out, the only option is to shave them out. However, with proper coat maintenance at home and regular trips to the groomer, you can have a dog with long hair!
Follow these tips to avoid the shave of shame:
As a general rule of thumb, for every 1/4” of hair, brush once a week
Always remove clothes and harnesses before bed-these can create a sweater of friction mats in no time
Don’t forget to brush under the collar! Talk to your groomer about creating a “collar path” to shorten the hair in that area and reduce maintenance
Use tools suited to your dog’s coat type-your groomer can help you select the right brushes for the job
Always detangle your dog completely before a bath-once the hair dries the mats will only tighten more
Sometimes using a conditioner or detangling spray can really help. Saturate the tangles with it and work with the hair wet, from tip to root
If your dog puts up a fight for brushing, try distracting him. Kongs are great for this, just fill them with something tricky to get out, like peanut butter, and let your dog work on it while you work on his hair!