Any dog can develop mats, knots and snarls in his coat. For dogs with long coats or undercoats, the chances are even greater. One mistake that pet owners make is attempting to remove the mats with a bath. Whatever you do, make sure that the mats are removed before bathing otherwise they’ll become even harder to remove. Further, the mats can trap soap residue near the skin, making it itchy and irritated.
To remove mats, first use a comb or your fingers to release tangles and small mats. Be patient as this can take some time. For a particularly stubborn mat, slide a comb between the mat and the skin and then use scissors held against the comb to snip the mat off. If a comb can’t be slid between the mat and the skin, clippers may be needed to shave it off, just take care not to cut your dog’s skin.
If you’re a little hesitant about using scissor or clippers, there are special de-matting tools that can be used. These can include special combs or a mat splitter. These tools don’t cut the mat off, but rather work through the mat. Again, you’ll need patience as it can take some time and a little practice to get it right.
Still hesitant or maybe you’ve got a real doozy of a mat? Consider taking your dog to a professional groomer. And remember, regular grooming is a great way to prevent the mats from occurring in the first place.