Most dogs will get mats in their fur at one point or another – especially longer haired breeds. Mats are dense, tangled patches of fur. These mats can come from any kind of friction between their fur and other surfaces.
If your dog lays on its sides or back a lot, it’s bound to get some mats in its fur. Mats aren’t particularly harmful to your dog if they’re taken care of, but if they’re left on your dog for some time, it will become uncomfortable and even painful for them to interact as they normally would.
Mats also cause dry skin, because they don’t allow moisture to get to the skin. Keeping mats under control isn’t particularly difficult. The easiest way to avoid them from even forming is to regularly brush your dog.
Brushing your dog with a soft brush somewhere between every day and every week will keep your dog’s fur clean and untangled. If you spray a very small amount of water on your dog’s coat before you brush, it will help with the whole brushing process.
Brushings are also soothing for the dogs, much like being pet. Shorter, straight haired dogs don’t require brushings as often as long, curly haired dogs. Keeping your dog’s fur trimmed down may also help prevent mats from forming.
However, if your dog forms mats anyway, it’s not the end of the world. To untangle a mat, you should first try to gently pull the mat apart. If the mat isn’t very severe, it should easily be broken down into smaller mats.
Once you’ve broken down the mat a bit, take a wire brush or comb and slowly brush through the remaining small mats until the matting is all gone. Then, use your softer brush and brush through their fur again.
Sometimes, the dog’s fur is severely matted, and can’t just be pulled apart and brushed through. At this point, the best option is to simply remove the matted fur altogether. This is best done at a vet clinic or pet stylist, as they have clippers designed specifically for dogs.
While at the clinic or stylist, ask them about proper grooming techniques for your specific breed. They can recommend good brushes and shampoos to use, as well as detangling sprays. It is very important that you get rid of the fur if you can’t do it yourself, because underneath those mats, there might be bugs, parasites, or skin injuries.