My tips for preventing a matted hair nightmare!
Sorry that I am SO out of date with my blog posts! I promise I will try and do them more regularly!
With winter coming, what better time to share my tips and favorite tools to combat matted hair! Although hair can become matted all year round, with the ground getting wetter and muddier and a lot of people preferring to keep their dog's hair a little longer, winter is a bit more difficult for maintaining your dog's coat. Personally, I prefer to keep my dogs quite short throughout winter as they don't pick up as much mud and dry quicker, and put a coat on them on cold or rainy days.
First things first....
Brushing is so important for dogs with long hair. As is using the correct tools! There are my essentials...
1- Wire bristle brush- A lot of dog brushes on the market will run over the knots on without you even noticing. A brush similar to this will stop help you run through he knot. Just make sure you use this brush softly and mindfully as it can be scratchy on the skin.
2- Narrow tooth comb- Use this after brushing. It will stop a any knots you may have missed so you can get rid of them.
3- Detangle spray- or miracle spray! There is a lot on the market so feel free to try other brands but personally i love this Wahl one and find the cheaper brands are less effective. However, if you find any you think are great let me know! I also love to spray a bit on this on dogs that are not knotty, it leaves the coat so soft and sleekly!
There are other products such as matt splitters but I personally think these are kind of useless.
How often you brush your dog really depends on your own dog, as different dogs have different hair maintenance needs.
Long haired dogs need more brushing, also curlier haired dogs tend to get knottier too.
Dogs that are more adventurous will probably have more brushing needs also as running around and playing will get their hair tangled.
We've all been there, haven't we?! Your dog has gone off for a mooch and come back like they've had a turkish mud bath.
Here is Maggie after her latest one *face palm*. Also note Milo's laughing face that he won't have to be put in the bath!
So what is best to do?
With a dog this dirty there's not really another option but to bath them. In the deepest and wettest of winter, dogs like mine come in really wet ans muddy after every walk, even when they have been just walking on the path. It is not good for dogs skin and hair to be bathed with shampoo every day, so sometimes i will just wash my dogs legs off with water and no shampoo, or wait until he/she is dry and brush it out.
Do NOT rub him/her all over with the towel! That just tangles the hair even more and encourages knotting. It is much better to 'pat dry' using a towel and brush out when dry.
Some dogs will barely need brushing at all, and some every day! The dogs which tend to be most prone to matting are 'teddy bear dogs' such as cockerpoos, cavishons etc and also curly coated dogs such as bichon frise and poodles.
Depending on the severity of matting, I can often blend in the matted areas and still keep a fluffy, teddy groom. However, if it at a level where there is too much, there have been occasions where the dog has to be completely clipped short so the coat can completely regrow. There are various reasons for this, including how much time it takes which therefore makes it expensive and also the wellbeing for the dog. It can be very uncomfortable for a dog to be matted, both in everyday life and getting rid of it (it is even in the animal welfare act that a matted dog can only be brushed for 30 minutes).
I hope this helps and do not hesitate to ask if you would like any more help keeping your dog sleeky and shiny!