Dogs with a long, fine coat and and those with a thick, woolly undercoat are prone to developing mats, but any dog with a reasonable amount of hair that doesn't get groomed on a regular basis can develop these out of control tangles as well. Mats are more than a cosmetic issue; a matted coat can cause pain because the mats pull on your pet's hair and make it uncomfortable for him to lie in certain positions. The area under the mat is also susceptible to sore spots and infection.
Tip #1 - Spray your dog with a conditioning detangler or silicone-based grooming spray to make the hair soft and smooth, which makes it harder for tangles to develop.
Tip #2 - Groom your dog every day. Spend a few minutes each day grooming your pup to remove tangles before they get large. Pick any debris out of your dog's coat while you're grooming. Small sticks, burrs and other outdoor matter that becomes tangled in your dog's coat create the ideal spots for mats to form.
Tip #3 - Get down to the skin. Don't just brush over the surface of your dog's coat, get right down to the skin so you can catch any tangles and make sure the skin is in good condition. The actual grooming tool you use matters less than taking your time to groom your dog thoroughly, down to the skin, on a regular basis.
Tip #4 - Treat itchy skin. If your dog chews or scratches frequently, he probably has itchy skin. The chewing and scratching create tangles and mats in the hair, so it is important to get to the root of the problem so he stops scratching. Frequent causes of itchy skin in dogs include allergies and fleas or other parasites. Visit your veterinarian to find the cause and treatment for your dog's itching.
By Stephanie Dube Dwilson
About the Author
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.