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Matting 101

Matting – it’s the number one issue groomers encounter in the salon, and it directly effects the health of your pet as well as the ability for a groom to “look” great. Matting causes a variety of issues for an animal depending on the duration and severity of the condition. When matting gets too advanced, there are limited options for us as groomers. In the most severe cases, the only appropriate course of action is to decline services and recommend that you take a pet to a veterinary groomer in order for a full sedation and shave down of the animal under medical supervision. We take animal safety & welfare seriously at Rainbow, and we will not perform services on animals presenting severe matting or other aggravating circumstances out of an abundance of caution.

The process of grooming does not cause the irritation of the skin, matting of the hair and lack of circulation do. When we shave down matted dogs, the skin is finally able to breathe and recover, and underlying symptoms of the matting are exposed. You must be patient and allow for the dog to heal, while remaining vigilant for other issues, like excessive scratching and licking which can cause further skin irritation and possible infection. As an owner of a breed prone to matting, you need to remain proactive for the sake of your dog’s health. A regular grooming schedule and changes to your home care habits are crucial in the prevention of mats and preserving your dog’s iconic look!

Learn more about matting:

Rainbow’s Policy
Our policy on grooming is simple – HUMANITY OVER VANITY. A dog whose coat has become matted is a serious issue that interferes with a normal groom. Matting left untreated for an extended time causes discomfort for you dog and expensive vet bills. If our groomers encounter matting in any significant quantity, we will call and recommended proceeding with a full shave down of the coat. Manual de-matting is stressful for the dog and is very labor intensive for a groomer, so we do not do so unless the matting is in a manageable quantity or small area.

A severely matted coat will often put pressure on and pull a pet’s skin tightly, resulting in bruising that can be revealed once mats are removed. When a matted coat is removed, it can expose conditions that occur either directly or indirectly as a result of matting: hot spots, sores, and severe itching can be caused by excessive licking, scratching, or chewing at matted areas. Other conditions that can occur as a result of long term matting – bacterial & yeast infections, parasitic infestations, urine & feces burns, rashes, eye and ear infections.

It is not unusual for the skin to become more irritated in the process of or as a result of a matted clip down. If conditions are observed in our care, your groomer will inform you. The skin under a matted area can be tender due to lack of air circulation and debris accumulation, and this may cause scratching behavior in a pet. You should observe your pet after matting removal to ensure that this behavior does not lead to broken skin and invite risk of infection. If you are in doubt, please consult your veterinarian for additional skin treatment advice.

Matting is common, and you should not feel embarrassed about bringing in a matted pet for grooming care! If you see that your pet’s coat is starting to mat, do not delay, schedule an appointment and we can help you develop strategies to correct the mats and develop a plan for reducing future matting!