Dog hair needs regular care in order not to become matted. Once felt nodules have formed, they should be removed as soon as possible. In the worst case a felting develops too large felt plates – and then only a shearing helps.
The fine wool hairs of the undercoat interlock with each other and form small knots, which become not only firmer but also bigger over time. If dog care is neglected for too long, so-called felt plates are formed. This extensive felting can have serious health consequences: The skin is no longer sufficiently ventilated, bacteria can settle – and painful, itchy eczema is often the result.
Preventing matting in dog hair – through careful coat care
As a rule, especially dog breeds with longer hair or dense undercoat are affected by fast matting fur. The more frequently the coat is cared for and untangled, the less often felting occurs. Not only the frequency, but also the thoroughness of the coat care is important: Superficial brushing makes the coat look beautiful and well-groomed, but felting directly on the skin is not detected. The coat should therefore always be combed out to the skin.
Of course, the dog can have a smaller felt knot every now and then despite the most careful fur care. It is important that these feltings in the dog fur are removed as quickly as possible. As preparation, it is useful to treat the dog with FURminator’s Anti Knot Dry Spray. The dry spray makes the coat supple, so that felting can be loosened better. Dogs with matting should not be bathed before grooming because the moisture only makes the knots firmer. In addition, the skin under the matted coat can only dry poorly and therefore ignite more quickly.
Gently comb out matted coat
After treatment with the Anti-Knot-Spray, the dog should first be brushed loosely in order to untangle and coarsely smooth the coat in the first step. Felted areas can be easily located. The second step is to gently comb out the matted areas with FURminator’s rake comb or finish comb. Felt that is not directly on the skin is generally easier to remove. The dog fur should be held with the fingers between the felt knot and the dog skin to soften the plucking of the comb – so it doesn’t pull like that for the dog.
It becomes more difficult when the felting is directly on the skin. Here only a calm hand and a lot of patience can help. The scissors should not be used lightly. On the one hand, the risk of injury is high, especially if the coat is felt directly to the skin. On the other hand, the hair is only cut off with scissors, but dead undercoat is not removed. Under certain circumstances, the same spot may become matted again afterward.
Once the felting in the dog fur has progressed so far that felt plates have formed, the only thing that often helps is large-area shearing. The removal of the dog hair with the shearing machine should be left to a professional. The dog hairdresser of confidence can help here. Dogs – or also cats – that massively defend themselves can be given a sedative before shearing or, in an emergency, be shared at the vet under a short general anesthetic.
Important: After clipping, regular and consistent coat care is essential. When shearing, both undercoat, and top coat are cut off, which can quickly become matted during regrowth. In the worst case, these feltings sit directly on the dog’s skin again. Regular brushing, combing, and deShedding effectively prevent the new felting.