Matted pet hair not only forms unsightly clumps in your pets’ coat but may also become dangerous to the point of putting your pet’s health – or life – at stake. By knowing about some of the dangers of matted pet hair, as well as doing some simple do-it-yourself grooming and pet maintenance, you can help avoid four major dangers of matted pet hair.
Matting Can Cause Pain
Pet hair that is severely tangled and becomes matted pulls tightly against your pet’s skin. This condition in turn causes pain similar to someone pulling your hair. Attempting to brush or comb out matted hair can cause severe pain for your pet because tugging on the hair pulls on nerve endings in the hair follicles where the hair grows.
Parasites Hide In Matted Hair
Tangled and matted pet hair gives parasites such as fleas and ticks a place to hide and breed on your dog or cat. When fleas and ticks are hidden in your pet’s coat, they can breed and continually bite your pet, causing anemia (low red blood cell count). Flea and tick bites left untreated can become infected and cause your pet to become ill. Additionally, if feces or urine become trapped in matted hair, it can attract flies, which then may breed and irritate the skin.
Matting Affects Circulation
The twisting and pulling of the hair caused by matting also negatively affects your pet’s blood circulation and may cause bruising. By trapping blood near the surface of the skin, matting may keep blood from flowing to the feet, ears and tail, which can cause severe wounds (like bed sores) or allow your pet to over-heat in the summer or contract frostbite in the winter.
Movement May Be Limited By Matting
Severe matting may limit your pet’s ability to move freely, especially if the hair on their feet or legs becomes matted to adjacent areas. Matting of facial hair may restrict movement of your pet’s mouth and keep them from adequately eating, drinking or breathing.
What You Can Do
Bathing your pets one a month not only helps de-tangle their hair, but it also diminishes the possibility of matting. Blow-dry your pet if possible. Dampness can weigh down pet hair and cause matting. Daily brushing will deter matting of your dogs’ and cats’ coats, naturally keeping them looking good between trips to the groomer. Combing after brushing not only removes additional trapped hair, but also helps to smooth wavy coats and fluff up tightly curled coats. Pets with wiry or curly coats should have professional grooming about once every month to six weeks to decrease the likelihood of matting and skin problems.
Have a question about matted hair or about grooming? At Dog Day, Every Day!, our professional groomers can help! During daycare, we can groom your dog so when you pick him or her up, they’re looking and feeling their best. Call us at 513-860-DOGS to schedule your appointment today! For more pet care tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest!