Dogs are man’s best friend. Not only are they lovable and enjoyable to be with, but they can also serve as our protectors and even our security guards. That’s how cool it is to be a dog owner. However, being one requires a lot of responsibility. One of those things you need to consider is to ensure the health and hygiene of your dog.
A good example of how you can do just that is by shaving a matted dog. Dogs easily get matted because of their lifestyle and the natural texture and length of their hair and coat. This is why it’s very important to shave them every once in a while. It’s through this that you’re able to make sure that they’re clean and healthy. But it isn’t just about that as there are lots of things to know about this vital necessity.
Good thing you've found this article because that's just what we're going to talk about here. We're going to talk about how to shave a matted dog, as well as tell you everything that relates to it. Feel curious? Then read on!
- What are Matted Dogs?
- Factors that Make Dogs' Hair Matted
- Knowing the Shaving Process for Matted Dog
- Things to Consider When Shaving Your Matted Dog
- The Importance of Shaving Matted Dogs
What are Matted Dogs?
Matted dogs are dogs that have sticky and hard coats. You’ll know if your dog is matted by running a comb through their fur or hair. Though you might at first just use your hand to run through their coat, it still isn’t recommended because this isn’t enough to thoroughly flow through every strand of hair on their skin.
Use a comb, and you can smoothly go through their coat. It should easily glide through it. But if ever it gets snagged, then that's a strong sign that you've got a matted dog. The best thing to do when this happens is to stop brushing, as forced brushing might improperly pull out their hair from their skin. That would surely be painful! Instead of continuing brushing, you might as well shave it to your dog’s ideal hair length.
What Happens If You Don’t Take Care of Matting?
A lot of serious problems can happen if you don’t do anything about your dog’s matted coat. One of the usual problems that might happen is that they might have a pelted coat. A pelted coat is when the entire coat of your dog is matted, all the way from their neck to their tails, and even their legs and feet.
This then creates a large dirty mat over your dog’s body which can harbor parasites, pets, and other harmful microbial life. And not only that, because this will also make it impossible for you to brush out the mat.
A dog that has matted coat will also feel constant pain because the hair would always be pulling their skin. A slight movement that your dog makes would always result in pain because the hair sticks into their skin's surface. Their skin surface will then be a breeding ground for bacteria. In worse cases, it can even lead to fungal growth.
Factors that Make Dogs' Hair Matted
There are a lot of reasons on why your dog's coat and hair gets matted. However, the usual reason is that of friction. A dog's matted hair is usually found at the back of their ears, under their neck, in between their armpits, and even sometimes on the lower portion of their legs. These places are the spots where their body usually comes in contact with soil, grass, or other rough and dirty surfaces.
2. Posture and Position
A dog's posture and position also play a huge factor in why they might be matted. Dogs that always sit down or dogs that are left or right hipped are the ones that are usually matted. This is because air doesn't dry up their coat if it happens that their coat is wet. It becomes moist and it absorbs dust and dirty due to it being in contact with the surface it's sitting on.
3. Lack of Grooming
The most important thing about being a dog owner is always to put grooming above anything else. Ensuring that your dog is groomed well also isn't just about cleanliness, but it's also about making sure that they stay fit and healthy. Brush your dog regularly, bath them if they give off foul smell or if they look dirty. This way, you'll avoid them from getting unnecessary knots and tangles that then lead to matted coat.
Knowing the Shaving Process for Matted Dog
1. Let a Groomer Shave Your Dog
Though this article is all about knowing how to shave your matted dog by yourself, it would still be better if you let a groomer do it for you if it’s your first time. Not only will this ensure that the shaving process will be carried out properly, but it also helps you know how to do it properly and know what to expect the next time you do it yourself.
Bring your matted dog to a reputable groomer. And while you’re in the place, be sure to be calm. Take note that your dog will know if you’re nervous or not, and if you’re nervous, chances are, is that they might also be nervous.
Be relaxed and just keep calm. This helps your dog to calm down too and make them feel that they're in safe hands. Also, take the time to observe how the actual process is done. After all, personally seeing hot the shaving process is done would help you understand how to do it yourself.
2. Prepare the Place for Shaving
Now that you’ve previously brought your dog to a groomer, but it’s again time for you to get rid of its matted hair, then there would be no doubt that you’re going to do it the right way now. Firstly, position your dog on top of a sturdy and solid table. Make sure that the table doesn’t wobble. And also make sure that the dog’s neck is securely tied to its collar.
You might also want to use a leash and tie it at the chair’s back. Then push the chair inside to give support. After that, attach your dog to the opposite side of the leash. This way, you stop your dog from jumping down the table if ever it wants to.
3. Have an Assistant
Just like how the saying goes, no man is an island. And that isn't just applicable to deep life scenarios, but it will also apply to you when you're shaving your matted dog. When you're shaving, it would be highly recommended for you to get an assistant and have him or she assist you when it comes to holding your dog or handing down things to you.
This is especially important if your dog is always moving or is has a squirmy personality. Make sure that your dog is at ease when the shaving process is going on. This helps prevent injuries or cuts. Your dog will also be at ease if he finds another familiar face surrounding him.
The first place that you can shave on your matted dog is on their head. This is also the most delicate part which is why you need to be extra careful when doing this. Make sure that you don’t touch their eyes, nose, ears, or mouth. However, you should shave the places around those mentioned body parts. It’s recommended that you stay 1 inch away from their eyes and mouth to prevent any injuries from possible jerking movements that might happen. Also don’t push too hard as the shave might puncture their skin or might even go through their skill. You surely don’t want that to happen. Take note that there are some dogs that aren’t too sensitive to pain.
4. Shave their Under Areas
This might sound to be quite confusing because I've preferred to use under areas. Well, it isn't that hard to understand because this just means that you need to shave then the parts that are under their arms and tail. But in shaving these parts, it would be better if you use a no. 10 blade as this isn't that sharp or too soft. It's the perfect blade to deal with these parts.
Also, see to it that you hold the clippers using its comb attachment. And it should lay flat on your dog's skin. If your dog has been squirming for quite some time, don't hesitate to stop. This isn't normal at all. It might be that they're in pain or they're just nervous about what's happening to them. Calm them down and gently stroke their back and under areas.
5. Shave their Back
Once you’re through shaving their head and the areas under their body, it’s now time for you to shave your matted dog’s back. Though this might be the easiest part to shave, don’t underestimate it because there are some dog breeds that have thin coats and you might puncture their skin if you push the shave too hard.
You can still use the no. 10 blade because it's made to shave the entire body. However, if you find that the mats are too thick and hard, and then it’s alright for you to use a larger blade, but one that’s not too large.
6. Shave their Legs
It's now time for you to shave your matted dog's legs. This is a bit tricky because you need to be careful not to scar their legs. A dog's legs have different shapes, and you need to know their natural contour. To be safe, it's better not to push the shave too hard because you might hit their knees and ankle bones. Also, expect that the entire coat of your dog might come off in a single layer just like a jacket if the mat is so severed.
This is also the time when overheating usually happens. Check the shaver now and then. You can do this by touching its sides with your own hands. If it's too hot, then stop and take a break. Your dog might also be stressed with the seemingly unending movement it gets.
7. Shave their Belly
Now that you're near to finishing the shaving process, you can now head to shaving their belly. When doing this, make sure that they're not moving. The belly has a very thin skin, and you can easily puncture and cause their skin to bleed if you push the shaver too hard on the belly. Just give it a soft and gently pass through to avoid any injuries. Don't let it rub or scratch the surface as this can create hot spots.
8. Give them a Cool Bath
What usually happens once you’re done shaving your matted dog is that they start to itch. This is because of the sharp hair edges left on their skin, as well as the cut hair. And when you leave them that way, they might scratch it until it gets scarred and it gets infected.
You can avoid that from happening by simply given them a cool bath. You can put them in a dog tub and fill it with cold water, but not too cold. This way, you cool them down, and you soak away all the cut hair that's left sticking to their skin.
Things to Consider When Shaving Your Matted Dog
1. Know Your Dog’s Personality
You should always see to it that you know your dog's personality when it comes to shaving your matted dog. This is because you need to know what to expect when the shaving starts. The way they react is very important because if you don't know this, then there's a possibility that they'll get injured.
Knowing their personality is also one way of knowing if they've got any possible skin infections. A shaver shouldn't be in contact with skin infections as this might cause them to bleed and might complicate the whole thing up. There are also some dogs that become depressed or get in a bad mood after they've been shaved.
2. Indoor or Outdoor
According to studies, a dog that’s always outdoors is the one that is more in need of shaving. This is because they can easily get dust, dirt, and mud on their skin, which causes their coats to get matted.
On the other hand, dogs that spend most of their time indoors don't easily get dirty. But why is it that they still get mat? Well, it might be due to their natural oils. If this is the case, then it's not a big deal if you're going to shave an indoor dog or not.
3. Don’t Shave Double Coated Dogs
It’s very important for you to know what kind of dog you have. And by this, I mean know their type of fur. Your dog might have a single coat, or it might have a double coat. If it has a single coat, then it’s alright for you to shave them especially if they’re matted.
However, if they’ve got a double coat, just like with a Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, and Pomeranian, it's not advisable for you to shave them. It's because their outer coat layer is their guard layer. It's the one that protects them from extreme cold.
When you take away their outer coat, it’s possible that they’d get sick. Much worse if you’ll shave off their inner coat because it’s the one that has fine hairs that are closely knit to their skin. Shaving them off would just result in infections and serious complications.
4. Shaving Won’t Cool Down Your Matted Dog
Before, I usually shaved my dog in summer especially if they're already matted. And it always baffled me because it seems like it didn't do any good thing to them. Then I realized that it's because shaving doesn't cool down your dog.
In fact, it just worsens the situation because it exposes them to more heat. You see, a dog's coat keeps them warm. But it also protects them from feeling the heat of the sun. It acts as a protection shield or a barrier that prevents the harmful rays of the sun from reaching their skin.
If you take that off, you’re just aggravating the situation and making them feel warmer. However, there are also instances when you need to shave them, just like when their coat is already too matted.
The Importance of Shaving Matted Dogs
Having a dog is all about responsibility, and this is the reason why you should shave your dog especially if you find that their coat gets matted. So what’s the best reason why you should do it? Well, it’s for the sake of hygiene.
You see, dogs are active creatures and they love strolling around and playing wherever they like, be it a muddy place, wet place, dry surface, or anywhere. They're playful pets, and it's because of their playfulness that they easily get dirty.
When they get dirty, their coat gets matted, and it entangles their hair with each other. This makes them look dirty, and they give off a foul smell. By shaving your dog, you're removing all those unnecessary hair, and you're reducing the chances of them being unhygienic.
2. Better Mood
Shaving your matted dog gives them a good mood because they feel lighter and they feel more at ease with their selves. When their coat is matted, your dog will always be in a bad mood because they always feel itchy.
Unknown to most people, matted coat on a dog is a breeding ground for small critters that might be feeding off of their blood. You don't want that to happen to your dog, that's why you need to remove that breeding ground for microbial life and shave it off for good.
3. Visual Look
Then there comes the aesthetic appeal of a shaved dog. Matted dogs don't look good. In fact, chances are if you see one is that you'd be disgusted even to touch it with your own hands. Trim their matted coat off using a shaver. Not only do you make them clean and good smelling, but you also make them presentable.
Making them presentable is important as the dog's also have feelings. If they see people admiring them, they'll feel better about themselves, and they'll be more playful and socializing.
It's not always about appearance, smell, looks, and mood when you're taking care of your dog. It's not just those things you need to take care of, but you also need to consider their health. By shaving off the matted coat of your dog, you're able to ensure their health.
You say goodbye to all the fleas and all the bacteria and other critters that might be feeding off your dog’s blood. This also improves their blood circulation. For sure, shaving off your dog’s matted coat will make them healthier and will surely make them live a longer and happier life.
With all these being said, you can see how important it is to take care fo your dog's wellbeing, specifically speaking, you'll see the vitality of shaving off their matted coat. Matted dogs are unhealthy dogs, and you need to know the proper way of removing it.
Not only does matted hair make them look unpresentable and dirty, but it will also cause the deterioration of their physical and mental health. To make sure that your dog lives the best life he or she deserves, consider shaving them now and then, especially if you find that their coat is matted. You’ll be surprised to see the wonder it does to you.