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Updated: May 21

Hello friends of Southern Divine! Christina here with your first November SDKPG Barking Post. In honor of the chillier weather, we will be discussing matting and how to prevent it.

1: What exactly is the difference between a tangle and a matt? A tangle is fur or hair that can easily be combed out without pressure, normally located on or near the ends of the coat. When a tangle is left alone, it will begin to knot. This knot requires a little bit of pressure to comb out. If this knot becomes wet from any source (nature, playtime or self-grooming) it will result in a tighter, larger knot which we call, A Matt. This matt will require being held between 2 fingers (to protect the dog's skin from being scratched) and brushed out with a metal slicker brush and followed up by a comb. The average time of removal is as little as a ~minute to ~ten minutes. If left to get wet by nature or playtime the matt will get tighter and incorporate surrounding hair. Over time the matting will spread to a large section of the body until it covers the entire dog. This is when we consider the dog "pelted" When we shave a pelted dog down it is removed in one solid blanket. This type of matting can take as little as 20minutes to as much as multiple hours to remove. In most cases; matting does not happen overnight. Matting happens over the course of days to weeks while pelting normally occurs after weeks without maintenance. 2: Fuzzy and long coated breeds are what we as groomers see the most in our salons. Some of the most common that we see here at SDK are doodles, poodles, shih tzu and the great pyrenes. These breeds are also the most common ones we see matted. These breeds {and similar breeds} also go through what we call "Coat Change". Puppies will go through 3-5 changes of coat in their first 18 months of life. When the coat is changing from "puppy coat" to the adult coat there can be some difficulties in preventing matts. This is where daily brushing at home is a necessity. Matting is something that we as groomers take very seriously and have the most passion for. In the most extreme cases, we are overcome with tears because we see it far too often in our field of work. To be able to set these pups free from pain and see the joy on their faces while they prance around is why we do what we do. Most of us take an unspoken oath to provide care for any and all dogs and we choose safety and comfort over vanity. 2.5: If you have visited our salon in the past two months you may have seen a new face in the checkout area. The new doodle on the block is Teddy. Teddy was an emergency rescue that was brought to us for a medical shave down. This boy is still to this day the worst case of matting I have ever seen. One of our groomers and one of our shop owners took close to two hours to safely shave him down. Teddy was adopted by our wonderful shop owners Bobby and Heather before the day was done. He now is living a life of "sofas n snuggles" with daily visits to the salon. Where to look for matting: Upon checking in to our salon we typically give your pup a snuggle and pets. This isn't solely to love them but also to feel for any signs of matts. We check behind and, on the ears, belly, harness area, legs and tail. If possible, we try to also check your pup's toes. Toe matts just like; ears and sanitary are extremely painful to brush out. The skin in these areas is typically very thin and the risk of causing accidental injury can be high. Which is why most of us will opt to shave these areas. Double coated breeds like the golden retriever will have matts traditionally on the back end and behind the ears. Medical expectations attributed to matting: Even a small matt behind the ear can leave what we call "bruising" on the skin. This is a red spot that in minor cases will clear up within an evening. Matting pinches the skin and causes blood loss to the area that is being pinched. In serious or severe cases the bruising is no longer red but in fact different shades of purple and even black. Matting can cause nerve damage and even amputation. In Teddy's case the matting caused striped bruising all over his body with scarring on the tips of his ears and tail. Financial costs of matting: If your pet has encountered matting, then you've possibly been surprised at the grooming bill. Here at SDKPG, we try to give you the total price upfront during drop off. Sometimes there are instances where we cannot give a full look over of your pet until they are on our table. . Instances like this do cause inconveniences to not only the pet owner but also us. At times like these we call and or message in hopes of being able to speak with the pet owner to come to an agreement on how to proceed with the grooming. We offer spot shave (if we can hide the matted area and the dog will still look cute) or an all over haircut (with leaving as long as we can). If the matting is small, then we will automatically brush it out and inform you upon pickup. Normal procedure is to remove the matting prior to a bath and then groom as normal. In serious cases the dog would require a total of 2 grooms and 2 baths. Due to the extra supplies and time needed to groom a matted pup, we charge a dematting fee which starts at $10sm/$20lg/$30Xl and increases from there. Small easily removed matts do not carry these fees. How to prevent matting: We are here to help. We would all would Love to work with you on proper brushing techniques that you can then perform at home. Most owners aren't aware that the brushing techniques they are using primarily only benefits the surface coat. Please ask to speak with your groomer to set up a time to bring your pup in for one-on-one guidance to use at home. Grooming should be seen as a normal part of your dog's life and not something to be feared. We offer prepaid grooming plans that will ensure the proper management for your pup's coat. With good at home maintenance combined with regular spa days your pup's coat will remain healthy, shiny and most importantly; matt free. SDK Groomer, Christina

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