Post-Groom Tips: Matting Prevention and After-Shave Care

March 30, 2023

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As the loving and proud owners of sweet dogs, we all understand the importance of keeping our fur babies healthy and comfortable. Consistent grooming and coat maintenance are key components of your pup’s well-being. Regularly maintaining your dog’s coat with brushing will help keep that beautiful fur free of tangles — also known as mats — which can create unwanted problems for your dog. We understand that it may be difficult for some pet parents to find time to take their pups to groomers regularly, which is why Barkbus exists: to make life easier for you and your pup by bringing professional grooming services directly to your door!

We’re here to help explain more about the importance of dog grooming and after-care, and answer common questions like does matting hurt dogs?

Why Does Matting Matter?

You might be wondering: what causes matted hair in dogs? Matting happens when fur knots and tangles — either because of a lack of brushing or because your dog has been biting or scratching it. Over time and without proper treatment, the matted fur can get bigger and tighter, becoming very difficult to untangle. Dogs like Cocker Spaniels, Goldendoodles, and Shih Tzus have coats that grow out long and need more care with brushing to avoid matting.

Matted hair is uncomfortable for your dog and can also be made worse by your pup licking and tending to the area. The clump of fur can be easily pulled, which can damage the skin and cause sores to develop. It can also lead to hot spots, infection, broken skin, bruising, and hematomas. 

Treating severe matting in dogs isn’t easy and can cause lots of pain, in addition to the risk of infection. Often, the best way to get matted dog hair untangled is for professional groomers to refresh the coat by carefully and gently shaving the hair. The decision to groom a matted dog by shaving their fur isn’t taken lightly. It’s time-consuming, intensive, and can be painful for your pup. Your Pet Stylist will first pre-shave the coat, then follow with a conditioning treatment in the bath. After the drying process, the Pet Stylist will go through and finalize the haircut.

How to Care for Your Dog After a Dematting Groom

Some dogs have been known to feel insecure after a shave, often hiding or behaving in a way that’s unusual for them. Your dog feels as if its winter coat has been shed and may need some time to adjust. Showing them lots of affection in the form of petting and cuddling will help them feel much better! 

Alternatively, a little treat — whether it’s their favorite food or cuddly toy — won’t go amiss and will help your pup see the whole experience as a positive one. You might also want to consider investing in dog clothing or sweaters, which is a great way to keep your pup feeling cozy and less vulnerable without their coat. Be sure to choose a sweater that’s light and breathable to avoid your pup from overheating and their skin from becoming moist since it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Soft material is also preferable, as you don’t want anything to irritate your dog’s skin or cause them to scratch. Excess scratching could lead to your dog’s skin breaking or cause painful infections. 

Natural Remedies

There are a few different natural remedies that can soothe your pup’s skin. Witch hazel and aloe vera are often used on pups to reduce pain and inflammation. Just be sure not to use raw aloe vera as it can contain latex, which is harmful to dogs. Most supermarkets sell witch hazel and aloe vera ointment, which you can add to a cotton ball and gently wipe over the affected area. Chamomile and oatmeal are also effective skin soothers and can be added to warm water to create a relaxing bath for your canine companion. 

Since these remedies are natural, you can trust that they won’t harm your pup’s skin, but we always recommend consulting with your vet first. Here are a few good options we’ve found:

Creams, Shampoos & Sprays

There are several creams, shampoos, and sprays that can soothe your pup’s skin and protect against sore health conditions.

Again, we advise that you speak to your vet before starting any new treatments. And if your vet approves, it would be wise to apply a small amount of any new product first to see if any allergic reactions occur. When you do apply the products, remember to be gentle, as your pup’s skin is likely very irritated. It’s also important to dry your dog thoroughly after each wash to prevent bacteria. If you see any new irritation, stop using the product immediately.

A Golden Retriever getting a bath.

Here are a couple of dog creams, shampoos, and sprays you can try:

How to Prevent Matting in the Future

When it comes to fur matting, the best approach is prevention through regular coat maintenance, including routine grooming. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of a complete shave down, but it’ll also protect your dog from sore skin, infections, and potentially harmful bacteria. 

Brushing Multiple Times a Week

Wondering how to prevent matted dog hair? Brushing will get it done if you do it regularly! Brushing your dog’s fur isn’t just a great way of providing a much-needed pamper, but it also helps to promote good skin health. Dead skin cells and fur are loosened, natural oils are distributed around the body, and any debris or dirt is removed.

A Corgi getting its head combed.

It’s important to use the correct type of dog brush. Although short-haired dogs are less likely to mat, it’s still important to brush them regularly with a brush that has short bristles. Long-haired dogs will need a brush with longer bristles. To avoid matting, you need to brush in the same direction that your dog’s fur grows. Apply firm strokes but be careful not to hurt them. Finishing with a shedding brush will ensure that any loose fur is removed. Here are two reliable dog brushes you can find online:

  • Babyliss Pro Pet Long Pin Slicker Pet Brush. Easy to hold and use, this brush is great for long and curly-coated hair. The small balls on the end of the bristles allow for a softer touch on your pup's skin, while the curved teeth will allow you to easily work through tangles.
  • FURminator Dog Grooming Rake. Designed for pups with long and thick fur, this brush untangles and removes mats. It even has rounded pins to prevent skin tugging.

Frequent Grooming Appointments

In addition to regularly brushing your dog, frequent grooming with professionals is a great way to keep their skin and fur in check, while also preventing any painful conditions. Professional groomers can take care of bathing, blow drys, nail cutting, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning — which are all essential for a healthy and happy dog. It’s also advisable that your fluff balls are treated to a grooming session every four weeks! It’ll help them get used to the idea of grooming as much-needed self-care for doggos and not as a punishment.

Book a Professional Grooming Service with Barkbus

Professional grooming is essential for both your dog’s appearance and overall health. Not only can it treat existing skin conditions, but also help spot potential concerns before they become serious health issues. Professional groomers know how to brush out matted dog hair with care and can also offer prevention advice.

At Barkbus, we’ve been helping dog parents do exactly this for years! Our mobile grooming service also makes the whole experience more convenient for both you and your pup. Get in touch with our team today to keep your dog feeling happy and healthy.


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