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Hair Raising Tails 5 Grooming Problems
by Deb Hanson

Dogs come in all sizes and shapes. They are at different life stages. Their coats vary.
They even have special medical problems. All these factors will affect how you can
and even when you can groom them. Below are 5 grooming problems and how to
handle them. Whenever in doubt about personally handling any of these situations
talk to, or better still, leave it up to a professional groomer.

Matting Or Pelting

A mat is a knotting -  a compression of hair. It is usually comprised of shed hair which
becomes stuck in the coat. A dog with a matted coat requires special attention. Since
mats form close to the skin, it can be difficult to remove them. You have to work with
the mat and its position to ensure the dog is not harmed. Adopt this procedure

•         Before you try to remove the mat, make sure the dog is relaxed and calm.
Mats hurt, so dogs tend to be more aggressive.

•         Place the appropriate comb under the mat before you use the scissors. This
will hold it away from the skin.

•         With the mat elevated in this way, you can then proceed to cut the mat or

Sometimes, this method is not possible. The mat will be too close to the surface of
the skin. In this case you should shave the mat off. In order to accomplish this
without harming the dog, you will need to shave off only a little at a time. This will
prevent you from cutting the exposed skin.

When dealing with matted dogs always remember they are upset. If you tug on the
hair with a brush or scrub at the mat, it will pull at the tangle. This will hurt your dog.
As a result, a matted dog may become more aggressive. It may shift nervously
making it more difficult to cut. You need to reassure the dog. Do so with words and

One further caution. If you shave your canine, it will need protection. The sun’s rays
and cold temperatures can have a negative impact on your dog’s skin and health. Try
to keep the shaved area covered until the hair regrows. Alternatively, easier said
than done, try keep the dog inside.

Grooming Seniors

Older dogs often have health issues. They usually have issues surrounding their
mobility. An older dog may be incontinent. It may have a combination of a variety of
health problems. Before you even start to groom this senior citizen, know the

When it comes time to groom the older dog you can adopt the following approach

•         Cover any hard slick floors with rugs or towels. This will make your dog feel
comfortable in 2 ways. If they have problems with their eyesight, it will ensure they
realize the floor has depth. If the dog is weak on his or her legs, this will help to
prevent any falls.

•         If the grooming session includes a bath, make sure the water is warm.

•         Older dogs need a comfortable bath in terms of temperature and environment.
To prevent the dog from slipping, place a bath mat at the bottom of the tub. This will
prevent slipping.

•         Always move the animal gently. If possible, have the animal lie down during
the grooming. This will decrease stress on the joints.

•         Give the animal plenty of breaks for relieving him or her self.

•         If the animal has a heart problem do everything you can to keep stress at the
very minimum. For example, avoid an overheated room.

You can make grooming a pleasant experience for the older dog if you take care. In
the next article we will continue looking at grooming problems. The focus will be on
puppy grooming and grooming obese dogs and those with medical conditions.

Content written by
Deb Hanson of Oh My Dog Supplies, check out our cool selection
orthopedic dog beds online.