Taking Care Of Ourselves
Noticed A Change In Behavior?

What Does A Groomer Mean By Matted Coat?

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So, what is coat matting?

“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.”

When a conversation begins between a groomer and an owner regarding the condition of the pet’s coat and what is necessary it feels like there are two totally different conversations happening at the same time.

In my best Rod Serling voice; “Welcome To The Twilight Zone.”

In all fairness to both parties, I know my eyes pretty much glaze over if my car mechanic tries to explain the mechanics of what the problem is and the steps he needs to fix it. I’m going to end the conversation with Dude whatever, just fix it.

The problem lies in expectations Vs. reality. I’m expecting my car to be returned to me in a set amount of time, looking the way I think it should look, and costing me the lowest price point posted on the wall.

When that doesn’t happen, is it because I wasn’t paying attention (probably) or not explained to me in a manner that I understand (probably) or a combination of both.

I’m going to try explaining the how’s, why’s, and problems associated with your pet’s coat being matted.

Imagine if you will.

You are a child and your parents buy you a special form fitting suit and it’s oh so fluffy. It fits perfectly. Even as you grow, it grows with you. Pretty Amazing.

There are a couple of things your parents need to do for you. With the suit came a special washcloth and they need to wipe it down every day. But you know, they get busy. And now you’re getting wiped down every couple of day. But it’s OK.  There is also that monthly service visit recommendation some of your parents’ friends told them about, but the person they bought it from says that wasn’t necessary. Every 3-6 months should be fine.

Your parents see that you can go a couple of days. No Problem. They get used to it. Now you’re not getting wiped down for a week or so. In order to get the stains out, they have to rub harder. You protest.

Well they don’t want to hurt you. So they stop. They’ll try again later. Later doesn’t happen because every time you see the wash cloth, you run and hide. They simply stop. When you go in for a suit service check, they’ll let the technician know. A month later, you look good. No need to make that service appointment just yet. 3-6 months sounds right.

Problem becomes as the suit is not taken care of, it no longer grows with you. In fact, it is now tightening against your skin. It kinda hurts. But you get used to it. It’s a little itchy too. You were out in the rain and some water got under the suit and it feels a little weird.

Now your parents take you in for a suit service appointment. The night before, they get a regular washcloth and go superficially wipe your suit. Looking good.  The technician notes that you were supposed to bring you once a month. Your parents thought you looked just fine and stretched it out a bit. Come on. You really don’t need monthly appointments. That’s just a scam for the technician to make more money.

Your parents tell the technician to clean you up and make the suit all nice and fluffy again. The technician says no can do. This is really tight. I will probably have to cut it off.

“Cut it off”, screams one of your parents. I’m having company tomorrow. No. no, no.

The technician replies that in order to save the suit, it will take hours and may be too much for you to handle. In fact, the technician thinks that the too tight suit might have caused some injuries.

Your parents are getting a little annoyed as they are paying the technician, they expect them to do the job they are paying him to do.

The technician tells your parents he will do the best he can. However, what your parents hear is that you will be cleaned up and all nice and fluffy again and are quite disappointed when they come to pick you up and find that not only are you naked, but it looks like there are some skin irritations and possibly some bruising from the suit being too tight.

And then your itching begins as your skin can finally breathe.  By the time you get home, you’ve scratched yourself another injury.

One of two reactions happen.

  1. Your parents are outraged, but the technician calmly informs them that the new suit will get fluffy again, but they must bring you back every month to ensure that happens. That he tried and it became too much for you.  Now begins the social media blasting because it must be the technician’s ineptitude that caused the bruising, skin irritations, along with a bloody injury. And to top it off, when one of your parents replaced that ridiculous bow with another, you lost part of your ear because they wrapped it around the ear instead of the one tuft of fluff you had left. But they’ll blame that on the technician as well.
  2. Your parents are mortified and realize their mistake and start making monthly appointments for you as they do not want to cause you harm again. They also buy another washcloth as they no longer know what they did with the original.

But your parents are smart cookies and choose option 2. They realize that regular maintenance on your suit will keep it fitting properly and not cause you health problems. Give them a hand.

All pets need regular maintenance. Even short coated pets. Regular bathing and coat maintenance help keep skin and coat healthy. Regular professional maintenance has the added benefit of a professional set of eyes on your pet. In my personal career as a groomer I have found all sorts of problems that were easily mitigated because they sought our early veterinary intervention. Some of which saved the life of that pet.

Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader.

You can contact Mary by dropping a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com

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