Sue Zecco's Guide to Dematting
As featured in the Groomer's Choice VIG Magazine: Vol 1, Ed 1, Spring 2023
For detangling jobs big and small, it makes life so much easier to start with great products and tools.
The severity of the mats determines whether I break up mats before the bath or if I’m going to put them right in the tub and start my process there.
The dog in these photos is a large doodle who unfortunately went a bit longer than usual between grooming visits, resulting in mild to severe matting. Before the bath, I saturated her ears and tail (the worst matted areas) with the Best Shot UltraMax Detangler Spray. This has become one of my favorite products because it works so well and doesn’t leave any build-up in the coat, no matter how heavily I use it. I work it into the mats with my fingers, then use the Artero Demat Slicker Brush to break up the mats as much as possible.
Next, they go in the tub for a good scrub. I love The Coat Handler Undercoat Control Deshedding Shampoo and Conditioner. I always shampoo twice and work the conditioner into the matted areas. After letting it sit for five minutes, I rinse about 99% of the conditioner out. For the drying process, I start with towel drying well by using the Artero chamois and follow up by using my K-9 II Force Dryer and dry about 90 percent.
Then, I spray the Best Shot UltraMax Detangler Spray on the heavily matted areas, and I love the Bark2Basic Anti-Stat or The Coat Handler Detangler Spray for the lightly tangled areas. The force dryer is one of our best dematting tools. With a smaller nozzle and holding it closer to the skin, you can see the mats breaking up and working their way to the ends of the dog's coat.
When I have the dog about 90-95 percent dry, I use my Artero Demat Slicker Brush along with a dryer (either a stand dryer or a force dryer without a nozzle so it’s not blowing so hard). Together, you can watch the mats come out with relative ease and without irritating the dog's skin.
All of these tools and products help to create a beautiful finish instead of a short shave down, which is what we would all prefer as our calling card.
Disclaimer: Severely matted dogs are an individual case for each groomer to decide the best course to take to make grooming as easy and pain free on the pets.