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Tip Time: Cutting Mats

February 13, 2019

It might not feel like it right now, but spring is right around the corner! For many of our pets, spring means shedding. And shedding can mean mats!

Some mats can be teased or combed out, but if you find yourself wanting to cut a mat out of your pet’s coat I’d like to pass along this tip to do it safely.

I will be using some pictures of my short-haired dog who does not currently have a mat to demonstrate, because it is much easier to see. This is how you do NOT want to cut out a mat:


When you just lift the mat up, it is surprisingly easy to lose track of where the skin is and accidentally cut your pet with the scissors. Instead, use a comb to provide a barrier between the skin and where you are cutting. First, slide or tease the comb under the mat, between the mat and the skin:


Then, cut above the comb. This ensures that the skin is protected:



If a mat is too tight to work the comb underneath it, if your pet has large mats, or if your pet will not sit still for this method then it will probably be necessary to shave them with a clipper. You can call us for groomer recommendations at any time or, as always, if you have any other questions.

Karen Christopherson DVM

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