- Existing knots may tighten!
- Dirt & oil may become trapped! (Clogged follicles)
- You could create more knots!
If your dog’s coat contains a multitude of knots and/or matting, dirt and sebum can build up within the knots. This build-up of hair, dirt and sebum can cause “clogged follicles” which leads to skin irritation, dandruff, possible infection and, depending on the thickness of the build-up, it can prevent water and products from penetrating the coat.
When you wash a dog in this type of condition, even with good intentions, you will be unable to properly cleanse the skin and hair within the knotted areas. As the hair dries, either naturally or by using a hair drier, the hair constricts and tightens.
These knots are then much harder to remove. They are now more clogged with this build-up, tighter and the surface of the hair will be rougher as it was not able to be cleansed and conditioned. The skin beneath the dirt/hair/sebum build-up is unable to breathe, becomes itchy and causes irritation. This is aside from the fact that matting is painful and can pull on the skin restricting blood flow etc.
So what should you do with a very knotty dog?
Ideally, you would want to brush them out before a bath using a conditioning spray or even just a spray bottle with plain water. Hydrating the hair prior to brushing will assist in getting out the knots as the skin and hair are more supple and have more elasticity in order to handle that type of aggression.
Once the knots are out, the water and shampoo (conditioner, other products etc.) are better able to penetrate the coat. You do not need to remove ALL knots but you do need to remove any tight knots. This takes a bit of practice to figure out which knots you can leave and which you’ll need to remove so as a general rule – “remove all knots prior to bathing”.
Once brushed and bathed, you’ll find any smaller or less severe knots are much easier to brush out, you were able to get a nicer finish and the skin will be more thoroughly cleansed plus, of course, the skin and coat will be much healthier and there is less chance of irritation.
This is the correct method of bathing to respect your dogs anatomy and the structure of the hair.