Matted Pet Policy:

There are many reasons a pet may become matted; family illness, recent adoption of a rescue animal or other situations that result in a lack of home grooming care and/or regular professional grooming. 

When a pet becomes matted the primary focus is no longer cosmetic but then becomes a health focus.  At Little Wiggles Dog (and Cat) Grooming we absolutely will not put a pet through the pain and trauma of brushing out a coat that is matted more than 15% of the hair/body.    It is important that you the client understand the seriousness of this type of situation; you will be asked to sign a form indicating you understand the following: 

In your groomers professional experience; a matted dog or cat can have pre-existing skin and health conditions that may be hidden but that may become apparent when the matted coat is removed. You must expect to see these issues once the mat is removed, sometimes it is not pretty.  

This procedure is commonly referred to as "clipping down, stripping down, or comfort clipping".  Your pet's finished appearance may reflect any pre-existing conditions, and will have very little coat left after the process if finished. 

The need to remove the matts is primarily for the health of your pet.  Cosmetic appearance is secondary at this time.  Any other method of hair removal or "brushing out" would be MUCH too painful for your pet in it's present condition.

Matted coats can cause a variety of problems for your pet; matting inhibits proper air circulation to the skin causing increased body heat in the matted areas making an ideal environment for many skin related problems such as "hot spots".

Dirt, debris and dander collect under the matts and tangles pull at the skin with every movement which results in chafing and abrasion over time.  This often occurs on the legs, feet, undercarriage, and regions behind the ears where the skin may be raw and inflamed.  These are also areas where the skin is thin and delicate.

Fleas, ticks and other opportunistic parasites and debris may be hiding under the matts to further irritate your pet's skin.  In extreme cases where matting has covered the anus of privates, your pet may be unable to successfully eliminate it's feces/urine, leaving an ideal environment for infections and/or an infestation of maggots etc.

There is also a chance that your pet's skin may become more irritated during the grooming process.  He/she may be nicked and/or cut during the grooming procedure.  This can be due to the matt pulling the skin up into the matt also known as "tenting".  Although your groomer takes every precaution; working so closely to the skin increases this possibility.  You must understand that in extreme cases of felting/casting or matt encasement; the groomer may have to "cease the groom" and refer you/your pet to the Veterinarian for further removal and medical care. 

There will be an additional charge for this process; it is very time consuming, and causes extra wear and tear on grooming equipment such as clipper blades which must be sent to Vancouver for sharpening and repair.  This wear and tear is due to sand, grit, and often small sticks trapped inside the matts. 

The extra charge can range anywhere from $20 - $50.  If sand is found in the coat the cost of blade sharpening will be charged at the groomers discretion. 

You the pet owner are responsible for any and all additional costs related to matting, if the groom is ceased - you will be expected to pay for the appointment fee as per time scheduled. 

When a pet comes that is in the matted condition where the above procedure is to be applied; it is very upsetting both to the groomer and to the animal.  Although the pet knows they groomer is helping them; it still hurts... and the pet (and sometimes groomer) often cry through the whole procedure.  Please brush your pet at home - matting can be deceiving, can happen rapidly, and there are many types of matts. 

Please go to the "home grooming tips" page on this website and join me on Facebook for more information.  If you are unsure about what tools are suitable for your pet, please ask at your next appointment  - you will also get a free demonstration on correct tool use. 

I try not to "judge" anyone - especially on a first appointment because I do not know the particular situation.  If matting is something that happens on a regular basis (ie: yearly or bi-yearly), is obviously through a lack of over-all grooming care, and therefore demonstrates there has been no effort to comply with grooming suggestions and that point I will no longer take responsibility for grooming the pet. I de-mat and educate one time only - after that it is considered neglect and I will not assist in nelgect.  Let's work together to combat matting!

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