When you notice that your dog has a knot in his fur, it’s wise to intervene as soon as possible and try to remove it because, as well as being unattractive, it could cause your furry friend’s skin to become irritated or cause an infection in the long run. Luca, our groomer and the owner of the Laval Dog Centre in Vicenza, explains how to remove knots and which brushes to use!
Identify the type of knot
The knot can be tight or soft. The tight knot is recognizable because it is very thick, hard and compact and, by barely touching it, your dog can get distressed and look at you with pain in his eyes. The soft knot loosens when you touch it and it is easy to untangle, even using your fingers.
The most suitable brushes for eliminating knots
In order to open up the knots, first use your fingers, loosening the tangled fur, then use a slicker brush followed by a comb to fully untangle the last, smaller knots that still remain. Cutting off a knot should only be done as a last resort and only if it’s too tight. In this case, be very careful, because when twisted, the tension from the fur pulls the skin up and, in some areas, you could risk cutting your four-legged friend’s skin. It is best to turn to your trusted groomer in case of doubt.
The best techniques for untangling knots
When you begin to untangle the knots in your four-legged friend’s fur, try not to make any sudden movements: dogs are sensitive and you could scare them! If the dog is large, make him lie down next to you. If he is small, you can hold him in your arms, making it easier to pet him a little.
The first thing to do is separate the knots with your fingers, then brush the affected area with a slicker brush that has stainless steel bristles and will go deep into the fur but will not irritate your pet’s skin. The best technique is to put one hand under the knot and begin to brush it outwards, from one side to the other.
Every so often, stroke and reward your pet, to keep him calm! Be careful not to make the common mistake of wetting your dog, hoping to soften the knots. On the contrary, begin the operation with dry fur.
The last thing to do, to ensure that you have removed the knot once and for all, is to comb his fur. To avoid hurting your dog, hold the roots of his fur still with your fingers, pull gently and try to move the knot forward, thus making it possible to manage it. Knots should always be brushed from the bottom up!
To prevent knots from forming, try to brush your dog frequently and wash him using special conditioners.