My Dog Is Pelted? What’s That?

Blog Banner (1)

The biggest issue we come to see in our grooming salon in Detroit and Commerce Township are pelted dogs. Pelting is when a long or curly coated dog’s hair is matted so tightly to their skin, that it restricts air flow and cannot be brushed through (think: one large dreadlock).

Pelted hair can lead to:

  • Yeast infections
  • Fecal matting
  • Hematomas
  • Fleas
  • Urine burns
  • Itchy, irritated skin
  • Cuts, scrapes, sores, and bruises

If you cannot part your dog’s hair and see their skin, they may be pelted and should visit an experienced salon or vet office right away. It is important that you do not give your dog a bath when their hair is tightly tangled, as this can make it worse/tighter, and it is especially important that you DO NOT try to cut the mats out yourself with scissors. This hair is right up against their skin, and as you lift their hair, the skin will lift with it, making it difficult to avoid cutting their skin. Even professional groomers have to be aware of clipper burns, nicks, and cuts when shaving down a pelted dog. While your dog will come out of the salon looking naked with a haircut no pet parent enjoys, they will be happy, healthy, and relieved from the constant pulling on their skin.


How can you avoid this serious issue? Routine brushing, bathing, and grooming appointments. Knowing how to brush your dog properly is pivotal in preventing matted hair, and we often see dogs that have simply been brushed on the surface layer of their coat – not down to their skin.  Here is a great video that explains how to properly brush a curly coated and double coated dog:

In addition to brushing your dog on a routine basis, it is recommended to start your dog in the salon as early as 12 weeks old. They won’t get a full haircut, but they will gain experience with the salon environment; The sound of the dryer, the sight of other dogs, the smell of the shampoos and cologne, and the feeling of being bathed, brushed, and held still by a stranger. Waiting until your pet is older to perform normal grooming procedures can make it scary for them, and more difficult to perform basic grooming tasks like brushing or nail trimming. This can lead to longer stints between appointments, and increases the chance of matted or pelted hair.

How canine to five can help

Brushing your dog’s hair can be a chore, and the last thing on your to-do list. Canine to Five’s grooming salon in Detroit is here to help! For pet parents who can’t keep up on their dog’s ever grown locks, we recommend scheduling bath appointments every 4 weeks, and haircuts every 8 weeks. Having a groomer bathe your long haired dog will give them the opportunity to brush out any tangles that may be forming, and make it easier for you to upkeep their hair at home.

We recommend reading our At-Home Guide to Brushing Your Dog for tips and tricks for your dog’s coat type, and learn the most common injuries we see in our salon and how you can avoid them.


Call us today to book your pup’s next spa day!
Midtown (313) 831-3647
Commerce (248) 246-6646

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Share This