Pet Grooming: Mats, Tangles and Daily Maintenance


One of the biggest problems I see pets owners face when it comes to grooming their pets has to be dealing with the tangled coats of their long-coated breeds. Given everybody’s busy schedule, what can we do? While I’m in no position to teach people how to manage their time (I think even the worst time managers can teach me a thing or two), I’m able to offer some advice on how to minimize the problem and make it less painful for you and your furry ones.

But what causes those tangles in the first place? Luckily, it’s not as mysterious as how earphones play boy scout knots in your pockets, and there are only four factors:

  1. Moisture
  2. Pressure
  3. Dirt
  4. Friction

The one thing advertising is right about

dog hair under microscope

I believe you’ve seen TV commercials for shampoos and hair treatment products, and they’ll show you the difference between damaged hair and healthy hair under the microscope. If you haven’t, imagine that our hairs are covered with fish scales, all pointing towards the tip (the fish head is at the scalp, and the tail is the tip). So the dog and human hair alike, when the hair shaft is exposed to the elements, will open up, creating barbs, and with a combination of the aforementioned factors, the coat sticks to each other, very much like Velcro fasteners.

Now recall the places where tangle usually forms on your pet:

  • Is it because it has not been dried thoroughly after the coat got wet (Moisture)? e.g., The overall body, feet, beard, and paw pads.
  • Does it form in places where it has contact with resting surfaces (Pressure)? e.g., Neck, four legs.
  • Easily soiled areas (Dirt)? e.g., beards, legs, between the legs.
  • Or does it occur in places where hair rubs against each other or other objects often (Friction)?

Friction is everywhere. This is usually the main culprit that brings all the factors together and makes it worse (it’s also the main reason your earphones get tangled in your bag). Therefore, it is imperative that your pet gets a good brush every other day to prevent mats from forming, paying extra attention to the inside of the legs, armpits, behind the ears, and neck. These are usually the areas where tangles form quickly, as well as areas we tend to neglect when grooming.

It’s too late…

So, if you are reading this but your pet is already in bad shape, what can you do?

Well, if it’s really in bad shape, please, have it groomed and use this opportunity to let you and your pet get accustomed to frequent grooming. More importantly, de-matting the pet is a very uncomfortable process. Always put humanity over vanity.

But if it’s only a 2-3 knots here and there, you could do the following:

  1. I would suggest getting a bottle of de-tangling spray from your pet store.
  2. Spray the matted areas and let it sit for half an hour.
  3. Try to loosen the mat with your fingers, separating it in all directions.
  4. Use a slicker brush and brush in all directions. Use small strokes to minimize damage to the hair and skin.
  5. It’s going to take a while, so be patient.
  6. Prevention is better than cure. Brush your pet every other day.


With the proper technique, your pet can maintain the straight look of a magazine every day. It’s not that difficult!

What you’ll need:

  1. Brushes (Pin brush for long coats >8cm. Slicker brush for coats between 1-8cm. Any shorter, use a grooming glove or curry brush, and that’s all you need.)
  2. Metal comb (Choose a medium to wide-toothed)
  3. Spray bottle filled with water (If you feel your pet deserves better, get a grooming spray, preferably something lightly scented or fragrance-free. I use Fabulous Grooming Spray from #1 All Systems. If your pet is suffering from skin problems, you can add a little of Zymox enzymatic rinse or Rejuvenating Bath from Chitocure into filtered/distilled water and use it as a grooming spray.)

The how:

  1. Lightly spritz the coat. Making the coat slightly damp will help reduce static friction while brushing.
  2. Using one hand to control their limbs and body, hold the brush with the other hand. If you’re using a slicker brush, make sure the face of the brush is parallel to the skin to minimize abrasion. If your pet struggles, make sure you communicate what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Reward and reprimand accordingly.
  3. Brush against the lay of the coat, using short bouncy strokes rather than one long pull. This will help reduce friction and prevent you from using too much force. The section of the coat is completed when you feel no resistance from the brush.
  4. Note that you should brush the coating layer by layer, using your hand to hold down part of the coat and only moving on when one section is completed. This ensures that the whole body and the entire length of the hair are covered.
  5. If you find a sizeable mat, follow the aforementioned instructions.
  6. Finally, go through the whole body with the metal comb. If the comb gets stuck (Girls would get this. Hurts, doesn’t it?), comb out the tangle, then check with the comb again.
  7. You’re done, and great job.

Well, the whole thing sounds long because I want to get into the details of it. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll do everything like it’s second nature. Besides, it’s just brushing. It’s really not that hard.

Anyways, I’ll try to do an instructional video soon. It’s tough visualizing instructions like these, isn’t it? Everybody has their interpretation, right?

So if you have any tips, questions, or thoughts, please comment below!

How much water should my pet be drinking?

We are constantly reminded to drink 8 glasses of water a day and eat only till we’re 70% full. But what do we do instead? Drink 4 glasses and eat till we’re 110%. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the same situation for our pets.

While it’s easy to see if your pet is overweight, not everybody knows if they are getting enough hydration.

Water is so essential to every being’s physiological functions that it literally takes a book to describe them all in detail. When scientists look for possible lifeforms on other planets, water would be one of the conditions they’d look for first.

Combined with commercial diets, lack of hydration leads to urinary tract infections (extremely common with cats) and kidney and liver problems. Ask any vet the percentage of senior dogs suffering from any of them resulting from not drinking enough water.

But on the other hand, excessive drinking can be a signal to a variety of problems as well, including liver and kidney disease, diabetes, and hormonal disorders.

So how much is just right?

Ideally, both cats and dogs should be getting 60ml of water per kilogram of body weight. But even vets would say it’s okay if 70-80% of the recommended amount is achieved, give and take moisture obtained from wet food. I don’t think we’re even that strict with ourselves. (*On a side note, I recently adopted the habit of drinking at least 3 litres of water, and I do feel more energetic!)

How to measure?

  1. Calculate how much water your pet should be consuming. (e.g., A 5kg Maltese should be drinking approximately 60ml x 5kg = 300ml of liquid daily)
  2. Measure and provide the recommended amount.
  3. Measure the amount left over 24 hours later.
  4. Repeat Step 2.
  5. Always measure and refill at the same time of the day so you’ll have a more accurate gauge of how much water your pets are consuming.

How to check for proper hydration?

So even though your pet is optimally hydrated, there are times (e.g., When its ill, having diarrhea or vomiting, lactating, long hours outdoors in the sun, etc.)  when you’d need to check if your pet is dehydrated. First, you can pull the skin above the shoulder blades, and well-hydrated skin will snap back quickly into place. Secondly, you can also check their gums. If it’s tacky and dry, it’s poorly hydrated.

How to ensure they don’t drink too much or too little?

Drinking too little:

  1. Positive reinforcement: Praise your pet and give them treats every time your pet takes a drink. It worked for my dog real quick.
  2. Beef it up: Add pork or beef stock or whatever stock you’re cooking into their water. However,  I suggest that you only do this occasionally. The same reason why so many people are addicted to soft drinks, no?
  3. If they’re being fed dried food, try adding a liberal amount of water to their food.

Drinking too much:

  1. Feed them using a bottle instead because water is dispensed a little at a time. But because there’s usually a lot of dripping when drinking from a bottle, so you’d have to take that into account when calculating how much water is being consumed. 
  2. If feeding from a doggie bottle doesn’t seem to decrease the amount consumed, try using a big rabbit drinking bottle. The nozzle has a smaller diameter, so even lesser water is being dispensed.
  3. If there’s always someone at home, you can also try rationing the water, dividing the recommended amount into several portions, and giving them one portion every few hours. You’d have to use this method if your pet doesn’t know how to drink from a bottle.



About the blog

Hi, and welcome to The Grooming Table’s page!

I hope this effort of mine can improve the lives of pets and animals

I’m excited that I finally found the courage and time to start writing about pet care. After working in the pet industry as a pet groomer for almost 3 years now, it’s heartening to see people going to great lengths to care for their pets, as well as less fortunate animals. Yet, on the other hand, there are so owners who wish to take better care of there but have no idea how to do so, or worse yet, getting wrong or obsolete information.

So often, I’ll have pets that come in, which are so mentally out of balance really gave me the urgency to start communicating to the masses. There is only so much I can do if I just educate my customers one by one. I’m really excited about the fact that this has the potential of being able to help more animals and their owners achieve higher levels of relationships, health, and mental balance. So please help me to help them.

If you find my articles, tips, etc. useful, please share with your friends and encourage them to share as well so that all could benefit and hopefully start them on a journey towards taking better care of their pets. If just a handful would do so, I would have served my purpose. But of course, I will continue to strive harder so that more than just a handful can benefit. In addition, please, give me your feedback regarding anything at all – content, layout, English, anything! I’m new to this, and I would be very, very grateful.


This website has been created with the sole purpose of educating fellow pet lovers on the different aspects of pet care, focusing on natural and holistic approaches in an Asian context.

Though this journey has been rewarding working as a pet groomer, it has also brought me great pain seeing all the animals who could have deserved better – and they all should deserve better. But I can’t blame society because I used to be one of them. That’s why in the articles, I’ll try to include numerous tips and tricks that I’ve learned to help you save time and money (but please don’t ever scrimp on quality food and products) while keeping your pet in tip-top condition.

“I really don’t have the time!”

It’s a chore taking care of your pets – that used to be my excuse, and I agree it takes time and effort. But yet, our furry ones have continued to give us their 100% of their love (I’m writing this, and my two years old Silky-look-alike-’Yorkie’ is jumping non-stop, begging for my attention.), and that’s one of the main reasons I joined the pet industry – it’s my way of giving back to them.

From then on, I started reading whatever I could on pet care, and I realized that a lot of people could really benefit from the information out there! Just that there’s a small problem: I can only help that many pets as a groomer. I needed to reach out to more people.

Help me, help them.

So again, if you feel the same way I am, if you feel more animals deserve help, do me a favor, would you? If you find this website helpful, let your friends and family know. Secondly, I’m still learning, and I hope this community should also build on each others’ knowledge. If you have a topic you feel strongly about, do write to me, and I’ll post it on this site (credited to you, of course). But please cite your sources if you have made any references in your articles. It is just to help readers find additional information on the subject matter and avoid plagiarism.

Help spread the word.

For the love of those who love us the most,


P.S. If you’re interested in knowing more about the pet grooming services we have to offer, please give us a call @ 9199 2024 or 9489 5882. Especially if your dogs have chronic skin problems, we’ll love to see how we can use natural products to help. Looking forward to seeing you!