Although their training may seem spontaneous, the truth is that dreadlocks in dogs are the result of inadequate hygiene. Thus, providing specific care according to the breed is crucial for the welfare of these animals.
The tendency of canine hair to become entangled is a reality, especially that which is long, curly and thin. However, the formation of dreadlocks in dogs is a combination of a lack of brushing and dust. The problem of these characteristic knots in the animal’s fur goes beyond the aesthetic, and they can cause long-term skin infections.
Causes of dreadlocks in dogs
The definition itself of a rasta is that of a set of hairs entangled and wrapped around themselves. Although they can appear anywhere on the body, the most common is to find them in areas of some friction. Among the most prone areas are the neck, due to the presence of the collar, behind the ears, under the chin, the armpits, or at the bottom of the hind legs.
In addition, it has been observed that dogs who like to swim, or those who bathe without being subsequently brushed, tend to have more dreadlocks. The reason is that moisture causes the hair to curl, which, together with the body rubbing and dust, will end in a set of knots.
Although any dog can have them, they are more frequent in the poodle, the Bichon Frize, the bearded collie, or the long-haired collie. At the same time, it is worth mentioning that there are some specific breeds whose fur has a characteristic natural cordoned off appearance. Some of them are puli, komondor, and Bergamasco.
How to prevent tangles
The main measure to prevent the formation of dreadlocks in dogs is to ensure proper brushing. To do this, you not only have to establish an appropriate frequency, which will depend on the type of hair and if it is a shedding season, but also make sure that it is combing beyond the top of the coat.
To avoid brushing errors, it is advisable to ask the veterinarian what type of comb is more convenient since there are rakes for dogs with double layers and other pin-type ones.
The use of the appropriate tool can be combined with softeners or conditioners that facilitate the elimination of knots in the wet state. All this must be accompanied by proper and habitual hygiene, for which you have to cut your hair, as often as necessary, by a canine esthetician.
If, despite the indicated care, a rasta appears, there is an adequate way to remove it without having to resort to normal scissors that could harm the animal.
Also, you should avoid brushing the rasta so that it does not increase in size and so that it does not cause painful pulls.
Experts agree that the instrument conducive to eliminating them is the nail clippers, in the case of small dreadlocks, razors, or specialized scissors. However, before using them, the rasta must have been completely isolated from the rest of the dog’s fur. It is also advisable to have a skin disinfectant on hand in case there is an unexpected small cut.
To prevent dreadlocks in dogs from becoming a major skin problem, they should be eradicated as soon as possible. A very tight accumulation of knots can impede the flow of air, which will trap lice or other parasites inside, as well as cause irritation and pain.