What causes mats? 
A mat starts off as a small tangle that doesn’t get brushed out right away. When brushing your dog it’s important to lift the coat so you can brush from the root to the ends. Running the brush over the top of the coat will not reach the roots leaving that hair underneath Unbrushed. Water makes mats worse, tightening them and adding more hair into the tangle. Burrs and debris in the coat with develop into a mat. Friction areas are areas of the coat that are rubbing together or against something. These areas are prone to mats and should be the first areas brushed out during your brushing sessions. Friction areas are the armpits, behind the ears, the rump and anywhere the dogs harness rubs against.
The severity of mats. Mats are more than just a tangle in your dogs coat. A lot of people are unaware just how detrimental a mat is. Here is some knowledge on mats that will be quite the eye opener.
1. Mats pull on the skin.
2. They harbor bacteria, dead skin, debri and can smell.
3. They can create sores and wounds underneath.
4. Mats in the paw pads or armpits can change your dogs gait.
5. They are painful just existing. Creates bad blood circulation and can cause the blood to rush back to that area when removed. Hematomas. Bruising.
Removing mats:
1. Removing mats by brushing them out takes ALOT of time. And therefore costs more money.
2. Brushing them out still damages that hair.
3. Cutting them out can be dangerous especially if done by a non professional and will leave holes in the coat.
4. Clipping them out is still a lot of time, stressful and painful as the mats are pulled and tugged. It takes a very close (short) cut to get underneath mats to get them out. About 1/4 inch of coat will be left or bald spots.
5. When your dog needs the groomer to remove mats they are not set up for success. It is far more difficult to remain calm, comfortable and cooperative.
By Michelle McCauley - The Mindful Groom @mybestfriendsmunchies