My Dog Is Acting Strange After Grooming. What Should I Do?

Is your dog lethargic not eating after grooming? Some pet parents reported that their dog won’t walk after grooming! Are you wondering why my dog is acting strange after grooming and wonder how long will your dog act weird after grooming?

Well, no need to panic; here are a few reasons why dogs behave strangely following grooming and tips on how to help your dog. 

In this article, you will learn about:

  • 13 Reasons Why My Dog is Acting Strange After Grooming
  • 4 ways to help your dog
  • Dog grooming tips 
  • And many more… 
My Dog Is Acting Strange After Grooming

13 Reasons Why My Dog is Acting Strange After Grooming

Freshly groomed dogs behave strangely because they are not used to feeling airy. Your dog just had a haircut and does not understand why its head feels lighter than before. The light airy feeling may last a few days until your dog adapts to its new appearance. 

1. An Unfamiliar Airy Feeling 

Let’s say if you are cutting your long hair short. As much as you will love your new look, you will undoubtedly feel that some weight is lifted and there’s a tinge of slight difference in the way you move your head. 

This feeling is the same for dogs as well. It’s not that your pet doesn’t enjoy the new look; he just misses his fur coat and needs some time to adapt to it. 

If you notice that your dog keeps sitting on his bum after grooming, it may be because he is apprehensive of this new airy feeling! Give him some time to get used to it and he will be up and running soon. 

To help ease your dog from feeling helpless about this, you can regularly take your dog for grooming. According to Dr.Tammy Humter, DVM at the VCA hospitals, regular grooming will not only keep your dog’s fur clean and free of tangles, it will also make them more used to grooming sessions. 

2. Your Dog Is Feeling Discomfort

In a dog grooming session, your pet is put through multiple levels of “hardships” like facing their fear of clippers trimmers, needing to stay put and being at a complete stranger’s place for a prolonged period of time. 

Your dog may be traumatized after grooming especially if this is its first time at a groomer’s. So it is normal for it to feel a bit off after the session ends. 

Give your dog plenty of cuddles and feed it treats to help it get over its sour mood. 

3. The Dog Feels Powerless

Let’s start with a quick question, did your dog actually like the grooming session?

The most likely answer will be a NO! 

Dog grooming sessions are a lot like bathing them: they’re erratic. However, what has to be done has to be done, so the sessions are usually carried out by holding your pet in a place until the very end. On top of that, your dog is in an unfamiliar place probably packed with other intimidating dogs. 

They feel vulnerable as a result of this. So, the strange feeling they are exuding is his sulkiness. This is the time you should compliment them for sticking with the session by rewarding them with their favorite delicacies.

4. It Is An Unanticipated Change For Your Dog

The feeling of lightness and clipped nails are reasons for your dog’s distanced behavior. If your dog had long, bushy fur before the grooming process, it would most likely experience a peculiar lightness afterward. Your dog may also find walking with shorter nails a different feeling altogether. 

This newfound feeling may take your fluffy friend by surprise as it had never expected these series of events to happen. Some may be shy, while some may feel unfair and just simply shocked at the changes to their body.

Praise your dog for its braveness and reassure it that things will be back to normal very soon. Nothing speaks louder at comforting your dog than its favorite treats, so feed it its treats like Purina Alpo, Milk-Bone, and Rachael Ray Nutrish to get them back to their usual cheeriness. 

5. Your Dog Is Reacting To The Way Its Coat Feels

Typically in a grooming session, dogs’ coats are shaved to avoid the fur from getting matted and for them to stay comfier especially in the summer. But after shaving, your pet may feel different in their newly cut coat.

The abrupt weightlessness may make your pet feel self-conscious, which is a natural reaction, similar to how people feel after getting a haircut.

To get your dog out of the mood and make them feel at home with their new coat, try brushing them. 

According to PetMD, brush your pup daily and make it into short sessions with good quality brushes such as  HERTZKO, Pet Neat, and Ruff’ N Ruffus.

6. Your Dog May Feel Shy

During the grooming session, your dog is met with stress, force, and scary-looking objects like clippers and razors. This affects your pet’s sense of security and makes it feel vulnerable. 

If your dog is a timid dog, being around strangers and other dogs can also cause a huge amount of stress and diminish its self confidence. 

So, make a habit of complimenting them both during and after the session to make them feel proud of their courage.

7. The Groomer Probably Used Sedatives To Calm Your Dog

Sometimes the bizarre behavior of your dogs may not be out of sulkiness or awkwardness but because of drowsiness.

Some dogs may turn aggressive or cannot be controlled even by the groomers and the pet parents. In such cases, sedatives may be used as a last resort. However, this decision should not be the groomer’s alone and should be made in consultation with you. 

2 standard sedatives are Benadryl and General Anesthesia. Both have their pros and cons and you need to discuss with your groomer to select the best option for your dog. 

If you feel that your dog seems drowsy as if being drugged, you should call the groomer to check if you weren’t told that sedatives could be administered to your dog. 

8. Your Dog Probably Got Injured While Grooming

If your dog shows visible signs of soreness or scratches too much, then it could be a sign that your dog was nicked during the grooming session. One of the most common dogs grooming injuries is razor burn and you can use coconut oil to relieve the pain

Another reason could be irritation of the anal glands. According to AKC, dogs that are groomed too often may have clipper burns and irritations from sprays, fragrances, or grooming treatments that may get under their tail or around their bottom.

Since most likely, the injuries might be minor nicks and scrapes, try placing a warm compress on the place to ease the irritation. 

However, if your dog comes back walking weirdly or sideways, walks with a limp or is clearly in pain, it may have hurt itself jumping off the groomer’s table or from trying to escape. Calm your dog down and bring it to see a vet to assess if the condition warrants more severe interventions.

9. Your Dog Is Happy To Get Rid Of The Itchy Coat

A change in behavior does not always point to sadness; sometimes, it may be caused by happiness too. 

Yes! Not all dogs love their furry coats. Some might be relieved that they are finally free from the annoying itchy feeling and might have fallen in love with their new look. If that’s the case, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

10. Your Dog Is Exhibiting Signs Of Personality Change

Like we said earlier, most dogs do not love grooming sessions. But since it is necessary for their well-being, pet owners have no choice but to let their pets undergo the ordeal of grooming.

However, the issue is that forcing them will cause them anxiety and alienation from their owners. That might be the cause of your pet feeling disconnected from you.

It is better not to let your dog feel alone when it is feeling vulnerable. Instead, play with it more, pamper it and show it lots of love to reassure it that he is back home. 

11. Your Dog Is Not Accustomed To Seeing Itself Like That

When they see themselves in the mirror after the long grooming session, dogs will first feel shocked.

Or, surprised.

Whatever it is, they will not feel accustomed to their new look. This is totally fine since dogs can take their time to get fully accustomed to their new look. 

So, rather than being concerned, if you notice your pet circling the mirror, staring at themselves over and over, know that they are likely enthralled with their appearance.

So take pleasure in their adorable befuddled expression.

12. Your Dog Is Feeling Anxious Because Of The Clippers

During the grooming session, your dogs might feel afraid and start thrashing around at the sight of clippers. This is quite the usual reaction since the majority of the dogs are afraid of clippers.

Even after the session, their anxiousness will not be alleviated.

According to PetMD, pet parents can try to praise their pups and take breaks while clipping their nails to make sure that doesn’t happen.

To make things easier, it is best to use good quality nail clippers such as BOSHEL, Dudi, and gonicc.

13. Your Dog Wants A Good Scratch After The Itchy Fur Is Gone

Maybe your dog acting strangely after grooming is not because they miss their old fur but because they are finally relieved that their fur is gone.

After shredding the long hairs off the skin, now your pups might feel better too without any itchiness to annoy them.

So if your dog is licking its skin more unlike before, it is because they are observing their new coat and are practicing to get accustomed to it.

4 Things To Do If Your Dog Is Acting Strangely After Grooming

1. Counter-Conditioning

If you have previous experiences of your dog feeling bad during and after grooming sessions, it’s best to lighten their mood as much as possible before taking them to the groomer.

Feed your pet with delicious food of their liking. Play with them, take them for a peaceful walk, and indulge in any other activities that they usually like to do.

Creating a tranquil and relaxing environment for your dogs will help them forget about their grooming anxiety. They might also behave as a good child during the grooming session while indulging in their parent’s kind attention.

2. Get Your Dog Used To The Groomer Beforehand

If you are taking your dog to a professional groomer, it is best to let them get along with the groomer in the first place.

Some dogs only act docile to their owners and act hostile to others.

Because a groomer’s job is to groom your dog, they will have to touch him in various locations and use multiple grooming equipment, and for that to happen smoothly, your pet must let them.

This is why it is necessary to take your pet to the groomers before the actual sessions and let them warm up the groomers. This not only makes the session go smoother but will also alleviate the fear of your pets of certain tools like the clippers and trimmers.

3. Bring A Toy Or Treats For Your Dog

Dogs love compliments. Especially if it’s from their beloved owners, they will be more thrilled and motivated; that is the trick pet parents must use on their pets.

Your pets may not enjoy grooming, but they will gladly accept treats and other rewards. So, if they ever go erratic during the grooming sessions, show them their favorite treats and lure them into staying calm till the session ends.

If not treats, you can use toys as a distraction too. Most groomers have their toys to keep the pets in control, but it’s still a better idea for pet owners to bring their pets’ favorites so they can be handled swiftly and efficiently.

4. Reward Your Pup

After the long and exhausting grooming session is over, don’t forget to reward your pets.

Dogs usually will not enjoy grooming sessions. Even though they somehow are tackled throughout the session, they might feel vulnerable after the end, experience all sorts of emotions, and start to distance themselves from their owners.

We don’t want to have our lovely and cheery pups feel bad, don’t we?

This is why it is necessary to reward them. The reward could be anything, but the best will be treating them with good food such as their favorite treats.

Also, make sure to give a hug and a pat on the back for your dog for handling the grooming session like a champ.

4 Dog Grooming Care Tips

To have a pleasant grooming session, according to dog trainer, Victoria Schade, CPDT-KA, ensure that your pets are accustomed to several grooming routines such as bathing, clipping, and so on.

Here are some dog grooming care tips that owners can follow:

1. Regularly Brush Your Dog’s Fur

Regularly brush your dog’s hair to prevent them from getting matted. Since matted coats are not only unhygienic, they also can be painful to remove when left ungroomed for a long time.

2. Trim Your Pet’s Hair

If your pet’s hair has grown considerably longer, then it is better to trim the hair a little to avoid them from irritating the dog’s eyes.

3. Trim Your Dog’s Nails Regularly

If your pet has grown long nails, trim them regularly since overgrown nails are harder to trim and cause pain and discomfort to the pups.

4. Compliment Your Pets During The Grooming Sessions

If you’re doing your grooming, take a break in the midst and tell your pets how well they’re doing. This will lessen their anxiousness and enhance their enthusiasm for grooming sessions.

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