Seeing unusual behaviors in our pets can be pretty worrisome, to say the least.
If you notice your dog shaking after grooming, you may rightly wonder what exactly is going on.
There can be many different reasons that may result in a dog shivering; fortunately most aren’t too serious and are nothing to be overly concerned about.
If it is the first time (or second time, or even the tenth time…) that your dog has gone to a professional groomer, it could just be feeling especially anxious and scared afterwards.
There are many things that you can do to help your dog feel better, and they all revolve around giving your dog lots of love and attention.
Praise them and reward them before and after each trip- you can even practice a grooming session at home with them so they’re more familiar with how everything’s going to work!
Going to the groomers can be an overwhelming experience for dogs, which they might not like at first. They may be shaking because they are uncomfortable with the situation. Feelings of nervousness or anxiety can manifest physically as shakes or tremors.
Think about all the new, scary things they encounter at the groomers. Sharp clippers make loud sounds and uncomfortable pressure as they get their nails cut.
Bath time is the worst nightmare for many dogs. Loud blow dryers distort their senses. All of this while standing high up on a table and tightly leashed. It’s a lot for most pups!
Not only can these new experiences be scary, but new people and other dogs can add to their fear and confusion. Dogs feed off the energy of humans and other dogs.
If other dogs there are nervous about getting groomed, your dog will learn that this is a scary place. If your pup’s groomer isn’t in the best mood, they will feel that too.
Dogs are not used to being pampered. Creating all these changes can make your dog feel pretty weird. Having shorter hair and shorter nails will feel different, and this change can freak them out too!
They might even be feeling a little chilly without that extra fur, which can also lead to shaking or shivering.
If your dog is shaking due to feeling nervous or uncomfortable, this should go away shortly after your dog is home and feels comfortable again. If you are noticing other issues that persist and don’t go away on their own, you might want to consult your veterinarian.
If your dog is extremely lethargic and isn’t acting like themselves for an extended period of time after grooming, there could be something else going on.
It is illegal for groomers to give your dog any kind of sedative or medication while in their care, but this could be a sign that they were given something or ate something they shouldn’t.
If your dog is exhibiting any signs of pain, you’ll want to get them looked at right away. These signs can include heavy panting, pacing, or unusual aggression. Check your pup for any obvious signs of wounds or injury and let your vet know your concerns.
Frequent head shaking and itching of the ears could indicate that your dog has water in their ears from bath time or an injury from having their ears cleaned. Never stick anything inside your dog’s ear; let a professional take a look.
Although rare, accidents do happen while being groomed. Many dogs are skittish and move around a lot when having their nails clipped. If you notice blood in their nails or pain while defecating, they could have been injured during clipping or while expressing anal glands.
If you notice any of these issues, call your veterinarian and let them know that you just got back from the groomers. They can let you know whether your dog should be seen or not.
There are plenty of things you can try to better prepare your dog for their next grooming visit. The more prepared and comfortable they feel, the less likely they are to become frightened and start shaking.
Try to make the trip fun and exciting. If your dog enjoys car rides, make the ride over to the groomers really fun and exciting, so they aren’t feeling any extra stress or dread. When their appointment is over and it’s time to come home, make the ride home just as fun!
You can also practice touching and handling your dog in similar ways that a groomer would. Get them used to having their feet and toes touched. Brush their hair and use a blow dryer to help them get comfortable with the sound. Practice holding up their ears and looking inside to get them used to the sensation.
Do all of these things while giving them lots of love, praise, and positive reinforcements.
Top tip: You can even ask your groomer if you can bring some treats for their next visit. Soon your pup will love spending time getting pampered!
If your dog has a favorite toy or blanket, you could ask your groomer if you can bring these things along to help your pup feel more comfortable.
If there is a waiting room where your dog can see you during their visit, keep a big smile on your face and stay with them during the whole visit.
Dogs can be pretty picky with the people they meet. It’s a good idea to find a groomer you like and go to that same person each time. The more your dog sees this person and learns that they are not going to be harmed by them, the more they will ease up and relax during their visit.
After their trip, make sure you give them some extra love! If your dog sees that you are excited and happy with their visit, rather than feeling scared or nervous, they will start to get excited too. Remember that dogs feed off of our energy as well.
Lastly, it’s important to start slow. Maybe during their first appointment, they only get their nails clipped, or only get a haircut.
Add one or two more treatments each time you visit. If they get the whole spa treatment during their very first trip, they can be quickly overwhelmed and traumatized by the experience.
Some dogs need parts of their body, or their entire body shaved to keep their fur manageable.
Shaving can cause a lot of discomfort and itchiness for dogs. If your dog is extra itchy after a haircut, try putting some aloe on the affected areas.
Cool water or a cold, damp cloth can help soothe as well. Make sure your dog isn’t licking or scratching as this can make the situation worse. As always, consult your veterinarian before applying any topical creams or home remedies to prevent dog shaking after grooming.
Chilled coconut oil can be very soothing to itchy skin. Simply massage it generously onto affected areas of skin and coat.
Finally, another method you can use is to bathe your dog in chamomile or oatmeal soaks. However, seeing as your dog just came back from the groomer and likely already had a bath, it might be best to hold off on this option unless everything else doesn’t work.
It is actually pretty normal to see a dog shaking after grooming, especially if it is its first time at the salon.
Most of the time, shaking will be due to fear and anxiety. All the loud noises, new sensations and unfamiliar surroundings can be quite the frightening combination for a nervous pup! They may behave frantically during the whole procedure.
There are ways that you can make your dog more comfortable when it’s time for it to get a haircut and bath.
Some things you can do include asking the groomer whether it’s alright if your dog could bring its favorite toys and blanket, and making the car trip to and from the salon as fun as possible. Remember, showing that your dog is loved when it is feeling insecure and sad is key!
There will be rare occasions where your dog may be shaking after grooming due to something more serious. If you notice your dog acting strangely or showing signs of discomfort such as heavy panting or frequent scratching, examine it for signs of wounds or injuries.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.