How Long Do Dogs Act Weird After Grooming

How Long Do Dogs Act Weird After Grooming?

Like humans, different dogs have different personalities. While some are quite stoic, others are rather high-strung. If your dog is the latter, you may notice that he is easily agitated, anxious, or even aggressive after a grooming session. But don’t worry- this is perfectly normal for a dog that isn’t used to the process. In fact, it’s more common than you might think.

Generally, your dog might act weird for a few days after his grooming appointment. But the exact duration will depend on your dog’s personality, and how traumatized or confused they were by the experience.

Today, we’ll help you answer how long do dogs act weird after grooming, and we’ll also discuss everything you need to know about a dog’s grooming session. Read on to learn more.

How Long Do Dogs Act Weird After Grooming?

All dogs are different in the way they react to being groomed. Some dogs take it all in stride and don’t seem to mind, while others may be traumatized by the experience. Why? Because they have unique personalities and life experiences.

As for answering your question, it can last anywhere from a few hours to days or even weeks.

The type of grooming your dog undergoes will also play a role in how they react. A simple bath and brush may not phase them, but if they had a more involved grooming session that included a haircut, they might be more traumatized.

Let’s move on to the why now!

Why Do Dogs Act Weird After Grooming?

Your dog may act weird after grooming because they are confused, anxious, or even traumatized by the experience. Here are some common reasons why:

First Grooming

Dogs are creatures of habit. Like most humans, they don’t like change. So, if this is your dog’s first grooming experience, they may feel a bit out of sorts. Whether you groom them at home or take them to a professional, it’s still a new experience for them.

They may be confused about what is happening and why you’re doing it. It doesn’t help that they can’t see or hear very well during the process, which can add to their anxiety.

Unfamiliar Feeling

Your dog may act strangely after grooming because they are not used to how its coat feels. A trim or bath can change how their fur feels and smells. It can be confusing and scary for them, especially if they’re not used to it.

Take, for example, a poodle. Poodles naturally have furry coats that are meant to be brushed and styled. But if you take them to a groomer and have their coat shaved down, they will feel very different.

Or, if your dog has never been bathed before, the feeling of water and soap on their fur can be strange and confusing.

Sensitive Skin

Some dogs have sensitive skin and may be allergic to certain shampoos or conditioners. Such products can cause them to itch, scratch, or even have a reaction like hives. In this case, your dog isn’t acting weird because of the grooming session but because of their reaction to the products used.

If you think your dog may be allergic to something, talk to your groomer or vet about what may be causing the reaction and how to treat it.


Many dogs experience anxiety when they are groomed. This, again, has to do with the feeling of unfamiliarity or newness.

Some dogs may even be afraid of the grooming tools, like the clippers or scissors, or the sounds they make can be scary to them.

Thus, it’s important to acclimate your dog to the grooming process before their first appointment. It’ll help them feel more comfortable and less anxious when they are actually being groomed.


In some cases, dogs may be traumatized by their grooming experience. That’s usually due to a bad experience, like being dropped, hurt, or even mistreated by the groomer. Yes, being mistreated by the groomer is unfortunately not unheard of.

If your dog has been traumatized by their grooming experience, it will take time and patience to help them overcome it. You may even need to find a new groomer or do the grooming yourself at home.

Feeling Helpless

Your dog may be acting weird after grooming because they feel helpless. Grooming can be a very overwhelming experience for dogs, especially if they are not used to it.

They may feel like they are being restrained and are unable to move or even breathe. Such a situation can be very scary for them.

Reassure your dog that you are there and that they’re safe. It’ll help them feel more comfortable and less anxious.

What Can You Do to Help?

If your dog is acting weird after grooming, there are some things you can do to help them feel better. The work often starts before the grooming even begins.

Here are some tips:

Introduce Your Dog to the Grooming Tools

If your dog has never been to a groomer before, or even if it’s been a while, introduce them to the grooming tools before their appointment. Let them sniff and explore the clippers, scissors, combs, and brushes. This will help them feel more comfortable with the tools and less anxious about what is going to happen.

You can also try clipping your dog’s nails at home or turn on the hair dryer and let them get used to the sound.

Get Them Used to Grooming

If your dog has never been groomed before, start by doing it yourself at home. Bath them, brush their fur, and trim their nails. It’ll help them get used to the process and make them less likely to be anxious or scared when they are at the groomer.

Taking them to a pet spa for a trial run is also a good idea. This will let them experience what it’s like to be groomed without having to actually get their hair cut or nails clipped.

Don’t Rush Them

When you are grooming your dog, take your time and go slow. Don’t rush them or try to get it over with quickly.

Be Gentle

Your dog is likely to be scared or nervous, so be gentle with them. Speak in a soft, calming voice and keep them as relaxed as possible.

If they do start to get anxious or upset, take a break and try again later.

Reward Them

You know what works with dogs! Positive reinforcement always goes a long way. After your dog has been successfully groomed, give them a treat and some extra love and attention. This act will help them associate the grooming experience with something positive.

Socialize Your Dog

One of the best things you can do for your dog is to socialize with them. It means exposing them to new people, places, and experiences in a positive way.

The more they are exposed to new things, the less anxious and scared they will be. So, take them to the groomer, the park, on walks, or to friends and family’s houses. The more they experience, the better!

Find the Right Groomer

Not all grooming services are created equal. If you’re not happy with your current groomer or your dog seems to be having a bad experience, it may be time to find a new one.

Do your research and ask around for recommendations. Once you’ve found a few potential options, visit the grooming facilities and meet the staff before making a decision.

You should also ask lots of questions, such as what type of grooming services they offer, how long the appointments are, how they handle anxious or scared dogs, and if they have any experience grooming dogs with your dog’s coat type.

Talk to Your Vet

If you’re unsure what to do or your dog’s anxiety is severe, talk to your veterinarian. They may be able to recommend a behaviorist or dog trainer who can help you work on desensitizing your dog to the grooming process.

They may also prescribe medication to help reduce your dog’s anxiety during grooming. This should only be used as a last resort and under the guidance of a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Dogs Act Weird After Grooming

How often should I groom my dog?

How often you need to groom your dog depends on its coat type. Generally, you should brush them at least once a week and bathe them every few weeks. As for taking your dog to a professional groomer, about every 4-6 weeks should suffice.

Is it OK to cut the whiskers on a dog?

Yes, it is OK to cut a dog’s whiskers. In fact, many groomers do it as part of the standard grooming process.

What is included in a typical grooming service?

A typical grooming service includes a bath, brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning. Some groomers offer additional services such as teeth cleaning, haircuts, and external anal gland expression.

How long does a complete dog grooming session take?

That depends on the dog’s coat type and what services are being done. Generally, a grooming session can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Do dogs like being groomed?

As we said at the very beginning, not all dogs like being groomed. Some tolerate it, some seem to enjoy it, and others absolutely hate it. It varies from dog to dog.

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