You’ve taken your pup for a grooming session and he/she is just not the same. Let us just start by saying a dog traumatized after a haircut is perfectly normal. Not all dogs experience this, but it is normal.
Can Dogs Get Traumatized from Grooming?
Yes, dogs most definitely can be traumatized from grooming. Knowing what traumatized them isn’t always easy, though. Below are some of the reasons dogs are traumatized after a haircut or any other grooming services.
Why Some Dogs Are Traumatized After a Haircut
Understanding the reasons a dog is traumatized after a haircut can lead to ways to reduce the risk of it.
Reminds Pups of the Vet
Grooming sessions for a pup are a stressful experience. It’s almost as stressful as going to the vet. It’s likely because a groomer often sets up their shop much like a vet’s office. Why? It’s easier to clean and sanitize.
Fur to a dog is like clothes to a person. When you remove your clothes and walk around, you may feel a bit uncomfortable. While you understand that it’s because you don’t have any clothes on, a dog only knows that they feel uncomfortable.
Anal Gland Expression
Many times, anal gland expression is part of the grooming process. Squeezing of the anal glands is not an enjoyable event for dogs, as you can imagine. So, while pet owners may think it’s the haircut that’s so traumatizing, it may actually be the expression of the anal glands that causes so much stress.
Reduce the need to express anal glands with a change in dog food or using a supplement. Read more here: Best Dog Food for Anal Gland Issues
Some dogs are more sensitive to being touched in certain areas, such as the eyes, legs, nails, paws, etc. It’s a good idea to tell the groomer about these sensitivities to ensure he/she takes extra care when grooming those areas.
A Nervous Dog
Dogs who suffer from anxiety are more likely to have a traumatic experience when getting a new haircut. It’s not anyone’s fault – it’s just because you have a nervous dog.
A change in groomer can cause a traumatic experience. Dogs become accustomed to places and people. Changes can be highly stressful to a pooch, so be aware of that when considering switching groomers.
Rough Grooming Session
Just like people, some groomers simply don’t have the bedside manner they should to make a pup comfortable during the grooming process. This can cause a great deal of anxiety for your pooch. Consider trying a different groomer for the next visit to compare how your pooch reacts.
A puppy should see a groomer after 8 weeks to become used to the process. The groomer may not have a lot of fur to cut, but the puppy will get used to the visit. This experience will make future ones much more comfortable.
Overdue Grooming Sessions
Dogs with long hair that easily becomes matted, especially throughout the body, legs, head, etc. may have a harder time at the groomers. It will take more time to remove the mats (sometimes it can cause discomfort), which can cause anxiety.
Trauma from Other Dog(s)
Most groomers don’t let dogs interact, but some dogs become fearful just seeing another dog across the room. If another dog was barking at your dog, your pup may be really anxious now. Dogs communicate in many ways with one another. It’s hard to know what another dog may have communicated to your pup, which has caused a lot of anxiety.
How to Reduce the Risk of a Dog Being Traumatized After Grooming
Pet owners can do a lot of things to help reduce the trauma a dog suffers from a new haircut. Consider the following solutions.
Schedule Regular Grooming Sessions
It’s a good idea to schedule grooming sessions regularly for your pooch. This way it doesn’t take so much time to remove any mats, snarls, etc. It will also help your pup get used to the groomer.
Speak to the Veterinarian
Talking to your veterinarian about your dog’s anxiety is a good idea, especially if there are full-blown panic attacks. The veterinarian can recommend medications, supplements, or natural ways to reduce the stress your pup feels when at the groomer.
Consider CBD Dog Products
CBD for dogs has been proven to be effective. A dose an hour before the dog’s hair appointment may reduce the risk of severe anxiety or a full-blown panic attack.
Work with the Groomer
Discuss the possibility of remaining with your dog during the session. It may help your dog feel much more comfortable if he/she is able to see you. After a couple of sessions, your dog may be comfortable enough with your groomer for you to not be there.
Touch Sensitive Areas Frequently
It is possible to desensitize areas of a dog’s body. Try to touch areas that may be a bit more sensitive than others, such as the head, paws, nails, eyes, etc.
Brush Dog’s Hair Regularly
Help your pup grow accustomed to grooming by brushing your dog’s coat at least once a week. This will help your dog understand that grooming isn’t such a bad thing.
Provide Love and Comfort
You are your dog’s life. Be there for your pup during stressful times, and you will see that he/she will feel much better after a haircut. Extra cuddles and treats are sure ways to get your dog back his/her old self quickly.
How Long Will My Dog Act Weird After Grooming?
How long your dog will act weird after grooming depends on how traumatized your pup was at the groomer. Some dogs may be back to their regular self in a day or two, while others can act weird for a week or more.
Dogs have a good memory, which we discuss a bit more in this article: Does My Dog Know I Rescued Him?
The longer a dog remembers what happened, the longer he/she will act abnormally. Dogs with anxiety often suffer longer when they’ve been traumatized, so keep that in mind.
How to Eliminate Trauma at the Groomer
The only way to eliminate trauma at the groomer is to avoid it. Many dog owners decide to groom their dogs after experiencing the consequences of a bad grooming session. You may want to consider doing the same. Grooming your pup isn’t as difficult as you may believe. It will take some practice but you’ll master it in no time. To help you with grooming your own pup (if you decide to), consider the below products and read more about grooming on our website – Dog Ownership Guide.
Portable Dog Bath – Bissell Bark Bath Dual– This portable dog bath is perfect for bathing a dog that doesn’t want to get into a tub.
Dog Vacuum Brush – Brush and clip your dog’s fur with a vacuum that collects 99% of the fur.
Dirty Dog Shammy Towel– Dry your dog faster with the Shammy for dogs!
HolistaPet Hemp Shampoo – Calm and relaxing for your pup’s anxiety and skin.
How Has Your Dog Been Traumatized After a Haircut?
Comment below about your dog’s trauma after a haircut. Dog Ownership Guide is here to help because we believe Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners.