Dog Traumatized After Haircut

October 21, 2022by DOGuide25

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.

Uncomfortable Feelings

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

Delicate Areas

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.

New Groomer

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.

New Experience

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.

og traumatized after a haircut

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.

 

 

my dog is traumatized after a haircut

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.

Grooming Products

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.

Grooming Information

Do You Bathe a Dog Before Grooming?

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.

Related Articles:

why is my dog shaking a lot

Why Is My Dog Shaking?

dog shaking head after grooming

Dog Shaking Head After Grooming

Why Does My Dog's Ear Make a Crackling Noise

Why Does My Dog’s Ear Make a Crackling Noise

 

25 comments

  • Lillian Pabon

    June 27, 2022 at 6:24 pm

    Our dog got groomed Saturday and when she came back she was not the same. She was behaving kind of weird. She started scratching the the blanket on the bed trying to hide between the pillows. She also went in her crate on her own. Something she doesn’t like to do. She is also looking at us scared. This is her third time being groomed.

    Reply

    • DOGuide

      July 2, 2022 at 8:27 am

      Hi Lillian, I’m so sorry about your pup… I know ours – Barley – will go into hiding whenever we have his hair cut as if he knows that he looks different and he doesn’t like it. He does eventually come out of it, but I am very hesitant to take him to the groomers now, so I wait until I can’t wait any longer. I hope your furbaby feels better soon.

      Reply

  • Cathy

    June 28, 2022 at 12:17 am

    We just brought our pup from the groomers as well on June 25, 2022. He is definitely not the same either. He cries and is extremely afraid. If we touch his rested he cries. I think they pulled his ears or something terrible happened. I called Petsmart to complain and the manager is going to look at the camera to see if anything happened. I’m taking him to the vet on Tuesday to have him checked out. I feel just terrible it hurts me to see him this way.

    Reply

    • DOGuide

      July 2, 2022 at 8:30 am

      Good for you for calling PetSmart! We’d love to hear if they did ever see anything. It’s important for other dog owners to be aware of it. My heart aches for your furbaby. I hope he recovers quickly from whatever happened there. It’s so sad that we don’t know truly what is wrong with our pups sometimes because it makes it harder to make them feel better.

      Reply

  • AJ

    July 8, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    Our dog came back from the groomer’s today and he will not allow us to take his leash off. He sometimes can get in these “moods”, but while during these he might not let my husband near him, he will still allow me, until now. He growls and if I go to take it off he shows his teeth and I know he will bite. He is shaking and won’t move from next to our dining table. This is not the first time with this groomer and we take him fairly regularly along with our other dog who goes with him. We got him to eat, but he won’t move and he won’t go outside to the bathroom. We have both taken him and picked him up from the groomer/vet previously- and this is the first time he won’t let either of us near him afterwards in the 2.5 years we have had him.

    Reply

    • DOGuide

      July 19, 2022 at 4:50 pm

      Oh no…this makes me so sad. Your poor furbaby. Some others have said they called the place where the grooming services were performed. You may want to do the same to see what may have happened. I know that from our experience, it can take a long while before our pup is back his normal self. Hopefully, yours starts feeling better much sooner. ~ Marcie – Head D.O.G.

      Reply

  • Peter

    July 9, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    Our dog was shaved at the vets after discovering he had a tick and a week later is still not the same . Our bubbly fun loving outgoing dog who would love going outside is now the complete opposite and trembles constantly not wanting to leave his bed and growls when picked up, he’s a completely different dog. I hope it doesn’t last and he returns to normal soon

    Reply

    • DOGuide

      July 19, 2022 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Peter! Has your pup ever been shaved before? D.O.G. Barley hates getting shaved and when we first did it, he hid in the bathroom for what seemed like forever. It took him a LONG time to get back to his normal self. I could tell that he didn’t like the way he felt with his fur gone. Maybe the same may be going on with yous.

      Reply

    • Brad

      July 26, 2022 at 11:22 am

      Hi Peter, is your dog doing better a couple weeks later? Dealing right now with two dogs that seem to be traumatized by a grooming 4 days ago. One explanation is that they are not used to have fur cut short and especially don’t like how their naked rear feels. But I worry that they were treated roughly.

      Reply

      • Sam

        July 31, 2022 at 9:45 pm

        Hi Peter! We are on day 4 of the same thing with our pup. It is horrible! I will NEVER get him groomed again after this! It’s not worth putting him through it no way! I.l learn how to do it myself so I know exactly what goes on! I feel like something terrible has happened to him. Please tell me if yours is back to normal🙏🙏🙏

        Reply

        • MSR

          November 13, 2022 at 12:14 pm

          guys! Our dog is going through the same thing and it is making me soooo sad. Have your dogs bounced back? Are they ok?? We are on day 4 and I can’t handle this.

          Reply

  • M Corder

    July 10, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    I normally groom my dog at home. But when it’s time for the anal gland excretion I schedule an appt. He comes back home and for a good two days he’s not the same. He won’t eat might drink some water. Doesn’t even want his treat for going to the bathroom outside. When I groom him at home we don’t have any issues.

    Reply

    • DOGuide

      July 19, 2022 at 4:53 pm

      Ugh…I hate that for him. You may want to consider reading this article because I give our D.O.G. Hera a supplement that helps express her glands naturally. Here’s the link:

      https://dogownershipguide.com/best-dog-food-for-anal-gland-issues

      Hoping your pup feels better soon and his anal glands don’t lead him to another bad grooming experience.

      Reply

  • Frank

    July 21, 2022 at 8:49 am

    We took our 2 year old Goldendoodle to a new groomer yesterday. When home we noticed they shaved her belly and “private” parts… she was acting very strange and realized she wasn’t responding to her name when we called her. She appears to have lost her hearing!! No response at all to verbal commands, or sounds at all! We took her back to the groomer yesterday and asked what could have happened. She said Dogs do get traumatized and that nothing happened during the stay other than a large dog in the groomers area was barking a lot. This was not her first grooming and responded well to them.

    Reply

    • DOGuide

      August 15, 2022 at 8:28 am

      Hi Frank,

      I am so very sorry for what happened to your Goldendoodle. If you see this, please let us know what ended up happening with your pup. Hopefully, the stress subsided and you have your furry friend back to herself.

      Reply

    • MB

      October 15, 2022 at 8:37 am

      Frank – did your dog’s hearing ever come back? This happened to us just yesterday and we are so confused as to what happened. She was also very lethargic to the point where we think she may have been sedated.

      Reply

  • Nick

    August 14, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    I rescued a dog from a local shelter he had to be neutered I called Petsmart and the groomer made the appointment after I told him that his stitches were not out yet,after I dropped him off the groomer said about 2 hours so I left and ran to a store, after 1 hour i get a call from her and she says I’m sorry that he had stitches and company policy says she can’t groom him, i go back to pick him up and he’s very nervous and someone started cutting his hair, I took him home and they said they would give me 20%off when I bring him back,now he won’t walk on a leash and is very scared i don’t know what they did or how to fix this mess. Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • DOGuide

      August 15, 2022 at 8:30 am

      Hey Nick! First, call the vet. They may have pulled on one of the stitches and hurt him. While I appreciate the store gave you 20% off, it’s a small compensation when it comes to the stress put on your pup and you. I would say give him extra love these next few days and follow your vet’s recommendations. Whatever did happen has spooked your pup, but luckily, the behavior will go away after some time. Thank you for reaching out.

      Reply

  • Barbara

    August 16, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you so much for your website and posted questions and answers! I found them very helpful! I took my dog to PetSmart today! She has been many times before! But today was a new groomer! I didn’t recognize my dog! She was trimmed very short with nearly
    Any ears! Since she has been home she is panting and hiding
    And acting quite odd! She seems afraid of me too! This has never happen before!))

    Reply

  • Michelle

    August 16, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    I took my 4 month old puppies to the groomer at the vet. They are brothers and have never been apart. They wrestle and cuddle all day. At the groomers one started screaming whenever anyone touched him after the groom. She noted his anxiety when he brother was away from him. I sure hope he comes back to normal soon his brother doesn’t know what to do.

    Reply

  • Allen

    August 22, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    We have a Morkie that is 10 months old. She had the most beautiful long flowing blonde hair with dark tips. She has been to a groomer twice for a bath and brush out with minor trimming around her butt and eyes. Never acted any different afterward.
    We decided to get her spayed which meant no bath or brushing for the 2
    weeks after for healing. Once healed we scheduled a visit to the first reputable groomer we could get an appointment with to get her groomed. Unfortunately she had some matting that we knew would make it a little difficult but not impossible with a little care and a pair of scissors. The groomer however made the decision that she had to be completely shaved. To make matters much worse they cut both ears so bad we had to take her straight to the vet for emergency care. The groomer claimed our baby had hematoma’s in both ears, which we knew was absolutely false! I have spent a lot of time with her in my lap and rubbing her ears was something she enjoyed.
    The vet diagnosed that she was cut very badly with whatever they used to trim her ears and that she absolutely had no evidence of any aural hematoma’s. This he even put in writing on his receipt.
    Our baby is not doing well. Her ears are still healing but her emotional state is a disaster. She is absolutely traumatized and is not the same dog in any way. She barely eats or drinks. We will find her hiding places where she apparently feels safe like the shower behind the curtain or under the bed or other furniture. She shakes uncontrollably until one of us can hold her long enough to get her comfortable. Once we have held her we can’t put her down. She is like a child you try to leave at school on the first day of kindergarten. She also hasn’t touched any of her many toys since bringing her home and she loved he toys! She would play fetch or tug of war until we are so worn out we had to take shifts. If she finished us both off she would play fetch with herself by tossing her bone with her mouth and then running to pick it up and toss it again
    I hope she gets well soon we miss our baby girl.
    Can anyone give us an idea of how long it could take?

    Reply

  • Lana

    August 27, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    These comments sound like our story. Took our one year old maltipoo to groomers on Tuesday, it’s Sat and he’s still not back to normal. He is as shaved due to matting even though I asked them not to. He shakes, looks fearful hides in his kennel and won’t come out and play, finally went for a walk today but had been laying down when we took him outside refusing to walk up till today!, not the same dog!

    Reply

  • Russell

    September 10, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Same here,my shizsu got grommed today an now she has ruins an wont eat.I think shes traumatized. I Hate to see this it hurts my heart hurt😥When will she be better could someone tell me.russell

    Reply

  • Jessica Dunnavant

    October 13, 2022 at 7:24 am

    My 17 year old fixed male was groomed yesterday and now he wines and won’t stop humping , never done this before, grooming said because his back legs are weak, help

    Reply

  • Risa

    November 25, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    I took both of our 1 year dogs to the groomer on Wednesday and when they came home one was good. The other one wants to be cuddled and he’s eating and drinking but hasn’t pooped.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

transparent logo
About

Dog Ownership Guide – D.O.G. – launched in 2021 to meet the needs of dog owners and their dogs worldwide. Our website is a place to not only learn, shop, and entertain, but share as well. Learn all that D.O.G. has to offer below and allow us to extend a warm welcome to you.

D.O.G. is an affiliate marketing website. When you purchase an item after clicking a link on our website, we recieve a small commission at NO COST to you. Thank you for supporting Dog Ownership Guide.

D.O.G. Digest

Monthly eNewsletter with NEWS, STORIES, and INFORMATION for dogs and their owners.