Is your dog acting weird all of a sudden? Do they sit down after grooming, or drag their butt after being at the groomer? Let’s figure out why!

puppy being groomed

Is Grooming Traumatic for Dogs?

Is your dog acting a little weird after a trip to the groomer? Believe it or not, but the pet groomer can be a scary place for your pup—especially if this is a new thing. The lights are bright. The floors are hard and slippery. And there are weird tools, smells, and sounds.

All of that can be a bit overwhelming, scary, and intimidating for your poor pup. So once they leave, they might be a bit overstimulated, and a bit freaked out. This is definitely normal, but not the way you want your dog to feel. Here are some things you can do in the future to help the experience be less traumatic.

1. Exercise your dog

If your dog gets nervous about going to the pet groomer, take them for a long walk beforehand. Or even throw the ball in the yard for them to wear them out. Once all that anxious energy is gone, they will feel much calmer.

2. Giver your pup a massage

Yes, people do actually massage their dogs. This can be very calming and soothing for a nervous pup. You could even put on some lavender aromatherapy.

3. Practice baths and grooming at home

If you routinely give your dog baths, brush them, and use a blowdryer on them at home, it won’t seem so scary at the groomer’s. You could even let your dog sniff things like the brush, blowdryer, nail clippers, and scissors, so they feel comfortable around these tools.

4. Find a groomer who is gentle, calm, and understands

It’s a good idea to vet some different groomers before you pick the right one. And talk with them about your dog’s anxiety. This way they’ll know what to expect, and how to help.

5. Take a practice visit to the groomer

Take your dog for a little practice visit to the pet groomer, so they can see what it’s like and how it smells. They can get a feel for environment ahead of time, so they feel more comfortable during the real visit.

6. Make the car ride enjoyable

You could bring a toy along in the car ride, and give your pup some treats or a bone. That way they’ll associate the car rides with positive things, rather than the fears of going to the groomer.

dog at the groomer

Why is My Dog Uncomfortable After Grooming?

Does your dog seem a little odd after the groomer in a different way? Maybe they don’t seem anxious or traumatized. But rather, they keep sitting down all of a sudden, and scooting their butt. What in the world are they doing? Why do they keep dragging their butt across the floor?

Your dog could just be scooting because they have an itch or irritation. If your dog is the type that gets groomed frequently, they “may experience clipper burns and irritations from sprays, perfumes, or grooming products that get under their tail and around their bottom.”

Check your dog for any cuts or nicks. And ask your groomer what types of products they use. They may have to switch to hypoallergenic products for your pup.

Why Does My Dog Scoot After a Haircut?

Your dog could be acting weird and uncomfortable because while they were at the pet groomer’s, the groomer checked and emptied your dog’s anal glands. Does this sound gross and weird? Yep, it sure does! But it’s actually really important. Let’s talk about why, and what that means for your pup.

“Dogs have two small anal sacs on either side of their rear end that contain a foul, fishy-smelling liquid they release when they poop. The liquid may be a biomarker that helps leave a sort of ‘poop print’ for other dogs to smell.”

Typically, a dog’s anal sacs will empty on their own during a bowel movement. But if there’s a problem and they aren’t working properly, the fluid can build up, and the sacs can get inflamed. The reason this is a problem is because it causes the liquids to solidify—preventing them from releasing naturally.

This can become infected and painful for your pup. And even after the anal sacs are emptied, your dog could be experiencing irritation or pain—causing them to scoot on the floor.

What Do I Do If My Dog is Having Anal Sac Problems?

If you’re not sure whether your pet groomer emptied your pup’s anal sacs, it’s important to call them and ask. Otherwise, there could be a different problem like allergies, parasites, or a tumor, and you’ll want to contact your veterinarian.

At this point, contact your vet. They will be able to express your dog’s anal glands, if that is still needed. And they’ll give your pup a round of antibiotics and pain medications.

For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.

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