Dog Itchy After Grooming? [Scratch That!]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Grooming, that whirlwind of fur and suds, leaving our canine companions smelling like roses.

Or so we hope.

What happens when our four-legged friends exit the grooming salon with the “scratchy scratchies”?

I mean, there you are, admiring your dog’s fabulous new ‘do, only to watch him itch and scratch like a lottery ticket!

What causes a dog to be itchy after grooming?

Post-grooming itchiness in dogs can be caused by skin irritation from grooming tools, allergies to products used, or anxiety-induced scratching. Dry skin or a sudden change in fur length may expose sensitive skin, contributing to itchiness too.

Don’t worry though, as together we’ll unravel this itchy conundrum, so grab a comb and let’s get scratching at the root of the problem!

Onward, my fellow fur-parents!

Quick note: You might want to check out this list of the most common dog grooming injuries too.

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8 Reasons Why Your Dog is Itchy After Grooming

Reasons Why Your Dog is Itchy After Grooming

Grooming is very important among dogs. It keeps them clean and fresh with healthy skin and fur!

However, there are times when your doggy might experience negative reactions after grooming.

Have you ever seen your dog itching after grooming?

This must’ve baffled you because why would your dog be itching when you’ve just cleaned him?

I have some reasons here why your dog is itchy after grooming. And I kid you not when I say they vary from simple clipper burns to parasites.

1. Irritation from grooming products

Some grooming products might be too much for your dog’s skin which is why he itches after grooming.

There are dog shampoos or flea treatments that contain stronger chemicals, and this can irritate your dog’s sensitive skin.

When irritation from grooming products arises, your dog will eventually be itchy. You’ll often notice him itching after a certain grooming product was used on him.

This irritation may include redness or swelling, which is gonna be so itchy that your dog won’t be able to resist scratching that area.

You gotta remember that not all grooming products will work well for your dog. It might work on your friend’s dog, but won’t with yours.

2. Overdrying of the skin

overdrying of the skin will cause your dog to itch after grooming

Your dog’s skin has natural oils that make sure his skin and coat are healthy and protected.

If your dog has a normal amount of natural oils in his skin, you’ll observe his coat to be shiny.

Sadly, these natural oils dry out when you constantly bathe your doggy.

The grooming products and brushing of your dog’s hair can disrupt the natural oils in his skin, which leads to over drying the skin.

Grooming your dog means you gotta dry the water off him too. And if you use a blower, you’re only contributing to excessively drying his skin.

When your dog has overly dry skin, he’ll be more prone to skin infection and flea infestation which will make him itchy.

Thus, you should be aware of whether or not you’re already grooming your dog a little too much.

3. Trapped moisture

When there’s trapped moisture in your dog’s fur after grooming can create a damp area for bacteria to quickly infest. He’ll then surely be itching.

If that trapped moisture isn’t dried out immediately, more skin infections may manifest. 

Those will eventually lead to serious skin diseases that’ll be too complicated to cure.

During the grooming process, trapped moisture will also be present if your dog’s fur isn’t properly brushed or trimmed.

The matted fur will trap moisture from the bath, and dirty will cling to it until your doggy feels itchy.

4. Clipping too close

Clipping too close to your dog’s skin can cause clipper burns. And yes, clipper burns are just as uncomfortable as it sounds.

When your dog is groomed, his fur is usually shaved or trimmed shorter. If you or a groomer clips too close to your dog’s skin, irritation leads to itching.

Your dog’s hair follicles are just beneath your pup’s skin, and they can easily be irritated when clippers get too near to the skin.

Itching follows clipper burns, and it usually subsides after a few days. But it can still be so uncomfortable for your doggy.

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Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: Best Poodle Detangling Sprays

5. Parasites

You’ve properly bathed, brushed, and trimmed your dog but he still itches?

Now, what could be the problem?

Well, I should say it can be parasites that are causing your dog to itch even after an excellent grooming session.

Sometimes, you already plucked out all the ticks or fleas from your dog’s skin but the bites and their saliva still stick.

Those residues from the parasites can still make your doggy itch after grooming.

6. Skin conditions

Does your dog have an underlying skin condition? Because that can be the reason why he itches after grooming.

If your dog has a skin condition like ringworm, dermatitis, or mange, he’ll really itch even after grooming.

Such skin conditions create irritations that are beyond the power of simple grooming sessions.

Your dog will be needing a good vet consultation by then.

7. Allergic reaction

Have you ever wondered if your dog is just allergic to a certain grooming product that’s why he itches after grooming?

This is possible, you know. 

A certain shampoo might be too strong for your dog’s skin, especially if it’s sensitive. Hence, the allergic reaction happens.

Or perhaps the grooming product you’re using isn’t dog-friendly at all and contains toxic chemicals.

8. Anxiety and stress

Grooming can be stressful for your dog, and he may even develop anxiety just with the thought of having to be groomed again.

If your dog exhibits anxiety and stress towards grooming, itching can happen.

This isn’t any more unfamiliar to you, I assume because even some humans itch on their scalps when they’re stressed!

I gotta share this with you from one fur-parent to another. Anxiety and stress cause changes in your doggy’s body too just like in people.

These changes can be on the immune system, which makes your dog susceptible to irritation and itching.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Can I use perfume on my dog?

Tips to Prevent Your Dog From Becoming Itchy After Grooming

how to Prevent Your Dog From Becoming Itchy After Grooming

Use mild grooming products

Using mild grooming products helps lessen the chances of your dog itching after grooming.

Mild grooming products are usually made from natural and non-toxic ingredients that are safe for your dog to use.

These products do the necessary cleaning up without irritating your dog’s skin.

If you have a groomer to groom your pooch, you can request to have him use mild grooming products.

Rinse thoroughly

Rinsing your dog thoroughly washes the excess shampoo and other grooming products from his body.

If your dog has leftover grooming products attached to his fur or skin, he’ll itch.

Plus, rinse your dog with cool water to soothe any irritation caused by grooming!

Dry the coat properly

When your dog’s coat is damp, bacteria might grow which leads to irritation. 

But drying the coat properly after grooming can help stop fungi from growing, which saves your dog from itching!

You can also request your dog’s groomer not to use a hair blower in drying your dog’s fur to avoid drying out his skin.

Check for parasites

Parasites burrow themselves deep in your dog’s fur. If you aren’t careful, you’ll miss them.

Check for parasites in your dog’s coat, perhaps he’s already infested with so many fleas.

If your dog has parasites living in his fur, it’s best to treat him with vet-recommended flea treatments.

When your dog’s fleas are gone, you’ll notice how he’ll stop itching.

Avoid over-grooming

Avoid over-grooming your dog to prevent overly dry skin which causes skin irritations.

Over-grooming does more harm than good because it ruins the natural oils in your dog’s body.

Most of the time, a dog only needs one to twice a month of grooming sessions. 

This is to promote healthy and clean skin and coat.

Clip carefully

Clip carefully and never too close to your dog’s skin.

Clipper burns may sound manageable, but they’ll still make your dog feel uncomfortable and itchy!

If your dog’s fur isn’t that long yet, you can just trim his hair a bit. 

Address underlying skin conditions

When your dog has an underlying skin condition, it’ll be irritated upon grooming.

Hence, I suggest you address any possible underlying skin conditions of your dog to prevent him from itching after grooming.

If you’re able to treat his skin condition, you’ll know what grooming products to use on your dog to avoid further irritation.

Consider a professional groomer

If you’re grooming your dog at home and you notice that he’s been itching every time you finish, it’s time to seek help.

Consider a professional groomer to groom your dog to avoid accidental cuts and irritations.

Professional groomers are experts in this field, and will certainly be a huge help in keeping your fur baby nice and clean.

To find a reliable groomer in your town, look up your local vets on the internet or social media.

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What to Do for Your Dog if It’s Itchy After Grooming?

Assess the situation

Assess the situation of how worst your dog is itching after grooming.

If his itching is mild and occasional, it’s best to try some home remedies to soothe your dog’s skin.

Find the reason why your dog is itching after grooming as well so you’ll know what’s causing him to itch.

Whether it be grooming products or improper handling of your doggy, you’ll have to know it.

Stop using the grooming products

Let’s say you’ve found the culprit of your dog’s itching after grooming, and it’s a grooming product.

Ditch that shampoo, soap, or whatever grooming product that’s making your doggy itchy.

Find a new grooming product that’s suitable for your dog’s skin and coat.

Soothe the skin

Soothe the skin of your dog if it’s itchy after grooming. You’ve got plenty of options for soothing your dog’s skin!

You can do a cool cloth compress over the irritated area if the itching is mild.

You can also give your doggy an oatmeal bath or epsom salt bath to definitely lessen his itching.

Consult with a veterinarian

If you observe your dog’s itching is just getting worse no matter what you do, you should consult with a veterinarian.

A vet can make a medical assessment of your dog’s real condition. And he’ll be able to recommend grooming products that won’t hurt your dog.

Seek help from a professional groomer

Sometimes no matter how we try to be the best dog parents, we still gotta admit that we need help from a professional.

If you’re just new to being a dog owner, it’s also a great idea to seek help from a professional groomer when your dog’s itching after grooming.

A professional groomer can give you wise tips on what to do when your dog is reacting the way he does to grooming.

How to Relieve Dog Itching After Grooming?

Give them a bath

Perhaps your dog just wasn’t thoroughly rinsed at the groomers or after you’ve groomed him.

If you see your doggy itching, just bathe him and rinse his body completely of any leftover grooming product.

A cool bath can also soothe the itchy area and will stop your doggy from itching too much.

Use a specialized spray

There are many specialized sprays out there that are designed to soothe itching doggies.

Let’s say a specialized spray serves as a quick fix for itchy dogs who need fast relief.

Take Vetnique Labs’ Anti-Itch and Soothing Spray for example.

You’ll just have to spray it over your dog’s itching area, and it’ll gradually soothe the irritation.

Vetnique Labs Anti-Itch & Allergy Relief Spray for Dogs

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B08SPHSLJP&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=dailydogdrama 20&language=en USir?t=dailydogdrama 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B08SPHSLJP
Soothing itch relief: Provides relief for hot spots, allergies, and skin irritation due to insect bites.
Suitable for various animals: Effective on dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and horses, containing 1% Hydrocortisone and 0.5% Pramoxine.
Fast-acting: Quickly soothes skin, reduces inflammation and itching, with key ingredients like oatmeal for healthy skin.

Use a topical treatment

When I say topical treatment, it means you’ll be applying the treatment directly to your dog’s itching area.

An anti-itch or soothing ointment for skin irritation is usually recommended by a vet upon consultations.

Most of the time, it works well because it’s indeed formulated to soothe itching skin.

Keep them distracted

Keep your doggy distracted by engaging him in plays and other physical activities so he won’t be itching all the time.

The activities he’s participating in can take his mind off his skin irritation, which allows the skin to calm down from his scratches.

Monitor their behavior

Monitor your dog’s behavior if his itching persists even after a few days since grooming.

It’s important to constantly monitor your dog’s behavior to plan what’s best to do.

You’ll also be able to stop your dog from scratching his skin too much which may lead to far more serious infections.

Adjust their diet

Maybe the reason why your dog is itching after grooming is because of nutritional imbalance.

He might not be receiving enough vitamins to maintain healthy skin and coat, hence he itches with very little contact with grooming products.

If this is the case, changing or adjusting your dog’s diet to meet his nutritional needs is important.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is grooming uncomfortable for dogs?

A lot of dogs feel uncomfortable when it comes to grooming. Grooming entails touching, brushing, and handling dogs in different positions. If a dog isn’t used to physical touch, especially from those he isn’t close with, grooming can be an uncomfortable experience.

Why is my dog looking depressed after grooming?

Your dog might be feeling depressed after grooming because he felt powerless or submissive during the grooming process. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to be handled and touched in places your dog isn’t comfortable with. These things ultimately make your dog feel sad and depressed.

Can I give my dog medication for itching?

There are some medications you can give your dog for itching like Benadryl and cetirizine. However, it’s best to consult a veterinarian first before administering any medication to your dog to avoid complications.

Can I use human shampoo on my dog?

You shouldn’t use human shampoo on your dog because it contains chemicals that aren’t suitable for any dog. Plus, human shampoo can strip your dog’s skin and coat from its natural oils that are keeping his skin healthy.

In Conclusion: Dog Itchy After Grooming

Our pets totally deserve itch-free bliss after a grooming session, and by understanding the causes and using effective solutions like Dermabliss, we can help soothe their skin and keep them comfortable.

I hope the tips above will work for you and your dog!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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