Dog Keeps Sitting Down After Grooming? [Normal or Not?]

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.

Are you seeing strange behavior from your furry friend after a grooming session? “My dog keeps sitting down after grooming and refuses to move around!” If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve seen this behavior before, and I understand how concerning it can be. After all, we want our dogs to be happy and healthy, and any unusual behavior can make us worry.

So, why is this happening?

There are a few possible reasons, for example, the grooming process can cause discomfort, irritation, or even pain to your dog. In other cases, dogs may feel disoriented or anxious after being groomed, especially if they’re not used to it.

But don’t worry, there are ways to make things better.

In this post, I will go through all the causes of this behavior and tips on how you can deal with it.

Quick one: You might be keen to read about common accidents during dog grooming too.

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10 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Sitting Down After Grooming

Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Sitting Down After Grooming

1. Skin irritation

If your dog keeps sitting down after grooming, it might be due to skin irritation.

Groomers use different grooming products that might react differently to your dog’s skin, leading to irritation.

Scratches and cuts on your dog’s skin can’t sometimes be avoided either if he’s constantly wiggling while being groomed.

If these scratches and cuts are near your dog’s tail or bum, he’ll keep sitting after grooming to indicate he isn’t feeling comfortable.

Skin irritation gives your dog an unpleasant feeling, and he’ll surely do something just to cope with it.

2. Clipper burn

Using clippers on your dog for a longer amount of time in one grooming session might cause it to heat up, which may result in clipper burn.

This happens because the friction between the clippers and your dog becomes too much and too hot.

If your dog gets clipper burn, he’ll experience redness and swelling that will make him feel uncomfortable.

Clipper burns are usually found on the soft skin near your dog’s tail and bum that’s why you’ll observe how your dog usually sits down each time he gets a clipper burn.

3. Discomfort or pain

Sending your dog to his groomer can sometimes be worrisome since you don’t know if they’ll handle him with care.

There are times when your dog might be handled too roughly or he was forced into an uncomfortable position for grooming.

This will cause him to suffer from a muscle strain that can put him in discomfort or pain, leading to him sitting down more often.

4. Soreness

Grooming can be a tad bit exhausting especially if your dog is larger since he’ll have to be put in an uncomfortable position just to thoroughly groom him.

Slouching, squatting, or standing can cause soreness especially if grooming takes more time.

Some dogs also have to be restrained if they’re aggressive when being groomed, which can also cause soreness to a dog.

If your dog has to undergo these positions during grooming, he’ll surely be sore that he’d choose to keep sitting down after.

5. Allergic reaction

Dogs are sensitive animals, and an allergic reaction can cause them to behave or act rather weirdly like sitting down after grooming.

If your dog’s groomer used grooming products or tools that cause irritation or inflammation, it could be a result of an allergic reaction.

If this allergic reaction occurs in your doggy’s behind, he’ll be wanting to sit all the time in an attempt to scratch the itch.

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6. Furunculosis

When your dog’s hair follicle becomes infected with bacteria, swelling with pus called furunculosis may take place.

Furunculosis usually happens when your dog is improperly groomed. 

Oily and matted hair is the perfect combination for bacteria to live in until they burrow themselves into your dog’s hair follicles.

Furunculosis can be painful and itchy. If your dog already has it before grooming, his groomer might’ve accidentally touched it.

If this happens, your dog will try to ease the pain and discomfort by sitting down, especially if the furunculosis is located near his bum.

7. Anal gland issues or irritation

You can find your dog’s anal glands on each side of his anus.

His anal glands can be impacted or irritated during grooming sessions since the hair around his bum needs to be trimmed.

When your dog’s anal glands are already inflamed, accidentally touching it will cause great pain and discomfort.

Hence, your dog will try to keep sitting down or scooting over to ease the pain or irritation he is feeling.

The pressure that your dog is putting on his anus while sitting down can relieve the pain in his anal glands, so it’s understandable why he’d like to sit.

Walking or running around can also increase the discomfort brought by anal gland issues, so your dog will prefer to sit down.

8. Stress or anxiety

Stress or anxiety prevents your dog from functioning normally. Most of the time, if he’s stressed or anxious, he’ll just want to sit in a corner.

If your dog doesn’t like being groomed, he’ll feel stress or anxiety, and he won’t like to interact much.

The sound of tools, intrusive touching, and the presence of unfamiliar faces make grooming a stressful experience process for your dog.

He’ll choose to sit down, away from other people or pets so he can calm down from the traumatic experience of grooming.

9. Feeling overwhelmed

If your dog has had a negative experience when being groomed in the past, he’ll always feel overwhelmed when you bring him back to his groomer.

He’ll feel stressed and scared throughout the grooming process. When it’s done, he’ll feel too overwhelmed by his emotions that all he could do is sit.

10. Seeking attention

If your dog doesn’t like grooming, he’ll seek your attention to receive some comfort after he finishes being groomed.

Since he can’t directly speak his concerns to you, he’ll just behave in a way that will surely get your attention.

If your dog keeps sitting down after grooming even though you’re calling for him, he’ll be able to get your attention since you’ll be confused about why he isn’t budging.

How to Relieve Dog Itching After Grooming?

How to Relieve Dog Itching After Grooming?

Cool bath

If your dog is itching after grooming, it might be a result of irritation or inflammation and it’s ideal to soak him in a basin filled with cool water.

A cool bath helps soothe inflammation, and it numbs the itching feeling too.

If you’re looking for quick relief for your dog’s itching, this is a convenient way to do so.

Oatmeal bath

Why is oatmeal being used in a bath?

I know it’s kinda weird to know, but you can use oatmeal as a soap for your dog.

Oatmeal is a skin protectant, and it contains natural anti-inflammatory factors that help soothe an itchy area of your dog.

Use a food processor to ground the oatmeal, and if it’s already in a powder-like texture, pour it into a basin or your bathtub.

Soak your pooch in the water, and rub the oatmeal into your dog’s skin.

You can rub it directly on the part where it’s itching.

Epsom salt bath

If your dog is itching after grooming and the reason behind it is an allergy, I’d like to recommend an Epsom salt bath.

Epsom bath relieves tender skin due to skin allergies, and it encourages quicker healing for inflammation.

A cup of Epsom salt to a gallon of clean water is the common ration if you’re planning to give your dog an Epsom salt bath.

Let your dog soak in the mixture of Epsom salt and water to help soothe his itchiness.

Apply coconut oil

Many fur parents and vets encourage the use of coconut oil in moisturizing a dog’s skin to prevent itching and flaking.

If your dog has been itching after grooming, perhaps you should try to apply coconut oil to the area where he’s scratching.

Let the coconut oil sit for five minutes on your dog’s skin before rinsing it with clean lukewarm water.

Anti-itch spray

Anti-itch spray is the most convenient remedy for your dog’s itching. You just have to spray the itching area with a trusted anti-itch spray, and relief will soon follow.

But you gotta make sure that the anti-itch spray is pet-friendly, and won’t cause negative reactions in your dog. 

You can try the Vetnique Labs Dermabliss Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch, or the TropiClean OXY-MED Anti-itch Spray

Fish oil supplements

Aside from soothing arthritis pain, fish oil supplements are also ideal for ridding your dog of their itchiness.

Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that help in decreasing inflammation and rash in your dog’s skin.

Combine the fish oil supplements in your dog’s food and observe how his skin condition significantly improves in a few days.

How Long Will My Dog Itch After Grooming?

The period your dog will itch after grooming will depend on how light or severe his itching is.

Itching caused by minimal irritation due to grooming will last for up to three days.

Meanwhile, itching with inflammation will already need vet attention to determine when your dog is gonna heal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my dog seem uncomfortable after grooming?

Your dog may seem uncomfortable after grooming either because he doesn’t like being groomed, or he’s experiencing pain or skin irritations. You might see him sitting down, and refusing to move around so he can ease his discomfort.

Is it normal for dogs to act weird after grooming?

Most of the time, grooming is an intrusive and sad experience for your dog. He’s being handled by an unfamiliar person who touches, brushes, and cuts his furs. And the whole ordeal is just too uncomfortable for him, making him act weird after grooming.

How long will my dog act weird after grooming?

Your dog will keep acting weird after grooming for a day or two. However, if he was too distressed at the groomer, it’ll take him a week to get back to normal.

How do I comfort my dog after grooming?

A cool and relaxing bath will help you comfort your dog especially if he’s itching after grooming. If he’s stressed by the whole grooming session, comfort him with treats and his favorite toy.

In Conclusion: Dog Keeps Sitting Down After Grooming

Now that you know the reasons behind your dog sitting after a trip to the groomer’s as well as what you can do, you’re in a much better position to give it some relief.

It’s also important to communicate with your groomer and make sure they are using gentle and safe techniques during the grooming process.

And if your dog’s behavior persists or worsens, don’t hesitate to take them to the vet for a check-up.

If you found this article useful, you might be interested to check out these two too:

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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 Canine Care Central!

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