Why Is My Dog So Sleepy After Grooming? [Real Talk]

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.

Did you just come back from the groomer’s and noticed your dog is extra sluggish?

Many dog owners have noticed that their pups tend to be more lethargic after a trip to the groomer’s, especially the first time, but don’t worry, there’s a perfectly logical explanation for this phenomenon.

So why is my dog so sleepy after grooming?

In short, your dog is simply exhausted from the experience. Grooming can be stressful for dogs, and the combination of physical activity and emotional exhaustion can leave them feeling wiped out. It could also be that the session was too long.

In most cases, your dog will be back to normal, and in this post, I want to share the key reasons and talk about a few that you should be concerned about.

Solutions will follow!

Quick note: Maybe you might be keen to read about common dog grooming mishaps too.

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10 Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Sleepy After Grooming

Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Sleepy After Grooming

Do you notice your dog seems so sleepy after a good grooming session? 

You’re not alone. Many dog owners have noticed their pets seem more tired than usual after getting groomed. 

There are a few reasons why dogs feel this way.

1. Physical exertion during grooming

Grooming can be tiring and stressful for your dog. Brushing, trimming, and clipping can also be physically demanding.

It is usual for dogs to feel drowsy after grooming, as they may need to stand still for extended periods.

It is a temporary effect for most dogs, which will disappear after resting. But it depends on their age and health status. Some dogs may be more susceptible than others.

2. Relaxing nature of the grooming session

Your dog may be sleepy after grooming because the session was relaxing and enjoyable. 

A well-groomed dog is a happy dog!

The brushing, warm water, and scents of grooming products can create a soothing aura.

Grooming can release endorphins. It is a natural substance that causes feelings of pleasure and relaxation. 

It’s like how you might feel when you get a massage.

3. Temperature changes at the groomer’s

Most grooming salons maintain a comfortable temperature for their fur clients. 

When your dog moves from the outside air into the salon, their body adjusts to the new temperature. It can cause them to feel sleepy.

Besides, warm baths and blow dryers can cause their body temperature to rise, which can be a relaxing experience making them feel sleepy.

4. Excessive mental stimulation

When you take your dog to the groomer, the new sights, sounds, and smells can be mentally taxing. They’re getting attention from strangers, which can cause mental exhaustion, resulting in sleepiness.

Your dog is sleepy and needs a nap! It is normal and temporary. 

It’s like when you’ve had a long day at work and want to go home and sleep.

5. Grooming session is too long

Grooming can be tiring for your dog.

Dogs usually don’t enjoy a bath, so keep the duration of grooming sessions short. If you overburden your dog, it may become groggy or even pass out from exhaustion.

Allow your dog to rest after grooming to help recover from the experience.

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6. Separation anxiety

Your dog is a social animal. They are relying on you for food, shelter, and protection. 

Being separated from you can trigger an anxious response in which your dog acts lethargic or sleepier than usual. It’s a sign that your dog is experiencing separation anxiety.

Leaving them with a groomer, even briefly, can cause distress.

7. Fear and stress

When you take your dog to get groomed, they may be timid about the experience.

The sensation of having their hair cut or trimmed, loud noises, and the presence of strangers may make your dog uneasy.

When this happens, your pet’s body will release cortisol to calm down and fall asleep immediately after freshening up.

8. Sedative used?

After a grooming session when your dog becomes extremely sleepy or lethargic, it might be because of a sedative or tranquilizer being used.

A groomer should not administer sedatives to your dog unless a vet prescribes the drug. Doing so is against the law.

Some vets use sedatives and tranquilizers to calm your dog while grooming. It applies to a history of aggression toward people or other animals. 

But, before administering, you should talk about the dosage and side effects with your vet or groomer. Some sedatives have lingering effects, like feeling sleepy or lethargic for several hours.

Again, avoid this at all costs.

9. Depression from losing its coat

Most dogs love getting groomed, but some dogs can’t handle it.

Dogs with long or thick coats tend to be more attached to their hair than dogs with shorter, thinner hair. Cutting their coat can shock them, making some dogs depressed or lethargic.

Additionally, this process can be painful if your dog has any mats or tangles in its coat.

10. Pain

Grooming can cause pain or discomfort. If your dog has any health issues, it can be tiring to endure during the grooming session.

Dogs in pain may experience various symptoms, including shaking and excessive breathing. Your dog may have trouble standing straight after a grooming session.

If you notice signs of physical discomfort, consult your vet for advice on how to help them recover.

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How to Not Let My Dog Feel Sleepy After Grooming?

How to Not Let My Dog Feel Sleepy After Grooming?

After an entire grooming session, your dog may feel exhausted. 

Here are helpful hints to keep your dog awake and active:

Schedule the appropriate time when your dog is active

It is best to schedule your dog’s grooming during the morning or afternoon, as they’re typically more playful and energetic.

Scheduling your dog’s grooming at an appropriate time can help your dog have a positive and stress-free experience. It can cut any stress or discomfort during grooming and help ensure they feel the best afterward.

Offer your dog a small meal or treat before the grooming session

Your dog’s grooming process is much like a spa day. It’s a time to relax and unwind, so it makes sense that they feel tired.

Make sure they’re well-fed. So they can enjoy the whole session without feeling hungry.

You can offer a small snack or treat about 30 minutes to an hour before grooming. 

It provides them with energy and nutrients to stay alert and active. It also reduces the likelihood of feeling sleepy or lethargic afterward.

Give your dog plenty of water to stay hydrated

Grooming is a stressful experience for many dogs. It can lead to increased panting and sweating, so give your dog plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can leave your dog sleepy and lethargic, so ensure you provide enough water. Offer small amounts of water throughout the process—you want to don’t overload your pup with liquid all at once!

Choose an experienced groomer

Dogs are sensitive creatures and can become stressed when handled by strangers. 

Choose one who works with dogs regularly to help your dog have a positive experience with a groomer. An experienced groomer will know how to handle your dog safely.

Research to find someone experienced and knowledgeable. Ask for tips from friends or family members, or look for reviews online to find a groomer with a good reputation.

Remember, you are handling your furry friend to them, so choose wisely.

Request for a shorter duration

Your dog may be lethargic or sleepy after a grooming session. You can prevent it by requesting a shorter grooming session or breaking it into shorter intervals.

Some grooming sessions, such as a full haircut or bath, may need longer. However, your groomer may shorten the session to allow your dog to rest and recharge.

Be bold and speak with your groomer to find the best solution for your dog.

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Tips for Making the Grooming Experience More Comfortable for Dogs

Getting your dog to stay still and be comfortable grooming can be difficult. But there are a few steps to make the process easier for both of you.

Let’s go over those tips:

Gradual introduction

Dogs can be pretty tired after grooming. It can be challenging for them to relax and let someone else take care of their hygiene, mainly if they’re not used to it.

You can bring your dog to the groomer’s office for a short visit. It can help your dog become comfortable and associate it with positive experiences.

Start simple. Slowly introduce the grooming tools and process.

You can take things slowly and reward your dog with treats or praise for good behavior.

Brush regularly

Your dog’s coat is a source of pride. It can also be a source of pain, which is why brushing regularly is so important.

Brushing helps prevent mats and tangles on your dog’s coat, which can be painful. It also helps distribute natural oils in the coat, keeping it healthy and shiny.

The frequency of brushing depends on coat type and length. Dogs with longer coats may need to brush more frequently, while shorter coats only need less.

Be gentle and avoid pulling or tugging your dog’s fur, especially in sensitive areas like the ears or belly.

Take an opportunity to inspect their skin and coat for any signs of irritation, injury, or pests.

Choose a good groomer

Dogs often feel anxious about grooming, making them tired and lethargic.

Choosing a good groomer is the best way to enjoy their time at the salon.

A good groomer has experience with various breeds and temperaments and knows how to handle your dog in a way that is safe and comfortable.

Once you’ve found a potential groomer, visiting their salon to see their facilities is a good idea. 

Look for a clean, well-organized salon with plenty of natural light. Talk to them about your dog’s specific needs and concerns.

Give them breaks

When your dog is uncomfortable in one position for too long, it’s like how you feel when you sit for prolonged periods—you start getting fidgety and antsy! Dogs are no exception.

Ask your groomer about possible breaks to help your dog feel more at ease during grooming. Many groomers will happily take short breaks to allow your dog to stretch their legs, drink water, and relax. 

If your dog is uncomfortable, speak up and ask for a break. The groomer can adjust their approach to help your dog relax and feel more comfortable. 

Be especially gentle with sensitive areas

Dogs are sensitive to touch in areas like the ears, paws, and genital area. 

They are more likely to feel uncomfortable or anxious when handling these areas. Be sure to approach these areas with care and gentleness. 

Use a soft touch and speak calmly to help them relax. If your dog shows signs of anxiety, take a break and give them time to calm down before continuing.

You can also work with your groomer to develop a plan tailored to your dog’s needs and preferences.

Avoid using scented products

If your pup is sleepy after getting a haircut, it’s probably because of exposure to toxic chemicals after grooming.

Avoid using scented products when grooming your dog. The chemicals in scented products often contain harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Cocamide MEA, and Phthalates. 

Like ours, dog shampoos, soaps, and hair care products are often riddled with toxic ingredients and can hurt your dog even more.

The best way to minimize your dog’s exposure to these products is to use unscented products or products with a mild, natural scent.

It can help your dog prevent unnecessary discomfort due to your product choice.

Check regularly for signs of infection or irritation

Dogs are sensitive creatures and can be easily irritated by certain things, so checking for signs of infection or irritation is essential. 

Every dog is different; some dogs may be more sensitive than others. 

Checking regularly for signs of infection or irritation will help determine if your dog needs to rest after a grooming session.

FAQs

Is it normal for dogs to act weird after grooming?

It’s normal for dogs to act differently after grooming. They may feel tired, sluggish, or even anxious. But if you notice unusual or alarming actions, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Do dogs get tired after grooming?

Yes, dogs can feel tired or sleepy after grooming. They may be a bit more sluggish than usual and even show signs of discomfort. However, if your dog seems excessively slow or shows pain, contact your vet for any health issues.

Do groomers give dogs sedatives?

Groomers can administer sedatives to help the dog feel calmer and more relaxed during grooming. They do this with vets’ prescriptions and guidance.

How do I cheer up my dog after grooming?

To cheer up your dog after grooming, take them for a walk or engage in a favorite activity. Offer praise, treats, and plenty of affection. Additionally, ensure your dog has access to water and a comfortable, quiet place to rest if they seem tired or anxious.

In Conclusion: Why Is My Dog So Sleepy After Grooming

I will say that it’s completely normal for your dog to feel tired after a grooming session.

The combination of physical activity and emotional stress can leave them feeling exhausted.

However, you can help your pup feel more comfortable during grooming by choosing a groomer that your dog trusts and feels safe with.

Additionally, make sure to give your furry friend plenty of rest and relaxation time after a grooming session to help them recuperate.

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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!

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for explaining that warm baths and blow dryers can make dogs feel sleepy. My friend told me that her dog is acting lethargic. I should advise her to look for a vet hospital to get her dog checked.

    • Hey Victoria, you’re most welcome for the information! If your friend’s dog is feeling lethargic, it’s definitely a good idea to recommend a vet check-up, just to be on the safe side. A professional opinion can help identify any underlying issues and ensure her dog gets the best care. Wishing her furry friend a speedy recovery!

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