Dog Grooming Sickness – 7 Possible Causes and Cures!

We groom our dogs because we want them to look good, and we want to prevent health issues. However, things do not always go as planned, and on rare occasions, these grooming sessions can be counter-productive. In such cases, it is not unusual for pet owners to be distressed and feel guilty. Take a deep breath and relax; we are here to help.

There are many reasons why a dog could act sick after a grooming session. For one, your dog might be anxious or uncomfortable. If this is your pup's first time getting groomed, his lethargy is probably due to that. However, serious health issues such as allergies and infections can arise from grooming. 

It is your job to determine what is going on with your dog, but we are not leaving you to tackle this alone. In this article, we will discuss the causes of your dog’s sickness after grooming. We will also look into how you can help him through it. Let’s get into it!

Seven Reasons Why Your Dog Might Be Acting Sick After Grooming

1. Your dog is stressed

Some pet owners have noticed that their dogs get lethargic or even have diarrhea after a grooming session. If your dog is getting groomed for the first time, this kind of response is not strange. The different sounds, a change of groomer, car sickness, and any other thing could stress your dog and lead to vomiting and diarrhea. In most cases, after a groom, your dog isn’t sick; he’s just stressed.

2. Your dog is suffering from allergies

If your dog is allergic to any of the contents of the grooming products used, you could notice signs like itching, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, red, inflamed skin, constant licking, and more. Common allergens found in grooming products like shampoo include peanut oil, soya bean protein extracts, corn gluten, starch, and many more.

3. Your dog’s skin is irritated 

Skin irritation, especially in sensitive areas, is a common problem seen in dogs after a grooming session. This is usually caused by cutting a dog’s hair too short, not rinsing shampoo off completely, a razor burn, using an expired product, etc. Signs of skin irritation include itching, restlessness, hair loss, scooting, and lethargy 

4. Your dog is uncomfortable 

After the grooming process, a lot of dogs feel exposed. This is very common when the anal gland is exposed during the grooming process. Depending on your dog’s personality, an uncomfortable dog may show signs similar to sickness. After a few days, your dog will forget all about the groom and become his normal happy self.

5. Your dog is injured

If your dog hates grooming sessions and tries to escape the bath or table every five minutes, there’s a chance that he pulled a muscle during the session. Also, if your dog suffered a deep cut during the session and this injury isn’t treated straight away, he could get sick. Dogs are masters at masking pain, so it might take a while to notice such injuries. However, if such injuries aren’t treated as soon as possible, your dog could fall sick.

6. Your dog has post-grooming bacterial furunculosis

This is a deep skin infection that occurs in dogs as soon as 24- 48 hours after grooming. A classic sign of this disease is the appearance of pustules and scabs (on the back, neck, and tail area), fever, lethargy, and sometimes diarrhea. This disease is caused by Pseudomonas found in contaminated water and is found mostly in large-breed dogs.

7. Your dog picked up a bug at the groomer’s 

Certain diseases (parvoviral infection, rabies, canine influenza, ringworm infections, etc.) can be picked up from the grooming salon. For most of these diseases, unvaccinated dogs are more susceptible. However, most of these diseases don’t show symptoms until after a few weeks. So if your dog is sick immediately after a grooming session, it’s unlikely that he picked up any one of the diseases listed above.

Seven Ways to Help Your Dog Stop Feeling Sick After Grooming

As pet parents, it is our job to look after our pets at all times, especially when they are ill. Here are ways to help your dog stop feeling sick:

1. Analyze the symptoms and respond appropriately

It might be difficult to determine whether your dog is anxious or is actually sick. If your dog is showing signs of anxiety (hiding, lip licking, avoiding eye contact), help him feel safe by speaking calmly to him. If your dog is showing serious signs like vomiting or diarrhea, keep him hydrated and get him to a veterinarian.

2. See your veterinarian

When in doubt about your pet’s health, talk to your vet. If your dog’s condition is severe, like an allergic reaction, time is of the essence. However, if you aren’t sure that your pet is sick and notice only lethargy, it is safe to give it a day before seeking medical intervention. You might find out that your pet only needs rest.

3. Follow your vet’s instructions

Depending on your pet’s illness, your vet might prescribe certain medications. Use these drugs as directed by the doctor. Never give prescription medications to your pet without consulting a vet.

4. Encourage him to eat

If your dog isn’t vomiting or stooling but has a bad appetite, you need to encourage him. You can do this by hand-feeding him. Also, make sure you serve warm food with an aroma your pooch cannot resist. Try feeding him foods like chicken or beef. If your dog is vomiting or stooling, your vet could instruct you to withhold food for a while or feed him a bland diet like white rice or potatoes.

5. Try these natural remedies for itching

Itching in dogs is usually seen when groomers use mechanical tools like electric clippers to cut hair. These tools irritate the dog’s skin and cause them to itch, especially around sensitive areas. Try natural remedies for itching like omega 3 fatty acids, an oatmeal bath, aloe vera, lavender oil, and tea tree oil. Itching may also be caused by allergies, so if these remedies don’t help, have your vet take a look.

6. Maintain cleanliness

A dog that is sick is usually immunocompromised. This means that their immune system isn’t as strong as it ought to be, and they are more susceptible to illnesses. By maintaining a clean environment, you prevent harmful bacteria from infecting your pooch. 

7. Be patient

Whether your dog is anxious or sick, he needs love and care from you to get better. Give your dog attention and nurse him back to health the best way you can,


If your dog is sick after a grooming session, stay calm. Note his symptoms and communicate them to a vet. In most cases, your dog is stressed or suffering from common grooming injuries. With proper treatment and care, your pooch will be just fine.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!