How to Relieve Your Dog’s Itching After Grooming

Grooming your dog can help prevent skin infections, parasites, and other skin irritations. But surprise, surprise, it can also cause this happens in some cases. Yes, you may find that your dog is itchy After grooming.

“There are a variety of factors that can cause a dog to itch after a grooming session,” says Alex Bordona, professional dog groomer at Dogtopia of Madison West. The culprit for your dog’s itching: ingredients used in some shampoos and conditioners, general irritation from removing tangles, and various other factors.

That said, itching after grooming can be painful for puppies – and it’s important to treat skin irritations both for the dog’s comfort and to prevent larger skin problems from developing. “Any itch left unchecked can turn into a problem,” adds Bordano.

Here, experts explain why your dog may itch after a grooming session, how to treat itching after grooming, and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Why is my dog ​​itchy after a grooming appointment?

According to the experts we interviewed, there are several reasons why a dog might itch after a grooming appointment. And as experts unanimously recognized, it is extremely important to identify the cause of the irritation.

“Identifying the cause of itching before treatment is essential to ensure the correct remedy is used,” says Sabring Kong, veterinarian, dog trainer and veterinary consultant at UsLoveDoodles. “Treating an itch caused by an allergic reaction with a product designed for dry skin, for example, may not provide relief and could make the problem worse. A proper diagnosis helps prevent further discomfort and reduce the risk of complications.

Here’s why your dog may itch after a grooming session:

1. The dog is allergic to ingredients in grooming products

As Kong notes, if a dog is allergic to a particular ingredient in the shampoo or conditioner used, there’s a good chance they’ll feel itchy after the appointment. Bordano often claims that these products contain strong fragrances.

2. Tools used to groom the dog cause irritation

According to Paola Cuevas, resident veterinarian and canine behaviorist at Animal enthusiast, clipper burns are often the most common cause of post-grooming itch. “Trimmers that are too dull, too sharp, or prone to overheating will cause burns,” she says. “Just as we humans have different skin types, some dogs’ skin is more sensitive than others, and therefore more or less likely to develop irritation and clipper burn.”

“Incomplete rinsing and leaving shampoo or conditioner residue on the skin can cause itching after a grooming appointment.”

— SABRINA KONG, VETERINARIAN

3. The groomer did not rinse the dog thoroughly after shampooing and conditioning.

“Incomplete rinsing and leaving shampoo or conditioner residue on the skin can cause itching after a grooming appointment,” says Kong.

4. Removing knots exposed raw, tender skin

Irritation after removing a large rug can sometimes be a common cause of itching, says Bordano. “When the mats are removed, blood returns to the skin, which can cause the dog to scratch,” she notes.

5. Dog experiences anxiety after a grooming appointment

Some dogs may become stressed or anxious during a grooming appointment, according to Kong. This, she says, can sometimes cause them to lick or itch excessively to calm themselves down in the hours and days after the session — and lead to irritated skin.

6. Your dog may be bathing a little too much

If you bathe your dog daily (or even weekly), you could be contributing to his dry, itchy skin, says Kong. Keeping grooming appointments properly spaced (usually four to six weeks) is a solid bet to prevent excessive itching.

What are some natural remedies to relieve post-grooming itch?

There are several ways to relieve a dog’s itching after a grooming appointment, including natural, over-the-counter, and prescription remedies.

When should a dog owner resort to a natural remedy to soothe irritations? “If the dog’s skin is itchy and slightly irritated and you don’t see clear indications of infection like oozing, I recommend starting with natural remedies,” says Cuevas.

Important: As with any anti-itch shampoo, conditioner, cream or treatment, be sure to consult a veterinarian before applying any topical substance to a dog’s skin.

1. Aloe vera gel

“Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing and hydrating properties, making it a great choice for treating irritated skin,” says Kong. Be sure to prevent your pet from licking the substance. Apply a small amount and let sit for 15 to 25 minutes, says Cuevas.

2. An oatmeal bath

Oatmeal is a great skin calmant for dogs, notes Cuevas. “A hypoallergenic shampoo with colloidal oatmeal can help ease a dog’s discomfort,” she says. One of his favorite brands, especially if the itching is generalized: Hepper Oatmeal Pet Shampoo.

She says you can also do an oatmeal “cast” if the irritation is in one area. “If the irritation is localized, you can mix oatmeal and hot water until you have a paste,” she says. Allow the paste to cool completely before applying it directly to the dog’s skin, and set a timer for 15 to 25 minutes for the paste to sit and dry (no licking).

3. Coconut oil

If the itch is localized and in one place, Kong and Cuevas are big fans of coconut oil for post-grooming itch. “Coconut oil hydrates and soothes dry skin, making it a versatile remedy for post-grooming itch,” notes Cuevas. She likes Kevala Organic Raw Coconut Oil.

“Using your fingers, rub a small amount of coconut oil into your dog’s irritated skin,” she recommends. “Observe your dog to make sure he doesn’t lick it for at least 15 to 25 minutes.”

“If you have applied a natural remedy for two days and the condition does not improve, then you should consider taking your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up.”

— PAOLA CUEVAS, RESIDENT VETERINARIAN AT PET KEEN

What are some over-the-counter ways to relieve itching after grooming?

“If you have applied a natural remedy for two days and the condition does not improve, then you should consider taking your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up,” says Cuevas. “It is not uncommon for irritated, itchy skin to develop secondary infections due to the dog’s constant trauma and bacteria in their nails.”

Depending on the severity of the itching your puppy is experiencing, your veterinarian may recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment. Here’s a look at some common over-the-counter products that might help relieve post-grooming irritation:

1. Hydrocortisone cream

According to Kong, hydrocortisone cream can help reduce inflammation and itching, both in cases where the itching is localized and all over.

2. Antihistamine cream

Antihistamines are especially helpful when the dog is having a generalized allergic reaction to an ingredient in a shampoo or conditioner, says Kong.

3. Medicated shampoos

A medicated shampoo is ideal when the dog’s itching comes from both allergic reactions to products and general dryness from excessive bathing, says Kong.

What Prescription Medications Help Relieve Post-Grooming Itching?

In case natural and over-the-counter remedies are not enough, a prescription from the veterinarian may be necessary to relieve post-grooming itching.

Most often, this will involve oral steroids, says Kong, which help reduce overall inflammation. But if the cause of the irritation is bacterial or fungal, your pup might need a course of antibiotics or antifungal medications to find relief.

If a puppy has a prolonged allergic reaction, an immunosuppressive medication like Apoquel may be prescribed. In some cases, Kong says a veterinarian may also prescribe long-term prescription shampoos.

If the dog is itchy from post-grooming stress, certain anti-anxiety or calming prescriptions could be given, including gabapentin and fluoxetine.

“Keeping the dog’s environment clean and free of allergens, as well as providing a balanced diet and proper hydration are also crucial for optimal skin health.”

-SABRINA KONG

How can dog owners prevent itching after grooming?

In order to prevent itching after a dog’s grooming session, it is crucial to identify the cause of the irritation: replacing the clippers or using an unscented shampoo will not cure the irritation in an itchy puppy. anxiety or removing the mat, for example.

That said, there are steps dog owners can take to prevent certain grooming irritants from becoming problematic.

“Use hypoallergenic, natural or fragrance-free grooming products, brush the dog’s coat regularly to remove debris and prevent tangling, and be sure to rinse out shampoo and conditioner thoroughly during baths,” Kong emphasizes. . “Keeping the dog’s environment clean and free of allergens, as well as providing a balanced diet and proper hydration are also crucial for optimal skin health.”

The essential

There are many ways to treat a dog’s itching after grooming. However, it is important to understand the underlying cause of the itching, as this will ultimately determine what type of treatment is optimal. And, ideally, always consult a veterinarian before administering any type of creams, sprays, shampoos and conditioners or medications to your puppy.


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