Many dogs get the after-bath itchies after grooming. You’ll see dogs rub their bodies all over the floor. The first thing you need to be sure of is that you rinsed the dog thoroughly. You can safely give your dog Benedryl for the itching, but it’s always best to find out why the dog is itching and try to remedy it, instead of covering up the symptoms.
Did you use a very drying shampoo or forget to use conditioner? Could your dog possibly have an allergy to something in the shampoo or conditioner? Next time, try a different product and see if your dog reacts better to it. The dog could simply itch because she is not used to her new haircut yet.
If her hair was matted or was very heavy, she may simply need some time to adjust to her new style. She may also be reacting to loose cut hairs poking her skin. Try brushing her out. If that doesn’t work, evaluate her skin. Does she have a skin rash? Are there any breakouts? If it’s severe, you may need to see a vet.
If you notice your dog’s skin has hives on it, you need to take him to the vet as soon as possible. Some dogs can have a severe allergic reaction to products, but sometimes the dog may have had hives before you began to groom him and you only noticed them as you were drying him.
Sometimes dogs will rub on the furniture or flooring to rub their new scent on things. They were perfectly happy with the old stinky odor, and you had to change it to something that smells good! Well, we know dogs have a good sense of smell, but who said dogs had a good sense of what smells good?
This is a common problem when shampoo or other irritants get into a dog’s eyes. Sometimes loose hair from the haircut can get in there as well. You know that feeling when an eyelash gets into your eye—you squint, tear up, and rub your eye.
Flush It Out
The best thing to do with any eye irritation is to flush that eye with water for a few minutes. Hold the eye open as best you can and run cool water on low pressure all along the eye. It should flush all the irritants out. If you’ve used mineral oil in the eyes to protect them and a degreasing shampoo got into the eye, you really need to be diligent about flushing the eye.
Mineral oil eye protection drops may be a good idea to protect eyes from shampoo irritation, but certain shampoos can break down the oil and get under it. It’s easier to flush out shampoo from a dog’s eye than it is to treat a corneal abrasion caused by using eye protection drops with the wrong shampoo.
If, after flushing the eye for several minutes, the dog is still rubbing his eye and squinting, it’s time to see a vet. Most corneal abrasions heal quickly with the correct treatment.