Our dogs are intelligent and fantastic creatures.  From the ultimate walking companion to the goofball who likes to bark at the mail delivery truck, dogs have a lot of personalities.  As owners, we often notice those quirks to their characters more than a standard outsider.  A popular topic in the networks connecting dog owners is the vast difference in their dog’s personality after getting a haircut or a bath.  This leads us to dive into understanding why dogs are happy after a haircut or a shampoo.

It’s all about being pampered:

A lot of the happiness and excitement that you see in your dog when you pick him up from the groomers is related to the fact that they’re basically pampered.  Similar to humans going to a spa, dogs get to enjoy all sorts of fancy and exciting things when they are dropped off at the groomers.

•   A grooming shop is excellent for socialization with other pets: From smells of other pets to getting to meet them nose to nose, a groomer is often busy with other people’s pets.

Dogs are social creatures, so they love meeting someone new while enjoying a new and exciting place to do it.

Many of us don’t spend a lot of time making sure that our pets are properly socialized (like at a dog park), so dogs love the option of making new friends at the groomer’s shop.  When they come home, they’re all full of happiness and “zoomies” because they’ve had a great day meeting new dogs!

•   Dogs get to interact with new people: Just as there are other pets they want to hang out with, dogs also really enjoy meeting new people!  Since groomers are notorious for being dog lovers (for obvious reasons), dogs love that they can interact with all sorts of people who are being affectionate and friendly with them.  It’s great mental and emotional stimulation for them, and it’s sure to be an enjoyable experience.  This leads them to be happy after the sessions because they’ve had a great time!

•   Less fur leaves them feeling lighter: Since the groomer is there to thin out their fur and to offer it a good scrub, most dogs will feel lighter.  Since owners don’t often spend a lot of time grooming their dogs at home (with a brush or even with a shampoo session), most dogs are often itchy with loose fur (that always seems to be shedding), and uncomfortable with the heat.  Since loose fur is removed and they are thinned out where needed, they feel lighter and a lot more comfortable.  Who wouldn’t be happy?

•   They love the natural massage of being groomed: From brushing to clipping to washing, dogs love all of the physical attention and massage features that come with being groomed.

It makes them feel like true princes and princesses.  Think about how you feel when you get a head massage while you’re at the salon.  It’s the same thing for them, really.

•   Better circulation often makes them feel more energetic: With massage comes better circulation.  If your dog has any stiffness or soreness that comes from a fun day in the yard or out for a walk, circulation will help relieve it.  This is especially helpful in those that are seniors or have ailments in their joints.  It can help them enjoy natural pain relief that makes them feel like a brand new puppy again!

•   Groomers and owners make a big fuss out of them: When dogs are done being groomed, both the groomer and owners are quick to make a big fuss out of them.  They look beautiful, and they know it!  This is strengthened even further when everyone makes a big deal out of it.

•   They’re happy to get back to Mom/Dad: Some dogs find being up on the table or in the tub stressful.

When they see Mom or Dad has returned, they’re delighted to go home with the people that they know and love.

How to help your dog feel better after the groomer

Do you notice that your dog doesn’t seem to feel great after the groomer?  Maybe they seem depressed or want to hide or just lie in their beds for a few days even though they seem fine?  There could be a few reasons for their lack of the zoomies.

•   Don’t embarrass them: Dogs are incredibly sensitive and intuitive creatures.  If you laugh at their haircut or you’re upset with something that was done and start using a negative tone, your dog picks this up as something they’ve done wrong and they get embarrassed.  They may have their head hung low in shame or they may just be insistent on going home.  Use happy voices and positive motions with your dog, regardless of your actual feelings.

•   Make sure they’re not injured or uncomfortable: Sometimes, certain groomers use techniques that aren’t comfortable for all dogs.  It doesn’t mean anything sketchy is going on, it just might not be comfortable.  Since dogs have a hard time communicating that to us, consider staying and watching your dog’s behavior for anything out of the ordinary.

•   Bring them to their favorite spots: Sometimes, dogs will sulk because they want to show off their new style to their friends.  Consider taking them to a dog park or another favorite spot where they can enjoy some time to show off their styles.

Dogs are fascinating and incredible companions in life.  Whether you knew all of this about dog grooming and pet psychology or not, it’s impossible to think that all of this exists in your pooch!  The next time you take your dog to get a bath and a haircut, watch how he acts afterward and use that to decide whether or not he is enjoying his time there or maybe you need to start looking at finding a groomer that will give him all of the joys he should have the next time he goes in to have a spa day.