Can German Shepherds Get Sick After Grooming? Myth Vs Reality

Can German Shepherds get sick after grooming? It’s a question that many dog owners ponder, especially those who want to ensure the well-being of their furry companions.

Grooming is a crucial aspect of maintaining your German Shepherd’s health and appearance, but could there be potential risks involved for this particular breed?

In short, yes, German Shepherds can get sick after grooming if certain precautions aren’t taken. Factors such as allergic reactions to grooming products, skin irritation from improper techniques, or exposure to contagious illnesses in grooming facilities can all pose risks to their health.

But what steps can you take for your German Shepherd’s safety during grooming sessions?

In this article, we’ll explore whether grooming your German Shepherd can lead to sickness. We’ll find out what’s real and what’s myth.

So, let’s start the discussion!

Potential Risks In German Shepherd Grooming

Grooming your beloved German Shepherd is an essential part of responsible pet ownership.

It helps keep their coat healthy and shiny, prevents mats and tangles, and promotes overall cleanliness.

An infographic showing potential risks in German Shepherd grooming.

However, it’s crucial to be aware that grooming, if not done properly, can pose certain risks to your furry friend’s health.

These are some potential grooming risks associated with German Shepherd grooming:

  • Skin Sensitivities and Allergies:
  • Accidental Cuts or Nicks:
  • Overheating during Drying:
  • Stress and Anxiety:
  • Ear and Eye Injuries:
  • Ear Infections:

Can German Shepherds Get Sick After Grooming?

While it’s natural to be cautious about your pet’s health, but the idea that German Shepherds often get sick after grooming isn’t really true.

In reality, there are only a few improper grooming practices that cause coat health issues for your GSD.

Can German Shepherd dogs get sick after grooming?

While it’s rare for German Shepherds to get sick directly from grooming, there are a few potential culprits to consider if your dog gets sick after a grooming session:

1. Underlying Health Conditions:

Sometimes, grooming stress can make existing health problems worse.

This means that if your dog has allergies or infections already, grooming might make these allergies worse.

For example, if your dog has an allergy, the stress of grooming might make their skin itchy and red, showing signs of the allergy.

Similarly, if there’s an infection brewing, grooming stress could make it more noticeable, like if your dog starts scratching their ears a lot after grooming.

So, it’s essential to keep an eye on your dog’s health, especially after grooming, to catch any issues early.

2. Exposure to Other Dogs:

When your German Shepherd gets groomed at a salon with other dogs, there’s a chance they could catch contagious illnesses like kennel cough.

Even though good groomers do their best to stop the sickness from spreading, it can still happen, especially in busy places with lots of dogs around.

So, it’s essential to keep an eye on your dog’s health after grooming, just in case they picked up something from their furry friends at the salon.

3. Post-Grooming Furunculosis:

This is a bacterial skin infection that can occur after grooming, particularly if the skin is irritated by vigorous scrubbing or harsh grooming products.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“Furunculosis is a condition characterized by deep infection or inflammation of the skin. It affects the area beneath the skin’s surface, impacting both the surrounding skin and the hair follicles themselves.”


When the skin hurts, bacteria like Pseudomonas can enter hair follicles and cause painful bumps and lesions.

If your German Shepherd develops unusual skin issues after grooming, such as inflamed or pus-filled bumps, it’s essential to seek veterinary attention promptly.

Here’s a video guide on the risks of post-grooming furunculosis, its symptoms, and prevention tips:

Source: Go Fetch Grooming YT Channel

Signs Of Post-Grooming Sickness In Your German Shepherd

While there are only minimal chances that your German Shepherd will get sick after grooming, it’s essential to remain vigilant to any potential signs of post-grooming sickness.

A professional pet groomer meticulously grooming a German Shepherd dog.

Here are some common signs to watch for if you suspect your German Shepherd may be feeling unwell after grooming:

  • Lethargy:
  • Loss of Appetite:
  • Fever
  • Redness or swelling:
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea:
  • Excessive Itching or Irritation:
  • Changes in Behavior:

These are emergency and non-emergency symptoms of post-grooming sickness in your German Shepherd:

Emergency SymptomsNon-Emergency Symptoms
Difficulty breathingMild skin irritation
Severe vomitingLethargy
CollapseMild diarrhea
BleedingModerate behavioral changes
Inability to stand or walkExcessive drooling
Pale gumsMild limping or stiffness
Rapid heartbeatOccasional coughing or sneezing
If you notice emergency symptoms in your German Shepherd, seek immediate veterinary assistance.

What to Do If Your German Shepherd Gets Sick After Grooming

If you spot any of these signs of post-grooming sickness in your GSD within 48 hours of a grooming session, be ready for prompt action before it worsens.

What to Do If Your German Shepherd Gets Sick After Grooming?

Here’s a clear roadmap to navigate this situation:

Assess the Symptoms:

Start by carefully observing your dog’s behavior and physical condition.

Look for any changes in their usual habits or appearance.

This includes noting if they seem more tired or sluggish than usual if they’re eating less or not at all, or if they appear to be in discomfort.

2. Contact Your Veterinarian:

If you notice any concerning symptoms, it’s essential to reach out to your veterinarian promptly.

Describe your dog’s symptoms in detail, including when they started and any other relevant information.

Pay close attention to the vet’s advice. They may offer guidance over the phone or suggest bringing your German Shepherd in for a thorough check-up.

The vet will assess your dog’s condition and may perform tests to determine the underlying cause of the illness.

3. Provide Comfort:

While waiting for veterinary advice or during transportation to the clinic, focus on providing comfort and support to your sick pup.

Keep them in a quiet, comfortable environment, away from loud noises or other sources of stress.

Offer plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated, but avoid feeding any food until you receive guidance from your vet.

4. Follow Treatment Recommendations:

Once your veterinarian has diagnosed the issue, it’s crucial to follow their treatment recommendations carefully.

This might mean giving your dog medicine, changing their diet a bit, or being more careful when grooming them.

Do whatever the vet suggests, and keep an eye on how your dog is doing.

How To Prevent Post-Grooming Sickness In Your German Shepherd

While a prompt visit to the vet is essential if your German Shepherd exhibits signs of post-grooming illness, but there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of it happening in the first place.

Can German Shepherds get sick after grooming?

Let’s have a look at these simple steps:

1. Choose Gentle Grooming Products:

When picking grooming products for your German Shepherd, opt for gentle and pet-safe options.

Because harsh grooming products can have adverse effects on your German Shepherd. They may cause skin irritation, dryness, or allergic reactions.

Additionally, harsh chemicals in these products can strip the natural oils from your dog’s coat, leaving it dry and brittle.

Over time, this can contribute to hair loss and an unhealthy coat.

So, make sure to use gentle, dog-specific grooming products formulated for sensitive skin of your GSD.

2. Keep Grooming Tools Clean:

Dirty grooming tools can harbor bacteria and lead to infections.

Make sure to clean and sanitize grooming brushes, combs, and clippers regularly.

After each grooming session, wash tools with warm, soapy water and allow them to air dry completely before using them again.

3. Use Lukewarm Water for Baths:

When giving your German Shepherd a bath, use lukewarm water instead of hot water.

Hot water can dry out their skin and strip away natural oils, making them more prone to irritation.

Lukewarm water is gentle on their skin and helps maintain a healthy coat.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“When giving your dog a bath, use lukewarm water. Hot water can make your dog’s heart work too hard, especially for puppies and older dogs. Keep the water temperature below 98.6°F to keep your pup safe.”


4. Dry Thoroughly After Bathing:

After bathing your German Shepherd, make sure to dry them thoroughly with a clean towel or a low-heat blow dryer.

Moisture trapped in their fur can create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, leading to skin infections.

Pay special attention to drying the ears and paws, as these areas are prone to moisture buildup.

matthew young pet polite blog founder with smiling face

“After bathing your GSD, use warm towels to dry them promptly. Avoid vigorous rubbing to prevent the formation of tangles in their coat.”


5. Provide a Comfortable Environment:

Create a calm and comfortable environment for grooming sessions to help reduce stress and anxiety in your German Shepherd.

Use positive reinforcement, treats, and plenty of praise to make grooming a positive experience for them.

If your dog seems nervous or anxious, take breaks as needed and approach grooming with patience and understanding.


In conclusion, although it doesn’t happen often, German Shepherds can get sick after grooming.

However, by watching out for any signs of sickness and taking your dog to the vet when needed, you can ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy.

Remember to maintain cleanliness in grooming tools and adjust techniques if necessary to prevent future incidents.

With proper care and attention, you can minimize the risk of illness and keep your German Shepherd thriving after grooming sessions.

Always prioritize your dog’s well-being and be proactive in addressing any health concerns that may arise.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can German Shepherds get infections from groomers?

Absolutely, German Shepherds can potentially develop infections from groomers if proper precautions aren’t taken. While most groomers maintain high standards of cleanliness and use safe grooming practices, there’s always a slight risk of bacterial or fungal infections.

How long will my German Shepherd act weird after grooming?

Every German Shepherd is different. Some may exhibit unusual behavior for a few hours due to stress or discomfort from grooming. However, most typically return to their normal selves within a day. Monitor closely, and consult a vet if concerns persist beyond that.

Why does my German Shepherd keep sitting on his bum after grooming?

It could be due to irritation from grooming or anal gland issues. Check for signs of discomfort, such as scooting or licking. If it persists, consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

What should I do if my German Shepherd has an upset stomach after grooming?

If your GSD experiences an upset stomach after grooming, monitor their symptoms and offer a bland diet like boiled chicken and rice. Ensure they have access to water and contact your veterinarian if symptoms persist or worsen.

Can German Shepherds develop allergic reactions to grooming products?

Yes, German Shepherds, like any dog breed, can develop allergic reactions to grooming products such as shampoos, conditioners, or sprays. It’s essential to use hypoallergenic products or consult with your vet for suitable alternatives.

Can German Shepherds get bumps after grooming?

Yes, German Shepherds can develop bumps after grooming, which may be caused by various factors such as allergic reactions to grooming products, skin irritation, ingrown hairs, or folliculitis.

Resources Used For Research:

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