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Dog Shivering After Bath? 5 Common Reasons & How to Stop It

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Dogs shiver after baths mainly due to the cold temperature of the water or the outside air. Anxiety, happiness, or pain can also cause shivering in dogs, but these causes are not necessarily linked to showering.

Dogs are playful creatures. They love running, jumping, and rolling in mud and dirt. 

When they get dirty, they need a bath – something they enjoy less. Regular showers and baths help get rid of dirt and several microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Excessive baths are not healthy for dogs as they get rid of the essential body oils of dogs, but bathing a couple of times per week is great for your dog. 

This does not always go according to plan. Sometimes, dogs start shivering after a bath.

But why does this happen? And what should you do to stop it?

This article discusses the possible reasons why dogs shiver after a bath and how you can stop this from happening.

Dog Shivering After a Bath

Your dog can be shivering for several reasons. The most common cause of shivering in your dog after a bath is a low temperature. Identify the root cause of the problem and take the necessary steps to stop your dog from shivering after baths.

Bathing is an essential process to clean your dogs and rid them of any insects and bacteria. Your dog can develop severe skin infections and a mushy coat if regular baths are not given to it.

Dogs communicate with their owners via their body language. Shivering is a sign of discomfort in dogs. Dog owners should be able to identify what is causing their canine friends to feel uncomfortable to provide better care.

5 Reasons Dogs Shiver After a Bath

There are various reasons why dogs shiver after a bath. Low-temperature water or a cold room temperature outside can lead to shivering following a bath. Poisoning, pain, and anxiety are also probable reasons for shaking.

Dogs shake due to several reasons. Shivering post-bathing is common for dogs. Most of the causes are nothing to worry about and can be treated by taking certain precautions.

Others require medical intervention and must be communicated to a veterinarian so your dog gets proper treatment and remains healthy.

Here are the top five reasons why dogs shiver after a bath.

1. Cold Water Or Room Temperature

Cold Water Or Room Temperature

Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans and resist cold well. This is due to the fur on their bodies which serves as a layer of insulation. But if you use cold water when bathing your dog, they will get cold. When their fur gets cold, their body temperature also cools down quickly.

The room temperature also plays a crucial role in keeping your dog warm. If the outside temperature is cold, your dog can start shivering after taking a warm bath.

Always use lukewarm water when bathing your dog. Too cold or too hot water can cause discomfort in your pooch.

2. Shaking to Dry

Dog Shaking to Dry

Shaking is a natural way for dogs to get rid of water in their fur. All canines shake their bodies when they get wet. A dog can get rid of around 70% of excess water from its fur by shaking.[1]

Your dog’s fur is great at trapping water even after you have dried it with a towel. Water can lower the insulation levels of your dog’s coat which makes them feel cold.

Removing water from their fur is vital to prevent severe complications such as hypothermia[2]. The shivering should stop once all the water dries out from its fur. If the shivering persists even after its fur is dry, there is another issue affecting your dog.

3. Anxiety Can Cause Shivering

Anxiety Can Cause Shivering

Some dogs like bathing. Others despise it. Some dogs even run from their owners when it’s time for their bath. 

In other words, it can be uncomfortable for dogs. This is most often due to anxiety related to bathing time. What exactly triggers the anxiety is not always known. It can be the water, the scent of the shampoo, or the sound of the water.

Dogs can be startled if you suddenly open the shower on them. Harsh sprays and high water pressure is known to cause discomfort for some dogs.

Be patient and gentle while bathing your dog to reduce their anxiety or fear. Helps them get used to having a shower by bathing them a couple of times per week. 

Start slowly by dipping your dog’s feet in the water, and slowly work your way up to a full-body shower.

4. Shampoo Poisoning

Anti-parasite shampoos are great for removing lice, fleas, and fungi from your dog’s coat. Simply washing your dog with water does not get rid of the excess dirt and other disease-causing agents.

But, using the wrong shampoo can cause more harm than good.

Your dog can suffer from shampoo poisoning if it ingests the shampoo. Flea shampoos are even more dangerous than regular shampoos as they contain poisonous chemicals used to kill fleas.

These shampoos, and other pest control dog products, usually contain organophosphates which are harmful to dogs.[3]

Some symptoms of toxicity in dogs are:

  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Small pupils
  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle tremors

Consult with a veterinarian before using any flea-removing product on your dog.

5. Pain

dog in pain while taking a bath

Behavior related to pain varies among dogs. Some dogs whine while others tremble to show their pain. If your dog has a cut, bruise, or is otherwise injured, they can feel pain when getting wet or standing in the tub.

If you accidentally touch the affected area, it is natural for your dog to shiver with pain.

There are several signs of pain in dogs:

Your dog can be suffering from severe pain if it is showing any of these symptoms.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Shiver After a Bath?

It is normal for dogs to shiver after a bath. It helps them get rid of the excess water in their fur. Shivering due to cold temperatures is not common and requires you to take action.

Some dogs shiver after a bath due to fear. Shivering is a sign of their discomfort from the process of bathing. If this is the case, use treats and reassurance to help your dog create a positive connection to bathing time.

Shaking due to the cold temperatures is natural but requires prompt action. You should cover your dog with a blanket or take it to a warmer part of your house to provide it with some heat.

Lastly, shivering is common among dogs after they have been in the water, as it helps them get rid of the excess water particles that are stuck deep inside their fur.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Shiver After a Bath

How to Stop Dogs from Shivering After Bathing

Try covering your dog with a blanket right after a shower. This should help it get warm quickly and stabilize. Avoid using anti-flea shampoos without prior approval of your veterinarian.

Bathing is a standard part of any dog owner’s grooming routine. While dogs normally do shake after a bath, typically to shake off excess water, excessive shivering is a sign of something more serious. 

Before going to the vet, you can take action yourself. It’s easy to heat up your dog if they’re shaking due to coldness, while anxiety or pain should be treated by a vet.

Here’s how to stop dogs from shivering after a bath:

  • Always use lukewarm water for your dog’s bath to make it comfortable for your pup.
  • Cover your dog with a blanker if the external temperatures are lower than the water temperature.
  • Use a hairdryer after a towel to quickly dry your dog’s fur and get rid of excess water.
  • Communicate with your pup to calm it down during a bath.
  • Get your dog used to regular baths, so it doesn’t freak out when the water touches its coat.
  • Use a vet-approved shampoo for your dog.
  • Ensure your dog does not lick or bite shampoo suds.
  • Check for signs of injuries or wounds on your dog’s body and give it proper treatment if there is one.

Go to a veterinarian for proper guidance and treatment.

Conclusion

Dogs shake after a bath to get rid of the excess water from their fur. Cold temperatures can also lead to shivering in dogs. Other causes include anxiety, shampoo poisoning, and pain. Different circumstances require different treatment.

Observe the behavior of your dog and identify the root cause of the shivering. Use home remedies if it is something you can treat yourself. Consult a veterinarian if you are unsure about the stressor or if your pup’s condition worsens.

FAQs

Why is My Puppy Shaking After Bath?

Your puppy is shaking due to the cold temperature of the water. If you use warm water for bathing your pooch and it is still shaking, the room temperature is too cold for your little friend. Cover them up with a blanket and observe whether the shivering stops. If the shivering does not go away, your dog is shaking due to some other reason.

What Does it Mean When Dogs Shiver After Bath?

Shivering after a bath can mean several things. It can indicate that your dog is feeling cold or it does not enjoy the experience of bathing. Some dogs develop anxiety from bathing, which results in shaking and trembling.

What Should I Do If My Dog Shivers After a Bath?

There are certain steps you can take to stop your dog from shivering. The most important is to make it feel warm by covering it with a warm cloth or a blanket. You should also reassure it and calm it down if your dog is suffering from post-bath anxiety.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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