Bathing your dog is an important part of dog ownership, and helps to keep your pet’s fur in good condition and its skin healthy, but most dogs hate baths, and being bathed can sometimes make them cold.
If your dog is shivering after a bath and doesn’t seem to be stopping, you might be concerned and wondering whether you should have bathed it at all. Unfortunately, dogs do need to be cleaned, but there are a few things you should do to make sure your dog is comfortable.
It’s quite worrying if you see your dog shivering constantly when it has just had a bath, especially if the water was warm and the air temperature feels warm to you.
Shivering is often related to temperature, but not always, and sometimes prolonged shivering may give you important information about your dog’s mood, as well as its physical condition.
Don’t ignore shivering, especially if it seems excessive, and always make sure you warm your dog up after a bath.
Baths should not be given in hot water because this can damage a dog’s skin and strip important oils away, but you don’t want to be bathing your dog in cold water either. Make sure you check the water temperature to ensure it isn’t too cold for your dog to be comfortable in.
Why Do Dogs Shiver After A Bath?
Dogs usually shiver after a bath because they are cold; the cool water may lower their body temperature, and having wet fur can also cause chills because the water will slowly evaporate, pulling heat from the dog’s body as it does so.
However, dogs may also shiver after a bath because of nervousness, stress, or excitement, so be aware of this and don’t always assume it’s a temperature issue. Your dog may need some reassurance, especially if it is generally a nervous creature; be prepared to provide this.
You should try to make baths as pleasant an experience as they can be, and reward your dog with lots of treats both during and after the bath.
Don’t drag baths out or make a big fuss of them; they should be done swiftly and simply, with minimal trauma if possible. This may be easier said than done with some dogs, but aim to keep the stress as low as you can.
If you know that your dog shivers after a bath, make an effort to choose other ways of keeping it clean, such as thorough brushing and wiping its feet down with a towel after a muddy walk.
Very regular bathing can damage your dog’s skin and strip oils from its coat, so it’s best to avoid this if possible, and only bathe your dog when it needs it. This may help to reduce the stress associated with bathing.
Should I Be Worried If My Dog Shivers After A Bath?
Shivering usually means either that your dog is cold from the bath or that it has been stressed out by it, but occasionally, shivering might be the result of a disease or disorder, although you will usually see the shivering at other times too if this is the case.
Generally, a dog shivering after a bath is nothing to worry about, unless the shivering seems excessive and continues for a long time even though the dog is warm.
If you are concerned about your dog shivering when you have given it a bath, set up a video call with a veterinarian.
This will give you access to cheap but professional advice on the issue, and the vet should be able to determine what is wrong and advise on whether anything needs to be done about it.
Certain illnesses, such as distemper or Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) can cause shivering, although usually this will be unrelated to water.
Sometimes, trembling may also indicate that your dog is in pain, so it’s a good idea to set up a call with a vet if you are concerned about it.
In general, however, shivering that happens after a bath will be due to stress or low body temperature, and it isn’t something that you should be too worried about as long as your dog gets over it pretty quickly.
How To Help A Dog Shivering After A Bath
If your dog is really shivering after a bath, you should make sure that there is a warm room for it to sit in, and that you have several towels ready for when you lift it out of the water.
Take some time to dry its fur as thoroughly as you can, because wet fur will leach heat from your dog’s body until it has completely dried, so it won’t help if your dog is feeling chilled.
You may also be able to use a hairdryer, but this will depend on your dog and how calm it is around noise.
If your dog gets anxious about baths, you should make sure that you approach them with care and reassurance, and that you minimize stressful noises or splashing once the dog is in the water.
Provide plenty of high reward treats while the dog is in the bath, such as peanut butter, and keep talking to it in a soothing voice.
Plenty of praise, coupled with bath times that are kept short, should help your dog to overcome its anxiety. If your dog gets really stressed by baths, however, try to minimize the frequency with which you give them.
In general, a dog shivering after a bath is nothing to be too concerned about, because it’s usually just an attempt to get warmed up after being immersed in cool water for a while. You can use a towel and a cozy room to help your dog warm up, and provide plenty of treats and praise to help it overcome any nervousness caused by the bath. If you are really worried about shivering following a bath, make sure you raise your concerns with a vet so you can get your dog checked out for any serious issues.