Dog Cant Open Eyes After Grooming

My dog cant open eyes after grooming, what could be the reason? This is a very common problem that pet parents face, and the answer is likely that something got in their eyes. But read on, because the other reasons can be more dangerous.

The main reason why your dog is not able to open its eyes after grooming is because something went in its eyes during the grooming session, like the products used for grooming or pieces of its own fur. 

Another possible and more alarming reason can be that your dog is suffering from an eye infection caused by a groomer’s negligence or some products he used. 

Whatever the reason may be, no pet parents like to see their pets suffer, and if your pup is not opening its eyes, it might be because they are having some eye-related issues.

Dog Cant Open Eyes After Grooming

While most professional groomers keep the process of grooming dogs safe and hygienic, there can be cases of negligence that can negatively affect dogs. Read on to find the probable causes of why your dog can’t open its eyes after grooming and what you can do to offer them relief.

Why A Dog Can’t Open Eyes After Grooming

It could be because they got something in their eyes, or it could be because of an eye infection.

If you notice that your dog, who has just come from a grooming session, can’t open his eyes, it can be alarming. They might have an eye infection or get some product in their eyes while grooming. 

Washing their eyes with eyewash or saline water can offer them relief in case some product goes into their eyes, but eye infections can be a lot tougher to deal with. Let’s take a look at some of the common signs that your dog might have an eye infection.

  • Closed eyes, 
  • Tearing
  • Discharge from eyes and crusty gunk
  • Tear staining on their fur
  • Unequal pupil size
  • The white or red eyelid lining
  • Change in color or cloudiness in eyes
  • A third eyelid
Dog Cant Open Eyes After Grooming

Common Dogs’ Eyes Infection

Some of the common eye infections or issues that a dog can suffer from are:

  • Glaucoma: The pressure increases in the eyes, which causes enlargement of the eyes and can make the cornea appear cloudy.
  • Cataract: The eye lens of a dog becomes opaque and can cause blindness.
  • Conjunctivitis: In conjunctivitis or pink eyes, the eyes of your dog will become red and swollen.
  • Epiphora: In epiphora, tears will come out of your dog’s eyes and stain their fur
  • Entropion: The eyelid rolls in and causes tears and discharge.
  • Entropion: The eyelid rolls outwards and causes the eyes to look droopy.
  • Dry eye: In dry eyes, the tear production in a dog’s eyes diminishes and can cause pain, inflammation, and discharge. 
  • Cherry eye: It is a cherry-like formation in the corner of a dog’s eye due to a tear gland enlargement.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Retinal tissue regeneration can cause nighttime blindness.

Other than your dog keeping their eyes shut or half-open, there is another symptom- tear stains which is a sure way to tell when your dog is having eye issues. Tear stains are pretty common in dogs. 


The main cause of tear stains in dogs is epiphora, a common eye-related health issue. When there is an overproduction of tears in a dog, it is called epiphora. It can happen due to a variety of reasons.

  • If a dog has eyelids facing in an inwards direction.
  • When there is a hindrance to the drainage system for tears in a dog’s eye.
  • If a dog’s orbital cavities are not deep enough.
  • If your dog has a dense coat of fur around its eyes, it can also develop epiphora.

Why Are Dogs’ Eyes Irritated After Grooming?

Most likely, the products got into their eyes.

There can be several reasons for a dog’s eyes to be irritated after grooming. They might have got some of the grooming products in their eyes or got hit in their eyes with any grooming tool during the grooming process. 

If you find your dog’s eyes red, swollen, or half-shut after a grooming session, then rinse their eyes with eyewash, and if the problem persists, it is better to take them to a vet for a checkup.

Dog Cant Open Eyes After Grooming

What Does It Mean When Your Dog Can’t Keep Their Eyes Open?

Your dog might be suffering from an eye infection.

Eye infections, pain, or discomfort while opening eyes are some of the reasons behind your dog not being able to keep their eyes open. 

Other than not keeping their eyes open, several other signs like rubbing their eyes with their paws or not eating food are other signs of eye infection or pain that you need to look out for in your dog. 

Dogs can not speak, so it is vital that you notice small changes in their behavior to find what might be bothering them. 

When you find that your dog is having trouble keeping its eye open, you first need to try some home remedies like rinsing its eyes using saline water. If your dog can’t keep their eyes open even after all these, then it might be possible that the reason for that is severe, and it is time for you to consult a vet.

In most cases, when your dog is not opening his eyes, it is because they are suffering from pain and discomfort, and they are trying to find some relief by keeping their eyes shut. 

What should I do if my dog is not able to open its eyes?

Taking your dog to the vet at an appropriate time will avoid severe damage to your dog’s eyes while offering them comfort from their pain. Vets have equipment that allows them to determine the cause of eye pain in your dog. Let’s look at some of the leading causes of eye pain in dogs.

  • A foreign object like dust or debris on the surface of your dog’s eyes.
  • Glaucoma in dogs can result in clouded corneas, and there is pressure inside their eyes which can result in eye enlargement. The pressure can be painful, and that might be why your dog can’t keep their eyes open.
  • If your dog sustained some injuries to its eyes or eyelids.
  • Infections in the orbital socket of a dog’s eyes can cause excruciating pain, and your dog will have trouble even opening its mouth.
  • Any inflammation in the iris can be another cause of eye pain.
  • Conjunctivitis or dry eyes can often lead to painful sensations in a dog’s eye.

Bringing your dog to the vet at the right time will allow them to determine the cause of the eye pain in your dog and treat it before any severe damage.

Why Is My Dog Acting Strange After Grooming?

There could be several reasons, but all of them might mean they are uncomfortable with their new appearance.

Dogs have a routine, and a new change can cause them to behave strangely. Intense grooming sessions are a massive change in your dog’s appearance and the way they are used to feeling, and that might be the reason why your dog is acting strangely after grooming. 

Let’s say that your dog has a thick coat of fur and, for some reason, you got their fur cut short or completely shaven; then your dog may act strangely because it feels anxious about the change with feeling lightweight.

Dog Cant Open Eyes After Grooming

Acting strangely is quite normal for dogs after significant grooming, but there are a few things that you need to look out for.

  • While sleeping after a grooming session is quite common as the dogs feel refreshed and light. But if you find that your dog is overly sleepy, then it might be possible that the groomer has drugged them to keep them sedated during the process, which is an illegal thing to do. 
  • Dogs shaking their body and head can signify that they have water in their ear.
  • If your dog is itching too much, it is also not normal behavior. Check for any skin infections that your dog may have.
  • Blood in their rectum or having pain while they go potty can mean hurt during their grooming session.
  • Any signs of physical pain like blood in their nails, keeping their eyes closed or pawing any specific area on their body, or whimpering can mean an injury.

The best way to make your dog accustomed to grooming is to introduce them to it slowly. For the first few sessions, try to be around them to feel comfortable with the idea of your presence. 

Dogs acting strangely after a grooming session is expected as they are getting used to the feel of their new haircut. They can bounce back to their usual self soon enough but look out for abnormal behavior to avoid serious health issues.

Why Are My Dog’s Eyes Half-Closed?

Eye infection or injuries are the main reasons for your dog’s eyes being half-closed. It can be bothersome for pet parents to find their dogs with eyes half-closed. Some of the common causes include:

  • There could be something on the surface of your dog’s eyes. If your dog plays outdoors and loves to roll onto the ground, then there is a high possibility of a piece of grass, leaves, wood, dirt, or mud getting in their eyes. If there is something in your dog’s eyes, then their eyes can be watery and half-closed.
  • Your dog might be suffering from an eye infection. There are several different types of eye infections in dogs.
Dog Cant Open Eyes After Grooming

Final Words

A dog grooming session is supposed to make them clean and healthy. But often, either due to a groomer’s negligence or lack of knowledge, dogs can have trouble after a grooming session. 

If your dog can’t open its eyes after grooming, it might be suffering from some infections. You can clean their eyes using eyewash or saline water to offer them relief, and if the problem persists, it’s best to take them to a vet.

Thank you for reading, we hope we answered your query. Do read other grooming-related articles such as Do You Tip Dog Groomers At Petsmart? And Doggy Styling Grooming 101