Can I Use a Hair Dryer On My Dog?

by Stuart | Last Updated:   January 6, 2020

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Dogs are just as prone to wet hair as humans are. And after a wash or dip in a pool, you’ll need to dry them off quickly before they get water on everything in the house. 

So, can you use a hairdryer/blowdryer on your dog?

Yes, you can use a hairdryer on your dog as long as you use the proper technique and avoid high heat. The best practice is to use a hairdryer made specifically for dogs, but a dryer made for humans will do the job. 

To learn more about how to properly blow-dry your dog’s hair, read on. 

Dog being dried with hair dryer and closing their eyes

How To Dry Your Dog’s Hair Using a Hairdryer

Whatever you do, don’t jump in and start blasting your pooch with your blow dryer. As with many other dog care tasks, you should build up familiarity with the process slowly.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by showing your dog the dryer while it is switched off. 
  2. Turn it on at a distance away from the dog. Let your pup get familiar with the sound of the dryer. 
  3. Slowly bring it closer to your dog and play a game, perhaps short blasts on the cold air setting. Be sure to reward your dog with treats as the dryer gets closer.
  4. Once your dog is comfortable with the sound and feel of the dryer, slowly bring it close to their coat. 
  5. If using a dryer made for humans, make sure it is on the low heat setting. 
  6. Keep the nozzle a few inches away from your dog and keep moving the dryer across your dog’s hair. 
  7. If using a dryer made for dogs, then you can bring the nozzle close to the skin to blow away the droplets of water.

Pet Parent Tip: Unlike when you are drying yourself, you cannot tell how hot the dog is getting. Therefore, do not allow heat to build on the dog’s coat.

If you think that dryers made for dog grooming are all hype, check out this video:

Alternatives To Hair Dryers For Dogs

Air Dry

This is a no brainer and probably the option your doggie prefers. Dogs are built to dry themselves as they can shake up to 70% of the water from their fur in just four seconds.

This is another no brainer, but this option is best done outside as water can get everywhere.

If you’re already outdoors then stay outdoors. And if you can stay out of mud or dirt you’re dog will be better off smell wise. But remember, dogs prefer natural smells compared to perfumey smells, so they don’t need to “smell like flowers”.

The ideal situation after a dog shakes the water off is to sunbathe on a deck or other similar clean surface (cottage people get it).

Towel Dry

Towels are the most common alternative to hair dryers. They can be particularly good for soaking up a large amount of water initially held in the dog’s coat.

So I would recommend always starting with a towel even if you plan on using a hairdryer.

When using a towel, make sure to squeeze and dab. Don’t rub up and down, as this can lead to knots and mats that will be difficult to deal with after.

Pet Parent Tip: Consider a ‘Chamois Leather’ towel/cloth

Chamois leather is a leather cloth traditionally made from the hide of a chamois (European antelope). Today, however, they are often made by non-animal materials.

A chamois leather cloth (opens new tab) is like a towel that doesn’t stop absorbing. 

Here’s a great video showing how to use this cloth to dry a doggie:

What’s great about this cloth is it can be rung out over and over so you can get all the water in one go.

Human Hair Dryers vs. Dog Dryers

Human hair dryers primarily use heat to dry the hair, while hair dryers made for dogs blow the water away instead. This difference eliminates the risk of burning your dog. 

If you are serious about regularly grooming your dog, you may decide to invest in a cage or stand dryer.

These are usually used by professional salons and help speed up the process. They also give you more of a chance to position the air and deal with brushing/styling.

What if my dog does not like the feeling and noise of a hair dryer?

Hair dryers are noisy and can scare some dogs. If your dog trembles at the sight of this harmless device, you’ll need to use a bit more care to make them feel comfortable. 

If possible, try to get your dog used to the sight and sound of the hair dryer from a young age. Use treats and rewards to make your dog associate hair drying with fun. 

Dog looking away as owner points hair dryer at them to dry them off

If you can afford it, buy a proper doggy force blower, like this one. These are a bit more expensive than typical human dryers, but are much more effective and cause less discomfort to your dog.

Make sure when using a force dryer that you do not point it at sensitive areas of your dog such as eyes, mouth, nose, genitals, or ears.

If your dog is really unhappy with a dryer, then opt for towel drying instead. This might prove to be a bit more difficult, as most dogs typically hate being rubbed with towels.

However, if they refuse to let you use a dryer, this is your only option. 

How much should I spend on a hair dryer for my Dog?

A high-quality hair dryer will cost somewhere around $100. Cheaper entry-level models are available for less than $50. 

You can, of course, get more premium models.

One idea to make the investment worth it is, after you’ve gotten some practice, offer some a cheap grooming service to people you know.

The money you receive will add up quickly and the dryer can pay for itself.

For many people, these cheaper models will suffice. Just note that they will be using cheaper motors, which means your dryer will have a shorter lifespan.

They will also be less efficient than the more expensive $100+ dryers. For a premium dog dryer, we recommend this one on Amazon.

What are the key features I should look for in a dog hair dryer?

Doggy hair dryers will all come with some standard features, such as:

  • motor unit
  • compressor
  • hose
  • nozzles (different shapes & sizes)

Higher-end units will contain quieter and more powerful motors. 

The length of the hose will often be related to the price of the unit.

When looking at the nozzles, check if a suitable nozzle is included for your dog. Different types of coats will require different shaped nozzles.

Higher-end professional dryers may include a moveable stand that makes it easier to dry a larger dog. 

Badoogi Pet Dry Room

  • Hand-free, stress-free, safe, quiet and gentle dryer to dry pet hair after a bath
  • Collapsible Pet House fits small to medium size dogs and puppies with a see-thru window on the top for monitoring and a built-in screen-window on the side for better ventilation while drying
  • Features 2 adjustable temperature control and Air Wash; variable speed control; adjustable 360 degrees in the direction ventilation pipe

Cage dryers will include multiple hoses/nozzles and are designed to clip onto the outside of a cage blowing dry air inside. These can be useful for smaller dogs that like to try and run away from the dryer.

If you need a hair dryer for your dog, these are some great options available:

1. Shelandy 3.2HP Stepless Adjustable Speed Pet Hair Force Dryer with Heater

The Shelandy 3.2HP dryer is a standard force dryer. With a unique noise reduction system, and an inbuilt heater this unit will quickly dry your dogs hair. 

SHELANDY

  • Output power: 2400W adjustable / Voltage 110/120V
  • Airflow variable: 65MPH-135MPH, Fits from tiny cats to large breeds
  • New tech for noise reduction & Two options for heating temperature
  • Flexible hose can be expanded to 73 inches. Comes with 4 types of nozzles.
  • One-year Warranty, Simple warranty-claim & free replacement


2. WendyMom Dog Hair Dryer

The WendyMom dryer is smaller and more compact than the other dryers mentioned. 

IONE

  • Safe blue LED light, Easily spotting urine stain on pets, a real professional hair blower dryer for dogs/cats
  • Stronger wind force, Twice to a common hair dryer, 2 level force adjustable
  • Specific design for caring pets, Pets favour temperature,fast-dry wind force
  • Short mouth design, Providing uniform wind with constant temperature
  • Smart temperature control, Constant without hurting pets,3 level adjustable

It is a handheld unit that combines the motor/blower and nozzles into a single handheld unit, which makes it look like a traditional human dryer. 

This unit will take longer to dry than some of the more powerful dryers, but is well suited to a small dog and will use little space in a drawer/cupboard. 


3. iPettie 2 in 1 Pet Grooming Dryer with Slicker Brush

The iPettie 2 in 1 Pet Grooming Dryer has a unique design that combines a dryer with a slicker brush. This helps to give your freshly dried dog a nice unmated coat. 

iPettie

  • Easily remover matted hair and tangles from your pet’s coat while drying, thanks to the creative 2 in 1 design
  • Whisper-quiet (<60 dB) and it won’t scare your pets away while providing both high and low heat
  • Specifically designed for small and medium-sized dogs

This dryer is also very quiet. If your doggie is apprehensive about dryers, this unit may help relieve some of that anxiety.


4. XPOWER Cage Dryer with Multi Drying Hose Kit

The XPOWER Cage Dryer is designed to be connected to the outside of a cage. This adaptation ensures your pet gets an even dry even if they run away from the air.

This is a premium dryer at a premium price.

XPOWER

  • Utilize heat and hands-free drying for up to 3 cages at a time allowing you to move on to the next job without worrying about harming the pets
  • 3/4 HP motor produces up to 3200 CFM while drawing only 7.5 amps
  • Uses a high air volume at ambient room temperature to dry the densest coats
  • 3 speeds, 3-hour timer, and 3 airflow control gates
  • Provides a gentle way to dry dogs that are older, skittish, or have sensitive coats

But like I said before, if you think grooming your dog is something you’ll enjoy, you can offer some basic grooming services (like wash & dry) to some of your friends and this dryer will quickly pay for itself.

With three hoses, this dryer can also be used to dry several dogs at once. 


5. Bissell Barkbath QT

The Bissell Barkbath is a little different from the other units we have looked at.

Bissell BARKBATH

  • The first 2-in-1 Portable Dog Wash and Deep Cleaner
  • Can be used to wash your dog in any room of the house, anytime, with minimal mess AND can also be used to clean up the messes that your dog or other family members may leave behind on carpets, rugs and upholstery
  • Cleans up to an 80-pound dog with any length of fur or hair with less than 68 oz. of water vs traditional bathing in a tub which can use up to 19 gallons of water
  • BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets

This device washes and dries your dog in a single action using a special attachment. Water and electricity are both required for this dryer to work. 

This unit is ideal for people who do not have a suitable bath to wash their dog in (often found in apartments).

Continue Reading:

  1. Best Dog Dryers for Home Use
  2. Burt’s Bees Shampoo for Dogs Reviews
  3. 5 Best Dog Clippers for Thick Fur
  4. Can I Use Dove Soap On My Dog?
  5. Best Dog Shampoo for Dry & Itchy Skin

Final thoughts

However you decide to do it, drying your dog is an important task to perform after a wash. 

If you can afford it, you can save time and effort using a doggy hair dryer or blow dryer. 

If using a human dryer, remember not to let your dog get too warm and do not burn their skin. Human dryers should be held several inches away from your dog’s coat.

In contrast, doggy force dryers should be used up close to the skin to blow the water away.

Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.