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.
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.
To learn more about how to properly blow-dry your dog’s hair, read on.
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Related Reading: Best Dog Dryers for Home Use
How do you 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:
- Start by showing your dog the dryer while it is switched off.
- Turn it on at a distance away from the dog. Let your pup get familiar with the sound of the dryer.
- 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.
- Once your dog is comfortable with the sound and feel of the dryer, slowly bring it close to their coat.
- If using a dryer made for humans, make sure it is on the low heat setting.
- Keep the nozzle a few inches away from your dog and keep moving the dryer across your dog’s hair.
- If using a dryer made for dogs, then you can bring the nozzle close to the skin to blow away the droplets of water.
Note: 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.
What alternatives are there to hair dryers & blow dryers?
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 your 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).
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.
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 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.
What is the difference between a human hair dryer and a doggy hair dryer?
Human hair dryers primarily use heat to dry the hair, while hairdryers 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?
Hairdryers 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 hairdryer from a young age. Use treats and rewards to make your dog associate hair drying with fun.
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.
What are the key features I should look for in a doggy hair dryer?
Doggy hair dryers will all come with some standard features, such as:
- motor unit
- 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.
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.
Recommended hair dryers for dogs
If you need a hairdryer 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 dog’s hair.
2. 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.
This dryer is also very quiet. If your doggie is apprehensive about dryers, this unit may help relieve some of that anxiety.
3. 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 even dry even if they run away from the air.
This is a premium dryer at a premium price.
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.
4. Bissell Barkbath QT
The Bissell Barkbath is a little different from the other units we have looked at.
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).
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.