While some dogs need the services of a professional groomer, most big-breed owners tend to wash their canine at home. This makes good economic sense for most, as most Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, Rottweilers and other large dogs are pretty easy to bathe and often enjoy the process.
However, once you’ve lathered, rinsed and repeated, you are left with a sopping wet dog, who is determined to dry off by shaking water all over the house and rubbing up against your carpet, bed sheets and curtains. You can try to towel dry your dog, but this only dries them a bit – they’ll still remain damp for hours.
Fortunately, there is a solution: You can use a hair dryer for dogs to help accelerate the drying process. Most groomers use these types of tools and consider them indispensable to their work.
We’ve compiled five of the best dryers for dogs available, which you can see below, but be sure to check out our tips for drying your dog and selecting the best dryer for your needs that follows.
The Go Pet Club Dog Hair Dryer is designed for dog owners, yet it features a couple of the characteristics of a professional groomer’s tool as well. This unit is designed to sit on the floor, while you move around the attached hose and nozzle to dry your dog.
User Reviews: The bulk of the owners who purchased the Go Pet Club Hair Dryer for Dogs were pleased with the way the unit functioned. Several owners compared it favorably to high-end professional units, and more than one owner reported that it was easy to blow dry dogs with double coats using the dryer. However, a few owners were disappointed with the durability of the unit, and noted problems with its long-term performance.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a functional dryer for dogs, with enough horsepower to blow out your dog’s undercoat, yet won’t cost you a fortune, the Go Pet Club Dog Hair Dryer is a great option.
The Flying Pig Flying One Hair Dryer for Dogs is a floor-mounted unit that includes a 10-foot-long hose that makes it easy to move around and dry your dog after a bath. All of the switches and dials you’ll need to access while using the dryer are conveniently located on the front control panel.
User Reviews: Most owners absolutely loved the Flying One Hair Dryer for Dogs, and rated it highly. The majority of users noted that it was a very high-quality machine that dries dogs quickly and effectively. There weren’t many complaints about the unit from owners, but a few noted that the air hose gets hot during extended use.
Bottom Line: While this is probably a little more blower than most dog owners need, owners who have dogs that require frequent baths or thick, double coats will likely appreciate the power and durability of the Flying One Dog Hair Dryer.
User Reviews: Owners had varying experiences with the Metro Air Force Quick Draw Dog Hair Dryer. Most owners found that the unit’s small size and light weight made it easy to use, but some felt that it was too heavy to be used by hand. Additionally, several owners were disappointed in the length of time it took to dry long-haired dogs.
Bottom Line: The Metro Air Force Dog Hair Dryer is probably a suitable choice for owners of small dogs or those with short hair. However, owners who have chows, standard poodles or other thick-coated dogs will probably be better served by selecting another dryer.
The Free Paws 3.2HP 2 Speed Pet Dryer is another floor-mounted unit, but it comes packed with a number of features similarly priced models lack. The unit is manufactured with premium parts to ensure problem-free operation, and it is backed by a one-year warranty -- something few other dryers for dogs at this price level provide.
User Reviews: The overwhelming majority of owners who tried out the Free Paws Pet Hair Dryer were very happy with the product. As one customer put it best, when describing the prospect of a blower that could dry an 80-pound labradoodle in ten minutes: “Shut up and take my money.” The few negative reports seemed to be the result of one-off component failures.
Bottom Line: The Free Paws Pet Hair Dryer is probably the best dog dryer for most pet owners, given how effective and affordable it is. It is as flexible and easy-to-use as most other consumer-level pet dryers, yet it works as well as most professional-caliber units.
The K-9 III Dog Grooming Dryer is a professional-caliber dryer, designed for entry-level professionals and owners who find themselves bathing their dog frequently. A two-motor unit, it can be used with either one or both motors in operation, giving you two different air-speeds from which you can choose.
User Reviews: Most users – including several professional groomers – rated this dryer very highly, finding that it helped dry dogs quickly and effectively. Several customers used phrases like “best dryer for dogs on the market,” and “would give 10 stars if I could,” to describe the K-9 III. A small number of owners and groomers who tried it were disappointed in the quality of the hose, but because this was such a rare complaint, it shouldn’t stop you from buying this model if you like it.
Bottom Line: Because it is designed with professional groomers in mind, the K-9 III is probably out of the price range of most dog owners. However, those who are comfortable coughing up a little more cash will surely be pleased with how well it works and how quickly it can dry your dog.
Many owners try to use a hair dryer designed for humans after giving their pup a bath or letting them go for a swim. While this may work for some, it is typically a bad idea that should be avoided whenever possible.
There are two primary reasons for this:
1. Some human hair dryers get far too hot for dogs, and can cause burns to their skin. This not only means you’ll have to tend to your dog’s wound (and burns are often very troubling injuries), but you’ll also be faced with a dog that is now afraid of the hair dryer, and possibly the entire bathing process too.
2. Dryers made for humans are rarely capable of drying a thick-coated dog completely. Human hair dryers are made to push air through, around and over the relatively sparse hair of people, rather than the dense fur dogs have. This is especially true of double-coated breeds, who have two extraordinarily thick layers of fur.
Accordingly, you’ll want to forego using the hair dryer hanging in your bathroom and purchase one just for drying your dog.
Hair dryers for dogs come in three basic styles, each of which is designed to suit different circumstances.
Crate dryers are usually used by professional groomers. Designed to attach to the side of a dog’s crate or kennel, these rarely blow as hard as some other dryers, and they can take a little while longer to dry your dog than other styles do. However, they are great for professionals, who can use them to dry one dog, while they move on to bathing the next. But, they are typically not the ideal solution for regular dog owners. However, if you do want to use a crate-style dryer, the B-Air Pet Dryer is a good choice.
Stand-style dryers are also a great option for groomers, as they are designed to be used with a dog who is leashed to a table. They can work for amateur dog bathers, but they aren’t as easy to use as a blaster-style dryer. However, you can purchase after-market stands (like the SHELANDY Grooming Table Arm) that will hold your blaster dryer in place if you like.
Hand-held dryers similar to the style people use are called blaster dryers. Because of their flexibility, ease of use and modest cost, they are usually the best option for dog owners looking for a good dog-drying option. Note that you’ll probably want to buy an aftermarket stand (such as the SHELANDY Arm mentioned above) to hold the dryer if you need to brush your dog while he dries.
Right about now, many readers are probably wondering if a hair dryer is even necessary. And while some owners may get away with skipping the hair dryer, most owners should probably make the investment for three key reasons:
→ Let your dog get comfortable with the hair dryer before turning it on. The loud noises associated with dryers cause many dogs to become nervous, so you’ll want your canine to be as comfortable as possible before turning it on.
→ Don’t point the dryer directly at your dog’s face. The blowing air may not only be uncomfortable, but it may dry out your dog’s eyes and nose, making him miserable. Just use a towel to dry your dog’s face gently.
→ While you don’t want to blow dry your dog’s face, you will want to start near the front of his body and slowly work your way downward and backward. This will help the water roll off, as it will follow the natural lay of your dog’s fur.
→ Move your fingers through your dog’s fur (or use a brush to do the same), to help dry the undercoat.
→ Be sure to keep the blower’s heat setting on the lowest effective level and move the dryer around frequently to avoid causing hot spots.
When picking out a dryer, you’ll want to make sure you select a unit that will work well for your dog and operate in a safe manner. To do so, keep the following things in mind when making your selection:
Note that professional groomers will often need to look for hair dryers that will stand up to constant and prolonged use. Therefore, it is wise for professionals to spend a little more on a dryer than amateur dog owners may feel obligated to spend.
Do you use a dog dryer to help dry your pet after his baths? We’d love to hear about the model you use and your experiences with it. Have you been happy with it? Would you buy it again?
Let us know in the comments below.
Product images courtesy of Amazon.com