Although Dog Dryers have existed for a very long time, their foray from specialist groomer s to mainstream market is only very recent. Companies as K-9, Flying Pig, Metrovac, Double K Industries, and several others improving these dryers through their extensive R&D in to new technology like brushless low heat low noise emitting motors, dual inverter technology, are making the experience better for you and your pup while bringing the prices down.
But just one second…. before we get into how to find the best dog dryers lets see whether you really need one!
Why should I buy a dog dryer?
Anybody who washes their dog at home should seriously consider investing in a dog dryer. Why?
For starters, you never want to use a human hair dryer on your dog since it is likely to overheat your dog. Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, and the heat from a human hair dryer can not only cause them to overheat, but it can damage their skin and coat, too. If you do use a human hair dryer on your dog, be sure only to use it on a cool setting.
Also, unless your dog is very small with fine hair, like a Maltese or a Yorkie, a human hair dryer won’t have enough power to get your dog dry all the way down to the skin in anything like a reasonable amount of time.
So without using a dryer, all you can do is towel dry your dog really well and let him air dry. Not only is that not fun for your home as your dog runs around damp forever, but it’s not ideal for your dog’s fur, either. Undercoat will just get stuck in his coat, making it much more difficult to brush out once he’s dry. Any mats will get worse as his hair dries. And dogs with curly coats like Poodles and Bichons will dry curly, which will make any haircut you attempt to do uneven.
Now that you know why you should buy a dog dryer, how do you know which kind to get? As a dog groomer for more than 12 years, I’m here to tell you what you need to know about dog dryers before buying one.
The 3 types of dog dryers
The preferred tool for most dog groomers, high-velocity dryers speed up drying time by blasting the water off your dog instead of trying to evaporate it with heat or a lower speed of room-temperature air.
Have you ever wondered why your curly-coated dog comes back from the groomer so fluffy and with such straight hair? It’s because the high-velocity dryer blasts the hair straight. If you also do your dog’s haircuts at home, straight hair will give you a much more even haircut than trying to clip curly hair. If you prefer your dog to look curly, I recommend blowing it straight for the haircut, then spraying your dog with a mist of water and let it air dry, which will bring the curls back.
A word of caution – you want to avoid high-velocity dryers that include a heating element. The air gets plenty warm enough as the motor of the dryer heats up – any more heat than that can cause your dog to overheat.
For dogs that hate the dryer, a cage dryer can be placed in front of their kennel. The increased airflow will help them dry faster than letting them just run around and smear themselves around your carpet.
Unless you have a dog with a fine coat or a dog that absolutely won’t tolerate any other type of dryer, cage dryers aren’t ideal for home use. Cage dryers are primarily meant for groomers who wash and dry several dogs in a row and don’t have time to dry each dog completely. The cage dryer can help dry feet and faces while the groomer works on another dog.
Cage dryers should not be used on brachycephalic (flat-nosed) breeds. Many grooming salons, especially the large corporations, actually have rules forbidding the use of cage dryers on brachycephalic breeds because these dogs are prone to breathing problems, and forcing extra air at them can cause things like a collapsing trachea. Flat-faced dogs are also prone to overheating faster than other dogs, so you need to be extra careful.
What to consider when buying?
Now that you know about the 3 different types of dryers, you should have a better idea of where to start when it comes to looking for one to purchase. Here are a few more things to think about before purchasing your first dog dryer.
Horsepower isn’t necessarily the best benchmark for deciding how powerful a dog dryer is. The better measurement is how many cubic feet per minute (CFM) the dryer produces. The higher the CFM, the faster your dog will get dry.
You also need to think about where you will store the dryer when you’re done using it. Some dryers, especially cage and stand dryers, can take up a lot of space. High-velocity dryers tend to be smaller and can often be attached to a wall. Which brings me to my next point…
You may want to dry your dog outside or in a garage, especially if you’re using a high-velocity dryer on a double-coated dog. At best, a dryer will spread water in a radius around your dog. At worst, you will have fur, dirt, and debris flying around the room you dry your dog in. Think about the mess you might make before drying your dog in your bathroom or kitchen!
Pros, cons, and tips for using each type of dog dryer
-The fastest way to dry any dog
-Little risk of overheating your dog
-Blows out the most undercoat, saving you brushing and reducing shedding
-Straightens curly hair for the fluffiest look
-Requires less room to store than other dryer styles
-Can often be mounted to a wall, like in a garage, so you can use it and store it in the same place.
-Can be quite loud
-Can cause damage to eyes, ears, and anus if you aren’t careful
-Some dogs are afraid of the feeling of the pressure on their skin or the noise of the dryer, especially in an enclosed space
-Use the slower speed on an adjustable speed dryer and/or remove the nozzle to gently dry the sensitive areas on your dog.
-Alternatively, you can stand farther away from your dog to reduce the amount of pressure being directed at your dog.
-Start with your dog’s feet or rear on a slower speed or without the nozzle so your dog can get used to it before just blasting it on him full blast out of nowhere.
-Save the face for last since most dogs will like that the least.
-Great for dogs who are afraid of other dryers
-Better than letting your dog run around your home soaking wet
-Can be used to dry multiple dogs if you have a bank of kennels
-Not very powerful
-Will take a VERY long time to dry the undercoat of a double-coated dog
-Cage dryers with heating elements can be dangerous
-Can cause breathing problems for flat-faced dogs
-Avoid using a cage dryer with a heating element
-Don’t use it on flat-faced dogs
-Aim it at your dog’s feet rather than their face
-Leaves your hands free to brush while drying
-Has more power than a cage dryer
-Faster than a cage dryer
-Ideal for dogs with long coats
-Not powerful enough for thick undercoats
-Some models can take up a lot of space
-It can take a lot of practice to brush your dog while air is blowing
-Work on one area of your dog at a time
-Avoid using heat since it can dry out your dog’s skin
This is the most expensive dryer on the list, but it’s worth every penny, especially if you have a dog with a thick undercoat. It’s perfect for Huskies, Golden Retrievers, Newfies, and even Labs, who shed much more than you might expect. This dryer has two motors for the ultimate in power. It also includes removable filters for easy maintenance. Note that it can be very loud, especially when used in an enclosed area. As an added bonus, it comes in 8 colors.
If you’re looking for something a little more reasonably priced, this dryer is powerful enough to get the job done. I would recommend not using the heat, as there are reports of the hose becoming too hot to handle.
This high-velocity dryer has enough power to get through all but the thickest coats. There’s no heat, so you don’t need to worry about your dog overheating. It breaks easily if treated roughly, but can last for many years if you’re gentle with it.
This stand dryer is sturdy and has a good amount of power. It’s not ideal for double-coated dogs, but it’s great for small dogs, dogs with thin coats, and finishing work. The main downside is that the stand itself has problems holding the dryer steady.
If you’re looking for a cage dryer, this one has a great rating. It has adjustable temperature controls. I don’t recommend using heat with this type of dryer, but it should work well for its intended purpose.
This stand dryer is a great choice. There’s no heating element to worry about, and it has enough power for most coat types.
This high-velocity dryer has been a staple for dog groomers for many years. It’s sturdy, reliable, and powerful enough for any coat type. It also comes in 10 different colors.