how to correctly blow dry your dog's hair

How to Correctly Blow Dry Your Dog

Drying your pet dog’s hair after taking a bath is as important as bathing itself. Unfortunately, drying our pet’s hair can be quite challenging. If you have a thin-coated mutt, that’s not really a problem. But, if you happen to have a double-coated dog, then the drying process can turn out to be exceptionally frustrating. However, if you know how to correctly blow dry your dog, no double-coat will be too tough to handle. Here’s how.

Always Use the Correct Type of Blow Dryer

You might think that your ordinary hair dryer can be used in drying the coat of your dog. If you have been using this gadget for a long time, it’s about time to use something that is designed specifically for dogs. For one, human hair dryers come with higher thermal settings. Unfortunately, since the skin of our pets is not as thick as ours, this unusually high thermal setting can actually burn your pet. So, put that away and use that only for your hair. When blow drying your pet’s coat, it’s important to use the right tool.

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  • Fluff dryer – If you cannot move away from the look and feel of your conventional hair dryer, then a fluff dryer is for you. These are often mounted on a stand and can have a hose attachment for greater versatile. It has two knobs: one for controlling the airflow and another for the heat. You can remove the hose attachment so you can easily move your pet with both hands.
  • Force dryer – These are preferred by many pet groomers because they don’t have any heating element. What they do is to blast water off of your pet’s coat. It’s also helpful in blasting shedding hair. These types of dryers can cut your blow drying time in half. They’re also great for straightening your pet’s hair. The downside is that they can be very loud. One way to go about this inconvenience is to start on your pet’s behind as this will help provide soothing relief which can help relax your pet and get its mind off the noise. 
  • Cabinet dryer– Designed especially for nervous or anxious dogs, the cabinet or cage dryer can be likened to a force dryer but contained in a box. It provides a stream of low airflow to help dry your dog’s coat. It comes with variable speed and heat settings so you can regulate the ideal setting for your pooch. It’s ideal for puppies, elderly dogs, and even sick pooches. In addition to the type of dryer, it is also important to look for the CFM rating of the device. It is a measure of the gadget’s ability to push out a certain volume of air per minute. The greater the CFM value the greater the volume of air outflow the faster the drying process.

Blow Dry Dog

Maintain a Safe Distance Between Your Pooch and the Dryer

Always keep a safe distance between the dryer and your pooch. It is important to keep the dryer’s nozzle at least 6 inches away from your pet’s fur. Additionally, make sure to keep the nozzle constantly moving to help avoid concentrating the heat in a single location for an extended period of time.

Towel Dry Your Mutt First

Before you even start blow drying your mutt, it is important to towel dry first. One of the biggest mistakes that dog owners do when they towel dry their pets is that they rub the towel vigorously against the dog’s coat in an effort to hasten the drying process. Regrettably, doing so will only lead to more tangles which can make combing quite difficult later on. A much better solution is to place the towel over your pet’s coat. Now press and squeeze a section of its coat one at a time. It will be like using a large sponge to try drawing out excess water from your pooch’s coat. Remember, this does not completely dry your pet’s fur. Instead, it just prepares the coat for a more thorough drying using your blow dryer later on.

Go Slow

If this is your first time to blow dry your dog, make sure to go slow. It may be wise to train your pooch to feel more comfortable with the blow dryer first. You can introduce the gadget slowly until such time that it will no longer feel threatened by its mere presence. Next, it needs to get accustomed to the noise generated by the blower. You can turn it on without necessarily using it on your pet. This is again to help familiarize your mutt to the sound of the device. Once your pooch is ready, then you can commence with the actual blow drying of its coat.

Always start at the lowest setting, if ever you have a unit that comes with variable speed. If your device doesn’t come with variable settings, you might want to start by holding it farther away from your pooch’s coat. Additionally, if you cannot control the temperature, it is best to direct it slightly off of your mutt’s coat to help avoid injuring your pet.

Don’t Overdo It

Drying your pooch’s hair too much can make it very brittle, leading to hair damage. That is why it is important not to blow dry your pet’s coat completely. A good rule of thumb is to run your fingers through your pet’s hair. If your fingers can feel a little dampness, then that should be enough. Just remember to keep your pet inside your house while allowing its hair to dry completely with natural air.

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dog parlor

Always Be Ready with Treats and Other Forms of Positive Reinforcement

We’ve always been staunch supporters of using positive reinforcement in eliciting desirable behaviors in our pets. The same principle can be applied when blow drying your dog. You need to make the whole experience a lot more pleasant for it so that succeeding blow drying sessions will be like a walk in the park. So, always be ready with its favorite dog treats and shower your pet with praises during and after the blow drying activity.

Blow drying is one way to keep your pet looking healthy and smart. Knowing how to properly blow dry your pet is thus, crucial to ensuring your pet’s optimum grooming.

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  1. Carol McCarthy, Tips for Getting Your Dog Comfortable with a Dog Dryer, PetMD
  2. Dr. Marty Becker DVM, Is It Safe to Blow-Dry My Dog?, Vetstreet
  1. Shelly Mccune
    Jan 11, 2019

    To for the info. It’s snowing where I live in northern CA and my extra large German Shepard needed a bath. I only have a conventional hairdryer on me. It does have various heat settings as in air low to high and several no in between. did not see another comments on here so I just wanted to tell you thank you for this article I found it very helpful. I’m going to go towel dry off more the proper way! And probably invest in a proper dryer for my kid as well.

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