Oh no – wet dog on the loose!
If you’re sick of your soaking wet dog leaving a water trail all over the house after bath time (or if your dog has so much fur that it never seems to dry on its own), than a dog dryer is a solid grooming tool to consider!
We’ll explain the benefits of dog dryers, how to use a fur dryers on your dog, and review different dog dryer models along with some top recommended picks.
Best Dog Dryers for Grooming
- Metrovac Air Force [Best Overall] This highly-regarded professional grooming dryer offers 2 speeds and comes in various models for different grooming needs.
- K9 Dryer II [Best For Professionals] This ultra-powerful dryer is a favorite of groomers and works great for thick-coated, long-haired breeds, but it’s pricey too!
- Go Pet Club Dryer [Most Affordable] One of the few dryers in the $100 ballpark range, most owners find this dryer suitable for light most home grooming needs.
- B-Air Cage Dryer [Best Cage Dryer] A great cage dryer for drying off your dog while they sit in their crate.
Why Do I Need A Dog Dryer?
Dog dryers aren’t essential – you can just let your dog air dry, but with all that fur, air drying takes forever!
Plus, your dog will be freezing in the winter while his fur dries (if you have long hair and you’ve ever gone out of the house with wet hair in the winter, you know how it feels)!
Human Dryers Take Too Long
Some owners opt to use human hair dryers on their dogs, which is a fine option for some, but not ideal for most. Remember, dogs have much more fur/hair than we do. It can take as much as 3x longer (15 min vs 45 min) to dry your dog with a human dryer.
Human Dryers Are Too Hot!
Human hair dryers operate at a stronger heat level than dog dryers. This is an issue because dogs have higher body temperatures than humans, and a hot dryers can make your dog overheat!
Dogs can also get badly burned from a blazing dryer. When you dry your own hair, it’s easy to recognize when the dryer is too hot. However, dogs can’t signal to us when the dryer is too hot – by the time they let you know with a cry, they’ll already be burned.
You Need Plenty of Power to Dry Your Dog’s Undercoat
Dog dryers are especially important for dogs with multiple coats, as thick undercoats require a strong, powerful dryer. Human dryers really aren’t powerful enough.
Dog Dryers Keep Your Pet’s Fur Healthy
A good blow-out will remove dust, allergens and dead fur from you dog’s coat, meaning less frequent bathing.
Dog Dryers Allow You to Bathe Your Pet at Home (Translation: They’ll Save You Money)
Visiting a professional groomer can get very expensive, very fast. At-home grooming tools, like a dog dryer, allow you to save money long term by purchasing your own supplies.
How to Use A Dog Dryer On Your Wet Pooch
- Step Outside. Unless you want fur everywhere, we recommend to dry your dog outside – that way your pup’s hair won’t end up all over your house.
- Keep Nozzle At A Safe Distance. Don’t put the dog dryer nozzle too close to your dog’s fur – keep it a safe distance away from your canine’s skin.
- Brush While You Dry. Brush your dog as you dry him with the dryer to prevent excessive tangling.
- Keep Away From Face. Keep the dog dryer away from your dog’s face, ears, and other areas with thin fur, as it will get too hot and really hurt your pooch! Also avoid your dog’s eyes, nose mouth, and anus, for similar reasons.
- Start Low. Start the dryer on the lowest speed possible, and blow the dryer on yourself to get a good sense of what the air feels like. Assess how the various power levels feel, and then slowly work your way up with your dog (if they’re agreeable to it).
- Keep An Eye Out For Distress Signals. Watch your dog carefully for body language – if your dog shows any distress or upset, stop immediately. Listen to your pooch!
- Always Provide Water. Make sure to offer plenty of water to your dog as they are being dried to help prevent dehydration and overheating.
- Use Plenty of Treats. Take plenty of breaks throughout the process to avoid stressing out your buddy. Shower your dog with tasty training treats throughout the process to remind them what a great job they are doing and encourage positive associations with the dog dryer!
- Consider a Grooming Table Too. If you’ll be drying your pooch a lot, you may want to invest in a dog grooming table as well – this allows your dog to set up closer to your arm height, which will certainly save your back and arms a lot of strain pain.
Dog Dryer Buying Considerations: What to Look For
There are a number of dog dryers on the market, so you’ll want to be sure to know what to look for when making your choice. Some of the most important things to consider when picking out a dog dryer are discussed below.
CFM stands for “cubic feet per minute,” and this is a measurement of how many cubic feet of air a dryer can blast out per minute.
A dog dryer with a higher CPM will push out more air than a lower CPM dryer. If your dog has double coats, make sure to pick out a dog dryer with a high CPM – otherwise your dog’s undercoat will never be dry!
Most dog dryers are designed to operate at a lower noise level than human dryers, since dogs don’t tend to be fans of loud, noisy machines (vacuums are a classic example).
Some dog dryers contain a heating element, while others don’t. Units without heating elements instead just rely on the motor to warm up the air. If your dog has sensitive skin or thin fur, you’ll probably want to avoid units with heating elements. Even for units that do provide heat, we suggest keeping the heating unit off, especially if the dryer is very powerful.
Multiple Speed Settings
While some doggie dryers offer variable speeds, others only offer a single drying speed. Variable speeds allow owners to change the speed depending on the dog’s coat and size, and also lets owners set a lower, quieter speed for frightened dogs. However, single speed dryers will still be adequate for most owners.
If you’re a professional dog groomer, you probably won’t mind if your dog dryer takes up a significant amount of space. However, owners not running a grooming business will likely be on the look out for a dog dryer that is compact and can be collapsed and stored away easily.
Types of Dog Dryers: High-Velocity, Cage, and Standing
There are three basic types of dog dryer on the market. We’ll discuss each one and point out its relative strengths and weaknesses below.
Option 1: High-Velocity Dryers
High-velocity dryers, also known as “force dryers” or “blaster dryers” are extremely powerful dryers, made to blow at a very high, intense speed as air is blasted through the unit’s hose and nozzle.
These dryers don’t usually have a heating element – instead, they rely on sheer force to dry your pup’s coat in just a few minutes.
These dryers are so powerful that you’ll usually want to avoid using a force dryer’s heating unit (when present), as having that much strong, hot air flying at your dog may cause serious problems.
High-velocity dryers are the most common and popular form of dog dryers among owners.
When using a high-velocity dryer, you need to be especially careful to avoid getting the nozzle anywhere near your dog’s sensitive areas (especially his eyes, ears, nose, or private puppy parts).
Option 2: Crate Dryers
Also known as “cabinet dryers” or “cage dryers” (although we don’t like to use that word when we can help it), these are low pressure dryers that are designed to be used on your dog while they are in their mesh or wire crate.
These dog dryers are best for dogs who hate to sit still and are more skittish around loud noises. A cage dryer can be placed outside your dog’s crate and can slowly dry them as they sit and relax.
Cage dryers are also better for dogs with sensitive skin or thin fur, as the low pressure of the dryer won’t be as likely to hurt them.
The only issue? Cage dryers don’t tend to be as powerful as other dog dryers, so they’re really not the best choice for dogs with thick, multi-layered coats.
Option 3: Stand Dryers
Stand dryers, also known as “fluff dryers,” are dog dryers that are attached to an accompanying stand, allowing you to have both your hands free to position and brush your dog during the drying process.
Stand dryers can be very useful when you’re trying to do a complete styling of your dog, as it’s the only type of unit that allows you to comb, brush, and style your pooch as he or she gets dried.
Dog Dryer Match Making Chart: Picking the Best Dog Dryer for Your Needs
If you still aren’t sure which type of dog dryer would work best for you and your pooch, just check out the chart below. Just find the description that best describes your situation to find out the best type of dryer for your needs.
|Situation:||Best Type of Dryer:|
|You have a dog with a thin, short coat||Crate dryer|
|You have a dog with a very thick, double coat||High-velocity dryer|
|You have a fidgety dog who doesn’t like to sit still||Crate dryer|
|You have a dog who hates loud sounds||Crate dryer|
|You have a dog who must be brushed while being dried||Stand dryer|
|You need your hands free while your dog is drying||Stand dryer|
|You need to be able to dry your dog as fast as possible||High-velocity dryer|
|You need to be able to do other things while drying your dog||Crate Dryer|
The Six Best Dog Dryers: Blow Dry Your Ball-Fetcher with One of These Great Dog Dryers!
Below, we’ll share our recommendations for the six best dog dryers on the market. We’ll discuss different models in each style category, including high-velocity dryers, cage dryers, and stand dryers. Additionally, we’ve tried to include options at a variety of price points, to help find a dog-drying solution no matter your budget.
1. Metrovac Air Force Commander Professional Dog Dryer
A high-quality professional dryer
This highly-regarded dryer is popular with groomers as well as owners.
About: The Metrovac Air Force Commander Dog Dryer is a professional high-velocity dog dryer that can get your dog’s fur dry quickly and without fuss.
It offers professional groomer-grade quality but is still simple enough to be used by owners. You can also get this dryer in any of several different models, which are designed for different types of coat thickness and length.
- 2-speed motor
- Several handy attachments, including an air concentrator, air flare tool, and a groomer rake
- Available in 5 different colors
- 6 ft hose and 12 ft plug
Owners note that not only is this powerful professional dryer great after baths, but it’s also handy for dogs that shed a lot, as the high velocity drying can separate any dead hair. Owners also report that since this dryer is grounded, static isn’t an issue and dogs’ fur won’t get clingy.
Some report this dog dryer to be fairly loud, although most recognize that this is very common and pretty much unavoidable with powerful, professional dryers.
2. K9 II Dryer
High-powered dryer that’s great for pros
High-powered professional-grade dryer ideal for thick-coated and long-haired dogs.
About: Designed for professional groomers, the K9 Dryer is one of our top dryer picks for long-haired and thick-coated dogs. While it’s a very expensive dryer, it’s likely the most powerful option out there.
- 2-speed motor with 123CFM, 32-335 – 59,329 FPM
- 18 gauge steel body
- Includes 10-foot hose
- Comes with flat and round tip nozzles
- 120 volt and 220 volt options available (from manufacturer site)
- 20 inches x 8.5 inches x 11 inches
- Weighs 20 lbs
- 12 color options available
Owners note that this dryer has done wonder for shedding, getting out as much excess hair as possible when coats blow out, saving you from vacuuming the entire house each day!
Because K9 dryers are designed for professional groomers with quality and functionality not found in other units, they are very expensive.
3. Go Pet Club Dryer
Go Pet Club Dryer
An affordable high-velocity dryer
This dryer offers decent quality at a more affordable price for occasional grooming sessions.
About: The Go Pet Club Dryer is another forced-air or high-velocity hair dryer, but it’s much more affordable than the Metrovac Dryer discussed above. Of course, this means that it isn’t quite as rugged or powerful as most professional-caliber units but should be suitable for most dog owners.
Note that unlike most forced-air or high-velocity dog dryers, the Go Pet Club Dryer does feature a heating element. So, be sure to use it carefully with your pet.
- Two different air speeds: 25 meters per second and 50 meters per second
- 2400-Watt motor
- Comes with four different attachments to suit different coat types
- Puncture-resistant, reinforced hose
Most owners were very pleased with the Go Pet Club Dryer. Several noted that it was surprisingly powerful for such an affordable dryer, and that it blows with more than enough force to dry out a dog’s undercoat. Several even mentioned that it was much quieter than they expected.
There weren’t many problems mentioned by owners who tried this dryer, although some mentioned some minor quality concerns, such as button covers popping off.
4. B-Air Cage Dryer
About: The B-Air Cage Dryer is a durable cage dryer with adjustable angles for different airflow directions. It doesn’t contain a heating unit, making it a safe option for new owners. This dryer also comes with a number of helpful features, such as anti-skid rubber and safety locks so that you can use it with a ducting kit.
- Adjustable airflow with 3 different angles
- Motor runs at 375 CFM
- No heating element for added safety
- Optional filter kit to keep hair out of dryer
- Available in red, green, or blue
- 3-amp draw and a 6ft cord
Most owners liked the B-Air Cage Dryer, including several professional groomers who tried it out. It’s also great that this cage dryer does not have a heating unit, preventing the possibility of accidental heat stroke.
Some owners received malfunctioning products, but this can occur with any dryer. Just be sure to test your dryer out immediately upon receiving it to ensure it works properly.
5. Free Paws Standing Pet Dryer
About: The Free Paws Standing Pet Dryer is a professional-grade dog dryer that allows groomers to comfortably stand while grooming their canine clients. You can adjust the height and horizontal position of the unit quickly and easily, which makes it super convenient to use while dealing with a wet pooch.
- 5”- 51.2” adjustable height
- Operates at 99 to 113 CFM
- 2 heat settings
- Rotates 360° horizontally also can adjust elevation 120° along with 120° depression.
- Includes several dryer attachments for various needs
Groomers say that this dryer is a lifesaver, as it allows you to stand while drying your dog. One even called it “the best grooming investment you can make.” Several owners also praised the flexibility of the unit, as it is very easy to make adjustments on the fly.
A few folks had problems with pieces breaking at connection points, so be sure to be careful with this dryer. A few owners also explained that it was somewhat tricky to assemble.
About: The ConairPRO Dog Dryer is similar to a human dryer (it’s likely built around the same platform/exterior that Conair uses for their human dryers), except that it is specifically designed for use on dogs. This particular dryer doesn’t fit neatly into any of the primary dog dryer categories, but it is most similar to a forced-air dryer that includes a heating element.
- Comes with a stand to allow hands-free use
- Includes a concentrator nozzle
- Four different temperature and speed settings
- Can be adjusted to blow only room-temperature air
- 600-foot-per-minute air speed
This is an exceptionally affordable option that may be the best choice for owners who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional-caliber unit. The included stand is very helpful, and most owners reported that it did blow with enough force to dry out their dog’s undercoat.
This probably isn’t a good choice for professional groomers or owners who’ll need to blow dry a long- or thick-coated dog very often.
7. XPower X-430TF
About: The XPower X-430TF is actually a general-purpose blower, but it works well as a crate-style dog dryer. In fact, the dog owners who tried this provided better reviews than people using it for other types of applications. It does not heat the air, and it comes with a number of helpful features that make it easy and safe to use.
- Comes with a built-in 3-hour timer
- Operates at three different speeds and four different blowing anglers
- It can be stacked on top of other XPower dryers to help provide more airflow or service separate crates
- Capable of moving 2,000 cubic feet of air per minute
- Made in the USA and backed by a limited 1-year warranty
Most owners who tried the XPower Dryer were pleased with their choice. It is a bit more affordable than most other crate-style dryers, it seems to move enough air to dry pups, and most owners reported that it isn’t terribly loud.
It doesn’t appear as though this dryer comes with any attachments for connecting it to your pet’s crate. So, you’ll either need to just sit it in front of the crate or purchase some type of after-market connection kit.
Have you ever used a dog dryer on your pooch? Any grooming secrets to share? Tell us in the comments!