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Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for best dog dryers

Giving your dog a bath is an experience neither you nor your pooch probably enjoys too much. Even after you’re able to coax your dog into the tub, you have to deal with your soaking wet pup shaking water all over the place and rubbing up against furniture to dry himself off. With a dog dryer, you can make drying off Fido a lot easier for both of you.

A dog dryer is similar to a hairdryer. You simply pass it over your dog’s coat to help dry it. Some models are handheld devices that work well for small breeds, while others are freestanding units with a hose and nozzle that are excellent for large dogs. Some dog dryers even allow for hands-free operation. A dog dryer can be a particularly important grooming tool if you have a dog with a double coat because towel drying usually isn’t effective for these breeds.

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Some double-coat breeds that benefit from a dog dryer include Akitas, golden retrievers, huskies, Australian sheepdogs, Shetland sheepdogs, and malamutes.

Key considerations

Types of dog dryers

There are two main types of dog dryers: handheld and freestanding. Handheld dog dryers are compact devices that fit comfortably in the hand and resemble a hairdryer. They’re usually lightweight, which makes them highly portable. A handheld dog dryer is typically easy to use and doesn’t take up much storage space. It’s an option best used for small dogs, though.

Freestanding dog dryers feature a hose that connects to a motor. They resemble canister vacuum cleaners. Most models for home use sit on the floor while you direct the nozzle over your dog. Other freestanding dryers have a hook that allows you to connect them to a holder inside a kennel or crate. Commercial-grade units may be mounted to the ceiling or wall. Some freestanding dog dryers aren’t particularly portable because of their size, but others are lightweight enough to move around easily. Freestanding dryers are typically best for large dogs

Low pressure vs. high velocity

Dog dryers use different methods for drying your dog’s fur. Low-pressure dog dryers blow air at a low speed or intensity. Some models use cool air, but others have a heater and emit warm air.

These dryers can work well for anxious dogs because of the decreased noise, but they may take a long time to fully dry your pooch, particularly non-heated models.

High-velocity dog dryers, on the other hand, use cool air but blow it at a high speed. That allows the dryer to blow the water off your dog’s coat, which dries the fur more quickly. A high-velocity dryer is the best bet for large dogs and those with a double coat.

CFM rate

A dog dryer’s power is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Dog dryers with a higher CFM are more powerful, so they can dry a dog more quickly. For smaller dogs, a lower CFM is usually fine, but for a larger dog or one with a thicker coat pay attention to a dryer’s CFM rate.


Variable speed

Some dog dryers offer variable speed, which means they have multiple speed settings. This is a helpful feature that allows you to control the intensity of air emitted from the dryer, so you can customize it to your dog’s needs and preferences. For thicker fur, you can use a higher speed to dry your dog as quickly as possible. If your dog’s coat is only slightly damp, you can opt for a lower speed to gently dry the fur.

Variable speed can also be an essential option if you have a nervous or anxious dog. A lower speed may make her more comfortable and allow you to gradually get her used to the higher speeds.

Hose quality

If you opt for a dog dryer that features a hose, pay attention to its quality and construction. It should be made of flexible plastic that won’t crack or split easily. Hoses made of a rigid material won’t last as long, so you’ll need to get a replacement.

Noise level

Many dogs are afraid of loud noises, so it’s important to consider how noisy a dog dryer is. All models make some noise, but more powerful models tend to be noisier. That’s why it’s important to look for a dog dryer that offers a good compromise between power and noise level. If you’re worried about your dog being affected by the noise, it’s a good idea to choose a dog dryer with a hose that allows you to keep the noisy motor at a distance from your dog during drying.


Some dog dryers come with attachments that target specific areas while drying. These may include tapered nozzles to get into smaller areas without startling your dog or brush attachments that allow you to comb your dog’s hair as you dry.

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Avoid directing a dryer near your dog’s ears. Her sense of hearing is extremely sensitive, so placing a loud dryer close to her ears can be extremely uncomfortable.

Dog dryer prices

Dog dryers vary widely in price based on the type, power, number of speeds, and special features they offer. Most models range from $28 to $900.

The most affordable dog dryers are usually lightweight handheld models. These dryers usually don’t offer variable speed or allow for any attachments. They generally cost between $28 and $70.

Mid-range dog dryers are typically freestanding units with a hose and nozzle for drying. They usually have variable speed and include attachments for easier dog grooming. These models generally cost between $70 and $225.

The most expensive dog dryers are usually powerful freestanding units with a hose and nozzle or freestanding models that allow for entirely hands-free operation. They offer variable speed and come with attachments. They typically cost between $225 and $900.


  • Place your dog on a flat, stable surface for drying. She may try to lurch away from the dryer, so it’s important to make sure that she won’t be hurt by possibly falling.
  • Use a towel to get rid of any excess moisture from your dog’s coat before you use the dryer. This will make your task quicker and easier.
  • When your dog is getting used to the dryer, start at a lower speed. Higher speeds tend to make more noise, which can startle your pup.
  • Start drying your dog at the back of his body near the tail or feet. Work your way toward his front slowly, so he has more time to get used to the dryer’s noise and feel.
A dog being dried by a dog drier
A dog dryer comes in handy during shedding season because it helps remove loose hair while it dries the fur.


Q. Is it bad to just let my dog air dry?
For dogs with thin coats like Boston terriers or rottweilers air drying is usually fine because their coats dry quickly. For breeds with a double coat or thick fur like Akitas or huskies, though, it can take an extremely long time for the dog to dry. All of the moisture from the undercoat may not dry fully either, which may cause your dog to smell.

Q. Can I use my own hairdryer on my dog?
It may be tempting to try to use your hairdryer on Fluffy, but it’s not a good idea. Hairdryers typically reach a temperature that’s way too high for your pooch. A dog’s coat hangs onto moisture more than human hair does, too, so a dryer that uses air force to push the water out is more effective than a hairdryer that mainly uses heat.

Q. What safety precautions do I need to take when using a dog dryer?
It’s best to limit your use of heat with a dog dryer, so opt for low or mid-level heat settings rather than a high setting. If you’re using a hands-free dryer, never leave an unattended dog under it because he can easily get injured if unsupervised. You shouldn’t use the dryer on your dog’s face either because the eyes, nose, and mouth are extremely sensitive.

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