If you give your pooch baths at home, you're going to need to know how to dry a dog. It may sound like common sense to you, but there is more than one way to accomplish this task. It can be daunting, especially if your pup has long or thick fur. Nevertheless, you must dry your pet.
It's easy for dogs to get chilled when their skin and fur are wet. Especially in the colder months and climates, it's important that you take the time to dry your dog after his bath.
There are two main ways to dry a dog: with a dog towel or a hairdryer (or pet dryer). I suggest starting with a towel and gradually introducing your pet to a hairdryer. Most dogs will be timid of the noise that pet hair dryers produce, thereby making your grooming session harder.
In my video above, you can see how easy it is to keep your dog calm while drying him with just a towel.
For this dog drying guide, I've used Luv & Emma's pet towel, but there are better dog towels out there if you need something ultra absorbent, especially for a large breed with thick or double coat.
RELATED VIDEO: How To Bathe A Dog 101 – Step by Step Instructions
How to Dry a Dog After Bathing
How to Dry a Dog With a Towel
I know what you're thinking. You assume that you know how to towel dry a dog and how difficult can that be, right? Unfortunately, it really is not as simple as you may think.
My first tip is to start at the beginning: you need to select the right towel for dogs. I recommend a microfiber towel, as they can absorb a lot of water and won't drip on your floors. Absorption is the main factor when it comes to drying dogs. That dog-specific towel that you see in my video guide is from Luv & Emma's. It's great.
Here's the second tip. When towel drying your dog, you want to start strictly with his head and work your way to his back end. Don't mess about. You also want to work from top to bottom, meaning you'll start with his back and work down to his belly and legs.
Be sure you dry inside his ears, as water in the ears can lead to dog ear infections. You must also dry each paw. A lot of water accumulates underneath the paws as he's standing in the tub. If you don't dry them, you'll have wet paw tracks all through your home.
If you have a large breed dog, especially one with a thick or double coat, you may need more than one towel. When the first becomes saturated, you'll need to switch to another towel or your efforts will be in vain. Towels can only hold so much water.
I've also shared more tips on drying pets in two of my reviews: Original Territory pocket towel review as well as the older Luv & Emma’s towel review. I really recommend you check them both out since they have more helpful information.
When learning how to dry a dog, towel isn't the only way – you have another decent option. Towel drying is a lot of work, but it's quicker than using a hairdryer. If you're not pressed for time, drying your dog with a hairdryer (or pet dryer) is a much easier option.
Keep in mind that your dog will likely be afraid of the noise of the dryer at first.
When using a hairdryer to dry your dog, you must be particularly careful, both in the way you're using it, and the type of pet dryer you pick. Here are some tips on how to pick the safest pet dryer for your pooch.
You'll need to get him acclimated to the dryer very gradually. Start by turning it on and let him get used to the sound in a neutral area. Once he's used to the noise, you can bring him in your bathroom (or wherever you groom him) and let him listen to the sound in there. This way he will associate the sound of the hairdryer with the environment.
For more tips on how to calm down your dog and enjoy grooming, check out this guide.
Now that your pooch is comfortable with the noise, you are probably ready to dry his coat. Take a second and think of how you dry your own hair. You move the dryer back and forth quickly so your scalp doesn't get burned, right?
Do the same thing for your pet.
Your dog can't tell you when the dryer feels too hot on his skin, so you need to continuously move it around to avoid burning him.
As you'll see in my video guide, it's best to buy a blow dryer made specifically for pets. Pet-friendly dryers blow room temperature air, so there is less risk of burning. These are the five best pet dryers for dogs.
If you use a human hairdryer when learning how to dry a dog – which I don't normally recommend for those new to dog grooming, unless you really know what you're doing – be sure to set it to the coolest temperature. I intentionally used a human hair dryer in my video since I assume many pet owners will do the same. It's doable, just be careful.
As you can see, my hairdryer has a cool air setting, which is what I use when I'm drying my dogs. It's important to buy a hairdryer that is totally safe for your pooch, but that's also effective at drying dog's coat. Not all of them are, which is why pet dryers are better.