Is It Safe to Blow-Dry a Dog's Hair?

After you do bath time with your dog, he comes out wet and smelly. He just loves to run around the house, shaking off everywhere and getting your couch and carpet wet.

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While it's a cute routine, it's hard to clean up after your dog. You want a better solution, so you've thought about blow-drying your pet. However, you're just not sure if it's safe.

Is it safe to blow-dry a dog?

Rest assured: it is perfectly safe to blow dry your dog's hair or fur as long as you do it correctly. After all, groomers do it all the time. However, unlike humans, dogs can't tell you if the blow dryer is too hot or making them uncomfortable, so you have to take special precautions when using it on your pup.

Also, some dogs might not take to blow drying because of the loud sound, and that's ok. Never force your dog to undergo blow-drying if they're scared of it, and stick to towel drying instead.

The benefits of blow-drying a dog

Not only will blow-drying your pet help you avoid a mess, but also your dog will look and smell great. The blow drying will help prevent acute moist dermatitis, also known as hot spots, as well as matting if your dog has a long, thick, or double coat. Matting happens more frequently in humid environments, so it's crucial that you blow-dry your dog if you live in a humid place or if it's the summertime. In the cold winter months, blow-drying your pet can keep him warm and cozy.

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How to blow-dry your dog

As soon as your dog comes out of the bath, towel dry him by placing the towel over his coat and then squeezing one section of his coat at a time. You should avoid rigorous towel drying because it can cause tangling. He should be slightly damp instead of completely drenched when you start to blow-dry him.

If this is your dog's first time, introduce the blow dryer slowly. You'll always want to use human hair dryers on the lowest heat setting or else they can burn your dog's skin. The heat setting should be warm, but not cold. You can always switch between warm and cold if you believe your dog is getting too hot.

When you're using the blow dryer, use your free hand to brush his coat, and always keep the blow dryer at least 5-6 inches away from his coat. Don't hold it on one area at a time; instead, keep it constantly moving so you don't hurt your pup. Also, don't blow dry near his eyes, since they can become irritated, and avoid getting too close to his ears since it can lead to hearing damage.

Human hair dryers vs. dog hair dryers

If your dog has a short coat, a human hair dryer should do just fine, as long as you're using it safely. If your dog has a longer, thicker, or double coat, then you'll want to purchase a dog hair dryer.

Instead of using heat, dog blow dryers shoot air out at high speeds, which rids the coat of water quickly. Your dog will be slightly damp after a session with one of these blow dryers, but he won't have as much loose hair. This will prevent him from shedding excessively later on.

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Dog bath time tips

Before blow-drying your pet, you'll want to make sure he has a great bath. You can bathe your dog every few weeks or when he's smelly. Only use dog shampoo or Dr. Bronner's, which is safe for pups. Regular human shampoo will irritate your dog's skin since humans and dogs have different pH levels in their skin. When bathing him, look for any areas on his skin that might be sensitive and then avoid blow-drying them. You don't want to cause him any discomfort.

Summary

Blow-drying your dog can ensure he has a healthier coat. All you have to do is take some safety measures when blow-drying and perhaps purchase a special dog blow dryer if your pup has a thick, long, or double coat. Remember: if the blow-drying causes any issues for your dog's skin, ask your veterinarian what to do.