Following are a number of hair dryers meant specifically for dogs that should be used by hand — never attached to something that puts unrelenting exposure to hot air on your dog in one spot.
You can use your own blow dryer, preferably one with ion technology that breaks down water molecules, drying hair faster without relying on heat. But you have to make sure to keep the heat at a low setting. You may not realize that your dog is jumping away from the air you’re directing at her not because it’s ruffling her feathers, so to speak, but because it is burning her.
A better bet, even if you’re willing to keep your own hair dryer on low, are dryers designed with dogs in mind. They have a motor working at such a high speed that it produces strong, mildly warmed air that does not heat up in a way that could cause harm. The air literally blows the water off as opposed to evaporating it with heat.
Dryers meant for dogs usually have attachments to work for breeds of varying sizes. Another feature dog dryers have is insulation to keep noise down so that the dryer will not have the same loud whine that your own hair dryer produces. A good number of the pet dryers look like “shop-vacs,” which they sort of are but in reverse. Instead of the dryer’s motor powerfully sucking air in, like a vacuum cleaner does, the motors push the air out. It’s with that blast of air that water is blown off your dog’s hair. You lovingly move the wand over your dog to make it happen. Models weigh in the 8- to 12-pound range, which means it’s not difficult to pull out the dryer and then use the various lightweight nozzles and attachments often provided.
Andis 60070 Comfort Dry Ionic/Ceramic Pet Dryer. This 5″ x 12″ x 10″ dryer looks a lot like your own hair blower but combines ionic technology to break down water molecules, combined with infrared heat. This would be a good choice for a small dog. $38.99.
B-Air Dryers Bear Power 1 High Velocity Dryer by Grizzly B-Air. Measuring 12″ x 9″ x 9.5″, this plastic-encased dryer has a two-speed motor for gentle or full-force drying. It comes with four interchangeable nozzles for different needs: a slot nozzle for preventing knotting in long-coated dogs; a cone for deep drying of thick-coated dogs; a brush attachment for de-shedding; and an airflow nozzle for smaller pets for spot-drying. The airflow nozzle allows more directed airflow for drying small dogs (and cats) and sensitive areas such as ears and face. Removable filters for easy disposal of pet hair and dust are also available. $119.00.
ConairPro Dog™ Pet Dryer. Yet another blower that looks like your own, this 9.8″ x 10.2″ x 4.4″ machine is still like other dryers meant for dogs, using high air velocity to quickly dry a dog’s coat without harmful heat. The dryer comes with four temperature and speed settings, an eight-foot cord, and a concentrator nozzle. $45.82.
Flying Pig Grooming Powerful Motor. This steel frame, 16″ x 9″ x 9″ dryer has a 10-foot tube that can stretch to hard-to-reach spots on your pet, especially if it’s a big dog, which is why this model might be worth investing in if you are considering regularly providing your Newfie with home baths. The tube comes with various nozzles, and the dryer has toggles and buttons to adjust settings. It provides only warm air so there is no risk of the dryer overheating. $169.00.
A more expensive model like this is what you’ll find in some commercial grooming shops. Such places make a profit on volume, and especially extra-large breeds with thick undercoats will dry faster, safely, with such a machine.
These dryers have been a special boon for groomers working on double-coat dogs like rough-coated collies and Bernese Mountain dogs — the force of the air is sufficient to reach the undercoat to dry it.
The down side? The greater force of these dryers can take some getting used to for your dog, whether at home or at a grooming shop, not just from the rush of air but also because these models, despite aiming to keep the noise level down, tend to produce more noise than lower-voltage models.
Go Pet Club 2 Speed Adjustable Temp Pet Dryer by Go Pet Club. This 15″ x 9″ x 6.5″ dryer has two adjustable speeds and adjustable temperature controls. It also has a puncture-resistant flexible hose that can direct the flow of air. $70.49.
Metro Air Force Quick Draw Dryer by Metro Vacuum. This 15″ x 10″ x 10″ steel-covered dryer, according to its manufacturer, cuts drying time by as much as 70 percent. It comes with an air flare tool, air concentrator nozzle, 12-foot conductor cord, 6-foot stretch hose, shoulder strap and mounting hook. $98.19.
Pingkay 2800w Pet Dryer. This 15.7″ x 7.9″ x 6.3,” 11-pound dryer offers quick but quiet drying with strong airflow through three switchable nozzles with varying sizes for different breeds. It has switches to control temperature and force of air. $66.79.