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4 Ways to Dry a Dog After a Bath

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Bath time for your dog involves a lot more than rubbing shampoo into their coat. Getting your pet dry is also an integral part of the process that should never be ignored. 

Failure to properly dry your dog after a bath can lead to matting of their fur, a foul smell developing, hot spots, or the growth of fungus between their paw pads.

Air drying is an option, but it shouldn’t be used for dogs with double or thick coats as a wet coat can lead to skin infections. 

pleasant photo of a woman taking care, drying her dog's fur after a bath

Our detailed guide explores some dog drying techniques you should consider after bathing your dog.

4 Ways to Dry a Dog After Bath

1. Towel Drying

Using a towel is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to dry your dog after a bath.  

young woman drying her dog with towel after bathing

However, towel drying isn’t about rubbing the towel vigorously on your dog. That could lead to tangles for dogs with long or thick coats. 

Focus on drying your dog’s head with the towel as you move back to its tail. Be gentle as you dry them off. 

Instead of rubbing the towel on the coat, press it on the dog’s wet coat to absorb as much water as possible. Repeat the process until your dog is completely dry. 

Note that when using a regular towel, you may have to use two or more towels to dry them off as they quickly absorb water.

An absorber towel is an excellent option to dry your dog as it’s smooth and takes in more water, ensuring you don’t have to use another towel. It also dries quickly and can be reused. 

Microfiber towels are also great as they dry fast and absorb water quickly. Additionally, they are lightweight if you need to take them on a trip.

Dogs with dense and long coats need a super absorbent towel, and microfiber towels get the job done. 

2. Blow-Drying

Although using a blow-dryer is time-consuming, it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to dry your dog. 

Nonetheless, you still need to be careful when using a blow-dryer on your canine friend. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started. 

happy redhaired ginger woman blowing dry the spitz

While a regular home blow-dryer can be used, experts recommend a dryer designed for dogs. That’s because most human hair dryers have a high thermal setting that can burn your pet. 

Some of the standard dryers for dogs include the following:

1. Cabinet dryers

Cabinet dryers are designed for anxious dogs as they deliver low airflow steam to dry your dog’s coat. The dryer also has various heat and speed settings, which allow you to choose the right setting for your dog. 

A cabinet dryer with a high CFM rating (cubic feet per minute rating) dries the dog faster than one with a low CFM value.

2. Force Dryers

female pet groomer dry dog fur with a hair dryer

Force dryers don’t have a heating element. Most pet groomers prefer this type of dryer as it blasts water from your pet’s coat. 

Unlike regular dryers, force dryers can reduce the drying time in half and straighten your dog’s hair.

A force dryer’s only inconvenience is that it is loud.

The best way to handle the loud noise is to start drying your pet from behind as you move forward. That will allow him to relax and get used to the noise. 

3. Fluff Dryer

A fluff dryer is placed on a stand and comes with two knobs for controlling the heat and airflow. 

Some models have a hose attachment for added versatility. 

Tips for Blow-Drying

Here are a few guidelines to help you get started. 

  • Towel Dry Your Dog First Before Blow-Drying

Drying off your dog with a towel cuts down the time you’ll spend blow-drying.

Pat your pet dry and focus on each section of the coat at a time. That will make the blow-drying process easier. 

  • Be Gentle and Slow While Blow-Drying

Start the blow-drying process slowly to check if your pet is comfortable. If this is your first time introducing the dryer, keep the process short until your dog gets used to it. 

Additionally, your canine friend needs to get used to the blow-dryer’s noise, so you can introduce it by switching on the blow-dryer but not using it yet. 

Once your pet is comfortable and seems relaxed, you can start drying him with the blow-dryer. 

Be sure to use the lowest setting to get your dog accustomed. If you’re using a blow-dryer that doesn’t come with different settings, you can place it farther away from his coat to avoid startling or burning him. 

Keep the dryer two inches away and make side-to-side strokes or up-and-down strokes. Monitor your dog for any discomfort. 

  • Use a Happy Hoodie

Dogs like the German shepherd need a high-velocity dryer to dry out their thick coats. These dryers tend to be loud and can be uncomfortable for your dogs.

Getting your pet a happy hoodie can reduce this stressful experience. 

A happy hoodie stretches over your pet’s ears and head. That muffles the noise of the blower, allowing him to be dried without being distressed. 

  • Avoid Over Drying Your Dog

Trying to get your pet completely dry when using a dryer is tempting. Unfortunately, unlike human hair, a dog’s coat could end up damaged. 

You can prevent overheating by switching the cool air button off and on. 

Check your pet’s hair during the blow-drying process for some dampness. That should mean it’s time to stop.

Use your hand to brush your pet’s hair to look for any skin conditions. 

  • Be Ready with Dog Treats

Always prepare some treats for your pet each time they settle during the blow-drying process. That acts as positive reinforcement and will make subsequent sessions much easier. 

3. Quick Drying Spray

cropped view of groomer with spray bottle near pomeranian spitz wrapped in the towel

A quick drying spray is another option you could use to dry your dog after a bath.

The ingredients in the spray encourage water to evaporate from the coat, which reduces the drying time. 

Note that this method may not work for some dogs with thick coats. Sometimes you may need to experiment with different amounts to determine what works for your dog. 

4. Air Drying

Air drying is another option if you don’t have towels or a blow-dryer.

Air drying works for dogs with a short coat. 

Avoid using this method with dogs like golden retrievers.

Due to their thick and dense coat, letting them air-dry might take a lot of time, which could leave a musty smell. Furthermore, you may end up with a dog dealing with skin infections due to dampness. 

dog in the Cabinet dryer

Final Thoughts

Drying your dog doesn’t have to be stressful and time-consuming.

All you need to do is to choose your preferred drying method, which could be using absorbent towels or a blow-dryer. Remember also to use a towel before blow-drying your dog’s coat. 

Use our tips above to make the process enjoyable for your canine friend.