Home Dog Grooming The Best Dog Hair Dryer in 2018

The Best Dog Hair Dryer in 2018

You’ve been there.

You hose down your pet, they rush inside, water ends up everywhere. On the rug, on the walls, even on you when they playfully shake out their fur.

Who wants to deal with that?

That’s where getting a dog dryer can come in handy, but let’s be real here: most of us really don’t know how to tell what the best dog dryer is. Maybe it’s time to find out and avoid the mess that our favorite canines leave all over the house.

Let’s avoid the horrendous mess that comes with a dog shaking their fur out and get to the heart of the matter. Dog hair dryers might just be the best thing around for those who have animals who get hyped when they’re done with their bath.

Comparison Table

Best:
Product Name
Price
Our Rating
Overall Dog Dryer Dog Dryer Metrovac’s Air Force Commander
$$$
Dog Dryer for Professionals K-9 III Dog Grooming Dryer
$$$$
Runner Up Overall Dog Dryer Free Paws High-Power Stepless Adjustable Speed
$$
Cage Dryer Double K Industries ChallengAir 560 Cage Dryer
$$$$
Stand Dryer Free Paws Dog Pet Dryer Stand
$$$
Budget Pet/Dog Dryer SHELANDY 3.2HP Stepless Adjustable Speed
$
Alternative Budget Pick Go Pet Club Dog and Cat Pet Grooming Hair Dryer
$

Types of Dog Dryer

There’s a few different types of dog dryer that you need to be aware of before you even begin looking into the air capacity and heating element of your dryers.

High Velocity Dryers

High-velocity dryers just push a ton of air. They’re a great option for dogs which can stand the noise and aren’t going to be moving around too much during the drying process.

They’re not so great for skittish dogs or those with an undercoat, however, since they often lack a heating element which is required to get at the fur closer to the skin and get it dry. Those with heating elements are a good way to go, however.

Cage Dryers

Cage dryers are the best option for skittish hounds. They’re made to be applied while the dog is in its cage, allowing you to handle even the most anxious dog with ease. They’re also good for high energy dogs who might not want to sit still while you’re trying to get them dried out.

Many of these units don’t push enough air for dogs with an underlayer of fur so you’re going to want to get one with a high CFM if you think that it’s the way to go for your dog.

Stand Dryers

Stand dryers are mostly used by professional groomers. They’re essentially hands-free, but they can be great for at home use if you find yourself in a position where you also need to brush out the fur of a dog with a long coat.

If you have a dedicated space for one then they’re great to have, but not everyone is going to find a lot of use for one in the home.

What to Look for in a Dog Hair Dryer

So you’ve decided that you’re going to need a dog dryer.

You’re also going to need to know how to make sure you pick the best one for your needs. There are just a few qualities that you need to keep in mind to ensure that you’ve made a good pick, so let’s hop right in and see how it’s done.

Cubic Feet per Meter

The amount of air that a dog dryer pushes out is measured in CFM.

The higher the CFM rating, the more air you’re going to get going through the machine. For dogs with short coats a lower CFM rating might be ideal, but for something like a husky with a super thick undercoat and long hair you’ll want to go as high as possible.

Most of the other qualities of your dog hair dryer are derived from the initial CFM rating.

Heating Element or Not?

Not all dog dryers have a heating element present.

What kind of dog you’re planning on drying off is going to decide whether or not you need a heating element. Dogs with thin, short fur can get by with just the heat from the motor so if you’ve got a pitbull or a Weimaraner then you really don’t need a heating element.

For dogs with an undercoat, you’ll need a heating element in order to make sure that your dog is completely dry by the time you’re done.

Noise Levels

The amount of noise that’s produced by your dryer is going to be a big factor for most people. A stoic hound is going to be able to handle more noise than an anxious terrier after all.

You’re going to be the best judge of your dog’s ability to handle loud noises, so just take this into consideration if you have a particularly nervous dog and you’ll be alright.

Speed Settings

Having multiple speed settings available is a great thing.

For groomers, mostly.

For the average at-home dog owner it’s not going to make much of a difference in the function unless your dogs have different levels of noise tolerance.

This is more of a “nice to have” feature, rather than something which absolutely needs to be had for you to be able to say that you own the best dog dryer for your situation.

Storage

Most of us aren’t professional groomers, so the amount of space which your dryer takes up can be a big concern.

You’ll want to ensure that you’re able to tuck your dryer safely away at the end of your session without it taking up an entire room to itself. Just keep in mind that some types of dryer can take a lot of space up while others remain fairly minimal.

The Top 7 Dog and Pet Hair Dryers

There’s a whole lot of dog dryers out there, and not all of them are equal. We tested out quite a few and we’ve put together seven of our favorites for your perusal. Take a look at them all before you make a final choice and you’ll end up with something great.

Our Favorite

Best Overall Dog Dryer

Dog Dryer Metrovac’s Air Force Commander

The Air Force Commander was our overall favorite for home use. It looks like a little shop vac but it produces a pretty incredible amount of air. It’s got a two speed, 4 horsepower motor which pushes either 14,000 or 28,000 CFM.

That’s a ton of air and more than enough for the average canine. Even heavy coated dogs will be dry in a jiffy.

Our favorite part? It’s relatively small for the amount of air it pushes and most people will be able to find room for it in their home or garage. It’s easily portable, weighing only ten pounds or so which means pretty much anyone will be able to move it around.

On the downside… it’s way too powerful for indoor use. If you were planning on drying your dog off in the bathroom then you’re going to want to look elsewhere. It’s also got some sticker shock considering the relatively high price.

On the other hand, for home use, this is our absolute favorite of the dog dryers that we tested out. Just make sure that you use it outside, or you may find yourself wishing that your dog had just shaken the water off themselves.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Extremely portable
  • High powered
  • Easy to maneuver with long cord
  • Three sizes available for different dogs

Cons

  • Too powerful for indoor use

Best Dog Dryer for Professionals

K-9 III Dog Grooming Dryer

Alright, we want you to pull your jaw back up after looking at the price. This piece of equipment is a little bit too expensive for you unless you’re a professional groomer.

On the other hand, we repeatedly heard things like “best dog dryer ever” and “my shop couldn’t run without it.” That was enough for us to test it out and make sure that we weren’t hearing things wrong.

We weren’t. The only real issue is that it can heat up a bit too quickly, which didn’t seem to be a problem in the temperate climate we tested it in but might cause some issues in areas with a lot of hot weather.

It’s bulky, however, and extremely expensive for home use.

Of course, it’s not really designed for those trying to dry off a dog or two at home. If you’re a grooming professional then you’ll find that this is a must-buy unit. The rest may want to find something smaller and cheaper, however.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Great heating element
  • Extremely durable
  • Dries incredibly quickly
  • Professional grade

Cons

  • Really expensive
  • The whole unit is rather bulky

Runner Up for Best Overall Dog Dryer

Free Paws High-Power Stepless Adjustable Speed

While it doesn’t quite match up to our favorite, it would be a big mistake to exclude this one from the lineup. Our favorite feature was the variable speed motor, but that’s more of a convenience than a necessity.

The heat settings are great, however. The heating element can be turned off, placed on low, or put on high depending on your needs and the weather.

The best part is that all of the parts are warrantied. The brush, nozzles, and hoses are covered as well for a lifetime. That’s a bit of extra value that really can’t be overlooked.

It’s also quick and easy to use. It’s a bit bulkier than our favorite, however, and that can make it problematic for those with smaller homes.

If you’re looking to make sure that you’ve got an awesome dog dryer at a great price then give this one a closer look. If you’ve got the storage space it may be the way to go.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Smooth air control
  • Differential heating element
  • Great price
  • Lifetime warranty on all parts

Cons

  • Bulky for home use
  • Not powerful enough for professional use

Best Cage Dryer

Double K Industries ChallengAir 560 Cage Dryer

Got a finicky canine? Maybe it’s time to invest in a cage dryer and we found the K-9 III to be the best of the lot. It comes with a great temperature control and you’ll find that you have the ability to dry pretty much any dog within the confines of their cage.

Even better, the brushless motor still runs quiet compared to most of the others we looked at. For anxious dogs that can be extremely important, even if they’re confined within a crate or cage since they won’t get anxious during the process.

The air filtration is a nice touch as well, keeping the motor and fan clean for an extended period. It’s a tough unit overall, sure to run for years to come and take a fall without any damage.

It’s also bulky, heavy, and expensive but it’s one of the best choices we’ve ever seen when it comes to skittish canines.

If you’ve been looking for a cage dryer to allow you to get the moisture off of a finicky dog then this is the best option on the market. It’s quiet, powerful, and long lasting but it’s a bit of a niche item due to its bulk and price.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Can be attached to a cage or crate
  • Very quiet for a dog dryer
  • Attaches to a cage
  • Thermostatic control

Cons

  • Rather expensive
  • Quite bulky

Best Stand Dryer

Free Paws Dog Pet Dryer Stand

Stand dryers are great for professionals, allowing you to move around the dog freely and easily. This is actually pretty much the same model as our runner-up but comes with an attached, swiveling stand which makes it much easier to use.

It also adds quite a bit to the cost and it’s hard to store so it’s not a great at-home option.

For those who are just getting into grooming, it’s a good way to go, however. The freedom of movement is hard to beat and it’s a solid dryer with a fairly low cost compared to the other professional options which we looked at.

The base is equipped with lockable wheels and moves easily as long as you’re not on a rough surface. The whole thing isn’t really equipped to be left out in the weather, however, so if you were thinking of throwing it on the back porch you’re out of luck.

For those just getting started with grooming, or homeowners with enough space to store it, this stand-based dog hair dryer is an excellent choice.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Easily maneuverable stand
  • Excellent dryer
  • Stand is height adjustable for working on the floor or table
  • Adjustable temperature

Cons

  • Hard to store
  • Not the most durable overall

Best Budget Pet/Dog Dryer

SHELANDY 3.2HP Stepless Adjustable Speed

For those who are on a tight budget but still want a dryer which will work well, we recommend the Shelandy. It’s quite a bit weaker than the rest of our picks but it’s also pretty awesome for the price.

Surprisingly, it was one of the quietest of the dryers which we tried out. It’s just about perfect for anxious hounds. Of course, that comes from the fact that it has quite a bit less power than most of our favorites, so whether or not it’s worth it is up to you.

Overall it’s a pretty simple device. Two speed and temperature settings, a plastic body, and an expandable hose. It’s lightweight and portable, however, which adds to the value as far as we’re concerned.

Despite the low air volume, we found it got the job done on most dogs. We wouldn’t recommend it for a Newfoundland or Husky but your average dog without a super thick coat or an enormous size will do just fine although it may take a bit longer to do.

If you want a great, budget priced dog hair dryer then we recommend this one. It’s a bit underpowered compared to most but it’s not a bad way to go for those who are tired of the mess a bathed dog can make.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Quiet running
  • Simple to use
  • Easily portable
  • Four air settings and two heat settings

Cons

  • A bit underpowered
  • Not the most durable on the market

Alternative Budget Pick

Go Pet Club Dog and Cat Pet Grooming Hair Dryer

We weren’t totally in love with this one, but it still made the list as it technically does what’s required of it. It’s a bit louder than our budget pick and there’s less settings but they’re pretty comparable machines overall.

There’s enough air pressure here for blowouts, although it definitely takes a bit longer than we’d like to dry. It’s lightweight and relatively small as well.

The hose is easy to move around and it has the usual attachments you’ll want with a dryer. Overall it’s not a bad choice, we just feel that you can do quite a bit better for only a couple of dollars more.

If you’re just looking for a machine that’ll handle blowing out winter coats it’s a solid pick, however.

It’s not our favorite, but it does its job and it’s cheap enough that we kept it on the list. We’d recommend it mostly for those who just want to do blowouts, but there’s no real reason not to pick it up if you’re really pinching pennies.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Fairly quiet
  • Two motor speeds and heat settings
  • Cheap
  • Easy to move around and store

Cons

  • A bit underpowered
  • Tendency to overheat

Who Needs a Dog Hair Dryer?

Dog hair dryers aren’t an essential part of most animals’ lives, but they sure can make things easier on their owners.

We know that not every pet is going to need one, but if you’re tired of letting your dog air dry before letting them back into the house then perhaps you’ll be in good hands by making sure you have one.

Some people opt to use a regular hair dryer for drying off their dogs.

It’s a viable option for the most part, but it’s really not all that inspiring once you get down to it. It takes a lot of time, especially if your dog has a thick coat. They’re made for only handling a small amount of hair compared to the amount that your dog is covered with after all.

They also can cause a dog to overheat. Our pets run at a higher temperature than we do and are covered in fur. You’ll need to run the hair dryer for a long time in order to dry your precious pooch and that means more heat is going onto the dog.

If you’re in any of the following situations you’ll want to consider making the purchase:

  • Dogs with thick fur, particularly those which have an undercoat, will benefit greatly from a dog hair dryer. It just makes sense, since the undercoat requires more heat than you’ll be able to get with your average hair dryer.
  • Cold climates are another special case. Your dog is going to stay wet for quite a while and if it’s particularly cold outside they can get ill if you allow them to air dry.

They can also save some money on trips to the salon.

There’s one other big advantage: your dog’s fur is going to gather allergens, dust, and other stuff over time. That can cause both of you problems and a good dryer will help to get it all out of their fur so that you can enjoy your home without whatever your dog is carrying with them.

Dog Dryer FAQ

We came across a few different questions when we were looking into making sure that we brought in only the best dryers. Since we had to answer them during our research, we figured we’d give you the answers as well.

Q: Does a dog dryer have any other uses?

A: Some people use lower powered ones for other animals, particularly cats and horses. However, in addition to drying out animals, we found that many people use them in order to blow out the winter fur from their pets, making the shedding which some animals go through as spring emerges a much quicker process.

Q: Is a professional quality dryer really needed for at home use?

A: No. For the most part, our budget picks will make short work of any dog without too much fuss. In the case of certain thick furred breeds, you may want to go with something higher-powered, however, unless you really fancy the idea of spending an hour chasing around your Newfie with a hose.

Q: How noisy is the average dog dryer?

A: For the most part, they’re louder than a vacuum. Those which are on the quiet side of things tend to run louder than a hair drier, but quieter than a vacuum cleaner.

How to Use a Pet Dryer

Drying Off Your Wet Doggie

For the most part, we recommend taking your dog outside when you’re using a dryer on them. Trust us, the dog hair and flying moisture from a good dryer can create a whole new level of mess all on its own.

Each dryer, and the dog you’re using it on, is going to be a little bit different but if you follow some general rules you’ll be able to figure it out pretty quickly:

  • Always start with the lowest setting on the dryer, especially for dogs which have never had a dryer used on them before.
  • If your dog has long fur, then brush it out while you dry them. Seriously, it will help to avoid painful tangles.
  • Make sure there’s water available while you’re drying off the dog.
  • Use positive reinforcement to get your dog to enjoy the experience. Praise and treats can go a long way.
  • Keep as far back as possible with the hose, especially at first.
  • Avoid blowing directly on sensitive areas like eyes, ears, and genitals.

Conclusion – No More Doggone Mess

A dog dryer might seem a little bit overkill, but once you have the right one in your home you’ll be surprised at how big of a difference it makes. Give things a shot and you might have just found your new favorite toy.

Not every home and pet needs a professional level dryer, but even our budget picks can do an excellent job when it comes time to keep things mess-free in the home. Just remember to use them outside to avoid a flurry of fur and moisture.

What are you waiting for? The key to an easier bathing experience is right in front of you.

Last updated:
November 5th, 2018

As a retired veterinarian, Susan doesn’t just know what dogs want… she knows what they need. Having found herself discontent with retirement, she founded DogsRecommend in order to keep helping animals.

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