Nowadays, having a quality dog dryer is a must. Whether you are a professional or occasional groomer, you can find gazillions of supposedly best dog dryers to pick from on Amazon and other websites.
Names and brands sound confusing, they go from MetroVac, K9 Dryers, Shammy, B-Air, Flying Pig, Kool Dry, and many more. Most of these will proudly affirm that they have the absolute best hair dryer for dogs so let us help you spot what’s true from what’s pure misinformation.
For casual or professional groomers, here are the best dog dryers in 2020:
- Metrovac’s Air Force Commander — No Heat Forced Air
- BPD-1 Bear Power 2HP Dryer — Quieter Force Dryer
- Flying Pig Stand Dog Dryer — Stand Dryer
- Flying One High-Velocity — A Lot of Horsepower
- K-9 III Dog Grooming Dryer — Professional Dog Dryer
- METRO Air Force Quick Draw — Fast and Portable
- XPOWER Multi-Hose Cage Dryer — Heat-Free Dryer
- SHELANDY 3.2HP Stepless — Quiet Force Dryer
- Go Pet Club Grooming Dryer — For Small Pets!
- EasyClip Quiet Air Dryer by Andis — Handheld
To make it easier for you, we are first detailing the most important characteristics to consider when purchasing a safe and efficient dog dryer; while also giving you the best model for each category.
Designs and Types of Dog Dryers
A bit like shoes, there are several types of dog dryers available out there. And like shoes, there is no absolute best, just a dog dryer that is more suited to your usage and grooming habits.
Depending on the type of dog dryer you want to go for, you will see that each type comes usually in a given design.
- Low-pressure dryers blow warm air at a low intensity and are usually mounted in a cage or standing
- Forced-air dryers blow cold air at high velocity — they do not dry, they get the water off the dog’s coat
- Handheld dog dryers are handheld, light, and mobile, but rely on very hot air
Some may have stands, wall or under-table mounting and hands-free drying contraptions. It is a matter of personal preferences and how your room is laid out. Force dryers are much safer thanks to the use of cold air only.
How To Pick The Best Dog Dryer
The very first step to decide on when searching for the best dog dryer for home use or grooming salon is to exactly find out how you’ll use it. Are you going to use it for occasional grooming of your dogs, or is it for your own grooming salon? And what breeds are you thinking or drying – Newfoundlands or just Chihuahuas?
Regardless of the usage, there are features to look for when buying a top-quality dog dryer.
Make sure the materials used are going to hold up to your usage, avoid metallic-based dryers as they may rust or even amplify the sound of the motor it is housing.
A dog dryer is an investment and you don’t change dryers frequently. So you need one that stays in good shape for a longer duration. And while you’re at it, also choose one that comes with a noise reduction filter. The ones that come in a flimsy plastic body are useless, so opt for those that come in rust-controlled steel.
Additionally, a good dryer needs to be impact-resistant. Think practically… If you have an enthusiastic dog, chances are that you’ll be dropping the dryer while using it. A plastic body may never be able to bear the impact.
One more thing to keep in mind when checking the durability of the dryer is to see how much energy it uses up and in what form. If it is a battery operated dryer, chances are that it might not be as durable as an electric dog dryer.
Dog dryers come in so many shapes and forms, more than you probably think. So whether you go with a handheld dog dryer, a stand dryer, a cage dryer, or a mounted dryer, make sure it suits your needs (storability, weight, mounting hardware, etc.)
If you have a smaller dog, chances are that you will only need a handheld dog dryer, the size of our hair dryers. But for slightly bigger ones, choose wisely. Cage dryers are popular amongst breeders and groomers. This is convenient because firstly, it allows multiple dogs to dry partially, before setting them on a grooming table, to be stand dried.
For those looking to buy just one type of dryer, it is best that you opt for stand dryers. They are easier to store and are powerful too. And while they may look like they carry a lot of bulk, they actually don’t. If you can spare a corner for them in your outhouse or shed, they rate high on efficiency and durability. Smaller handheld dryers are great if you have very little space, but mind you, they are not very efficient for bigger dogs.
High Air Flow
Unlike human hair dryers, the doggy counterpart should not expel a too hot air flow. Instead, dog dryers must provide enough air pressure to remove the water from the dog’s fur. That way, dogs’ sensitive skin remains intact.
Yes, a dog’s skin is, in fact, a lot more sensitive than human skin. Which is why every dryer that you buy must come with adjustable airflow. This is non-negotiable. This is because the fur on the dog’s body is a lot thicker than that on its face and neck. A dog’s facial skin is more sensitive than the rest of the body. You want to use a slightly hotter setting for the rest of the body while on the face and neck; the setting should be mild and comfortable. Ideally, you want to use pressurized cold air (e.g. force dryers)
Also, it helps to remember that what is comfortable for you, maybe too hot for your furry friend. So always start slow and then identify the sweet spot where the dog is comfortable with the temperature and the hair is drying off too. Look for signs from your dog, for what the right temperature is.
If you only breed one type of dog that has one type of fur, pick the right single-speed dryer and you’re good to go. Now if you are a groomer dealing with different breeds, coats, and sizes, you do need a variable speed dog dryer so you can adjust the airflow depending on the coat type you are drying.
Variable-speed dog dyers tend to be the best choice anyway because they offer a quieter experience with the lower speeds but still provide you with the versatility you need to deal with any type of hair.
A dryer that has variable speed settings is very helpful. This is because too fast a setting could frighten your little pet. You don’t want them to cringe at the sound of a dryer. Variable speeds help you start gradually and work your way up to a faster speed, for faster drying. When finding a dog dryer with varying speed settings, always remember to choose one that makes the least sound.
A high-velocity dryer can be an excellent help for when you need to dry off your fur babies. Especially when it’s cold outside. It will prevent them from hypothermia and save you a lot of worries too.
As explained above, dog hair dyers do not technically dry dog hair. Confusing, I know. Dogs have sensitive skin, undercoat, and hair. Too high heat would burn them. The motor itself will warm the air up enough for pet grooming use, there is rarely a need for an auxiliary heating element. It is clearly unsafe to dry or groom your dog with a human hairdryer.
Human hair dryers are built to throw in a lot of heated air that would burn any dog’s skin. So those are completely off the table. The best dog dryers too come with variants of heat. Choose one that multiple heat setting options, so that you don’t end up scalding your dog.
Most forced-air dog dryers do not throw heated air, but instead, throw air with such force that it makes the water from the dog’s body blast back.
Whether your dog boasts a single coat or a rich lush double coat, these dryers will dry them off faster. Especially built-in with a filter to control airflow, they are always a safer choice than general dryers.
Air pressure and heat can crack or break a low-quality dog dryer hose. Especially with intensive use. Dog dryers with a heavy-duty spiral-wound hose last a lot longer but cost a little more; their longer life makes these a worthy investment.
We’ve already established that a dog dryer need not be very hot, lest it burns the delicate skin underneath all the fur. But the dryer should be heated enough to at least dry the dog off within tine. If not, your dog runs the risk of catching a cold, for remaining wet for too long. During such cases, if the nozzle or the hose of the dryer gives away, it is not just a monetary loss but it could also be dangerous. A flimsy nozzle or hose could melt away, leaving your pet with painful injuries also.
Apart from the heat, carefully check the nozzle for sturdiness because the dryer will throw pressured air out. If the hose isn’t strong enough to hold the pressure, it may fall apart or break while it is in your hands. A complete safety hazard for you and your pet pooch.
Be realistic. No dryer will ever be fully silent. A metal housing amplifies the noise a lot more than a polymer housing that tends to absorb noise. Unless you go for a bad dog dryer, engineers usually understand how dogs react and offer a decently quiet final product. Simply look for a dog dryer mentioning the use of proprietary technology or some sort of modern silencing technology.
You know that a loud dryer may scare your wet dog off. Choose a dryer that makes the least noise — be sure to check customer reviews! A flimsy make of dryer may also produce annoying sounds if the internal parts of the machine are not well placed or have come loose. Regular upkeep will anyway be necessary.
What you must look for are machine specific contraptions to lessen the noise. For example, if you’re buying a stand dryer, check to see if it comes with vibration pads to counter the noise made when the standing machine vibrates or moves. Check to see if the dryer is in complete balance. An off-balance dog dryer will make noise when it moves with the force of the air pressure.
Easy-To-Clean Air Filters
Even when you know how to do it, this is not something we just think of doing often. Clean or change the filters as often as required. Do not delay maintenance. Ideally, you want air filters that can be cleaned or changed using no tools at all.
Air filters clogged and dirty will put the lifespan of your machine at risk. They may also harm dogs:
- either by not drying them properly, or
- by emitting dust particles directly onto their skin.
The best way to clean a filter is to dismantle it from the machine and wipe it with a soft dry cloth. Again, you want a machine that has an uncomplicated detachment process for the filter, because if not, you’ll probably not be able to put it back together!
Unclean air filters can also pose a safety hazard to you. Imagine you’re drying your dog with a hand-held dryer. Now in order to heat the air up, the dryer requires a constant stream of adequate airflow. There is a lot of pressure going through an air filter. Therefore, if it gets clogged with dust, its throughput lowers and the internal heat accumulates.
You see the problem there, don’t you?
Ignore horsepower claims with dog dryers (e.g. 2HP, 4HP) because although most manufacturers claim how great and high their horsepower is (2P, 4P, etc.), there is very little use for it since to draw great horsepower, you need at least 30 amps where most only handle 12 amps.
Here’s what not to pay attention to when buying a dog dryer — the horsepower claims. These tall claims are nothing more than fantasist promises.
Instead of falling for numbers, focus on the kind of dryer that promises better durability and warranty. Your dog doesn’t need a powerful air dryer, it needs one that has just the right amount of flow, pressure, and heat to dry the fur without scaring them away. In fact, the higher the horsepower, the faster the dryer will heat up and cause damage.
So if I ignore horsepower, what should I look at? Cubic Feet per Minute and Linear Feet per Minute. These pretty much mean how fast the dog dryer blows (fills) one cubic foot with air. This is the true measure you should care about as it is what gets the water off the dog’s fur.
A great way to understand how CFM works is to analogize it with RPM, rounds per minute. Now if you’re a spin cycle fan or have ever bought a fan, you will know that the number of rounds it completes in a minute judges the effectiveness of the machine. The same way, every cubic foot of a dog the machine dries, determines how good it is. The faster the drying process, the better the dog dryer.
By regular standard, 1 CFM is enough to dry out a 12″ x 12″ x 12″ box in one minute. Take that approximation and multiply it according to how big or small your dog is and how much time can you spend drying your dog. Remember the rule of thumb that a smaller dog will dry faster with a larger CFM. But if you are a breeder and own a lot of dogs, then get an appropriately sized dryer for the bigger dogs.
Top 10 Best Dog Dryers
There is no perfect dog dryer, each has its very own upsides and downsides. The one type of dog drying system that comes close to doing everything professional pet groomers need is a variable-speed forced-air high-velocity dog dryer. We definitely avoid recommending human-style dryers as they are not adapted and suitable for dogs’ skin and sensitivity.
1. Metrovac's Air Force Commander
— #1 High-Pressure Dog Dryer (Best Value For Money!)
Often referred to as forced-air dryers or high-velocity dog dryers, these models are the best and most-efficient dog dryers, they are fast at drying both the undercoat and outer coat of all dogs, regardless of their coat type. We’ve got an article reviewing the best force dryers, too.
One or two small reverse vacuum motors are used to blow air through a hose and nozzle to force the water off the coat and stretch the hair by flattening it to the skin. Because high-velocity dryers are becoming the most popular, they now come standing, mounted or armed!
Forced-air dog dryers rarely have an added heater and do not need one. They actually should not have one. The high-pressure and extreme airflow are enough to penetrate the thickest and most knotted hair to get rid of the wetness.
However, as you can imagine with such high-velocity dog dryers, you must be careful with sensitive areas such as genitals, ears, and eyes. This is where having a variable-speed dog dryer helps as you can be gentle on sensitive parts, and more efficient on difficult areas.
The number #1 advantage of the high-pressure dog hair dryers is that they save you loads of time.
The Metrovac’s Air Force Commander Dog Dryer is by far the best pick with adjustable speed and controls enabling you complete check over the airflow. It is made of rugged and durable steel and offers an easy-to-change air filter and dual mounted legs that allow the dryer to be used vertically or horizontally. The air expelled is warm but will not burn the dog’s skin since there is no heating element. The perfect pick at a reasonable price!
2. B-Air Dryers Bear Power 2 High Velocity Dryer
— Cheaper Force Dryer For Dogs
If you are after a cheaper option offering a little fewer settings and controls, the B-Air Dryers Bear Power 2 High-Velocity Dryer is a nice value for money high-velocity dog dryer. Not the best but at this price, you cannot fault it for it.
Thick-coated pets will enjoy the low-speed setting that you can use with of the four nozzles delivered with the B-Air: brush, cone, fluffing, and slot nozzles. Unlike most forced-air dryers for dogs, the B-Air has a little less force and can, therefore, offer a quieter motor (still noisy) which is ideal for dogs suffering from anxiety or high levels of stress (if you have one, make sure you also get silent dog clippers, too.)
Customer feedbacks all over the web are good, not ecstatic, but most definitely good enough for you to buy it. Most complaints pertaining to the B-Air Dryer’s lifespan. Quite a few occasional and home groomers said that it lasted only a few months. Obviously, these are just a minority but it’s important to know it before buying. You may be better off with a pricier dog dryer that will last you for several years.
3. Flying Pig Stand Grooming Dryer
— Amazing Low-Pressure Dog Dryer
Also called carpet dryer, stand dryer, or cage dryer, this particular type of dog dryer is composed of a large blower that produces a lot of airflow at very low pressure. This is a gentle way to dry sensitive dog coats.
Many low-pressure dog dryers come with an auxiliary heater to warm up the airflow and dry the fur faster. A little safety note here. Dogs have much more sensitive skin, you want to avoid any additional heating technology or system, including air heaters, when drying dog hair. They may not bark or complain, but you will still damage their skin, and many dogs died from overheating because of a cage dryer.
Have some chilled water available at all times for the dogs and make sure the room temperature is warm enough and these guys will dry pretty quickly with no need for an auxiliary heater. If there is a heating setting or switch, just turn it off unless you know what you are doing.
The Flying Pig Stand Grooming Dryer is made by a pet-grooming leading manufacturer, Oster, and offers a sturdy dryer with a heating element that you can turn off (perfect!) and an ideal design to use on your grooming table or as a cage dryer. For added safety, there is a special overload switch preventing it from overheating.
Funny note about this product, on Amazon there is a review of someone who left it running 24/7 for 11 years to, I quote, control condensation on a liquid nitrogen gas fitting for a vital piece of research equipment. Top-quality!
4. Flying One High-Velocity 4HP
— A Lot of Horsepower!
Whether you’re buying a dryer for one dog or for many, this one’s a sure winner. With a 10 feet hose, you can drag it almost anywhere, without having to worry about where to plug it on or where to make a mess! Get your dripping dog to stand anywhere and the hose will follow. Add to it, an adjustable speed that can dry up to 240 CFM, so a great choice for medium to large-sized dogs even.
What’s more, is that this sleek baby comes with a no-heat option. Useful in case you’re just looking to dry your dog gently. It works really well for dogs with sensitive skin or for those suffering from skin conditions. The heat can go up to 160F, which isn’t so bad either. For the cold weather, this would be ideal.
Two separate nozzles and filters that you can switch and a powerful motor do much justice to this little machine, that can be stretched or moved around with complete ease. The engine is almost noiseless and the steel body offers a warranty for durability too.
All in all, a great product that works for both domestic and professional use.
5. K-9 III Dog Grooming Dryer
— Simply The Best Professional Dog Dryer (Overkill?)
Not for the casual user, this professional grooming dog dryer is heavily priced for a reason: it will save you a lot of time and effort, even with the most difficult types of coat out there. Coming with two motors, the power this dog dryer is able to deliver is unrivaled in its category.
The obvious consequence of such a powerful dryer is that we wouldn’t necessarily recommend you to dry a dog’s sensitive areas with it. It is definitely adjustable but even then, you are better off with a smaller dryer for special areas like a dog’s face or genitals. The hose seems fragile so be careful when you open the package for the first time, and every time you store it.
Other than that, this is an overall wonderful product for any professional groomer who is after a long-lasting dryer for dogs. The K-9 III Dog Grooming Dryer comes in several colors and also has a couple of downgraded models if you cannot afford this beast.
Users confirm that a giant Newfoundland dog can be dried within 20 minutes including with a quality undercoat drying.
6. METRO Air Force Quick Draw Dryer
— The Fastest Portable Pet Dryer!
This compact handheld portable dog dryer dries up your dog 70% faster than a regular drier!
But that’s not all — if you’re into hiking and camping and want to take your dog along, this lightweight dog dryer comes with a superb shoulder strap and mounting hook. Travel with your dog if you want, with a reliable electrical source, you can dry off the wettest dog in a matter of minutes. It is tiny but packed to the brim powerhouse for drying.
Made locally, in the USA, this product comes with a stainless steel body that ensures high durability and longer sustainability.
7. XPOWER Multi-Hose Cage Dryer
— Amazing Heat-Free Cage Dryer
A cage dryer made only and solely for professional groomers, dog breeders, or families with multiple dogs. The XPOWER Cage Dryer comes with three hoses and nozzles. They work simultaneously to save you lots of time. Your dogs don’t have to wait in turns for too long, because this one does the trick three times faster!
This dryer comes with a solid, heat-free airflow that works on drying the fur off, by blowing away the condensation on each hair. It also comes with a sturdy encasing for the rubber hoses, one that is reinforced with extra metal support. The hose is so flexible, you can bend it any way you like.
Another important feature of this machine is that it is extremely lightweight and easy to carry around. It is durable and very, very low on maintenance. So much so that even the cleaning need not take a lot of time or effort.
Double filters fitted into the machine ensure that no amount of clogging ever hampers the working of the dryer. We obviously strictly advise against letting the dirt sit there. Just wash it once a while. It is super easy to wash and fit again. You can even control the airflow speeds on this one! Doesn.t get cooler than this!
8. SHELANDY 3.2HP Stepless Pet Force Dryer
— Great Quiet Force Dryer for Dogs!
A quality dog dryer that comes with four nozzles. Not to dry four different pets, but to entertain one pet! These nozzles come in different shapes and sizes, to make air-drying a treat for the pet. With various shapes and airflows, the pet gets dried easily. You can adjust the type of airflow according to the size of the dog, the weather, how wet your dog is, and more.
Along with adjustable inlet, SHELANDY has also taken the utmost care to reduce noise as much as possible. To aid this, they have added four different layers of noise-canceling technology. The machine also comes with a year-long warranty and two different temperature controls. It also assures that the air-drying will not just dry the fur, it will also work wonders on the undercoat and get rid of loose hair.
The genius of this product lies in the fact that they innovated with the nozzles! And for that price, it sure is a steal!
9. Go Pet Club Pet Grooming Dryer
— A Great Small Dog & Cat Dryer!
Now here’s something on the lines of best of both worlds! If you’re a dog and cat enthusiast, with a little love left for other animals too — here’s a dryer you can use!
Priced under $100, this one’s a total steal. The highest temperature on this machine goes up to 160 F. Actually, it is just at par with some of its other contemporaries but at a much lower price point.
Available only in one color — black — this is a small and mobile machine. It comes with adjustable speed and options for nozzles too! Additionally, it comes with a nozzle that is made so durable, it is puncture resistant and double reinforced! So if you’ve got a tough one there, even a strong dog bite won’t damage it a lot.
Made especially for those who want to make professional grooming and styling available in the comforts of their home, this is an easy-to-use and cheap dog dryer.
10. EasyClip Quiet Air Dryer by Andis
— Decent Handheld Dog Dryer
Definitely inexpensive, these so-called dog dryers are honestly not really built for dogs. They are usually human hairdryers with new dog-focused packaging and marketing, but the product remains relatively the same.
With an average of 10 to 20 CFM (cubic feet per meter), these are low-pressure dryers that may have you take ages to dry your dog completely, let alone a Newfoundland ha!
Costing up to $90, these hair dryers for dogs will most certainly be the first choice for a lot of first-time buyers or occasional groomers. And although I understand their choice, they could get a much better forced-air dryer for a similar price.
If you decide on using these, make sure you use the least warm temperature setting just to remain safe for the dog you are drying.
The EasyClip Quiet Air Dryer from Andis is probably the best in this category. As we said, we don’t recommend these handheld dog dryers but we understand that the cost can be a tipping point for some of you so this dryer by Andis does a decent job, seemingly the best in this category.
Questions about Pet Dryers
Drying a dog can be a little scary for a lot of dog owners at home. Heat is a source of anxiety for novice groomers. Is it too hot? Is it even drying? We’ve compiled the most common questions we received about pet dryers and answered them promptly here.
How do you remove dog smell from a pet dryer?
Distilled white vinegar is a simple home remedy to deodorize and disinfect a pet dryer.
No need to buy expensive cleaning agents or fragrances that can harm your dryer’s body and render it useless. Instead, this simple solution is effective and extremely safe for the dryer, for the dog and for you. Just dip a clean cloth into the cup of distilled white vinegar and get wiping. Remove the air filter and clean it out with a dry cloth. Set it aside to aerate a little. While it gets some fresh air, dig into the dryer with your vinegar-soaked cloth and dab away. Leave the machine dismantled for a few hours. Your dryer will have deodorized in a cheap and effective way.
Are force dryers always blowing cold air?
Yes, force dryers do not aim to dry the dog. Instead, they blow out air with so much force that the water blows off the dog’s hair. These work on the principle of getting the water off, instead of gradually drying it up.
These force dryers also come with a function to turn on the heat to dry off the moisture. However, we don’t recommend this feature. Hot air can be very harmful to a dog’s sensitive skin. Especially, skin on the face and genital area. So be very careful when you select your air dryer because you need one that has just enough force to dry your dog without harming him/her.
How do I get my dog used to a hair dryer?
The key is to go slow and start early. When you start them young, the fear of the dryer and its sound doesn’t manifest. The older the dog, the harder it is to get them to adapt to something new.
Initially, simply get them used to the sound of it. Switch it on, when you’re in another room (they don’t have to be wet for it). Simply get them accustomed to hearing the sound of the whirring dryer. Gradually, go closer to where they are. Take a week’s time to finally go close enough to dry them using a dryer.
Never, ever try and start them off with a hairdryer. These are too hot for them and will do more harm than good. Instead, get them used to the original dryer that you are going to be using on them.
Why is my dog afraid of the air dryer?
Dogs are more afraid of the loud drying sound than the actual dryer itself. Once they overcome that fear, everything else becomes only slightly smoother. The noisy whirring sound that the dryer makes is unusual to them. Another reason why dogs run away from dryers is the air. They are not used to the blowing and it is initially an unpleasant sensation to them. So be patient and be nice to your dog.
Don’t try and force the dryer on them, or else you’ll be struggling with it all your lives. Gently coax them into the feeling and let them take their time to slowly understand and get used to the sensation of having their hair blown. Stop, when you feel that they do not like it or are uncomfortable with it.
Are cage dryers safer than force dryers for pets?
Both cage dryers and force dryers have their own pros and cons. While force dryers use cold pressured air to blow the water away, cage dryers emit very low range heat at a gradual pace, to dry the fur off. If used appropriately, both types of pet dryers are good at what they are meant to do.
However, there are some precautions you must take before using either. When using a cage dryer, make sure that the dog has a bowl of fresh water right by his/her side. Since this used dry heat on your dog, it is going to have a sauna-like effect. So just like you wouldn’t sit in a sauna for prolonged periods, don’t subject the dog to a cage dryer, in an enclosed space, for too long. The force dryer, when used on fur, is fine, but always take care that you don’t use it on a dog’s face or genitals.
If you have the budget, try to pick one of our recommended force dryers since they are the safest options on the market.