You’ve wrestled your dog in and out of the tub, now it’s time to dry them. Dog hair dryers help make grooming faster and easier, no matter what kind of fur they have.
“There are coats that absolutely need it, and others that don't,” says grooming expert Julia Blackwell, founder of Pupwell, a company that makes at-home grooming products. “For example, hypoallergenic dogs (doodle, yorkie, poodle etc.) need their hair to be dried, and at a higher speed to help the coat from tangling together as it gets dried.”
Other breeds, like Labradors, have short hair that wicks away water, keeping the hair from sticking together—they may enjoy a warm hair dryer, but going without it isn’t going to tangle their coats.
We asked groomers what to look for when choosing a dryer and asked them to share their favorites for pet owners to use at home. We considered dozens of models, looking at qualities like speed, heat, and included accessories.
Our overall favorite is the Shelandy Pet Hair Force Dryer, an affordable option that comes with four grooming nozzles and variable airflow. You can choose between pink and blue dryers.
Shelandy Pet Hair Force Dryer
Four grooming nozzles
Blue or pink
Only two temperature settings: cool or heat
This popular dog blow dryer comes with four grooming nozzles so you can choose based on the length and type of your dog’s fur. The hose expands to about 6 feet long, so you can work easily around your pet with the dryer sitting on the floor or a table. There’s not a lot of temperature control–it’s either cold or heat–but there’s a knob that lets you control the airflow significantly, ranging from 65 mph to 135 mph.
This isn’t necessarily quiet. It’s marketed as louder than a human handheld dryer but not as loud as a vacuum, but the long hose lets you keep the machinery further away from your dog. The company says that it takes about 20-30 minutes to completely dry a 60-pound poodle using this tool. It comes in either blue or pink and has a pop-out filter that is easy to clean.
Price at Time of Publish: $83
Size: 13.78 x 7.09 x 7.87 inches | Airflow: 65 mph -135 mph | Power: 2400 watts | Accessories: Four nozzles, stretchable hose
Best with Multiple Heat Settings
Flying Pig High Velocity Dog Dryer
Long hose can be a little unwieldy
Comparable to more affordable dryers
The bright Flying Pig High Velocity Dog Dryer promises to cut drying time by 60 percent, according to the manufacturer. It has two temperature settings (81 F and 160 F) and a dial where you can control airflow while you dry. The tool includes two nozzles that are easy to switch out. It comes with two nozzles: The round one is best for the heavier part of the coat and the flat is best to use around the head, neck, and belly.
There’s a 10-foot flexible hose that stretches when you need it and retracts when you don’t, so it’s not always in the way. The dryer comes in pink, purple, and green and has a removable filter for cleaning. Like most dryers, it’s pretty loud, reviewers say, particularly if the hose isn’t extended.
Price at Time of Publish: $187
Size: 16 x 9 x 9 inches | Temperature Range: 81 to 160 F | Air Volume: 240 cubic feet/minute (CFM) | Power: 1400 watts | Accessories: Two nozzles and a 10-foot hose
Metrovac Air Force Commander Pet Dryer
Three grooming tools
6-foot hose and 12-foot
Several bright colors
Made in the United States
More expensive than most
Metrovac has been a popular brand with groomers for 30 years and this professional-grade dryer offers groomer-type quality. It’s pricier than most home groomers, but the company says it will cut drying time by two-thirds. Although it’s powerful, it’s also portable, weighing just about 8 pounds. This Metrovac Air Force Commander comes with three grooming nozzles: an air concentrator, air flare tool, and groomer rake. There’s a flexible 6-foot hose and a heavy-duty 12-foot cord so you don’t have to stay in one place while you work.
This dryer does not have heat and only uses cool air to dry and blow away loose undercoat hair. It has two speeds for drying large or small, long or short-haired pets. The dryer is made in the United States and comes in several bright colors. Like most dryers, it’s pretty loud, so be prepared for noise.
Price at Time of Publish: $253
Size: 20 x 7 x 8 inches | Temperature Range: Cool only | Air Volume: 113 CFM | Power: 1085 watts | Accessories: Three grooming nozzles
Shernbao High Velocity Professional Pet Grooming Hair Dryer
Comes with three nozzles and two air filters
Variable air speed
Durable and sturdy
Popular with professional groomers
More expensive than many others
No heat settings
Shernbao is a popular pet dryer/blower brand with professional groomers. This particular model is very durable and sturdy. It is quieter than some other similar models, but that’s relative because they are all pretty loud. One pet owner says their dog is skittish around the vacuum and human hair dryer but is fine with this device.
The Shernbao comes with three nozzles so you can direct air or spread it out to cover more fur. It has two air filters and a flexible hose that stretches from 4 to 8 feet. The hose, some groomers warm, can get very warm after a lot of use. The air speed is adjustable, but there are no heat settings. It gets warmer the longer you use it. It is more expensive than many dryers, but fans say these dryers can handle a lot of grooming sessions.
Price at Time of Publish: $298
Size: 21.06 x 10.63 x 11.22 inches | Air Volume: 300 CFM | Power: 110 volts
Best Dryer Brush
Ownpets Pet Hair Dryer with Slicker
All-in-one brush and dryer
Lightweight (13 ounces)
Comes with quick-drying towel
Slicker brushes are hard to clean
This 2-in-1 tool could come in handy if you typically try to juggle a brush and the hair dryer after your dog has had a bath. The Ownpets grooming tool has a slicker brush attached to a dryer, making for one-handed operation. It’s very lightweight (less than 1 pound) and is less than 10 inches long.
The dryer has two settings: low at 104 degrees Fahrenheit and high at 140 F. It comes with a quick-drying towel to make the process go even faster. Slicker dog brushes have rows of small wire pins. They have little soft nubs on the end to keep from scratching your pet’s skin. They work on nearly all types of coats, but can be difficult to clean.
Price at Time of Publish: $25
Size: 9.4 x 4.7 inches | Temperature Range: 104 degrees F (low), 140 degrees F (high) | Power: 300 watts | Accessories: Towel
Our top overall pick is the Shelandy Pet Hair Force Dryer, an affordable choice that comes with four grooming nozzles and variable airflow. We also like the Flying Pig High Velocity Dog Dryer, which has specific heat settings, unlike many dog hair dryers.
What to Look For in a Dog Hair Dryer
It’s not easy to find this information for all dryers, but it’s helpful to know the airflow volume, which is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM. That’s the amount of air, as well as the speed that it comes out of the dryer. The higher the CFM, the more air that is moving faster toward your dog’s wet fur, so the faster it should dry.
Some hair dryers—particularly professional-grad models—only blast cool air, while others have temperature controls so you can make the air warmer.
“Temperature is debatable,” Blackwell told The Spruce Pets. “Some will love the idea of having a heater switch, but all blow dryer air will warm up from the motor as it is used.” The Flying Pig HIgh Velocity Dog Dryer has a temperature range from 81 to 160 degrees F. Some other models have heat or cool.
Most dryers have several nozzle attachments—like a cone nozzle and a flat nozzle—that perform different functions. You’ll want to make sure you have at least those two, says Blackwell. The cone nozzle gets under the coat, helping to remove the loose undercoat. It comes out in a circular swirl, so it can cause tangles in long hair. The flat nozzle sends out air in a straight line, which is good for drying and straightening coats, particularly those prone to knots.
And look into a Happy Hoodie, a snug, stretchy loop that covers your dog’s ears, which muffles the noise of the dryer and can help reduce anxiety.
What kind of hair dryer do dog groomers use?
Professional groomers typically use a high-velocity dryer with adjustable controls. The slower the speed setting, the quieter they are. These dryers typically have a stronger motor than a home hair dryer and often only shoot out cool air. The force of the air helps remove loose hair, like dead undercoat, and dries pets quickly.
How can you get your dog used to a dryer?
Start slow and make the experience positive, says Blackwell. “I recommend turning the blow dryer on a low speed, and just playing in the room as if it's not there. Do this everyday if you can for 5-10 minutes, and slowly increase the sound,” she says. “That will help your pup get used to the sound.” Then have the dryer near their rear end so they can feel the sensation of the air blowing. It can help to have a lick mat with treats. “The more you can work with your dog the better!”
Can I use a dog hair dryer on my cat?
Definitely, as long as your cat agrees. “There are so many breeds of cats that need to be groomed, and benefit from the blow dryer helping remove loose hair, and matting,” Blackwell says. Like many dogs, cats can be afraid of the loud noises a dryer makes. Get them used to it slowly and use the quietest, lowest setting.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets
To find the best dog hair dryers, we consulted with professional groomers as well as dog owners who groom their pets at home. We asked them what they like and don’t like about individual hair dryers and sorted through many online product reviews.
This article was researched and written by Mary Jo DiLonardo who has covered animals and pets for several decades. Mary Jo has fostered more than 60 dogs and puppies. She is always searching for the healthiest and most effective products to use with them.