As much as you love your pooch, the chances are you don’t always look forward to bath time with them. Cleaning a dog can be a messy, exhausting, and complicated affair. Not only do you have to figure out the best shampoo for their fur, make sure to rinse out any messes, and keep the water at the right temperature, but you’re doing all that as your dog tries its best to escape.
Fortunately, you can at least make drying your dog a little simpler.
Once the bathing process is over, giving your dog a good dry will help to rid your home of that horrible wet dog smell, and ensure you don’t end up with damp spots all over the house. Drying your dog will also help to regulate their temperature during the winter months.
So, how do you dry your dog properly? Here are the top options.
1. Air Drying
If your dog has reasonably short fur, you might not need to devote a lot of time to drying them. While it generally helps to run a super-absorbent towel over your pet’s fur to get rid of any extra moisture, you can mostly allow your dog to run around the house and dry off naturally.
The biggest problem with this method is you’re going to end up with a lot of wet dog smell floating around the home. As your pooch goes romping through the household, they’ll be leaving damp odours everywhere they go – which means you need to run around with the air freshener.
There’s also the risk your dog will end up getting everything in your house wet as they roll around on the sofa or the carpet. Air drying might be simple, but it’s definitely not the best method. We’d also recommend avoiding this option if you’ve got a dog with long, or thick coats, as it can take forever for that fur to dry out. If the weather is humid, leaving your dog to air dry can also lead to knots and matting, which creates an environment for hot spots and skin infections.
2. Towel Drying
Drying your dog with a thick, luxurious towel is one of the best ways to get rid of excess moisture fast. Of course, not just any towel will do. You need something that’s super absorbent, and capable of soaking up the extra moisture in your dog’s fur. It’s also worth making sure you know how to use the towel correctly. Rubbing your dog’s coat vigorously won’t really get the job done.
Rubbing your dog’s fur with a towel increases the risk of knots and matts, which means you need to spend more time grooming later. Groomers generally advise pressing the towel into the dogs fur to absorb as much water as possible. That’s why a good towel is a must-have.
You could also try a drying bag, if you have a hard time keeping your dog still while they dry. A drying bag allows your dog to dry naturally, but in a warm environment, where they’re not going to trail wet dog smell around your home. Drying bags are ideal for when you need to keep your pup in one place after they’ve been in the bath too.
All you need to do is place your dog within the drying bag and wrap them in cuddles to help with soaking up the extra moisture. It’s really that simple.
3. The Hair Dryer
Probably the most nerve-wracking option or drying your dog, using a hair dryer can seem like a fast solution, but it can also cause anxiety in your pooch, as well as knots and matting. Just because your groomer knows how to use a hairdryer like a pro doesn’t mean you’ll be quite as confident.
The first thing you should know is you usually shouldn’t use a hair dryer on it’s own. You’ll need to get most of the moisture off your dog with a towel first, then use your dryer on the lowest setting. Make sure your dog is comfortable with the sound of the dryer before you begin, and always keep the nozzle at least a few inches away from your dog’s fur, to reduce the risk of burning. You should also be constantly moving the nozzle of the hair dryer to make sure you’re not concentrating too much heat in one spot.
Introducing a dog to a hair dryer can be a time-consuming process. You may need to begin by simply turning the dryer on and letting your dog get used to the sound for a while before you try anything else. You can also turn the dryer on while you’re towel-drying your pet, so they get used to the sound and associate it with bath time.
A good way to ensure your dog doesn’t get overheated by the hair dryer, is to use the cool air button intermittently. While you shouldn’t use this constantly, it can be a good way to give your pet a break if the lowest setting on your dryer is still pretty hot.
The Best Way to Dry Your Dog
Ultimately, a few years of pet ownership will teach you what the best way to dry your dog is. It takes time to figure out what works best for your pet, and what they’re most comfortable with. One thing you may have noticed is that all of these methods require the use of a towel to some extent. Even if you do become a pro at hair-drying, you should still have a good towel available.
Remember to brush your dog regularly after drying them to ensure that any remaining moisture doesn’t cause their fur to knot. Moisture and humidity can cause nightmares with a dog’s coat.
One final tip? Always give your dog a little extra love after bath time. They’ll appreciate the comfort after being exposed to all that soap and water, and cuddles will help to dry them faster too, thanks to your handy body heat.