Hygiene is a vital part of your pup’s health routine. You have to keep them clean and free of ticks and bad odour. A bath is obviously one part of that process. Your dog’s skin and coat need regular cleaning. How regularly?
Well, that depends on the breed. After a bath though, you must dry them carefully so that you can get rid of the loose fur but not do any damage to the coat.
If you are a first-time pet owner, you might need a little help getting that done. That’s what we are here for. If your pup has a short coat and you live in a hot and humid region, it might happen naturally.
But if that is not the case, you want to make sure they are clean and dry before you let them roll around. This is something some dogs do naturally to dry themselves. But it is likely to create matting, not to mention the dirt that will set into the fur in the process. To avoid any of these, you need to figure out the best way to dry your dog after a bath. Here’s how you get started.
Dog Grooming Drying Technique 1 – Using a Towel
Drying your dog with a towel is an easy and popular way simply because humans know how to do it all too well. Or so we think. Using a towel is indeed a great way to get rid of that excess water and even moisture on the body. That is true for dogs too. But not everyone gets it right when it comes to drying their pet.
Drying dogs is not the same as it is with humans because we are dealing with skin. Whereas with dogs, you are dealing with fur. Now, you must remember to be gentle with the fur, especially if your dog is a shedder. Rubbing the towel against their coat vigorously can tangle the coat on dogs that have long and silky fur.
If you talk to an expert groomer, you will learn that when you are drying a pup with a long and silky coat, you must just place the towel on their body and press it gently with your hands to make sure that the water is absorbed. Let the fabric do what it organically does.
Move your hands on the dog’s body like you are massaging it while allowing the towel to soak up all the water and moisture. And if you have a large dog, you want to keep more than one towel handy so that you’re not using a sodden piece of cloth on their skin. That’s not very comfortable for your pooch.
But that can also be managed. Nowadays, you will find towels that are made especially for dogs. Some of them are thinner than your usual bath towels but they can absorb a lot of water. And that’s why they are aptly called absorber towels.
Their surface is smooth and it ensures that your pet is not uncomfortable and the fur does not get entangled while you are drying them. These are also easy to dry and reuse multiple times just like the one you use for yourself. Except, your dog’s towels have to be washed after each use. Here’s how you do it in steps.
Steps to Dry Your Dog Using a Towel
Step 1: Take a soft and dry towel and place it on the dog’s back.
Step 2: Gently rub the dog’s coat while making sure that the water is absorbed.
Step 3: Once the dog’s back is reasonably dry, move to its stomach. Repeat the same pattern of drying.
Step 4: After the stomach, it is time to dry the dog’s chest in the same fashion.
Step 5: Finally, take your little one’s paws into your hands and gently rub them with the towel.
Step 6: At any point in the process, if you feel that the towel is too wet, get a dry one. Ideally, keep a couple of them handy next to you so that you don’t have to leave the dog unattended while it is half-wet.
Step 7: Once the dog is dry, run a brush or a comb through their coat.
Dog Grooming Drying Technique 2 – Using a Hair Dryer
A lot of people wonder if a hairdryer is the best tool to use when drying your dog’s fur. For starters, it is a good option, especially if your dog has a thick coat. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Don’t start the process with a hairdryer. Use a towel to get rid of the dripping water first.
A hairdryer is a quick way to dry your dog’s fur so you might prefer it. But if your dog is new to the experience they might be alarmed by the sound. So, make sure the dryer is at its lowest setting and a little away from the dog’s body. They need a little while to get used to it. You don’t want to scare them and always get nervous when you use the hairdryer.
Keeping the nozzle about two to ten inches away from the fur is a good thumb rule. This is also helpful when you’re actually drying them because you don’t want to burn your pup.
Let your dog take in the sound while you assure them that it is nothing to worry about. If your dog looks nervous you might want to show them that it is okay by using it on yourself.
From there, take it near their paws and start drying them off. Use the hairdryer gradually so that they take their time to get used to its sound and technique. Despite all your attempts, they are likely to put up quite the fight. Be prepared for it.
The other thing about using a hairdryer on your dog is to be gentle. When humans use it on themselves, we move the nozzle organically by feeling the heat. Remember that your pet can’t actually tell you when it is too hot or too close to their fur.
So, start on a low setting in terms of heat and blowing speed. And don’t use the dryer near their face and other sensitive areas even after they are used to it. You might also want to remember not to use the dryer for too long because that can dry the skin.
Make sure you stop using it while there is a little moisture left in their fur. Just enough for it to dry off organically in a few minutes.
Now, here’s how to do it in steps.
Steps to Dry Your Dog Using a Hair Dryer
Step 1: Switch the dryer on and let your pup register the sound of the dryer. If your canine is new to the hairdryer, make sure you keep it on and let them get used to the sound.
Step 2: Keep the dryer on the lowest setting and use it on yourself if you need to reassure your pet that it is safe.
Step 3: Once your dog is comfortable, take the dryer near their paws and let the air touch their fur. Keep the dryer’s nozzle about 10 inches away.
Step 4: Let the dryer run back and forth on the dog’s coat. Make sure you don’t keep it in one place for too long. This is likely to burn their skin.
Step 5: Once your dog is reasonably dry, give them some treats as a reward even if they fought you in the process.
There are a variety of cost-effective dog dryers in the market that can make this process as easy on your dog and you as possible. You might want to do some research on that before grabbing your personal equipment to dry your dog. See our top pick below:
- [HIGH] - EFFICIENCY Extended body and twins motors give the machine a lot of power.In general, it...
- [LOW] - NOISE This upgraded pet grooming dryer uses the noise reduction device.Compared with the...
- [FLEXIBLE] - HOSE If your outlet is too far away from your pet, Don't worry, the hose can stretch to...
Dogs take a few days to get used to a hairdryer. Be patient and make them feel safe instead of trying to yell them into shape. That does not work. And if your dog is not able to overcome the fear, don’t force them.
Try a different approach to dry them after a bath. When you force it on them, your dog might end up panicking and that can sometimes even cause seizures. The other downside to using a dryer is that it does not help get rid of loose fur as effectively.
Experts suggest that if you use a hairdryer on dogs with a long coat, you must move the dryer in the direction of the hair, just like humans do. Otherwise, it will get tangled. And always keep an eye on your dog’s response to the movement.
Dog Grooming Drying Technique – Air Drying
This is every dog’s favourite way of drying themselves whether it is after a shower or when they get wet for other reasons. That’s because it comes naturally to them just like the process of licking their body to keep themselves clean. And, unlike humans, dogs are not used to accessories. But it might not be your favourite way of doing things and you’re right to feel that way.
However, if your dog has a short coat, air drying can work out well but with a couple of caveats. That does not mean you let them wander out of the bathroom right away.
You must run a towel over their body to get rid of the dripping water droplets. But remember that when dogs air dry themselves, they tend to roll around on surfaces to get rid of the water or moisture. It’s kind of like what an elephant does. They take a shower and come out and pour a chunk of sand on themselves using their trunk to get rid of the wetness. You’d think that’s counterintuitive but that is what works for them.
Your dog does not have a trunk so you will see them roll around in the dirt trying to get rid of the moisture. And by the way, your carpets and furniture are also fair game.
If you have a lawn and your dog is white, you will end up with a green dog. Unless you want that, you might not want to let them outside right after a bath.
If your dog has a long coat, on the other hand, this is a terrible idea. When these kinds of coats are left unattended, they end up with a lot of tangles and matting. That is not just unattractive to look at but is also an easy way for your dog to end up with skin infections and hot spots.
This is particularly true if you live in a place where the weather is humid. The other problem with air drying is that it can cause fungus to develop between your dog’s paw pads or armpits.
Some pet owners like to keep their dog in a kennel or a cage while the canine air dries to avoid a mess in the house or allowing the dog to get dirty.
The time you spend bathing your dog and drying them is a great opportunity for you to bond with them. This is a great chance to spend some quality time with your pet.
It is particularly useful if you have a breed that likes to cling to their human. It is also a great way to reduce stress for your pup and that is one of the advantages of doing this at home.
A lot of people also go to groomers to get their dog cleaned. There are a couple of things to note in those situations.
If your dog is new to this experience, they might be alarmed at the loud noises and unfamiliar setting. So, make sure that you are with them at least till they get used to the groomers.
Use the same service as often as you can if they are good at what they do. Make sure to always check your dog after they are back from the groomers to make sure nothing went wrong.
Now that you’ve seen our top 3 dog grooming drying techniques, you can choose which method of drying keeps your dog calm and makes it a fun experience for both of you. And if you need help, you can always talk to a vet and get some tips.