Giving your pooch a full blow out after a luxurious scrub down is an essential finishing part for her spa day. A thorough dry job can help prevent matting, lock in that fresh-smelling scent and prevent her from getting the chills on a cold day. Not all blow dryers are the same though, and if you’re using one at home, you must follow a few precautions.
When you drop your fluffy princess off with the groomer, he’ll put your fur ball in a crate with a specialized doggie blow dryer after her bathing is complete. Dog blow dryers basically are big motors with several tubes attached. Often one or more tubes go to multiple crates to dry several dogs at once. These dryers gently blow a steady stream of air onto your pooch, getting rid of every last bit of moisture. However, they don’t blow heated air, only room temperature air to lessen the risk of burns. You also can purchase smaller versions of these types of dog dryers to use at home, which might be beneficial if you tend to bathe your canine on your own frequently.
You can use your personal hand-held blow dryer to dry off your beloved pal, but you must be very careful. Human-grade dryers have heating elements inside, designed to make the air very hot for faster drying. This extremely warm air can burn your pooch if you crank up the heat and blow over one spot repeatedly. If you do decide to use your own dryer, turn it to the coolest possible setting. When it comes time to dry your furry lady, keep it on the low stream of air, keep it several inches away from her and move the dryer all over her body, rather than focusing on one spot.
Getting Over Fear
No matter which type of blow dryer you use, it’s perfectly reasonable for her to be scared. After all, blow dryers are noisy and uncomfortable, blowing air right in her face. If your dog runs in fear the split second you whip out the dryer, start associating it with positive things. Leave the blow dryer lying out, without turning it on, and let her sniff at it on her own. When she approaches it, toss a few treats in her direction. After several days of that, she’ll become best friends with the dryer, since she gets rewarded every time she goes near it. As soon as she feels comfortable around it, try turning it on when she’s in the room, only for a few seconds at a time, while offering her treats. It’ll take some time, but if you’re patient and take baby steps, she’ll stop fearing the blow dryer eventually.
Your little friend has no way of telling you if the blow dryer is bothering her. It could be too hot, burning her fragile skin, or it could be forcefully blowing air directly into her eyes. Because it may be difficult to hear her whimpering with the noisy blower going, watch her closely for signs of distress. If you see her opening up her mouth to cry, shaking in fear or moving away in discomfort, it might be time to put the blow dryer down for a while and let her relax. Towel dry her as much as possible before going back at it again.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.