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Grooming: Drying Your Pet

My dog Moose is in need of a bath. He’s the kind of dog who needs a bath every few months to keep dander down and coat grease-free.

He’s generally good in the bath; I’m not worried about the bath itself. What I’m worried about is the aftermath: drying off. While the temperatures outside are above freezing at the moment, it’s still cold enough that I don’t want to take him out to potty when he’s wet. And it tends to take him a few hours to air-dry.

The way I see it, I’ve got two options:

  • Bathe him at night, after the last walk of the day. That way, he’ll have overnight to dry.
  • Figure out the best way to dry him off so I don’t have to try to bathe him at ten o’clock at night!

By nine or ten PM, I am in no mood to bathe a hundred pounds of Moose. So dog drying wins.

Towel-drying is the easiest method — and my normal method for drying the dogs after baths. But towel-drying doesn’t get the dogs completely dry. I don’t think I own enough towels to get them all the way dry after a bath! Toweling can get a lot of the excess water off, but I don’t feel like it goes far enough when the weather’s cold.

At the cats-only boarding facility, we use a blow dryer on the cats after their baths. The blower attaches to the front of the cage and shoots warm air towards the cat. Some cats don’t seem to mind it; others are not fond of it at all. I could use a blow dryer on Moose after his bath to help finish drying him. One potential problem: if he reacts to the blow dryer the way he reacts to the landscapers and their leaf blowers or the vacuum, he’s not going to like it.

If you want your dog’s coat to have a smooth look, groomers suggest using a slicker brush while you have the blow dryer going. Use light, rapid strokes to prevent curling. You can also try wrapping a blanket or towel around your pet and blowing warm air onto the blanket. This can help keep hair lying flat while it dries.