New Poodle Owner? Here’s Your Cheat Sheet

Behavior, General, Grooming, Health, Nutrition, Poodles, Toys, Training | 0 comments

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Are you thinking that a Poodle will make your life better? You’re right as they have a wonderful temperament and make wonderful family dogs. That said, life with a Standard Poodle, a Miniature Poodle, or a Toy Poodle requires a bit of effort. You’ll want to give your new buddy the best care you can afford, whether you’re starting with a puppy or adopting an older dog. Both options have lots of benefits, but also require certain things from you.

Poodles tend to be a bit shy at first, though their innate curiosity often helps them come around fairly quickly, and routines are important in any canine relationship. Just like welcoming any breed of dog into your home, there will be an adjustment period where they’ll have to get used to new sites, smells, and sounds, not to mention a new safe area such as a crate or mat, new feeding areas, and possibly new foods.

As you can guess, this can be an overwhelming time for any dog and it’s best to plan ahead. Getting everything you need before your new pet comes home will allow you to spend time bonding with it instead of running to the store for supplies. Here are a few things to help you and your pooch through the transition. One of the most important things to have is a supply of the same food your dog has been getting from their previous home. Sudden changes in brands or even a different variety in the same brand can cause serious tummy troubles for your new buddy. Try to keep them on the same food they’re used to as they settle in.Over time, you can then gradually switch them to your chosen brand if needed.

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All pets need a place of their own, be it a crate in their own room or a bed beside yours.

If you’ve got children or other pets in the house, it’s very important that your newest family member has a place that it can go when it’s feeling overwhelmed or scared or even if it just wants to curl up for a peaceful nap.

No matter how big your Poodle is, make sure that the crate or bed you choose fits your dog.


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You don’t want to adopt an adult Standard Poodle and try to fit it in a cat bed. To save on costs, buy the most appropriately sized crate you can for the size your dog will be when fully grown.

If you choose to have an indoor playpen for your pet, there are many models and sizes to choose from.

This would be a good opportunity to give your puppy some freedom when you’re home by leaving the pen open so they can come and go as they please, but are not confined to a crate while you’re out.

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Your new pup needs its own eating area and dishes, just like you do, especially if you have other pets already. Be sure it has suitable access to food and water dishes that are appropriately sized. Investing in stainless steel dog bowls is a good idea. They clean up much easier than plastic and are less likely to harbor germs that can cause illness. Small dogs don’t need huge dishes; likewise, large dogs don’t need tiny ones. Also, sharing dishes with other pets can lead to food aggression or even to someone being bitten if they feel their meal is in danger. Like most dog breeds, poodles are prone to a number of health issues, such as:

  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Sebaceous Adenitis (skin disease)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Dental Issues

Therefore, making sure that they get the very best quality dog food with the right nutrition is essential.

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The next things you’ll need will be a leash and harness. Poodles have a delicate trachea, especially the Toy and Mini types, and using a collar could result in pain or possibly permanent damage. Even Standard Poodle puppies should have a harness or head collar instead of a collar as their exuberant and excitable nature leads to much jumping and leaping. You’ll want to take your new pooch out for regular exercise and the right equipment will make it much more enjoyable for you both. To minimize the damage brought on by boredom, your puppy needs room to run and play. A fenced-in yard or dog park works perfectly if available; if not, regular walks are in order.


Size-appropriate toys are an important part of your new pups day as well. Of course, the larger the dog, the larger the toys should be, to minimize the chance of choking.

Rope toys, rubber toys, and bones are a good way to relieve boredom and allow your pet to work off some excess energy.

Try to keep safe toys available for them to play with or chew on when they’re alone.

Some toys require a watchful eye and puppies should not be left alone with raw hides or certain types of chewable toys.

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Small pieces that might break off could present choking hazards and those toys are best kept for when you’re home to monitor the situation. Be sure to replace worn toys before this becomes a problem. There are also toys available for aggressive chewers.


Luckily for you, the Poodle is not a breed that sheds, which is great news for people who suffer from pet-related allergies. However, they do require regular coat maintenance and either a groomer or an owner who is willing to learn the techniques needed. The cost of keeping up their regal appearance can be quite pricey as they require trimming about every four to six weeks. If you’re starting out with a puppy, you’ll need to teach it what grooming is all about. Begin with a regular routine that includes lots of praise. A few treats couldn’t hurt either. Make it an enjoyable event for your new little buddy and they’ll be much easier to care for in the coming years. If you’re getting an older dog, chances are they’re familiar with the process, but keep in mind that not all dogs have had the best experiences.

Final Thoughts

Patience is key with pets, always. The main goal in pet ownership is to build a relationship based on trust and caring that will last your pup’s whole life. They may be your little buddy, but you’re their entire world.

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