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Caring for a poodle puppy can feel like a lot of work, but for most poodle parents its effort well invested. Poodle puppy hygiene might be hard, but it is very emotionally rewarding. Poodles are loving, obedient, and loyal dogs and building a strong bond with them begins in puppyhood. You can enhance your relationship with your poodle through training, play, and hygiene.
These activities help to build trust and strengthen the attachment your dog has to you. Hygiene issues are also important for keeping your poodle puppy healthy and happy.
Table of Contents
- Importance of Grooming
- Coat Care for Poodles
- General Hygiene
- Grooming Tools
- Final Thoughts
Importance of Grooming
Poodles are considered hypoallergenic, which means they tend to shed very little and not produce as much dander like other dogs. Many poodle owners find their dogs smell better and are easier to care for, too. They also tend to trigger allergies even in people who are typically allergic to most dogs.
Despite how beneficial it is to have a poodle that doesn’t shed or trigger allergies, their coats still require a great deal of care. Poodle coats are notorious for being one of the most high-maintenance in the dog world. If you own a poodle you are going to spend a good deal of time dealing with the hygiene of his or her coat and this care begins in early puppyhood. Failing to care for your pup’s coat can result in discomfort from matting and even serious skin infections that cause pain and cost a great deal to resolve.
Coat Care for Poodles
Poodle hair is different than some other breeds because it is actually hair and not fur. This means it’s softer, though adult poodles do develop coarser hair. Poodle puppies have wavy hair and as they age it gets curlier. This tends to occur somewhere between nine months and one and a half years of age, though some poodles keep their puppy coats until they are three years old.
Poodles shed – less than most dogs – but it’s still something you need to tend to. Their curly coat traps the shedding hair, which is why it sometimes seems as if they don’t’ shed at all, so you’ll need to comb your pup’s coat and remove it before it develops into mats or tangles.
Unless a poodle’s coat is clipped very closely, you’ll need to brush your dog on a daily basis. However, as a pup, it’s important to do daily brushings or more. This allows your young dog the chance to get used to grooming and ensures you’ll be able to groom stress-free once he or she is an adult, regardless of how short you choose to clip the coat.
Most poodles need a complete grooming every three to six weeks. This can be done professionally or at home, as long as you have the tools, time, and patience to take care of it. If you’ve never groomed a poodle before, but you’d like to do it yourself at home, it might be a good idea to schedule professional grooming and watch the event to learn what is needed and how best to accomplish the task.
General Poodle Puppy Hygiene
In addition to grooming your poodle’s coat, there are several other tasks that should be part of your pup’s hygiene routine. Poodle teeth should be brushed at least three times per week, even if your dog uses dental chews. This helps to reduce dental health issues and keeps your dog’s breath smelling fresh.
Poodles also need their nails trimmed about one or two times per month. You’ll know when it’s time for a little trim, because you’ll hear your pup’s nails tapping the floor when he or she walks.
Baths are usually needed about one time per week, though much of this depends on what your poodle is exposed to, especially outside, as well as the time of year. Poodles tend to get dirtier during warmer months when they are playing outside, but their skin tends to be dryer and need moisturizing during the colder, drier months.
There are several tools you’ll want to have on-hand for grooming your poodle puppy, including:
A brush with fine wire bristles used for the areas of short hair. Choose one that is made from quality materials and the correct size for your pup.
A brush with a cushioned pad that can be used on any area on your poodle’s coat that has medium to long hair.
With fine teeth on 1 side and medium teeth on the other: brush that’s used for toy and miniature poodles on their faces and to check for tangles.
A comb with serrated blades that not only find knots but can be effective at removing some of them (if found when they are small). This tool should not be used on the face.
A tool for cutting your poodle’s hair safely and efficiently. Most come with the ability to clip your poodle’s coat to various lengths.
These scissors feature blunt, rounded ends and can be used for poodles of all ages to safely tidy up the coat and clip around the eyes. They are also great for trimming excess hairs from underneath the paw pads.
Or grinders; used for clipping and grinding nails to a safe length.
Used for wiping away “gunk” from eyes and keeping faces clean after eating.
Prevents problems with dry, cracked paws, which can be painful and lead to infections. Applying paw wax for poodles is a lot like humans applying lotions or creams to prevent dry, cracked skin.
used to combat dry skin, a common health issue for poodles. Nose balm also offers protection against UV rays.
Some poodle owners also choose to invest in a grooming table. While it isn’t necessary, it does tend to make grooming easier.
Hygiene is an important part of puppy care for your poodle. The earlier you get into the habit the easier it will be for both you and your dog.
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