COAT CARE-This breed is HIGH MAINTENANCE!
It is very important that your poodle be professionally groomed
every 4-6 weeks. The longer the coat the more often grooming is needed. No one likes a dirty, matted, poodle.
It is uncomfortable for your dog and worse on the groomer. If your poodle is not groomed regularly, it can become
hard to work with. Have your poodle professionally groomed does not mean that you do not need to brush your poodle
daily! Because poodles DO NOT SHED, their undercoats will mat quickly. it is the daily brushing that
removed the dead undercoat thus effectively shedding the coat. Your poodle, if started young, will learn to love brushing
and grooming if a gentle hand is used. Poodles tend to show off when well groomed. We start grooming our
poodle puppies at 3-4 weeks, please try to keep it up.
EYE CARE- Almost all poodles have weepy eyes. There
are very few dry eyed poodles out there. this is not a result of poor breeding or indicative of a sick dog. it
is just a fact of life with the poodle breed in general.
The weepy eyes are due to the tear ducts being too small to accommodate
the tears the eye produces. There is a surgery that can correct this, but the cost is prohibitive. Most people
learn to live with it. Cleaning is required to prevent fur staining and to keep odor down. Cleaning also prevents
eye infections like pink eye - conjunctivitis. We recommend daily cleaning of the eyes with nonalcoholic free baby wipes,
a wet cloth, or pet eye wipes. there are lots of products out on the market that claim to reduce or eliminate the rust
colored stains around the eyes. I have yet to find one that works. Many poodle breeders and owners swear that
by feeding plain yogurt that these stains are lessened. Most of the time it is the shaving of the face that removes
the stains. That is until the eye starts to weep again. it seems to be an endless process.
EAR CARE- Ears need to be kept clean and free of hair. If
you detect foul odor from the ears this means TROUBLE!!!! The hair needs to be plucked. Make sure your groomer
cares for the ears properly. Be sure to keep water out of the ears when bathing your pet. If you poodle scratches
its ears a lot and cries then you may have a problem. Always check the ears for Ticks and Mites.
Ear mites are microscopic
pests that take up residence in your dogs ears. the ears become inflamed, sore, and itchy. You may see your dog
shaking his head a lot as well as the scratching. This problem is very easy to pass from one dog to another, but is
also easy to clear up with insecticide ear drops. If unsure whether your dog has ear mites, check with your vet or groomer.
Ear mites can also be detected by swabbing the ear canal with a Q-tip (do not worry you ca not hit the ear drum) and then
rubbing the swab on a piece of black paper. the mites will appear as tiny white moving dots. Do not panic!
You can obtain ear mite drops at most any store that carries dog supplies.
TEETH - Gum disease is a problem in poodles. All poodles are
susceptible to gingivitis just like people. The gums become ulcerated and inflamed. This causes the gums to recede,
bacterial infection, and doggy breath. To prevent this it is important to feed your dog proper hard (not soft) dog food,
give toys for chewing (to aid in removing tarter build-up), and regular tooth brushing. We have found that the battery
powered tooth brushes for humans with soft to medium bristles work great on dogs. DO NOT use human tooth paste - this
is not made to swallow. Use only dog tooth paste. You can find this at most store that carry pet supplies.
*REMEMBER* - The younger you start your puppy on a tooth brushing regime the easier it will be on both of you!
Most of my puppies have a habit of retaining their baby teeth. The adult teeth typically erupt at
5-6 months. If the baby teeth do not fall out by the time the adult teeth have fully come in, they need to be pulled,
whether by you or your vet. If not pulled they can become encrusted in plaque and rot. They can also cause bad
breath. Also if the baby teeth are not pulled in a timely manner then the new adult teeth can be pushed out of alignment
and cause bite problems in your puppy. Please make sure that you remember to have these retained teeth pulled for both
the sake of you and your new puppy.
ANAL HYGIENE - Excessive licking or dragging of the hindquarters
is a sign that your dog’s anal glands are blocked and need to be expressed. Please make sure that your groomer
anal glands every grooming. If not done the blockage can lead to infection. Larger dogs usually
can express their own anal glands and do not need to have this done. This does not hurt your dog. but be sure
to tell your groomer if your dog has had a problem with his anal glands in the past or if you have had your dogs anal glands
NAILS - Cutting the nails is very important. If the nails
are not cut, they can grow and curl around into the pads of the feet causing pain and sores. It is also painful for
your dog to walk like this. Long toe nails can be caught in fences or in carpet. Please remember to tell your
groomer if your dog has dew claws. These are thumb like nails higher up on the inside of the foot. Most poodle
breeders remove these.
TO BATHE OR NOT TO BATHE
It was once believed that dogs should
be bathed only when dirty, but that was back when shampoos for dogs were much harsher than they are today. If a gentle
shampoo is used, a dog can be bathed weekly without drying out its coat. Frequent bathing can improve coat condition
and ease the concern of parents whose kids enjoy sleeping with their dogs.
Brush your dog thoroughly before bathing to
remove dead hair and mats that will otherwise tangle when wet. Gather everything you need for the bath - shampoo, towels,
cotton balls to place in the ears so water will not run into them - then get your pup. A walk-in shower is ideal for
large breeds, but smaller dogs can be bathed in a large sink. Bending over the tub can be backbreaking, but sometimes
it is the only alternative. Some dogs are bathed outside during warm weather, but it is best if you have access
to warm water.
Place your pup in the tub (or wherever you are going to bathe him), and wet him to the skin with warm water.
(It is very important to rinse out every bit of soap.) To help in combing out. Afterward, some people apply a small
amount of conditioner, which is rinsed out as well.
Squeeze as much water as you can out of the coat, the absorb more
water with a towel. Brush your pup dry, using a blow dryer set on warm, gentle setting to speed the process. Hold
the dryer at least a foot away from your pup so you do not burn his skin. Keep him in a warm place until he is completely
Taken from NEW PUPPY EDITION of FAMILY DOG, AKC magazine pg 37