Is there any breed more fashion-forward than a Poodle? Their curly, wavy hair is truly every hairdresser’s dream; shedding far less than most other breeds in general, a poodle’s coat can range from the most elegant champagne color to a deep chocolate. Their wonderful tresses do need regular upkeep, however, and keeping a poodle’s coif in tip-top shape definitely requires some patience and know-how! For the aspiring curly-coat stylist, here are 5 fantastic tips for keeping your Poodle’s coat healthy and looking fabulous!
Although elaborate hairstyles like the Continental Clip are a show poodle’s trademark, the majority of companion dogs are simply going to be happy with a well-maintained mane. With coarser outer hair and a denser, softer undercoat, a poodle’s hair can become matted easily, which is why daily brushing or combing is important, along with regular trims. If you’re not bringing your particular pooch to a professional groomer, then you’ll need your own grooming gear – a slicker brush, a fine-toothed comb, good quality electric clippers, and blunt-nosed scissors (for trimming around the ears, eyes, paw pads and tail). In general, poodles need a trim every 4-6 weeks – a puppy cut or short ‘lamb’ style trim is usually the easiest to maintain. Slowly accustom young puppies to the sight, sound and fear of the clippers, using treats to help them make a positive association with grooming sessions.
In addition to the right trim techniques, how you bathe your poodle can make a difference! Be sure to brush out all mats before popping your pup in the tub, since washing matted hair can cause even bigger tangles. Use mildly warm water and a gentle, perfume-free shampoo to avoid irritating your dog’s skin, and finish with a replenishing conditioner to keep their skin moisturized and stop tangles as you dry them off. A quick blow-dry with warm air makes sure that no moisture stays close to the skin (a potential cause for hot spots) and has the added benefit of making your furry friend’s curly ‘do super soft, too.
It’s no secret that a dog’s health has a lot to do with the food they’re eating. Poodles are at higher risk for developing allergic skin conditions than many other breeds, so feeding a high-quality, nutritionally complete diet starts them off on the right paw. Look for skin-supporting ingredients like fish oils (which contain essential fatty acids), biotin, zinc, and vitamin E – these make your dog’s hair soft and shiny, and build a healthy skin barrier too, helping to decrease the effects of allergies.
Banish Pesky Parasites!
They may seem like a small inconvenience to you, but for your poodle, parasites like fleas and mange can wreak havoc on their skin and coat. The constant itching caused by reactions to flea bites can cause scabbing, redness, and even bald spots. Mange mites burrow into the skin and hair shafts, causing your pup to lose hair and skin to become thickened and irritated. Talk to your vet about the best ways to prevent these pests from becoming a problem for your poodle.
Nose to Tail Pet Check
Finally, the best way to keep your poodle’s coat looking wonderful is to just pay close attention to them – really! Areas of hair loss or reddish staining tell you that there might be a medical problem like allergies or arthritic pain, since our pups will often repeatedly lick areas that are sore or itchy. The presence of scabs, lumps, and bumps, or behavior like scratching and rubbing their ears are also concerns that you should discuss with your dog’s doctor.
With lots of love and attention (and a good stylist, of course), our poodles can keep up their reputation of being the style mavens of the dog world – and have fun at the same time too, of course!