Poodle Hair Care Tips

Poodle Hair Care Tips

Poodles have soft, dense coats, with no undercoats. As they reach maturity, their fur becomes curly. When poodles shed, the loose hair tends to become entangled in their coats, causing mats and causing some to mistakenly believe poodles don’t shed. Daily maintenance keeps your pet well-groomed and mat-free.

toy poodle hair care
toy poodle hair care

Daily Brushing

Brush your poodle every day to remove loose hair, dirt and mats. Use a soft slicker brush, gently brushing against the direction of hair growth. Rub a little cornstarch into any mats before separating them with your fingers, starting from the ends and working your way toward the skin. Your poodle’s ears, his belly, and the crotches of his front legs are sensitive areas, prone to tangling. A gentle touch is required here to avoid hurting him. A medium-tooth comb will find any remaining tangles.

Hair care & Hygiene care for Poodles
Hair care & Hygiene care for Poodles

Fluff-Drying

Fluff-drying is the process of brushing your pet’s coat while blow-drying it. The air flow is pointed directly on the area being brushed. Allowing your poodle’s hair to air-dry will result in tight little curls that tangle easily. Fluff-drying leaves him soft, fluffy and mat-free. Starting at his head, brush against the hair growth with your slicker brush while directing the blow-dryer, also against the hair growth, directly on the area being brushed. Start at his head and work your way down his body, completely drying one area before moving to the next. Use caution not to burn your pet with a too-hot dryer.

How to Take Care of Poodle Hair
How to Take Care of Poodle Hair

Rinsing

Rinse your poodle thoroughly. His long ears tend to hold suds like a sponge, and under the inner legs is a hard place to reach with the water. Feel for soapy areas with your hands. Shampoo accidentally left on your pet’s fur may cause skin irritation. Check your pet’s skin for fleas, ticks, tumors and skin irritations at this time. Apply canine cream rinse, purchased wherever pet shampoos are available, to help prevent future mats. Follow the manufacturer’s directions, massaging a small amount into the fur before giving him a final warm-water rinse. Check his ear canals for offensive odors when you remove the cotton balls. Towel him dry.

Bathing

A poodle requires professional grooming every six to eight weeks. Your pet may need a bath between grooming appointments. Brush your poodle completely before bathing him, removing any mats. Place a cotton ball in each ear to prevent water from entering his ear canals. A drop of castor oil in each eye protects them from shampoo irritation if any suds accidentally get near his eyes. Using a shower hose, wet your pup with warm water, then gently work dog shampoo into his coat, beginning at his head and working toward his tail.

Clipper and Scissor Training

You love the way your pet looks when he comes home from the grooming shop; you might like it enough to consider learning professional dog grooming. Many groomers chose their profession after learning to groom their own canine companions. Many reputable grooming schools are around. Serving an apprenticeship under a knowledgeable groomer may be another option. Avoid injuring your pet; seek professional training before using clippers or scissors on him.

Hair Loss with Female Poodles

  • For the female Poodle, the coat may thin and hair loss may occur when she is in heat and also when she is whelping a litter. For many female Poodles, the coat can be affected by hormonal changes, particularly a surge in estrogen that occurs when she is in a heat cycle and after giving birth and whelping her litter.
  • The female’s coat may thin out, sometimes so severely that skin is exposed in many areas. This can happen in random areas of the body. If this does happens, it can take up to 4 months for the Poodle’s hair to grow back to normal. Unfortunately, by that time the dog will be almost ready to enter another heat cycle.
  • Therefore, if you are not planning on breeding your Poodle and she suffers from hormonal hair loss, it is best to have her spayed.

Coat / Hair Problems with Poodles

There are several reasons why your Poodle may lose hair or have coat issues. Among them are:
  • Red Mange (when your Poodle has an allergic reaction to microscopic mites that live on all dogs, this causes patches of hair loss)
  • Allergies from commercial dog food additives, dog shampoo and everything in between – intense itching can cause a dog to scratch so severely that hair is lost and scabs form
  • Sebaceous Adenitis – This is an inherited medical issue that causes the coat to thin out or completely fall out, that can be stopped if all breeders test for SA before breeding dogs
  • Castration responsive Dermatosis – A hair loss in young male Poodles that begins in the groin area and can spread over the body.
  • Hypothyroidism – This causes the coat to become excessively thick and have an abnormal texture

Important General Care for the Poodle’s Coat

Shampoo – The first product to touch your Poodle’s coat is one of the most important. We have a detailed section regarding the best shampoo for Poodles.
Conditioners- The Poodle should have a coat conditioner applied to keep the hair soft, moist and tangle free. High quality brands will have anti-static compounds to keep hairs on the dog from becoming fly-a-ways and will contain mink oil which adds a gloss or luster to deepen and enrich the natural coat color.

It is best to choose a brand that also contain PABA ultraviolet sunscreen to protect the Poodle from excessive ultraviolet radiation when your dog is outside. These conditioners contain protein to help rebuild and restructure the coat by bonding to the shaft of each individual hair. They help to add body to thin coats and improve its appearance and manageability.

Finishing Sprays/ Coat Dressings – These products contain a number of ingredients to make the Poodle’s coat shine, plus anti-static compounds to control fly-a-ways and non-oil conditioners. They also help to repel dirt that would otherwise stick to the coat and many do contain the needed ultraviolet sunscreen. With grooming, finishing spray is used during brushing and combing when no oil is desired on the Poodle’s coat.

When Hair Does Not Grow Back

  • When a Poodle has health issues which causes the hair to fall out or to thin; there is always a chance that the coat will not grow back as expected. This is called post loss alopecia.
  • Studies are currently being done to understand this further. However, as of now, it is thought that there are certain changes that take place in the dog’s skin because of the temperature changes that occur when the fur is gone or very thin. When this happens, it can take up to 24 months for the Poodle’s coat to grow back. There have been some promising results in using Melatonin to help stimulate the hair follicles.

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