Senior Poodle Care | Standard, Miniature and Toy

Senior Poodle Care | Standard, Miniature and Toy

Have you ever wondered what a senior poodle is? What does it really mean? How do I know when my poodle turns a senior? How Should Take Care Of my Senior Poodle?

A poodle enters their senior years after the seven year mark. The term senior refers to the aging of the poodle after they turn 7+. Taking care of a poodle is quite soothing and isn’t as complicated as it may seem.

Senior poodles are a fantastic pet to have in the house. They are intelligent, proud, and make an outstanding family member.

Easing Your Senior Poodle into the Golden Years
Easing Your Senior Poodle into the Golden Years

However, as time passes by, your poodle might not be able to do things they once did with ease and comfort. At such a time, they require care and attention from their owners.

But, before we get started, I would first like to congratulate you because you are doing an excellent job looking after your old poodle and are motivated enough to seek out more information.

If you are one of the kind souls who is planning to adopt an old poodle or planning to bring home an old rescued poodle, do let us know how it went for you in the comments below!

Regardless of your motivation for seeking out more information on senior poodles, this article provides all the information you will need to understand your aging poodle and best care for them.

When Do Poodles Become Seniors?

Recognizing the signs of an aging poodle has more to do than trying to find grey hair.

So, what does an “old poodle” really mean?

Signs of an aging dog differ from breed to breed. Aging signs of a Mastiff may be different from that of a poodle.

In poodles, toy and miniature poodles will age the fastest and start showing the signs seniority a bit later than a standard poodle.

Senior Poodle Guide: How Best To Care For Your Old Poodle
Senior Poodle Guide: How Best To Care For Your Old Poodle

This happens because of the difference in size and is the reason why miniature poodles have a longer lifespan than a standard poodle.

Poodle Size

Life Expectancy


Senior Poodle Age

Standard Poodle

11 – 13 Years

8 – 9 Years Onward


Medium or Moyen Poodle

12 – 15 Years

8 – 9 Years Onward

Miniature Poodle


14 – 16 Years

7 Years Onward

Toy Poodle

14 – 16 Years


7 Years Onward

There are certain things you can do to help your poodle age gracefully.

At the top of that list is diet.

Diet plays an important role when it comes to how your poodle is going to age with time.

Signs of an aging poodle:

  • Graying of the muzzle (Completely or partially)
  • Loss of vision
  • Loss of hearing
  • Weight gain
  • Arthritis
  • Noticeable decline in energy levels

 Vision and Hearing Changes

  • It is a normal process of aging that vision and hearing abilities will be decreased. Because of this, an older Poodle does best when routines are kept and changes are not made. One of the most important things that you can do is not to rearrange the furniture in your home and keep all toys and food and water bowls in the same place.
  • An older Poodle does well when commands are given both vocally and by hand signals. It helps to begin this well before your senior Poodle has any hearing loss. Approaching your dog from the side, as so not to startle him or her is also recommended.

Slowing Down

One of the most noticeable changes will be a dog that slows down, in just about all aspects.   The tricky thing is that nothing happens overnight. It is usually not until a Poodle is really struggling that owners will take notice. As a dog gets older he/she may slowly and steadily show signs of:
  • Having a more difficult time rising from a laying down position
  • Taking longer to climb steps
  • Being hesitant to climb down steps
  • Not running and playing as usual, or wanting to run and play but tiring out sooner than when they were a puppy or adolescent
The above slowing down signs can often be attributed to arthritis which can be treated with prescribed medication from your Poodle’s veterinarian. For toy Poodles and miniature Poodles, obtaining pet ramps and pet steps can help your Poodle reach the places that they are used to. For Poodles of any size, a high quality orthopedic pet bed can greatly help with sore joints and muscles.

Behavioral Changes

A senior Poodle may have a hard time accepting new situations and may have a harder time coping with what used to be normal situations. For example:
  • Separation anxiety – An older Poodle may be much more aware of your presence and begin to feel nervous when left home alone. This can show in many ways such as destructive behavior, increased barking or depression. Setting up a comfortable environment, leaving on a radio or TV and/or hiring a dog walker or dog sitter to check in with your Poodle can help. Many people wonder if getting a new puppy will help an older dog cope with loneliness. This depends greatly on your current Poodles ability to accept a new puppy and their tolerance for the playing and high activities levels that the puppy will have.
  • Sensitivity – An older dog may become afraid of loud noises, such as trucks backfiring, slamming doors or thunder storms. Do try to control the elements that you can.
  • Housebreaking Accidents – If this occurs, it is important to have your Poodle’s veterinarian complete a checkup, as anything from a bladder infection to stomach tumors can be the cause. If it is a simple sign of canine old age, the use of belly bands or diapers can be of great help. While your Poodle may need to become accustomed to either of these, it can help as a dog’s self confidence can be destroyed when they keep having accidents.
  • Sleep – While dogs do sleep more than we do, senior Poodles will usually sleep even more. It is best to accept this, never waking up your dog and allowing them to rest when needed. Be sure to offer a quiet, comfortable resting and sleeping area. As a dog enters the senior years they may either want a very quiet place to retreat to or they may want to be closer to the family. By trying out both, you will be able to know which change your Poodle appreciates.

Changes to the Coat

While it does not occur with all Poodles, dog of any breed can develop gray hairs, very much as we do as we grow older. While grooming is important at all stages of your dog’s life, do be sure to always use conditioner when bathing your older Poodle. Skin will be much more sensitive now and having exposed skin can cause skin to dry out quickly and can lead to sores. It is recommended to allow your Poodle to have a simple Puppy Clip, Utility Clip or Lamp Clip when in their senior years

Setting a Routine For Your Senior Poodle

Routine plays an essential role in everyone’s life, be it a human or a poodle.

A senior poodle will flourish if they can follow a specific routine, so I highly advise you set a routine for your old poodle where you feed them on time, exercise on set times and take them on walks.

Now, I understand that many of you may not have all day to sit around and make sure you do everything for your poodle on time.

In such a situation, try to create a routine around your daily schedule.

Setting a routine for a senior poodle helps in a lot of ways:

  • They wake up and go to sleep at around the same time
  • They know when it’s time to be fed
  • Eating at set meal times give your senior’s body sufficient time to digest the food efficiently
  • They know when it’s time to go out, so they won’t bug you to take them out if it’s not time

These are just some of the advantages you can expect if your senior poodle follows a routine.

Senior Poodle Nutrition

Let me explain why you need to pay attention to what you feed your senior with the help of a suitcase analogy.

Whether we like the process of packing things in a suitcase but the essence, there is no wrong way of packing a suitcase.

Sounds weird, you say? It’ll make sense, I promise.

While packing, everyone packs the same necessities (toothbrush, clothing, money, passport, etc.), each person packs something we like to call “extras” (your favorite t-shirt, striped skirt, book for the journey, etc.).

Still, no one is going to stop you from stuffing down things you want (for example, a bunch of chocolates and cookies) while altogether avoiding the necessities.

Similarly, there is no wrong way to feed your dog; think of their body as a suitcase.

Now, you can stuff their body with food items you want, or you could give them a planned and balanced meal so that they get all the essential nutrients they require for their well being.

Now, I understand that neither us humans nor our canine friends will necessarily like a planned diet.

But, what you need to understand is giving your senior a diet that ensures their wellbeing will put less stress on their digestive system, and hence they will have more energy to spend

Also. If any of you lovely people have a better analogy, please leave them in the comments below. (I really need a better analogy)

Grooming Needs For Your Old Poodle

All dogs, regardless of their age, breed, or gender, require regular grooming. Grooming a poodle keeps them feeling fresh and happy.

As your poodle ages, their ability to self groom declines, so it falls on you to help groom your poodle. These actions don’t take a lot of time but help your old buddy feel good.

The reason why your poodle’s ability to self groom declines is that they tend to lose their flexibility as they age.

Dogs can usually reach their rear or stomach with ease, but if your dog is old or overweight (or both), they might find it challenging.

Here are a few practical tips to properly groom your aging buddy:

Brush their coat regularly

  • Brushing your poodle’s coat doesn’t have to be tedious and lengthy.
  • Just make sure you set aside some time each week to brush your poodle’s coat from top to bottom.
  • Pay particular attention when you’re brushing the rear, hind legs, and tail underside.
  • Keep an eye out for any discharge; your senior pup might get some feces or urine stuck. Frequent washing of those specific areas will help eliminate any unwanted substance.
  • It is highly recommended that you use a good coconut oil shampoo that will not affect your dog’s natural oil balance.
  • I recommend BioSilk Shampoo & Conditioner With Organic Coconut Oil (Click To Check Price On Amazon).

Check your poodle’s ears

When you brush your poodle’s hair, make sure to check their ears and watch out for any signs that may indicate an ear infection.

These signs may include:

  • Pungent Odor
  • Blood
  • Red Skin

If you see any of these signs, you might want to consult your vet and follow what they recommend.

If everything seems okay, then you should proceed to clean your dog’s ears.

The process is simple, use apple cider vinegar (50%) and water (50%) on a cotton ball and gently wipe the inside of your dog’s ears.

You can also use alcohol on a cotton ball to achieve the same effect.

Clean their teeth regularly

  • Your dog’s teeth tell a lot about their overall health. Check their gums and teeth. If their teeth are covered in tartar, they may become swollen.
  • To clean your dog’s teeth, you need a toothbrush and toothpaste. I recommend Vet’s Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste.
  • Make sure you brush your dog’s teeth once every day.

Trim your poodle’s nails

  • As your dog ages, they start not to move around as much they did when they were young.
  • As a result, their nails won’t experience the same wear and tear.
  • If your poodle’s nails are extended, they start to put more weight on their shoulder while walking rather than putting that weight on their paws. This will affect their shoulder’s health.
  • To cut your dog’s nails, all you need is a dog nail clipper. There are a lot of different dog nail clippers.
  • For ease and comfort, I recommend Casfuy’s, Nail Grinder. However, if you like to clip your dog’s nails manually, I recommend Boshel Dog Nail Clipper.
  • Both of the recommended products were carefully chosen, keeping a senior poodle’s needs in mind.

Dealing with Senior Poodle Health Issues

Many healthy poodles do not have to face any issues in their old age; this is achieved primarily due to a proper healthy diet, ample exercise, training, and scheduled visits to the vet.

However, some senior poodles are not as fortunate and may suffer from health issues that you may not foresee or prevent.

Let’s discuss some of the common health issues in senior poodles:

  1. Potty Problems: Your old poodle may not control the bowel movements as efficiently as they once could. To avoid any accidents, increase the number of times you take your dog out to poo.
  2. Arthritis: This is one of the most common health issues senior poodles have to deal with. The symptoms of arthritis may include stiffness, slow movement after waking up from a nap, and limping. Please consult your vet and follow what they recommend.
  3. Hearing issues: Your senior dog may be suffering from hearing problems if you call them, and they don’t respond, or they stop responding to other noises that would otherwise alert them (opening the refrigerator door, crackling the wrapper of a snack, etc.).
  4. Poor eyesight: Fading eyesights in poodle develop as they age. It may be caused by a lot of eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. If you notice that your senior isn’t able to see as clear as they once did, get them checked from a vet.

Adopting a Senior Poodle

If you’re one of the kind souls who is thinking about adopting a senior poodle. Maybe, you are thinking of rehoming a senior poodle from a shelter.

Whatever the case may be, I highly respect your generosity and would love to hear your experience, so be sure to let me know down in the comments section.

There are thousands and thousand of poodles among many other breeds that are captured and kept in captivity in what is known as “puppy mills”.

They are kept in small cages their entire life just to produce cute looking babies which then go to pet shops and online online sites that sell puppies.

Resucing dogs from such cruel places is the kindest thing one can do.

For now, Let us take a look at all the things you should consider when adopting a senior dog.

Advantages of adopting a senior poodle over a poodle puppy:

  • Puppies need to be housetrained and socialized.
  • Puppies can’t be left alone for more than 2-3 hours.
  • A Senior Poodle does not require as much attention and care as a poodle puppy will
  • An old poodle will be better behaved and much calmer than a puppy.
  • Veterinary bills may be comparatively higher for a puppy as compared to a poodle.

Now that we have listed some of the advantages of adopting a senior poodle over a poodle puppy, let us also discuss some of the disadvantages of adopting a senior poodle:

  • One of the disadvantages that stand out is that a puppy will stay with you for many more years than a senior will.
  • A lot of senior poodles suffer from separation anxiety, so you can’t leave them alone.
  • Even though most of the seniors are kept for adoption because their owners moved to another place, many owners leave their dogs for adoption when they know that their dog is suffering from a health issue.

Introducing A Puppy To Uplift Your Senior’s Spirits

Introducing a puppy to your senior poodle can do wonders for your dog’s temperament and energy levels.

An ideal time to introduce a puppy is 7 to 10 years; by this time, your poodle is still energetic enough to have fun with a puppy and have a good time.

The timing depends on how well you have fed your dog.

If they have been fed well, you can wait around until 11-12 years, but if they start showing signs of aging around the 8-year mark, you should consider bringing in the puppy.

Research has shown that puppies that grow up in an older dog’s presence are much easier to train as they tend to mimic the older dog’s behavior.

The initial introduction is crucial, especially if your dog is more on the possessive side.

When I first brought home Candy (my Labrador Retriever) to Alex (My Black Poodle), the introduction didn’t go as planned, and Candy almost got hurt.

Some dogs are a bit more possessive about their owners and don’t want to share your love with anyone else.

To avoid your new puppy getting scared or even worse, hurt, make sure to introduce them on neutral territory (outside your home, etc.).

Let your senior poodle and your puppy sniff each other but be ready to pull them away if things go south.

When you go back to the house, let your senior poodle get in first and allow the puppy to follow their lead.

If your dog is possessive about their food, feed both your dogs separately to avoid any conflicts. You can get a crate for your puppy to avoid them bugging the senior while they sleep.

It is normal for your senior to growl at times to teach the puppy some manners, so there is no need to separate them.

Ever since we introduced the Labrador puppy to our poodle, she looks much younger than her chronicle age.

A majority of her day is taken up by playing with Candy, and she gets a lot more exercise done this way.

Seeing your senior dog active once again is a sight every owner wishes to witness, and it is possible by introducing a baby doggo at the right time in your senior’s life.

Final Thoughts

Being in a senior dog’s presence is truly a wonderful time that not a lot of people get to experience.

If you’re one of those fortunate ones, do let me know about your experiences in the comment section down below.

I hope I was able to provide all the information you’ll need to take proper care of your senior poodle.

That will do it for Senior Poodle Guide.

I’ll see you in the next one.

Have a great rest of the day!

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.