Grooming Your Poodle

Grooming Your Poodle

Good grooming is important for all dogs, but it is absolutely essential for poodles. Their virtually non-shedding, curly hair never stops growing. In order to keep the poodles coat from becoming a matted mess, you must comb and brush her several times a week and have her clipped every six to eight weeks. Even if you like the “natural” look of a poodle-no shaved areas-you must keep up with her coat.

How To Brush Your Poodle’s Teeth
Brushing your Poodle’s teeth on a daily basis will help prevent dental disease, Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is reversible. Periodontal disease is irreversible and can lead to damage of the heart, liver and kidneys.

Get in the habit of checking your poodle’s mouth and brushing her teeth every day. Choose a time that will be convenient and become a part of your poodle’s daily routine.

When brushing your poodle’s teeth, use a soft-bristled pet toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs. Human toothpaste is not made to be swallowed and can cause stomach upset. Toothpastes made for dogs come in different flavors and are more appealing to your dog. Canine toothpaste is enzymatic so it works when it touches the teeth -the brushing action isn’t as important as it is with humans.

This video explains why dental care is so important and gives a good demonstration of how to brush a dogs teeth.

When you first introduce your poodle to having her teeth brushed, start by offering a taste of the toothpaste on your finger. The next time, offer a taste and then run your finger along the gum line of the upper teeth. Repeat the process with the tooth brush.

If your poodle won’t let you brush all her teeth, concentrate on the outside of the back upper teeth. This is the most important area in preventing periodontal disease.

At some point, your poodle will need a professional cleaning performed by a veterinarian. A Toy Poodle can require a veterinary dental twice a year and a Standard Poodle once a year.

Clipping Your Poodle’s Nails
by SUE VICKERS on JANUARY 14, 2010
A professional groomer will trim your poodle’s nails during the grooming session, but because these visits occur every 6 weeks or so, you’ll need to clip your poodle’s nails at home. How often your Poodle needs her nails trimmed varies with the dog. It is best to keep the nails clipped so they do not touch the ground when your poodle is standing.

With my dogs, Cleo and Piper’s toenails grow fast and need their nails clipped weekly. Nyka needs her nails trimmed once every two weeks.

It is important to keep your poodle’s nails short. Over grown nails that touch the ground, put pressure on the base of the nail and can be painful. In an aging dog, long nails can distort the paw and intensify the pain of arthritis. Walking may become so difficult, the dog appears lame.

Long nails can also get caught on things and be torn off, which is extremely painful for the dog and often requires veterinary attention.

To clip your dogs nails at home you will need:

Nail Clippers – There are different types and sizes of nail clippers available. Guillotine style clippers and scissor style clippers are the two most popular models. Small or medium-size clippers work well for Toy and Miniature Poodles, large or heavy-duty are better suited for Standard Poodles.
Styptic Powder – It is a good idea to have styptic powder, in case you clip too close and the nail bleeds.
Nail File or Emery Board – To smooth down rough edges. An electric pet nail grinder is another option.
About The Nail Quick

In the center of each toenail is the blood and nerve supply for the nail, called the quick. With white nails you can see the pink color of the quick. For dark nails you can shine a flash light behind the nail to locate the quick. Trim the nail as close to quick as possible without cutting into it because it will bleed and cause pain for your poodle.

The best way to avoid cutting into the quick is to trim the nails often. As the outside of the nail grows, the quick grows along with it. When the nails are trimmed frequently, the quick tends to recede. The more often you trim the nails, the farther back the quick recedes.

How To Cut Your Poodle’s Nails

Hold the paw firmly in one hand. Place your thumb on top of the foot and fingers underneath to spread the toes.
With your other hand, clip the nails, one at a time. If you are unsure, snip off a little at a time. If you do cut into the quick and bleeding occurs, apply a dab of styptic powder to the nail with gentle pressure until the bleeding stops.
Remove any sharp edges with a few swipes of a nail file or emery board.
Another options for keeping your poodle’s nails short is to use an electric nail grinder, which uses a rotating sandpaper bit. The video below is a demonstration of the Dremel Pet Grinder.

Whatever method you use, nail trims need to be part of your weekly grooming routine to keep your poodle’s feet in good shape. Nail clipping may be one of your poodle’s least favorite aspects of grooming, but it’s necessary. When the nails are neglected, the quick grows too long and it is very difficult to shorten the nails without severing the quicks.