Poodles are fun-loving, active, and social dogs that tend to do their fair share of adventuring whenever they have the opportunity. Poodles are considered hypoallergenic (though there are no truly hypoallergenic dogs1), which helps make them one of the most popular dog breeds1 in the United States.
But a downside of owning a Poodle is the dog’s grooming needs. Hiring a professional groomer to do all the grooming is an easy way to get the job done. However, professional grooming can be expensive and requires that you take the time to go to grooming appointments as necessary. Fortunately, you can groom your Poodle yourself at home with a bit of help and guidance. Here are six simple steps that you can take to ensure that your Poodle is always groomed and looking good.
A List of Supplies That You Will Need
There are a few supplies that you should keep on hand to make grooming your Poodle not only possible but also convenient.
Top tip: After gathering your supplies, place them in a plastic storage container where they will stay dry and safe from damage. This way, all you’ll need to do is pull out the container whenever you are ready to groom your dog.
The 6 Simple Steps to Groom Your Poodle
1. Thorough Brushing
The first thing that you should do is thoroughly brush your Poodle to ensure that there are no tangles or knots present. Start at the top of the head, and work your way down to the feet, slowly and with care. Your dog’s hair should be soft and free of debris when you are finished. If you can’t untangle a certain area, take note of it so you can come back to the tangles later.
2. Initial Rough Cut
After brushing is complete, use your trimming shears to carefully shorten any extra long hair from your Poodle. This will ease the process of trimming the hair with clippers, as the clippers won’t have to cut through long strands. This rough cut doesn’t need to be even, as the clippers will take care of that part. Be very careful not to cut or damage any skin during this process. If you are uncertain or uncomfortable, skip this step.
3. Body Trim
Now it’s time to pull out those hair clippers for a full body trim. Make sure to use a clipper guard to ensure that you don’t end up making your Poodle hairless or causing skin damage or pain of any kind. Clipper guards come in different lengths, so choose one based on the length of hair that you want your dog to have. Start at either the head or the feet, and work your way down or up until every inch of the body has been trimmed.
You can create different hairstyles at this point if you want to. There are plenty of videos online that feature popular Poodle hairstyles and tips and tricks for creating the styles yourself. If you’re unsure of how to create the style that you want, consider working with a professional groomer at least once to learn the proper steps and techniques.
4. Nail Care
Anytime you give your Poodle a haircut or bathe them is ideal to trim your Poodle’s nails. A nail trimmer is easy to use. Trim one nail at a time while holding your dog’s paw firmly in your hand to maintain control. Just be careful not to cut the nails so short that their blood supply (the quick) is cut into.
5. Teeth Care
It is a good idea to brush your Poodle’s teeth with a regular toothbrush or finger brush during the grooming process. Human toothpaste is toxic for pets, so use one made just for pets instead. These special pastes come in dog-friendly flavors like chicken and liver. If your dog does not like having their teeth brushed, try giving them a dental chew after you’ve completed the rest of the grooming process.
6. Bath Finale
When all the grooming has been done, it’s time for the finale: a nice, warm bath. Bathing your Poodle will help get rid of any hair that was left behind in the coat due to trimming. It will also help make the coat look clean, soft, and shiny for a professional look that you and your dog can be proud of. Be sure to use a shampoo made for dogs, specifically Poodles if you can find one.
Grooming your Poodle is an important part of being a good pet parent. These steps walk you through the general process, but find what works best for you and your Poodle, and adapt it to fit your needs. You don’t have to rely on professionals to get the job done if you’re willing to learn how to do it yourself. Do remember that skin can easily get caught up in tangles or cut by scissors or trimmers, so if you’re uncertain, contact your groomer for help.
Hopefully, these grooming tips will help make the process easier and more enjoyable for both you and your pet. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t feel disheartened if things don’t go the way that you want the first time or two.
Featured Image Credit: GuruXOX, Shutterstock