General Poodle Care
Your poodle is going to be your companion for a long time, and it’s important to know how to care for it properly. Poodles are generally health, long-lived dogs, but they do need basic care. Some poodle care needs are as follows.
Poodles are “people dogs.” They love to be around their people and involved in family life. Your poodle will look to you for a lot of love and attention, and it’s important that you spend some time with your poodle every day.
Some people hesitate to train their poodles because they feel it is somehow “insulting” to the dog. Nothing could be further from the truth. Poodles are intelligent, proud animals, and they love learning new tricks to show off. Poodles, like any other dog, are also pack animals. They look to you to be the “alpha dog”–the leader who sets the standards and limits. At the very least, good poodle care demands that you train your poodle to heel, come when called, sit, and stay.
Good nutrition is especially important to poodle care, because eating a balanced diet with plenty of nutrients will help your poodle maintain its beautiful, thick coat. There are many high quality dog foods that provide a balanced diet for your dog. Talk with your poodle’s breeder and with your veterinarian for advice on finding the right food for your dog.
Poodles aren’t the kind of dogs who will wait at the door with leash in mouth. They prefer a life of luxury. But it’s still important to exercise your poodle at least once a day. Going for regular walks will keep your poodle healthy and trim.
Poodle care means protecting your dog from harm. Always use a leash when you take your dog outside a fenced area. Even if your poodle has never run away from you before, it only takes once for a dog to get hit by a car, or lost, or stolen.
Keep your home as free as possible of poodle hazards. For instance, use a childproof gate to block off any stairways, make sure your poodle can’t get at any harsh chemicals (detergent, soaps, etc.), and look out for small items such as toys your poodle could choke on.
Watch your poodle carefully around small children who might play roughly or unintentionally hurt it.
Don’t leave your poodle in a parked car. Even with the windows down, the sun can warm the inside of the car to uncomfortable–or even lethal–temperatures, even on cool days. Your poodle, with its thick fur, is especially vulnerable to the heat.
Preventive Health Care
This includes vaccinations, worming, spaying or neutering your poodle, and annual check-ups with a vet you trust.
Poodles, like any other type of purebred dog, are vulnerable to certain health problems. The next section covers common health concerns facing the poodle.