Poodles are a sociable, energetic, and highly intelligent breed of dog. They are highly trainable and tend to do well in many dog sports such as agility, dock diving, flyball, and field tracking. One little known fact about poodles that many people do not know is that these dogs were once used for hunting.
There are three sizes of Poodle that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. These are the Toy Poodle, the Miniature Poodle, and the Standard Poodle. However, there are two other sizes of Poodle as well. These are the Teacup Poodle and the Klein Poodle. The Klein Poodle is in between the Standard and Miniature Poodle in terms of size. Teacup Poodles are the smallest and often weigh in at just about two pounds.
Their friendliness and love of games are just some of the reasons that this breed of dog is one of the most popular among Americans and are found all over the United States.
Poodle Food and Health
The average lifespan of a standard poodle is eleven or twelve years, which is a somewhat median lifespan in terms of canines. Miniature and toy poodles live on average fourteen to fifteen years.
Some of the most common health issues among poodles include gastric dilatation volvulus, Addison’s disease, tracheal collapse, thyroid issues, hip dysplasia, cancer, juvenile renal disease, epilepsy, and sebaceous adenitis. In addition, poodles are also susceptible to some minor health issues such as ear infections. Ear infections are common among this breed because they do not shed their coat and the hair can grow into the ear where it will trap dirt and wax. Proper ear care can help to minimize these issues.
Should you Purchase Health Insurance for your Poodle?
Poodles are susceptible to several genetic health issues and for this reason, purchasing a pet insurance policy is recommended. Since poodles are prone to certain types of diseases such as cancer and thyroid issues, having a pet health insurance policy can help to offset some of the costs associated with these health issues. These policies can be tailored to fit your budget and help to ensure that your dog is covered should they become ill. When looking for a health insurance policy for your poodle it is important to make sure that some of the common ailments of poodles are covered. This includes joint issues that occur as they age, thyroid issues that may cause them to become overweight, certain types of cancer, gastric issues, and Addison’s disease. Poodles also tend to get ear infections quite frequently so it is important to make sure that these are covered by the pet insurance policy as well.
Food and the Health of your Poodle
Poodles are known to be somewhat particular when it comes to their food. For this reason, you may have to try a couple of different types of food before you land on the one that they enjoy and will eat. Since poodles are prone to certain health issues such as bloating and hip dysplasia, it is important to make sure that your dog maintains a healthy weight. This means that you should feed them two or three times each day. Leaving food out for them at all times can lead to weight issues.
A diet that is rich in protein is recommended for poodles. Make sure that the proteins that are offered are from healthy sources such as chicken or beef. Feeding your poodle eggs regularly can help to keep their fur soft and shiny. Eggs can be fed to poodles as young as a few months old.
Choosing the Right Dog Bowl
Poodles are extremely intelligent dogs and for this reason investing in a quality puzzle bowl is recommended. These types of bowls will help to stimulate their minds as well as reward them when they learn how to properly use them. Puppies should be provided with a regular food bowl at first. The puzzle bowls should be easy to manipulate when the dog is younger and can increase in complexity as your dog gets older and more used to using this type of food dish. You should always use your dog as a guide when it comes to the food dish that you purchase. Your poodle will likely become quite proficient at solving the puzzle dish and then become a bit bored with it. Choosing a dish that increases in difficulty is a good idea for this very intelligent breed of dog.
Leashes and Collars for your Poodle
While it would be great to let your dog run free throughout the neighborhood with you by their side, this is simply not a safe option, and in many locations is not legal. This is why it is important to consider a good quality dog leash and collar for your dog. When choosing a dog collar and leash for your poodle there are several things that you should consider.
Most poodle owners prefer to use a dog harness over a collar for their dogs. The reason for this is because often times poodles are quite excitable and move very quickly. A harness will not put any pressure on the neck of the dog while you are walking. Since a poodle has thinner fur, make sure that you choose a harness that is made of a softer material so that you do not hurt their skin.
A retractable leash is often the best choice for a poodle as it will allow you to determine how far your dog is allowed to go away from you. Since poodles are somewhat excitable and quick, allowing a longer line of leash is often the best choice. However, there are some situations where it is not safe for your poodle to be far away from you and in these cases, it is best to provide a shorter amount of leash. The area in which you live will greatly determine how much room you allow your dog to roam. Walking a poodle on a busy street will require a shorter amount of leash that provides more control.
Most of the time poodles are fairly well behaved dogs and do not require a shock collar or other type of behavior-modifying collar or leash.
Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for Poodles
When it comes to owning a dog, one thing that you need to consider is where they are going to sleep. Poodles are an interesting breed as they are very protective of their families. This breed of dog will typically not do well in a dog house or being left outside for long periods of time. Poodles are an inside dog and like to be with their families as much as possible. Dog crates are typically not necessary for poodles as they are often well behaved as long as they are receiving enough attention and are getting enough physical and mental stimulation each day.
It is important to provide your poodle with a comfortable place to sleep. If you live in a warmer climate such as in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, or other southern states, it is important to make sure that your dog is allowed in the air conditioning as they can overheat quite quickly. Providing them a cool area to sleep in your home is the best option. For those who live in colder climates such as in Michigan or Wisconsin, providing a warm place for your poodle to sleep is necessary.
When it comes to entertaining your poodle it is important to provide a wide variety of dog toys. As mentioned, poodles are highly intelligent dogs. While being intelligent means that they are easy to train, it also means that they become easily bored. When bored, poodles can become mischievous and create all sorts of messes and issues. Choosing the right toys for your poodle can help alleviate their boredom and keep them entertained.
If your poodle is a puppy chew toys are extremely important as they will help her teeth properly. Poodles typically begin teething at about three or four months and this process lasts until they are seven or eight months. Provide a variety of teething toys for your pup as they are going through the teething process. The dog chew toys should be a good size so that your dog can get their mouth all the way around it. Rubber toys that are small and hard are great for massaging a pup’s gums.
Even after your poodle has exited the teething stage, keeping some chew toys on hand is still important. One of the most popular chew toys for poodles is the Ragdoll (™) as these toys are basically indestructible. Kong toys are great for those pups that are aggressive chewers. These are also great because they provide your dog with a treat. Providing your poodle with a variety of chew toys to play with will help keep him from chewing up your favorite pair of shoes or other household items.
Poodles are smart dogs, which means that they also need toys that will engage their minds. Toys that make noise are good because it will make your poodle feel less alone. Toys that react when chewed on will make your dog feel like they are being interacted with. Toys that move around a lot will keep your dog entertained as it provides a sense of training. Dodger (™) toys roll and are soft so they can easily be tossed around the house. There are also some great stuffed toys that make different noises, providing your dog with a virtual friend.
Grooming Insights for Poodle owners
One of the great things about poodles is that they shed very little. While this can be nice for those who want to own a dog and not worry about having dog hair all over every surface of their home, no shedding also means that grooming your poodle is necessary on a regular basis. It is important to make sure that you are regularly bathing your poodle and keeping his fur as clean as possible. In addition, taking him in for a regular haircut is necessary as well.
Brushing your poodle’s hair regularly is important to avoid matting. If you do not brush the fur regularly it can become knotted and dirty. Choose a soft dog grooming brush that was made specifically for poodle hair in order to get the best results.
The area that you live in will play an important role in grooming your poodle. If you live in a warmer climate it is important to make sure that you are keeping your dog’s hair cut short throughout those warmer months. During the winter months, you may want to let the hair get longer as it can help to keep them warm.
As mentioned above, poodles often get ear infections. This is because they do not shed and hair can grow and become trapped in the ear. Proper ear care is very important for poodles to help them avoid infected ears. If you suspect your dog has an ear infection it is important to make sure that you take them to the vet right away.
It is also important to make sure that you are keeping their teeth as clean as possible. You can brush their teeth using a special dog toothpaste or purchase treats that are designed to help keep their teeth clean. When they are puppies it is a good idea to use chew toys for keeping the teeth clean and to help keep your home items from being chewed on. As your dog gets older, brushing their teeth regularly is important so that their teeth remain healthy.
Do not forget to use flea and tick control on your dog as well. As both fleas and ticks carry diseases that can be quite harmful for your dog, keeping these pests out of your dog’s fur is extremely important. There are numerous collars, ointments, and other treatments for both fleas and ticks that can be safely used on your pup.
There are many accessories designed to help keep your poodle safe and warm. If you live in a hot climate, such as the south, providing your dog with some boots to protect their feet from the hot pavement is a good idea. For those who live in colder climates, providing a warm fleece or dog jacket will help to ensure that they are warm enough when you are out on your walks.