Poodles have a rather unusual coat. It has the appearance of puppy hair and is quite curly. To keep your precious poodle's coat shiny and healthy, brush it daily, clip it monthly, choose a high-quality dog food and use a shampoo especially designed for poodles.
Brush your pup's fur daily. Eighty percent of a poodle’s hair is the undercoat or secondary hair, so it mats easily. A round-headed pin brush has wire bristles -- a good choice for brushing the curly hair. The slicker brush has wire bristles that works well on troublesome mats. Brush your poodle's coat down to the skin. Use the greyhound comb for those stubborn little mats. Brushing daily not only removes tangles, it releases your pup's natural oils.
Clip your poodle monthly. Poodles don't shed but their hair grows fast. Because of the undercoat and curliness, it mats easily causing your poodle's coat to look dull. Matting also pulls on the poodle's skin just like a tight ponytail pulls on a child’s skull.
Feed your poodle a nutrient-dense kibble, which does not have fillers such as corn. The first ingredients are lean meat, not meat byproducts such as beaks, organs or bone. Look for protein that contains sulfur-containing amino acids, also found in the poodle's coat and important to maintain a healthy coat. Nutrient-dense foods are rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce skin inflammation.
Bath your poodle with a color-enhancing shampoo. A black poodle's coat can dull and even look gray in areas. A color-enhancing shampoo has green pigments that will bring back a uniformed black color. Golden poodles may need a red or green pigment. White poodles' coats are brightened with color-enhancing blue shampoo. These shampoos don't change the pup's color, they brighten the natural color.
- Try clipping your poodle yourself. Books are available with systematic instructions. Grooming your poodle is a good way to bond with your best buddy.
- Don't wait until your poodle is an adult before brushing him regularly. Start brushing him when he is a pup so he becomes used to it.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.