Poodles & Dry Skin

Grooming can be a work of art.
i Michael Brown/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The poodle: chic, refined, beautiful—and intelligent to boot. Whether you opt to get a poodle clip with the pompons or choose a more utilitarian style, you need to get this pup professionally groomed or learn to groom her yourself. But some poodles can develop dry skin despite your efforts.

Sebaceous Adenitis

Sebaceous adenitis causes dry, scaly skin in standard poodles. Affected dogs also lose patches of hair on top of their heads, on the backs of their necks and along their backs. Although it’s no fun to have a bald poodle, for you or for her, the condition typically won’t affect your poodle’s health. It’s mostly a cosmetic issue, according to the University of Prince Edward Island.

Sebaceous Adenitis Diagnosis and Treatment

Poodles usually show signs of having sebaceous adenitis between the ages of 1 and 5 years. Veterinarians aren’t sure why some standard poodles get this condition, but many think it’s inherited. It occurs most frequently in apricot-colored poodles. Your vet can diagnose whether sebaceous adenitis is causing the dry skin by performing a skin biopsy. Treatment is long-term, and results are sporadic: the condition improves and worsens no matter the treatment. A mild case might only require use of anti-seborrheic shampoo and fatty acid supplements.

Scaling Skin

Standard poodles can also get exfoliative dermatoses, which is the term vets use for a variety of skin disorders that cause scaling skin. Any dog breed can have this problem, but standard poodles are one of the breeds more prone to it, according to petMD. It might appear that your dog has dandruff, a greasy coat, itchiness or hair loss. Your vet might prescribe a topical medication and a moisturizing ointment, particularly because bathing, which is necessary to remove the scales, tends to dry the skin even more.


Because poodles require regular grooming, they can become sensitive to products used on their coats. This usually happens to older dogs who’ve had products used on them for years. Dry skin from age is also caused by reduced activity from oil-producing glands. You might see bumps or lumps if this is the case, according to Virginia Parker Guidry in her book “Your Poodle’s Life.”

Natural Treatment

If you don’t want to give your poodle medications, you can try some natural remedies to see whether they work. Add omega oil to your dog’s food, and buy a dog food with salmon as the main ingredient. Find out which products your groomer uses. If the shampoo has artificial chemicals in it, try switching to a natural shampoo instead.

the nest