Poodle Hair Problems

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About Poodle Hair

Poodle hair is unique, whereas most of the 300+ recognized dog breeds have an undercoat and top coat – the Poodle has only one coat only.

And unlike fur, the Poodle has genuine hair, meaning that it never stops growing.

For that reason, Poodles require frequent grooming to avoid some common and not so common problems.

With the average upkeep recommended to Poodle owners being daily brushing, bi-weekly bathing, and clipping every six weeks.

Of course, nail clipping, ear cleaning, and brushing of teeth should also be part of your pooches routine, but as this article is specifically about Poodle Hair Problems, we’ll leave it up to you to research the timeline for those!

Matted Hair

The number one hair problem in Poodles, is matted hair, especially in puppies.

As puppies, the Poodles hair is so delicate and fluffy that it’s incredibly easy for them to develop the beginning of mats even after just one session at the dog park!

When your Poodle is around nine months old, his hair will begin to change from puppy hair to adult hair, the entire process takes approximately three months, and during this time you’ll need to take extra care to avoid matting.

Using a spray-in conditioner or finishing spray can help to remove knots and save your pup from the discomfort of having large knots removed.

If you’re the new owner of a Poodle and you’re embarrassed to take your pooch to the groomer with mats, don’t be.

They’ll be more than happy to help you deal with them, and give you the pro tips to avoid getting them again in the future; they understand that this is a common problem and wouldn’t dream of judging you for it – especially when you’re being responsible and seeking help!

Alopecia X

This condition sometimes referred to as, adult-onset growth hormone deficiency; is not painful for your pooch, and is likely more distressing for you than your pooch.

A genetic condition that is most commonly found in small breeds such as the Miniature and Toy

Poodle, the hair loss will be gradual and usually starts at the tail end of the body.

There should be no skin irritation, swelling, or discomfort other than perhaps being a tad colder than usual.

If you notice other symptoms, it could be that your dog has something entirely different, and it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
And if he’s getting chilly, don’t worry, an easy solution is to buy him a cute little jumper!

Allergic Reaction

Environmental and nutritional allergies can both cause skin irritation, and the first sign of this is usually a dog that is scratching or biting at himself more than usual.

Visiting your vet for allergy testing is a good way to determine which allergens are affecting your pup, but in the meantime – you can try to help relieve his discomfort by using all natural cleaning products around the house.

Washing his bed with an allergy safe detergent, and checking whether his food contains any common allergens.

Some of the most common allergens for Poodles are:

  • Pollen
  • Cleaning Products
  • Mold
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Corn
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Fish

Fleas, Mites, and Ticks

These cheeky little scamps affect some dogs more than others, and while there aren’t major problems unless your dog has a severe infestation and they cause acute blood loss, some dogs bite and scratch at affected areas so fervently that they draw blood and leave themselves open to infection.

Ringworm

This condition can appear to be Alopecia at first glance, but it is in fact caused by a fungal infection that commonly presents ring-shaped hair loss, but not always.

The name is quite misleading as this condition is not caused by a worm but by one of three possible fungi, including Microsporum Canis, Trichophyton Mentagrophytes, and Microsporum Gypseum.

Ringworm is contagious and can affect be passed to other pets and children.

Therefore immediate treatment and sterilization of dog beds, food bowls, and anything else that your dog may have come in contact with is vital.

Treatment is a combination of both topical and oral medications, and if correct measures are taken – your dog will cease to be contagious after a few weeks of treatment.

Bacterial Infection

Your dog’s skin has to be healthy for him to have healthy hair, so a bacterial skin infection can sometimes be the underlying reason for hair loss.

In breeds with thick and curly coats such as the Poodle or Portuguese Water Dog, it can be harder to spot irritation of the skin early.

A skin infection often starts from some kind of irritant causing your dog to scratch excessively at an area; this can be from anything from a food allergy to a flea infestation.

If your dog bites at or scratches himself so severely that blood is drawn, it is possible for him to pick up a bacterial infection which will cause an even greater area of the skin to become itchy and painful.

Overcurling

After a bath, leaving your Poodles hair to dry naturally may seem like the obvious choice for healthy luscious locks, but in fact, that’s not the case!

Towel drying your Poodle by patting him dry will help to avoid the problems of over-curling when left to air dry.

I know what you’re thinking, over-curling? Can a Poodle ever be too curly?
Well, yes.

When your Poodle’s hair is overly curled his hair develops knots, and mats incredibly easy – so much so that you may even need to cut sections to remove tangles.

Split Ends

Brushing your Poodle’s hair is important to keep it tangle free, but over brushing can lead to split ends, and brittle hair.

So the answer is frequent grooming that is short in duration.

And never brush a Poodle’s wet hair until it dries, you’ll end up with some horrible split ends, and an afro monster.

If you feel as though your dog’s hair is becoming so knotted that you’re forced to put in some marathon grooming sessions, consider picking up a spray in conditioner or detangler that can minimize grooming time.

Not to mention, it’ll save you a bunch of time, and your dog a bunch of discomfort.

Hypothyroidism

A common medical condition in Standard Poodles, Hypothyroidism is characterized by the underproduction of hormones required for a healthy body, this horrid condition can not only cause your Poodle to gain weight rapidly, but also make him constantly cold and lethargic.

If your Poodles coat has become thick, rough, or developed a strange texture, this could be a sign that he is suffering from this condition and you should take him to your vet as soon as you’re able.

With correct exercise, diet, and medication – this condition can be well managed, and you can still give your dog a great quality of life!

Final Thoughts

The Poodle is famed for his luscious locks, and while it does require thought and consideration to keep his coat looking and feeling great – it’s not very time intensive.

If you’re looking for a smart, friendly, and somewhat goofy pooch to share your home with, don’t be put off by the coat maintenance, once you’re in the habit it’s a breeze!

Not to mention it’s a great way to bond with your four-legged friend!

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