Giving your beautiful poodle a bath is a crucial step towards grooming her. Bathing her not only makes her look great but also prolongs her coat’s life and health. But even while bathing her, you need to take some precautions. Besides, bathing poodles involves guidelines or instructions that you must strictly follow.
And the instructions vary depending on the type of poodle that you own. Also, the bathing routine has to have intervals. Over bathing your dog might cause a dry coat which will itch and look dull. As such, you will have to bathe your dog after a specific period.
How Often Should You Wash Your Poodle?
Before even thinking of bathing your beautiful poodle dog breed, you need to understand that she has sebaceous glands in her skin that secrete essential oils. These oils help to keep the skin and coat smooth and shiny for a perfect look and health condition.
Since bathing your poodle washes off some of the essential oils from the skin and coat, it, therefore, means you should wash her after a specific time interval. Washing her more than necessary might cause serious dermatological alterations such as dry skin.
Also, using inappropriate products during bathing time might cause an allergic reaction to her coat and skin. As such, you should always take caution when it comes to bathing her. Professional vets and dog groomers highly recommend bathing your poodle after every 21 to 35 days.
This way, the skin will have enough time to regenerate and replenish the essential oils it lost during the bath. You wouldn’t want to over bathe your dog so she loses all of her essential skin and coat oil, would you?
However, the time interval between each bath strongly depends on the length of hair and type of clip your poodle has. For instance, you might groom and cut your poodle hair into a continental or English saddle clip style, in which case she will need to have 4 weeks between each bath.
And if you have groomed her into the pet clip style, she can have up to 8 weeks between each bath, though bathing her after every 6 weeks is a great idea. Generally, you might need to bathe your poodle more frequently if she’s an outdoor dog as compared to indoor ones. But to keep her all cleaned up without over washing the essential skin and coat oils, I highly recommend bathing her after every 21 days!
Gathering the Bathtime Goods
You already have some knowledge of how often you should give her a decent bath. Now, it’s time to clean her up through bathing her. And as the first order of cleaning business, you’re going to need some kind of bathing oasis.
After which, you’re going to need all the requisite products that will aid in giving her the essential bath. So, what are some of the ideal bathing oasis for your poodle? Well, the answer to this question depends on the kind of poodle you actually own. For a Toy poodle, a sink could be a nice oasis to bathe her in.
For a Miniature, you could use a laundry tub or your kitchen sink for the bath, but only if it’s large enough. Standard poodles will need a tub for bathing them but this might take a toll on your back. Besides, you will have an easier time cleaning your poodle if you don’t have to bend over any tub. If you have a special tub installed just for your dog, you will have a lot less stress on your back muscles during baths.
Once you have figured out where you will bathe her, you will need the bathing products. So, what are they? First, you will need poodle’s shampoo, hair conditioner, vinegar, cotton balls and more towels.
Also, you will need a rubber mat which you will place inside the tub you will be bathing your dog in. The mat will protect your beautiful poodle from slipping and hurting herself. Remember that baths should be a pleasant experience for the dog at all times.
This means you will also need some dog treats on standby so you reward her for good behavior during baths. Since you will definitely use the shampoo, rinsing it off will be part of the bathing experience.
As such, your sink or laundry tub should have a sprayer since it does an excellent job of rinsing off the shampoo. Hand-held showerheads on bathtubs also work as excellent as sprayers. In case your sink or tub doesn’t have a sprayer, you can consider buying dog-washing kits.
You can source them from any pet supply shop. They have a flexible hose and sprayer that make rinsing the shampoo off an effortless experience. Besides, you can easily attach one to your showerhead or water faucet with a lot of ease.
In case you don’t have a sprayer or dog-washing kit, you can use a large pan or non-breakable pitcher to pour water on your poodle in an attempt to rinse off the shampoo. But this method is inconvenient for poodles, especially Standard ones.
You might not get your Standard poodle properly wet to rinse off all the shampoo if you’re using any product other than a sprayer or dog-washing kit! If you’re using a bathtub to bathe the dog, you might want to kneel on something that protects your knees from the pain.
Rubber pads for gardening are my favorite but you can as well use a gardener’s knee pads, two towels or a pillow, but first, make sure water will not ruin it. also, you should wear clothing and shoes that can get wet without getting ruined.
Preparing Your Poodle for Her Rinse
Once you have gathered all bathing products, it’s now time to add the poodle into the mix. If she hates baths, calling her might not be an appropriate course of action. You might want to grab her and bribe her with treats.
This way, she will start to appreciate bathing as a favorable and pleasant experience. Also, you might want to close all the doors, especially the one leading to the room where you’re bathing her. Closing the doors will keep other pets out of the way and prevent your poodle from escaping to other rooms in case she gets out of the bathtub.
Also, she will not be able to wet a large floor area as she shakes and runs about in the room. Cleaning water off the floor of one room is an easier task than cleaning the floor of the entire house! I hope you see the importance of closing the doors before beginning to bathe her.
In case the doorway to the bathing room has no door, a baby gate will come in handy. It will block the doorway so your poodle doesn’t pass through to other rooms should she escape from the sink or tub.
Giving her a bath in the basement is ideal since you will not have to worry about any carpet or furniture getting wet. Besides, you can easily close other pets upstairs if you’re using the basement of the house.
In case the bathing room has no door and you don’t have a baby gate, you have yet another option- restrain your poodle with a lead and close other pets in a room with a door. Once you have made sure your poodle will not leave the bathtub, kitchen sink or the bathing room and you’ve locked other pets out of the room, you can give her the bath.
If your poodle has lengthy hair, you should brush your poodle with the right tools before putting her into a sink or bathtub with water. This will reduce mat formation on her hair after the bath and reduce the snarls she gets.
Before you can put your poodle into a sink or tub with water, you will have to make sure that the water is lukewarm. Hot water will burn your poodle’s feet and she might not let you bathe her next time. So, it’s very important to keep the water at a desirable temperature.
Just to make sure the temperature is lukewarm, use your inner wrist to test the water. One the temperature is right, you have all bathing products and have sealed the door leading to other rooms, you can follow the steps below while bathing her:
1. Put her in the bathtub or your kitchen sink and wet her entire body.
2. Apply shampoo and lather.
In this step, you will squeeze suds through the poodle’s coat but don’t scrub or rub because she might develop mats. You can clean her paws, tummy, tail, elbows and every body part. Don’t mix any spot while cleaning her up.
3. Rinse and repeat.
You want to get all the soap off her coat because dried soap might irritate her skin and cause her to scratch. Using the sprayer will be appropriate in this step. And just to be sure that all soaps are washed off, you can add half a cup of vinegar to the final rinse water.
Also, this is the best step in which to add the hair conditioner to her coat. But make sure you follow the usage directions labelled on the container.
How do You Dry a Poodle After a Bath?
After bathing your poodle, the next phase is drying her up so she can be a clean and happy dog. Drying her hair might not be a walk in the park because she will be hyperactive and restless. You can follow the steps below while drying her hair for a hassle-free experience:
1. Hold her in the bathtub or sink for a minute or two and see if she’ll shake.
Shaking helps the dog to get rid of some water so she can dry quickly. You can train your dog to shake on command just to ease up things. How do you do that? Simple; just give her a command to shake just when she’s about to then use the treat to reward her for shaking.
The dog will associate the command with a treat and she will shake at your command after baths. This will help to reduce the amount of water you will have to deal with before using other drying methods.
2. Wrap a towel the poodle’s body and lift her off the tub or sink.
The towel will soak up some water. It’s, therefore, a crucial thing to do while drying her up. Since you might not be able to lift your poodle off the bathtub especially if she’s Standard, you could support and guide her over the edge of the tub.
This assistance is important because your dog might slide and hurt herself if you don’t offer any assistance.
3. Squeeze and blot your dog’s coat with the towel.
Don’t use the towel to rub her hair. She might develop some mats. Instead, let her shake a few more times and then you can squeeze out the excess water before blot-drying her with a towel. Also, wrapping her with the towels will shorten the time she takes to dry up. You can repeat this step one more time for a better result.
4. Start the drying process.
You have a few drying options depending on the length of hair of your poodle. The options include the following:
This drying method is only best for poodles with short coats. Poodles left to air-dry will form curly hair. So, you can use the method if your poodle has a short coat and you don’t mind a curly coat. However, letting your poodle to air-dry outside during summer might not end as you had planned.
She might roll on grass or the middle of your garden at worse. The coat will collect dirt and you might have to bathe her all over again. You can let her dry outside if she has no garden to roll in. Rolling on grass isn’t bad because she will not catch a lot of dirt.
During winter, you will have to let her air-dry indoors. The extreme cold outside might not treat her wet coat well.
A brush and dryer
If your poodle has a longer coat, you can dry her up using a brush and dryer. The brush will come in handy when undoing tangles and mats after drying up. Sometimes, you might leave your poodle to air-dry if her coat texture permits it.
Also, the brush and dryer will be useful when you’re looking to clip the dog after she’s dried from the bath. You will brush her coat with the brush since you might not trim it excellently when it’s curly. Besides, one professional poodle groomer once told me that if you trim a curly coat, “It will look like you used a weed whacker.”
Use a machine dryer
You have yet another option for dryer her up. Use can as well use a human hair dryer to rid the coat of any water it holds. But while doing so, you should set the heat to moderate temperature for a comfortable air blast.
You don’t want the hairdryer to burn your poodle’s coat or worse, the skin. And to avoid burns or excess warm, keep the nozzle of the hairdryer moving since keeping it in one spot for long will cause heat which will make the dog uncomfortable.
While using the machine, you will need to brush her hair up and away from the skin. Do this constantly as long as you’re using the hairdryer. If you own a show poodle, you should consider using a standard dryer. It does an excellent job and performs better than a force dryer.
Besides, a force dryer might cause some coat tangles. In case you find a force dryer useful, maybe you should buy a standard dryer with a hose which you can use as a force dryer. You now have a few options to use while drying up your poodle dog breed.