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The best tips for grooming a toy poodle include making sure its groomed at least every two months and brushing the coat daily. If the coat is not brushed regularly, the fur will become cord-like and susceptible to matting. With the right tools and experience, grooming a toy poodle can be successfully done in the home. For those without knowledge or experience, grooming a toy poodle should be left to a professional dog groomer.
When grooming a toy poodle, the body and legs of the dog should be clipped at approximately the same length, generally about 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) long. The muzzle and throat areas should be shaved, as should the feet and tail base. The tail of a toy poodle has a characteristic pom pom on the tip of its tail, so the tip of the tail should be clipped to form a small ball.
Grooming a toy poodle also involves brushing it daily with a slicker brush. If tangles are noted, a silver mat comb should be gently used to separate the hair. If brushing and combing is done on a regular basis, the coat will be easy to manage when the poodle is bathed. The toy poodle can be bathed in a sink filled with warm water and a gentle dog shampoo. After the shampoo has been gently worked in the fur, it should be rinsed thoroughly with warm water, followed by a conditioning rinse.
After bathing the poodle, its ears should be gently cleaned with cotton balls dipped in ear cleaner, and the nails trimmed. If the owner is nervous about clipping the nails, the groomer should clip them to avoid an injury. Poodles are also prone to tear stains under their eyes, so the area needs to be cleaned on a regular basis with a tear cleaner, available at pet stores.
Sometimes, owners enjoy styling their poodle's hair by fastening barrettes or bows in it. This is fine, as long as the hair accessories are not too tight or pinching the skin. If the hair accessories are irritating to the dog, it will try to paw them out, which may cause injury and hair loss. The use of hair accessories, however, in unnecessary in the poodle, because its hair does not naturally fall into the eyes like other breeds, such as the Yorkie or Shih Tzu.
Another important component of grooming a toy poodle is brushing its teeth. The accumulation of tartar and plaque can cause gum disease and cavities, so frequent brushing with a canine enzymatic tooth cleaner will help reduce tartar buildup and keep the poodle's mouth clean and healthy. Brushing the teeth should not be avoided simply because the owner is apprehensive about this task. A dog groomer or veterinarian can provide oral care to the toy poodle to keep its mouth healthy.