The poodle is certainly a one-of-a-kind dog breed. With their curly hair, dense coats, and highly stylized haircuts, poodles tend to stand out in a crowd. And since there are various types of poodles, plus multiple color and coat pattern choices, this beloved dog is definitely unique.
Poodles tend to be very popular — frequently appearing near the top of the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds — because of their good looks and their friendly personalities. But do poodles shed much, and are they good dogs for those with allergies to pet dander?
The answer is technically yes, poodles do shed. Every dog does to some extent. (And even hairless breeds give off dander.) However, because of the nature of their coat, the poodle sheds far less than other breeds. That makes them a great choice for allergy sufferers — the poodle is considered a hypoallergenic dog.
Let’s find out how much poodles shed and why. Then, we’ll discuss how you can take good care of your poodle’s coat to reduce shedding (and keep them looking their best).
How Much Do Poodles Shed, Exactly?
Do poodles shed? Yes, but they’re a very low-shedding breed and are considered hypoallergenic. If you’re looking for a dog that won’t trigger allergies by leaving a lot of hair around your home, a poodle is a great choice.
While it’s impossible to say precisely how much hair a poodle gives off on any given day, know that it will be very little. You’re not likely to find poodle hair on your carpets, furniture, or clothing.
Take note: The bigger a dog is, the more coat area it has. So, bigger poodles will shed more hair overall than smaller poodles. Standard poodles are the largest types of poodles — some weigh as much as 70 pounds, according to the AKC — so they may leave more hair than a 10-pound toy poodle. If you have severe allergies, you may want to consider the different sizes of poodles before adopting.
Why Do Poodles Shed So Little?
The poodle is a low-shedding dog breed. But why do poodles shed so little compared to other dogs? It turns out that there are a few reasons.
- Poodles have a single coat: Many dogs have a double coat consisting of a top coat and an undercoat. The undercoat sheds seasonally, dropping a lot of hair in the spring and autumn months. Poodles don’t have this double coat — they’re single-coated — so they don’t experience seasonal shedding.
- Poodles have a long hair growth cycle: Dog hair goes through a cycle of new hair growth, a resting phase, and then shedding. The poodle’s hair growth cycle is longer than most dogs, resulting in less shedding overall.
- Poodles’ coats trap loose hair: This breed’s curly coat is another big reason for their low or non-shedding nature. The poodle’s dense, wiry coat traps a lot of the loose hair that does fall out, containing it instead of letting it fly all over your home.
Another bit of good news is that poodle mixes, such as the labradoodle (Labrador/poodle) or Golden-doodle (Golden retriever/poodle) also tend to shed very little. These breeds may not be quite as hypoallergenic as a purebred poodle, but they’re still not very likely to cause severe allergic reactions.
How Should I Care for My Poodle’s Coat?
One downside of the poodle’s dense, curly coat is that it’s more prone to tangles and matting than dogs with straighter hair, like the Golden retriever or German shepherd. That’s where poodle owners come in.
Here’s how to keep your poodle’s coat in good shape and make sure they maintain their low-shedding ways.
Regular brushing gets rid of any loose hair in your poodle’s coat while detangling the fur. Depending on how long you keep your dog’s coat, your pet might benefit from daily brushing. The longer and denser the coat is, the more you ought to brush it out.
Ask your veterinary professional what kind of brush and bristle type will work best for your dog’s coat. Generally speaking, you’ll want a brush with firm bristles but soft ends — this helps to keep the coat from developing tangles while being soft enough for your pooch’s sensitive skin.
Bathing your poodle with a canine-formulated shampoo is another important step for maintaining your pet’s good coat health. It keeps the fur clean and gets rid of any grime hiding underneath the coat.
Never use a shampoo made for humans or other animals, because it could irritate your dog’s skin. And you don’t want to over-bathe, either — this can dry out the skin, leading to irritation and an increase in shedding. Ask your veterinarian or a professional groomer about a proper bath schedule for your pet.
One more tip: If you have a poodle puppy, it’s a good idea to start bathing them early. That way, they grow up being used to baths, which makes it far easier throughout life.
While haircuts from a professional groomer aren’t a strict requirement for poodles, it’s usually a good idea. Groomers can safely keep your dog’s coat at a proper length, reducing the likelihood of tangles or matting. And there are a variety of hairstyles and lengths to choose from, which gives your poodle their own unique sense of style.
Diet and Supplements
Don’t forget that your dog’s nutrition and diet have a lot to do with their skin and coat health, too. Feed your poodle a dog food with the right balance of vitamins and minerals to support the skin and fur. (Ask your vet for a recommendation on a great choice if you’re unsure.)
Adding supplements to your dog’s routine is another good way to give them a little extra nutrition. Native Pet’s Omega Oil is the perfect choice. This targeted formula is jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help boost skin and hair health. An added bonus: Omega-3 fatty acids help to alleviate joint pain, too.
You might not think regular veterinary visits have much to do with your poodle’s coat health. But the truth is that a variety of health problems could lead to an increase in shedding.
Parasitic infestations, skin infections, and even hormonal disorders like Cushing’s disease are just a few examples. Have your vet examine your pet regularly to help your dog avoid these problems and address them quickly if they do occur.
If you think your poodle is shedding more than normal, it’s worth calling your vet for a professional opinion.
How Much Do Poodles Shed? Poodle Coat Basics
Do poodles shed? Yes, but not heavily. The main types of poodles — Standard poodles, toy poodles, and miniature poodles — shed very lightly, which means less dander around your home. For dog lovers who suffer from dog allergies, poodles are a great choice.
Maintain your poodle’s status as one of the best dogs for allergy sufferers by taking good care of their coat. Regular grooming via brushing, bathing, and professional hair trims keeps your dog’s fur from becoming matted or tangled, and it means less loose hair for you to deal with.
It’s also important to feed your dog a healthy diet to promote good skin and fur health. Finally, be sure to have your dog regularly examined at the vet’s office to prevent any health concerns that could lead to increased hair loss.
If you would like to read more about your dog’s health and wellness needs, visit the Native Pet blog.