People often ask me about Rhapsody’s grooming routine and how much effort it really is to maintain her curly coat. Keeping in mind the fact that she is not a show poodle and is only in a pet trim, here is our grooming routine!
Every day we clean her eyes to remove any ‘eye boggies’ as well call them which helps to reduce any tear staining which is common in poodles. We also brush her ears most days as when they are long they tend to pick up a certain amount of dirt (and food) throughout the day – we have had to remove raw meat from them in the past so she now wears a snood for her dinner!
Every couple of days
Every few days Rhapsody will have a full body brush, we concentrate on the areas that can become easily matted such as under her arms and behind her ears. We use a long-toothed metal comb to make sure we get to the base of her coat and then a slicker brush to fluff her up! When we brush her we also use a conditioning spray to keep her coat nice and soft.
Once a week we fight the battle that is nail trimming. It’s something Rhapsody really hates but her nails do not wear down much naturally at all, probably partially due to the lack of road waking we do so we have to trim them regularly. As she has black nails we use nail clippers to take some length off and then a grinder to get closer to the kwick.
Every couple of weeks
Usually every couple of weeks, sometime last more often if she’s been particular muddy and gross, Rhapsody gets a bath! We use a range of different natural shampoos and conditioners in order to keep her coat in tip-top condition and then dry her with a hair dryer. We usually shave her face about every three weeks to prevent her becoming a bearded lady and also pluck her ears. Like the hair everywhere else on a poodle’s body, it also grows inside their ears and must be removed to avoid infections. We use a plucking powder to keep this pain-free and she doesn’t mind at all!
Every 5/6 weeks
Every five to six weeks Rhapsody has a full groom. This means shaving her face, feet and the base of her tail and trimming the rest of her body with clippers. We clip her to the sam length all over, usually with a number 6 comb in the winter or a 4 in the summer, and then use scissors to even out her legs and tail. A full groom can take anywhere up to two hours so lots of breaks are required to keep stress to a minimum and to make sure the clippers don’t get too warm! When we do a full groom we also usually empty her anal glands (yep, it is a gross as it sounds) as they can become very sore if they become too full!
So there you have it, all the time and effort that goes into maintaining a Miniature Poodle. We like to think of it as all the time we save hoovering because she doesn’t shed! Poodles are certainly not the breed for a lazy owner, they can very quickly spiral into a dismal state without proper grooming.