Beauty tips

How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 26, 2017
How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them

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If you have a poodle as your best friend, it is very important to know about the care required for this specific dog breed. In this article you will find all the information you need about bathing a puppy and adult poodle.

We will also explain how often to groom a poodle's fur and what to consider before doing so.

Keep reading this AnimalWised article and find out how often to bathe a poodle and groom them too. Don't forget to comment and share your photos!

You may also be interested in: How to Remove Tear Stains From a Poodle


  1. When to bathe a poodle puppy for the first time
  2. Products to bathe poodles
  3. How often should I bathe my poodle?
  4. How often should I groom a poodle's hair?

When to bathe a poodle puppy for the first time

Poodle puppies are very delicate, just like babies, and must be handled with care during bath time. If the puppy lives with the mother, it is important to wait until they have weaned to prevent the parent from not recognizing their own puppy. The mother will clean and care for the puppy herself when the puppy is considered to be dirty.

On the other hand, it is important not to bathe a puppy if is has just started their vaccination schedule because bathing could their effects. The recommended age to bathe your poodle puppy for the first time is 3 months old, once the administration of their vaccines has ended.

You should bathe your puppy once a month because dogs have a natural protective lipid layer on their skin. If you bathe them excessively, you will get rid of this layer that protects them, so it is not advisable to bathe them too much.

Tips to clean them without bathing

If your puppy is very dirty and smelly you don't have to let them stay that way. There are some very effective tricks that will help keep your unruly puppy clean:

  • Wet wipes: Use baby wipes to clean specific areas of hair that are dirty and then brush the fur thoroughly. It is the easiest and cheapest option.
  • Wet sponge: Wet the sponge and rinse it well. Apply to the dirty areas. You should then dry your dog to prevent them from catching a cold. Wrap them in a towel and use a dryer if necessary.
  • Dry foam: You will find professional products to dry-bathe a dog in pet shops. All you need to do is apply the foam and then brush it thoroughly to remove traces of the product.

Bathing a puppy poodle, step by step

A poodle's first bath will undoubtedly be the most important because this will determine whether the puppy is fearful of the water in the future. It is a fundamental part of the socialisation process.

To start with, we recommend you prepare a basin with warm water in your bathtub, at 37ºC (98.6ºF). Of course, don't fill the tub with too much water; the level should not cover your puppy too much. Choose a safe place with no drafts. Remember that the puppy poodle can get a cold very easily, so they should not be too cold.

Wet your dog with a sponge or with your hands and when they are completely wet, apply the shampoo. We recommend you look for a special shampoo for puppies, with an acid pH, and carefully massage it into your puppy's skin. Don't forget to reach all areas - legs, belly, groin.. but never wash the head. You should try to make this experience as positive as possible, so that the puppy associates it as something they like and enjoy doing. When you have finished, rinse your puppy well.

At the end of the bath, you must take precautions to prevent the puppy from getting too cold, as puppies do not regulate temperature as well as adult dogs can. Wrap your poodle in a towel and when it is fairly dry, use a dryer at its gentlest setting.

How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them - When to bathe a poodle puppy for the first time

Products to bathe poodles

Although you can use more generic products on your poodle, it is advisable to use shampoos, conditioners and sprays specific to the breed. It may also be good to use shampoo for white-haired dogs if your poodle has white or light fur. This will make the stains in the fur disappear.

Take advantage of the situation to remove the stains from your poodle's eyes, which usually accumulate as time goes by.

How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them - Products to bathe poodles

How often should I bathe my poodle?

There are sebaceous glands in your dog's skin that help keep the skin stable and give the hair stability. It is very important to understand that excessive washing or using of inappropriate products will result in a dermatological alteration which can cause allergies, for example. You should bathe your poodle approximately every 21 to 35 days, which is enough time for the skin to regenerate and regain its natural oils. After this period of time, you can bathe them without any problems.

Bathing an adult poodle, step by step

Remember to use specific products such as those mentioned earlier, so that your dog's ph is not altered:

  1. Fill your tub with warm water without the water level being too high.
  2. Help your dog into the tub, but make sure they don't slip!
  3. Wet your dog using your bath hose so that their entire body is wet.
  4. We recommend starting with the legs: rub them thoroughly to remove any dirt.
  5. Carry on with the torso, genitals and neck. Don't get the head wet or soapy.
  6. Once completely lathered, you can begin rinsing the entire body.
  7. Take your time when rinsing to remove all traces of soap in their fur.
  8. When you've finished, cover them with a towel and wait so that it absorbs some of the water.
  9. Next, simply use the dryer until they are completely dry. Use a brush to make your poodle look better.

Don't forget that after the bath, you must apply an anti-parasite pipette to prevent fleas and ticks from settling into their freshly washed coat.

How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them - How often should I bathe my poodle?

How often should I groom a poodle's hair?

How often you clip it and groom a poodle depends on the choice of hairstyle. If you're not sure how you want to style it, don't hesitate to visit our article on 10 haircuts for poodles. However, and in general, on average you should clip your poodle's hair every 40 - 50 days.

Even though you can cut your dog's hair at home, it is highly recommended to go to a dog groomer until you have the necessary experience to do it. The different types of cuts require expert hands who know how to shape and what they should look like. For example, you should cut the hairs around the ears carefully and avoid getting them inside the ears, which can cause moisture and fungi.

How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them - How often should I groom a poodle's hair?

If you want to read similar articles to How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them, we recommend you visit our Beauty tips category.

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What did you think of this article?
Gary McCullough
Not sure what our Fiona's cut is called? We live in Florida, so Fiona is on this short clip most of the year. I have found your articles on bathing very helpful.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Gary,

Thank you for sharing.

Poodle hair cuts go by different names depending on the region or even personal history. This cut looks a little like a summer cut, bu you can check out this article below to see for yourself:
Myrto-Helen Frouzaki
Your article is very helpful, especially to those with no, or little, previous experience with dogs and poodles in particular. Keeping in mind that bathing once a month and hair clipping once every two months, I have a question. My 5 year old rescue poodle and I live in Greece. During summer, we often go even daily to the beach (she loves to swim!!!). Since I am supposed to bath her only once a month, should I just shower her thoroughly with fresh water after her swim to remove salt and any sea water residues, or is there some product I should use - and how often? Thank you in advance for your reply.
Administrador AnimalWised

This is a great question. If your dog is swimming in relatively clean water, then they should be able to dry off and live their life without disturbing the balance of oils on their skin. However, if they swim in the sea or a lake where there may be some bacteria present, you should give them a rinse afterwards. This won't disturb the oils, but will get rid of the dirt which is present. There is no need to give them a full bath, but you should dry them so that bacteria doesn't breed. Plus wet dog smell is not ideal.
Thanks, this was helpful!
Administrador AnimalWised
You're very welcome Bob!
Poodles do not have FUR, they unlike many breeds, have HAIR.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Suzanne,

While we may use the terms fur and hair interchangeably on this site, a dog's fur is indeed referred to as such. Different breeds of dog have varying types of coat, including a lack of undercoat, wiry consistency, etc. However, Poodles do not have fur which is made distinct from other breeds by the use of the term ‘hair’. We don't know where you got this information from, but it is incorrect and probably anecdotal due to the Poodle's curly coat (similar to that of the Bichon Frise or Irish Water Spaniel).
Vicki lambert
I love your quick guide! I took my goldendoodle (14 weeks) for his first bath and trim today and he is beautiful. My take-a-way from your great web-site, is a once a month bath, with a 2-month bath+trim. Perfect for me. I really like the groomer I picked...they were quick, considerate and kind (and 3 minutes from me). Thank you. My pup gets combed almost daily, but they did his ear hair, clipped his nails, trimmed and bathed him in 2 hours for a very reasonable price.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Vicki,

Thanks for the kind words. If you have time, please feel free to post a pic in the comments, we always love to see examples of good work.
Debbie Garon
I didn't know what cut my Elle should get for the frist poodle cut, your articales help me choose the town and country cut. I think the groomers did a good job.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Debbie,

We agree, Elle looks great! They did a great job and I hope she enjoys her new do as much as you.
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How often to Bathe a Poodle and Groom them