Poodles are usually seen in movies, as the pet of choice of a stylish character, or in dog shows showcasing their perfectly groomed hair. They aren’t usually seen as pets in regular homes sometimes for good reason. But if you’re really set on owning or adopting a poodle for a pet here are four things you should know first.
1. Poodles are excellent watchdogs.
They may not look like it but poodles can make for great watchdogs having a great sense for strangers who could be lurking near your home due to their great hearing capabilities. They are also surprisingly one of the most athletic dog breeds out there. And don’t let their pretty looks fool you, poodles can be excellent hunting companions and have excellent retrieval skills.
2. Poodles are prone to some serious health issues.
Similar to other dog breeds, poodles are prone to some diseases and health conditions which are mostly inherited.
There are three types of poodles each with its own set of diseases it is prone to have.
The standard poodle, which is the biggest poodle breed, is susceptible to gastric torsion or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). GDV is a condition wherein the dog’s stomach becomes overstretched and rotated due to excessive gas. It is a serious medical condition and causes the death of 10% up to 60% of afflicted dogs. This poodle breed is also prone to cancer with 40% of all standard poodle deaths being attributed to the disease. Idiopathic epilepsy is another common illness across the three breeds of poodles.
Aside from epilepsy, the miniature poodle is also prone to hip dysplasia a condition characterized by the improper placement of a dog’s femur in the hip socket. Hypothyroidism, another disease miniature poodles are prone to, results from the underproduction of the thyroid hormone. It can manifest as lethargy, obesity and excessive hunger.
Similarly, the toy poodle is susceptible to having epilepsy, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism.
It is important that you know what diseases a poodle might get before getting one so you can be prepared to care for it when the time comes. You should also acquaint yourself with the diseases’ symptoms so you can get have your pet checked before they get too sick.
3. Poodles are great for people with allergies.
Don’t let their thick coat of curly hair fool you into thinking that poodles are bad for people with allergies. Poodles shed very little of their hair and tend to be odor-free as compared to other dogs. They usually do not have that distinct dog smell that other people dislike. Some poodles are even marketed to be hypoallergenic. Perfect for people with dog allergies but still want to experience having one as a pet.
4. Poodles need serious and frequent grooming.
It seems that the poodle’s hypoallergenic quality comes at a price. A poodle needs to be groomed (which means brushing, bathing and trimming) as often as every three or six weeks to keep them looking good and clean. This may not be easy to do on your own at home. Taking a poodle to the groomer’s is the easiest choice but certainly not the cheapest one. The price of constant grooming should be one you’re willing to pay if you want a poodle as a pet.
Having a poodle as a pet can come with consequences you should be willing to undertake. But like with owning other dog breeds, they will surely make up for it through companionship and loyalty.