Poodles are known to be intelligent, fun-loving, and obedient dogs. In addition to all of a poodle’s marvelous traits, they are also a hypoallergenic dog breed.
Even though they are allergy-friendly, you may still be wondering, “Do poodles shed?”
Yes, Poodles DO technically shed, but they shed so little they are widely recognized as a non-shedding dog breed.
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Your Poodle’s Hair
Poodles are one of the few breeds that have what is considered hair rather than fur. In fact, their hair is somewhat similar to a human’s hair and can even respond to hormonal changes. Their gorgeous silky hair continues to grow and does not shed the way fur does.
What Is the Difference Between Hair and Fur?
Chemically speaking, there is not much of a difference between hair and fur. The main distinction lies within grooming methods and maintenance. Most dogs have a double layer of fur that sheds once it hits a certain length. A poodle’s human-like hair will continue to grow until you choose to take them in for a haircut.
How Much Do Poodles Shed?
Just like a human’s hair, poodles and other dog breeds with hair will still shed. When poodles shed, the hair gets trapped within their curls rather than dropping all over the house.
Most dogs have two layers of fur, but poodles have one layer of hair. In addition to regular shedding, a majority of dogs with fur shed their undercoat during seasonal changes. Because poodles do not have an undercoat, this significantly reduces the amount they shed.
There are three different sizes of poodles, which can affect the amount of hair around the house. Although they all shed at a similar rate, a standard poodle will cause more shedding than a toy poodle. If shedding is a concern, a miniature or toy poodle may be the best option.
Why is My Poodle Losing Hair?
Noticing a few strands of hair lying around from your poodle is normal. If you notice more than the usual amount of shedding from your poodle, there are a few different reasons that could be the cause.
Fleas or Other Bug Bites
Each dog reacts differently to bug bites. Some dogs may itch a little here and there, while others may have irritation that causes intense scratching. If you suspect fleas, purchase a flea comb and run it through their hair. If you find any, there are multiple products on the market to get rid of and prevent them.
Other signs your dog has a bug bite:
- Bumps on skin
- Repeatedly licking specific areas
- Localized swelling
Some poodles may even have an allergic reaction to bug bites. Not only can this make the itching worse, but it could cause some hair loss.
Healthy hair starts with healthy skin. Because a poodle’s hair is so curly, it may be difficult to notice an issue with the skin early on. This can allow the infection to spread and cause hair to fall out. If you suspect your dog may have a bacterial infection, take them to the vet. They will prescribe either oral and topical medication to help your pup heal.
Over-curling is a common cause that can cause some hair loss in a poodle. Once you finish bathing your poodle, it is important to towel dry them as much as you can. Avoid air drying, as this can leave your poodle’s hair frizzy and matted.
If your poodle has split ends, you may notice a bit more hair around your home than usual. Brushing a poodle excessively can cause some damage in their coat that results in split ends. It is also important to avoid brushing their hair when it’s wet and weaker.
Just like people, dogs can have an allergic reaction to just about anything we do. When dogs are allergic to something, it may cause rashes or skin irritation. Sometimes, irritation from allergies can cause hair loss in poodles.
Common poodle allergies:
- Harsh chemicals in cleaning products
If you think your poodle may be allergic to something, contact your veterinarian. They can test your poodle to see what their allergens are.
Unfortunately, poodles are prone to sebaceous adenitis. This can cause inflammation in the sebaceous glands or even destroy them.
Signs of sebaceous adenitis in poodles include:
- Thinning hair
- Lack of curls
- Patchy hair loss
If your dog does have sebaceous adenitis, they may need a medicated shampoo or a switch in dog food. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose them and recommend the proper treatments.
While any dog can suffer from alopecia, it is common in older, male miniature poodles. Alopecia creates a loss of hair from their coat. It can be temporary or chronic, depending on the root cause. Some dogs may experience it and not have any issues aside from the appearance of hair loss.
Dogs going through puberty may experience some hair loss.Once their hormones balance out, their coat should look healthy and full.
Hypothyroidism could also be a cause of hair loss in your poodle who is experiencing hormone imbalances. Poodles are susceptible to getting hypothyroidism, which can cause bald spots.
Hypothyroidism signs include:
- Change in coat
- Oily skin
- Weight changes
Your vet may want to keep an eye on your pet no matter the cause, so get them in for a check-up if you notice thinning hair.
If a poodle is losing more hair than normal, it may be from an underlying illness. Although sometimes it can be something simple, it could also be a sign of something more serious. If your poodle is shedding excessively, make an appointment with a veterinarian.
Preventing Poodle Shedding
If you notice a lot of hair around the house, it may be a sign to contact the veterinarian to rule out a health issue. For normal amounts of shedding, you can keep it to a minimum with regular grooming.
Grooming Needs for a Poodle
Regular, proper grooming will help a lot with shedding. If a poodle isn’t groomed often enough, their hair can become matted. This can cause painful skin irritation and even hair loss. Have your poodle professionally groomed every 4-8 weeks, depending on the length of hair you’d prefer. For maintenance, be sure to brush a poodle every day or two to keep matting to a minimum.
Are Poodles Hypoallergenic?
While there is no truly 100% hypoallergenic dog breed, poodles make a great pet for those with allergies. Because they shed so infrequently and have just one layer of fur, allergens will be minimal.
Keeping your home clean will be your best bet to fight off any pet allergies. Vacuum a few times a week to gather up any dander that may have settled into the carpet. You might also consider purchasing a HEPA air purifier to remove any allergens floating in the air.
Is Your Poodle Shedding Too Much?
If you do feel like there is a little more shedding than there should be, make an appointment with your dog’s vet. They can diagnose your poodle properly and create the right treatment plan for their needs.
Although poodles do shed, they shed a lot less than most dogs. With proper grooming and good health, poodles will make a great hypoallergenic pet for just about any family.