We’d argue that the iconic curly hair of the Poodle is one of the most instantly recognizable canine coats in existence. Looking after those stunning curly locks requires quite a bit of care and attention – which is why today we’re going to be looking at the best shampoos for Poodles on the market in 2019.

We’re first going to talk a little bit about the different types of shampoos available and give you a few bathing and grooming tips. To conclude we’re going to give you what we think is the most comprehensive Poodle shampoo review on the market when we make several impartial product recommendations that will keep your Poodle looking picture perfect.

Let’s Get Started.

To start this article we’re going to be taking a look at the different kinds of Poodle shampoos on the market that are popular with owners of the breed. We’re not going to be talking about specific products in this section (that comes later), instead we’re looking at the kinds of properties you should be looking for in a good product.

Sensitive Skin

Poodles are unfortunately very prone to dry, flaky, and generally irritated skin. It’s a genetic problem with the breed that is often hereditary, and while you can’t stop the issue from rearing its head – you can mitigate the stress and discomfort it causes your pooch.

This is why shampoos designed for dogs with sensitive skin are hugely popular among Poodle owners. They come in all shapes and sizes, but ideally, you want to look for a product that promotes recovery and soothes at the same time. There’s a wide range of compounds in natural and chemical based products that do this effectively, but one ingredient we really recommend you look out for is aloe vera.

Aloe vera has been used by humans for countless years for its moisturizing, soothing, and healing properties – and it works on dogs too. Any product with a healthy dose of aloe vera is going to leave your pooch happier and healthier than ever (which is why we recommend several of them in our review section at the end of this article).

Therapeutic Shampoos

Poodles are a highly intelligent breed of dog, their highly desirable demeanor is what attracts many people to the breed in the first place (alongside their adorable appearance). However, despite this intelligence (or perhaps because of it), they are a breed that can be prone to suffering from anxiety.

As you probably already know, most dogs don’t like being bathed. It can be a stressful experience for any breed – especially for ones that have higher levels of anxiety than average like the Poodle.

There are several products on the market that have aromatherapy infusions inside them that are designed to calm and relax your pooch when they are in the bath. The efficacy of these infusions is hotly debated within the industry, but anecdotal reports seem to show that they work – to an extent.

They’re not a magic bullet that will make your pooch instantly lie down in the bath and relax like they’re on a doggy spa weekend – but they can reduce their stress levels a little. Lavender is one of the most commonly used relaxants (for humans and dogs), and even if it doesn’t calm them down – at least your pooch is going to smell great.

Shampoo And Conditioner Combos

It should come as no surprise to you to learn that the curly locks that make Poodles so instantly recognizable take quite a bit of care and attention to stay in good shape. 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner combos are hugely popular with dog owners of all breeds, and they’re great.

The conditioning power provided by these 2 in 1 products is admittedly nowhere near as good as what you’d get with a dedicated conditioner (or a spray on / leave in) product – but they’re much better than nothing. If you’re not planning on using a separate conditioner, ensure you get a 2 in 1 shampoo, your dog’s coat will look glossier, healthier, and it will tangle less in between grooming sessions.

2 Tips On Maintaining The Perfect Poodle Coat

Bathing your Poodle is only half the battle in terms of coat care, grooming is going to take up a huge portion of your time if you want to keep your pooch in tip-top shape. Here are a few tips on maintaining the perfect Poodle coat that we strongly recommend you consider.

Groom, Groom, And Then Groom Again

Poodles are considered a hypoallergenic dog, despite the huge amount of long hair they have. This leads many people to believe that Poodles are non-shedding dogs – which isn’t true.

Poodles shed just like any other long-haired breed, the reason they are considered hypoallergenic is because almost all of the hair that becomes detached gets caught up in the curls of the rest of the coat and rarely falls out entirely. This is great news for your household cleaning chores (and if you suffer from allergies), but it’s not so good for the amount of grooming you need to do.

The hair that has fallen out but remains trapped tangles and matts with the rest of the hair, and it’s a problem that can quickly get out of control. Due to this, you’re going to need to groom your Poodle very regularly to remove all hair that has fallen out and avoid serious matting issues. If you neglect your grooming duties entirely you can quickly find yourself in a situation where you need to go to a groomer and get a complete trim.

Use Two Grooming Brushes

Breeds with easier to maintain coats can often get away with being brushed with a single grooming brush – but unfortunately for us, Poodles don’t fall into this category. You’re going to need to invest in 2 separate brushes to properly groom your Poodle.

The first kind of brush you need is a slicker brush. These are specifically designed to remove tangles and matting with a minimal amount of effort – and they should be the first brush you use. You’re going to need to apply a little force when using this brush, so be careful and check that you’re not rubbing the bristles against the soft delicate skin of your Poodle too much.

Once you’ve worked over the entire coat of your Poodle with the slicker brush, you’re going to need to switch to a standard bristle brush. This brush is used to remove the hair you’ve just detangled with the slicker brush from the curls in your Poodle’s coat. Again, a little force might be required here, but it should be a much gentler process as the slicker brush does most of the hard work.

Overall Best Shampoo for Poodles

Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea & Bergamot Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Ok, so now we get to the part that you’ve been waiting for. We’ve discussed types of shampoos, we’ve discussed grooming tips, and now we’re going to get into our review section where we tell you what we think the best Poodle shampoos on the market are right now.

This is an entirely impartial review section that is the result of years of experience and hours of pouring through online (and offline) products to find shampoos that are perfect for your Poodle. The long hair and sensitive skin of our beloved little fluff balls create a few reasonably specific requirements for a good Poodle shampoo, but we’ve managed to find several we are comfortable recommending today.

We’re going to talk about some specific shampoos later that have unique use cases, but in general, we think that the overall best Poodle shampoo on the market right now is the Relaxing Green Tea & Bergamot Dog Shampoo & Conditioner By Buddy Wash.

For those of you who don’t know, Buddy Wash is one of the leading canine shampoo manufacturers on the market. They’ve hard earned a reputation for using quality ingredients, to make quality products – without breaking the bank. This product is no exception, and when you see the feature list we are about to describe, we think you’ll agree it was almost custom made for Poodles.

Let’s start with the cleaning power of the product. This is a completely soap and alcohol-free formula which means it’s super gentle on the skin and doesn’t dry it out like cheaper, lower quality products will. The benefits of this kind of formula are obvious when you take into account the dryness and soreness the skin of a Poodle is well known for.

This is a 2 in 1 product that cleans and conditions your Poodle’s hair at the same time. Again there are no nasty chemicals in here that are going to irritate your dog’s skin – it’s a super natural, super effective conditioner. It’s going to leave your pooch with a glossy, thick, healthy coat that’s much less prone to tangling than it would be if you used a standard shampoo without conditioner.

All this cleaning and conditioning power comes from natural infusions like chamomile, green tea, sage, and rosemary (which leave your pooch smelling great too). However, there are a couple of other infusions that gave this product additional points in our ranking system – rosemary and mint.

You might already know about the therapeutic soothing powers of rosemary and mint. They are two of the most common and effective scents used in aromatherapy (which is why you’ll smell them so often in day spas and massage parlors). These soothing scents work exactly the same way on canines as they do in humans, which means you’re going to be relaxing your Poodle and reducing their famous anxiety while you bathe them. We’re not saying that this is going to make your Poodle chilled enough to enjoy bath time – but it’s certainly going to make a difference.

Most other shampoos on the market would be done with their infusions at this point in the review – but this isn’t most other shampoos…

The final two compounds that have been very liberally included in this amazing product from Buddy Wash are aloe vera and tea tree oil. Both of these infusions are well known for their skin healing capabilities and soothing properties – which is great news for our Poodles and their genetic susceptibility to dry, itchy, and red skin. This shampoo will ease the discomfort of any skin issues that may be present, and promote recovery at the same time. It will also catch dryness or itchiness that has started to form before it becomes an issue that causes your pooch discomfort.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that all of the cleaning, conditioning, soothing, and healing power included inside the 16oz bottle of Buddy Wash would come with a hefty price tag – but it doesn’t. It’s a premium product, without the premium price tag at around $7 per bottle.

We’re not saying that this is the only good shampoo for Poodles on the market, but it’s certainly one of the best. We think you’d need a very good reason to consider anything else before trying this out.

Runner Up

4-Legger’s Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

There’s another product that we came across during our research that was easily as good as our overall recommendation (or perhaps a little bit better), however, it’s also more expensive – which is why it earned the runner up position instead of the top spot. 4-Legger’s Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo is a hugely popular product (from a very respectable brand), and if your budget allows for a little luxury – this is a product that’s more than worthy of your consideration.

Again this is a shampoo that has been developed to be as natural (and as gentle) as possible, so there’s no harsh soap used in the formula. Instead, this awesome shampoo gets its cleaning power from all-natural lemongrass which has been infused in huge quantities into the product. Lemongrass is well known for its antibacterial properties, and when combined with a few other ingredients it generates a luxuriously thick lather that many other non-soap based products struggle to compete with (and as an added bonus, it leaves your pooch smelling zesty and fresh too).

Like our overall recommendation, this shampoo has a huge amount of aloe vera in the formula (but no tea tree oil). Again, this will help soothe any itchy or dry skin your pooch is suffering from, and it’ll promote recovery of any issues that are already present.

It’s a 2 in 1 product that conditions while it cleans thanks to the multiple essential oils that have been included in the formula. The conditioner is extremely effective, and it’ll easily rival the conditioning performance of the Buddy Wash product above. Unlike some lower quality conditioners, this product won’t interfere with any topical flea and tick treatments that may have been previously applied – leaving your pooch completely protected despite being bathed.

The entire product is made from natural organic ingredients (in the USA), in fact, it’s so natural that the USDA has certified it as a product that is “organic to exceptional standards”. It’s not been tested on animals, it’s cruelty, and it’s even vegan too.

As we mentioned earlier, the only downside to this excellent product is the price. At around $14 it’s about twice the price of the Buddy Wash shampoo we picked as our overall recommendation (for a bottle of the same size). The formula is super concentrated which means you need to use less per bathing session – but then again, the same can be said for Buddy Wash’s product.

If you’ve got the budget for it, this is an excellent alternative to our overall recommendation and it’s a product that’s more than worthy of your consideration.

Best Poodle Puppy Shampoo

Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner

Puppy Poodles have very similar needs to their larger brothers and sisters when it comes to bathing and grooming (more or less). We think that the best Poodle puppy shampoo on the market right now is Nature’s Miracle’s Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner.

It’s a super gentle soap-free formula that has been designed to be completely tearless to make the first few bathing sessions with your pooch a little less stressful for both of you. This is a 4 in 1 product that not only cleans and conditions, it also deodorizes your mucky pup and cleanses their skin too.

It’s made in the USA, it’s safe to use with topical flea and tick treatments (be sure to read the label), and at only around $5 for a 16oz bottle – it’s great value for money too.

3 More Top Rated Dog Shampoos For Poodles

To conclude this review section we are going to quickly talk about a few other products that caught our eye during our research that we thought deserved a quick special mention.

Veterinary Formula Solutions Snow White Whitening Shampoo for Dogs & Cats

Many people reading this will own a brilliant white Poodle, it’s arguably the stereotypical distinctive color most people think of when they imagine a Poodle in their mind. As your Poodle ages and becomes a little more “experienced” their white coats can start to get a little grey and dingy. This excellent product will restore your Poodle’s coat to its former glory with optical brighteners (without using any bleach or chloride).

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog & Cat Shampoo

This is easily the most expensive shampoo we’re going to be recommending today (it’s around $25 for a bottle), but it’s also the most powerful. This is a specialist shampoo that has been designed to soothe, heal, and treat many of the common skin issues that Poodles suffer from. It’s a very unnatural product that uses a wide variety of complex chemicals to treat and soothe your dog’s skin – but don’t let that put you off. This is one of the best soothing, healing, and repairing products on the market available without a prescription.

Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

The final product we are going to be recommending is this awesome all natural shampoo from Paws & Pals. It’s got a huge amount of healing and soothing power inside its formula thanks to the Shea Butter & Aloe Vera infusions. What we really like about this product (aside from awesome natural cleaning power) is the well-balanced combination of essential oils that conditions your dog’s coat almost as well as a stand-alone leave in conditioner. It’s a little more expensive than the other products on this list (roughly $13), but it also comes in a bigger bottle too.

5 Tips On Bathing Your Poodle

So now we know what kind of shampoos you should be looking for, how to groom your Poodle in between bathing sessions, and we’ve got several excellent product recommendations to choose from. Now it’s time for us to share some of our top Poodle bathing tips to make bath time less stressful for you, and your pooch.

  1. Run The Bath Before Calling Your Pooch Over – As we briefly mentioned earlier Poodles are well known for the anxiety they suffer from during bath time. One of the best ways to reduce stress for your pooch is to run the bath and get everything ready before you call them over. The sound of rushing water while in the bathroom will bring back memories of older bathing sessions, and they’ll know what’s coming. Like most things that cause anxiety, waiting around for the event to begin is often worse than the actual event itself.
    By running the bath you’re completely eliminating the anxiety caused by anticipation, and you’re also making the entire process quicker for your pooch too. It’s a super simple solution that many Poodle owners overlook, but if your dog could talk – they’d thank you for it.
  2. Get Everything Ready Before Bathing – Ensure you’ve got everything you need within arm’s reach before you start the bathing process. Most dogs will jump out of the bath at the first opportunity, and if you’ve got to run to the other room to grab the soap or a towel, we’d be willing to bet your dog isn’t going to stay put in the bath waiting for you. With the huge amount of thick hair on a Poodle’s body, they’re effectively an excited sponge soaked full of water – which is the last thing you want running around your house soaking everything in sight.
    Run the bath first, then check and double check you’ve got everything you need to complete the bathing process (and preferably the grooming process too). Forgetting the towel or the soap is a mistake you’ll only make once – trust us.
  3. Give Them A Proper Soak – Like many other breeds, the hair on a Poodle is highly water resistant. When combined with the sheer amount of hair on their body, this means it can take a little longer than usual to completely saturate with water. Almost all shampoos require your dog’s hair to be completely saturated before application for them to work at optimal efficiency, so it’s important to ensure you’ve completely soaked your pooch. Work slowly and thoroughly and ensure they’re as wet as possible before breaking out the shampoo.
  4. Give Them A Proper Rinse – The issue we talked about above in terms of pre-shampoo soaking also rears its head after you’ve finished the shampooing process. The huge amount of hair on a Poodle is almost custom designed to trap shampoo, which is a very bad thing. Shampoos are made to be applied and then removed completely, any shampoo that manages to stay on your dog’s body can cause dry and itchy skin – which Poodles are already very susceptible to.
    Once you’ve finished rinsing your pooch off, it’s a good idea to start again and give them a second lighter rinse to ensure that any remaining shampoo that you might have missed the first time around is completely removed.
  5. Lay A Towel Down – If you’ve ever tried to walk barefoot on wet ceramic or metal, you’ll already know how slippery the surface can be. The paws of a dog are very poorly suited to getting enough grip on smooth, soapy surfaces like this, and they often find it hard to keep their balance. While it’s unlikely that your pooch is going to fall over, it’s another source of stress and anxiety – which is bad news for our already anxious Poodles.
    Luckily there’s a super simple way for this problem to be removed entirely – put a towel down in the bottom of the bath before they get in. This provides them a rough textured surface to stand on, and it makes it much easier for them (and therefore much less stressful too).
  6. Put Puppies In the Sink – Can you imagine being placed in a bathtub that’s twice your height while being sprayed with water? You’d feel claustrophobic, anxious, and completely out of control (as there’s no way for you to get out without outside help). Dogs feel the same way, and while adult Poodles are big enough to feel “comfortable” in a standard bathtub – puppy Poodles are not.
    While your pooch is still young, they are going to feel much happier being bathed in the sink. It’s more suited to their size, they’re not going to feel trapped, and they’re going to have a much better time throughout the bathing process. Remember to put a towel down, and only attempt this in a flat-bottomed sink (like the one in your kitchen), curved bottom skins (like you often see in bathrooms) are hard to stand on with their sloping sides.

As an added bonus, bathing your puppy Poodle in the sink is going to be much more comfortable for you too (no more bending over the side of the bath or crouching down).

FAQ Regarding Bathing a Poodle

To conclude this article, we are going to be answering some of the most frequently asked Poodle bathing questions that we receive from our readers.

Why Is It Important To Groom My Poodle Before Bathing?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked, and it’s easy to understand why. Grooming your pooch before you soak them and soap them seems a little bit counter-intuitive at best (and wasted time at worst). However, this isn’t true – it’s super important.

As we’ve mentioned several times before, the hair that falls out of your Poodle regularly fails to escape the rest of the hair in its coat – and it becomes matted and trapped. Clumps of matted hair are literally big sponges attached to your pooch, which can cause issues when you’ve finished bathing your pooch and come to dry them off.

The water trapped in the knots and tangles will often not be removed sufficiently with a towel dry – which makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This probably isn’t going to cause any serious issues in “normal” cases, but it’s certainly going to bring the all too well known horrendous “dog smell” to your pooch (and your home) quicker than it otherwise would.

Can I Clip My Poodles Eye Hair At Home?

Yes, absolutely. Keeping your Poodle’s eye hair at an acceptable length is something you should be doing on a regular basis. If the hair around their eyes becomes too long it can start to scratch and irritate the eye. This is uncomfortable for your pooch, and in the worst cases, it can lead to a mild infection or build-up of yellow gunk around the eye.

It’s a good idea to get your Poodle used to the idea of having their eye hair trimmed from a young age. Imagine having someone use a huge pair of scissors to trim your eyebrows without understanding what’s going on or why it’s happening – because that’s what your pooch is going to feel. Introducing them to the scissors from a young age will reduce their stress levels when getting groomed – which is useful because it’s going to be a regular part of their life.

Conclusion

So there you have it, that’s all we’ve got to say on bathing and grooming your Poodle. These little fluffballs are a real privilege to live with, but they require a huge amount of care and attention to keep their coats glossy and healthy.

There’s no getting around that fact, but by picking any of the shampoos we have talked about today you’ll make your life a little easier, and your pooch a little happier.

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