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Grooming Tips for Labradoodles

Labradoodles have gorgeous coats and in order to maintain them, a certain amount of grooming needs done to keep them looking their best. Generally speaking, brushing them once a week, especially when they have their puppy coats, is all that is necessary. Honestly, only an occasional bath is necessary. Over-bathing can dry out their skin and you want to maintain the natural oils in the skin. Much more frequent brushing should be

Grooming your Australian labradoodle

Apricot Australian Labradoodle

done during the time the puppy coat is transitioning to the adult coat most often at around ages 8-12 months, because you want to discourage matting. You can find coat-specific brushes in pet stores, such as the type you'd use when dealing with a matt, in which case, you want to try to 'unravel' the knot before you start brushing. Sometimes you will have to cut the matt out but hopefully you can avoid this problem by being as diligent as possible about brushing.

As far as areas needing attention, it is always a nice idea to keep the portions around the eyes trimmed so you can see your labradoodle's beautiful face. Many folks pull the hair out of their Labradoodles ears to keep their ear canals open to avoid infection, but we have taken our Veterinarian's advice and not done so with our Labradoodles. His explanation was such if your doodle is not prone to ear infections, nothing has been proven that doing this prevents ear infections. To date, our doodles have had no issues with ear infections. It is however important to remember as we will discuss below, when bathing your labradoodle, you want to be sure to avoid water going into their ears which can set the stage for a yeast infection in the ear canal that requires an antibiotic medication. One of the signs of a possible yeast infection in the ear would be your doodle's intense scratching of that area and then you would want to have them evaluated by your Veterinarian to be sure and if indicated, to receive medication. In addition, if there are stray hairs around the paw areas, those can be clipped off as well. Be sure to keep their bottoms trimmed short for hygiene purposes.

Shampoo and a conditioner specifically made for dogs is best for your doodle. Our labradoodles love their occasional baths! Be sure to first thoroughly wet them, lather well and rinse well. Of course you want to avoid soap in their eyes and water in their ears for the important reason listed above. After they are rinsed, a mild conditioner is applied and then thoroughly rinsed off. A thorough towel drying is done and then we use a blow dryer specific for dogs to finish the process. To put the natural curl back into their coats, you can very lightly mist them with water and run your fingers through the coat.

Grooming a labradoodle is required to keep their coat healthy

Trimming their nails on a regular basis is essential and as a guide, I check our doodle's nails every two weeks. Nail trimming can be done by your veterinarian if you choose but many people prefer to do it themselves. Again, in your local pet store, you can find pet nail clippers that work just fine. When trimming nails, just remember to cut the part of the nail that curves downward, essentially the ends, and avoid cutting the 'quick' which will cause the nail to bleed because that is where the blood supply is located. The longer the nails, the further down the quick will grow, so keeping them trimmed to a good length is important. If the quick has accidentally been cut and the nail starts to bleed, applying Styptic powder (found in pharmacies or your pet store) and/or simple cornstarch with some pressure over the bloody end of the nail will help stop the bleeding. Also, pay special attention to the dew claws because if they get too long and curl around, they will start to cut into the skin setting the stage for an infection. As in most things in life, your confidence in nail trimming will improve the more you do it. Of course giving lots of praise and using a gentle but firm approach with your labradoodles when trimming nails, is the key.

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