Allergy Sufferers and Poodle & Poodle Hybrids
I am one of the fortunate folks that does not experience allergic reactions to pets and only in a very limited fashion to dust and pollen. Most of my suggestions here, are shared experiences that worked for other pet owners that purchased poodle or poodle hybrid puppies from me over the last 15 years, and where we together brain stormed and worked out the kinks.
Select a Non- or Low-Shedding Puppy or Dog
Allow me to repeat this one more time - low and non-shedding does not mean that the dog never looses or replaces hair. It simply means that whatever hair or coat that dies off, remains in the coat until brushed out.
If you don't brush, you will have mats, tangles, dreadlocks and in severe cases of neglect - a pelted or felted coat, that needs shaving off and starting over.
Shedding depends also on whether your pup has an undercoat = and if so, how much? Your experienced breeder will be able to tell you which pups are more or less likely to shed when you look at a litter of younger puppies, as hopefully they have raised some of their dogs to adulthood and can identify the various coat textures.
Is it always foolproof? In regards to hybrid mixes? Not always. In many cases you can't be certain until the pup goes through the adult coat change and the new grown up hair comes in. This is a gradual process that usually starts around 14-16 weeks and can take as long as 7-8 months of age. Most dogs have their adult coat by the time they are 8-9 months of age. Your location [north/south] and the season and weather [summer/winter] may influence the timing of the coat change as well.
This is the time you want to step up your bathing and brushing routine, to remove the dead coat quicker, so it doesn't get a chance to spread all over the house or become an issue with the person in your home that has the allergies.
A visit to a professional groomer can take care of this for you as well - request a deshedding treatment [most groomers offer this as an add-on to their regular bath/groom packages]. Instead of dealing with 2-3 weeks of shedding at home when the season turns, a deshedding treatment focuses on removing as much of the undercoat as possibly at one time. It includes heavy duty brushing with specialty combs and brushes [without irritating the skin], specialty shampoos and conditioners that help release dead hair, and high velocity blow-outs. It can make a dramatic difference in the amount of hair you will see when you have a hormonal or seasonal shedder.
A De-Shedding Treatment may also be helpful and can also be used year round on other shedding dog breeds that you may already own. Ask your groomer for more information!!!
Some poodle hybrid girls of mine don't shed throughout the year, but will blow their coats with a vengeance as their puppies reach the 5-6 week age range. Just when we want the moms to be presentable for photo shoots with their puppies and also for our visitors, they loose coat and go into ugly duckling mode, LOL.
If you are not thinking about breeding - do yourself and your girl a favor and get her fixed at roughly 8-10 months of age, and you will never have to deal with that potential facet of the shedding issue ;o).
Shorter Hair Styles and Grooms
During the warmer season, a pup can be toweled off well and air dried while during the colder months you ought to blow dry your dog until it is dry, especially if you live up north. It goes way faster if you have a shorter clip on your furkid, rather than having to blowdry 2-3# of hair all over. In either case - you need to thoroughly brush out your furkid when it is dry, especially if it sports a longer coat.
Due to the ease of caring for a shorter coat, you are also more likely to keep up with weekly or bi-weekly baths, rather than one every 2 or 3 months - and that can make all the difference for the allergy sufferer in your family!
Click here to see photos of various creative grooming styles for PekePoos and other poodle hybrids!
Brush, Brush, Brush and Bathe Frequently...
If you don't brush, you will have mats, tangles, dreadlocks and in severe cases of neglect - a pelted or felted coat, that needs shaving off. Brushing stimulates the skin underneath the hair, and helps shed dander and dead hair. If you have a severe allergy sufferer in the home, it might be better to do it outside.
If you keep your pup in a short clip, you can get by not brushing or only brushing after a bath and blowdry. If you have an inch or longer hair, in order to keep the coat manageable you must not only brush your furkid, you should also comb it out. And you need to do a thorough job of it at least once a week or more often, depending on the length of coat and the texture.
Use Premium Shampoos & Conditioners
If you must bathe the dog frequently in order to provide the allergy sufferer in your family some relief or to avoid allergic reactions to dander and hair, you MUST MUST MUST use a premium shampoo + conditioner line!
Cheapy, perfumed or storefront shampoos [Sergent, Hartz, etc comes to mind] may actually create the problem by irritating the skin, and causing itching and discomfort for your pup and resulting in excessive scratching, licking and chewing with skin irritation as a result.
Once your dog is well on its way to having skin allergies itself, courtesy of your faulty skin/hair care, you will be paying out of the nose to get it corrected via veterinarian care such as skin scrapings, cultures and testings. Plus many dogs with lasting allergic reactions get put on steroids [and they do as much damage to dogs as they cause temporary only relief!], medicated baths, dips and other treatments. In many cases these poor dogs are in a downwards spiral in regards to health. The expenses for vet care rise, the health problems multiply, your allergic reactions get stronger. Often times the owner gives up, finds a new home for the dog, surrenders it to ta shelter or rescue, or has it put down. This is so sad because it is fixable in most cases, it just takes a bit of effort, thinking outside the box and a month or two of time...
Use a premium dog shampoo that is all natural, without any artificial enhancements and ingredients. There are several good ones out there - do some research. One product line that I like a lot and feel comfortable recommending is Eqyss [often locally available in Feed and Seed type stores such as Tractor Supply and also in larger pet stores].
The shampoo line I now use exclusively for all of my puppies and adults is Quadruped Pet, and I would strongly recommend this one for families who have an allergy sufferer in the home or simply want to keep their pup's coat in top condition. It is made out of a natural yucca derivative and safe for young puppies, kittens as well as adult dogs and cats [and other pets too]. It produces awesome results in coat and skin health for my dogs, it does wonders for pets that themselves suffer from skin problems such as yeast and bacterial infections, hotspots, fleas and other allergies [it coincidentally also kills fleas and is safe to use as a flea control shampoo for puppies or adults!]. I love it all the way around and there are different varieties to choose from - after years of trying out everything under the sun and then some - this is what I use today and am not tempted to experiment any longer, LOL. IT WORKS!
NuVet [where the wholesome vitamins that I recommend for puppies and adults come from], also has a very good shampoo line for dogs with skin issues - and in my book - healthy skin equals lesser allergens for your allergy sufferer.
Remember if you are a "frequent bather" - whether you do it yourself or your kid goes to the groomer for bi-weekly baths - you must use a better than average shampoo and you should condition as well! If your dog goes to the groomer for bath services, be sure to ask what shampoo lines they use. Cheap shampoos may be better for their bottom line, but premium shampoos create superior results and healthier skin + coat, and that is what you are looking for when a family member has allergies.
Feed Premium, Grain Free Kibbles
We feed and recommend Taste of the Wild Puppy and Adult Dog Foods.
Available at larger Feed & Seed Stores as well as some Pet Stores. Tractor Supply carries this as well.