Toy Poodle Grooming

Cape Rose Toy Poodles



With practice and care, you can do a reasonably good job bathing and clipping your toy poodle.

Some professional dog groomers won’t take dogs over 10 years of age so you might find yourself in a situation where it becomes necessary to learn the basics.

What You Need

  1. laundry sink

  2. shower head on long hose

  3. mild dog shampoo, preferably natural or organic

  4. quiet blow dryer designed for pets

  5. combs, brushes

  6. grooming scissors

  7. clippers (cordless are easier to use)

  8. cotton balls and swabs to clean ears

  9. nail clippers

  10. styptic power to stop bleeding should you inadvertently cut into the nail’s “quick” (vein)

Be Careful

You need to be especially cautious about several things when bathing and grooming your pet:

  1. Avoid getting water in your dog’s ears.

  2. Check water temperature to make sure it’s just right.

  3. Keep the blow dryer on a warm (not hot) setting to avoid burning your dog’s skin.

  4. Use great care when trimming around your dog’s ears, eyes, and private parts.

  5. Trim nails conservatively so as not to cut into the quick which causes pain and bleeding.

  6. Clean only the outermost part of your dog’s ears with cotton ball or swab. Do not insert anything into the ear canal.

  7. If your toy poodle is too rambunctious or uncooperative, it is worth it to pay a professional groomer to deal with your pet.


First a disclaimer. We’re not professional dog groomers. Not even close.

Not so long ago, we were owned by four toy poodles and it became an economic necessity to groom them ourselves. A typical grooming visit in our area for a toy poodle costs more than $40. Add in a tip for the groomer do the math.

Basic Grooming Needs

Poodles need haircuts every 6 to 8 weeks. That’s because they have hair that grows. (Most other dogs have fur that sheds.)

Nails need to be trimmed every few weeks. You can do this task yourself or take your pet to the groomer (or veterinarian) for nail clipping. The charge is usually about $5 range for this service alone.


Grooming Tips

Laundry room setup for grooming a toy poodle.

A kitchen countertop might also work well.

Some essential grooming tools, available at pet stores and the local pharmacy.

Toy Poodle Clips

There are regulations for clipping show dogs but most pets sport the puppy or lamb clip.

Plastic laundry sink set up in shower.

Our Setup  (continued)

Our shower head has a long hose which is an absolute necessity for bathing toy poodles. Always check water temperature to make sure it’s warm enough but not hot before wetting your pet.

Lather up well and rinse thoroughly.

We towel dry each dog and then finish the job with a “quiet” blow dryer like the one in the top photos. Some dogs tend to be nervous so a “whisper-quiet” dryer is much better than those screaming blow dryers people use for themselves.

Hair Styles

Details about clipping (hair cutting) are beyond the scope of this page but check the sidebars and links on this page for professional dog grooming tips.

Perhaps the most important tip we can offer is this:

If in doubt, leave the job to a professional groomer.

Email Me

Our Setup

We purchased at The Home Depot the laundry sink in the photo at left for about $60.

The sink has removable legs (for easy setup, takedown, and storage) and it fits perfectly in the tub/shower in our admittedly tiny bathroom. Before we had the sink, we’d kneel on the floor next to the tub and lean over.

A sink makes bathing a small dog much easier on both of you. If your toy poodle is a teacup or tiny toy, you can even bathe him or her in the kitchen sink. (continued below)

Time to Stock up on

Flea & Tick Repellants

Tick Disease Prevention Links

Lyme Disease and other tick diseases are becoming more common. These diseases can make your toy poodle very ill but the symptoms can be hard to detect. Take a moment to learn how to avoid these illnesses.

  1. BulletTicks on Toy Poodles

  1. BulletUniversity of Rhode Island Tick Encounter Research Center

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© 1996 - 2019 Cynthia E. Field, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Why Do It Yourself?