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Feed your poodle a diet rich in protein and calcium. There are many kinds of wet and dry dog food on the market, with prices and flavors varying across a diverse spectrum. Don't get overwhelmed by the variety, though. The most important thing about picking your poodle's dog food is that it contain 1 or 2 whole proteins—for example, “chicken meal” or “lamb meal” and not “poultry meal” or “meat by-product”—at the top of the ingredient list. Avoid foods with a grain or other filler listed as the top ingredient.
Measure out a size-appropriate portion of food. There are 3 sizes of poodles: standard, which weigh between 40 and 55 pounds (18 and 25 kg), miniature, weighing between 12 and 15 pounds (5.4 and 6.8 kg), and toy, weighing 5 and 10 pounds (2.3 and 4.5 kg). The size of your poodle determines how much food you should give it, so make sure to follow recommended guidelines in order to avoid weight-related problems in the future.
Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Keeping your dog hydrated is essential to good health and nutrition: water lubricates and facilitates practically every function in your dog's body, including joint cushioning, temperature maintenance, and digestion. If you use wet food, your dog can get quite a lot of its daily hydration requirements from its food, but you should still provide a large bowl of clean water at all times.
Get your poodle groomed regularly. You've probably seen images of show poodles displaying what looks like a wacky, poofy grooming style.While you don't need to mimic this look in your pet's style, you still need to follow a fairly strict grooming regimen in order to keep your poodle's coat from matting. In addition to weekly brushing at home, you should get your poodle professionally groomed and trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks.
Brush your poodle's teeth. You should brush your poodle's teeth daily with a vet-approved canine toothpaste and toothbrush. If you've adopted an adult poodle who hasn't had prior daily dental care, get a professional cleaning done before beginning your daily regimen. This is especially important for toy and miniature poodles, as they tend to have more problems with receding gums.
Walk your poodle multiple times a day. Poodles don't need as much exercise as some other energetic breeds, but you should still strive to walk them at least twice a day for no less than 20 minutes per walk. This is particularly important for standard poodles, as they are the largest sized poodle and the most active. Toy and miniature poodles require less physical activity, but you should still make sure they get enough exercise to maintain a healthy cardiovascular and digestive system.
Do activities like field events and tracking. Poodles were originally bred in Germany to be trackers and water retrievers, so they have innately excellent senses of smell and intelligence. Field events, hunting, tracking, and agility exercises are all excellent options which let the poodle use these natural skill sets and interests while keeping it mentally engaged and physically active.
Make your poodle a member of the family. Poodles are loving, giving dogs, but this also means they need tons of attention in return. They prefer to be with you at all times, so include your dog in anything you can. For example, take it with you to your kids' baseball game, out on your morning jog, and to your friends' barbecue.
Use reward-based training methods to teach obedience skills. Most experts agree that the best way to train a dog is through positive reinforcement—that is, rewarding behaviors you want the dog to do instead of punishing negative ones. In this approach, you give treats and/or verbal praise when the dog does something good or follows your commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” “look,” or come.” Just make sure that you give the treat and praise within a few seconds of the correct behavior, as otherwise your dog won't understand what they're being rewarded for.
VISITING THE VET
Vaccinate your poodle. You should make sure to get your poodle the rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus vaccines at the very least.You can also get a flu shot and other preventative shots for your poodle, but these are not strictly essential according to veterinary guidelines.
Provide preventative treatments. Part of being a responsible owner includes making sure your dog receives regular treatments to prevent health problems. Your vet can provide medicine to prevent heartworms, fleas, ticks, and internal worms.
Get yearly check-ups and blood screens. In addition to staying current on your dog's vaccines, you should take it to the vet every year for a standard check-up and blood tests. These tests will indicate any newly developing infections or diseases, and early detection of serious conditions like Addison's will greatly improve your dog's chances of recovery and life expectancy.