Are Standard Poodles Healthy? [Poodle Experts Answer]

Categorized as Poodle Health & Wellbeing, Poodle Breed Information, Poodle FAQs

If you’re looking for a dog that has a lot of energy and loves to play, then the Standard Poodle is the perfect choice.

This breed is easy to train, and they are great with children. Plus, they are known for being very loyal.

But, are standard poodles healthy?

Standard poodles are healthy dogs that have a lifespan of twelve to fifteen years. However, standard poodles are not immune to all diseases and are susceptible to diseases such as Atrial Septal Defects, Addison’s Disease, Bloat, Chronic Active Hepatitis, Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Hydrocephalus, Patellar Luxation, Sebaceous Adenitis, and Von Willebrand’s Disease.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common illnesses that can affect standard poodles and what owners can do to make sure their spoos lead a long, happy and healthy life.

Standard Poodle Overview

What Diseases Are Standard Poodles Prone To?

Like other dog breeds, standard poodles have certain diseases that they may be more prone to than others.

A vet with a brown standard poodle

Here are all the major diseases standard poodles are prone to:

  • Atrial Septal Defects
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Bloat
  • Chronic Active Hepatitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Today’s exciting era of DNA technology is making it possible to test breeding stock for abnormal genes, and health tests already allow us to screen animals with these problems.

If you have a standard poodle and are interested in learning more about their DNA, I highly recommend you check out Embark Breed Identification Kit.

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Here’s the lowdown on all of the major diseases that standard poodles can get, including their symptoms, causes, severity, and treatment costs.

Atrial Septal Defects in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Could Be Serious
  • Occurrence: Uncommon
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Congenital Heart Defect
  • Symptoms: Coughing, Troubled Breathing, Fainting, Lethargy, Reduced/Lack of Appetite, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dehydration, Weight Loss, Increased Thirst, Frequent Urination, Shivering, Abdominal Pain, Irregular Heart Rate, Weak Pulse, Low Body Temperature
  • Cause: Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $2500 to $7000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $4500

Addison’s Disease in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Serious 
  • Occurrence: Uncommon
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Autoimmune Disease
  • Symptoms: Lethargy, Reduced/Lack of Appetite, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dehydration, Weight Loss, Increased Thirst, Frequent Urination, Shivering, Abdominal Pain, Irregular Heart Rate, Weak Pulse, Low Body Temperature
  • Cause: Infection, Physical Trauma, Cancer, Adrenal Gland Failure, Genetic, Drug Therapy, Abnormal Blood Supply to Adrenal Glands
  • Treatment Cost Range: $250 to $300
  • Average Treatment Cost: $350

Bloat (GDV) in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Metabolic Syndrome
  • Symptoms: Distressed, Stretching Frequently, Stomach Looks Distended or Bloated, Drooling Excessively, Labored Breathing, Rapid Breathing, Panting, Elevated Heart Rate, Retching
  • Cause: Gas Accumulation, Dry Diet High in Fat and Oil, Genetic, Deep Chest, Eating Too Quickly, Eating a Single Meal With Excessive Water, Exercising Soon After Eating, Stress, Age, Inhaling Excessive Air, Nervous or Aggressive Personality
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $10000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $5000

Chronic Active Hepatitis in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Mild to Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Autoimmune
  • Symptoms: Lethargy, Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Poor Coat Quality, Bleeding Gums, Seizures, Nose Bleeds, Excessive Thirst, Frequent Urination, Swollen Belly, Yellow-ish skin, gums, and ears
  • Cause: Exposure to toxins, Environmental, Drug-related, Immune-Mediated, Genetic, High Levels of Copper in the Liver Tissues
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $5000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $1800

Epilepsy in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Possible
  • Type: Neurological Disease
  • Symptoms: Abnormal Behavior (Panic, Hiding, Clinging, Confusion), Collapse, Stiffness, Teeth Grinding, Drooling, Paddling Legs, Jerking Movement, Shivering Movement, Uncontrolled Urination/Defecation
  • Cause: Head Trauma, Liver Disease, Stroke, Anemia, Exposure to Toxic Substances, Kidney Disease, High/Low Blood Glucose, Hyperthermia, Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $6000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $3000

Hip Dysplasia Hepatitis in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Could Be Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Hip Joint Disorder
  • Symptoms: Decreased Activity, Difficulty Getting Up, Limping, Decreased Range of Hip Motion, Difficulty Climbing Stairs
  • Cause: Obesity, Injury, Malnutrition, Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $1500 to $15000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2500

Hypothyroidism in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Could Be Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Thyroid Disease
  • Symptoms: Lethargy, Weakness, Rapid Weight Gain, Excessive Hair Shedding, Skin Infections, Ear Infections, Infertility, Lack of Muscle Coordination, Dry Eyes, Mental Dullness, Slowed Breathing, Low Blood Pressure, Low Heart Rate, Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Cause: Thyroid Cancer, Idiopathic Thyroid Gland Atrophy, Lymphocytic Thyroiditis, Iodine Deficiency/Overabundance
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $2000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $1300

Hydrocephalus in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Progressive Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Symptoms: Domed-Shaped Skull, Wide Set Eyes, Difficulty Training, Blindness, Seizures, Decreased Awareness, Lack of Response, Abnormal Vocalization, Overly Excited, Drowsiness, Pacing and Circling, Weak Hind Legs, Slow Growth
  • Cause: Genetic, Prenatal Infection, Brain Hemorrhage, Inflammatory Brain Disease, Prenatal Vitamin Deficiency, Trauma, Exposure to Toxic Substances to a Developing Fetus
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $1400

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Neurological Disease 
  • Symptoms: Genetic, Dilated Pupils, Fixated Pupils, Visual Impairment, Pupils Unresponsive  to Light
  • Cause: Unknown 
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $3500
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2200

Patellar Luxation in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Could be Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Congenital/Developmental Disorder
  • Symptoms: Inability to Stand, Shaking the Affected Leg, Lameness, Arthritis, Pain, Limping, Refusing to Exercise, Refusing to Jump or Run, Weak Legs, Pulling Up the Affected Leg Multiple Steps at a Time, Inability to Bend the Knee
  • Cause: Genetic, Trauma, Injury, Accident
  • Treatment Cost Range: $300 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2000

Sebaceous Adenitis in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Could be Serious
  • Occurrence: Uncommon
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Autoimmune Disease
  • Symptoms: Hair Loss, Musty, Matted Hair, Poor Coat Condition, Itching, Scabs and Sores, Bacterial Infection
  • Cause: Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $200 to $800
  • Average Treatment Cost: $400

Von Willebrand’s Disease in Standard Poodles

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Neurological Disease 
  • Symptoms: Excessive Bleeding From Minor Injuries, Continuous Bleeding After Surgery, Pain, Nausea, Weakness, Collapse
  • Cause: Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $850

Effect of Inbreeding on a Standard Poodle’s Health

Inbreeding has been shown to increase the risk of disease in many species, including humans and dogs.

It occurs when individuals mate with close relatives, resulting in offspring who are more genetically similar than they would be if they were chosen at random from within their population.

This increased similarity can reduce the number of different genes that are present within a population, which means that harmful mutations are more likely to be passed on from parent to offspring than would otherwise be expected.

Inbreeding has detrimental effects on the health of a standard poodle. The breed’s susceptibility to Sebaceous adenitis (SA) and Addison’s disease (AD) was supposedly due to extensive inbreeding of standard poodles.

Most of which occurred during the mid-twentieth century when a small group of standard poodles whose offspring all won prizes at shows were used repeatedly as parents.

Some poodles are so inbred that it is difficult to even categorize them as poodles. At that point, they are often considered a different breed or even a separate species entirely.
Some poodles are so inbred that it is difficult to even categorize them as poodles. At that point, they are often considered a different breed entirely.

Due to this intense inbreeding over a period of 20 years, 50 to 60 percent of a Poodle’s ancestry can be traced back to only a few lines of breeding.

Using this information, what steps can you take to keep your standard poodle healthy?

It depends on whether or not you have already bought a poodle, or are still thinking about doing so.

The section only applies if you haven’t yet bought a standard poodle but are planning to do so in the future.

Before you get your standard poodle from a breeder, here are some things you must do:

  1. First, you need to make sure the breeder is reputable. You can do this by visiting their facility and asking questions. If they seem reluctant to answer your questions or if they’re not willing to show you where the puppies are kept, then you should keep looking.
  2. Ask to see the parents of the puppies. You want to be sure they look healthy and happy, and that they don’t have any health issues or behavioral problems.
  3. Make sure that the breeder has a clean facility and is keeping their dogs in good condition. If there are too many dogs in one place, or if they don’t look well-cared for, you might want to keep looking for another breeder.
  4. Find out about their breeding practices: do they breed for health or for looks? Does their breeding program include genetic testing? What kind of training do they offer with their dogs? How often do they have puppies available for sale? Are there any special requirements or considerations when buying from this breeder’s program?

If you already have a standard poodle, what you can do at this point is make sure your poodle is vaccinated and up to date with their vaccines.

Next, I would recommend getting a genetic testing product for your poodle like Embark Breed & Health Kit can help you get all the data you need.

Not only will embark let you know how much your poodle is inbred, but it will also give you a detailed report listing what your pup is REALLY made up of.

Embark Breed & Health Kit also gives you detailed medical reports, relatives, traits, and much more.

Standard Poodle Insurance Considerations

Poodles are known to suffer from gastrointestinal disorders and may be prone to genetic disorders like hip dysplasia.

Some policies will only cover you for up to 6 months after the initial diagnosis, while others may offer lifetime coverage.

A young couple calculating medical costs for their poodle

When you’re thinking about getting a poodle, it’s important to consider all of the costs involved.

While there are many wonderful things about having a poodle, it’s not necessarily a cheap proposition.

In fact, with the costs of food, supplies, training, and more, you can easily find yourself spending several thousand dollars every year on your dog alone.

One way to help offset these costs is by investing in dog health insurance.

Dog health insurance covers your poodle in case they get sick or injured and need to see a vet.

It also covers routine checkups so that you can catch any problems early on before they become bigger issues down the road.

The cost of this kind of insurance will vary depending on where you live, how old the poodle is, what kind of coverage you want for your pet, and whether or not they have any preexisting conditions like allergies or diabetes already diagnosed by a veterinarian.

Poodles may be subject to gastrointestinal disorders and are at risk for developing genetic diseases like hip dysplasia.

Some policies will only pay for treatment up to 6 months after diagnosis with a particular condition, while others may offer lifetime coverage.

If your poodle has a genetic disorder such as hip dysplasia that requires lifelong medication and care by a veterinarian, make sure the pet insurance plan you are considering provides for this type of treatment.

When you’re choosing an insurance policy for your standard poodle, carefully read the fine print and make sure it covers any situations that might arise in his life.

Here are some of the types of coverage that you may want to consider for your standard poodle:

  • Hereditary Conditions
  • Congenital Defects
  • Behavioral Conditions
  • Dental Illness
  • Ear Infections
  • Cancer Treatments
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Prescription Medicines
  • Surgery
  • Physiotherapy and Alternative Recovery Therapies
  • Routine Vet Visits
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Hospitalization 

Are Female Standard Poodles Healthier Than Males?

It has been established that female dogs, on average, live longer than males. This is also true for standard poodles.

Among neutered dogs, it is plainly evident that females are living longer than males—but intact male dogs tend to outlive female ones.

A male and a female gray standard poodle

Female dogs were more likely than male dogs to die from cancer or diabetes mellitus, whereas males were more likely than females to die from trauma.

When we compare the longevity data of intact males, intact females, and neutered females, we find that neutered males have the highest cancer deaths as compared to the other two. This is because neutering a dog increases cancer rates significantly.

When all these factors are taken into account, sex turns out to be a minor factor in how long a dog lives and what causes them to die.

What you feed, how you exercise, and other aspects of care affect a poodle’s health more than whether your poodle is male or female.

Will Neutering/Spaying Make My Poodle Healthier?

When it comes to your pet, it’s important to consider all of the factors that could affect his or her well-being.

One of the most important is whether or not you should neuter or spay your dog.

On one hand, spaying and neutering prolong a dog’s life by eliminating certain health risks.

A vet with a brown standard poodle

Because spayed or neutered dogs cannot reproduce, they do not contribute to overpopulation.

Spaying female dogs eliminate the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the chance that they will develop breast cancer; neutering male dogs reduces their chances of developing prostate cancer.

On the other hand, some people argue that it’s cruel to alter animals so drastically without any medical necessity.

This view does not take into account how much suffering can be prevented through sterilization—both for pets and for people who love them.

In recent years, studies indicate that while neutering or spaying your dog can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in dogs, it also makes them more likely to get other types of cancer.

The likelihood that a neutered or spayed dog will get certain types of cancer increases 16% with neutering a male poodle and up to 11% with spaying a female poodle.

However, according to Annette N Smith, advisory board member for the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer (AURIC):

Societal and humane issues related to pet overpopulation, as well as the incidence of other noncancerous diseases, behavior issues, and potentially decreased overall lifespan in unaltered animals must be taken into consideration before wholesale rejection of neutering in pets.

– Annette N Smith

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want your standard poodle to be neutered or spayed.

Are Some Standard Poodle Colors Healthier Than Others?

Unfortunately, because of the extremely high demand for some poodle colors such as the red poodle, breeders resort to inhumane methods to produce as many red poodles as they can to meet the demands of the market.

These inhumane methods may include inbreeding (which can cause genetic defects), unhealthy breeding pairs (dogs that are sick), poor diet (they may not be eating enough calories or nutrients), lack of health tests (to check if they’re carriers for genetic diseases), etc.

Three different standard poodle colors

It’s easy to see why: poodle colors such as red, apricot, parti, and phantom are outstanding colors.

But the high demand for these poodles has created an entire industry of breeders who are willing to do whatever it takes to meet those demands—even if it means sacrificing the health of their dogs.

But don’t let this scare you away from getting a poodle—the color of your poodle doesn’t necessarily mean that your poodle will have poor health!

The key is to purchase from a responsible breeder who uses safe practices like health testing and good quality food for their dogs.

Recommended Tests for Standard Poodles

Poodles are one of the most popular breeds in the United States, and they’re known for their good looks, intelligence, and trainability.

However, these dogs can be prone to several genetic health conditions, including joint dysplasia and epilepsy.

A vet doing a routine checkup for a standard poodle

For this reason, it’s essential that you get your poodle tested for these conditions before breeding or buying a standard poodle puppy.

We recommend the following tests for standard poodles:

Test NameDisorderTypeWhen
Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER)Eye Abnormalities such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Optic Nerve HypoplasiaEye ScreeningEight Weeks Old
Hip Dysplasia ScreeningHip DysplasiaX-rayBetween Six to Twelve Months of age
Cardiac Evaluation
Atrial Septal Defects and Patent ductus arteriosisDoppler echocardiographAfter twelve months of age
Sebaceous Adenitis ScreeningSebaceous Adenitis
Biopsy After 2 years of age
Thyroid Malfunction TestingAutomine ThyroiditisBlood testsBetween heat cycles in female poodles and before 6 months of age in male poodles (before they reach sexual maturity)
ACTH Stimulation TestAddison’s Disease
Blood testsWhen the poodle develops symptoms that may indicate the possibility of the disease
DNA Test for Degenerative MyelopathyDegenerative MyelopathyDNA test using cheek swabAfter 3-4 weeks of age
Elbow Dysplasia ScreeningElbow DysplasiaX-rayAfter 24 months of age
DNA Test for Neonatal Encephalopathy ScreeningNeonatal EncephalopathyDNA test using cheek swabAnytime after birth
DNA Test for von Willebrand’s Diseasevon Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)DNA test using cheek swabAnytime after birth

It is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian when you have concerns about your pet’s health. Based on the results of their examination, they can help determine the best course of action and recommend additional tests that might be necessary.

Recommended Vaccines for Standard Poodles

Standard Poodles are an amazing breed. They’re smart and sweet, and they love their families more than anything in the world.

But did you know that vaccinations are incredibly important for your Standard Poodle?

Here’s why:

  • It will help prevent your dog from getting sick or spreading diseases to other pets.
  • It will help prevent your dog from getting sick or spreading diseases to humans.
  • It has been proven time and time again that vaccines are safe and effective!
A vet doing a routine checkup for a standard poodle

Rabies vaccination is required by law, but standard poodles should also receive other vaccinations to protect them from serious diseases.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, here is a list of vaccines that are considered Core Dog Vaccines:

  • MLV or Recombinant Canine Distemper Virus
  • Adenovirus-2 and Parvovirus (DAPP)
  • +/- Parainfluenza Virus
  • Rabies Virus

Core vaccinations are critical because all dogs face a universal risk of exposure to serious diseases such as rabies. In addition, they may spread disease to other animals—and even people!

Core vaccines are designed to guard against the most serious diseases, but these Non-Core vaccines can protect your standard poodle from other illnesses:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica + canine parainfluenza virus
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica only
  • Leptospira
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8
  • Canine Influenza Virus-H3N2
  • Crotalus atbrox

Although they are not as crucial to your dog’s health as the core vaccinations, these non-core vaccines can still be very important.

When you bring your dog in for his next checkup, ask your vet to review which non-core vaccines might be appropriate and recommend the ones that make the most sense for your standard poodle.

How Much Exercise Do Standard Poodles Need to Stay Healthy?

Standard poodles are energetic dogs that need mental and physical stimulation to feel their best.

If you’re not giving your standard poodle enough exercise, their health will suffer and they may develop behavioral problems.

Standard poodles are active dogs and need at least 40 minutes of exercise every day. This means walking them daily, training them using different methods, playing games with them in your backyard, or taking them on hikes around your neighborhood.

Here’s a list of some activities that can help you get your dog moving more:

  • Take him on walks through the neighborhood or around the block.
  • Play fetch with him in the backyard or at the park (or make up games like “keep away” if he doesn’t like fetch).
  • Teach him tricks like rolling over, sitting up, or laying down on command so he has something fun to do when he gets bored during downtime at home between play sessions or walks outside.
A senior man walking a standard poodle

Apart from that, make sure you give your toy poodle plenty of toys and puzzles to keep them engaged throughout the day.

This will help him stay mentally stimulated and help prevent behavior problems such as boredom or separation anxiety.

Standard poodles are natural athletes, so they love to run and play outside. If you don’t have time to take your dog out every day, consider getting a dog breed that doesn’t need as much exercise.

Optimal Nutrition to Keep Standard Poodles Healthy

Well-rounded nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. It’s the key to maintaining a strong immune system and keeping your dog happy and healthy in their golden years.

But what does “well-rounded nutrition” really mean? And how can you make sure your standard poodle gets it?

The answer lies in three simple rules:

Feed your dog a high-quality food that has been formulated for their breed, age, and lifestyle (active or not).

A standard poodle eating his food

Feed your poodle a balanced diet with protein from animal and plant sources.

Don’t skimp on quality when buying pet products.

Supplement with fresh foods and treats to round out their diet.

Make sure there’s no added sugar or salt in what you feed your dog.

Stop feeding your poodle table scraps!

Along with the right diet make sure you supplement your poodle’s diet.

Poodles can become deficient in essential vitamins and minerals if they don’t get enough of them in their food.

You can give your dog a vitamin supplement, or you can give them a chewable tablet that will help boost their immune system and keep them feeling good!

If you find that your poodle has a sensitive stomach, you can add pumpkin to the mix—it’s known to soothe upset tummies and bloaty bellies.

And speaking of bloating…make sure you don’t exercise or encourage running right after your poodle eats! This will only exacerbate any problem with bloating (and probably cause gas).

Conclusion

So there you have it! Are standard poodles healthy? The answer is a resounding yes.

Overall, standard poodles are a healthy breed of dog.

They can live long lives and are generally very energetic and playful.

They may have some health issues that come with their long lifespan, but the good news is that most of the health problems they face can be managed with proper care!

With proper health checkups, right breeding, proper nutrition, ample exercise and a stable environment a standard poodle will a long and happy life.

I understand that a dog’s health is paramount to their owners, and they want to do whatever possible in order for the animal live as long and happy of a life as possible.

I hope that reading this article has made you more aware of the health issues that standard poodles may face.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below.

By Nancy Williams

Hi! My name is Nancy Williams, and I'm a poodle owner. I started PoodleGo because I was tired of not being able to find high-quality information about how to care for my poodle. I wanted to help others who were also frustrated with the lack of good poodle information on the internet. I spend every spare moment reading about poodles, talking to other poodle owners, and learning more about best practices for caring for my dog. I love seeing a healthy, well-groomed, happy poodle—and hope that my site will help you get there!

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