Shaving a Poodle: Is It Really Necessary?

Categorized as Poodle FAQs, Poodle Breed Information
Shaving a Poodle Is It Really Necessary

So you’re thinking about shaving your poodle’s fur for the summer. 

I get it — all that extra hair can be a lot to deal with, especially when it’s 90-something degrees out and they stop running around and turn into deadweights in your arms. If you’re considering shaving your pup, there’s some important things to know first.

There are many reasons why someone would want to shave their poodle, whether it’s because they want less maintenance work or don’t like having long fur on their dog anymore!

There are also times when shaving is necessary if there has been some type of accident or injury that requires medical attention immediately after being discovered by an owner.

In this article, we will explore both sides of the argument and let you decide for yourself if shaving a poodle is the right thing to do.

What Does Shaving a Poodle Mean?

Shaving a Poodle: Is It Really Necessary? 1

So, you’re thinking about shaving your poodle.

But what does “shaving a poodle” even mean?

Well, it depends on who you ask. For some, it might mean getting rid of all the hair while others think of it as more of a maintenance job to keep the coat short, tidy and mat free. Poodles are known for their soft coats that can be shaved into different shapes and styles.

No matter how you approach it, there are a few things to be aware of before you start clipping away at your poodle’s fur.

There are many ways to shave a poodle and each person will have their own personal preference.

The most common way is using electric clippers with an adjustable blade length setting so that you can get just how much off without cutting too close to the skin or leaving any hairs behind on top of the coat.

Other methods include using scissors which may take longer but provide more control over where and how much hair is being removed from each area of your pet’s body.

Shaving a poodle can help to keep them cool in the summertime. Dogs like poodles that have long and dense hair which can lead them to overheat quickly, so shaving them can help to prevent overheating and keep them comfortable when it’s hot outside. 

Shaving also helps to keep dogs cool when they are playing outdoors or engaging in other activities that make them sweat. Shaving a dog can also help to improve their skin health.

Is Shaving a Poodle Bad for Them?

Unrecognizable woman cutting hair to beautiful little dog. woman cuts the dog's white hair with a machine in a dog grooming salon

The answer is… well, it depends. If you mean “shaving” as in trimming off hair so your poodle can stay cool in the summer and aren’t running the risk of overheating, then no! That’s actually really important.

But if you mean “shaving” as in completely removing all of your poodle’s hair and leaving it naked, then yes.

That’s probably not a good idea. Poodles have what’s called a “double coat,” meaning they have two distinct layers of fur. The outer layer is curly, while the inner layer is shorter, fluffier and downy.

This combination makes them very fluffy to touch but also keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

In fact, when it comes right down to it, shaving off all the  fur can actually be harmful to your poodle—not just because it might make them cold in winter, but because that outer layer protects their skin from sunburns (yes—poodles can get sunburns!) and damage from thorns or other things they might run into outside.

It’s important to remember that poodles have different coats on different parts of their body. The hair on your poodle’s behind and legs is short and smooth, while the hair on their back and chest grows long like human hair.

Because of this difference in coat length, you either need to shave your whole poodle or trim them up regularly.

Regularly trimming your poodle will keep them looking neat and tidy, but some people prefer the look of a shaved dog, which makes sense if you think about it.

If you look at a dog breed with a natural bob cut—like a pug—nobody questions whether they should be trimmed.

Does Shaving a Poodle Hurt Them?

The answer is no, it doesn’t. But there’s more to it than that.

Unless there is a medical reason to shave off your poodle’s fur, it is best to leave it alone. Poodles who are groomed regularly by a professional will typically have their hair trimmed short enough so that they don’t overheat in the summertime.

Therefore, you won’t need to shave your dog unless its hair has grown out or it has become matted for some reason.

Shaving your poodle can also lead to skin problems if you don’t wait for the hair to grow back out before shaving again—plus, your poodle will look naked and weird until its hair grows back in! It’s kind of hilarious, but not worth the trouble.

In summary—no, shaving your poodle doesn’t hurt them, but it’s not necessary either!

Should a Poodle Be Shaved?

If you’re wondering if you should shave your poodle, I’d say: it depends.

Do you call shaving “completely removing all of the hair from your poodle’s body?” If so, no. You should not shave your poodle at all.

But if you consider shaving to be something other than completely removing all of the hair from your poodle’s body, then yes! You should certainly shave your poodle from time to time.

Poodles are great in any form—but sometimes they get a little too warm in their coats, especially if you live in a sweltering climate.

It could be problematic for your dog to wear a jacket all year long—and besides, it’s so fun to see them happy and bouncy in their fur-free state!

It’s always good to have options, right?

Moreover, if you are looking to give your poodle a fresh, clean look while setting them up with the best possible chance of being seen from a distance, go ahead and give them a good shaving!

Should You Shave Your Poodle’s Nose?

Close-up of Pet Groomer Cutting Hair on Poodle's Nose With Electric Razor.

Close-up of Woman Cutting Hair on a White Poodle’s Nose With an Electric Razor.

The short answer is yes. Yes, you should shave your poodle’s face.

If you have a poodle, you’ve probably noticed that they tend to get a lot of hair on their face.

It can be hard to see them through all those little curls! While some people may like the look and feel of having that much hair, it’s definitely not the best for your pooch.

Left unclipped, the hair on their face can easily become matted, which in turn can become a painful area to work on mats.

Not to mention, if it gets too long, it can begin to block your dog’s vision—and who wants that?

As well as being cleaner, their muzzle will not act like a mop, soaking up water and food and spreading messes throughout the house.

So shave away!

Should You Shave Your Poodle’s Ears?

Unrecognizable woman cutting hair to beautiful little dog. woman cuts the dog's white hair with a machine in a dog grooming salon

Unrecognizable woman cutting a beautiful white poodle’s ears.

Before you shave your poodle’s ears, think about the shape of his ears, and the effect shaving will have on that shape. Toy poodles tend to have little, high-set ears that get hidden by their hair.

If you shave them off, though, it can make them look like elf ears!

On the other hand, your poodle might be cute no matter what. It depends on the shape of his ears and how they look with or without hair on them.

I would suggest taking a picture with hair on, and another with it shaved off to see which you prefer.

At any rate, hair grows back! If you dislike the way the hairless look looks, know that it won’t take long to grow out again.

Should You Shave Your Poodle’s Feet?

Close-up of a Dog Groomer Shaving a Poodle's Feet

Close-up of a Dog Groomer Shaving a Poodle’s Feet

So, you love your poodle, and you’ve heard that shaving the poodle’s feet is a good way to keep it looking clean. Should you do it?

There are lots of conflicting opinions on this issue, but if you’re looking for something practical, here’s how we see it:

From a maintenance perspective, keeping the poodle’s feet shaved will make daily grooming much easier for an owner.

When your poodle has long hair on its feet, this area can become matted with dirt and debris over time. It is also vulnerable to cuts, scrapes, and other wounds while walking or exploring around the property.

This can not only cause discomfort for your dog as it walks around your house or plays outside—it can also be an infection risk.

A shaved foot is less likely to get dirty or cut. This makes it easier to keep your poodle’s feet clean and healthy with light brushing and wiping down.

If you don’t mind having to pay attention to your dog’s feet more often during grooming sessions and daily routines, then shaving the foot is probably not necessary.

However, if you find yourself having to bathe your poodle frequently or check the paws regularly for small cuts or bruises that might develop into an infection or become sore over time, you might want to consider shaving their feet.

How Frequently Should You Shave a Poodle?

As for how frequently one should shave their poodle, there are several factors at play: first of all, the weather outside and the amount of time that your dog spends outdoors will determine whether or not it is necessary for them to be regularly clipped. 

If they’re spending most of their days lounging around indoors on nice, warm days (which shouldn’t be too much of an issue unless you live somewhere like Florida), then it may not be necessary at all!

Should You Shave a Pregnant Poodle’s Belly?

The main reason for shaving a pregnant poodle’s belly is to reduce the chance of getting a false pregnancy.

False pregnancy occurs when a dog’s body thinks it is pregnant, even though it isn’t.

The female dog may want to chew on her belly or lick her nipples excessively, which can cause hair loss and irritation of the skin.

Shaving the hairs around the belly area can help prevent this from happening.

Another reason people shave a pregnant poodle’s belly is to make it easier to see what is going on during whelping (birth).

Poodles can have up to 8 puppies at once, and all that hair can get in the way of seeing what your dog is doing! By shaving your poodle’s belly, you can easily see if there are any problems with labor or delivery.

There are also some disadvantages to shaving your pregnant poodle’s belly: Shaving off all of that hair leaves the dog without protection from heat or cold. If your dog goes outside during hot weather, she will be more susceptible to sunburns on her bald abdomen!

And if she has been shaved during cold winter months then she may become too cold while outdoors because she no longer has insulation against freezing temperatures.

Should You Shave Your Poodle Before Getting an Ultrasound?

Young boy with his poodle at the vet's office.

The answer to this question is “yes,” but in most cases, the staff will take care of the shaving for you before performing the ultrasound.

Why? Because it’s important that the hand-held probe makes complete contact with your poodle’s skin in order to produce the best results.

Sometimes, if the hair is short and fine enough, it can be moistened with alcohol so that it doesn’t get in the way of contact. But most studies require some level of hair removal.

Should You Shave Your Poodle Ahead of Surgery?

Shaving your poodle before surgery? “Absolutely not!

Trimming a poodle’s fur isn’t an issue; it’s shaving that gets down to the skin that is contraindicated before surgery.

As a result of shaving a poodle, a lot of abrasion may occur on the skin, which allows staph bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

Staph bacteria is everywhere, on everyone and everything, but it doesn’t cause problems unless it gets into an open wound or there is a portal of entry. 

Shaving can be one of those portals. If you have an animal with thick hair like a Labradoodle, for example, there may be bacteria in that hair that you are not aware of. 

When you shave them down, you are opening up their skin and potentially putting that bacteria into their bloodstream.

And if your dog has to undergo surgery – even something as simple as getting spayed – they could develop an infection due to all those staph bacteria getting into their bloodstream.

Does Shaving a Long-Haired Dog Make Them Cooler?

Shaving a black poodle after a long winter.

The rule of thumb is that the shorter the hair, the cooler the pet—at least until it gets so short that the skin is exposed and sunburns become a risk. 

However, you should never shave your pet to the skin, especially on pets with longer coats, as it can cause permanent damage to their coat by changing its texture and growth pattern.

Instead, trimming their long hair will make it more manageable for both you and your pet.

Although you may think that your pet would be more comfortable without all of that fur in the summertime, you can actually cause more harm than good. 

First of all, many people do not know how to properly groom a pet, which can cause cuts and abrasions. This is especially true if you are using scissors rather than clippers.

Clipper blades are designed to work on animal hair and will not cause damage like scissors can.

Additionally, pets need their fur for protection from UV rays from the sun and from bug bites from mosquitoes and other insects. 

They also utilize their fur for insulation against both hot and cold temperatures outside.

Without this protection, your pet can burn easily and overheat in the summertime. Their skin is also much more susceptible to insect bites without this layer of protection.

Can Shaving a Poodle Help With Fleas?

So, you’ve got a poodle, and that dog has fleas. Ugh, we know. We hate it too.

And maybe you’re thinking: “If I shave my poodle, it’ll make it easier to treat the fleas!”

The answer is yes and no.

Fleas are no fun. They make your dog miserable and they make you miserable, too. It can be incredibly frustrating to try to get rid of these pests, but there are certain measures you can take to improve the situation.

Shaving your dog is one such measure. This technique can help reduce the number of fleas in your dog’s coat and improve the visibility of the fleas so that you can treat him more effectively.

That said, shaving your dog won’t necessarily rid him of his infestation. It all comes down to the severity of his infestation and how well you treat it.

Will Shaving a Dog Help With the Skunk Smell?

When a skunk has sprayed your dog and a foul smell is lingering everywhere, you are looking for solutions to get rid of it.

“Shave off your dog’s fur” might seem like an obvious answer but is it actually the best solution?

Yes, shaving your dog will make it easier to wash away the odor-causing oil from your pet’s fur. But why put yourself through all of that effort just to get rid of the smell if there are better solutions available?

There are many easy-to-make home remedies that can help you get rid of that awful smell without shaving off the fur!

Is Shaving a Poodle’s Whiskers Bad

Ah, the age-old question. Should I shave my poodle’s whiskers? Or are they an essential part of the dog experience?

To be honest, we don’t know yet. It’s unclear whether shaving a poodle’s whiskers will cause them harm in any way. But there’s certainly some evidence that points to it being at least disorienting for them.

A poodle’s whiskers are semi transparent hairs that grow near their nose and eyes, and they serve an important purpose: they’re an early warning device.

They alert your dog to the presence of something that might be harmful to its face or eyes. So if you shave your poodle’s whiskers, there’s a good chance that they’ll run into more objects, which could cause them harm.

But what about other consequences? We don’t know for sure yet, but we don’t think trimming your poodle’s whiskers will have any serious consequences. If your poodle’s whiskers get cut during grooming sessions, they’ll grow back over time!

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about shaving your poodle, you should keep a few things in mind:

Shaving a poodle isn’t right or wrong. It totally depends on what you consider shaving. If you’re referring to shaving as completely removing all the hair off your poodle then that’s not right. 

However, if you’re referring to shaving as trimming long hair to keep them neat and tidy then it’s fine, but there are some things to know before you do it. 

Your first option is to go the DIY route and take care of it yourself. While this is a great way to save money, it does come with risks.

If you accidentally cut your poodle’s skin, they could get an infection which would result in hundreds of dollars in vet bills and your pup being very unhappy. 

Your second option would be to take them to a professional groomer who can do the job quickly and efficiently with no risk of injury or infection.

This will cost more than doing it yourself but when it comes to your dog’s health it’s always worth it!

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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