How important is brushing your poodle’s teeth?

One question I’ve been asked many times is how important is brushing your poodle’s teeth and how often should it be done? Actually, the answer is that you should be brushing your poodle’s and all of your dog’s teeth daily.


Lucy is very comfortable with being touched and having her teeth brushed

Dental care isn’t just for us humans, but it is an important part of a healthy regimen for canines too. Sure, dogs went without teeth brushing for thousands of years and in the wild, they do not have a toothbrush to use. But dogs also suffered the gum disease, loss of teeth and pain of not being able to clean their teeth properly.

The reasons for cleaning your poodle’s teeth are to prevent the tartar and plaque from building up, and to prevent gum disease and gingivitis. These things don’t just affect us, but they can affect our pets too.

Periodontal disease can show up as bad breath in your dog. It’s a sign that the mouth and the teeth and gums are not sufficiently clean, which can result in chronic infection that can bring about serious problems with the heart, liver and kidneys.

The good news is that brushing your dog’s teeth is really very easy. It’s not as involved as taking care of your own teeth. And, you don’t have to floss! It is best if you start your teeth brushing with your poodle when he or she is a puppy. But you can always begin to brush at any point. Here are some tips.

Start brushing gently and introduce the toothpaste first by letting your dog lick a little bit off of your finger. Some dog toothpastes taste good, like they are getting a treat. This will take the fear away, when you introduce the toothbrush next time.

Use a toothpaste specially made for dogs. Don’t use human toothpaste, as it can contain many ingredients such as fluoride and other chemicals that could be toxic to your pet.

There are some toothbrushes made just for dogs. The have to be very soft, which are even softer than a soft brush made for us humans. Talk to your veterinarian and pick one up from the vet’s office. Some people use a piece of gauze and wrap it around a finger and gently rub the teeth.

Try to lift up the the lips to expose the teeth and gums. Don’t pry open the jaw which can cause your pet to struggle and panic.

Don’t be discouraged if your dog doesn’t let you brush. Just try a little bit each day until it becomes easier. Don’t force your dog to allow you to brush it’s teeth if they really fight it. Start gradually and be a little persistent and you will probably find that eventually it becomes a routine that they may even come to enjoy.

Here is a good video about how to brush your dog’s teeth. It talks about all of the various issues you may have and how to deal with them.


Are Your Poodle’s Toys Toxic Or Safe?

We all want our poodles and dogs to be able to have chew toys to play with and chew. At least that way, they will have something to chew on that’s not our favorite pair of slippers or shoes, or even the sofa.

But are your poodle’s toys toxic or safe? We have to take a very close look at what they are made of, read the labels, and avoid any toys made from toxic or dangerous materials and chemicals.

poodle with dog toy

Lucy, our mini poodle loves her sock monkey dog toy

A recent study done by Texas Tech University was done and some researchers discovered that many of the plastic bumper dog toys used in dog retriever training have some pretty toxic chemicals. There are BPAs or Bispenol-A and chemicals known as Phthalates. These are chemicals you do not want your dog or poodle to be absorbing into their system as they can pose serious health risks.


Toxicologist at the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech Phillip Smith, who co-authored the study, was interested in how his own dogs were being affected by these toys. In an interview, Smith told Environmental Health News, “Some of the dogs are exposed to plastic bumpers from the time they are born until the day they die. We all want our pets to be healthy.”

Read more from the original article here


While it may not get rid of toxic materials, you might also consider keeping your poodle’s and dog’s toys clean.  Now and again, it’s a good idea to clean and disinfect your dog toys.  You can use a very small amount of bleach diluted in water and soak your dog toys in there.  Just make sure it’s thoroughly rinsed off and dried after your bleach-water rinsing.

Lucy, our Poodle, with one of her favorite dog toys

You can also just use hot water and some liquid hand soap or dish soap and also refer to any instructions on the toy before you clean it, just to be sure.

For a safer and greener approach to cleaning the plastic and squeaky toys, you can also soak the toys in a solution of warm water and white vinegar for 20 to 30 minutes.  Then you can use a brush and scrub away any dirt and grime.

For soft toys and cloth dog toys, suggests that you wash them in cold water in the washing machine in a garment bag.  Just use a lot less soap than you would normally use for a small load of wash.  Using less soap is better, as a general rule.





Dog Treat Recall Alert For Poodle Owners

We regret to announce a Dog Treat Recall Alert For Poodle Owners.  Poodle and dog owners need to be aware of the FDA recall of dog treats contaminated with mold.  These treats were sold at PetSmart stores throughout the US in 35 states.

This particular recall has been applied to 7.5 oz. bags of DogCandy brand products, including Holiday Hound Cake and Blueberry Hound Cake.  The products have the potential to become moldy.

DogCandy Treats Recalled

DogCandy brand dog treats recalled due to possible mold contamination

Here is more on the latest dog treat recall from

The FDA reports that the recall applies to a single production run and packed in a 7.5 ounce paw print bag marked with a best by date of 08-2015. The “best by” date can be found on the ingredient label on the back of the package just above the UPC bar code.
•    The UPC for the Blueberry Hound Cake is: 692614010058.
•    The UPC for the Holiday Hound Cake is: 692614010041.
Mold was found on several cakes after they were delivered to the stores.  Under investigation the company discovered that the cakes contained higher moisture content due to the product being packaged while still warm. The company has taken every precaution and implemented new additional procedures to correct the issue.

Read more from the original post here

If you have purchased any of these products, you can return the package to your nearest PetSmart store and get a refund.  Otherwise, you can send the remains to the following address:
Claudia’s Canine Cuisine®
100 Four Paws Lane,
Maumelle, Arkansas 72113

You can indicate that you would like a replacement product.  Shipping costs will be reimbursed by the company.

If you have other questions, you may contact someone at Claudia’s Canine Cuisine during regular business hours.  They are available Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. by calling 1-501-851-0002 or email


What is the best way to give your poodle a pill?

If you are like so many poodle and dog owners, you have probably had to give your poodle a pill at some point in time and sometimes that can be a real challenge. Poodles are smart, and even when you hide the pill in their food bowl or a tasty treat, they can tell that it is there and will refuse it or spit it out.


giving a poodle a treat

Lucy, our Poodle loves getting a tasty treat!

So, what is the best way to give your poodle a pill?

I recommend hiding it inside something small and tasty that they usually crave and would gladly eat as a treat. Here are the top ten ideas from I have used one or two of these myself.

• In a hotdog
• In a piece of cheese
• In liverwurst
• In cream cheese
• Wrap it in bacon and drop it on the floor
• Put it in peanut butter on a spoon and turn the spoon upside down for them to lick off
• In pill pockets
• In a raw hamburger
• In a spoonful of hummus–just the right consistency for no spitting
• Hide it in a spoonful of coconut oil. Coconut oil is good for dogs and most love it.

Read more from the original article here


Dogs are funny creatures and are so picky sometimes. I had a cocker spaniel who was so talented at picking things out that he liked and leaving things behind that he didn’t. He could eat a bowl of my home made beef stew that I would make for him and leave a ring of peas around the outside edge of the bowl!!

Since poodles are the second smartest breed of dogs in the world, you have to be one step ahead of them if you want to succeed in getting the medicine down.

What have you tried when it comes to finding the best way to give your poodle a pill?


Keep your poodles and dogs safe during Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a real family holiday and it is one we all look forward to.  It is a time of getting together with the family and one of joy and good food.

However, for pets, it can be a dangerous holiday.  Here are some tips to help you to keep your poodles and dogs safe during Thanksgiving.

poodle in the kitchen

Lucy is in the kitchen and wants a dog treat

Firstly, don’t feed your dog or poodle any turkey bones.  They are not at all suitable bones for dog treats.  They can pose a serious choking risk and can be very harmful to your dog.

Keep a close eye on your kitchen garbage can and make sure it stays off limits or out of reach from your canine companions.  Dogs can sometimes get into the trash and not only make a mess but ingest harmful foods that can make them very sick.

Some of the foods that are a part of a  typical Thanksgiving feast can pose serious health hazards to dogs.  A few of them include the following:

Chocolate can be very dangerous to dogs.

Alcohol.  Keep your dog away from licking up any beer or wine or any other alcoholic drinks left unattended.

Grapes and Raisins.  These can cause serious health problems for any dog.

Onions cause kidney disease and you should be careful of your poodle or dog doing any “counter surfing” while you are cooking with onions.

Avoid giving your poodle turkey skin or any other rich or fatty foods.  Dogs that eat too many rich or fatty foods can develop pancreatitis or gastroenteritis.  These are two serious diseases that can be deadly.

Limit your special holiday treats to just a big of skinned turkey meat on top of your dog’s food to give it a little extra taste for the holidays.  A little bit of gravy or some cooked (or raw) carrots and some plain sweet potato are also fine.

Make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink and stays hydrated and not too stressed out.  A house filled with people can be a stressful place to be for hours at a time.  Make sure your dog has a little place to retreat to when it gets a little too hectic.

Enjoy your holiday and make sure you keep your poodles and dogs safe during Thanksgiving


Soothe your poodle with some Mozart and not metal

If you want a calmer poodle or dog at home, then I recommend that you soothe your poodle with some Mozart and not metal.  Try Beethoven or Bach instead of Motorhead or Slayer next time if you want a less-stressed pooch at home.

poodle listening to classical music

Lucy our poodle loves when we have classical music playing in the background

A study done at the Colorado State University shows that classical music can make a significant difference in the way your dog behaves.  Playing classical music instead of heavy metal or rock n roll just seems to calm down the dogs and is much more soothing to their system.

From the  Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Vol 7, No 5, September/October 2012, the following was reported:

Both boarded and rescue dogs responded to all the classical music selections by sleeping more than during exposure to any other auditory stimulation type. The number of obser- vations of silence was greatest during 1 classical selection (classical 2) and least during the control period (no music). These results are consistent with human studies, which have suggested that music can reduce agitation

In addition, here is another excerpt from the report which tells us of the changes in behavior and mood of the dogs in the study.

Our findings replicate some of the findings by Wells et al. (2002) in their study of the effect of auditory stimulation on shelter dogs. We found that classical music promoted more restful behaviors that might be associated with a reduced stress level. Heavy metal music was found to have the opposite effect, leading to behaviors that suggest increased agitation.

Shelters are inherently stressful environments for most dogs, and results of this study suggest that playing classical music might help ameliorate some of these negative aspects. It is also possible that the positive effects that classical music has been found to have on humans may also affect both shelter employees and potential adopters.

You can download and read the entire study by clicking here

Overall, the rescued and kenneled dogs that were listening to classical music did less barking, slept more and had slower heartbeats than the dogs who were exposed to heavy metal music.  Another interesting thing to note is that the dogs in the study stayed silent when they were being played classical music.  When there wasn’t any music playing at all, they were the noisiest.

So make sure you soothe your poodle with some Mozart and not metal music at home.  After all, life is stressful enough at home, and it is even more so for the animals at a shelter.  A shelter is a particularly difficult and stressful environment for a poodle, cat or other animal to contend with.  They are anxiously spending time in an unfamiliar place and their future is uncertain.  If Brahms, Bach and Mozart can calm them down there, it is a sure thing that is true for you at home, too.


First Poodle to be getting new cancer treatment

A story is just out about the first Poodle to be getting new cancer treatment at the UT’s college of Veterinary Medicine.

Arwen is a sweet little gray poodle, who has had trouble breathing, but since that was the only symptom, it was a shock to learn that she had a massive tumor that was wrapped around her heart and lungs.  It took some time to discover the problem, as Amanda Stoermer, Arwen’s owner, explained.  The vet finally did an x-ray and discovered the suspicious looking mass in her body, that turned out to be a thymoma.

After being told by her oncologist to just take her home and make her comfortable and accept the inevitable, Amanda persisted in finding an alternative to simply saying goodbye to her beloved poodle.  Her search eventually led her to discovering a new technology that is being used for the first time at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

The following statement is from about this new treatment for cancer for pets.

She’s the first patient to undergo Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, or IMRT.
Dr. Nathan Lee, a radiation oncologist at the vet school, said this new way to deliver radiation is much more accurate.

“The difference is that the field shapes are constantly changing throughout the treatment, and the dose rate is constantly changing so that we can modulate, or vary the intensity of the radiation, over the field so that we can target the tumor area and avoid the normal tissues in the area down to a couple of millimeters,” he said.

Read the entire story here


Here is a video about this story about the First Poodle to be getting new cancer treatment at UT in Tennessee.


While the treatment costs around $4000.00, Arwen’s owner Amanda says it’s worth it.  If you love your poodle as much as I do, you understand completely, that the cost is worth it to save little Arwen’s life.  So far the new treatment is working and the tumor is shrinking.


Pet food recall for Poodle and dog owners

We have another Pet food recall for Poodle and dog owners to be aware of.  Over the weekend, the Nature’s Recipe company made an announcement about a voluntary recall of one of their dog food products.  A limited supply of their Oven Baked Biscuits with Real Chicken has been recalled.

Nature's recipe pet food recall
A press release mentions that some lots of these pet treats may have been contaminated with Salmonella.  At the present time, however, no incidents have been reported of either dogs or humans becoming ill from exposure to these pet treats.

The biscuits impacted by this recall were manufactured at a plant which is located in Topeka, Kan. and they have been distributed to pet retail outlets across the nation.
The specific biscuits impacted by this recall include:
Lot Codes 2199TP or 2200TP and a UPC Code of 30521 51549. The pouches also have a “Best If Used By Date” stamp of “10 11 13″ and “10 12 13.”
For further information about the recall and for instructions on obtaining replacement product, consumers can use the Contact Us form at or call the Consumer Hotline, 24 hours a day, at 800-237-3856.
Individuals who have purchased these specific lots of the dog biscuits should stop feeding them to their dog immediately and watch for any signs of Salmonella poisoning.

See the original article here 

We will be watching the news to see which other pet foods are being recalled.  In the meantime, please be mindful of this recall of the Nature’s Recipe Oven Baked Biscuits with real chicken.  Spread the word to friends with poodles or dogs.


Cold laser treatment for your poodle and other pets

There is an innovative treatment that can be very effective in treating certain injuries and conditions for pets.  Cold laser treatment for your poodle and other pets (also called Veterinary Low Level Laser) has been known to be tremendously beneficial in treating animals with any kind of muscular and skeletal issues.

Cold Laser Treatment for Poodle

Poodle receiving Cold Laser Treatment

Cold laser therapy can reduce pain, improve nerve function and help to speed the healing process of damaged muscle tissue and helps to reduce inflammation.  When the special light is applied to the animal, it penetrates all the way to the mitochondria of the cells and begins to repair the areas which are injured and not functioning properly.  It has been used to great effect on back, neck, spine and joint issues and helps spread the healing to other parts of the body.

When one of my cats’ front paw had become lame and paralyzed, I took him to our vet, who uses this treatment in her practice.  Dr. Jill Elliot used the cold laser treatment on Frosty and within the first couple of days after the initial session, his paw had begun to be completely restored, and he was able to walk again without any problems.  Chiropractors have been using this technique for decades, but it has only been used by veterinarians in recent years in their practice.  Many, if not, most veterinarians do not use this or do not know about cold laser therapy for poodles, cats and other pets.

The following is from and explains exactly what this treatment is.


L.A.S.E.R. stands for Light Amplification Stimulated Emission Rays, a way of directing highly concentrated coherent light of a concise wave length to the muscles, tissues, organs, connective tissue, formed elements of the blood, living matrix of the body, to direct all aspects of healing, growth, regulations of metabolism and general cell survival. This happens normally in our animal’s bodies but poor diet, disease, toxins, genetics and aging take hold, the communications (the mitochondria in the cells) begin to fail as the tissues change and break down to the DNA.


The low level (cold) laser allows us to “dial up” and “dial into” the body’s natural communication process. This artificial production of the cell’s natural wavelength and frequency gives us the ability to emulate the exact methodology that cells would use to heal themselves. 

Depending on the severity of the problem a series of 4 -12 treatments is suggested. The first four treatments usually occur within the first few days (2 a day at least one hour apart). After there are once a day treatments scheduled over the following three weeks. These treatments are cumulative so the faster they get done the quicker the results are seen. However, due to scheduling concerns you can spread out visits.
You can read the entire article here


Here is Dr. Jill Elliot using Cold Laser Treatment on a Poodle Mix dog with a painful joint and torn tendon in her leg.  Watch the video and see how this therapy is used to treat this cockapoo.

If you are in the New York or New Jersey area, and you are interested in making an appointment for laser treatments for your pet, you can visit Holistic Pet Care in Little Falls, NJ on Tuesdays and Thursdays or Yorkville Animal Hospital in Manhattan on Fridays and Saturdays, by appointment.  For more information about Dr. Elliot, you can visit her website at


Trimming your poodle’s nails

Trimming your poodle’s nails should be a regular part of grooming.  But it happens to be one the more overlooked aspects of keeping a dog well groomed.  Some people just forget to tell the groomer and some groomers just don’t bother with it, because the dog is too difficult to handle.  The most important thing about trimming a poodle or any kind of dog’s nails is the quick.  Unlike our fingernails, the quick grows along with the nail.  You must avoid cutting into the pink part of the nail or the nail will bleed and hurt your dog.

poodle grooming

Most dog groomers will trim your poodle's nails

Make sure that if you are going to trim your dog’s nails yourself, you get the right kind of nail clipper that is specifically made for a dog.  Also be sure to get one that is the right size.  If the clipper is too small it may crush the nails which would not be a good thing.  If it is too large, you could be cutting too much nail away and you risk hitting the quick.  (ouch!)

If your poodle or dog hasn’t had it’s paws and nails handled from the beginning when it was a puppy, chances are you will have to work a little to get them to become accustomed to having their paws handled and nails clipped.  It can be done.  It just will take some patience, a lot of love and some tasty treats!

If you have just gotten a poodle and it is a puppy, now is the time to start trimming those nails.  Make sure it becomes as pleasant an experience for your poodle as possible, and not a negative one.  Be gently, don’t use force, and always have some treats.  In many instances, it may be a good idea to have your puppy laying down, rather than standing up, when you are going to trim the nails.

Be patient with your pooch!  Don’t lose your cool or get upset if you get a lot of anxiety or resistance with your dog.  It will just create more nervousness around this.  Take breaks and keep trying, but be gentle and patient.


As a rule, if you can hear your pet’s nails clicking across the floor, it’s beyond time to cut them. Nails that are too long can cause problems such as splayed feet, ingrown nails plus hip and joint issues. Long nails also can get caught and torn as a dog moves about.
If your dog is particular about someone touching their feet, make it extremely rewarding for them. Have a bunch of yummy treats handy, and when you touch a foot, give Fido a treat. Treats don’t have to be big pieces but they do need to be something your pet really enjoys and savors. This doesn’t mean a dry crunchy bone but something like a piece of hot dog, chicken or string cheese. Each time you touch a foot, treat your dog. Once your dog is comfortable with you touching their feet, take it up a notch. Maybe hold the foot in your hand for a few seconds or rub the paws softly. Treat again. Don’t push your luck. Just do enough to keep your dog comfortable and be sure to reward with those high-value treats.
Each time your pet is comfortable with one step, take it further the next time. If you get to a point where your pet struggles or feels uncomfortable, stop and go back to the point that your pet was comfortable and work again. When you are able to touch your dog’s nails with the trimmers, you will want to have even higher value treats. To start with, just trim the tip of a nail and reward your pet. Trimming just the tip once a week will be a big help to getting the nails shorter for your pet.

Read the original story here

Many people neglect to trim their dogs nails or have them done at a groomer, since they figure that the dog is running around enough to wear them down on their own.  This is true to a certain degree, but when the nails get too long, it’s time to get the trimmer out or have them done at the vet or at the groomer.
If you are able to handle your poodle and handle his or her paws easily, then keeping them trimmed won’t be an issue.  Just get a good nail clipper and make sure it is the right size for your dog.  Here are some good step by step instructions for getting the job done from


Take   paw, start anywhere you want, you have four to choose from, in your hand. 
Squeeze it gently to expose the nails. 
Place your clipper vertically, at the curve of the nail or close to the end of the quick.
White nails are easy; you can see the quick, so in this case you can clip them a little shorter.  Black nails, especially thick black nails take time and patience. Turn the paw over and look at the inside of the nails. You will see that at the base they are thick and round; as you get closer to the point they thin out slightly and develop a groove. Where the groove begins is usually the end of the quick. But don’t cut the nail that short. A better idea is to clip it right at the curve.
If you can’t tell where the quick is, you will have to experiment by taking off a little at a time. Look at the part you just removed when it resembles a donut (with a round black spot in the middle) stop. That is the end of the quick.
Trim all of the nails on one paw, before going to the next. Be sure to get the dew claw (that thumb-like claw) as it does not get walked on, and can get hung up on things. Your dog will want to stop after the first three feet, or even after a couple of toes. Give him a treat and scratch him, but continue. Do not stop. He has to know that you are serious and that you are not going to stop until all the paws are finished.
Clip at a 45 degree angle, that is, when you are done and the dog is standing on the ground, his nails will be level with the ground. You can use his pads as a reference point.
Speaking of points, if your dogs nails splinter when you trim them, or if they have sharp points leftover you may want to file them slightly. Use a large manicure file and run it across the bottom and side of the nail to reduce the sharp edges. There is no need to buff them, but if you want to use nail polish on your Poodle, Dachshund, or Rottweiler then be sure it is approved for use on dogs. Human nail polish takes too long to dry and can be harmful if it is ingested by your dog.
Another good way to wear down the sharp edges is to allow Ziggy to run on concrete, or just walk for awhile. This will make the sharp edges more manageable.
If you trim your dog’s nails regularly, he will look good and when he jumps on you, he won’t hurt you or himself. Besides it will allow you some good quality time with your dog, and we all can use more of that.

Original article may be found here

Should you happen to cut into the quick by accident, and there is a little blood, don’t panic and don’t make a huge and big deal out of it.  You don’t want to re-enforce the panic or emotion around this.  Just get some styptic powder or some cornstarch and dab it.  Remember that trimming your poodle’s nails on a regular basis is a small price to pay for a happy and healthy poodle.