Poodle Shampoo and Coat Products

For a shampoo to be one of the best for a Poodle, it must be formulated for this breed’s particular needs.

Since the Poodle has a single coat of curly hair (and not a thick double-coat of fur as many other breeds have), being sure to choose the right shampoo is vital for both skin and coat health.
In addition, with Poodles being found in such an array of colors, you’ll want to use specific shampoo formulas if your Poodle’s coat is looking dulled or stained.
Here, we’ll cover shampoo, conditioner, finishing sprays, and leave-ins, so that your Poodle can look as beautiful as possible while avoiding common skin issues seen with inferior products.
It must be noted that this section will discuss Poodle shampoo and not any products that dye the dog’s coat. Dyeing the coat with chemicals for better balance or to enrich colors can be exceedingly drying and there are much better ways to bring out natural color on a Poodle.

Elements of the Best Shampoos

When you have a breed with hair as opposed to fur, there are particular challenges.  In addition, skin and coat go hand-in-hand, so every grooming product that you use on the coat must be healthy for the skin as well.

A great shampoo should have:
  • Proper pH balance. This should be in the 6.5 to 7.5 range.
  • No soaping agents. You may think that a dog shampoo should automatically contain soap and often when speaking, soap and shampoo are used interchangeably; however, this can be exceedingly drying to the skin and strip the cuticles.
  • No chemicals, parabens, sulfate , phthalate , or phosphate, all of which can be terribly detrimental.
  • Be effective enough to cleanse a Poodle’s water resistant coat.
In addition, choosing the right shampoo can offers other benefits as well:
  • Target and resolve a Poodle’s individual needs including skin issues such as itching, rash, and dryness.
  • Since Poodles can have high body oil production which can create an odd smell, a shampoo can offer a long-lasting pleasant fragrance.
  • Enhance coloring. Most Poodles fade as they mature; however, the coat can appear duller than it should and also hold in stains; both of which blocks the puppy or dog’s natural beauty.
If a Poodle is struggling with moderate to severe skin issues:
  • The right specialty or medicated shampoo can resolve such things as allergy-related issues, and skin infection including yeast, bacterial, and fungi.
Tilli, photo courtesy of Candy Evans

Poodle Colors and Particular Shampooing Needs

As you probably know, the Poodle coat lightens as the dog matures due to the fading gene. However, this should not be mistaken for other issues.

  • Black Poodles can develop a reddish tint (known as sunburning) due to sun exposure.
  • With all colors,  Poodles can have hair that’s been affected by the elements that cause a dulling. It is not uncommon for this to be in just some areas of the coat, causing an unbalanced appearance. For others, it will be full-body.
  • Light colored Poodles often have staining. This is from months or years of particle debris and outside exposure gradually staining the hairs without being properly removed during bathing.
  • White Poodles bring about even more challenges, often with stains around the face, chest, and/or paws.

List of Shampoos and What They Can Do

Black color enhancer shampoo – It can be tricky to keep a black Poodle super black; however, if a Poodle is genetically black, the right shampoo can bring back a deep, dark, shiny black coat.  But, steer clear of shampoos that contain dyes.

White and light coat enhancers – For white, cream, silver-beige, café au lait, light to medium apricot, and other light colored Poodles, there are 2 steps. The shampoo must be able to remove stains that may be embedded into hair cuticles.  As those are being drawn out, natural optical brighteners will enhance light colors, allowing them to shine and sparkle.
Oatmeal and Aloe – If you choose a quality brand, this can be one of the best shampoos to prevent dry skin and resolve skin issues commonly seen with the Poodle breed.
Eucalyptus and Peppermint – Is great for relieving moderate to severe issues that respond to cooling sensations.
Orange Peel – Is fantastic for removing stains and for calming skin issues.
Allergy shampoo – Many owners search for medicated shampoos when their Poodle is suffering from severe allergies with excessively dry skin, rashes, hot spots, and itching. However, chemicals can just exasperate problems. A really great allergy shampoo for Poodles will contain natural ingredients such as neem, aloe, bentonite clay, and shea butter to immediately offer relief and healing.

Recommended Shampoos

Keeping in mind that the shampoo you use on your Poodle must be correctly pH balanced, be free of the many ingredients that can be detrimental to a Poodle’s skin and coat, and should only contain all-natural ingredients to meet a Poodle’s particular needs, these are all fantastic choices.

First, let’s look at color enhancing shampoos.  We are steering clear of dyes that can be horrible on the skin, and instead looking to all-natural ingredients that help bring out a Poodle’s true color.
The first is for black coats, the middle two for white coats, and the last shampoo is for cream, silver-beige, café au lait, light to medium apricot, gray, and silver Poodles. You’ll find that Earthbath’s coat brightener shampoo is particularly gentle due to lavender oil which is excellent for a dog’s skin.
Recommended shampoos are below. If you do not see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4.