Start while the toy poodle is young if you want to use it for baths. You can start bathing Toy Poodles when they are as young as eight weeks. The time between baths depends on the dog’s habits and where it is kept; a range of anywhere between two weeks to two months is normal for poodles.
Brush Before Bathing
Apply your pup’s coat before bathing to prevent the type of entanglement while it is in the water and to remove remaining dirt. This prevents matting of the curly coat, which is more of a factor for Toy Poodles than for other dogs with shorter, less curly coats.
Use Puppy or Baby Shampoo
Puppies have sensitive eyes, use mild shampoo only. Ask your vet about the best toy poodle shampoo. Different breeds require different shampoos.
Completely Soak the Layer
Toy poodles have coats that are relatively resistant to water, so it will take a bit of work to prepare for the shampoo step. Test the water to make sure it’s hot. After shampooing, rinse the dog; don’t get soap on the puppy’s coat. This will retain the oils in the skin, and reduce the potential for irritation to a puppy’s sensitive skin.
Start from the Neck
When wetting and washing, start from the neck and gently massage down the puppy’s body. Always rub along the hairline to prevent halos and tangles. Avoid soap or water near the face or inside the ears. However, it can still be cleaned around the ears.
Puppies are vulnerable to hypothermia after a bath, so store them in a warm place until dry. Wrapping with a towel is a good way to do this, although you will need to swap out the towel for a dry one a couple of times. You can also use a blow dryer on the lowest setting of “hot.” While it dries, gently brush the dog with a wire brush to prevent matting.
Make the experience as fun as possible, especially when bathing a young and impressionable puppy. Use a dog treat as positive reinforcement. Toy Poodles are intelligent and sensitive to the treatment they receive, preferring rewards over coercion.