Every new cavapoo owner will have this question: how often, if at all, should you groom your cavapoo?
The answer is, you definitely should groom them, both with a professional and at home by yourself. How often really depends on several factors, including the type of coat that your cavapoo has inherited from its parents.
If your cavapoo has inherited its coat from the Cavalier king Charles spaniel, its hair will be softer and wavy, as opposed to curly. If they inherited poodle coat, the hair will be curly rather than wavy, and more prone to tangling and matting. With this type of coat, it is recommended that you brush your cavapoo daily or 3-4 times a week if your schedule is tight, to prevent matting and tangling.
It is best to start your cavapoo on grooming when they are still young. That way, your puppy will get used to grooming procedures and will learn that they are completely normal. When you begin brushing you cavapoo puppy, give them a small treat to show them that grooming is a pleasant event.
Once your cavapoo associate grooming with treats, they will start looking forward to it and behave better while you are doing it which will make your job easier. Your every day grooming sessions should include gentle brushing of the cavapoo hair until it’s soft and all matting and tangling is gone.
Your cavapoo will eventually start to enjoy it – brushing and scratching can be very pleasant on their skin. It’s a great way to bond with your cavapoo.
Besides brushing, you can (and should) also trim certain areas of your cavapoo coat, such as on the ears and around their mouth , where the hair often gets too long and gets in the way. Pay attention to your cavapoo’s “other end” as well – trimming hair around its bum is a good idea if you notice that that area sometimes gets dirty. If you are too squeamish, you can leave this part for the professional groomer, but it’s really easy to learn to do it yourself and canbe really handy too. You probably really like seeing your cavapoo clean, don’t you? 🙂
Trimming nails is also an important part of grooming your cavapoo. You don’t want them to grow too long as they can affect your cavapoo walking and can break and hurt your cavapoo. Nail trimming won’t always be met enthusiastically by your cavapoo and might even scare them if it’s their first time. As with the rest of grooming, it is a good idea to start them young.
Try trimming their nails when your cavapoo is still a puppy. Some cavapoo really don’t like their feet and paws being touched, so you may need to start slowly. Begin with just touching their paws while also encouraging your cavapoo with voice and/or treats. Let them get used to it. Show them the nail clipper and let the smell it so they are less afraid of it.
Then try trimming their nails while still talking to your cavapoo in a soft voice.
Cavapoo nails have to be trimmed pretty short, but you also have to be careful not to cut into the quick of the nail. The quick is the thicker base of the nail with blood vessels and nerves. If you cut into that, it will hurt your cavapoo! Only trim the sharp ends of the nails! Do it slowly. If your cavapoo expresses fear or tries to escape, try encouraging them with small treats when you manage to clip their nail.
Eventually, your cavapoo will get used to having their nails trimmed as it’s normally completely painless. They may also start looking at nail trimming time as bonding time with you, and if you add treats in the mix, grooming might just become your cavapoo’s favorite thing.
Should you bathe your cavapoo? Well of course! Our dogs spend lots of time outside and can bring a lot of bacteria and dirt on their coats and feet, which isn’t good for you or your pet. Bathing is an excellent way to maintain hygiene and also can be a pleasant time you and your pup have together.
Besides, most dogs love water, and cavapoo is no different. Of course, some dogs may be a bit comprehensive of water, especially if they haven’t encountered it before. As with the rest of grooming procedures, it is wise to start bathing your cavapoo when they are still young. Fill your bathtub with water (not too much, only a few inches), and put your cavapoo in the water.
Let them get used to the sensation, and again, encourage them with your voice and pets. If your cavapoo seems just fine in the bathtub, start washing its coat with warm water. Don’t let the water get into their face or eyes. When bathing your cavapoo, use specialised dog shampoo (never use human shampoo on dogs! Same goes for soap.) Wash their coat thoroughly and then wash the shampoo of.
You can repeat the process a few times. After bathing your pup, help them get dry again with a towel, and praise them, or give them a treat. It is very likely that your dog will really love bathing time!
One of the less pleasant aspects of grooming your cavapoo is taking care of their anal glands. Anal glands in dogs produce certain smelly liquid which is used for marking (yes, dogs mark their territory with poop just like they do with pee).
This is a normal, natural function, even though it may seem a bit gross to us humans. Anal glands normally get emptied automatically when your dog poops, but sometimes that doesn’t happen and your dog may need help squeezing the stuff out. You will notice it when your dog starts scooting it’s other end on the floor or carpet or starts to excessively lick under its tail.
If you see that behaviour, your cavapoo may have an issue with emptying their anal glands and you may need to help them. You can squeeze out their anal glands yourself (I will not go into details here, just search for a video on youtube!) or you can leave this “dirty” job for a groomer. (Just kidding, there is nothing dirty about your cavapoo’s natural anatomy!)
Whatever you do, don’t let this issue go unattended. If your dog’s anal glands aren’t squeezed properly, it can cause great discomfort to the dog, or even infection! (Which will be hard, painful and expensive to treat!)
You can do some or all of the grooming yourself, or you can go for professional grooming services. You will easily be able to find a groomer in your town/city. Pet stores often have a groomer’s office affiliated with them, or you can go to a private groomer. Although it can be costly, I would recommend taking your cavapoo to a groomer at least once.
That way, you can watch what the groomer is doing – and learn! Apart from learning some tricks, you can also buy some of the tools for better and easier grooming from the professional groomer. Who knows, maybe you’ll get so inspired you could open your own grooming salon 🙂 In any case, doing a lot of grooming for your cavapoo at home will help you save money and get more bonding time with your pup.
But if you struggle with any aspect of grooming, such as trimming your cavapoo’s nails – the groomer is a great answer to that.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or use professional help, I recommend maintaining regular grooming sessions for your pup to keep their hair, skin and nails in great condition.