I have worked with animals most of my life, am a vet tech and certified dog trainer. I have been training service dogs since 2006, and helping others train their own service dogs and therapy dogs since 2008. I started our breeding program looking specifically for top quality dogs that would make good service dogs for a wide variety of disabilities. I felt the intelligence, trainability, work ethic, agility, size, structure, health, longevity, instinctive abilities, and non-shedding hypoallergenic qualities made the standard poodle a perfect candidate.

There is a lot of hype in the dog world, about food, vaccines, DNA and health testing. You see people claiming to test for many conditions that there is no advanced test for. VWDI, NEWS, PRA-PRCD,VWD1, are the only tests at this time included in the Poodle Panel. Your vet should do a thorough exam. Check for general overall health of the dog. Most conditions will only show up on tests after the dog is symptomatic, so testing a puppy or their parents is not a true indicator. Family history is the best determining factor. When the dogs in the bloodlines are living a long and productive life, 14 to 17 years old with no major health concerns, or joint failures, the odds are in your favor.
von Willerbrand’s disease: is a bleeding disorder DNA test shows the blood lines are clear.
SA-Sebaceous Adenitis: is a skin condition, no test will determine if your dog will get SA ahead of time. A punch biopsy is used to help determine if a symptomatic dog has SA. It will not tell you if your dog may get SA in the future. This is done by taking a chunk of the dogs hide, including the inflamed area, then stitching the hole closed. Been there, assisted in the procedure. The symptoms are scaly itchy spots with loss of hair, and abcesses.  A punch biopsy is required to determine if the dog has the condition. Even though the symptoms are quite obvious some breeders claim they test annually. These tests are invasive and painful and there is no benefit unless the dog is symptomatic. Poodles are groomed on a regular basis, look at your dog’s skin. If there is no irritation, swelling, or bumps, your dog does not need to be tested. Check blood lines and family history.
Thyroid: hypothyroidism. Some breeders claim to test annually. Test does not determine thyroid issues ahead of time. Symptoms are excessive weight gain, loss of energy. Hyperthyroidism is rare, includes excessive weight loss, and has been linked to raw food diets. If your dog maintains a healthy weight, not overweight with full access to food, they likely do not have hypothyroidism.
HD-Hip Dysplasia: effects the hip joints. A healthy hip socket should enclose the ball holding it securely in place. There are tests that can help determine the structural integrity of a dog’s hip joints. PennHip testing can be done as early as 16 weeks, and determines the amount of laxity in the hip joint. With this test, x-rays are taken with the hips in different positions, showing the actual stability and displacement of the hip. OFA accepts a single X-rays taken after 2 years old to help determine the condition of the hips. A veterinarian can check for movement in the joints with manipulation. Having worked in a vet clinic and done OFA and PennHip x-rays, positioning is critical. This is an example of the inconsistency with OFA hip tests.
Http://kellypeet.com/2016/10/hip-dysplasia-story/ The same dog received 3 different scores, from mild hip dysplasia to good hips, just based on positioning. A bad x-ray can make good hips look bad, a good x-ray can not make bad hips look good. We went through 3 different clinics to find a good radiologist. Poodle hips are not like other dog hips, that is why they can stand up straight on their back legs. One of the vets was offended when I questioned his positioning, because, he raised labs and was sure he knew what he was doing.
Watch the dogs move. Dogs with bad hips do not jump 5 feet in the air from standing, run like the wind or stand upright on their hind legs. Watch for reluctance to climb stairs, get up and walk after exercise, loss of muscle in the hind legs, or standing with their legs close together. If the adult dogs in the lines are athletic, climbing, jumping and moving easy into their teen years that is a pretty good indicator. Check the blood lines. We have generations of proven hips behind our dogs. A good diet, healthy weight and appropriate exercise help maintain strong hips as well.

Found primarily in miniature and toy poodles, as well as dogs that have been bred to miniature and toy poodles:
PRA-Progressive Retinal Atrophy: effects the eyes, DNA test can shows if your dog is clear of the most common PRCD form of PRA.
PL-Patellar Luxation: a structural problem with the stifle or knee joint.
CDM-Canine Diabetes Mellitus: fluctuating blood sugars especially found in small poodles. CDM effects the kidneys, eyes and other organs. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercise helps.
Legg-Calve-Perthes: spontaneous degeneration of the head of the femer. Typically affects small breed puppies 5 to 8 months old,

Immunizations are very important in helping to prevent several highly contagious, frequently fatal diseases. Especially for a service dog, and a service dog in training. They are out in environments where they can easily be exposed to severe and even fatal diseases. Annual veterinary visits and regular vaccinations should reduce the odds greatly and may prevent you from ever having to deal with any of these diseases. These puppy shots are usually administered in combination. The most common include, canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus, parainfluenza, and canine parvovirus. Puppies receive immunity against infectious disease in their mother's milk; this protection begins to disappear between 6 and 20 weeks of age, depending on the mother's own immunity.To protect puppies during this critical time, a series of vaccines is given every 3-4 weeks until the chance of contracting an infectious disease is very low.
Vaccine efficacy: 25% @ 6 wks, 40 % @ 9 wks, 60% @ 16 wks, 95 % @ 18 wks Routine baby shots: Vaccinate and booster twice to avoid lapses in protection. Booster shots are given again in 12 months, then as recommended by your veterinarian.
Canine Distemper generally affects puppies rather than adult dogs. The puppies should be protected during their first six weeks of life from the colostrum in the mother's milk. They may be immunized at four to six week with regular boosters after that. The first symptoms resemble that of a cold, which later can progress into nervous disorders. There is no cure for distemper, which means only being able to treat the symptoms and the other infections that may occur. Most puppies that contract this disease do not survive.
Canine Adenovirus/Infectious Hepatitis affects the dog’s liver. It is a viral disease and is transmitted through saliva and urine. It is not the same as human hepatitis. The first symptoms are generally a high fever, thirst, sore throat, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. It is a fast progressing disease, especially in puppies and the death rate is high. If the vaccine is renewed annually, it provides almost complete protection. Even after the dog is recovered from the disease, it can still spread the virus in its urine, saliva and nasal discharge for months.
Para-influenza is one of the contributors to "Kennel Cough" is the viral disease Canine para-influenza. There are other diseases that can cause Kennel Cough as well, such as the bacterial disorder "Bordatella Bronchiseptica". A separate vaccination can be given against it. All forms of Kennel Cough are very contagious and can be transmitted by nose to nose contact. Sharing of dishes between dogs can cause a healthy dog to become infected.
Parvo-Virus is the final part of the DHPP combination is a vaccine for Canine Parvo-virus Parvo is a fairly new disease, first occurring in 1978. It is a very contagious viral disease contracted from contact with an infected dogs feces or vomit. Suspect Parvo anytime a pup shows symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Dehydration occurs rapidly, it is critical to get immediate medical attention. Fatality rates are high if left untreated.
Leptospirosis can be contracted by humans as well as dogs and other animals and is a bacterial disease that is extremely contagious. The symptoms generally include dark colored urine, fever and chills, vomiting, stiffness in the hindquarters and abdominal pain.
Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by the saliva of various animals including horses, wolves, squirrels, and raccoons, among others. Rabies affects the nervous system, which can cause one of two different types of reactions. One reaction causes the dog to seem to go “mad” and the other causes the dog to appear “dumb” or in a state of shock. The symptoms of rabies may not show up for several weeks or months. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rabies and the animal must be put down. If there is doubt as to whether the dog is rabid or not, the dog may be isolated and watched for 10 to 14 days. If the animal is rabid it will ultimately die during this time. You should have your dog vaccinated for rabies when it is between four to six months old, with a booster given every one to four years, depending on which type of vaccine was used. Most jurisdictions require that you keep your dog vaccinated against rabies.
Adverse Reactions to Immunizations: Vaccinations are important to protect your dog from life-threatening diseases. Some dogs have an adverse reaction to vaccinations. Some breeds react to specific vaccines more than others. Check with your veterinarian regarding your dog. 
Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy is a neurological disorder associated with recurrent seizures not a result of other conditions. Phenobarbital is the most commonly used medication to treat Epilepsy. Most epileptic dogs are between the ages of one to five years old.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a progressive disease that causes the retina to “shrivel up.” It may not show up until the dog is between two and eight years old and worsens with age. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, although in a safe environment, most dogs learn to adapt to the gradual loss of eyesight.
Sebaceous Adenitis is a health problem in which the sebaceous glands become inflamed and eventually die. Normal sebaceous glands produce sebum that helps prevent the skin from drying out. It can cause scaly patches or hair loss to occur.
Addison's Disease also known as hypoadrenocosteroid results in a lack of function of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce certain types of steroid hormones that regulate different body functions, such as GI function, mental activity and electrolytes. They also help the body adapt to stress. Watch for lack of energy, loss of appetite and muscle weakness.

Hip Dysplasia can be a results in the abnormal development of the hip joint or from wear or injury. It occurs when the muscles, ligaments, and tissue around the hip joint loosen, no longer holding it in place. The hip joint then malforms, often causing arthritis and pain, due to the bones rubbing against each other. Most dogs with hip dysplasia are born with apparently normal hips, but as the disease progresses, causes pain in one or both rear legs. Dogs as young as five or six months of age have shown signs of the disease, but in other dogs, it may not show up until they are older. It is important to check family history. Good nutrition and exercise for all stages of life, help keep hips and other joints healthy.
Gastric Dialation or Bloat is probably the most serious and life threatening medical emergency that can happen to deep chested dogs, like great danes, standard poodles. Time is of the essence when dealing with Bloat, since the dog can deteriorate quite rapidly. When the stomach bloats, gas and/or food makes the stomach stretch, causing extreme abdominal pain. For unknown reasons, the stretched stomach tends to rotate and twists off its blood supply as well as the only route for gas to escape. A dog with “Bloat” can die in pain in a matter of a few hours unless drastic steps are taken. If you suspect "Bloat", see your veterinarian immediately! http://www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm
Kennel Cough also known as bordetellosis or infectious tracheobronchitis is a common infection in all dogs. The infection is spread by dogs that are kept in close proximity to each other like kennels, hence the name "Kennel Cough". It can also be picked up at dog shows or dog parks. It is not a life-threatening condition and usually clears up after 7 to 14 days. Generally, the only symptom the dog has is a hacking cough.
Von Willebrands Disease is a common inherited bleeding disorder in which a dog is missing an important substance that make blood clot. Because the blood doesn't clot,the dog can be subject to excessive bleeding if it is injured and during whelping.
Canine Thyroid Disease is the most common endocrine diseases found in dogs. The thyroid gland is responsible for many functions in the dogs body, especially handling the dogs metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland isn't creating enough thyroid hormones. The disease can be difficult to diagnose without blood tests, since the symptoms are common with several other diseases. The most notable symptoms are weight gain, hair loss and skin problems.
Outlook: If your dog shows any changes in its health, personality or activity level, you should seek veterinary help to rule out any problems. Prompt attention will assure your companion leads the quality of life it deserves!
Maintenance & Grooming: Healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth are what define a well-groomed dog. Dog grooming is the practice of caring for the appearance of a canine for personal or showing purposes. Dog-grooming includes washing, hair clipping and cutting, nail clipping, hair styling and teeth cleaning. Grooming is important for your pet and is aesthetically pleasing to owners. It is also a great way to cut down on allergies and infections for both pets and their owners.
Ear Care: Regular routine ear care is extremely important for your dog, especially “Drop Eared” dogs, which means the ear leather is long and points down. Drop eared dogs are more susceptible to ear problems because their ears are warm and moist, which bacteria, yeast and mites love.
Poodles are especially prone to yeast infections. Cleaning your dog's ears regularly between your visits with the veterinarian will help you keep them healthy and pain free. It is recommended that dog's have their ears checked at least once a week. If you see signs of trouble, more frequent ear care may be called for to head off problems before they require a trip to the vet.
Signs of ear trouble include: excessive waxy substance, foul odor, redness, constant scratching, excessive matting of hair on the external ear, rubbing the ears against other objects, head shaking, and disorientation. Use your eyes and nose to perform a home dog ear inspection. This will help you to be able to detect any problems and prevent them from getting worse. You may want to invest in a pet ear scope to aid you in seeing inside your dog’s ears. A dog’s ear canal is different than ours. It is L-shaped, while ours is straight. It is also much deeper than ours, which means it will take more effort to clean than ours. You should be very careful when cleaning your dog’s ear canal. Do not use using cotton-tipped swabs, they can actually push the dirt and wax deeper into the ear canal. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Check with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has any ear problems.
Ear mites are tiny pests that live in your dogs ears, causing them to become inflamed, sore and itchy. Your dog may shake its head and scratch a lot. Another indication is waxy clumps. Ear mites can be transmitted from one dog to another, but can be easily cleared up with insecticide ear drops. Ear mites can be found by wiping the ear with a Q-tip and then wiping the Q-Tip on a piece of black paper. The mites will show up as little white moving specks. If you do find mites, you can get ear mite drops at most pet supply stores.
Yeasty Ears are accompanied by a foul smell with a lot of head shaking. Dogs with drop down ears, and those living in moist climates are more susceptible to yeast infections.
For yeast infections I have found "zymox" from valleyvet.com works best.
Bacterial infections may have a foul smelling puss like discharge. These infections should be treated promptly by your veterinarian, as most will require treatment with antibiotics. An untreated ear infection is very painful to your dog and could damage their hearing.
Foreign Objects are another thing you need to be aware of. Dogs can pick up fox tails or cheat grass. These can work their way into the ears, ear canal, eyes, up the nose, armpits, anal and genital areas, between the toes, and through the skin anywhere. If not caught early they can actually tunnel their way into the body, and can cause death.
All of these conditions can cause severe head shaking, pain, foul smells and should be treated by a veterinarian.
Cleaning Your Dog's Ears: Ear care may require plucking the hair from the ear canal, depending on your dog. There are special powders that make the ear hair easier to remove with your fingers. I use a 3 step process for my dogs. The product is R-7 from , step 1 is a powder with rosin in it. The powder helps release the hair and gives you a grip, step 2 is a great cleaning solution that really works, step 3 is a lotion that goes into the ear and dries to a powder, to help absorb moisture between cleanings.
Pour the cleaner into the outer part of the ear canal, allowing it to seep down into the ear canal. Massage the ear at the base. You can feel the tubular canal, you should hear squishy sounds. Your dog will probably lean into this, and may even moan a bit. This is a good thing. Now let them have a good head shake. This will help force the solution to the outer canal area. I like to use baby wipes. Keep working at it until the ear is clean. If you are uncomfortable or unsure how to perform ear care, have your vet or groomer show you how. 
Ear Care Products: Never use hydrogen peroxide to clean dogs ears. The foaming action can cause damage. Be sure to keep your dog’s ears dry when bathing, you may need to put a cotton ball in each ear. Make checking your dog's ears a regular part of their grooming routine. It only takes a few minutes and can help ward off any potential problems.
Dental Care: Just as you take care of your teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease, your dogs teeth need dental care as well. Dogs often develop gingivitis (gum disease) as they age and it is the greatest threat to their dental health. Eighty percent of dogs show signs of dental disease by the age of three. Dogs generally don’t develop cavities, but do get a brown substance around their gums called calculus. This calculus, filled with bacteria, causes the gums to recede, exposing the root. The teeth can become loose causing infection under the gums. In severe cases, the infection can travel throughout the mouth causing pharyngitis. Dental disease doesn’t just affect the mouth, if it enters the blood stream, it can cause heart disease. Fortunately, following a regular dental care routine can prevent these problems from occurring. There are tarter control biscuits and treats that help prevent tartar buildup, but these only work above the gum line. Brushing can get the critical areas under the gum line.
Bones also clean the teeth below the gum line. There are differing opinions as to the safety of dogs chewing on bones. I like the large pressed rawhide bones for puppies, and raw knuckle bones for adult dogs. Http://www.sojos.com/learn/articles/natural-and-holistic-stuff/give-your-dog-bone-conversation-canine-coach-keeping-your- You can brush your dog's teeth twice a week. Their teeth are actually easier to brush than your own. Since their teeth are narrower and more widely spaced than human teeth, a toothbrush can reach 90% of the areas needing brushed. Pick a time when both you and your dog are relaxed. At first, don’t use a toothbrush. Hold your dog in a comfortable position that he likes and gently stroke the outside of his cheeks with your finger. Once he is used to having that done, put some toothpaste on your finger and let him taste it. Use toothpaste formulated for dogs, as human toothpaste can irritate a dogs stomach. Next, place a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush and brush one or two teeth and the adjoining gum line in a slow circular motion. This step gets your dog used to the feel of the brush. You can also use a dog finger brush if you prefer. Practice this for several days, gradually increasing the number of teeth brushed. Be sure to reach the rear teeth where the most plaque and tartar build up. Don’t rush the process. Before your dog starts fussing, stop. You don’t want your dog to think that if he fusses you’ll stop. This will only make the procedure harder. Gradually build the time up to 30 seconds per side, concentrating mostly on the outside of the teeth. Dogs don’t get much tartar on the inside of their teeth. Although brushing your dog’s teeth at first can seem somewhat intimidating, it gets easier with practice and routine. Make each session a fun activity for your dog. Be sure to praise them afterwards. Soon, they will be looking forward to having his teeth brushed.
Veterinary dental care starts at the puppy stage, evaluating them for problems related to their baby teeth, missing or extra teeth and oral development. As your dog ages, your vet will look for irregularities, plaque and tartar buildup, periodontal disease and oral tumors. The basic oral exam is performed while your dog is awake. A complete exam or thorough cleaning requires a short-lasting anesthetic to make your dog comfortable. These procedures should be performed at least annually on smaller dogs and two years of age for larger dogs.  If your dog does require anesthesia, he will undergo a thorough exam to make sure he is healthy enough to undergo the anesthesia. This may also include blood, urine, EKG and x-rays to check for any serious conditions. Although any medical procedure may be risky, modern anesthesia is generally safe for pets. Your dog’s vital signs should be monitored while under the anesthesia to ensure its safety. X-rays may be taken of the teeth to help detect abnormalities that can’t be seen when performing a normal exam. X-rays can detect teeth that need to be extracted due to infection. The instruments the veterinarian uses to clean your dog’s teeth are the same type used by your own dentist. They also use a special polishing paste. Sometimes an anti-plaque substance or fluoride treatment.
Fleas can be a major health issue for dogs. Not only do they irritate the dog causing them to scratch at their skin, some dogs have a severe allergic reaction and lose patches of hair. Fleas also carry disease and are a vector for tape worms. To reduce the chance of your dog having worms, use a good flea treatment. There are many brands and types of flea treatment on the market. I use Advantage and Advantix from Bayer. Bathe with non-detergent shampoo.
K-9 Advantix from Bayer® :New Advantix Red kills 98-100% of fleas on dogs within 12 hours and continues protection at least 4 weeks. It also repels and kills most ticks and mosquitoes. This is probably the best protection for your dog! Each packet contains 6 applications providing 6 months of protection. Advantage from Bayer® : Advantage is applied topically and kills fleas within 24 hours and 100% protection can be maintained for cats for 21 days and 90% protection can be maintained for dogs for 28 days. Advantage is susceptible to washing off so dogs that are active outdoors and dogs that swim or must be bathed frequently should be re-treated frequently. Up to weekly re-treatment is allowed. The imidacloprid in Advantage does not effect ticks, but K-9Advantix, with permethrin does. K9 Advantix is only labeled for once a month. 
Bayer has also has a collar available giving continued protection for several months.
Heartworms: Heartworms are a common disease in dogs in the United States. The dog is infected with the worms from the bite of a mosquito. When they mature, they produce thousands of baby worms that circulate throughout the body. These baby worms are sucked up by a mosquito and passed on to another dog, and so the cycle continues! Heartworms are about six inches long. They live mostly in the heart, which can seriously impair the heart’s operation. They can also clog the large blood vessel that brings blood from the lungs to the heart.. Unfortunately, there are usually no symptoms until the disease is in its advanced stages. The symptoms are the same as congestive heart failure: weight loss, chronic cough, breathing difficulty, lethargy, dropsy, vision problems, dull coat and fainting. It is not advisable to wait for the symptoms to appear before having a veterinarian check your dog for possible prevention.
Can All Dogs Get Heartworms? It used to be thought that only shorthaired dogs were susceptible to getting the worm infections because their coat was easier to penetrate since it is short. This has been found to be untrue. Either long or shorthaired dogs can acquire the  infection, as the mosquitoes actually feed on the abdominal region of dogs. This area has less hair. Mosquitoes also feed on the muzzle and ears of dogs as well.  Dogs that live unprotected in heartworm prone areas can get them. Dogs that only go out in the morning and evening can get them as well.
How Can I Prevent Heartworms? There are a variety of heartworm prevention drugs on the market today, all of which work very well. You can choose a monthly pill, a monthly topical application, or a once every six months injection. In warmer climates you need to give the medication year round. If you live in a colder climate, you may not have to use it during the winter.
What are the Treatments for Heartworms? Heartworm infection can be treated if diagnosed early and is usually curable. When starting treatment, a physical exam, lab test and chest x-rays are performed to evaluate the condition of your dog’s heart and lungs. If the condition is severe, surgery may have to be performed to correct the condition.
There are two stages to treating heartworms. First, giving a series of injections over a two-day period eliminates the adult worms. When the treatment is finished, the heartworms will be dead or dying, but the heart is still full of worms. The dead worms will break up into tiny pieces small enough for the body to eliminate them. Problems can arise when the tiny pieces plug small arteries in the lungs. Any vigorous activity at this time must be avoided, or it can cause the heart to pump faster and push the dead heartworm into the small blood vessels.
After about five weeks, your dog needs to be seen again to get rid of the thousands of baby heartworms in the bloodstream. It will be given its first dose of prevention medication at that time and another dose one month later at home. You dog will need plenty of rest during his recovery period, because his heart and lungs are not yet back to normal. He should be kept indoors, on a leash or in an enclosed kennel that prevents vigorous exercise.
Treatment costs: Heartworm treatment can be rather expensive, but it is a small price to pay for the life of your dog. The total cost for routine heartworm treatment, including the pretreatment workup and post treatment follow up, is usually around $500 for a medium sized dog (23 - 44 lbs.) or $600 for a large dog (67-88 lbs.)
Heartworm Testing: If you forget to give their medicine on time, have them tested every year. If you’re diligent about giving the medicine, you can probably have the testing done every two years. Heartworms can be detected by looking at the blood through a microscope.
Protecting Your Standard Poodle Against Cold Weather: The cold can pose a danger to your dog, so you’ll need to take extra precautions to keep them warm, safe and comfortable. If your dog stays outdoors during the day, then you’ll need to provide some kind of shelter from the elements. A kennel with a roof over it will provide shade and to keep it dry. A shade cloth all around it also provides shade, as well as protection it from the wind. If your area gets below freezing during the winter, then you should provide some kind of shelter with heat to protect it from the cold weather, preferably an   that is elevated off the ground. It should be water-proof and ideally have a door to help prevent drafts. It should just be big enough for the dog to stand and turn around. Make sure the insulated dog house is clean and dry at all times. bedding If you’re home most of the time, it’s best to keep your dog indoors, especially if they are old or ill. Even if they have lots of fur, they can still experience hypothermia. This occurs when their body temperature falls extremely below their normal temperature of around 101 degrees. During hypothermia, the metabolic rate is lowered and the organ functions can be affected. Hypothermia symptoms include shivering, weakness, breathing problems, sluggishness, coordination problems and sometimes paralysis. If you live in cold weather, you should become familiar with these symptoms. If you suspect hypothermia, keep your dog warm in a blanket and get him to the vet immediately. If you are going to hike with your dog in cold weather, invest in a pair of  boots for him. Also, cutting the hair between your dog’s toes and applying Vaseline before your hike will keep the ice from sticking. Watch out for salt on the roads and sidewalks as well. This can hurt your dogs feet if they are cracked from the cold weather. Frostbite is very bad news! It causes tissue death in cells. The areas that are most prone to frostbite are the most highly exposed areas, which include the feet, tail, ears, scrotum and mammary glands. If your dog is outdoors during the day, he may eat more during the cold weather. This gives them more fuel to help keep them warm. Always give them access to fresh drinking water as well. If your dog is outdoors during the day, use a  heated bowl . If your dog is sensitive to the cold, put a coat or sweater on them before taking them out.
Keep Your Dogs Safe From Hot Weather: Dogs can not handle the heat like humans do. We can enjoy quite a long time outside enjoying the heat and soaking up the sun. Our way of cooling down is to sweat. Dogs cool themselves by panting, which is often inadequate and can place them in a life-threatening situation if they become overheated. It does not take long for a dog to develop heat stroke. The best time for walking your dog or for playtime during hot weather is in the early morning or evening. Never leave your dog in the car alone during hot weather. It does not take long for it to turn into an oven, even if you leave the windows open. Dogs with thick coats as well as dark colored coats are more susceptible to overheating. If your dog has heart disease, is old, or a young puppy, they are more susceptible to heat stroke. Be careful of hot pavement. It can burn your dog’s feet as well as raise its body temperature faster. Be especially aware of metal grates, or plates on the road or sidewalk. Watch your dogs reaction. If your dog is kept outside during the day, make sure it has plenty of shade. A roof, shade cloth, trees around your kennel area will work. You may want to consider getting a cooling bed to help keep it comfortable. Make sure your dog is provided with lots of clean drinking water. Having your Poodle groomed in a nice short summer clip will make it feel more comfortable during warm weather.
Recognizing Heat Stroke: A dog’s normal temperature is around 101 degrees, much over that can cause problems and is an emergency! If it gets up to 108 degrees, the internal organs start breaking down and can cause permanent long-term damage or death! Signs of heat stroke are your dog breathing rapidly, a rapid heart beat, dry mouth and nose and gums that turn dull grey or red.
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