Many of us know the look of disdain on a hair stylist’s face when we have resorted to cutting our own fringe, or developed a style that is way out of date or proportion. This is how groomers feel when presented with an untidy or matted Cavapoo (Cavoodle) dog. So how often should you groom your Cavapoo dog to keep them happy and healthy?
Cavapoos need to be brushed at least twice a week or better yet daily. Give him a thorough grooming on average every 6-8 weeks, and bath him at least once in between sessions.
How often you need to groom your Cavapoo also depends on its age, lifestyle and the environment in which it lives, as well as the composition of its fur.
If your Cavapoo is active outdoors or you live in a dusty or muddy environment, you will need to wash and brush him on demand. And you may need to have him groomed more often.
Why is Cavapoo Grooming Necessary?
Cavapoos have fur that grows rather than falling out, like short-haired breeds. They are popular because of their long, curly hair that can be shaped to make them look like lambs, lions or teddy bears. Frequent and regular grooming, such as brushing and trimming, is needed to keep up appearances and stop matted hair developing.
With the Cavapoos parents being Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the outcome of this breeding pair is highly variable. Especially in terms of the color and texture of the offspring’s fur.
Left to their own devices, Cavapoos dogs do not maintain the mystique of a designer dog. They enjoy swimming and will roll in whatever scent is most appealing to them. Their fur will attract dirt, mud and burrs and soon be a tangled mess.
Besides enhancing their good looks, grooming your Cavapoo provides an opportunity to look for skin irritations and parasites. That long hair can harbor dry skin, fleas and even nasty fungal infections, like ringworm. These need to be eliminated before they affect the dog’s overall health and well-being.
In the wild, dogs would not need to have their nails trimmed or their teeth cleaned. An active lifestyle, hunting and eating like a carnivore, would prevent them from either of these becoming a problem.
However, as urbanites and lapdogs, Cavapoos habits and activities deviate from their primitive cousins. And therefore they need their teeth, nails and ears checked regularly.
Grooming Cavapoo Puppy
Cavapoo puppies need less intensive grooming than Cavapoo adult dogs who have grown into their adult coats. The hair will be short and fine and less inclined to become entangled than when they are older.
But starting from a young age will ensure your Cavapoo puppy is familiar with brushing and grooming. Get your pup used to being brushed from the age of 8 weeks. Do this every second day, after an exercise session, when the puppy is tired and less likely to want to play. Use a puppy slicker brush that is not too harsh on his sensitive skin.
Make grooming time a fun and enjoyable experience that your Cavapoo pup looks forward to. Use the opportunity to bond with the puppy, remembering to praise him often and to reward him at the end of the grooming process.
Brushing Your Cavapoo Puppy
The brushing ritual is less about aesthetics and more about preparing your Cavapoo for the more invasive and potentially alarming procedures associated with full professional grooming. These will include the use of noisy machinery, vacuum attachments and sharp instruments.
Teach your Cavapoo puppy to sit calmly, without moving around. Get him used to having his limbs and neck manipulated and stretched as your groomer will need to do this to avoid nipping loose skin.
Bathing Your Cavapoo Puppy
Depending on what mischief your Cavapoo pup gets up to outside, it should not need a bath more than once a fortnight. But I found once a week a good comprise due to my Cavapoo puppy getting dirty or rolling in something disgusting!
First, brush out any dirt or tangles as these will make matters worse when wet. Use a gentle shampoo, so as not to remove the natural oils from the dog’s skin, and use a conditioner afterwards. I personally used an all-in-one puppy shampoo specially formulated for a puppy’s sensitive skin.
There are dog facial shampoos on the market that will loosen any detritus in your Cavapoo pup’s facial fur without burning his eyes. Tear stain removers have been developed for dogs with long facial hair. Keep this in mind as your dog ages and coloration develops.
Drying Your Cavapoo Puppy
Use a handheld hair dryer, set on a cool temperature to thoroughly dry his coat. This should help desensitize your pup to the sound and feel of air blowing in his face and across his body.
All these processes may need a slow and gentle introduction depending on your Cavapoo puppy’s temperament. Personally, my pup hated the hairdryer. But she was fine with a bath. We overcame the hairdryer dislike with lots of gentle exposure and food rewards.
Cavapoo Puppy Teeth Cleaning
You can get your Cavapoo puppy used to having his teeth brushed by using a finger brush to start off with. With or without toothpaste suitable for dogs. His youthful resilience is such that he is not likely to develop any dental problems as a pup. All you are doing is conditioning him to accept future dental hygiene.
Provide suitable chew sticks and toys that will stimulate his gums and keep them free from plaque build-up.
Cavapoo Puppy Nail Clipping
It’s a really good idea to touch and handle your Cavapoos paws early and regularly. This, along with his ears, is an area that can become sensitive to touch and potentially make grooming difficult. Early paw handling will help desensitize this area for nail clipping and paw cleaning.
Nail clipping should start early. Puppies are wriggly so either try to clip a couple of nails every few days or ask someone to help you. It’s far easier to clip your Cavapoos nails with a helper who can securely hold, reward and distract your puppy while you clip his nails.
Professional Grooming for Your Cavapoo Puppy
Your Cavapoo puppy should be ready for his first professional grooming session when he is four months old.
At this stage, your Cavapoo will likely have what’s called a ‘hygiene groom’. Often the groomer will do a scissor cut without clippers to introduce the process of professional grooming without overwhelming your puppy.
At around 8 months old, the coat will change to a more adult texture.
Adult Cavapoo Dog Grooming
Adult Cavapoo dogs need to be brushed at least twice a week, and even better if brushing is done daily.
The type of haircut will also determine how much grooming effort is required in between trips to the salon. Hairstyles, from least to most maintenance required, are:
- puppy cut
- pony cut
- lion cut
- lamb cut
- teddy bear cut
Cavapoos can be single or double-coated. The single coat will be the straight, hair coat from the Cavalier parent. While the double-coat is the poodle-like coat. This means they have two layers of hair and are well insulated against both extreme cold and warm temperatures. This makes them less inclined to shed. However, if you have distinct seasons, you may need to brush more often in spring and summer as they will lose more of their short undercoat in warmer weather.
The hair between your Cavapoo’s paw pads will grow as fast as anywhere else on its body. Inspect his feet regularly for any signs of clotted dirt, or foreign objects that have become trapped, and remove these.
The frequency of their grooming appointments depends on the texture and consistency of their fur.
Cavapoo Fur Type Will Determine Grooming Requirements
Depending on which parent’s genes are dominant, your Cavapoo pup’s fur could be long and ‘straight’, wavy or curly, otherwise known as hair, fleece and wool.
- Straight hair is more like that of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Your Cavapoo will inherit this type of fur from the Cavalier side of the family. It is the easiest to manage as it does not tangle as easily as the other textures. Less frequent grooming is required but Cavapoo dogs with this kind of fur cannot sport the teddy bear haircut that looks so cute on the breed. They can and usually do, also shed their hair.
- Wavy hair, or sometimes called fleece, is a common Cavapoo coat type. This fur type can be prone to tangle and therefore requires more frequent brushing and grooming, at least every 8 weeks.
- Curly hair is more likely to be caused by a dominant poodle gene. This hair tangles and mats easily as it grows, and requires almost daily brushing. If left to grow too long between grooming sessions, your dog will grow mats or dreadlocks. To keep the fur under control, it is best to have it groomed professionally every 6-8 weeks. Dogs with this type of fur do not shed much, and are more suitable for people with allergic reactions.
Cavapoo Grooming Tool Kit
Your grooming tool kit could consist of:
- a slicker brush
- a steel comb
- nail clippers with safety guard
You could also include a deshedding tool and a grooming glove.
If your Cavapoo’s fur becomes entangled or matted to the point of being painful to remedy, it would be advisable to give the dog a close shave rather than one of the longer haircuts.
With the wealth of information available on the Internet, many dog owners have opted for grooming their dogs at home. This takes considerable skill and a small investment in the necessary tools.
Besides the combs and de-shedding apparatus that you use for brushing, you will need a set of cutting combs and a set of dog grooming clippers such as these ones. A pair of blenders or thinners will help to disguise the amateur, hacked look that so many home groomers achieve.
I once had a friend who owned a spaniel and one day, I stared in disbelief as she seemingly cut one of its ears off! It was, in fact, a ‘second ear’ that had formed out of matted fur. So, check regularly for a build-up of hair behind your dog’s ears.
Nail Trimming Adult Cavapoos
Nail trimming is usually part of the service offered by a professional groomer. If you choose to trim the nails at home, a pair of nail clippers with a safety guard built is all you need. These prevent you from accidentally nipping the quick of the nail, a painful injury that bleeds.
Dogs have long memories and will not easily forget if this occurs. As it is, most dogs look at you as if you have asked them to sell the family farm when you approach them with the nail clippers.
However, if you have started a good grooming routine from when your Cavapoo was a puppy, you may have an easy time here instead.
Teeth Cleaning Adult Cavapoo Dogs
Keep your Cavapoo’s teeth healthy by regular brushing with a finger toothbrush or a brush with a handle, especially designed for dogs. Make it part of your evening routine. It will be seen as a treat for the dog because dog-friendly toothpaste comes in a range of delectable flavors, such as chicken, beef and peanut butter.
Do not be tempted to freshen your dog’s breath by using human toothpaste, as this contains fluoride and other chemicals which are potentially harmful to your dog.
Chew toys and delicious chew sticks that prevent plaque build-up are available at most pet stores and supermarkets.
Dental hygiene and cleaning, if necessary, should form part of your dog’s annual checkups at the vet.
Not all Cavapoo owners opt for teeth brushing and instead will provide raw chicken necks which also help keep teeth healthy and clean.
Cavapoo Ear Cleaning
A thorough inspection of your Cavapoos inner ear is needed to ensure there are no yeast or similar infections. Your groomer or vet will also be able to clear any build-up of ear wax. You can clear any dirt that sticks to the outer lobes with cotton wads and a surgical cleaning fluid.
Most dogs will develop problems with clogged anal glands at some time in their lives. They will show signs of irritation by scraping their bottoms along the ground. Ask your groomer and vet to check these in order to preempt any problems.
Grooming Older Cavapoo Dogs
Grooming becomes even more important as your Cavapoo ages. Older dogs are more inclined to become couch potatoes, and will need more attention paid to their nails, ears, teeth and gums.
They may also be more prone to skin irritations and arthritic pain, which they could seek to address by nibbling at the painful area.
A professional groomer will be able to identify any of these issues and bring them to your attention.
The senior Cavapoo’s hair still grows at the same rate as it did when young but can become significantly lighter. Your ruby-haired teddy bear Cavapoo could become a blonde over time.
Keep up the regular home grooming routine of brushing and bathing, but with a gentler touch.
Your Cavapoo dog will become less supple and find it difficult to get into the positions that are required to make the groomer’s job easier. A professional who knows your Cavapoo dog well will make allowances for these limitations. Nevertheless, your Cavapoo may be a bit stiff when they return, and in need of a rest and some tender loving care.
Professional Cavapoo Grooming
For an in-depth video into how a professional grooms a Cavapoo, check out the video below.
- What To Do If Your Cavapoo Hates Grooming: 16 Tips!
- Cavapoo Puppy Checklist: Preparing For A New Puppy
- 9 Cavapoo Health Problems To Look Out For
- Are Cavapoos Good Family Dogs? (With Pros and Cons)
- Why Does My Cavapoo Smell? How To Make It Smell Better?
- What To Do When A Cavapoo Has Zoomies
- Are Cavapoos High-Maintenance?