Poodle Companion Guide

Companion Animal Guide
helping you find your new best friend


A poodle is a good companion for:

Children under 5
(if given sufficient
Children ages 5–11
Busy People
Rural Homes

Life Span

The life span for a standard poodle is usually between 11 to 12 years; for a miniature poodle the life span is usually 14 years; and for a toy poodle the life span is usually up to 17 years.

Typical Behavior

Poodles are extremely people-oriented dogs and generally eager to please. They are excellent watchdogs. Standard poodles, in particular, tend to be good with children. Poodles are adaptable and easy to train. Most are fairly agile and athletic. Poodles are often called “hypo-allergenic” because their coats often do not affect people allergic to other dog breeds.

Care Requirements

Poodles require regular exercise, daily meals and access to fresh drinking water at all times. They need a good brushing at least once a week and more extensive grooming once every two months. It is important that they have at least one visit per year to see a veterinarian for a health checkup and required vaccinations. Poodles also need to have daily playtime and interaction with people.

SPCA International strongly recommends that you have your dog spayed or neutered. There continues to be serious overpopulation of companion animals for which permanent homes cannot be found. This means that every year, millions of animals are euthanized in shelters before they have the chance to live a full and happy life.

Proper Habitat and Habitat Maintenance Requirements

Poodles like having a space of their own. This space could be a dog bed or a crate that had been used to housebreak the dog. Exercise is important for the health and well-being of a poodle. Take care to provide outdoor play space, or to take your dog on walks or to the dog park daily.

Dietary Requirements

Keep your poodle in good shape by measuring its food when you feed it twice a day. Do not leave food out all the time. The recommended daily amount of high quality dry food for poodles includes: one and one-half to three cups for standard poodles; three-quarters to one cup for miniature poodles; and one-quarter to one-half cup for toy poodles. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on how much food your dog should receive daily, but it will largely depend on how active it is and its size. Like other dog breeds, poodles struggle with obesity if overfed. Obesity can cause health problems including stress on joints that can cause your dog pain.

Financial Considerations for Poodles:


Regular veterinary care is recommended for all dogs, including poodles. A yearly examination and laboratory tests run approximately $150 - $255; immunizations are approximately $60 to $75. Internal/external parasite preventatives are approximately $120 to $190.

It is also strongly recommended that your dog be spayed or neutered. At your veterinarian clinic or local animal hospital, the cost for these services should run between $250 and $400 for a spay and $200 and $350 for a neuter. If you need financial assistance, there are low-cost spay and neuter clinics in most areas that will help you defray the expense to between $50 and $175 for a female dog (depending on weight) and between $45 and $175 for a male dog (depending on weight).


Most poodles have a dense, curly, low-shedding coat that requires grooming every six to eight weeks. The cost to have a dog groomed by a professional will vary and the larger the dog the more you will pay. Standard poodles are considered large dogs and professional grooming will run between $70 and $90; miniature poodles will run between $30 and $70 depending on their size; and toy poodles will cost $30 to $50 given their small size.

Animal Sitter

A professional dog sitter, a friend or neighbor or a boarding kennel can be used to care for your poodle in your absence.


The cost to feed a poodle will vary depending on the quality of the food you feed the dog and the size of the poodle. Veterinarians recommend feeding a high quality food which helps prevent health problems.

Other Supplies:

Generally, a poodle will require food and a water dish; a collar with current identification and a leash; a bed; a dog house if spending time outdoors; toys; grooming supplies, and a pooper scooper and bags.

Interesting Facts about Poodles:

  • The name "poodle" comes from the German word pudelhund.
  • The poodle is regarded as one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs.
  • Poodles are the only breed that comes in three size varieties – standard, miniature and toy.
  • Since poodles do not have the plush double coat of many dog breeds, their fur is often referred to as hair.
  • The stylish "Poodle Clip" was designed by hunters to help the dogs move through the water more efficiently. The patches of hair left on the body are meant to protect vital organs and joints which are susceptible to cold.