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Guide to Toy Poodles

Time to read: 8 mins

Key Stats

Life expectancy: 1518 years

Height: 24 – 28 cm

Weight: 3 – 4.8 kg

About Toy Poodles

Toy poodles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are small in size but they have huge personalities and are extremely agile. Their versatility means they are suited to many different lifestyles.


What to consider when owning a Toy Poodle

Toy poodles are great family pets although children should be taught to handle them with care. Toy Poodles are very smart dogs and react well to training which makes them a good pet for a first time dog owner.



Where possible, it would be best to adopt rather than shopping, however if that’s the intention then toy poodle puppies can cost anywhere from £1, 200 to £2, 000 depending on their lineage.

On top of the purchase price you’ll also need to consider initial costs of things such as vaccinations and neutering, as well as ongoing costs of food and preventative healthcare. Some of these extra charges include:


Toy poodles do not shed much and are hypoallergenic to most people that are allergic to dogs. They, like most dogs, will require regular brushing at home but should be taken to the groomers every couple of months, unless you opt to do a deep grooming yourself.


These active little animals will enjoy their daily exercise. They will appreciate going for walks and will love playing games- whether they are physically active or mentally stimulating. Toy Poodles are extremely agile and will excel in agility and obedience competitions.

Toy Poodle health concerns

Like all pedigree dogs there are a few breed specific conditions you should be aware of.


1. Breathing problems

Small breeds like Toy Poodles are prone to tracheal collapse. This is where the sturdy cartilage rings that keep the airway open and allow free movement of the breath collapse and obstruct the airway. This produces a honking kind of cough and may cause the dog to give up on exercise earlier than they previously did. It can be life-threatening in severe cases, and surgery may be required to correct the problem. Using a harness rather than a neck lead may help to prevent this developing in some dogs.

2. Eyes

Toy Poodles can be prone to inherited eye conditions including cataracts, that can be screened for by breeders (generalised progressive retinal atrophy). Dogs that do develop age-related or inherited cataracts should be monitored and is come cases vision can be restored by specialist surgery. For some dogs, the cataracts develop as a result of retinal dysplasia. This is where the retina at the back of the eye either doesn’t form properly and alters the dog’s vision or it detaches completely and causes blindness. You may see your Toy Poodle being reluctant to jump down off steps or furniture or bumping into things. If so, you should consult your vet.

 Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a progressive eye disease that does lead to blindness. There is currently no cure, but many studies are still being carried out. The retina of the eye is affected and usually both eyes are affected at the same time. Early symptoms include difficulty seeing in dim light and dilated pupils. From the time the signs become obvious to complete loss of sight is approximately 6 months. As this process is gradual most dogs cope well.

3. Bones

Legg-Perthes disease causes the ball of the hip to break down because of a defective blood supplyDogs will be lame on their hind leg(s). Surgery to reshape the ball of the joint can allow dogs to walk well again within 4-6 weeks of surgery.

If the ligament holding the kneecap in place is not in normal alignment it can cause the kneecap to snap in and out of place (luxating patella).  Dogs may sometimes ‘leave out’ one of their back legs when walking or running or even not use that leg at all. Some dogs find this painful, plus it can put a strain on other parts of the knee and cause arthritis. Surgery can help to correct the problem. Maintaining a healthy body weight and using food supplements for joint health can help.

Many different breeds can suffer from hip dysplasia, but it’s relatively common in the Toy Poodle. In the hips, the joints don’t fit together perfectly. Signs include walking stiffly, hip pain and difficulty getting up from a sitting position. This condition cause pain, swelling and eventually arthritis. Maintaining a heathy weight alongside a good quality diet and food supplements for joint health can help. Dysplasia can be screened for by reputable breeders who will have the parents’ joint alignment assessed and scored by vets before deciding to breed from them.

4. Urinary

Bladder stones (uroliths) can affect dogs of all ages, both male and female. Some breeds tend to develop particular kinds of stones that may need different treatment. They can form over a period of time, so you may not see any obvious signs until the dog starts to drink and urinate more; they may have blood (or a pink tinge) in their urine; they may pass small frequent amounts of urine and may strain and cry when doing so. In the worst cases the stones can prevent any urine from being passed and this is an emergency.

In most cases the stones will need to be removed surgically, although some struvite uroliths can be dissolved using a prescription diet. If you see your Toy Poodle showing any of these symptoms then you should consult your vet, as the longer they are left the more serious the condition can be.

5. Neurological

Epilepsy causes seizures (fits) and will lead to poor quality of life if untreated, but the seizures can often be managed successfully. An epileptic dog may show behaviour changes for days, hours or minutes before a seizure, including episodes of vague staring into space or into corners, pacing, circling and scratching at the air before having the seizure itself (typically lying on their side, paddling, sometimes with foaming at the mouth). If you see your Toy Poodle displaying any of these signs, you should contact your vet.

6. Endocrine disorders

Cushing’s syndrome (hyperadrenocorticism) is caused by the body producing too many natural steroid hormones. It can be difficult to detect as it develops slowly but signs to look out for include drinking and/ or urinating more than normal, increased appetite, potbelly, thinning skin that bruises easily and hair loss. Once diagnosed, the dog will need lifelong medication and regular check-ups with blood testing to maintain a good quality of life.

In some ways the opposite of Cushing’s is another endocrine disorder that sadly can affect Toy Poodles more commonly, known as Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism). This is another lifelong condition, but in this case the body does not produce enough natural steroid hormones. Again, it can be hard to diagnose due to waxing and waning symptoms that can include loss of appetite and energy, a change in hair and coat, lethargy, diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss, weak or irregular pulse, increased thirst and dehydration. Dogs with uncontrolled Addison’s may be unable to deal with stressful situations normally, they can go into a clinical crisis that can be fatal. Luckily, with the correct diagnosis and treatment, they can live long happy lives.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s health do not hesitate to get in touch with our Careline. They will be able to answer any questions that you may have.


Pet insurance for Toy Poodles

Toy Poodles, like most pure-bred dogs, have their accompanying health issues. You never know what might happen as they get older. Find out how we can cover your pet from accidents as well as illnesses they may suffer from.

It’s normally best to insure your dogs from a young age, before any conditions become an issue. Insuring your Toy Poodle from a young age will tend to be cheaper. Although you can get insurance for older dogs too.

See how we can help you by getting a quote today.

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