The cockapoo is a hybrid breed, which is a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. Hybrids are becoming more and more popular, but cockapoos have been bred since the mid 20th century, so it is not a new hybrid. Cockapoos are friendly and loyal dogs because of their inherited cocker spaniel genes. They also benefit from their poodle traits as they shed very little hair and are often suited to owners who may otherwise have had allergies to dogs. As they are not a purebred, cockapoos do not suffer from some of the health issues typical of purebreds. Whilst caring for a cockapoo is not overly demanding, like many animals, they do benefit from daily care and maintenance.
Little and often is the key to caring for your cockapoo. Daily caring for your pet in little ways ensures that he is always looked after, and will likely enjoy good health over the long term. If you neglect his care for even a short time, he may develop an infection or suffer an ailment which could have been avoided.
Caring for a cockapoo requires attention to your dogs diet. Do not feed him leftovers from your meals on a regular basis. Rather, his health will benefit from a quality dry dog food, which contains the right balance of vitamins and minerals for his digestion, as opposed to human food, which may well upset his stomach. The occasional treat will not do any harm as long as it is non-toxic to dogs, but dog try to stick with organic dog treats if you can. Maintain a good diet for your dog on a daily basis.
Hand in hand with a quality diet is clean, fresh drinking water. Make sure that your pets water bowl always has plenty of water in it, so he can have a drink whenever he is thirsty. Likewise, ensure that you change the water every day, and wash the bowl out, so that it is free from any dirt, dust or debris which may be harmful to your cockapoo.
Exercise is vital to the care and health of a cockapoo. It is important to make time to walk your cockapoo at least twice every day. If you have an outside space at home, such as a garden or a yard, allow your cockapoo outside for around two hours each day, so he can benefit from fresh air as well as a different space. While it is perfectly acceptable to keep a cockapoo in an apartment, if you wish to maintain his health, you must commit to exercising him regularly. As with all dogs, a leash and strong collar should be used when walking your dog. This will mean that you can keep control when walking alongside roads and pathways, especially where there may be other dogs or perhaps children. You may wish to include a trip to a park each day, so that once there, your cockapoo may be let off the leash for a period of time, to run off his excess energy.
Just as we brush our hair each day, your cockapoo will benefit from regular brushing. Dogs with shorter hair may only require a brush once or twice a week, but cockapoos with a longer coat will likely need to be brushed more frequently, perhaps daily. Both the undercoat and overcoat need to be brushed, and a good quality brush for this purpose is a good investment.
As well as regular brushing, keeping your dogs coat clean with shampoo is a vital part of caring for a cockapoo. Specially formulated dog shampoo should be used to obtain a clean and healthy shine to your cockapoos coat. Avoid using human shampoo as it contains ingredients which will likely irritate your dog. When bathing your cockapoo take care not to allow any water into his ears, since this may result in an ear infection.
Not only must you brush your dogs coat, but you must also brush his teeth. Doing so will keep his teeth and mouth healthy, and will help to prevent infections or other such oral problems. Invest in a specialist dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste for this purpose and try to brush your dog’s teeth no less than once per week.
At least once a month make time to clean your cockapoos ears. Cockapoos seem to be more susceptible to ear infections, since they have floppy ears, and regular careful cleaning can help to prevent these. Purchase a specialist dog ear cleaning product, and carefully using cotton balls swipe around the inside of each ear. Do not swipe deeply into the ear; just stick to the easily accessible outer ear. If you notice any sign of infection, perhaps a rash or a bad smell, seek medical assistance from your vet.
Every two months or so, your cockapoos toenails will need to be clipped. You may wish to take your dog to a professional groomer to have this task done properly. Alternatively, if you feel comfortable and confident, you may do this at home. Investing in some dog nail clippers will make this job easier on yourself and your dog. Also take care to avoid the red vein which runs through the dogs toenails, when you are clipping. Have a blood clotting product on hand, just in case.
As part of your care for your cockapoo, you should make sure that he can see clearly. To enable this, you will need to trim any stray hairs around his eyes. Likewise, enabling him to smell and breathe fully, hairs around his nose and mouth should be trimmed away. This task is really a two-person job, as it is best to have a friend hold your cockapoos head steady, whilst you snip any offending hairs away.