Since 1991, the Labrador Retriever dog has been a very popular breed in America and this comes as no surprise, given their friendly, fun, and eager-to-please nature.
Keeping your Labrador friend well-groomed at all times is a must for every Lab owner. Regularly keep an eye on your dog’s coat, feet, teeth, ears, and eyes as this allows you to detect any health risks such as lumps or skin infections at the early stage and to seek medical attention.
It may seem daunting, but the thought of having to bathe a male Lab that weighs 65-80 pounds or a female Lab that weighs 10 pounds less, you don’t have to worry that much, given that Labs are used to the water.
They were originally bred to hunt waterfowl or upland game in the icy waters of Newfoundland. Thus, a bath is seen as a good time by Labs.
Do I Need To Groom My Labrador Retriever?
As a Lab owner, you may have noticed that your dog has got short hair. Yet, that does not stop them from shedding and shedding a lot.
Also, Labs love water and love to play outside. This means your dog can easily get dirty daily and as such needs some attention and grooming.
Grooming your Lab friend is a must as it ensures a clean and fresh-looking dog at all times. Labradors are easy to groom at home by yourself unless, for want of time, you’d prefer a professional groomer.
Either way, ensure that you are regularly paying attention to your dog’s grooming needs.
How Often Should I Groom My Labrador?
It is not necessary to groom your dog every day. Yet, if you regularly do this, your Labrador friend will get used to the process and benefit from your constant physical touch.
Although grooming every day is less recommended, you must keep an eye on your Lab’s coat as it may need additional attention, given that Labs can be rather mucky despite their gorgeous, adorable, and friendly nature.
Items Needed For Grooming Your Labrador
Here’s a list of items you will need for purposes of grooming your Labrador Retriever dog.
- Nail trimmers or grinders
- Clotting powder
- Ear cleaner
- Cotton balls or gauze
- Washcloth and warm water
- Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
It is recommended that you schedule your dog’s grooming session after exercise sessions to minimize the wiggles. Also, do not start grooming when your dog is hungry or thirsty.
How To Groom A Labrador – 8 Steps To Follow
Get The Right Brush
Given Labradors’ thick and water-resistant double coat, a sturdy brush that can penetrate their dense coat and remove loose hair is recommended. Labradors are known to shed all year round and shed even heavier as they lose their fluffy undercoat.
A slicker brush or a de-shedding tool such as the furminator is recommended. Make sure the brush is easy to clean, given that you’ll be collecting a lot of loose hairs at once.
Brush Your Lab’s Coat 2-3 Times a Week
Labradors, like many other dog breeds, shed a lot and even more during heavy shedding periods. We recommend that you brush your Lab’s fur 2 to 3 times a week if you want to keep loose furs out of your house.
More so, in heavy shedding periods, you will have to brush your dog’s fur regularly.
To avoid hurting your dog, brushing must be firm yet gentle, especially on areas such as the face, legs, and groin, where the furs are less dense.
You’ll have mats and tangles on your dog’s fur to deal with if you do not ensure regular brushing, especially during heavy shedding periods.
Trim Your Lab’s Nails
Your Labrador’s nails must not be long. When brushing your dog’s fur, check to see if they are not too long.
Depending on the nature of the surfaces your dog regularly walks and runs, and how active your dog is, it may have extremely long or normally longer nails.
All the same, once you see that the nails are longer, or you can hear the nails clicking, you need to trim them immediately.
Nail trimmers or nail grinders are recommended. Also, you may have to have clotting powder on hand, as your dog’s nails will bleed if you cut them too short. Talk to your vet if are not sure how to go about trimming your Lab’s nails.
Clean Your Lab’s Ears At Least Once a Week
The shape of Lab’s ears means they trap dirt and moisture a lot, making them prone to ear infections.
To prevent infections or reduce the rate of infections, you will have to clean your dog’s ears as regularly as once a week, unless your vet has suggested you do it more often.
Your vet can as well teach you how to conduct regular ear cleaning. You should thus talk to him or her if you are not sure how to do that.
A pet-friendly ear-cleaning product, along with cotton balls, recommended. Be careful not to stick anything too far into your dog’s ears.
Brush Your Lab’s Teeth Daily
More than just freshening your Labrador’s breath can be achieved with routine dental treatment. Bacteria in your dog’s mouth may result from dental problems. The germs can enter the bloodstream and spread to other body parts.
Ideally, you should use dog-safe toothpaste to brush your Lab’s teeth every day. If your schedule won’t permit that, attempt to brush two to three times each week and think about utilizing additional items, such as dental chews.
Clean Your Lab’s Eyes as and When Needed
Optimal Labrador eyes shouldn’t require much maintenance. If you see any discharge or dirt close to your dog’s eyes, gently wipe it away starting from the inside corner with a warm washcloth. For the opposite eye, use a clean cloth or a different washcloth corner.
Ensure a Routine Bath for Your Lab
Bathing your Labrador too frequently is not advised unless it has a skin issue that calls for medicinal baths.
A natural balance of oils in Labrador coats keeps them wholesome and water-resistant. Bathing frequently might eliminate the oils, resulting in dry skin and other problems.
Unless your Lab friend gets dirty or goes swimming in a pool, try not to bathe your Lab more than once a month. Avoid getting soap in your dog’s eyes by using a shampoo made for dogs.
After the bath, properly rinse your Labrador and pat dry with a pair of old towels.
Gift Your Lab Friend with Treats to Enforce Good Behavior
Reward your Labrador for its cooperation after all grooming duties have been finished. Treats make the perfect rewards because dogs enjoy food. If your dog is keeping an eye on their weight, think about a quick play session or stroll instead.
You may need to provide treats more regularly if you’re teaching your Labrador to tolerate particular aspects of the grooming routine, especially nail care. The intention is for your dog to have a happy experience throughout.
Look Out For These Possible Signs Of Health Risks During Grooming
Giving your Labrador a thorough examination while you are grooming them is an opportunity.
Check your hands over your dog while you brush them for any new lumps or masses. If you do, make a note of their size and position and have your veterinarian examine them.
When clipping your dog’s nails, look for cuts or torn paw pads. Check your dog’s coat as you brush for any evidence of ticks or fleas. Additionally, look for hair loss or skin that is dry, flaky, red, or inflamed.
When cleaning your dog’s ears, look out for such signs as bad smell, redness or swelling, discharge, or any signs of pain from your Lab.
When brushing your Lab’s teeth, examine the mouth and check for such signs as heavy tartar, bleeding gum, pain in the mouth, and damaged or missing teeth.
Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if the eyes of your Labrador look uncomfortable, are red, swollen, or have colored discharge. Eye problems should not be ignored because they can soon get worse.
Take your Labrador to the vet if you see any of these indications or symptoms. Regular grooming enables you to identify issues before they become more difficult to address.
A Labrador retriever’s coat health, prevention of skin irritations, and development of a stronger bond are all benefits of proper grooming.
It simply requires a small portion of your day and offers numerous advantages to both you and your dog.
The most crucial thing you can do to make grooming a Lab easier is to introduce them to the process when they are young.
This is in addition to obtaining the proper tools. If lab puppies are taught what to anticipate when they are small and impressionable, you may find grooming them less strenuous as they mature into large, active dogs.
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