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Every caring and responsible owner wishes for their dog to be as healthy as possible.
Luckily for us, caring for a Labrador Retriever isn’t as demanding as it is for many other breeds. Well-bred Labradors are relatively low maintenance, fit and healthy dogs.
But your Labradors continuing health and well-being does depend entirely on you.
A nutritious diet, regular exercise, grooming, preventive measures and regular visits to the vet are the real key to maintaining a high level of wellness and good health.
All these actions are your responsibility and solely under your control.
What you’ll want to do is gain a little knowledge of how to take care of your Labradors health and hygiene, and set up daily, weekly, quarterly and annual routines.
Daily routines will be diet control, exercise and physical inspections. Weekly routines will be grooming, ears, eyes, teeth and nail care.
Quarterly routines could be shared between visits to the vet, a canine dentist and bathing. And the annual routine will be vaccinations.
Just remember that prevention is always better than cure, so doing your best to prevent any illness and catching problems at the earliest possible stage is the goal to aim for.
The following are all areas where you only need a little knowledge to effectively take care of your Labrador well.
And if you cannot dedicate this time and effort, then in the nicest possible way, you might be better suited to a pet with less demanding care requirements such as goldfish.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Making Safe Your Home and Garden
- The Basics of Labrador Grooming
- Dealing with Parasites
- Regular Visits to the Vet
- Nutrition and Diet
- Always Monitor Your Dogs Weight
- Bedding and Shelter
- Recommended Training Course
- Caring for a Labrador Retriever – Conclusion
- Anything To Add?
- Save to Pinterest:
- Top Picks For Our Dogs
Making Safe Your Home and Garden
Labradors are a lively and inquisitive breed, especially during their first three years so you need to keep dangerous household items out of their reach.
You might even need to keep your Lab away from entire areas of your home and garden where access to dangerous objects can’t be easily controlled. You need to:
- Remove sharp objects they may walk over / lay on / rub against / chew etc.
- Conceal electrical wiring…we all know of their infamous love for chewing. Sharp teeth and electricity do not mix!
- Don’t leave food wrappers and trash lying around. A Labrador can easily choke on wrappings or trash that may be swallowed along with edible scraps.
- Use ‘child-proofing’ catches on cupboards and drawers containing household chemicals, such as bleach and anti-freeze. Labs are smart and opening cupboards and drawers soon becomes easy for them.
- Be mindful of the toxicity of certain plants – Over 100 plants have been identified as toxic to dogs, so be sure to research any plant before bringing it into your home.
- Fence of any ponds or pools in your yard. Labs love water, but when your Lab’s unsupervised, these can present a real danger if your Labrador struggles to get out.
These are just a few points to consider around your home and garden, there are many more.
Just try to put yourself in your Labradors shoes and take a good look at his environment as he would see it. Try to see how he could get into trouble and take measures to prevent it.
Click here for a more detailed guide on puppy-proofing your home and garden.
The Basics of Labrador Grooming
Grooming coat care and brushing, it’s looking after every part of your Labrador and a time during which you familiarize yourself with your dogs look and feel so you’re able to spot any changes that might signify health problems.
It’s also quality time spent bonding with your dog and strengthening your relationship.
Basic Labrador Coat Care and Bathing
Labradors are a short-haired breed that don’t need much brushing for most of the year. But during the moulting season you’ll want to brush them regularly to remove shed hair if you want to limit the amount that covers, well, every surface of your home.
Brushing also helps to shake loose dirt out of and spread the natural oils throughout their coat for that desirable, healthy glossy look we know and love.
Related article: The Best vacuums for removing pet hair from your home.
When it comes to bathing, Labradors have natural oils in their coat that provide waterproofing and it’s highly recommended you don’t bathe them too often to preserve this natural property.
Frequent baths will strip their oils, leaving them prone to wet and cold in winter, causing dry skin and making their coat look dull and not shiny.
Bathe them only if they’re particularly dirty and smelly or on a schedule of just 3 or 4 times per year.
Keeping Nails Trim
Most Labradors will need a nail trim every 2 to 3 months, although some may never need it.
Regularly walking your dog on hard ground, especially sidewalks and roads, will have a natural filing effect and keep your dogs claws in order.
You should pay your dogs paws regular attention, inspect them often and don’t let them overgrow. If you can hear them rapping on your kitchen floor, it’s definitely time to get the clippers out!
Personally I’ve always taken my dogs to the vet for nail clipping, but you can do it at home yourself.
Just please ask your vet for instruction first so you know how to do it properly and don’t cut them too short. This can make them sore and bleed.
And please, use proper dog nail trimmers made especially for the task, don’t hack away with human nail clippers.
What with a Labradors slightly drooping ears and their love of water, the inside of their ears can sometimes retain too much moisture, causing bacteria to build up and infections to form.
You should check your Labradors ears regularly to make sure they aren’t red, inflamed or have a high build up of wax.
I shall be writing an article on this very soon.
This is possibly one of the most neglected areas of pet dogs health, we really should pay more attention to it.
Just some of the problems a Labrador may have with its teeth are gum disease, loose teeth, cracked or broken teeth, root abscesses and a build up of tartar. These can be very uncomfortable for your dog and can lead to further problems if neglected.
Therefore, you need to inspect their teeth regularly, take measures to clean their teeth and even visit a professional canine dentist every 6 months or annually for a thorough check up and any necessary treatments. Treat their teeth like you would your own.
Dealing with Parasites
Controlling fleas, ticks and other parasites is essential for keeping your Labrador healthy.
Immediate problems include extreme irritation and skin sores, but extreme infestations can lead to more dangerous problems including Lyme disease and tape worms.
If you stick to a regular grooming schedule (as you should!) checking for external parasites is an easy task.
Simply brush your hand against the lie of your Labradors fur and watch for any small moving dots and check for any clearly visible ticks.
There are many safe and effective over-the-counter flea control products, many of which contain formulations to prevent ticks at the same time.
I recommend you get one of these for your Lab because once a flea infestation takes hold, they’re hard to get rid of and the preventive medicines really are very safe nowadays.
Finally, depending on where you live in the world, you may need to put your Labrador on medication for heartworm.
Where mosquitoes are a problem, they can pass on heartworm and this can be fatal. Even the medicine for heartworm makes your dog very ill so prevention is definitely better than cure!
Regular Visits to the Vet
You’ll want to make sure your Labrador has regular visits to a vet, not only when they’re showing signs of an illness.
A vet will perform a full health check and could discover things with their knowledge and specialist tools that aren’t immediately visible to the untrained or unskilled eye, such as a heart problem or diabetes.
It’s also very important for your dog to receive regular vaccinations…
A number of potentially fatal diseases Labradors are prone to can be prevented by vaccination. Diseases such as distemper, rabies, hepatitis and parvoviros to name just a few.
Your puppy will have had his first shots at five or six weeks before you got to take him home, and he will need a few further shots over a period of up to 18 weeks.
A rabies shot usually follows at 6 months of age or so. After this, your adult Labrador will need just a single booster each year to stay protected.
For many facts on vaccinations and the schedule you should follow when vaccinating your puppy, please click here.
Nutrition and Diet
It goes without saying (although I’ll say it) that you’ll need to provide your Labrador with food and water daily. But you shouldn’t allow your Lab to ‘free eat’ anything whenever he feels.
Obesity is a very common problem in the breed because Labradors just LOVE to eat. If you hand out too many treats and feed him twice daily, there’s a very real chance your Lab could become overweight.
Like all living animals, your Labrador has particular nutritional requirements and the cheapest tinned dog food or ‘human foods’ just aren’t good enough.
Dogs need a balance of vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins different to that of a human and feeding them on human leftovers can lead to malnutrition, as can a diet based on cheap filler packed dog food.
I’m not saying to ban giving all scraps, just make it an occasional treat.
You should perform a little research to find and use a recognized healthy brand of dog food that will cater to your Labradors needs.
To help with this, please see our articles that list 4 of the best foods for Labrador puppies (opens in new window) or the best dog foods for adult Labradors (opens in new window) …yours really will thrive on these handpicked, quality foods!
Additionally, the best thing you can do is set up a feeding schedule for your dog, twice per day being the recommended, and be mindful of any extra treats. Your Lab should always be well fed but not over-fed.
Another thing to consider is that puppies and adult dogs have different dietary requirements so you’ll need to feed your puppy differently to your adult dog.
It’s not just a question of quantity, the nutritional needs of a puppy and adult dog differ and their food needs to cater for this. I shall discuss this more in a later article.
Finally, water…Your Labrador should have access to water 24/7/365 and the water must be regularly changed and kept clean.
An Important Note On Drastic Changes In Eating And Drinking Habits
If your dog is off their food, drinks way too much or way too little for a period of time more than 36 hours, you should call your vet as this is almost surely a sign of an underlying problem.
Leading on from diet…
Always Monitor Your Dogs Weight
As mentioned previously, Labradors are prone to becoming overweight and obese. They are voracious eaters and will eat just because they can, not because they need it.
Excess weight can lead to all sorts of issues including arthritis and heart problems. To prevent this, control their diet and give them plenty of exercise for them to burn off those calories.
Labradors are a high energy breed and need a lot of exercise to stay physically and psychologically healthy. If they aren’t given regular exercise, they’ll become stir crazy with pent-up energy leading to destructive behavior and will almost certainly start to gain weight.
A good 30 minutes of exercise per day in addition to his routine walks is the minimum…more if you don’t have a nice yard for them to run about in…with a longer session of 1.5hrs at least once per week.
But please don’t apply this to your little puppy. They really do need very little exercise of just a few short minutes a couple of times per day.
Too much exercise for a puppy can cause skeletal formation issues and plays a large part in joint problems.
Take it easy until your puppy is at least a year old. From this point forward, they will easily beat you ‘paws down’ in any exercise requiring stamina!
Bedding and Shelter
A Labrador should always have a soft surface to lay upon.
Being a medium-sized dog, there’s a fair bit of weight resting on their elbows when laying down and this can result in calluses if they’re forced to lay upon a hard uncovered floor.
To prevent this you should get your Lab a large sized dog bed or line a crate to offer a soft and comfortable place to rest.
Even if it wasn’t for calluses, just out of respect for the comfort of your friend, don’t leave your Labrador to sleep on a hard uncovered floor!
If your Lab spends any amount of time outside, you must provide shelter to offer an escape from the sun in summer, and preferably the shelter should have a raised floor so the wet and cold is kept away in winter.
I also recommend you get your Labrador used to their own bed as soon as possible, whether that be a dog bed in your room or a crate that’s a den of his own in a separate room.
If your Lab puppy gets used to sleeping in a bed of yours or your children, it will be a hard habit to break and will more than likely end in separation anxiety and night-time whining.
You want your Labrador to be comfortable alone for periods of time and should start forming this habit ASAP.
The importance of training your Labrador cannot be overstated.
A dog is a dog and not a human. As a different species they have their own natural behaviors, many of which aren’t compatible with our way of living, either because they aren’t agreeable to us in some manner (digging, counter-surfing, eating poop) or in some cases because they just aren’t safe (chasing motor-vehicles and small animals, chewing our possessions.)
A dog isn’t born with the knowledge of how we’d like them to behave and they don’t naturally understand any commands they are given.
You need to teach your dog how to behave and what your instructions are asking them to do.
Before a puppy can become a trusted, well-behaved dog they have a lot of learning to do…and you a lot of teaching!
To learn from the written word, I am part way through building the ultimate resource in the form of this site.
Have a look around, there’s a lot of useful material here, particularly in my section dedicated to Training your Labrador.
Recommended Training Course
If you’d like a more comprehensive program to follow in video format, including a follow along time-line of a puppy being trained from 8 weeks old to 1-year-old, with every step along the way committed to video, please check out The Online Dog Trainer.
It’s an excellent, fully comprehensive online training course that covers all aspects of dog training that I am very happy to put my name to and promote :-)
I am creating a great resource for Labrador training and care here, working toward making all the information an owner needs available for free. But sometimes there’s no substitute for instructional video.
Not something I’m able to (or want to) create myself, and that’s why I’m happy to promote this course.
You can check it out for as little as $1 for 3 days, so there’s nothing to lose.
Caring for a Labrador Retriever – Conclusion
It’s relatively easy once you know what needs to be done and you set up easy to follow scheduled routines.
Routines for feeding, exercise, grooming and visits to the vet are all easily managed with a little knowledge and by planning a schedule in advance and sticking to it.
Spending quality time with your Lab is also key, especially regular grooming sessions.
These will teach you what’s normal with the way he looks and feels to your touch so you can spot any changes in their appearance and attitude that may point to an underlying problem.
You should also attempt to learn your dogs normal living habits, how much he eats, drinks and sleeps.
A change in these habits can be a sign that something isn’t quite right with your dog.
Anything To Add?
As always, if you have any questions, would like to offer feedback, suggestions or further advice on the subject, please do so in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your thoughts :-)
All content on this site is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be nor can it be considered actionable professional advice. It must not be used as an alternative for seeking professional advice from a veterinarian or other certified professional.
LabradorTrainingHQ.com assumes no responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of what’s written on this site. Please consult a professional before taking any course of action with any medical, health or behavioral related issue.
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Please my black Labrador is about 2 years old and she is yet to come on heat.Is it normal.
Most bitches will have their first season by 1 year old, though it’s common for the first season not to happen anywhere up until 18 months. But I have never heard of a bitch not having a season before 2 years old. It might be possible, I have to admit I’m not 100% sure, just I have never heard of a bitch taking this long.
Are you sure she has not come into season? Some ladies are unbelievably ‘clean’ and it can go unnoticed if you haven’t regularly checked for the smallest signs of bleeding and swelling of the vulva. Have you noticed a time where she was very regularly licking her back end?
The only thing you can do Simon is to speak to a vet. They can do a health check to make sure she is fine then do a series of blood tests to find out when she’s in season. There may be no other way to know.
What is the requirement of calcium for a 5 month old labrador male. I feed him with focus drools and my vet says that calcium is not required for him.?
I don’t know of that particular food, but if you are buying a commercially available, complete and balanced food for your puppy then their nutritional needs are being met. Puppies do need a higher calcium intake than an adult dog, but that is already reflected in the food that is made for and labelled as ‘for puppies’. So…
You absolutely SHOULD NOT supplement with calcium. All the calcium they need is already in their puppy food.
For a somewhat difficult scientific read on the subject, please see the following article and scroll down to the heading ‘CALCIUM’ and read what it says: Skeletal diseases of the growing dog
A bit less scientifically, what it says is an excess of calcium in a growing dogs diet actually causes the one thing you are probably trying to prevent by considering supplementing.
Excess calcium causes a slow down in bone and cartilage maturation and ultimately leads to skeletal abnormalities. So if you are feeding a balanced and complete puppy food, and then supplement with calcium, you would be feeding your puppy too much calcium and this will lead to harm.
So just find a puppy food made for puppies, that specifically says: ‘Complete and balanced’ on the label, and you can trust that your puppys nutritional needs are met and you should not supplement.
Finally (and please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m being tongue in cheek and light-hearted…but it’s true! :-) ) take your vets word over anything you could possibly get from asking me!
I know a lot, read a lot, but I’m a hobby owner compared to vets who have studied and practiced this stuff for a lifetime and know infinitely more than I do and probably ever will do. Bless them :-)
Hope this helps!
My friend probably won’t listen to me since I have never owned a dog because my work does not allow me to meet a dog’s needs for exercise and attention (I have cats) so I am consulting with you about this concern:
My friend is a 68-year old woman with asymptomatic muscular sclerosis. She lost her dog with a lab face a few months ago. A week ago, she finally decided to adopt a 1-year old black lab to join her 13-yr old collie. My friend does not like to go for walks and does not have a fenced-in area for her dogs. She lets them out on a leash for a brief bathroom break and then in again. The collie has gnawed at his legs for years now, is arthritic, but still handsome. I offered to go with my friend to walk the lab, but she said she was afraid the dog’s high energy would cause her to break free and she would be difficult to catch—also that she does not have time in the next few days because she is taking a course and has her private students. My friend told me the dog pulls hard on the leash. “Sounds like a recipe for a broken hip—yours.” I replied.
I realize she misses the dog that died and very much wants this companionship. I worry that my friend will continue her usual cycle of a poor-to-no exercise routine and they’ll both have a poor quality of life for as long as she has the dog. My friend has made up her mind to save this dog she got from a pound (but there are no-kill pounds in our area (Wheeling, WV). But aren’t there other kinds of dogs that would be happy with the routine my friend tends to engage in? What do you think? Thank you for your help.
I agree with you, this isn’t much of a life for a lab and hence a Labrador just isn’t the breed for her. There’s a lot to be said for matching the energy levels and temperament of a breed to the owner.
Google ‘sedentary dog breeds’ and look at a few of the first few articles that come up. There are lots of good suggestions there for dog breeds who prefer a much more laid back, quieter life that don’t need much exercise and sound to me as if they are far more suitable for your friend.
Best of luck!
Currently my dog is 12 months old and health is good, he is so aggressive and some time cool… Regarding exercise – walking not more than 20 / 30 minutes in the whole day. I give him (Veg. pedigree) food 1 times and in the evening another food.
Last some day’s he is facing problem with hair loss and i need suggestion how i control.
Waiting for your important suggestion.
Thanks in Advance.
First of all, I would say your puppy isn’t getting enough exercise and you need to double it to one hour at least at 12 months of age.
You can read my article on how much exercise a Labrador needs by clicking here.
It’s likely your Lab has too much pent up energy and doesn’t have an outlet for it which can lead to unruly behavior. It’s likely if you exercise him more you will see some improvement. Try it for a couple of weeks.
But just exercise isn’t enough as Labs need to have their minds occupied too. Are you practicing regular training sessions together? This can instill trust and respect in your dog, give them something to do relieving boredom and lead to calmer behavior. I’m not sure if you spend time training but you simply must…and regularly.
Finally, when you say he is ‘aggressive’ do you mean he growls and barks when playing tug? Is aggressive near food? Near certain people? A 12 month old puppy playing tug can sound terrifying, but it’s play and is normal. However if he’s showing true signs of aggression by snapping or biting at any other time then I’d say you need to speak a professional before it gets out of hand and he becomes truly aggressive and perhaps bites somebody. Ask your vet if they can recommend somebody.
i am going to keep a 45 days old pup -labrador.tough i love dogs but i dont know much about the care taking part. i am a lil scred that he shouldnt be left hungry nor do i over feed him.plus i l hv to leave him alone for some time in the coming days.
should he be taken out for strolls ? and how many times should food b given to him .abd what to give him from the kitchen .is it ok to give him milk/eggs.please suggest
Hi Ms Chopra,
45 days is very young to ave a puppy, it should still be with it’s mother. But anyway, until your puppy’s second set of vaccinations have had time to work, he shouldn’t be taken out for walks as there’s a very real and quite high danger of picking up disease. It’s usually 11 or 12 weeks stage where you can take your puppy for walks.
Regarding feeding, at 45 days he will be weened OK and can eat solids, he will require feeding 5 small meals a day, quantities though I am unsure as I have never had a puppy before 8 weeks old.
Eggs are OK to feed, milk not so much but if you do it should be raw / fresh milk, and I understand that goats milk is more easily digested. But you have to be careful as a puppy’s digestive system is highly sensitive when young and changes in diet can very easily lead to diarrhea which is very bad for the puppy…and not good for you having to clean up. So you should stick to the same food, a high quality ‘complete’ food designed to provide a growing puppy all the nutrients they need.
Please don’t take it the wrong way, but it sounds like you’re very inexperienced and really do have a hell of a lot to learn in as short a time as possible because a 45 day old puppy that’s been taken away from it’s mother and littermates this soon (too early) requires excellent care and socialization. I’m sure this is what you’re trying to do else you wouldn’t have landed on this site, so well done for that, but I think you need to know more that I currently have written on this site so far, and more than I could possibly write in an answer.
Please go the download section of DogStarDaily and download the 2 free ebooks, and read as many of the downloadable articles and behavior blueprints as you can. You can find these by clicking here: DogStarDaily free download section.
Also, please read all links from the puppy care guide at Pets.WebMD by clicking here, particularly about feeding a very young puppy.
Dedicate yourself to soaking up as much knowledge as you can as quickly as you can, take notes and follow the advice you find in the resources I have linked to. This should put you in good standing to take care of your puppy. And of course be willing to ask the advice of your vet for anything you’re worried about.
I hope this helps, all the best and good luck :-)
I have a 1 month old baby at my place, I am a little concerned about the type of food I can give her, due to the absence of her mother because of some reasons. She can eat on her own but very soft and liquidify foods. If anyone can help please,
I really do try to help where I can, but in this situation I’m sorry to say I’m really not qualified to offer advice on how to feed and care for a 1 month old puppy.
I’ve never had one before 8 weeks of age myself and I don’t want to offer advice that could be wrong and end up causing problems. A puppy that young is very vulnerable and the wrong care could end in disaster, so it would be wrong for me to advise as I have no experience of this.
All I can say is you should speak to a Vet if you’re able to? You have to see one very soon for vaccinations and more besides, so it would help to start this relationship now as their advice will be invaluable…and far better than what I could ever give.
Sorry I can’t be of help :-(
i am new to dogs and i have planned to buy a labrador retriever puppy.. what should i do please instruct me as soon as posible.
Your question is too broad to answer. Please read as much about the subject of puppy care, puppy development, training and so on that you can and try to put it into practice. Start with the 2 ebooks from DogStarDaily I recommended to Ms Chopra, above. They are a great free resource. If you have more specific questions you are welcome to ask here or to e-mail me and I will help with advice where I can :-)
Currently my (Female)Lab is 9 months old. just 2 days ago she had period. My question is that is this Correct time for crossing?? (or) I have to wait for next term period ??
Sorry, but I’m not sure what you mean by ‘crossing’ in this context?
I mean MATING ..!
The general advice is to wait until a bitch is 2 years old+. This is because although sexually she may be mature (coming into season) she is still far from physically mature at this point and just because at her age she can breed, does not mean that she should! If pregnant, a lot of her energies will go into developing puppies instead of finishing her own bodily growth which is not a good thing.
Also, to breed responsibly, you need to have your lady’s health screened and until she is physically mature, some of the tests cannot be reliably performed because things such as poor temperament, seizures and more besides may not surface until physical and mental maturity. So responsible breeders wait until at least 24 months, maybe more.
It may not be my place to say…but I feel I have to so am going to say this anyway, I hope you don’t take offense…but have you really considered EVERYTHING that goes into breeding? The responsibility you would be taking on is huge!
You have to consider the health of your bitch and making sure she is screened for hereditary diseases and disorders, the likely health and quality of the puppies depending on the health and condition of your bitch, what will you do if things go wrong? Can you afford veterinary help if things do go wrong? How will you handle whelping? Will the puppies be able to go to fantastic homes where they will have a good life? (There are soooo many homeless dogs in the world.)
You will have to research and provide all the correct care during the pregnancy, for giving birth, have contingency plans in place, veterinary checks during and after the pregnancy, invest time and financially into the raising of puppies for 8 weeks and find them good homes.
There is so much to learn, so much can go wrong, and a lot of time and money invested.
I’m not trying to put you off, I just want to make it clear what you are considering taking on and that you must seriously consider everything involved. Please spend many hours with Google (or buy a book) and read all you can on the subject before you go ahead if you decide to, just so you know all the implications and make an informed decision.
I think he just wants to breed and get money out of the poor dog. Who would even think of mating after her first heat cycle.
Hi. Im gonna have a lab by january 26th and it’s his 2nd month old now. The thing is, I am from the Philippines and this is the first time having my own dog.
The only problem I have now is that the dog is already fed meat and rice by it’s owner. Im not quite sure if we can still have him eat dog food.
Ive been reading all out your articles for caring a lab puppy and is really way helping me. :) thank you.
I’m glad you’re finding the site useful and congratulations! Having a dog is one the best moves you can make, a friend, companion and play mate for life :-)
You can change your puppy’s food, but you should do so slowly because it a high percentage of the time it leads to upset tummy and diarrhea.
Because your puppy is going through enough moving to your new home, I would advise trying to feed EXACTLY the same food that the puppy was receiving at the breeders for the first couple of days, then slowly switch over to a complete and balanced puppy food, a little bit each day according to the what I’ve written here: Switching your puppy’s diet.
You should send us a pic of your puppy for the Facebook page :-)
I’ve a lab female 7 month old
she is shedding hair from last 2 months.
is this normal???
Unless there are bald patches showing, it’s likely nothing to worry about. Puppies have a different coat that they shed in order to grow their very different adult coat. This happens any time between 6 and 12 months, so 7 months is usual.
After this, your lab will shed ‘some’ hair all year round, but not in large quantities. You will want to brush her regularly to get most of it out and lessen the amount around your home. But they are only average shedders, it’s not mental amounts.
However, they shed in large quantities every year during spring and autumn when they are said to ‘blow their coats’ which will usually last 3 or so weeks. This shedding is them changing their coats with the seasons, heading into summer when the weather starts to warm up, then again in Autumn before growing their winter coat.
So your girl at 7 months shedding, unless there are bald spots, it’s normal, don’t worry. Brush her coat out to help things along and keep an eye out for bald patches. If she’s otherwise healthy I’m pretty sure you have nothing to worry about.
I have a female Labrador 3 years old, I would like to know that “What if we do not met our bitch?” She was net by a pure male labra when she was 1.5 years old but after few months when she gave birth,Puppies were died. So we make a decision to do not leave our bitch for matting. Now we see that her back area is swelling, is it normal? Or we have to leave her for matting ?
You really do need to see a qualified, professional vet ASAP!
All the best!
My lab have dry skin and she scratches a lot they turn into sores she scratched so much her body is really hot have any idea what this could be I need to treat her but don’t know how any advice
I’m having a three year old labrador who is underweight. He is not growing. I don’t know why.
Kindly suggest me what to do?
Are you sure he’s underweight? If you’re sure you are feeding him correctly, the first thing to do if you are sure he has weight problems is to see a vet as you must check for underlying medical issues and hopefully rule them out.
My black lab is just about one year old and she swims in the ocean most days unless the weather is very bad. I have never shampooed her. This is my routine – please tell me if it is okay:
After a swim I towel dry her and give her a brushing to remove sand. Then I rub a little olive oil on my hands and basically just pet her coat all over. I then check her paw pads and even though they seem fine I rub a little beeswax into them to keep them supple so the salt water does not dry them out.
I believe olive oil and beeswax would be safe for her to ingest, but I am curious if it is okay to slightly oil her coat once or twice a week. I also put a small amount of olive oil in her food once a day.
I have had dogs all my life but I have never had a Lab and they seem like a very different type of dog with very different needs. I have a question concerning exercise – she is at the beach most days playing with dogs, running, and swimming for about 3 hours a day until she seems done – do you think it is too much exercise? I do not force her. Also, concerning swimming – we live in the Northeast – so it’s pretty cold right now, but she seems fine in the water and I don’t encourage her to swim – she just loves it and seems fine with the cold. I towel dry her and put her in the heated car and groom her as I explained above. Do you have any concerns about any of this?
Labradors have a double coat – outer, coarse ‘guard hair’ and a fluffy, insulating undercoat – that together with the natural oils in their coat keeps them warm, waterproof (dry skin while swimming) and good to go in ridiculously cold weather that we would run from! They were developed from dogs that used to swim to bring in nets and dropped fish from icy waters in Newfoundland. So as long as there’s no danger of your pup falling through ice, there’s no issue with her swimming.
I don’t know enough to say how olive oil and beeswax will affect the coat I’m afraid. But if you didn’t use it, just allowed nature to takes it course and groom her regularly (brushing distributes her naturally produced oils throughout her coat) then she will be absolutely fine swimming in cold water: Waterproof and insulated against the cold naturally. You’ll probably find you won’t be able to stop her swimming anyway, haha.
for the amount of exercise she should receive, please read the following article: https://www.labradortraininghq.com/labrador-health-and-care/how-much-exercise-does-a-labrador-need/
All the best!
First of all thank you for giving some understanding about taking care of dogs. Your website really helped me to get good understanding about dogs. My query is, today morning we got a British Labrador male, 1 month old from our friend. Me and my husband are working, we wont be spending most of the time with the dog, though the dog got adjusted to stay alone before, am still worried to leave it alone, my only worry is how will the dog spend its lonely time ? will that effect its health ? will the dog become in-active though we take it for a walk twice a day? We are planning to keep the dog in our balcony, there wont be too much dust but will the dog becomes allergic to dust if it is kept outside everyday ?
1 month old? I’m guessing there’s a digit missing off the end there?
To be perfectly honest, you saying ‘we won’t be spending most of the time with the dog’ forces me to say that the situation isn’t really suitable for a Labrador I’m afraid. They are a very social breed, who live for and thrive in the company of their family. They not only want, but they need to have lots of social interaction to be happy, or behavioral issues can develop due to loneliness, boredom and lack of mental stimulation. You should make all the effort you can to spend as much quality time with him, and if both of you are at work during the day, try to get a friend / family member / dog walker to spend an hour or so with him during the day, for interaction, exercise and ‘something to do.’
Google ‘owning a dog with a full time job’, read many of the results – the articles and forum threads – that have advice of how to handle the situation from others doing the same, and you should be able to find some great tips on how to manage. It’s a bit too much for me to type into a comment and would be a feature length article itself! But there’s some good info out there on that search term.
Best of luck and all the best!
I have a plan to buy a Lab male. I saw one which is 45/days old. After reading your article I feel like I have to take your openion. Please suggest me what is the right age tobuy a puppy. And what are the immediate precautions and care need to be given when it is separated from its mother for the first time. Also the simple steps to understand whether it is a good breed.
Seeking your valuable reply
The right age is 8 weeks old. And for preparing for your new puppy, please see the ‘puppy section’ linked to in the main nav at the top of this page. But don’t stop there! Google around and find a few other blogs you like, there’s lots out there, and gain as much knowledge as you can as it will help both you and your puppy.
Its my dream to have a lab at home, but due to my professional life, it was impossible for me to have one. I know lab puppies need lot of care. Now i’m recently married, and im sure me and my wife can take a good care of the puppy. But my main concern is to choose between a Lab and Labrador retriever. What difference makes them unique? Need your suggestion.
Same breed, just a contraction of the name, like Bob for Bobby, or Jim for James, etc.
Need your immediate guidance and suggestion and advise regarding healthy skin of my Labrador children who are suffering from skin problems suspected skin allergy.
Please guide healthy food to develop healthy skin and a glamorous look.
You should consider a dog shampoo and conditioner for sensitive skin and try changing the diet to one for a sensitive stomach.
More often than not, the issues begin internally and a proper diet works wonders for a dog’s appearance and mood.
All the best
Hi! I adopted a lab which will be about to 1.5 months old. I Started calcium Stick to chew for her. Should i start dog food?, if yes suggest me any dog food for her. What If i start giving her pedigree chiken vegetable?
I suggest you visit this link Caring for Your Lab Puppy
I have a 7 month old Lab. He goes out for regular walks,has plenty exercise and game time. But because of his walks outside his paws have become cracked. His once soft black paws are rough and flaky now. Is it okay to rub petroleum jelly on them?!
Please do get back, with your words of doggy wisdom.
It is safe to put Vaseline on your dogs paw. Try not to let him lick the Vaseline as this may cause diarrhea. You can try getting some dog shoes for him.
I delight in, cause I discovered exactly what I was taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye
Labs are the best dog breed ever!! Nice article to know every detail about lab dogs.