If you own a Labrador or are planning to adopt one, you are in the right place. Our comprehensive guide to caring for a Labrador will help you tend to your pet in the best manner and ensure that they always stay in the pink of health so that you can truly experience the joys of canine companionship.
Labradors are fun-loving, gentle, and energetic creatures with an easygoing personality that makes for an amazing family pet.
Many people wonder how Labradors are different from Labrador retrievers. In reality, there’s no difference between the two because they refer to one and the same breed. Labrador retriever is the official name of the dog breed. For ease of use, it’s commonly called Labrador, or simply lab instead.
If you are adopting a Labrador, we suggest you read through this detailed guide on how to welcome your new dog. Since owning a dog comes with immense responsibility, it’s best to learn more about the adoption process so that you can make an informed decision.
Compared to most of the other dog breeds, labs need to be fed relatively more frequently and usually in greater proportions too – which shouldn’t be too surprising given their high levels of activity.
Puppies less than six months old must be fed three to four times a day. If your pooch is more than six months old, you can continue following the same feeding routine. Or you can reduce it to twice a day for your own convenience. Just make sure that they get the appropriate quantity within the whole day.
Labs aren’t very picky when it comes to meal choices. You can go for store-bought dry food, homemade meals, or a combination of both. In case your pooch doesn’t seem to keen to eat dry food, you can add in some extras like plain yogurt or meat/ bone broth.
When introducing any new food item to your pet, use small proportions to see how well their body can handle it in terms of digestion.
For example, if switching from dry to wet food, start with one feeding of wet food while maintaining three feedings of dry food as usual. If they don’t experience diarrhea or vomiting for a week, switch to half and a half, and so on.
Labradors love to eat. But you must avoid overfeeding or giving them a treat or two every time they come to you with the literal puppy dog eyes. Overfeeding can quickly lead to obesity, along with other health complications such as bone and joint abnormalities.
Keep in mind though that, like all other dogs, labs have specific nutrition requirements that vary according to their age, size, and overall activity level. Therefore, consult your veterinarian about the type of food that is best for your pooch.
These sweet-faced dogs have a thick but short-haired coat. So, daily brushing is not required. During the summer season, try to groom them at least once a week. Use a bristle brush as it will keep them clean and remove loose hairs.
When it comes to bathing, labs need to be washed only once or twice over a period of three to four months. Alternatively, you can bath them if they seem to dirty, especially after having fun outdoors.
However, avoid bathing them every now and then as it can make their skin dry and itchy. It can also lead to seborrhea, commonly known as dog dandruff, as Labradors have very sensitive skin. We have some great ‘all-natural’ and ‘pH balanced’ Spa products you can try here, www.puccicafe.com/product-category/spa
Most importantly, don’t forget to trim their nails regularly, or it can result in severe injuries.
As we mentioned earlier, labs are really companionable housemates who love to make new friends. Thus, no matter how busy you are, always take out time to take them to new places where they can meet new people and preferably, even dogs.
Go to parks, beaches, and other open places where they will have an ample amount of space to run and exercise. This also gives them an opportunity to utilize all the extra energy in a healthy way. Otherwise, you might encounter behavioral problems such as excessive barking and/ or biting.
Buy a crate – Adult Labradors generally stand 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder, so you should purchase a crate that is at least 32 inches high to allow enough room for your pet to stand comfortably. Also, it should be sturdy enough to support their weight. Labradors weigh an average of 55 to 80 lbs. when mature.
Buy a good leash – Ideally, Labradors should be kept on a minimum 6-foot-long leash. This gives them considerable freedom to explore their surroundings without straying too far from you when out on a walk.
And a collar – Dog collars come in various styles and colors, but for labs, it best to stick with a Martingale collar. This is a hybrid between the traditional buckle collar and the choke collar commonly used during dog training. A Martingale collar is the preferred choice for Labradors because it allows you to exercise more control over your pet safely and effectively – something you will greatly require given their inquisitive nature and eagerness to socialize.
The best part about owing these athletic dogs is that they are fairly low maintenance yet extremely fun to be around. Unlike various other breeds, caring for a Labrador is really easy, and anyone in your family can do it. However, do schedule regular visits to your vet to ensure that your canine companion stays in high spirits and that they aren’t silently suffering from any health problem.
by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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