Let’s Talk Labrador Retriever Grooming
Grooming your Labrador is very simple because of the texture and nature of their hair. Labradors generally have fairly short hair, especially compared to other breeds that have really long, shaggy hair like Wheaten terrier. A Lab’s short coat is far less demanding as far as maintaining it is concerned. Darker Labs have different, specific traits in their grooming that need to addressed, including its water resistance. You probably have released that a Lab’s coat is thick, coarse, and short. While grooming a Lab is not too difficult comparatively, it might be hard to know just where to start. These Labrador grooming tips can help you through the basics.
The Trouble With Curiosity
Lab dogs are very active and love to explore their immediate environments – which is just one of their adorable, fun traits. However, especially with the golden Retrievers, this is a major problem. Exploring leads to tons of mud and dirt and a heightened possibility of fur-nesting insects. When your Lab has spend some time playing outside, ducking through bushes, or swimming in pond out back, you should always check your dog’s coat afterwards. Sometimes, insects can hide beneath their coats and remain there until you find them yourself. They may go undetected for quite a long time if you are not proactive about checking your dog’s fur. Ultimately, inspecting your Labrador consistently will saves you the hassle and your dog the discomfort later on.
How to Properly Brush Your Labrador Retriever
Labs shed A LOT of hair, as you probably know from finding it everywhere. Brushing can help both you and your dog by helping your dog shed less, keeping him cooler, making him feel beautiful, and circulating the natural oils in his fur. Brushing your lab is incredibly important to helping him maintain healthy fur.
As you brush him, the old hair falls away; as this circular motion activates his skin cells and with each stroke, his natural oils are secreted. These oils give the Labrador’s coat its beautiful sheen. A through brushing is recommended at least once a week, but there is actually benefit to doing it more often. Not only does brushing help with oils but it also promotes bonding, makes your dog feel great, and keeps him immaculately clean.
Brushing is also a great idea on hot days. The brushing also allows air to circulate through his coat, helping your dog feel cooler. Be sure to perform this task outside your house, if possible. Try to wear something old, bearing in mind the fact that dog hair is simply going to fly everywhere and you are not an exclusion to the laws of Labrador dog hair.
Bathing Your Labrador Retriever
While bathing is important to keep dirt and mud out of your Lab’s fur, regular bathing can actually dry out his skin. If you’re worried about the mositure of his skin, allowing him to play outside actually helps with skin dryness!
Bathing a full-grown Lab can be quite a task. It is a good idea to brush your dog before bathing. Remember, do not use human shampoos as they are not ideal for keeping a dog’s coat clean and shiny. These shampoos interfere with the Ph balance of Labrador’s coats.
First, you’ll need to soak your dog thoroughly. Soak him with water so that it seeps down well through his coat. Using dog shampoo, gently work up and down to form a thick lather. Be careful not to let any of it into his ears. When grooming him, take special care of his paws and legs.. These areas tend to gget the dirtiest and may need some extra attention. Fleas specifically are normally found on your dog’s tail, so be extra sure to wash this area. Wash off the foam and dry your lab’s coat with a towel.
What about Your Labrador’s Nails?
Nails on Labradors tend to grow more rapidly than any other dog, so you will need to clip them at least once every two weeks. Long nails can make walking painful by messing with how the foot pads touch the ground. He may be scared at first, but he will realize with time that clipping does not hurt him as long as you are careful not to clip down too far. If you do accidentally clip the quick, use chap stick or a styptic stick to stop the bleeding. While grooming the feet, check for cysts between the toes. If you find one, bring them to the vet and let them take care of it.
What about Your Labrador’s Eyes?
When grooming, if you notice gooey dirt in the corner of his eyes, you can clean it using a damp cotton cloth or ball. Be very gentle. You may also notice staining around the eyes; this is perfectly natural and normal.
What about Your Labrador’s Ears?
When taking care of the ears, do not use ear buds. Labradors have very sensitive ears, so inserting anything into them will make them agitated. You may clean the visible parts of the ears using a cotton ball and a vet-certified dog ear cleaner. Deep cleaning ears requires special attention from a veterinarian. You can even let your veterinarian prescribe the best solution that you should use to clean your dog’s ears.
And Don’t forget Your Labrador’s Teeth
A daily brushing helps to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Much like humans, a dog’s dental plaque can get into its bloodstream and heart, and can in severe cases cause heart disease. You can use a soft toothbrush designed for dogs and doggie toothpaste. If there is already a plaque build up, your veterinarian can take care of it. After that, you will need to follow up with regular brushing.
If you give your Labrador canned dog food, it may be the cause of poor dental health. Dry food is more effective in keeping teeth clean!
To avoid the hassles of dog hair here and there and EVERYWHERE, learn to groom your dog properly and regularly. There is no better attention or care you can give your dog than regular grooming.