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Labrador

How To Keep Your Labrador Healthy?

At A Glance

Labradors are enthusiastic and affectionate pets. While you would want to spoil them with love and treats, it is equally important to ensure their wellbeing. This means paying attention to their grooming, diet, bedding, exercise, training, and vaccinations. If you're wondering how to keep your labrador healthy, this article will give you the details.

America’s most popular dog breed, the Labrador, is well known for being intelligent, active, and devoted to its master. They make amazing partners, adjust well in apartment spaces, and are generally a very healthy breed that is less susceptible to diseases.

Are labradors easy to take care of? With so many great qualities, it might seem like the labrador is a high-maintenance breed; however, on the contrary, they are not demanding at all. It is relatively easy to take care of them. If you’re wondering how to keep your labrador healthy, here are some main aspects to attend to.

An image of a labrador taking a bath

Regular Grooming

Being one of the breeds that shed a lot, Labradors require the daily brushing of hair and regular trimming. Brushing every day ensures that all the dirt and pests are removed along with all the loose and brittle hair. It ensures that their shiny coat remains clean and beautiful. Similar to humans, it boosts their blood circulation and relaxes them.

You do not need to bathe them every day as their furry coat already carries natural oils and is waterproof. Too much bathing would deprive them of their natural oils, making their coat dull and dry.

One of the most ignored regions, the teeth, also need your attention. Cleaning teeth is not something your Labrador might enjoy. However, it is vital to remove plaque, prevent gum infection, or check for a loose or broken tooth.

Brushing your dog’s teeth may extend its lifespan by up to two years.

Do not forget to regularly clean and trim their nails. Some breeds do not require trimming at all, however, some need it once in two to three months. It is advisable to take your pet to a pet parlor for trimming. Doing it yourself might hurt their paws, leaving them sore. Happy Labradors are simply the result of discipline, consistency, and lots of cuddles.

Labradors have drooping ears, which make them prone to bacteria and dirt. Ensure that you regularly clean your Labrador’s ears to avoid any kind of fungal infection.

 

Healthy Diet

Labradors are big foodies. While you might want to spoil your Labrador with all its favorite food, a healthy diet is key to your dog’s wellbeing and good health. It is a central part of ensuring wellbeing. They need a balanced amount of vitamins, minerals, and protein in their diet.

A healthy diet means not only deciding what is nutritious but also understanding the right portions to be served. Giving them healthy food but in the wrong amount can affect their health. Their dietary needs vary according to age, and they should be fed accordingly.

Weight gain and obesity attract several health issues and body aches too. If your Labrador does not enjoy all the healthy food and craves some of his favorites, then use his favorite snacks as a positive reinforcement for each time he finishes his meal. It would encourage healthy eating habits while keeping it happy and satisfied, at the same time.

An image of a chocolate lab running with a bone on its mouth

Exercise

The Labrador is a breed that is very prone to gaining weight and becoming obese. Exercise is crucial to keep their weight in check and ensure health and immunity. Regular exercise keeps their energy channeled in the right direction and builds up their stamina.

While puppies do not need too much exercise as it can be harmful to their bones, older dogs should be kept active. Older dogs develop stronger muscles and healthier bones with regular exercise and are less prone to diseases. Taking your dog for an hour-long run and some playtime is enough for their daily dose of physical activity.

An image of a lab lying on its bed

Good Bedding

A dog’s bed should be in proportion to its size so that it has enough space to move and turn around. Limited space would pressure the elbows and other joints, giving them calluses. Apart from this reason, a night of comfortable sleep is fundamental to your labrador’s wellbeing. So creating a soft and cozy bed for your dog is important.

An image of a wet lab fetched its toy

Training

Many people tend to confuse training with exercise and physical activity. Training includes a whole set of activities teaching your dog how to behave and conduct themselves. Dogs are not naturally born knowing how to adjust in a human house.

A dog’s natural habits include digging, eating poop, and peeing anywhere. Your dog needs training on how to behave inside a house and outside. They need to be trained to poop and pee hygienically. They need to learn not to run anywhere and not to get excited seeing vehicles, and so on.

An image of 2 labs walking with its owner

Socialization

Labradors need to be socialized at an early age so that they learn to recognize and accept their environment and surroundings. Socialize them with all the family members, friends, neighborhood, and other animals. Allow your Labrador to mingle with other dogs if it wishes to.

It is beneficial in teaching it how to conduct itself with other animals that are different or might appear different.

An image of Lab getting injected

Vaccinations

The labrador is a healthy breed that is not prone to severe illness or diseases. However, this does not imply that you can skip their vaccination. They are supposed to be vaccinated against rabies, hepatitis, and distemper, to name a few. After the initial shots of vaccines, do not falter on getting the booster shots.

Timely vaccines shield your dog against all fatal and relatively incurable diseases.

Deworming them is also important for guarding them against parasites, fleas, or tapeworms. You can also ask your vet for preventive medicines to keep away ticks, infectious fleas, or parasites.

A lab being checked by the vet

Regular Vet Visits

Make sure to take your pet regularly to your vet for checkups. Even if they show no evident symptoms of illness or diseases, it is always advisable to undertake a general test for any dormant symptoms.

Always medicate your dog only on the vet’s advice and prescription. Self-medication often proves to be harmful.

An image of a man and a lab lying on autumn leaves

Love Them

Grooming, medications, trimming, and exercise all fail if your Labrador does not receive the love and affection it expects of you. Labradors give unparalleled love, and in return, expect you to reciprocate the same. Even if you have a busy schedule, you need to spend time with your pet to make them feel loved and valued. Like human beings, at times, they need and expect validation. Spend some quality time with them — like training them, playing their favorite game, taking them out to the beach or on walks, and treating them to their favorite food.

An image of a black labrador

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Labs Have Health Problems?

If you’re wondering what health problems labradors are prone to, they are prone to joint problems, heart disease, dysplasia conditions, bloat, obesity, and arthritis.

How Can I Improve My Labrador’s Health?

Provide your labrador with a high-quality, nutritious diet in the right proportions. This is especially important as labradors are prone to obesity. Ensure it gets adequate exercise, mental and physical stimulation to keep its mind and body healthy and active.

What Food Is Good For Labradors?

Labradors thrive well on kibble or a mix of plant and meat-based foods–chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables without the stem and seeds, rice, and other items. They should get adequate amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and water to stay healthy.

A lab with some autumn leaves around

We hope this article helped you understand how to keep your labrador healthy and take care of its grooming, diet, and exercise. Let us know if we helped in the comments below.

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Paul Andrews
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-andrews-172490189/

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.