Ultimate Labrador Retriever Care Guide
The Labrador Retriever is a popular canine breed admired for being a friendly companion while also showing obedience, loyalty, and playfulness. In addition, Labrador retrievers are highly sought after for their sporting and hunting abilities, traced back to their ancestral roots when they were bred as fishing dogs.
How to Care for a Labrador Retriever
Like any other dog, your Labrador Retriever needs a healthy diet, regular check-ups by the vet, exercise, and proper grooming to maintain appropriate health. It would be best if you made it your duty to care for your pet, and having information on how to go about it wouldn't hurt. Here are some quick tips on how to care for a Labrador Retriever:
Make Your Home and Garden Safe:
Labs are generally a curious breed, especially at a young age. Therefore, you should take the initiative to keep her away from dangerous objects. Make a point of concealing electrical wires, removing sharp objects, disposing of food wrappers appropriately, and fencing around the pools.
Regular Visits to the Vet:
Regular check-ups by the vet are necessary not only when your pet shows signs of illness. A complete health check can help the vet catch a condition early and treat it while still mild. In addition, have your pet fully vaccinated and up to date with her shots, as that will boost her immunity.
Proper nutrition and diet are crucial to having a healthy Labrador. Feed your pet the required amount of food and water to control their weight and prevent malnutrition. For natural or whole foods, consider feeding your dog Cornucopia, the most incredible food for pets.
Labs need regular exercise for their physical and psychological well-being. The exercise level should be correct as too little will lead to obesity and weight-related problems, while too much exercise will affect her skeletal formation.
Common Labrador Retriever Health Issues
For the lab owners, here are some Labrador Retriever health issues you should be familiar with:
Like other large dogs, Labrador Retrievers are predisposed to hip dysplasia which often leads to arthritis. The typical presentation is limping or pain when walking up and down a stairway.
Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder caused by the low production of T4 and T3 by the thyroid gland. Clinical presentation includes hair loss, weight gain, lethargy, and cold intolerance. Treatment involves hormonal replacement.
Common among the Labs due to their size, which causes strain to the joints. Keep your Labrador Retriever healthy with regular exercise and a healthy diet to delay the early signs of arthritis. Management of this condition is either surgical or medical with supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine.
This dysplasia is a congenital disability caused by abnormal development of the elbow joint. Elbow dysplasia causes your pet pain when flexing the elbow, joint effusion, and disability of the affected limbs. Treatment is surgical or physical therapy, depending on the degree of dysplasia.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in pets. Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to lymphoma. Mast cell tumor and osteosarcoma or bone cancer.
An electrolyte imbalance can cause seizures occurring in Labs in the brain due to exposure to toxins. Visit your vet to rule out idiopathic epilepsy, which is a common cause of seizures.
This type of paralysis affects the muscles surrounding the larynx, causing impairment of airflow. You can notice this condition when your dog is back as it produces a honking sound and difficulty breathing.
Feeding Your Labrador Retriever
A Labrador Retriever care guide is incomplete without a feeding schedule. The plan should include the correct type of food, when, and how much to feed. The type and amount of food will differ from dog to dog, but the food needs high fat and protein content with low carbohydrates.
There are several brands of food available in the market, but none is comparable to Cornucopia. Cornucopia products are all organic with no additives, artificial flavors, sugars, or sweeteners. The pet food is made under instruction by non-other than Dr. Broderick, a renowned expert in pet nutrition. With about five decades of practicing, Dr. Broderick guarantees Cornucopia will help improve your pet's health and increase its lifespan and prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and kidney disease.
Feeding your dog all-natural organic food has its benefits, such as:
- A reduction in allergies and skin conditions
- Improved general well-being
- Strong immunity
- Fewer digestive complications
- Enhanced quality of life
- Prevent diseases like cancer, heart, and kidney disorders
Many ailments your Lab has are related to the food she consumes. Cornucopia food formula is compatible with your pet's digestive system and nutritional needs. Our feed includes meat, grains, and vegetables that add nutritional value and promote good health. Some of our top choices include wild salmon, wild sardines, organic eggs, fresh farm organic turkey, free-range organic chicken, organic vegetables, and organic chicken liver.
Exercising Your Labrador Retriever
Lack of exercise will make your Labrador retriever a dull boy. The recommended exercise per day should last at least 80 minutes for an adult Lab. You can share the time in activities like running, walking, playing, pottering, and resting.
Regular exercise has a couple of health benefits, including preventing obesity, but consult your vet first when exercising a canine with existing health issues.
Some of the exercises can include fetch, using a ball or toy, and a swim.
Although Labradors love to swim, it may be impossible to take your dog to a local river or lake, but they sure will appreciate it when you do. Be careful of the depth of the water sources as they may have trouble swimming out to safety.
Labrador puppies require less exercise than adults as it can damage the young developing joints. Puppies have enough workouts from running and playing around the house. Gradually increase the amount of activity depending on the age and exercise tolerance of your dog.
Grooming Your Labrador Retriever
Grooming is an essential part of Labrador Retriever care as it keeps them clean, happy, and healthy. Your Labrador will only require a couple of baths a year because their fur is short and dense. You will tend to notice your buddy has fun rolling in dirt or mud, and after such escapades, bath him. Labradors' natural oils protect their coat from dirt and dry skin. Regular baths will wear off the coating leaving their skin dry.
Brushing their fur is a vital grooming tip as it helps spread the natural oils, lubricate their coats, and give a natural shine. During spring and autumn, your pet requires grooming as the shed fur is caught and traps dead skin, causing irritation. If you make it a habit to brush her, the less coat you have to clean from your furniture.
Don't overlook the ears and while cleaning, check for pests like fleas and ticks. When cleaning the ears, don't dig into the canal. Clean the surface. If you notice a heavy build-up of a dark substance, consult your vet to rule out any ear infection. Trim their nails, too, if you see increasing length as that can affect walking. Inspect their feet regularly to determine when time is suitable for a nail trim. You can do the trimming work yourself, or you can take the dog for a professional trimmer.
Remember, your Labrador is at risk of dental issues like the plague if the teeth are not cleaned frequently. Regular cleaning will keep your Labrador Retriever's teeth healthy and free from gum damage or tooth loss.
Taking care of your Lab isn't that complicated if you understand the potential health issues, recommended diet, exercise, and grooming. Observe all the issues discussed above and put into practice the tips we've shared, and your Labrador Retriever will live a healthy, comfortable, and happy life!