Dogs are great companions to have around, and Labradors are no exception to that rule. They are friendly, energetic, and will remain loyal to you for your entire period of ownership, but like any other dog, labs will need to be bathed at regular intervals. The only question left is, how often can and should you bathe your Labrador Retriever, and is there such a thing as too much?
Labs need to be bathed once a month at the very least. If labs are bathed too often, the skin will dry out and rid the coat of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy. However, if a lab spends a lot of time outside, it may need to be bathed more often. Avoid bathing them more than twice a month.
You probably didn’t think bath time could be too frequent, did you? As it happens, you’ll have to be careful about how and when you bathe your lab as well as how often. So, here are a few important tips about grooming and how else to care for your lab. Hopefully, knowing more information about this will help you determine how best to care for your lab and put your mind at ease.
Bathing and Grooming
About once a month should be a long (and short) enough period for you to bathe your lab. If you bathe your lab too often, your lab’s coat and skin will become severely dried out, and they will start to scratch excessively. But if you don’t bathe your lab often enough, then your dog won’t smell very good, and you won’t want to spend time with them.
Use dog shampoo when your lab is due for a bath. Most of the time dog shampoo is relatively cheap, but if it is too expensive or simply doesn’t have any when your dog desperately needs a bath, you can use dish soap instead. Give your lab a good scrub every month. Make sure you’re getting behind the ears, paws, and everywhere else. Rinse them off well and dry them with a towel.
In addition to bathing, you’ll need to groom your lab. This mostly includes brushing their hair and teeth, but it also includes trimming their nails every few weeks. Clipping your dog’s nails can be a bit tricky because it’s hard to see where the nail grows sometimes. If you’re not confident you can make it work, it might be wise to enlist a groomer to help you.
You will also need to brush your Labrador’s coat. This is important because labs are infamous shedders. They have extremely dense coats which leave hair on pretty much everything including clothes and furniture. Brushing it regularly will help to minimize that shedding and keep your house hair-free.
You can learn more about grooming your dog on the American Kennel Club’s website!
Other Care Tips
In addition to keeping your dog clean and fresh smelling, you will need to make sure your dog lives in an environment where they are happy and healthy too. Here are a few tips on keeping your lab happy and healthy every single day!
Most labs are outdoor pets because they are large enough and hyper enough that keeping them inside all the time is not practical or healthy for them. That said, you will need to allow your dog plenty of time outside so they can run around and be happy. However, labs also love spending time inside with their owners.
Not only do labs love spending time with people, but sometimes it can get a little too warm for them outside, so they want to come inside where it is cooler. If you have a shady yard, that’s fine, but if you live in a hot, dry area where the temperature often exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, indoors might be the best refuge for your lab.
You will also need to exercise your lab every day. Labs are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise. If you fail to give them that exercise and attention, they could start behaving poorly and developing bad habits. It is wise to give your lab no less than 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. This will keep them perfectly happy and healthy.
Pros and Cons of Labrador Retrievers
As a whole, labs are great dogs to have around. They make excellent family dogs because of how easygoing they are with children and just people in general. However, they do have some issues (like every breed does) that you will want to know more about before you choose to buy one. Here are some pros and cons of Labrador Retrievers.
The aforementioned friendliness is one of the biggest perks of owning a lab. They are friendly to just about everybody including children, but they will protect their owners if it comes down to it. They will get along with almost anyone, but if you are being threatened, your lab will protect you loyally no matter what.
They are also just fun and safe. Labs are entertaining to watch and play with and they’ll keep you busy for sure. This is one of the biggest reasons they are such popular dogs among families. If you need to keep your kids busy and active, playing with a lab will most assuredly do that for them.
The shedding is one of the biggest turn-offs as far as labs are concerned. Most dog breeds shed, but labs have dense coats that shed often. Brushing will help with this issue, but it certainly won’t make it go away completely. If you are not willing to tolerate a lot of dog hair, you may want to consider getting a non-shedding breed.
Additionally, you’re going to be very busy taking care of a lab. They are going to need an hour or more of exercise every day. If you’re a runner or you like to be fairly active, this may not be a big deal. However, if you have a busy schedule, then a lab is probably not the best dog for you.