How to Care for a Labrador Retriever: 14 Steps

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How to Care for a Labrador Retriever: 14 Steps
How to Care for a Labrador Retriever: 14 Steps

The labrador (or labrador retriever) is one of the most popular dogs for families. Animals of this breed are friendly, outgoing and active. Thus, they need proper attention and care. If you already have or plan to adopt/buy a dog, you should know what to do to give it the best possible care.


Method 1 of 2: Catering to the Dog's Basic Needs

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 1

Step 1. Feed the Labrador properly

Labradors are very hungry and love to eat. So it's normal to see them dragging the feed bowl around corners, begging for food or chewing what they shouldn't. The exact amount of food for your dog depends on the type of product and its caloric content. Follow the appropriate package instructions and adjust this amount as the animal gains or loses weight.

  • If the dog is more active than other animals, increase the amount of feed. For example, if you and your Labrador run 5 miles together every morning, step up your feeding.
  • Avoid making the Labrador obese as much as possible. If you can't feel his ribs anymore, you're probably overindulging in serving the kibble. Even so, ideally, the ribs are not visible from afar.
Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 2

Step 2. Give the Lab plenty of clean, fresh water

The dog will become very thirsty after exercising and will need to be satiated. He may drink more or less water, depending on his activity level and the temperature outside. Don't limit consumption: unlike feed, the animal knows how to control itself when it comes to fluids. Dehydration can be a fatal problem, so it's best not to take any chances.

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 3

Step 3. Walk the Labrador

The dog needs a lot of exercise to stay healthy. Take it for walks up to three times a day and, if possible, walk for a few kilometers. If you have a yard at home, make plenty of room for the animal to run. Small yards are not ideal for such large breeds.

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 4

Step 4. Give the Labrador a comfortable house or shelter

No matter where it is - in an open or closed place -, the dog needs its own space, where there is a house or a large and resistant walk. He will force his paws into the material whenever he is uncomfortable. In this sense, weaker products will spoil and make a mess.

If you have a bed of your own, the Labrador will also be more used to not climbing into yours (if you don't want him to climb up, of course)

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 5

Step 5. Groom your dog's fur regularly

Labradors have short fur and can be brown, black or gold. For most of the year, they need little care. In hot weather, such as summer, comb the fur once a week to remove dead and loose strands, as well as helping to clean up dirt residue and spread natural oils over the animal's body.

Do not bathe the labrador too often. The natural oils in his fur can help fight and ward off fleas and ticks. Three or four showers a year (or whenever the smell becomes unbearable) is enough

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 6

Step 6. Trim the Lab's nails every two to three months

If you walk around with it a lot, the surfaces they walk on will naturally sand them, but you can make the final cuts at home or in the veterinarian's office. Teach the pet to stand still during the process, and also give it a treat after each quiet manicure session at home. In time, he will get used to it.

Use nail clippers suitable for dogs, as normal ones don't work. Grab the animal's leg and be quick to cut. Don't get too close to the base of the nail, or you can bruise and even bleed the area. Finally, don't let the nail curl against the paw or get too sharp to the point of causing accidents

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 7

Step 7. Clean the Lab's ears

If not cleaned regularly and properly, a dog's ears can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Check them frequently for dirt, and if you notice anything unusual, see a veterinarian. Finally, use specific products if you want to clean.

Do not pass a cotton swab inside the dog's ear. False movement can damage the Labrador's ear canal

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 8

Step 8. Take care of the Labrador's teeth

The more active he is, the more he will be exposed to dental problems. Take care to avoid periodontitis, loose or cracked/fractured/broken teeth, tooth abscesses and tartar buildup. Take the animal to the vet for cleaning once or twice a year, and find ways to combat bad breath. As an owner, you are exposed to lots of "kisses" and licks; therefore, this problem may have already crossed your mind - and it's all the more reason not to let care go.

  • Veterinarians recommend that the owner brush the dog's teeth daily or at least several times a week. Purchase a suitable toothbrush and toothpaste from a local pet store or doctor's office. Many creams have animal-friendly flavors: liver, chicken, peanut butter, etc.
  • Carefully place the brush in the Labrador's mouth. Use your fingers to lift your lips to expose your teeth and make a circular motion on each of them. The rear tusks are less accessible, so leave them last and remember to go through both sides. When finished, give the animal a snack.
Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 9

Step 9. Take the Labrador to regular vet appointments

Every dog ​​needs to get certain vaccinations. Take your pet to the vet at least twice a year for routine checkups and health monitoring, in addition to getting to know the professionals you are working with better. If he gets hurt or behaves strangely, get medical help too. The veterinarian may also prescribe specific medications (topical and supplemental) to help fight parasites such as fleas and ticks.

As the dog ages, you may begin to notice health problems such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, seizures, and difficulty seeing. If something like this happens, contact the provider right away to find out what treatments or medications you can use. Older dogs with such problems should see the vet every two months (or as often as recommended by the professional)

Method 2 of 2: Giving the Labrador the Right Kind of Attention

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 10

Step 1. Give the Labrador lots of affection

This breed is naturally affectionate and loves to be close to its owner, playing, exchanging caresses or following him around - more than he likes to eat!

Don't ignore the Labrador if he wants to play or lie at your feet while watching television, for example. Even though he's domesticated, he still hasn't lost all pack instinct and probably sees you as a leader. That way, if you don't pay attention to the animal, you will affect its emotional side

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 11

Step 2. Socialize the Labrador

Dogs are territorial animals, and Labradors are no exception: they bark at everything and everyone - but, if properly conditioned, they are less ferocious. Train him a lot at home and in public places.

  • If you have several dogs, introduce them to the Labrador little by little. Put the animals in an open room or space, separated by some kind of fence, and let them get to know each other. Dogs discover a lot of things just with their nose. So wait 30 minutes or more while they get used to it. Then let them come closer - on a leash. Repeat this a few times, limiting your exposure to other animals in half-hour increments. Only let them loose when you're sure they won't fight. At this stage, the animals will create bonds of friendship.
  • The same goes for people: if you have to get used to the presence of several humans, the Labrador needs to be introduced to them gradually, safely and on a collar. Tell people to reach out to the animal, caress and be kind. Dogs like to sniff people's hands to get a sense of their scent. Repeat this process as necessary and, over time, the Labrador will come to trust others.
Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 12

Step 3. Teach your children to play with the Labrador

Most Labradors get along well with children. However, if you have babies at home, you will have to keep an eye on them at all times. Don't let the little one hurt or threaten the animal in any way, or there may be accidents between the two. Remember that the dog is not aggressive and doesn't hate your child - but it can still feel threatened. If he scratches or bites, he's reacting to the situation. Limit the risks as much as possible and stay around when the little one wants to play.

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 13

Step 4. Give the Labrador lots of toys

Polka dots are the favorite objects of many Labradors, as they appeal to their "hunter" side. Since the breed is programmed to fetch things that are released, the animal will want to play with something like that. If you prefer, you can also visit pet stores to find several other options that help your pet to expend excess energy without having to leave the house and run.

Care for a Labrador Retriever Step 14

Step 5. Teach the dog basic commands such as sitting, standing still, coming to you and wearing the leash

Labradors are smart and easy to train - especially when they are young. Trained dogs are more confident and behave better, in addition to obeying voice commands and being more secure when released.

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