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How to Care for Your Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever has its roots in Canada, but it is evidently the most beloved dog breed in America. Among many other things, it is known for its voracious appetite and tendency to be overweight, as well as its gentleness, intelligence and industriousness. And as with other dogs, Labrador retrievers have special care needs as well.


Labs should eat high-quality dog food, whether commercial or home-prepared, so that their need for strong bones can be addressed, especially considering that they are often weighty. These pets should get sufficient amounts of lean protein and L-carnitine too so they can develop solid muscle mass, together with glucosamine, phosphorous and other sugars and minerals that add strength to their skeletons. For their coat, Labs should should eat food rich in vitamins A and B, biotin and fatty acids.

Feeding Schedule

A Lab’s hunger and blood glucose should be kept in perfect balance through well-timed feeding. If a puppy is four months below, it should eat four times everyday; for a puppy 4 to 12 months old, feeding should be thrice daily. Upon reaching the age of 1 year, it should have only two balanced meals a day.

Teaching Commands

Training a Lab can begin as the pup turns three months, at which age it could be taught easy commands such as “sit” or “fetch.” As it grows older, it will become a bigger and more powerful dog, so it’s important to train it while it’s young.


It is important to brush a Lab’s coat twice weekly using a special grooming brush designed to remove loose hairs. Twice a year, the Lab sheds its undercoat and replaces it with a new layer of soft fur. To reduce the amount of loose hair lying around, this process can be fast-tracked with some extra grooming. As to bathing, once a month is good, or more frequently if there’s a river or any body of water with natural organisms close by (Labs love to swim!). Very importantly, the pet should be toweled dry after each swim so that coat won’t keep water. Very importantly, since a Lab’s ears are floppy and prone to problems, the inside has to be cleaned regularly with an ear-cleaning solution. Inflammation, odor or discharge is usually a sign of infection.

Physical Exercise

Finally, physical exercise – at least two hours daily – is important for Labrador retrievers because of their tendency to be obese as earlier mentioned. For example, playing fetch can be a good routine, engaging the dog not only physically but mentally too (by learning commands).

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