Compared to a lot of breeds, Labradors have a fantastic and gorgeous coat. There’s no tangles or long hairs, it’s short and easy to maintain, dense, but doesn’t hold much water.
In short, Labradors have some of the best coats when it comes to dog breeds. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need regular grooming and bathing. After all, Labradors shed quite a lot, and a regular grooming routine will make a significant difference to your pet’s health and happiness. So how often should you wash a Labrador? Read on to find out.
Grooming a Lab:
Grooming your lab should be a time for the pair of you to bond, and should be a time that the two of you enjoy. It’s best to start a grooming routine early when your lab is still a pup because this gets them used to the whole process and teaches them that this is a healthy and necessary part of life.
Start each session by inspecting your dog, going over their whole body with your hands in slow, deep strokes, almost like a massage. You should be searching for anything abnormal, including bumps and other skin abnormalities, dry, itchy or oily skin, or areas where the hair feels looser or thinner than normal.
Follow the examination by a full brush down. A quick brush once a week is enough for a lab, but daily brushing doesn’t take much time and is perfect for your dog, as it keeps their coat clean and stimulates natural oil production and flow, which is ideal for a healthy, gleaming skin.
Every time you groom your Labrador, make sure you check their eyes for irritation, discharge or other irregularities. If they need cleaning, a cotton ball or soft cloth dipped in saline or purified water will be enough. Yellow labs can have stains around their eyes. It is entirely reasonable, and eye moisture causes it. You can clean this with a cotton ball dipped in hydrogen peroxide, but make sure you put a drop of mineral oil into your dog’s eyes first. Otherwise, the peroxide can attack it.
Follow the eyes by cleaning your dog’s ears. If they’re waxy or dirty, use a cotton swap or ball dipped in ear cleaner, or the home made an equivalent of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Your dog shouldn’t have problems with their ears. If you ever notice your dog scratching their ears excessively, or if their ears are red, dry or smelly, the best thing to do is take them to the vets, as they could have an infection.
Make sure you clip their nails frequently as it is one of the important things you need to do with your lab. Long nails can force the pads of the feet apart, and with enough time can make it difficult or worst, painful, for your dog to walk. Start clipping early, so your dog realises that it doesn’t hurt, and it’s just another regular thing that you do.
Remember. Don’t cut too far down.
On lighter labs, you’ll be able to see the quick, but with darker dogs, you’ll have to guess. It’s far better to cut a little rather than a lot, because over time, as you cut your dog’s nails, the quick will start to retreat, meaning accidents are far less likely. If you do cut to quick, a styptic or even chap stick applied to the nail will stop the bleeding.
Teeth. Just like people, it’s good to brush your dog’s teeth daily. Dental plaque can cause major issues, including getting into their bloodstream and eventually their heart.
Use a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste, and only lift up your dog’s lips and brush across their teeth. Labs are very relaxed breeds when it comes to grooming, so your dog should let you do this with no problems.
If they need it, finish up the grooming routine by applying any pest control products your dog needs.
How often do labs need baths?
Right now you’re probably asking yourself, how often do labs need baths? After all, a labrador is a big dog, and getting bigger, more excitable dogs into the tub and washed without causing absolute chaos can be a real challenge.
Thankfully, labradors don’t need to bathe very often. Their coat is self-maintaining, and a good grooming routine will deal with the rest. So in general, you’re only going to need to bathe your lab when they’re filthy, like if you’ve been for a walk across a dirty field, or your dog decided what they wanted to do was rolling in some poop that you found.
Sometimes, all you need to do is spray your dog down with a hose, or the shower head, to get rid of the worst of it, then just brush them down and make sure the rest comes out. If your dog is filthy, then follow this up with an all over rub down with some good dog shampoo, and make sure to rinse it all out of their coat afterwards. That is quite the things you need to do. For particularly tough dirt, just repeat until clean.
If you’re putting the dog in the bath, make sure to lay down a lot of towels because it’s inevitable that water will go everywhere. And don’t let your dog get excited and jump about, especially if they try to jump out of the bath because that’s a huge opportunity for injury.
Final Verdict: How Often Should You Wash a Labrador
Bathing a Labrador can be a challenging experience, but with a little bit of practice and a little bit of love and attention, you and your dog will get used to the process. The most important thing though, when you’re wondering how often you should wash a Labrador, usually, the answer is just when they need it.