Have you always wished to adopt a Labrador? These loving canines are among the dearest family pets, winning the hearts of individuals with their intelligence, friendliness, warmth, vigor, and obedience.
Labs adore exercise as much as they adore delicious meals. Hence, keeping an eye on their weight is considered crucial for preventing obesity and other health issues. In order to get your lab on the right diet, make sure you ask for professional meal plan advice.
If planning to adopt a Labrador, this is everything you need to know about these creatures.
Labrador Retrievers are among the most likeable canine breeds due to their sweet nature and sociable character. Labs are often chosen to be valuable members of families, as these creatures get on well with kids, other canines, and even other animals. The intelligence and obedient personality of Labradors facilitate the training process, which is essential for them to channel their high levels of energy.
In order for a Lab to be vigorous, he/she is supposed to receive both physical and mental training. Unless these sweet-natured creatures get the necessary exercise, they turn to destructive behavior manifested with ceaseless barking, digging in the yard, and chewing. Nevertheless, not all Labs are fond of physical exercise. Some of them prefer being couch potatoes, thus ending up overweight.
As far as diet is concerned, Labrador Retrievers should be fed at least 2.5 to 3 cups of kibble on a daily basis, served in two meals. A multitude of factors has an effect on the amount of food a Lab should eat, such as its size, age, vigor, and metabolism. Consequently, a canine whose levels of energy are rather high would need more food in comparison with an inactive Lab.
Since Labradors are prone to becoming obese, pet owners aren’t supposed to leave food in their bowls at all times. These warm-hearted creatures have no self-control when it comes to eating, which is why they often overeat and gain plenty of weight. The moment you notice your lovely pet has put on a couple of pounds, consult a vet to make changes in his/her diet. Keep in mind that obesity is harmful to the lifetime of canines. Visit this website for some useful methods of preventing obesity in Labrador Retrievers.
Regarding grooming, Labrador Retrievers aren’t terribly demanding due to their water-resistant coat. In fact, their coat consists of two layers, a topcoat, and an undercoat. The former is short but thick, whereas the latter is soft and resistant to water. While black-coated Labs were considered a favorite in the past, chocolate and yellow Labradors are far more popular now.
Moreover, these overly cute creatures shed a lot, which is why daily brushing is highly recommended. Instead of using a brush, there are special vacuum cleaners designed for the purpose of grooming. Unlike brushing, Labs are far less demanding in terms of having a bath, requiring one every two months.
In view of dental hygiene, pet parents are advised to brush the teeth of their companions a couple of times per week in order to prevent tartar and bacteria buildup. If possible, practice this habit on a daily basis to reduce the risk of gum disease.
Nail trimming is another standard aspect of the grooming process, which should be practiced at least once a month. In most cases, Labs require no nail trimming because of wearing their nails down while engaging in exercise. Anyhow, make sure to check their length every two weeks to avoid getting your legs scratched every time your beloved companion says hi by jumping up. For guidance on the process of safe nail trimming in dogs, see the link that follows, https://www.petmd.com/dog/grooming/evr_dg_how_to_trim_a_dogs_toenails.
Maintaining ear hygiene is another grooming habit Labrador owners should adopt. Considering the susceptibility of Labs to ear infections, you’re supposed to check the ears of your pet for redness, as well as clean them with an ear cleaner. An effective way to prevent infection is by having its ears cleaned following a swim or a bath.
Potential health problems
Health issues are an important aspect to consider when adopting a canine in order to prolong the lifespan of your pet as much as possible. As the majority of dog breeds, Labrador Retrievers are at risk of suffering from some health problems. For instance, hip and elbow dysplasia affects most Labs, making their movement difficult.
If not treated properly, hip and elbow dysplasia might result in arthritis and immobility, accompanied by excruciating pain. The weight of your Labrador should be optimal so as to prevent adding extra stress to the joints. Also, physical exercise and swimming are known to improve mobility. In severe cases, surgery is the only reasonable solution.
Another disease Labradors are predisposed to developing is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), referring to the gradual process of retina deterioration. In the early stages of this eye disease, Labs lose their night vision. Over time, as PRA makes progress to the advanced stages, these canines become day-blind. Even though there is no cure for this disease, you can have your companion tested for genetic markers.
Arthritis is another common health condition in Labradors, mainly caused by obesity and old age. Osteoarthritis is the most frequent form of arthritis affecting canines, induced by damage done to the cartilage. Since canines feel no pain in the early stages due to the absence of nerves in the cartilage, they stay physically active, which causes even further damage. To alleviate the symptoms of this health issue in Labrador Retrievers, pet owners are should give special medications and supplements to their companions.
Ultimately, obesity is a common problem in Labs, leading to other health conditions such as diabetes. As mentioned previously, it also worsens the symptoms of hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis. In order to regulate the weight of your pet, follow the recommendation of your vet.
Labs are cute, clever, energetic, and fun-loving.
These are the perfect pets!