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How often should I groom my Labrador Retriever?

Grooming your Labrador Retriever can be an important part of the bonding process between you and your dog. Labradors are very affectionate, and are usually eager to be involved in any opportunity to be handled by humans. However, grooming is important for your Labrador’s general health as well. There are many benefits that come from regularly grooming your pet, and it can be a large part of contributing to your dog’s overall good health.

DYNAMICS OF LABRADOR FUR

Labrador Retrievers are classified as being in the “moderate” shedding category, and tend to completely replace their coat (also called “blowing the coat”) two times per year. This is triggered by the seasonal change in temperature, and may involve more or less shedding depending on the climate. There are two distinct layers to your Labrador’s fur, each with its own purpose. The outer layer is coarse, oily, and is what gives Labrador Retrievers their resistance to moisture. The inner layer is thick, soft, and insulates your Labrador from environmental temperature variants.

IMPORTANCE OF GROOMING

Grooming your Labrador Retriever can be extremely beneficial to keeping your dog healthy. When your dog begins to grow new fur, the old hair strand is then pushed out to make room for the new hair bud. This is what causes shedding. However, without constant grooming, the shed fur strands can become caught in a Labrador’s coat, trapping dead skin and excess oils close to the skin. This can cause odor, bacterial infection, and some serious skin conditions. This is why it is extremely important to groom your Labrador Retriever on a regular basis.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GROOM?

When your Labrador Retriever is going through the twice yearly “blowing the coat” (i.e. extreme shedding) it is recommended to groom your Labrador at least every other day. This can be done with a light brushing of the fur to remove shed fur and promote new hair growth. Use a soft brush, since frequent grooming with a coarse brush can cause irritation on your Labrador’s skin. For all other times of the year, it is strongly recommended to groom your Labrador Retriever about 2-3 times per week, depending on how heavily they are shedding. Again, shedding depends heavily on climate, as well as your dog’s nutrition. A healthy dog will stay in the moderate shedding category, as heavy hair loss can be a sign of malnutrition.

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  1. To whom it is concerned says:

    My yellow lab, Sunny, is actually a mixed breed with German Shepherd, collie, chow, but he looks like a pure lab according to a vet that has seen him. He sheds horrifically. We have changed him to IAMS food and other more expensive, organic and natural foods but he still sheds terribly. I want to give him a “haircut”. Can you trim or shave a lab’s hair. Thanks, Patty

  2. Neil says:

    No you cannot trim your lab’s coat but frequent brushing with a soft tipped bristle (not bare wire)brush will help.
    Lots of omega3 oils help coat quality and shine such as salmon sourced foods or fish/salmon oil supplements which should not be expensive.
    Swimming in cold water seems to help keep them in coat.
    That and a good vacuum cleaner will help you cope.
    The yellow hair really stands out on most floors.