I know I did an earlier blog on how often to bath a Labrador and since I have gotten a lot of emails lately on other aspects of grooming I thought this blog would be helpful. Much of the info below will also pertain to other breeds.
Grooming The Labrador
•Labs have an undercoat and a top coat. They shed twice a year or more. Keeping up on grooming helps keep down on the hair in your house.
•The proper tools are a slicker brush, flea comb, shedding blade and groomer’s mitt. (Please do not use a ferminator on a Labrador as it will damage the important undercoat – which protects them in hot or cold weather).
Bathing The Labrador
•Labs rarely need a bath with soap. If they get muddy or have a swim in the ocean (salt water) just hose them off, shower off in your tub or let them take a dip in your pool.
•Over bathing with shampoos (even those you get from your vet) can strip the oils from the Lab coat. This oil is there to help them repel water while swimming, especially in cold water, and is important for the health of your Lab.
•During hot weather be sure to dry off your Lab after swimming or bathing to avoid hot spots.
•Labs have a floppy ear and swim a lot so they can be subject to ear infections. Weekly cleaning with a product from your vet or pet supply store is important.
•Hold ear flap up above the dog’s head.
•Fill the ear canal with the cleaner and then externally massage the ear canal (just behind the jaw bone) to loosen up debris.
•Wipe out the cleaner with cotton balls or pads until the cotton comes out clean.
•If there is an odor or discharge that cleaning does not get rid of you need to see your vet for possible infection (untreated infections over time can cause a dog to go deaf).
•Even with teeth cleaning toys from the pet store our pets still don’t get the intense chewing activity that their ancestors got in the wild so we need to clean their teeth.
•Toothbrushes and toothpaste designed for dogs are available at pet stores and should be used once a week (never use human toothpaste).
•A dogs nails constantly grow just like a humans and require routine trimming.
•If nails are not kept short, they can deform the feet and spread the toes, causing pain.
•There is a “quick” (blood vessel and nerve) down the center of the nail that will bleed if cut so you need a vet or groomer to show you the proper way to trim your Labs nails using a canine nail clipper or a dremel.
•As the nail grows so does the quick so the more you keep up on trimming the shorter the quick and better chance of not cutting it.
•If a quick is cut it can bleed profusely. You need to have Kwik Stop (available at your local pet store or vet) on hand (or baking soda or flour) to immediately put on the nail to stop the bleeding.
Pic of dremel use: (it is important to get the dog used to the sound of the dremel and to be aware that prolonged contact with the nail can build heat and burn. Give and release when making contact with the dremel/nail to prevent heat build up.
All the pics in this blogs were shared by friends of mine and their wonderful Labs. Thanks guys