How Often Should I Bath/Groom My Labrador

Labs love to swim, slop in puddles; heck I had one that would climb into the bucket of a front end loader full of rain water that sat in my yard.

Many people ask, how often to bath a Lab?

This blog is geared toward the average Lab owner.

Well, the answer is:

As little as possible.

Labs have oil in their coat.  And its there for a reason.  The more you bath with soap the more you remove the oil in their coat.  And the result can be a dry flakey skin/coat.

The Labrador was bred as a hunting dog, capable of jumping off a boat into cold water to retrieve water fowl in very cold conditions (duck hunting….). Their coat protects them from the (cold) elements while they are out all day hunting with their owners.

The oil in their coat/skin repels the cold water, protecting them from the elements.

Therefore ,the last thing you want to do is over bath a Lab and remove the oils that help repell the cold water.

A Labrador can withstand extremely cold water because of the under coat they have.

As a Lab owner you may know that they love water in any form, including mud puddles.  LOL

Thats okay.  Just hose off the mud (no soap) and towel dry your Lab.

Do they love to swim in the ocean?  That’s great and may dry the skin; hose the dog off with fresh water when it comes out of the ocean.  (Just don’t bath with soap – please)

This same undercoat protects them in the summer months from sun burn.

Never decide to shave your Lab in the summer.  Big mistake.  It will not  make your Lab more comfortable during the hot summer months.

Labs shed (usually 2 times a year), but some shed all year long.

Please don’t ever decide to shave your Lab to prevent shedding.  This is the worst thing you could do to a Lab.

Instead, when your Lab starts to shed, groom he/she every day with a good brush or a shedding blade.

Please do not use a furminator on your Lab.  It takes out the undercoat and is not healthy for your Lab.

Your Lab has an undercoat for a reason.

Please, if you are not sure what to do for your Lab’s coat, contact your breeder, and if you don’t have one, ….. contact me.

And if you have a groomer, they will most likely tell you its good to bring your Lab in once a month or every 3 months or 6…… they know better (for the breed) but want the business.

Please educate yourself.  Your Lab will benefit as a result.  Labs are one of the easiest breeds when it comes to grooming.

My Labs are bathed (by me with soap – biodegradable LOC from Amway) once a year, if that.  It is mostly a hose down.


Author: patty

Franklin Lakes, NJ

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