Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Ultimate Guide to Grooming your Labrador

Regular grooming of your Labrador is not only vital for his health and hygiene; it can also help improve the bond you share with him. Grooming also provides you with the perfect opportunity to employ regular checks to ensure your dog’s health is in good order.

During spring and fall a black Labrador sheds hair and to prevent your floors from looking like a hairdresser’s you will need to know how to combat this shedding (below).How often your Labrador sheds depends on its breed and, as you may know, a black Labrador has two shedding seasons. However, a yellow Labrador continuously sheds its fur throughout the course of the year, but at a slower rate.

Shedding Control

The process below should be repeated weekly until you’re certain the majority of your dog’s fur has been removed. Once this has been completed you need to employ maintenance techniques that will prevent you from bathing your dog again and assist in the distribution of the fur’s natural oils.

1. In a warm bath ensure your dog is completely wet from head to tail. You may use a cup or sprayer to do so.

2. Massage your Labrador’s coast using either your fingers or a grooming tool. This will loosen any dry skin and dead hair – using a tool can assist in working the entire length of your dog’s coat including the root area.

3. Rinse your dog whilst continuing to massage him.

4. To dry your dog use a hairdryer on a warm or medium setting and work the coat in the opposite direction of the hair growth.

Tip: Using a bristle brush will remove dead and dry skin or hair whist helping to distribute natural oils - keeping your dog’s coat looking shiny and healthy.

Dog Grooming: Maintenance

Eyes – Clean if needed with a cotton wool bud that has been coated with saline. For those who have noticed stains around your Labrador’s eyes, don’t fret this is normal and is caused by your dog’s tears.

Ears – Clean the visible areas of your dog’s ear with cotton wool or cotton swabs that have been doused with ear cleaner.

Nails – Occasionally your dog’s nails will need to be trimmed. It’s imperative that you have your vet carry out this procedure as improper clipping can cause pain and be the catalyst for health problems.

Teeth – You should brush your dog’s teeth daily using a soft toothbrush and paste. Lift your dog’s lips gently and brush the outer surface. It’s known that dental plaque can find its way into your dog’s bloodstream and to his heart, which can cause heart disease. If your dog has a build up of plaque, it’s time to take a trip to the vets to have it removed properly.

Pest control – If necessary apply a pest control product that covers ticks, fleas and worms.

Routine Checks

When inspecting your dog you need to look out for anything that appears to be abnormal including lumps, dry patches, hair loss and bumps. It is advisable to lift and touch your dog’s footpads and examine his ears as it will make it a lot easier for your vet to treat him if he’s already accustomed to having these tender areas touched.

Eyes - Check your dog’s eye regularly for any irritation or discharge, if either is present take him to the vet as soon as possible as he may have an eye problem.

Ears – If your dog is scratching his ears effusively or shaking his ears a lot and you notice a red spot, bad smell or can’t fathom what the problem is he may have mites or an infection that needs to be treated by a vet.

The ultimate guide to grooming your Labrador has been written by Bonlays on behalf of All About Labradors. http://www.bonlays.co.uk is a specialist dog and cat retailer offering pet owners with a vast range of products that will help keep them entertained, well dressed and groomed.

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