Raising dogs, in particular taking care of the labrador retriever, is old hat for humans across the globe. Zoologists postulate dogs were domesticated sometime between twelve thousand and twenty five thousand years ago—and that canines evolved from the wolf. Since then, human beings have selectively bred more than four hundred breeds, which vary in size from 4-pound teacup poodles all the way up to Irish wolfhounds, whose 3-ft stature has earned them the title of tallest canine. But the most widespread pooches are non-pedigree dogs—the one-of-a-kind dogs known as mutts. The labrador retriever is also a popular choice among dog owners. Many owners are misinformed, however, of some common labrador retriever care tips.
Typical cost of care for your labrador retriever
The annual cost of caring for your labrador retriever—including meals and treats, to vet bills, toys and license—could vary between four hundred twenty and seven hundred eighty dollars. This is not even accounting for capital expenses for sterilization surgery, dog collar and leash, a dog carrier and a doggie crate. Tip: Be positive you have all the necessary supplies before you get your labrador retriever home for the 1st time.
Basic labrador retriever Care
How To Feed your labrador retriever
- labrador retriever pups between eight and 12 weeks need four meals per day.
- labrador retriever pups 3 to 6 months old should be fed three meals daily.
- Feed puppies six months to 1 year two times every 24 hours.
- By the time the labrador retriever hits his 1st birthday, 1 meal a day is typically all that’s required.
- Some adult labrador retrievers, however, prefer two lighter servings. It’s your responsibility to adapt to your labrador retriever’s eating habits.
Top-quality dry dogfood provides balanced nutrition to grown labrador retrievers and can mix with broth, water, or canned food. Your labrador retriever may also be fond of cooked eggs, fruits and vegetables, and cottage cheese, but these additions should be less than 10 percent of her daily food allowance. labrador retriever puppies should probably be given top-quality, brand-name puppy food. You should limit “people food”, though, since it can result in mineral and vitamin imbalances, bone and teeth issues, and may cause some very picky eating habits and obesity. Clean, fresh water should be made only, and be sure to clean water and food bowls very often.
labrador retriever Care Tips: Your labrador retriever needs physical activity daily
labrador retrievers must get daily exercise in order to stay in shape, recharge their minds, and maintain good health. Daily physical activity also seems to help labrador retrievers fight boredom, which would often lead to difficult behavior. Outside playtime would quell most of your labrador retriever’s desires to dig, chase, herd, chew and retrieve. Activity needs are dependent on your labrador retriever’s age and his or her level of health—but ten minutes outside and merely a walk around the block every day probably won’t suffice. If your labrador retriever is a six to eighteen month adolescent, his requirements will be a little higher.
labrador retriever Grooming
You can help reduce shedding and keep your labrador retriever clean with brushing. Inspect for fleas and ticks every day during the summer or other warm weather. Sometimes labrador retrievers don’t need to be bathed more than a few times per year. Before giving him a bath, comb or cut out all mats from the labrador retriever’s coat. Carefully rinse all soap from the coat, or dirt will stick to soap residue.
Handling Your labrador retriever
Puppies are clearly easier to handle. While carrying your labrador retriever puppy, take 1 of your hands and place it beneath your dog’s chest, with either your forearm or your other hand supporting his or her hind legs and rump. Never attempt to lift or grab your pup by his forelegs, tail or back of the neck. When you must lift a larger, adult labrador retriever, pick it up from underneath, supporting her chest with 1 arm and rump with your other.
Housing your labrador retriever
Your labrador retriever needs a cozy quiet spot to be able to rest apart from all the breezes and off the floor. You might want to buy a doggie bed, or prefer making one out of a wooden box. Place a clean comforter or pillow inside the bed for cushion. Wash your labrador retriever’s bed covering often. If your labrador retriever will be spending a lot of time outdoors, be certain she has plenty of cool water and shade in hot weather, and a warm, dry, covered area during the winter.
labrador retriever Licensing
Your town has licensing regulations to follow. You should affix the license to your labrador retriever’s collar. The license, together with an identification tag, will most likely help you recover your labrador retriever should he get lost.
Info on labrador retriever Temperament
About Training the labrador retriever
A well-behaved, companion labrador retriever can truly be a blessing to own. But when left untrained, your labrador retriever can be a lot of trouble. Teaching your labrador retriever the minimums—”Stay”, “Come”, “Down”, “Heel”, “Off”, “Sit”, and “Leave it”—strengthens your relationship with both your dog and your visitors. If you own a pup, start training her on the right responses as soon as possible! Meals should be utilized as a lure and a reward. Pups can start obedience classes when they are adequately immunized. Call the local SPCA or humane society for information on training courses. Always keep your labrador retriever on a leash when, even as a puppy. Just be positive your labrador retriever will come back to you every time you say. A disobedient or aggressive labrador retriever should not play with other people.
The Health of Your labrador retriever
labrador retrievers should see the veterinarian for a thorough examination, immunizations and a heartworm assessment annualy, and promptly when she is ill or injured.
The Dental Health of Your labrador retriever
Although we may simply dislike our labrador retriever’s foul breath, it’s important to be aware of what it might represent. Foul-smelling breath is usually a sign that your labrador retriever requires an oral exam. Dental plaque brought on by unhealthy bacteria causes a foul odor that requires treatment by a professional. Once you have given your labrador retriever a cleaning done by a professional, her mouth may be maintained in a healthy state by eliminating table food, feeding a special diet focused on maintaining dental health, and brushing regularly. The veterinarian can show you additional info for minimizing oral ailments as well as bad breath. You can easily clean the labrador retriever’s teeth with a doggie paste or a simple baking soda and water paste a few times a week. Use a child’s soft toothbrush, a gauze pad or a piece of nylon stocking stretched over your finger. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, sometimes affects labrador retrievers. This painful disease can lead to loss of teeth as well as cause infection throughout the body. The veterinarian will brush the labrador retriever’s teeth while performing her typical health assessment.
Bad Breath in labrador retrievers
While dental disease by itself is not that serious when found early, the foul odors may also be indicative of fairly serious, long-term issues. Liver or intestinal diseases sometimes also cause halitosis, while a pleasant, even sweet smell may be a sign of diabetes. If your labrador retriever’s breath smells like ammonia or urine, kidney disease may be the cause. Set an appointment with a veterinarian whenever your labrador retriever has halitosis along with other signs of disease like excessive urinating or drinking, depression or lethargy, weight loss, nausea, or decreased appetite.
Dealing with Fleas and Ticks in labrador retrievers
During the summer, it’s important for you to perform regular, daily inspections of your labrador retriever for fleas and ticks. Use a flea comb to remove and find fleas. There are several new procedures of tick elimination. Talk with your labrador retriever’s doctor about her or his recommendations.
labrador retrievers With Heartworm Issues
Your labrador retriever is at risk of contracting heartworms if he is exposed to mosquitoes often. Mosquitoes transport the worm from dog to dog. Many labrador retrievers die annualy from heartworms. Your labrador retriever should have a blood test for heartworms every spring—this is necessary to stop infestations from the earlier year. A monthly tablet taken throughout the course of mosquito season can help to protect your labrador retriever. Should you ever vacation in warmer climates with your labrador retriever in winter, she should be on the preventive medicine during the trip. There are some areas, usually the places with more moderate climates, where the vets recommend worm pills be taken year round.
Medicines and Toxins
Don’t ever give your labrador retriever medicine that has not been prescribed by her vet. One little ibuprofen tablet is known to initiate stomach ulcers in labrador retrievers. Make sure your labrador retriever is never exposed to rat poison and other rodenticides. Be sure to contact your dog’s doctor when you have cause to believe your labrador retriever has consumed poison. You may also notify the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for 24 hr. help.
Neutering and Spaying labrador retrievers
Male labrador retrievers should be neutered – the removal of the testes – and females spayed – the removal of the ovaries and uterus – by 6 months old. You can greatly reduce your female labrador retriever’s breast cancer risk by spaying before adulthood. The risk of a sick uterus, which is also a serious affliction that impacts older females, can also be removed by spaying before six months. Neutering male labrador retrievers eliminates the risk of prostate diseases, certain types of aggressions and some hernias.
Shots for your labrador retriever
- labrador retriever pups should be innoculated with a combo shot (called the “five-in-1”) at 2, 3 and four months old, and then once every year. This shot immunizes your puppy from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Your labrador retriever must be innoculated for at least the first 4 months of her life.
- If you have an unvaccinated labrador retriever older than four or five months, he will need a set of two vaccinations two to 3 weeks apart, followed by an annual immunization.
- Your labrador retriever pup’s innoculations should coincide with his socialization program. You may bring your labrador retriever pup to socialization classes by 8 to nine weeks old, as recommended by most doctors. They should have received their first vaccinations by then.
Rules vary so much between different areas, that it’s best to call your local vet about rabies innoculation info. For instance, in NYC, the rule states that any pets older than three months must be vaccinated for rabies. The first rabies innoculation must be followed by a subsequent innoculation a year later, and then every 3 years after that. There are several innoculations, many of which are right for your labrador retriever. Others, however, are not. Your vet can give you her advice. Please note, if your labrador retriever gets ill because he is not innoculated, the shot needs to be administered once your dog has recovered.
Hookworms in labrador retrievers
labrador retrievers are commonly exposed to worms and possible infestation—in all areas, both rural and urban. Tiny eggs produced by roundworms are transmitted through an infested dog’s feces. Most pups, from all environments, even those with healthy mothers, carry hookworms or roundworms. The secret to treatment is early diagnosis. This will maximize the possibility that the treatment is successful against the worms your labrador retriever has. A dewormer that eliminates hookworms, for example, can’t kill tapeworms. Your veterinarian can best define the culprit—and decide the effective treatment.
Miscellaneous labrador retriever Care Tips
labrador retriever Supply Checklist
- Top-quality dog food and treats specifically for labrador retrievers and similarly-sized dogs
- Food dish
- Water bowl
- As many safe toys as you can provide, especially chewable
- Comb & brush for grooming, including a flea comb
- Collar with identification tag and license
- Quality leash
- Carrier (for puppies)
- Training crate
- Dog bed or box with sheet or towel
- Child’s toothbrush
Warnings to be Heeded
The following items should never be fed to labrador retrievers:
- Alcohol, beer, wine or liquor
- Raisins and grapes
- Spoiled or moldy food
- Onions, garlic and chives
- Poultry bones
- Salt or salty foods
- Tomato leaves, unripe fruit or stems
The “Bottom” Line
Keep your labrador retriever on a leash when you are outside, unless you are in a secured, fenced-in place. Whenever your labrador retriever goes number 2 on your neighbor’s lawn, the sidewalk or any other public location, please remove and dispose of it! Don’t forget to check out these other articles about labrador retrievers
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