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If you have ever taken your Labrador Retriever to the groomers, you know how clean, shiny, and soft their coat becomes.
If you are like most dog owners, you can not help but wonder – as you picture your active Labrador frolicking through bushes, swimming through muddy ponds, and rolling in who-knows-what at the dog park – how the professionals are able to attain such a seemingly miraculous feat.
The good news is that this article will share Labrador grooming techniques and facts needed for you to become your own professional. To begin, let us start with the basics of Labrador grooming and who it is for.
When most people take their Lab to the groomers, it is a usually an adult Labrador Retriever who receives a thorough grooming. Well, here is one uncommonly known Labrador fact: Labrador puppies need (and love) grooming, too!
And beginning grooming while your Lab is still a puppy will not only familiarize them with the process, but will also help them grow into a healthy, happy Labrador Retriever.
Grooming not only improves the smell and appearance of your canine companion, but it also presents health benefits.
Since grooming is a close-contact activity, you will be aware of any tick, mite, or flea issues on your Labrador Retriever or Labrador puppy, and can address the pesky pests immediately.
Similarly, if your Labrador Retriever’s skin or ears show signs of irritation or infection, that will be noticed too.
Perhaps the most valuable health benefit of Labrador grooming is the increase of your Lab’s blood flow. This is achieved through the stimulating actions of shampooing, conditioning, and brushing.
To attain these positive benefits, one must acquire the necessary products and tools: shampoo, conditioner, brushes, and nail clippers.
You will want to shop for a shampoo or conditioner that meets the needs of your Labrador Retriever (i.e. owners with Labrador puppies will want to consider puppy products).
One Labrador fact to contemplate before making a purchase is that Labs tend to get dry skin since their love for water has them submersed more often than other breeds.
That said, consider a gentle, alcohol-free, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and make sure to massage the conditioner through the coat, to the skin.
Both Adult Labrador Retrievers and Labrador puppies have short, smooth, dense coats best tackled with a bristle brush and rubber curry brush. Using a bristle brush to quickly brush off daily dirt is a great way to maintain your Labrador’s appearance.
A rubber curry brush is recommended for dry-grooming your Labrador Retriever in conjunction with the bristle brush, once a week.
Regular grooming of Labrador Retrievers will reduce shedding because the aforementioned brushes pull up and collect the old, dead hair.
This in turn promotes new growth and a shiny coat. And while so many positive benefits are motivating reasons for Labrador grooming, it is equally important to not over groom.
Here’s another Labrador fact: Over grooming can cause negative reactions from your Labrador Retriever.
If your Lab or Labrador puppy is over-brushed and/or over-washed, his or her coat can end up brittle and stripped of the healthy hair and oils which perform important necessary tasks that contribute to your Labrador Retriever’s health.
Also, over washing can lead to dry skin which contributes to irritation and potentially infection. Therefore, weekly dry grooming and quarterly bathing are typically sufficient.
The final step to Labrador grooming is nail clipping. A wide variety of nail clippers exists for adult and puppies and, once again, should be chosen based on personal preference.
Your Lab’s nails should be trimmed close to – but not past – the quick; cutting into the quick can lead to infection. If you are uncomfortable performing this procedure for the first time, your local vet or experienced groomer can offer guidance.
By shampooing, conditioning, and clipping the nails of your Labrador Retriever or Labrador puppies, you are participating in the fine art of Labrador grooming in a way not unlike the professionals, in the comfort of your own space and at the convenience of your own time.
For further information on Labrador grooming, we suggest you check out the highly recommended Labrador eBook and audio package today!