Any person planning to bring home a Labrador is always skeptic at least once because of all the Labrador fur they are going to find all over their home. It is true that Labradors shed a lot in certain seasons, but it is also a fact that Labrador are easy maintenance dogs who need only medium level of grooming and care to manage the shedding.
Labradors have been the most favourite dog breed in many countries, including the US, for over two decades now. This means that this intelligent and sensitive dog breed has adapted to the different climates and weather conditions they have been living in. However, there are a few ground rules when it comes to their coat care to maintain that shine and texture. Also, a big question that looms large in any pet parent’s mind is their hair trimming or haircut. Read on to understand your Labrador’s coat better and to know the answers of your smallest of the questions.
Labradors come with a coat that is easy to maintain. They have short and dense coat that is found in either of the three — black, yellow, and chocolate. For all the three colors, their coats are naturally a bit shiny and oily, with hair strands pretty straight. They have an undercoat that is thick enough to keep them warm. Also, their top coat can resist water so that they only need to shake most of the extra water off after a dip in the pool. This makes them perfect as a retriever breed used traditionally in hunting.
Lets understand this better…
A Labrador puppy is born with a very soft, delicate and thin fur to help them maintain their body temperature. Naturally, as they grow their fur grows longer too but the fur coat from their puppyhood cannot be enough to protect them when they are adults. It is the nature’s own way to prepare these little puppies to shed their puppy coat and grow an adult coat. At this time, they begin developing two coats, one undercoat and one top coat to handle the weather adjustments like a breeze.
A labrador’s coat will keep him warm and snug in winters and also comfortable and shielded in summers. This peculiar trait in Labradors made them ideal in almost all terrains to retrieve hunted foul for the hunters either from water or land. Though today these are more of a household dogs and travel companion, the coat still plays an elementary role in maintaining a desired body temperature. As adults, Labradors will always shed moderately all the year round in addition to the heavy-shedding times. Thus, a routine of grooming them is essential to keep their coat healthy and shiny.
When do puppies start shedding?
At about 5 months of age, a Labrador puppy will begin shedding his/her puppy coat and it may be a lot of shedding.
Should you shave your Labrador’s fur?
If you believe that trimming or shaving off your Labrador is going to help in the excessive shedding or even to help them in tackling the sever heat, then you must think about it all over again. The answer to the question is a simple ‘NO.’ The hair regrown after the shaving will be most certainly ‘pokey,’ making it an uncomfortable deal for them. Also, shedding is a natural process for them and the new hair that will grow will shed too. Additionally, there are high chances that shaving may cause come damage to their skin in the process or thereafter. That is because you have shaved off their protective layer that used to protect them from the sun rays, dust particles, etc.
In place of shaving, you can manage the menace of shaving through other ways:
• Use special slicker brushes that will help in collecting the loose hair from the undercoat.
• Brush your Labrador 3-4 times a week, first opposite to the coat’s direction and then in the coat’s direction.
• Manage their heavy-shedding days during summer by brushing them at least once in a day.
• Vacuum regularly to clean your home and surroundings.
How to properly groom your Labrador retriever's fur?
In general, it is alright to brush your Labrador once or even twice in a week. Increase the frequency when the shedding season is own. It is always advisable to start their grooming routine from their puppyhood so that they accept it as a ritual and you get a proper access for a thorough brushing. When you brush their coat firmly with the help of a good slicker brush, it will also remove dust, dry sand, and loose hair strands. More importantly, the massage effect of the strokes will distribute their body oils evenly throughout the body. This brings more shine to their fur. When it comes to bathing, most Labradors are fine with anywhere between a monthly and a fortnightly bathing routineAKC.
Is there any Labrador dog hair fall medicine?
The best way to manage Labrador fur shedding is to establish a proper grooming routine and maintaining healthy diet plans. It is a natural and a normal process for them to shed their fur. However, if you feel that there is abnormal shedding accompanied by itching and skin issues, it is best to visit a vet and get a check up done. Most common underlying issues that cause excessive hair shedding in dogs are food and dust allergies and hormonal imbalance. You can read all about Labrador fur shedding here What Causes Hair Loss in Labradors.
Many excessive hairfall issues can be managed by changing their diet accordingly. Afterall, a healthy and shiny coat of a Labrador does not only make them look good, but also shows general good health of the canine.