The Basics of Labrador Grooming

Labrador grooming is easy to do. They are short haired dogs with a double coat; a waterproof topcoat which repels dirt and a warm thick undercoat. 

Labrador grooming and bathing

How to groom a labradorTo keep your dog clean, healthy and well groomed, you will need to give him a daily brush with a stiff dandy brush or slicker brush which will remove any dried mud – wait until the mud is dry. Note, it is worth buying a dog towel or using old towels to dry him after muddy/wet walks. After brushing, work through the coat with a wide-toothed comb, followed by a narrow-toothed comb to remove dead hairs. Brushing will also work his own natural oils into his fur.

To give your Labrador a gleaming coat buy a wash-leather and give him a rub down after grooming.

A fortnightly bath is more than enough. Use a gentle and natural dog shampoo to prevent stripping his natural oils and make sure you dry him well after, especially around the ears.

How to cut a Labrador’s nails

The shape of the Labrador’s foot means that as he walks on hard road surfaces, his nails will wear level and should not need trimming, However, if he us only exercised on grass, or if he has long toes, you may need to trim his nails every few weeks as part of your grooming routine.The guillotine-type nail clippers are easiest to use. Ask someone to steady your Lab’s head while you trim the nails and make sure you only cut the colourless part of the nail. Do not cut into the quick, which is the pink part of the claw, as it will bleed profusely and it is also painful for him. You may also need to clip the dewclaws (the dog’s thumbs) found a little way up the leg.

How to groom a labradorHow to groom a Labrador’s ears

A Labrador’s ears should be clean, dry and odour free. There are many proprietary ear cleansers and ear wipes available from pet shops to assist with grooming; however, the less put down the dog’s ears the better. A weekly wipe with a tissue should suffice to remove any dirt. Do not poke cotton-buds down the dog’s ears. If you seen any sign of black wax or your dog is scratching his ears and shaking his head, you will need to consult a vet.

How to clean a Labrador’s teeth

Grooming a Labrador involves dental care.The Lab has strong white teeth, which generally stay in good condition throughout his life, with little tartar build up. Eating dried food and gnawing bones aids tooth cleansing. Note, if you feed a softer diet you will probably need to attend the teeth more often. To clean your dog’s teeth buy doggy tooth brushes/paste etc from the pet shop. If there becomes a large build up of tartar you will need to consult your vet to prevent gum disease and tooth loss.

Grooming your Labrador regularly gives you the opportunity to check his body for strange lumps or sores. Grooming should be a bonding time for you and your lovable Lab so take time to enjoy caring for your dog.