When your Lab runs into the room, all you want to do is cuddle them. But there is a downside to all this fluffiness. Labs shed more than just about any other dog breed, which can lead to a big mess around your home.
Fortunately, there are some easy steps that you can take to control shedding and keep your home clean.
Contrary to what you may have been told, all dogs shed. However, they vary widely in how much they shed. As all Lab owners can tell you, this is a breed that sheds. A lot.
Why do Labs shed so much? It’s because they have a thick double coat. Originally coming northern Canada, Labs were adapted to very cold winters, and have a thick coat to keep them warm.
However, as winter gives way to spring, your Lab doesn’t need to keep dragging around their heavy second coat. This is the worst time of year for shedding, and it can be quite a mess if you don’t clean up their fur.
Labs will also shed in the fall, as they get rid of their summer coat and replace it with a thicker winter version. The shedding this time of year isn’t quite as bad as in the spring, but it’s still noticeable.
Shedding is a natural part of a Lab’s yearly coat cycle, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. However, there are some steps you can take to help manage shedding and make it a bit more bearable.
Brushing is the most effective way of controlling shedding and preventing a mess around your house. It allows to control, at least somewhat, when your dog will shed.
Try to brush at least twice a week during shedding season to remove loose hair and keep it from falling off on its own. You can use a standard brush, or find a specialized shedding brush that will do a better job of removing excess hair.
Tangles are common during shedding season, so you may need additional grooming tools to help you out. Slicker brushes are great for getting out tangles, as are combs with heavy teeth.
It can take Labs a while to get used to the grooming process, so try to start brushing when they’re still a puppy. Start off slowly, letting your dog adjust to the process. Also give them plenty of treats and praise to show them how good they’re being. Eventually, brushing shouldn’t bother them too much, and they may even come to enjoy it.
Some dog owners will shave their Lab to prevent shedding. However, this is not recommended, as it can damage their coat as well as expose their skin to the sun.
Another great way of getting rid of excess fur is to wash or bathe your Lab. You don’t need to do this frequently, and washing too much can dry out their skin and hurt their coat.
Try to bathe them twice a year, during the main shedding seasons. Use warm water and pick out a shampoo that is specifically designed for your dog’s fur type. Many human shampoos can be damaging to a dog’s coat, so they should be avoided.
After you wash your Lab, make sure to dry them off, and keep them from running around outside for a while.
Cleaning Up Fur
Even the most diligent Lab owner is still going to have to clean up some fur. Vacuum and sweep frequently to prevent hair from building up. It can be a hassle, but fortunately Labs only have two main shedding seasons per year.
Many people want a Lab, but are worried about allergies. There is no hypoallergenic Lab, as the shedding means they can cause problems for people who react to dander.
Although many people do just fine with Labs, you should spend some time around the breed before you decide to adopt. You may have an allergic reaction, and decide that a non shedding breed is a better choice for you.
If you’ve decided that a Lab is right for you, take a look at our puppy finder. At Uptown Puppies, we connect you with some of the best Lab breeders and companies around, helping you find your dream dog.
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