Their fairly short coats make many pet owners draw wrong assumptions when it comes to how often should Labs get groomed.
For a lot of Labrador Retriever owners, when they take a look at a Labrador’s fine, short coat, they immediately assume that it’s something that comes naturally to the breed and that they don’t have to do anything for it.
However, there’s actually something else that you need to do for your Lab to maintain their coat. And this leads us to the topic of how often should a Labrador get groomed.
The rest of this article will dive deeper into how often should Labs get groomed and why it is important.
Aspects of Labrador grooming
First off, however, it’s important to take note that there are many aspects of Labrador Retriever grooming. Brushing, nail clipping, bathing, and more are all part of the grooming regimen. But, for this discussion, we will focus more on how to groom Lab fur.
While at first glance, the Labrador coat seems easy enough to groom, it can get quite overwhelming in the beginning.
While it is, indeed, true that you will need less upkeep in terms for haircuts, Labradors shed a lot. Hence, you need to address the matter if you want to get your Labrador Retriever groomed more properly.
Why is Labrador grooming important?
First off, it is important that you groom your Lab because it makes your life as a pet owner much easier.
It’s an excellent preventive measure, as it allows you to save yourself the trouble of cleaning your furniture during heavy shedding seasons.
Grooming your Labrador regularly will also help keep your Labrador Retriever’s coat healthy since it facilitates the proper circulation of natural oils.
This goes hand in hand with proper bathing as well. A Lab’s coat will look shiny and at its best when it is taken care of properly.
As a pet owner, it is your job to put your Labrador Retriever’s welfare and health on top of your priorities.
Having your Labrador groomed often also helps to build a bond with your dog.
Grooming is a personal activity that your Labrador Retriever may not be comfortable with at first. However, just give them a reason to trust you in the long run, and your Lab will start to look forward to getting groomed often.
Do Labradors need professional grooming?
If you already know how to groom a Lab, there’s no need for you to take your Labrador to a professional groomer. However, if you don’t have the time, or you just want your Lab to have a mini-pampering session, you can visit your local groomer and see what kind of services you can get.
This option is especially great for people who prefer to shell out extra funds in exchange for their Labrador Retriever getting groomed.
As a bonus, your groomer will be able to spot if there is anything wrong with your Lab. Since grooming is an all-around job, they’ll be able to tell if anything is out of place (e.g., lumps, sores).
Take note, though, that there are also other things you should consider when it comes to taking your Labrador to a professional groomer.
For example, this study on grooming dryers found that the noise coming from forced-air dryers could affect both dog and human hearing if they are not wearing safety equipment.
Nonetheless, taking your Labrador Retriever to a professional groomer is worth considering if you are short on time or just want your Lab to get the maximum grooming experience.
When should Labs have to be groomed?
A Labrador puppy will not need as much grooming as an adult one. The first time that they shed will be when they are around 4-6 months old. Then, you may need to groom them a bit more.
But, generally, you can groom Labrador Retrievers at any age. It is even better if you groom them while they are younger so that they can get used to the entire process.
Grooming your Labrador at an earlier age will help them get accustomed to grooming and view it as a positive experience.
Your Labrador may not be comfortable with grooming at first, which is why it is important to do it regularly.
Doing so instills in them the comfort of the routine. They will also come to understand that grooming is an essential part of their life.
How often should Labs get groomed?
There’s really no set rule on how often should Labs get groomed.
While we advise you to do it at least a couple of times per week during shedding seasons, you can do it more than that if you prefer.
For example, on regular days, when your Labrador Retriever is not shedding too much, grooming can be done at only about once or twice a week, depending on your preference. This will help tame the shedding considerably since you can catch the fur before they get all over your furniture.
For shedding season, you might want to increase this to at least 4 times a week and even daily if you can.
How often should you bathe a Labrador?
There is no hard rule either as to how frequently your Lab should take a bath. The general rule of thumb, however, is that you should bathe them when they get a bit dirty.
If you don’t find it applicable, just note that bathing should not be done more than once a month. In fact, some pet owners even choose to bathe their Labs every quarter or so.
It’s not really a major issue unless your dog is really dirty and is starting to stink. Other than that, you should not bathe them more often than is necessary.
Water, in itself, is fine. Labradors play in the water all the time and are even part of a lineage of working water dogs.
However, the items used in dog shampoo can strip their hair of natural oils, and that is something you want to avoid.
As an alternative to baths, you can wipe down your Lab with a damp towel to rid them off of any excess dirt or grime that can be taken away with a wipe down.
Do not use pre-made wipes or baby wipes since these could have chemicals that could be harmful for your dog.
Lastly, only use dog shampoo for your Lab. Human shampoo is not created for their coats and will not do a great job. Moreover, it might even damage their coat and skin.
Just get a dog shampoo at your local store or get a recommendation from your vet if you want your Labrador Retriever to get groomed often.
Other ways to groom your Labrador
Bathing and combing your Labrador’s fur are not the only ways to groom your pet.
There are other aspects of grooming as well that you need to take into consideration to have a Lab that is clean and healthy overall.
1) Nail Clipping
Trimming your Labrador’s nails is a dreaded task—not because it’s a very exhausting ordeal, but because of the difficulty of trimming your Lab’s nails properly. You will need some time to practice before getting it right.
If you are apprehensive about clipping your Lab’s nails at home, then you can opt for a professional cut at the groomer’s.
Still, doing them by yourself is the least expensive method, although you may have to look through tutorials on how to do it best.
As for the frequency, it really depends on how comfortable your Lab is with their current nail length.
Taking your Lab out on walks or runs on rough surfaces will help a lot in keeping their nails at a decent length.
When they get older and become more sedentary, you may need to trim their nails more often.
2) Cleaning their ears
With their floppy ears, a Lab is prone to ear issues and problems, even more so if your Lab likes to play in water.
To avoid future problems like infections, you should regularly clean their ears. Cleaning your Lab’s ears will also give you an opportunity to check for developing problems like redness and inflammation.
Yep, brushing is important even in your Lab! Dogs can suffer from various gum and tooth problems that could be prevented through proper dental care.
Hence, brushing should also be done regularly. There are even some types of treats that can help you with their dental care.
In addition to that, there are also some kinds of toys or brushes that your Lab can use on themselves. These brushes for Labs usually involve some type of silicone bristles that have been flavored to incite your Lab into chewing them and clean their teeth in the process.
Overall, in response to “how often should Labs get groomed?”, we recommend that you groom your Labrador at least weekly and bathe them no more than once a month.
These grooming practices help keep your dog’s fur clean, neat, and shiny. They will also look their best if you take care of their fur with due care.
Grooming is more than just an aesthetic practice. It is vital to the well-being and wellness of your Labrador.
As such, you should make it a priority to regularly practice the correct grooming habits.