Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog pets in top countries of the world, like the US, UK, Germany, and Canada. They are a medium-large breed of dog that is commonly known for their friendly, outgoing, and energetic personality.
Labradors are a popular breed for hunting, retrieving, and as a general family pet due to their intelligence, trainability, and playful nature. So in most cases, Labrador Retrievers are happy dogs, enjoying a lifespan of 10-12 years.
Now to keep your Labradors continuously happy and healthy, it’s important to provide them with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of socialization, companionship, and activities to keep them mentally stimulated.
Happiness they say equals health, and health equals life. So in this tutorial, we’ll be looking at the top ten (10) important tips to keep your Labrador Retriever healthy and happy.
Tips to keep your Labrador Retriever happy and healthy
1. Provide regular exercise
Labs have a lot of energy and need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Most Labrador Retriever begins to get bored and sluggish when they begin getting less, and less energy daily. A daily walk or run and playtime in a fenced yard will help them burn off energy, and keep them active, healthy, and happy.
2. Feed a high-quality diet
Labs are prone to obesity, so it’s important to feed them a high-quality diet that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. It is also important to keep an eye on what your dog is ingesting. We had written a details article about some food that may be harmful to your Lab, and you may want to take a look.
3. Provide mental stimulation
Labs are intelligent dogs and need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Provide interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and training sessions to challenge their minds.
Taking them to dog-related competitions will also help keep them mentally agile.
4. Regular grooming
Regular grooming is also very important to Labradors. This is because they have a rather thick, waterproof coat that requires regular grooming to keep it clean and healthy.
You can brush them at least once a week to remove loose hair and dirt. This brushing process also helps get rid of pests that may be lodging within the coat.
5. Regular veterinary check-ups
Regular check-ups with the vet will ensure that your Lab is up-to-date on vaccinations and that any health concerns are caught and treated early.
As stated above, Labs have an average lifespan of about 10-12 years. Sadly most Labradors don’t live up to these numbers due to poor medical check-up routines. It is important to have a medical plan for dogs and other pets, just as you may have for yourself.
6. Provide plenty of love and attention
Like most other pets, Labs are social animals and need plenty of love and attention from their owners to stay happy and healthy. You may have a very busy schedule but try as much as you can to always interact with your Lab.
7. Training and socialization
This is a very important need of most dogs, especially the trainable ones like Labrador Retrievers. Labs are highly trainable and respond well to positive reinforcement. Start training and socialization early to help them become well-behaved and well-adjusted adults.
Lack of training is one of the reasons for unnecessary aggression in most Labs. Training and socialization also help your Labrador to better relate with family members, especially the newly added ones like children.
8. Avoid overfeeding
Too much of anything is bad, and the same applies to the feeding of pets. Aside from the fact that overfeeding could sometimes lead to indigestion, Labs tend to become overweight, so it’s important to monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding them.
9. Watch out for potential health issues
Labs are prone to certain health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, obesity, and bloat. Be aware of these issues and work with your vet to prevent or manage them.
One factor that could enhance or mar this, is how well, and how often you related with your Lab. The ability to notice a certain illness or disease earlier can go a long way in helping you to better manage or treat them.
10. Provide a safe and comfortable living environment
Labs need a safe and comfortable living environment. Make sure they have a cozy bed, plenty of fresh water, and enough space that can accommodate their size.
If your Labrador is housed outdoors, either in a Crate or Kennel, ensure it is kept neat, secure, and weatherproof. Also watch out for crawling reptiles like Snakes, for Labs housed outdoors. You can learn more about Labrador Retrievers HERE.
In conclusion, a combination of regular exercise, a healthy diet, mental stimulation, and plenty of love and attention will help keep a Labrador Retriever happy and healthy. It’s also important to work with a veterinarian to establish a preventative health care plan to keep your Lab in tip-top shape.