Labradors are healthy, energetic, playful, gentle, and more than anything you will have a water buddy by your side every time if you crave for a company on a beach. Owning a labrador is nice and all until you feel a load of responsibilities on your shoulders. Before everything, a labrador is a pricy dog to buy but the things you should be ready about comes after the purchasing part of it. Taking care of a labrador is important as your canine buddy does need some pampering. This article will include:
- Tips about how you can take care of your lab.
- Affordable options
- Advantages and disadvantages of those options.
- What to do when you are busy.
Things you need to buy for him
- He needs a crate- If you’re planning to buy a labrador then you need to buy a crate for him to rest. The crate should be big enough for him even when he reaches his adult size because obviously, you do not want to buy it again and again. Invest in a good size crate just once which will last you a long time. Most labrador retrievers will be approximately 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder, so a crate which is at least 32 inches tall should do the job. You can line the crate with a blanket for a warmer and softer feel for your dog.
- Buy a leash- A six-foot-long leash should be good for your dog when you take him out for a walk. The material of the leash should be comfortable around his neck. Generally, they are available in nylon, rope, or chain but leather and nylon are the most comfortable.
- Food bowl and water dish is a necessity- Choose the ones that are less likely to tip over because you do not want to clean the mess on the floor later and you can place a rug or mat under the dishes.
- Purchase his bedding- There are many types of beds available these days, mattress style bed, beds that fit in a crate, elevated beds, and beds made out of memory foam.
Some things that will come in handy in taking care of him
- While washing him
- Use dog shampoo only, do not use a shampoo that is made for human on him as his furs and our hair are very different, it may harm his skin. Rub the shampoo gently into his furs and use your fingertips for this, not your nails.
- Use dog wipes or a damp cloth to wash his face and any area that needs spot cleaning. Do not use baby wipes on him as they contain chemicals and it might harm your dog if he licks it off his face or fur.
- A labrador doesn’t need much bathing, thanks to his thick, water-resistant fur. Bathe him just once per month and not more than that. Shampoo used during the bath will remove natural oils as they contain chemicals, then moisture will be trapped in his undercoat which should usually remain dry.
- You can use towels to get water off his body and he will help himself by shaking the water off his body. You can even use a dryer but you should make sure if he is okay with it or not.
- While feeding him
- If your labrador is over six months old then he needs at least two meals per day but if you are at home and are able to manage time, you should feed him even the third and the fourth time. Read the instructions on the box about how much food does he needs according to his weight and you can split up the amount into two or three meals a day.
- You shouldn’t change his food too quickly if his house is changed in the recent past. Find out what he used to eat in his former home and feed him that for a few more days even if it has fewer nutrients. Change his food gradually because a sudden change in his eating patterns will be abnormal for him, he will not be able to adjust to that instantly.
- Giving him treats for his little accomplishments will make him very happy for instance you can give him a slice of cheese if he learns a new command in his swimming session. However, don’t give him table foods as they could contain garlic, onion, or any other thing which can be toxic to your dog.
What options do you have when you are busy yourself
- Dog Creche
Dog Creche is a place where you can leave your dog for some time and there’s a staff that will take care of him as they know how a dog behaves or rather how he should behave.
Why you should choose a dog creche ?
Your dog will be able to socialize with other dogs in a creche which will be good for him in his own personal development. He will definitely see a lot more toys to play with within a creche than he sees in your home. These toys will have his attention and I don’t have to tell you that a busy dog is a happy dog. Leaving your canine buddy alone in an empty home can be risky too. He can suffer from separation anxiety which will create a lot many problems for you. When your dog is in a creche you don’t have to request your neighbors and relatives so that they can take care of your dog when you are out there earning.
Keep in mind.
Though you should keep somethings in mind before choosing a creche for your dog. First and foremost is the ratio of staff to dogs there. The second is, if your dog is comfortable there or not. The third is if it has secured play areas or not. The fourth is the entrance should be well secured otherwise your dog might slip out.
Why you shouldn’t choose a dog creche?
Cost is something that you should keep in mind before finding a creche. It can leave you with a hole in your pocket as they are expensive. You will need to do some budgeting. Unlike dog walkers, who will come to your place, you have to drop him in a dog creche and this can disturb your commute. If your dog has temperament issues, he picks fight with other dogs around him then a dog creche will not be a good option for him.
- Dog sitters
A Dog sitter will be a person who will look after your dog when you are not at home.
Why you should choose a dog sitter?
If your dog howls when he is alone then hiring a dog sitter will be good option for you, he can be a companion for your dog for a short while. If your dog doesn’t want to be in a creche because there will be other dogs, then in this case keeping him with a dog sitter can be a good option too. You will not have to please your relatives anymore to look after your dog.
Keep in mind.
While hiring, look for someone who can multitask, for instance someone who can look after your dog and cook food for your family simultaneously. This will save you some money as hiring a cook and dog sitter separately can be pricy.
Why you shouldn’t choose a dog sitter?
First and foremost, it can cost you a certain amount of money. You will have to adjust your budget according to it. Secondly, you will have to trust the person with your house when you are not in it.
- Dog Walkers
A Dog walker collects dogs from house to house in a van and then transports them to an open area where they can exercise or roam freely.
Why you should choose a dog walker?
It will cost you less than hiring a dog sitter and a full time creche. Exercising in an open field, breathing fresh air will be healthy for your dog.
Keep in mind.
In initial days, you should go with your dog to give him company in his walks to see if he is comfortable or not, most dogs do adapt to this routine though.
Why you shouldn’t choose a dog walker?
Some dog walkers take more dogs than they can handle, on the other hand some are skilled to handle large number of dogs. If your dog walker is something like the former one then there is high chance your dog may get lost. Another reason is if your dog is not happy around other dogs and gets into fight easily when poked then he wouldn’t be happy with this experience. Some dogs don’t even like the idea of being transported in a van like this.
Owning and taking care of a dog with a full time job can be a little bit difficult and tricky. We wish your time schedule allows you to choose the first half of the tips from this article where you can yourself spend time with your dog.