In case you are considering getting a Labrador Retriever one thing you should keep in mind is that they shed, in fact all dog breeds shed. If shedding is a deciding factor of choosing a dog breed, there are some dog breeds that shed the least. Canines, fancy word for dogs, shed for a variety of reasons such as temperature control and skin protection from the sun and other environmental factors.
If you are in pursuit of a Labrador Retriever being your next family member, shedding is something to be aware of because they are one of the dog breeds that sheds the most. Labradors have a double-coat, it is common for dogs with double-coats have two ‘moult’ or shedding seasons a year which are in accordance to coat thickness needed for the temperature outside. Moult season typically occurs during spring and before winter.
In the spring, the weather warms up and they shed the winter coat to be replaced with a thin summer coat and as winter approaches that thin coat falls off to be replaced with a thicker winter coat. Sometimes dogs will shed all year long instead of twice a year if they are protected from harsh weather conditions such as indoor dogs or temperate locations.
Shedding is a part of a circadian rhythm that is ingrained in their species. Dealing with shedding is part of owning of a Labrador and although it can be a nuisance, there are ways to make it more manageable.
Reducing Labrador Retriever Shedding
Removing your Lab’s shedding hair with a shedding brush at least once a week, preferably daily, is the best way to reduce the amount of hair that ends up around the house.
Some dogs will not be fond of the canine grooming and others will love it, it’s just the luck of the draw and hopefully over time your pup will get accustomed to it.
It’s pretty simple to do, just run the brush over your dog until the brush runs clean. When you run into a matted area, use a de-matter to brush the tangles out.
There are many shedding brushes out there so it’s really up to you to decide which is best for your dog.
Other tools may be needed in addition to the shedding brush such as a de-matter, undercoat rake, or slicker brush.
Keep in mind, some shedding brushes have these features built in, so read the description before buying every tool. There are many shedding brushes out there so it’s really up to you to decide which is best for your dog.
- Don’t shave your Lab! It can leave him exposed to getting sunburnt, plus the small little hairs will be much harder to remove from your house than longer hairs.
- Keep an eye on excessive or abnormal shedding, if this happens contact your local vet and see if further action is required.
A second way of keeping the hair in check is thoroughly washing your Labrador Retriever 2-3 times a year, preferably during moulting season. Make sure to use a dog shampoo that is good and will keep your dog’s coat healthy. If you use shampoo made for humans it could disrupt the acid mantle leaving it vulnerable to bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Just like choosing a shedding brush it’s really up to you to choose the right shampoo.
Of course the last way to reduce the effects of shedding is regularly removing it from your home. It’s also pretty self-explanatory, vacuum your home regularly.
Also remember to clean the bottom bristles regularly for optimal hair removal.
Are Labs Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, due to the fact that they shed their coat regularly, Labrador Retrievers are not considered hypoallergenic.
When the allergy is caused by dander, all shedding breeds will cause an allergic reaction.
Something to keep in mind is that no dog is truly ‘hypoallergenic’ since most pet allergies are caused by a protein in the saliva or urine, so the allergic reaction is case dependent.
Before bringing a Lab home it is important to spend time with him to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction.