Ever wondered why your Lab sheds so much?
Well, you’re not alone.
During molting season, Labradors tend to shed their hair to adapt to the changing seasons.
This process will more often than not result in built-up dog hair around your home.
Shedding is an issue that many dog parents may be faced with.
Unfortunately, shedding is a natural process for most dogs, including Labradors, and cannot be stopped.
However, what you can do is slow down this shedding process.
So, want to know how to reduce and slow down your Labrador’s shedding process?
From giving your Lab a well-balanced diet to regular grooming of its hair, there are many ways you can help to reduce its shedding process.
Read more to find out!
Why do Labradors Shed?
Similar to other wild animals, Labradors need to change their coats biannually to adapt to the changing of the seasons.
This process is known as molting
While some dogs molt more than others, others may not molt at all. Labradors are the former — shedding all year long, especially during molting season.
Labradors have a double coat, two layers of fur to keep them warm in cold temperatures.
This double coat is made up of an outer waterproof layer and a fluffy under layer to keep them warm.
As seasons change, Labradors would shed its warm winter coat and replace it with a summer coat.
So, how to manage your Labradors shedding?
Here are 4 ways to do so:
There are multiple tools that can be used to de-shed your Lab, including dog brushes and rakes that will help reduce shedding.
Combing your Labrador’s undercoat regularly will help to get their fur out before reaching the rest of your house.
During molting season, you should also brush your Labrador more often, to help to loosen and remove its hair before it goes around the house.
Brushing will help to remove dead hairs from your Labrador, further stimulating healthy skin.
Remember to not brush too hard and always brush in the direction of your Lab’s hair growth.
Brush by starting from the neck and work your way to the tail, to avoid discomfort in your Lab.
Further, don’t use the shedding blade on its lower legs and belly, as they are not as densely coated as the rest of the body.
While Labradors shed naturally, your Labrador may be shedding at a higher and faster rate due to certain health conditions.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Infection from bacteria
- Skin irritants
If you suspect that your lab is shedding excessively, do speak with your veterinarian on the issue.
While addressing them will not end its shedding once and for all, it may reduce the amount of shedding considerably.
Certain foods are known to give your Lab a healthy coat, without having dry, flaky skin, and other coat issues.
Not only can these foods ensure a healthy coat, but they will also reduce the amount of shedding around the home.
Make sure to feed your Lab high-quality food — that is made with actual ingredients rather than mere flavoring.
Avoid foods with by-product ingredients; such as “chicken by-product” instead of “chicken”.
If your Labrador has allergies that cause excessive shedding, try feeding them grain-free foods — further avoiding food that contains gluten and cornmeal.
Do remember to check the ingredient list and labels to ensure that you are feeding your Labrador good and healthy foods.
When they eat a good and nutritious diet, their hair follicles will also become more resilient.
Having strong follicles will help to reduce extra shedding that is caused by undernourished hair.
To strengthen your Labrador’s hair follicles, try providing your Lab food rich in omega fatty acids.
Strengthening your Lab’s coat will limit and reduce premature shedding.
Bathing your dog regularly will help remove its stray hairs, thus the amount of hair shed.
Use a rubber brush or a bath mitt to loosen your Lab’s hairs, helping them to shed in the bath rather than around the house.
As Labradors have coats that don’t tangle as easily as other dogs, you can massage their hair more vigorously without making them uncomfortable.
Other than using tools such as bath mitts to remove loose hairs, you can also use de-shedding shampoo to further ease its shedding.
Ensure that you use dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner and rinse well to avoid irritating your Lab’s skin.
Should You Shave Your Labrador to Reduce Shedding?
While Shaving your Labrador sounds like the perfect way to get rid of hair around your home, it is not good for your Labrador as it will hurt your Lab’s skin and get it more prone to skin issues.
Having double-coated hair is essential for Labradors as it helps it regulate its body temperature and protect its skin from any environment.
As shedding can be messy at home, try out these 4 different methods to help manage the amount of hair your Labrador sheds.
From changing up their diet to regular grooming, these different ways can result in a meaningful impact on your Lab’s shedding habits.
Consistency and diligence are key in this case — when your Lab is stressed, it tends to shed more as a sign of his nervousness.
Spend time grooming your Labrador well and watch the benefits come.
Come up with a reliable grooming routine, to give your Labs some expectations of the day forward.