In this article, we will be taking a look at how to make your labrador healthy. Labradors are without a doubt the most common dog breeds in the countries of our reader base.
Due to this, we thought some of our readers may have a labrador and as we all love our dogs, we decided to publish this article on ways you can keep your labrador fit and healthy. Now you have to remember that depending on the current state of your dog, some of these tips and tricks may take a while to begin to show any benefit but always remember that you are moving in the right direction.
How To Make Your Labrador Healthy
Making your labrador retriever healthy usually revolves around three basic concepts that are:-
- Plenty of exercise.
- A healthy diet.
- Regular vet checkups.
In this article, we will be taking a detailed look at each of these in an attempt to help you improve the overall health of your dog.
Take Advantage Of A Healthy Diet For Your Labrador
Contrary to what most people think, a healthy diet for labrador in now 100% meat based. All dogs are actually omnivores meaning their diet is usually best filled when it contains both plants and meat. Many dog owners presume that dogs are carnivores and only feed them meat. This usually means you are missing the essential vitamins and minerals that your dog would usually get from its vegetables.
Fear not! When we tell dog owners this they usually respond with something along the lines of they only feed their dog with dog food and dog treats. The vast majority of dog foods on the market will contain vegetables anyway helping to offer a balanced nutritional profile for your dog.
What Do Labradors Like To Eat
Well, similar to most dog breeds out there, Labradors aren’t particularly fussy about what they eat. They will usually consume anything they are offered as well as take any table scraps they can get their paws on.
This often leads dog owners to believe that their Labrador is enjoying the dog food that they purchase. This may not actually be the case. There are a number of videos on YouTube similar to the one below where dog owners record their dog’s reaction when provided with the choice of two different foods.
In case you couldn’t tell, the food the dog in the video chose as its favorite is a taste of the wild. A very popular dog food that recently came out as the best food for labradors in our recent post. This is due to its excellent quality, nutritional profile, and flavor. It is an excellent healthy dog food brand and perfect for labradors.
Healthy Dog Treats
If increasing your dog’s overall health is your goal then your choice of treats can kill two bits with one stone. Not only are you able to supplement your dog’s diet with additional vitamins and minerals but you can also support its dental hygiene.
Greenies Dental Chews came out on top in our recent post on the best dog treats for teeth. Not only are they excellent at cleaning your dog’s teeth, they are also healthy and good for your dog. If used on a regular basis they will help improve your dogs dental and overall health.
Exercise Your Labrador
The second pillar of general health in your Labrador is exercise. We have lost count of the number of dog owners who thought a ten-minute walk for your dog to do its business was enough exercise for the day.
A fully grown adult Labrador will require between 45 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes of exercise per day. This totally depends on the temperament of your dog though. A more relaxed dog will only need 45 minutes, a more active dog closer to 1 hour 30 minutes. That said, the average Labrador can be fit and healthy with around one hour of exercise per day.
Dog owners can also overcomplicate what needs to be done during these exercise periods. Although you can if you choose, there’s no need to go running with your dog. Taking your dog to the local creek or stream and letting it swim or even a game of fetch all counts towards exercise. If you do choose to take your dog jogging or running with you then our article on how to get your dog to jog with you may help you.
What Do Labradors Like To Do
As covered in our post on how to get your dog to play with toys easily. We discovered that Labrador retrievers were bred as gun dogs to retrieve game their masters had shot. Dogs that showed a good instinct to run off, sniff out the prey and retrieve it were bred making that instinct very common in Labradors today.
Due to this, most labs love to play fetch. Simply get a high-quality ball that your lab won’t be able to chew to bits quickly and take it out to an open space. Unlike Sighthounds that prefer to chase far distances to get their balls, Labradors tend to prefer a shorter distance with a game of hide and seek. It is believed this is due to their instincts to rummage around in bushes and shrubs looking for fallen prey.
If you can take advantage of this then great. Throw your labs ball into some long grass or small shrubs that it will be able to get through easily. This will encourage your dog to run to where the ball was thrown and then do its best to get the ball back. As your dog rummages around to get its ball it is also burning energy and getting exercise helping it become healthier.
Regular Vet Checkups
Taking your Labrador for regular vet checkups is the final pillar of owning a healthy lab. How often the term “regular” refers to is definitely up for debate. Although it is recommended that you take your dog for a veterinarian checkup every year, some people choose to weight two or even three years between visits.
This will come down to your personal circumstances and if you see any signs of ill health in your dog. Taking care of your dog’s diet and exercise program are usually enough to keep your dog fit and healthy without issue.