Labradors will give you their undying love, and they’re very happy to be your best friend. These bundles of joy grow up quickly, and as they grow, you may notice something that’s not so pleasant – shedding. Your pup sheds to keep him cool during the warmer months and grows hair to stay warm during the winter.
Labs will start to shed on your clothes and leave small clumps of hair around your home during shedding season.
You won’t be able to stop all of the shedding, but you can curb it with the proper grooming help. The best brush for a Labrador will help, but what’s the best brush you can buy? Let’s find out.
How to Choose the Best Dog Brush for Labs
Labrador Retrievers are known for their intense attention and ability to learn quickly. This is a brilliant breed, and you’ll find that males can weigh up to 80 pounds, while females can weigh as much as 70 pounds.
This breed’s coat is described as short, dense, smooth and straight.
With a lifespan of 12 – 13 years, Labs will provide you with years of love, but you’ll need to return this love with a good grooming session.
The tools you’ll need to get the job done right, without needing to go to the groomer, are:
- Slicker brushes: A great option because they have several rows of wire pins that work to remove tangles from your pup’s hair. These pins are meant to remove loose hair thanks to their bent ends, and this is a great option for removing undercoat hair. The pins can be soft, but the size of the lab allows you to use harder pins if you wish. This is a great brush to have in your home.
- Bristle brushes: A great for removing dirt and debris from your pup’s hair. This is a great option for dogs that are outside often and may roll in the dirt. These brushes are the ideal choice for a quick, fast brushing and will be most people’s go-to brush on a daily basis. This is the right brush to use at the end of your grooming, as it will help move your dog’s natural oils around the coat.
- Pin brushes: A great option for removing tangles on dogs with longer hair, but the pin brush will not be enough to reach deep into the undercoat. While many people recommend pin brushes, they aren’t a great option for the Labrador breed and are a brush you can leave off of your must-have list.
If you can only choose one brush for your needs, you’ll want to choose a slicker brush. The slicker brush will remove most of your dog’s loose hair with ease, and there are self-cleaning brush options available, too.
Bristle brushes are as great value for the money, and since these are great for quick brushing sessions, I recommend you have one of these brushes, too. The great thing about this affordable brush is that it will spread your dog’s oils around, leaving his hair smooth and shiny.
Labrador retrievers do have a double coat, and this means that they have a top coat and an undercoat. The difference between the coats is simple: The top coat is meant for protection and the undercoat is meant for insulation.
What many owners don’t realize is that the undercoat is vital to your dog’s ability to stay cool and warm.
This undercoat will not only help your pup control his body’s temperature, it will also help protect the skin, repel water and protect him from UV rays. Do not shave your Labrador if you want him to be strong and healthy.
Shaving your dog will remove the undercoat that is meant to protect him all season long.
If you can only choose one brush for your grooming, you should choose:
- Natural bristles, or
- Nylon bristles
Each bristle type will work well, and they can be used on a daily basis. Your pup won’t need to be brushed daily, but you can choose to brush daily without fear of harming your dog. There are plenty of pet owners who will brush their lab nightly to keep their hair under control.
Brushing your pet is a great way to make sure that the entire coat has oils spread throughout to look shiny and healthy.
A lot of owners also assume that since humans shower daily that their pet needs to be bathed often. The problem is that frequent bathing can cause the skin to become dry and scaly. Your dog’s skin has natural oils that work to protect the skin from damage and keep your pup’s coat looking it’s best.
If you wash your pup too often, these oils will be lost – not a good thing.
You can wash your dog every few months or when he gets extra dirty. Of course, you can wash your pup after a long time outside(during a hike, for example), or after a good romp in the mud. Otherwise, your dog’s skin is likely protected from its coat and won’t need any extra care or attention from you.
If you’re looking beyond the best brush for a Labrador, you might want to know a few tips that can help your dog’s coat stay pristine for his entire life:
- Brush your pup at least once per week.
- Brush your pup twice per week in the spring and fall.
- Contact your vet if you notice your dog’s skin is red, irritated or scaly.
- Feed your dog a diet high in omega fatty acids to promote healthier hair and less shedding.
- Eliminate your dog’s stress to keep his hair healthy and stop excess shedding.
Following these few tips should be more than enough to keep your Lab looking and feeling his best – without the excess shedding in the process.
And as we previously mentioned, do not shave your dog or use any cutting instruments to remove your dog’s hair. Owners often do more harm than good when they shave their dogs and leave them exposed to the elements.