- Labradors retrievers require minimal grooming. When wet they dry quickly, and they have no aversion to water. With a double coat and natural oils, they generally have a smooth shiny coat when dry that is an indicator of good health.
- Bathing: As Labs love to swim, bathing just comes naturally to them. But they need the oils in their coat to shed water and stay warm, so it is important if you are giving them a bath not to use a strong shampoo. A baby, no-tears, or medicated shampoo is recommended. Give your dog a bath once a month if you need to. We find that our girls are great self cleaners, and if we just keep them off the floor and furniture until they dry, there is usually not too much mess around. Of course if you leave your dog outdoors, you really have nothing to worry about.
- Nails: Nail clippers or grinders can be used if you plan on cutting nails yourself. It will need to be done every month or two depending upon how much exercise your dog gets, how hard the surface is (concrete is harder than grass), and if your dog is kenneled with a concrete floor.
- Coat: A fine toothed brush should be used about once a week or month. We find that the girls tend to have two shedding periods of about six weeks, one in the spring and the other in the fall. During this period we bush as often as we can. The fine toothed brush gets down to the undercoat to remove it too.
- Ears: Because Labs like to swim, it is especially important to keep their ears clean. Get a good quality ear cleaning solution from your Vet. In the summer if your dog swims a lot, you may clean ears once a week. Other times of the year, or if you have a non-swimmer (NOT A LAB), clean them once a month.
- Eyes: Just like people, sleep stuff tends to accumulate in the corner of the eyes. Just give it a gentle rub and it will come off. If you suspect an infection use a topical ointment meant for eyes, such as Polysporin Opthamalogical. Remember dogs have a second eyelid and try not to damage it.
- Teeth: Dogs can benefit from regular teeth cleaning. There are toothpastes especially designed for animals (remember they cannot spit this stuff out, so do not use Floride human toothpaste). If you have a regular brushing schedule it only takes a few minutes from the day. Chew toys can also help clean teeth, as can Dentastiks and DentaBones (but the latter can cause weight issues).