Having a family pet can add so much to both your and your children’s lives. Owning a dog teaches children about responsibility and caring for others, and will offer them an irreplaceable type of love in their early years which they will cherish forever.
A popular breed that could bring exactly that type of love into your home is the Labrador retriever – but are they right for you and your family? Picking the right breed will depend on your lifestyle and preferences, so here’s what you need to know before making your decision.
First of all, you need to consider a dog’s personality. A Labrador is an intelligent and high energy breed. They’re also playful, friendly, and affectionate, making them one of the best dogs for kids as well.
These pups are easy-going and highly trainable. They love to be with their people and can get quite attached and protective. Because of this, leaving them alone for too long can cause them distress, so they’re better suited to families who spend more time at home – another reason why they’re perfect family dogs.
Because Labradors are such active dogs, they need extra special attention paid to their dietary needs. A good diet for a Lab is balanced and matches their life stage and specific energy output too.
For Labradors, try to prioritize a balanced combination of high-quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. You could pick a dog food that has meat (like chicken, turkey, or lamb) as the main ingredient, or try to opt for specific Labrador dog food to ensure that they’re getting the very best nutrition. Many dog owners also choose to feed their dogs raw food which they have more control over.
Exercise and Activity
As has already been mentioned, Labs have energy aplenty. This means they need lots of exercise, and won’t do too well living in a small apartment – they don’t like to be cooped up for too long. These dogs are happiest living in bigger homes where they have access to a yard to run around in.
Keep in mind that a healthy, active lifestyle is just as important for your dog’s happiness and longevity as it is for yours. Taking your Lab for at least two walks a day is important for their health and overall wellbeing. Plus, it’s in your best interest to help them let out their energy so they don’t drive you crazy!
Grooming and Care
Another aspect of dog ownership to carefully consider is grooming. Some dogs are a lot more high maintenance than others, but fortunately, this doesn’t apply to a lab.
Thanks to their short coats, they don’t require a lot of brushing or professional grooming. You can bathe and brush your Labrador around once a week in order to keep them clean and happy, or slightly more often if they tend to roll around in the dirt. This, along with clipping their nails and brushing their teeth every so often, will be enough to maintain good health and hygiene.