Last Updated on January 17, 2022 by Fabiola L.
If you love your dog then its shedding is a small price to pay. Still, it can be annoying. So, how to stop a lab from shedding, and should you shave your dog? Furthermore, you may be wondering whether your lab is shedding more than it should. Is it the food or is it something seasonal? And, if you don’t have a lab yet – is the shedding so much that you’d want to consider a different breed?
We’ll cover all that as well as 7 key tips on how to reduce shedding in labs below.
How To Stop A Lab From Shedding?
There is no way to fully “stop” a lab from shedding. Labrador retrievers, like all other “water” breeds and most other work dogs and/or northern breeds, have a thick double-layered coat. This is meant to keep them protected from the elements and to aid their thermal isolation in the cold winter days. After all, the Labrador breed was developed in Newfoundland together with the large Newfoundland dogs to help retrieve fish and other prey from the water.
When a dog has such a double coat, it’s virtually impossible to stop all its shedding. The dog will keep producing hair and it will keep shedding occasionally. However, there are ways to minimize the amount of shedding you have to deal with. Additionally, there are easier and harder ways to deal with what hair your dog keeps shedding. We’ll cover all that next.
Do Labs Shed More Than Other Breeds?
If you’re thinking of getting a lab and the shedding is a “deal-breaker” for you, then consider this – Labrador retrievers shed more than most other breeds but still aren’t the worst shedders out there. A few breeds that shed even more than labs include Huskies, German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, and a few others.
Still, Labrador retrievers are up there with the biggest shedders of them all. So, if you do want a lab you should get ready for dealing with some hair. On the bright side – you may have noticed that, like labs, a lot of the other high-shedding breeds are also incredibly popular. So, at least it’d seem that people have found a way around the issue.
Learn more about: Do Labradors Shed A Lot and How Can You Deal With That Challenge?
Do All Lab Types Shed The Same?
Yes, all color types of Labradors shed the same. Some people believe that black labs shed more but that’s just an illusion because their black hair is more noticeable.
Is Your Lab Shedding More Than Normal?
If you feel like your lab is shedding abnormally much then there are a few possible explanations. Figuring out those causes can help you decide how to stop a lab from shedding.
- Your lab is blowing his coat – something dogs will usually do two or three times a year
- You’re new to owning a lab and you’re just surprised with how much they shed normally
- Your lab’s diet is not optimal. A good canine diet should have plenty of great digestible proteins or the dog’s coat (among other things) will suffer
- The dog may have a certain skin health condition that increases shedding
- Your dog might feel under a lot of stress
- The dog’s skin may have parasites such as mange mites, ticks, fleas, or others
- Your dog may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance, a tumor, or another condition
The first few options are harmless but if you suspect a more serious issue you need to call your vet immediately.
Do Labs Shed Seasonally?
Yes, most labs will blow their coats twice a year – in the spring and autumn. A third blowout is also possible given that indoor living muddles the difference between the seasons. The lab will also shed throughout the year but not as much as during the blowout.
Should You Shave Your Lab?
No! Some people and even some groomers recommend shaving dogs to deal with shedding. However, double-coated breeds like the Labrador should never be shaved – only trimmed. That’s because shaving can lead to permanent damage to the coat’s quality, patchy hair loss, alopecia, and it can alter the regrowth pattern of new fur.
Additionally, while the dog is shaved, it won’t be able to regulate its own body temperature which can lead to a whole host of other problems. So, if you’re wondering how to keep a lab from shedding, we’ll list a few solutions below but never resort to full shaving.
7 Labrador Shedding Solutions and Helpful Tips
So, how to stop a lab from shedding? You’ve probably figured out a lot of the smart tips you can utilize from what we said above. In general, this is what you’d want to do:
- Feed your dog with high-quality food. As with people and our hair, the food must be rich in all necessary vitamins, minerals, and protein. Consider adding fatty acid supplements too – after a consultation with your vet, of course.
- Brush your lab’s hair regularly – even daily if you want but at least a few times each week. This will keep the dog’s hair untangled and clean. It will also reduce shedding because you’ll remove a lot of the excess hair with the brush.
- Bathe your dog at least once a month – more if it’s getting too dirty when going out. You can use many different types of shampoos, including a de-shedding shampoo.
- Keep your dog’s coat healthy by treating it for parasites, allergies, and other problems.
- Get your dog to a professional groomer a couple of times a year – preferably just before the seasonal coat blowout. A good groomer will do a lot of work for a low-to-moderate 2-digit sum.
- Get a dog bed and teach your dog to sleep there. This will “focus” most of its shedding onto the dog’s own bed.
- Deal with whatever shedding escapes your brushing efforts. Vacuum regularly and cover your furniture and car seats. Also, remove hair from your dog’s bed and other upholstery as soon as possible – hair is much easier to remove that way.
So, How To Stop A Lab From Shedding, and Is It That Big Of A Deal?
All in all, while labs shed quite a bit, you’ll find that dealing with that shedding is quite easy once you get the hang of it. So, we definitely wouldn’t say that shedding is a major reason not to get a lab. Unless, of course, you’re allergic to dogs. In that case – go for a poodle. Or a cat.