Before you can determine the best dog brush to use on your lab, you should learn more about the breed as a whole. Once you do more research and gain a clear understanding of your dog’s breed and how those types of dogs react to certain things, you can take care of them better.
Do your best to pay attention to your dog’s responses to grooming and eating; this will tell you a lot. It is important to know your dog’s specific needs and what will keep him or her in their happiest mood. A happy dog is a healthy dog.
Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information
Not all labs are the same; some have thicker or thinner fur, due to the characteristics they inherited from their birth parents. Genetics from a mixed Labrador breed can also have a potentially drastic impact on fur length and thickness, as well as food preferences and dietary requirements.
Labs usually weigh between 55 and 80lbs and are within 55 and 62cm tall. They are considered a large dog breed, and if your lab is on the heavier side of that scale, especially if they’re an adult male, he is still considered healthy. You should still be aware of how much your pet weighs and record their weight occasionally, to make sure they are in a healthy weight range.
Obesity is common in Labradors, and most are prone to it. Keep a regular exercise schedule for your furry companion so that they stay healthy and live longer. Lots of playtimes will keep the extra weight off and improve their overall cardiovascular health. Animal Planet gives further information online about Labrador Retrievers if you want to read more about their breed.
Labradors live an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, which is normal for most dog breeds. However, if you want your pup to live to the full 12 years, you must keep up with their diet. Treats are okay in moderation but don’t give your dog human food that is greasy or processed, which you can assume consumes a high level of sodium and cholesterol.
Labrador fur is short and thick. It is almost water repellent because of how dense it is. Their fur isn’t a typical dog fur coat. It is actually what they call a double coat; two layers of different types of fur layered on the dog’s skin. The undercoat is soft and fluffy, while the outer coat is coarse and stiff.
The double coat acts as a type of insulation for the dog, eliminating the need for shaving your dog in the summer. Some dog owners assume that since their dog has a thick coat, they need to shave it off in hotter parts of the year; this is a false idea. In reality, dogs with double coats are cooler with the fur on since the insulation effect keeps them cool, and it protects their skin from direct sunlight and UV rays.
Labradors aren’t the only dog breed that has this type of fur. You can also find it on an Akita, an Alaskan Husky, a Shiba Inu, an Australian Shepherd, a Bernese Mountain Dog, and a Sheltie.
Since they have so much fur, expect a lot of shedding. You can reduce the amount of shedding significantly by brushing their fur out at least once a week.
Another way you can keep your lab’s fur clean is by washing it with an all-natural shampoo, but weekly bathing is not necessary. Constant deep cleaning can cause a dog’s skin to dry out fast. Keep these key points in mind while you are considering the best dog brush for your lab.
How to Brush Your Labrador
Labrador fur can be tricky to tame, that’s why you have to buy the best dog brush for labs. They shed a lot; and because of how thick their fur is, mats develop out of nowhere. If these mats aren’t dealt with straight away, they will continue to grow until a huge area of the dog’s fur is stuck together.
At that point, your only option is to shave it. As a caring dog owner, you should not let their hygiene to get to the point of a necessary shave. If you keep up with their hygiene, maintenance will be minimal although the problem is worse if your Labrador has long hair.
The only way to keep your dog’s coat from matting is to brush it weekly. Pay attention to how you are brushing your dog and make a decision on what technique you are going to use.
Even if you have never owned a dog before, or you just haven’t given much thought to how you brush your dog, it is obvious that you should not brush a dog’s coat going in the opposite direction that it lays. What you might not have known is that there is more to it than that. Follow the instructions below for proper dog grooming.
First, gather your supplies. You will need 2 dog brushes. The first brush is the main dog brush that you use for detangling and deep grooming, like a pin brush, slicker brush, or a rake; whatever you prefer or that works best on your dog. The second brush is either a comb or a soft bristle brush, one that is gentle; this will be used for making your dog’s hair shiny.
If you are able, take your dog outside for grooming. If you must brush them indoors, do it in the bathtub or over a towel. You may want to have a vacuum nearby for stray hairballs.
Start with the pin brush (or first type of dog brush that you chose). Use it to work through the fur closest to the tail; use short strokes to pull out mats and tangles. Don’t press too hard with the brush, as this will hurt the skin underneath.
If your dog’s fur is in bad condition, continue with short strokes until you reach the base of their neck. Otherwise, make long continuous strokes from the neck, down their back, to the base of their tail. Keep brushing with this brush until you are sure that all of the knots have disappeared.
Finish up with the softer dog brush. Use it to touch up the head, legs, tail, back, and belly. Your dog’s fur should start looking smooth and shiny. It’s unlikely that their hair will stay like this for long, but that’s why you should continue with brushing them at least once a week. If you keep up this schedule, their fur will become easier to groom, and less of it will cover your furniture.
You should not stray from the once a week rule for brushing your dog. Brush them too often, and their skin will dry out and produce dandruff; brush their fur too little, and the amount of shedding will significantly increase.
Types of Dog Brushes
- Slicker brush – A brush that has angled bristles. They are good for any type of dog fur and help with detangling
- Pin brush – These are for long, smooth dog hair
- Bristle brush – The best type of dog brush for short and wiry fur coats
- Shedding blade – Use one of these on short-haired dogs to remove loose fur and to reduce shedding
- Undercoat rake – Long bristles that are spaced out like a comb; they are for dogs with very thick coats
Another type of brush you can use is a FURminator, which is ideal for pups who constantly shed; although, you can use one on any type of dog. FURminator is technically a brand name, not a type of dog brush. There are many types of FURminators.
Best Dog Brush for Labs
The best dog brush for labs is one that can penetrate a dense coat. If you use the wrong type of dog brush, only the surface of their fur will brush out, and it is likely that the part of the fur closest to the skin will either the mat or become dirty quicker than usual. For the best results, the best dog brush for labs is a slicker brush, FURminator, or an undercoat rake.
The FURminator is the most popular. It is considered one of the top, highest quality brands of dog brushes. If you’re not sure which brush to get, you can always rely on a FURminator to get the job done correctly.
A high-quality brush will last longer and do a better job at brushing all the way through the fur than a cheap brush. Don’t allow yourself to settle on something that is below standard since it will most likely break quickly and have to be replaced.
Here are the best dog brushes for labs.
This slicker brush has a long flat surface so that you can brush through a large area of fur faster. One side of it has the curved or bent bristles, which is the exposed side in the image above; the opposite side has straight bristles. Use the curved side for detangling and the other side for dogs with longer hair or to give the dog’s hair some extra shine.
There is more than one type of FURminator. This type works wonders for a dog who constantly sheds. It doesn’t get down deep under the fur, but it pulls off anything loose on the top layer that would have otherwise fallen off in your house.
The Hertzko dog brush stays clean because of its retractable bristles. After brushing your dog, click the circle button that’s on top of the brush; the bristles retract themselves into the brush base, which allows you to pull off the loose fur in one clean sweep.
The Slicker Pro is very similar to the Hertzko dog brush that you just read about; both have a self-cleaning feature that is easy to function. Unless you have a personal preference on the looks of the dog brush, you may want to try the Hertzko dog brush since it has a higher rating on Amazon; although, it has only .2 higher star rating.
GoPets makes this great pet comb which can be used as either a de-matting brush, an undercoat comb or a de-shedding rake. It’s double-sided with one side that has teeth that are spread apart more than on the other side; this allows for both normal brushing and deeper detangling.
This dog brush has 2 sides as well. You can use it on a dog or a cat, but it works best for dogs, especially ones who have sensitive skin. It brushes out tangles easily while glides gently against along the skin, removing dandruff with minimal skin irritation.
FURminator’s grooming rake effectively breaks up mats in the fur and pulls out any clumps of dirt or dead skin. Use this on your lab if they like to roll around in the dirt a lot.
Best Dog Brush for Labs Overall
The FURminator is the best dog brush for labs. Buy both the grooming rake and the slicker brush. You can use the slicker brush for regular grooming, and then use the grooming rake for more serious grooming instances. In order to find out what brush works best for your lab’s hair; you may need to try out a couple of different types before choosing what to use regularly.
Fur maintenance requirements depend on your dog’s habits and whether or not they are outside often. Some labs don’t need constant brushing, but most of them are fairly active and require you to pay lots of attention to their hygiene.