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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Living with Labrador Dogs

1

Cute puppy!!!


Everyone gets excited upon seeing puppies and would love to bring one home. Taking care of a puppy or an adult dog is more than hugging its soft fur and playing fetch. A pet dog is a big responsibility.


My husband together with his mom and siblings had a few experiences in taking care of dogs. As for me having Roe and Ram is my first time. There are eight people in our household and everyone takes part in ensuring the dogs are comfortable.


Dogs of different breeds have different needs. Labrador Retrievers are considered a large breed hence their needs are also large.


Based on our experiences, I made a checklist on how you will know if you’re ready for a Lab.


Height: 21 to 24 inches


Weight: 55 to 75 pounds (some can grow to 100 pounds)


Temperament:

Labs are very playful and active. They are very easy to train. They love to get things using their mouth (they are retrievers after all). They will chew on anything even though they have chew toys. They will get your attention every time they want to play. They are very loyal and they love kids.


Living conditions:

Labs need space to walk and run around. A house with a yard or garage is perfect. An apartment will do, as long as you give your lab the 1-hour daily exercise it needs. Roe and Ram stays in the house from 6am until 9pm.


As puppies, their cage is located inside the house.


As adults, their 3 x 4-feet cage is located in front of our house (still inside our gated compound). They share the cage.


Exercise and Potty Training:

They need at least an hour of exercise and playtime daily. When on a leash, train your lab to stay beside you all the time, for him to see you as its leader.


Pee and poop are a tiresome duty when you have a puppy.

As puppies, we trained Roe and Ram to pee and poop outside the house, every morning upon waking up, after feeding (breakfast-lunch-dinner) and before they sleep. They sometimes pee and poop inside the house or their crate / cage until they are fully trained.


As adults, we continued taking them out after feeding. Sometimes they would bump their noses on our screen door to signal us that they need to pee or poop. They only pee and poop outside the house.


Bathing & Grooming:

We bathe our labs twice to thrice a week. Be sure to dry off their coats with a towel before using a hair blower or electric fan (as seen on pic above). Whenever they get their coat dirty (by rolling on the ground) we would wipe them with a wet towel. We only use anti-flea soap or shampoo on them 1x a week for maintenance and 2x a week if they are infected.


A Labrador’s coat is generally short-haired and does not need constant combing or brushing. We brush their coats whenever we have the extra time to pamper our pets. We found that brushing their coats after their daily exercise minimize their shedding in the house.


Food:

Follow the recommended serving of the puppy / dog food brand you will give to your puppy. We brought Roe and Ram home when they were both 3 months old. We gave them 1.5 cups - 3x a day. The serving size was gradually increased according to their needs. Now that Roe and Ram are adults they get 3.5 cups - 2x a day. There were times that we mixed canned dog food, liver spread, boiled ground beef, boiled potato & carrot peelings to their dry dog food.


The most affordable dog food can be bought in Handyman and Ace Hardware for Php720 per 15kgs. The most expensive dog food could go up to Php 700 per 3kgs. Find one that will suit your budget.


Sample feeding recommendation according to a high end dog food brand: Puppy / Adult


Treats are given during training or playtime. Once a week, we also buy beef bones (the ones used in bulalo) and boil them before giving them to Roe and Ram. Chewing bones are the easiest way for dogs to clean their teeth and prevent tartar.


Health Supplements:

Our vet advised us to give vitamins to our labs. As puppies, they received 1ml per day. As adults, they received 3ml per day. The vitamins we gave our labs are vitamin C or multivitamins syrup plus calcium tablets that can be bought from the generics pharmacy. There are vitamins intended for dogs, we gave it to Roe while she was pregnant and nursing.


Vaccines are also a must. Ask a veterinarian for a schedule. We can recommend our vet since she is very accommodating and does house visits on a very affordable rate.


Dogs are a man’s best friend. Like babies they cannot talk and tell you what they want or need. You need to learn to recognize their needs through their actions.


Similar to being a parent, there is no perfect dog owner. We can only do our best in ensuring that our pet dogs live a healthy and fun filled life with us.

Now you have an idea about the responsibilities of being a dog owner, are you ready to have one?


Or do you already have a pet dog? Please share your experiences by posting a comment or be my guest blogger by sending an email to magickalmuse30@gmail.com.



Blessed Be.
)O(

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