Taking Care of Your Labrador Retriever: 3 Key Aspects for A Healthy and Happy Dog

There’s a reason why dogs are considered man's best friend, and Labradors have consistently ranked high up there if there’s a best friend index. 

Taking Care of Your Labrador Retriever: 3 Key Aspects for A Healthy and Happy Dog

There’s nothing that lights up a person’s heart more than coming back after a long day and seeing your dog welcoming you with a tail that’s wagging away. They are pure bundles of joy that love you with all their tail.

Considering the amount of happiness they bring us, it is our obligation as caretakers to ensure their needs are well met. 

In this article, we are going to look at some of the essential aspects that go into taking care of your pet. Whether you already have one or are thinking of getting a Labrador, this article will help make the life of your pet a healthier and happier one.

What Should You Know About Labradors?

Labrador Retrievers, more commonly called Labradors or even Labs for short, are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. 

Why is that, you ask? 

Well, they are known to be great family dogs because of their friendly and outgoing nature. Their trainability has made them popular not just among families but also across several fields, and you can find Labradors doing their jobs very dutifully as police dogs and therapy dogs. They even help in detecting drugs, contraband, and explosives.

These dogs originated in Canada and were bred with the specific purpose of helping fishermen retrieve fish and haul nets. 

From the way they still behave, those genes are strong to this day, and Labradors are best in their element when they feel that they are helping out and being productive. 

Vaccinations, Medicines, and Healthcare

Good healthcare for your Labrador should ideally begin right from the puppy stage. Ensure that the puppy has been allowed to spend a minimum of eight weeks with its mother. This is essential as Labrador moms teach proper socialization skills. 

In terms of shots, ensure that your puppy has had all the necessary vaccinations and booster shots for:

  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies
  • Canine Distemper
  • Bordetella
  • Hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine Influenza
  • Lyme Disease

As your puppy grows up, fix regular appointments with a trusted and reliable veterinarian. Regular checkups will allow you to catch any health issues early rather than waiting for symptoms to show up. 

While your vet probably sells them, you can also find pet medications online. This makes for a really convenient way of buying medicines. 

The popularity of buying medicines for pets online has been helpful to millions of pet owners during the COVID-19 lockdown. Such services allowed people to ensure that their pets received medication on time even when the world was grinding to a halt.

Buying medicines online also allows you to spend time viewing the different options available on the market, paired with detailed information. You can always make a note of a supplement or medicine and check with your vet for their advice. 

Some Common Labrador Health Issues 

Like with most breeds, Labradors are prone to certain health issues like obesity and Hip dysplasia, Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD), Ear Infections, and Eye disorders. 

Hip Dysplasia:

This is a condition that causes a malformation in the dog’s hips which can lead to arthritis and pain. Treatment options typically involve managing the dog's weight, restricting exercise, and sometimes, surgery. Labradors are sadly known for being susceptible to this condition.  


Labradors are energetic dogs and do have a tendency to overeat, which causes them to gain weight fast. Obesity is a common issue with labradors, and if you notice that your Labrador is starting to put on some pounds, you should immediately monitor their food intake. Once it starts to become an issue, it can be difficult to control.

Ear Infections:

If you’ve ever seen a Labrador, you know that their cute droopy ears are one of their cutest features. Unfortunately, this also has a downside because hygiene becomes difficult to maintain. While it is possible to clean their ears during a bath, you can hurt them if you aren’t careful. Consult your vet on the best way to care for their ears.

Eye Disorder:

This mainly occurs during the dog’s old age. Initial symptoms that you might notice are a sort of cloudiness in one eye or both. Your vet may prescribe some over-the-counter drops but there isn’t really any treatment for this as it’s simply a part of their aging process.  

Ensuring Proper Nutrition

Like humans, dogs also require a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise. Labradors are a large breed of dog and have specific nutritional needs. 

While some packed dry foods are fine, you don’t want your dog to live only on dry food, even if the packing says it has everything your dog needs. 

Think about how you would feel if you were told to eat the same food over and over with no variety 

Yeah. That’s pretty horrible.

If you are thinking of improving your dog’s diet and want to know what sort of meal options you can try, here are some ideas

  • Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish
  • Brown rice and oatmeal
  • Fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and apples
  • Homemade meals with the above ingredients
  • A high-quality dog food specifically formulated for large breeds

A diet that is appropriate for the pet's size, age, and activity level will ensure that they have enough energy, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent the common health issues that we covered above.

Exercise and Training

One of the most common areas overlooked by Labradors owners is exercise. Sadly people leave their dogs at home all day and only take the dog for a quick walk around the block.

Remember when we mentioned earlier that Labradors were bred to help fishermen?

These are still the same dogs. They haven’t really changed all that much in terms of their exercise requirements.

Try to give your Labrador a minimum of 20 minutes of vigorous exercise or 40 - 50 minutes of moderate exercise. Going for a nice long walk, playing tug of war, tag, and other games that get your dog running wildly is the perfect sort of exercise. 

Of course, consult with your vet before making sudden changes in activity, as too much exercise can be dangerous, especially if your Labrador suffers from any health issues or is getting a bit old in the tooth.

When dogs aren’t exercised well, you usually end up with a situation that ends up TikTok. 

You’ve probably seen those videos where the owner pans the camera to follow a trail of ripped-apart cushions and finally zooms into their dog’s guilty face.

People find those videos cute and funny, but it’s the perfect example of the sort of behavior that they engage in when trying to release excess energy.

Regular exercise helps pets maintain a healthy weight, promotes good muscle tone, and improves cardiovascular health. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety and can prevent behavioral problems.


Retrievers are known to be one of the most friendly and affectionate breeds of dogs, so be sure to give them plenty of love and attention. Your Labrador will be a loving and loyal companion for you and your family for many years to come.

Taking good care of a Labrador requires a commitment to providing a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper veterinary care.

In addition to these core principles, remember to take care of your labrador’s mental health. They are more intelligent than we give them credit for and deserve the best that we can give them in the 10-12 years that they spend with us.