Labrador Retrievers are very well known for being adorable, especially when we’re puppies! Taking care of a puppy can be a very rewarding experience, and will help you to form a strong bond with your growing dog. Even though us Labradors can sometimes become overly excited, we make up for it by being affectionate, playful and very loyal. As puppies, we will require constant care and attention, very similar to a small child. Though taking care of a puppy can be fun, it also requires a significant amount of time and responsibility!
Us Labrador Retrievers have a reputation for shedding, so it’s important to start grooming us as soon as possible! Regular
grooming will also help keep your puppy in good health, since it promotes good skin and hygiene. Grooming is also a great way to get your puppy used to human contact, and most puppies will love to be groomed! Try to use a soft grooming brush, since your puppy’s skin is still sensitive at this stage.
There are thousands of dog food formulas on the market, and choosing the right one for your puppy may seem like a huge task! Us Labradors will eat almost anything, so it’s important that you choose a puppy formula that allows us to get the maximum amount of nutrition. Try to purchase the highest quality premium dog food that you can comfortably afford, since most of these foods are extremely high in important digestible nutrients. It’s important to keep feeding your puppy a “Puppy food” formula dog food until they are at least one year of age. Most puppies will look like adult dogs at about 12 to 14 months of age, but they still may have the nutritional requirements of a puppy! This growing stage requires a lot of vitamins and minerals, so don’t forget to keep an eye on your puppy’s weight. Most dog food formulas have a feeding chart right on their packaging, or have feeding ratio information online. Try to weigh your puppy on a weekly basis, so that you can ensure that they are getting the proper amount of food. It’s also best to split your puppy’s food ration up into three meals, since this will be the easiest for them to digest.
A very important part of taking care of a Labrador Retriever puppy is to always keep an eye on our growing health! While we’re developing, it is possible for us to develop dangerous health conditions that can affect our growth. It’s important to take your puppy for regular veterinary check-ups, since this will also allow your veterinarian to screen for any potential problems. Most genetic problems that are native to the Labrador Retriever breed can be more effectively treated when caught at an early stage. Also, it’s very important to keep your puppy up-to-date on their vaccinations! There are many diseases that can cause serious health problems for your puppy, and many vaccinations are available to help prevent some of these diseases. Some veterinarians are also offering the optional service of inserting a microchip into your puppy. This can help you retrieve or identify your puppy if they become lost or stolen.
In your home, there are also several things that you can do to help your puppy enjoy good health. Be sure to provide sanitary, fresh water on a daily basis, changing the water as necessary (it’s recommended to give your puppy fresh water every day). Since your puppy’s immune system is still developing, it’s important to try to minimize the presence of possibly harmful germs in your household. Always wash your hands before and after interacting with your puppy, since this will lower the chance of any germ transfer. Also, it can be beneficial to keep your house thoroughly sanitized, though be sure that any cleaning products that you use are safe for animals.
This is perhaps the best (and most fun) part of owning a Labrador Retriever puppy! As puppies, we Labradors absolutely love to play, and will eagerly engage in all playtime activities. Playtime is also a wonderful time to bond with your puppy, and can help in establishing trust. Playing also helps your puppy to exercise, which is one of the huge requirements for growing puppies. Constant interaction with your puppy will help strengthen the bond between you and your dog, forming a foundation for many happy years ahead.
When we’re puppies, us Labradors never seem to run out of energy! Your Labrador puppy will require a significant amount of exercise each day, as this is important for proper development. If your puppy does not receive sufficient exercise, this may cause destructive behavior such as digging or chewing on household items. Most puppies will eagerly engage in any activity that involves exercise, and it can also be helpful to start leash-training your puppy at this time. At least one hour of intense interactive activities per day can help your puppy to get enough exercise, and also offers a great time to start bonding with your dog. Toys are also a very important part of playtime, so try to always have interesting new objects for your dog to interact with.
During our puppy stage, us Labradors are the most receptive to learning new things! This is because we are becoming accustomed to the world around us. The first, and perhaps most important part of training your puppy is potty training! This is one of the training methods that should be implemented as soon as you bring your puppy into your home, since this will make it much easier for your puppy to learn to go to the bathroom only outdoors. You can also start training your puppy in some of the basic training commands (such as “Come”, “Sit”, “Stay”). This is also the absolute best time to start socializing your puppy with other people and dogs, since they are still very curious about any new experiences.