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Top 5 Best Puppy Products

Top 5 Best Puppy Products

Congratulations! You have just welcomed a new puppy into your life! Everything is new to you. You’re excited and nervous all at the same time and want to do what’s best for your precious pet. But with so many choices, how do you know what you really need? And which brands are worth buying? To make sure that your dog is cared for while you learn more about this extraordinary responsibility, I’ve put together my top 5 best puppy products. Every single item on this list has been tried and tested by myself and Lilly. Meaning you can stop searching and start enjoying your new puppy.

KONG Toys

puppy with a KONG toy

Have you heard about a dog toy called a KONG? If not, then you’re in for a treat, and so is your puppy. These fabulous toys are perfect for all ages, from puppy to extreme chewer. However, you must ensure you get the correct size and type for your new puppy. 

These wonderful toys can be stuffed with all types of yummy treats to help keep your puppies brain and tongue busy, which will help with the chewing! As your puppy grows, you can even freeze a KONG to make the fun last even longer!

Lilly has had various KONGs throughout her life, and we love them. However, as with any toy, they aren’t indestructible. You’ll need to pay close attention to your pups KONG and check for any damage, and if there is any, stop using it. 

You can find KONG products in most pet shops, and they should be able to help you find the correct size for your new puppy.

Red Dingo Collars

Red Dingo Dog Collar

I’m a massive fan of Red Dingo, and they have so many different collar styles that you are spoilt for choice! I have way too many collars for Lilly from Red Dingo, and they wash beautifully.

What I also love about Red Dingo is you can get complete sets that match; these include the collar, lead, harness and even the ID tag too! There aren’t many high-quality brands that offer such a range and with such excellent quality!

I also love their unique buckle bone closure, made from high-quality plastic that is great for me as I’m allergic to nickel. 

My go-to supplier for Red Dingo is Dapper Pets. The team there is accommodating, and I’ve always been super happy with their service.

Dog Crate

yellow labrador called lilly laying in a wire dog crate recovering from surgery, she is laying on a black fleecy futon dog bed and has a memory foam pillow too

To use or not to use a dog crate? It is often an area that divides dog owners. For me, I believe that every puppy should be crate trained. You don’t have to use it forever, but it can help you and your puppy.

Puppies are born in whelping pens, an area with walls to keep them safe. As they grow, they often still have some pen or sleeping area. It’s their space, and it should be a safe space where they can go to relax and sleep. 

Also, you should consider what happens if you go on holiday, or your puppy needs the vets? Kennels and Vets Kennels can be pretty scary for a dog that has never been in a crate. Having worked at a veterinary practice, you could tell the dogs that had been crate trained to those that hadn’t. Those that had would happily go into their kennel area and sleep, whereas those that had never been in a crate would often get distressed and cry the practice down. 

Having a crate will also give you peace of mind, as you know that your puppy can’t chew through cables, the sofa, the carpet, and so much more when you’re out. Trust me, if they can, they will, especially when they are teething!

If used correctly and with positive training, a crate really can be a fantastic aid in helping your puppy become an excellent companion. Lilly used her crate until she was 4 or 5 years old, we then took it down, and she sleeps on my bed now. However, due to her cruciate repair surgery, she had to be confined to a crate for seven weeks, only allowed out to eat, drink and go to the toilet. I can only imagine how distressing that would have been for her had she not been used to being in a crate.

When buying a crate, you’ll need to allow enough space for your puppy to stand up, turn around and move about a little. So I highly recommend buying a crate suitable for your puppy as a fully grown dog and not for their current size.

Please also remove your dog’s collar before they go into the crate!

Vet Bed

vet bed photo
photo credit Dennis Cornish provided by Pet Life.

I love vet bed. It’s a rug like dog bed that’s fantastic for puppies as it is easy to wash and dry, plus it’s not overly expensive! We have about five different vet bed designs, pretty much one for every room, and they are great for putting into the crate with your new puppy! Unfortunately, I regularly see new dog owners buying somewhat pricy beds for their new puppy. That’s great they are there to be spoilt rotten. However, it’s often the case that your new puppy will destroy that bed the second you’re out of sight! 

Keep your nice expensive bed for when you can watch your pup and stop them from destroying it. Use a vet bed instead; trust me, it’s much cheaper to replace, and if your puppy has an accident, it’s far easier to clean and dry than a big ole bed!

I highly recommend Pet Life vet beds, and it’s the brand I use.

Grooming Brushes and a Professional Dog Groomer

This one is super important, especially for your poodles, doodles, bichons and long-haired breeds. I’d also say you should get a brush for your short-haired breeds, too, as they will shed and need grooming just like the above breeds.

I highly recommend speaking with your local professional dog groomer for every dog as soon as your puppy has had their 2nd vaccine. I say this because a professional dog groomer will help keep your dogs coat in excellent condition. They can also advise on shampoos and brushes and keep an eye on your pup’s health as they grow too. 

Your dog groomer will notice things you may not and allow you to get help from a veterinary professional sooner if they see something concerning.

I put this in my top 5 best puppy products as there’s a whole host of products available for dog grooming. However, not all of them will be right for your puppy, and that’s where expert advice will be essential!

I highly recommend checking My Pet People for professional pet services such as dog walking, dog grooming and more!

Lilly sat on grooming table with Hownd shampoos to her left

Conclusion

I hope you found this blog post helpful and that your new adventure with your gorgeous new puppy is fantastic. If you liked this blog post, please consider sharing it with your friends.

Looking for something else to read? I suggest checking out the following blog posts:

Is Leucillin Antiseptic Skin Care a Must Have in an Emergency?

Is the Julius K9 IDC Powerharness the Best?

Is Leucillin Antiseptic Skin Care a Must Have in an Emergency?

Is Leucillin Antiseptic Skin Care a Must Have in an Emergency?

Some of you may have heard about Leucillin, but I expect that most people haven’t. So what is it? Well, Leucillin is an antiseptic solution available in a 50ml dropper form or sprays from 150ml up to 500ml.

I’ve had Leucillin in my first aid box for as long as I can remember, pulling it out to deal with scrapes, cuts and minor wounds on Lilly but also myself; with an excellent effect, I won’t post photos of my injury as well they aren’t very nice to see.

The Review

Leucillin display all sizes from smallest on the left to largest on right
©lillythelabrador.com

So what makes Leucilin so great? Well, that’s something we will look at in more detail. Leucilin was the very first Hypochlorous based health, and skincare spray launched in 2011. It is the most potent skin neutral pH, non-toxic antiseptic solution available anywhere.

It is specially formulated for your animal’s health and skincare and has proven anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal Technology. The spray contains the active ingredient Hypochlorous (HOCl); this is a naturally occurring chemical in the mammalian body produced by white blood cells.

Hypochlorous is one of the most effective and efficient biocides known to man. Whilst being safe, it is 300 times more effective than bleach and is almost instant in its effect, and unlike antibiotics, bacteria do not develop immunity to it.

That’s the scientific basis of Leucillin done, which is great but does it work? The simple answer is YES; it does. I’ve used it on some pretty nasty wounds on myself and Lilly, with fantastic success. I feel it is essential to say here that I am a qualified human and animal first aider and worked at a veterinary practice as an auxiliary nurse, so I’ve had a lot of wound management experience.

I recently used Leucillin Antiseptic Skincare to clean Lilly’s incision site after her Tibial Tuberosity Advancement surgery. Unfortunately, despite wearing a cone, Lilly managed to get around it and lick her incision open. She required daily cleaning, dressing and checks for infection for eight days! Leucillin is easy to use, you can spray it onto cotton wool or directly onto wounds to clean, and it doesn’t sting! Trust me; I’ve tried it on myself!

I honestly believe Leucillin helped reduce the infection risk for Lilly. Without it, cleaning would have been a bit more of a pain and having it in a handy spray bottle was helpful too! I have a fair few bottles stashed away as I love the stuff for humans, canines and equines, and I don’t think I’d ever stop using it.

Recently, tests were conducted looking at efficacy against Covid-19, and Leucillin was proven to be effective when used! You can read Leucillin official statement here. It is fascinating, and I think you should look at this in detail. It shouldn’t reduce your standard hygiene routines as advised by your local government.

Leucillin has a fantastic safety record and is competition safe for equines, as Leucillin contains no substances prohibited under the FEI, or Jockey Club banned chemicals for competition. You can read more about Leucillin on their website.

I wouldn’t be without Leucillin for human or animal first aid and use it in my groom room! This fantastic product is very cost-effective, at £4.99 to £14.99 for the largest size. I honestly believe everyone should have some!

Conclusion

Leucillin is, in my opinion, a must-have item in any first aid box! that is suitable for use on a wide range of animals. I can also say that Leucillin played a massive part in keeping my injury clean. I do recommend visiting the manufacturers’ website for further information.

If you love all things natural for your dog I recommend you take a look at our blog on Herbal Pet Supplies

If you enjoyed this review, then sign up to the newsletter for more top tips, product reviews and more! Also if this review has helped please share it with your friends!

Is the Tuffy’s Ultimate Bone really that tough? The results are in!

Is the Tuffy’s Ultimate Bone really that tough? The results are in!

Tuffy’s ultimate bone dog toy

If you have a dog that destroys toys in minutes, it can be a nightmare to find toys that last. Now I’ll be honest Lilly isn’t the destructive type now that she is older, however, when she was a pup, a cuddly toy didn’t stand a chance!
This is when I started looking for some truly tough toys. I was recommended the Tuffy range and after some research, I settled on the Tuffy Ultimate Bone.

About Tuffy

VIP Products have been designing and manufacturing high-quality pet products since 1999. They understood there was a need for stronger, tougher and safer dog toys. Enter Tuffy Toys, which are considered the strongest and toughest soft dog toy on the market!

In a hurry? Here’s what you need to know…

  • The Tuffy’s Ultimate Bone is rages 9 on the Tuffy Scale
  • It features 3 squeakers.
  • Available in multiple colors.
  • Both me and Lilly think it’s well worth buying!
  • Please note it isn’t indestructible, once damaged it shouldn’t be used! Safety first! 

The Tuffy Scale

Tuffy rating scale showing the Tuffy ultimate bone is rated 9 out of 10

©lillythelabrador.com

Many of the Tuffy toys come with a number attached to them, this number denotes the ‘toughness’ of the toy in question. The Tuffy Ultimate Bone is rated 9 out of 10 on the Tuffy scale. Which is one of the reasons I chose it.

The Ultimate Bone

New Tuffy ultimate bone

©lillythelabrador.com


I purchased our current version of the Ultimate Bone in May 2017, as you can see by the photos below, it’s been very well used!

** Lilly is no longer using this toy. Once damaged any toy should be removed from your dog’s possession.**

We purchased a replacement Ultimate Bone in October 2018, which we think is exceptional value for money and the replacement is still going!
Lilly loves to play tug and fetch with her Ultimate Bone on a daily basis, it really is one of her favourite toys.

As with any toy the Tuffy Ultimate Bone is not indestructible. It is your responsibility to ensure that the toy is removed from your dog’s possession should it become damaged.

Material Makeup

The Ultimate Bone is made up of 3 layers of material:
1. A layer of soft fleece on the outside
2. A layer of industrial grade luggage material on the inside
3. A layer of plastic coating on the inside

All these material layers are sewn together multiple times, there are 2 rows of cross stitching and 2 rows of linear stitching. The Ultimate Bone has an additional black trim helping to make a super strong toy!

If your dog loves squeakers then they’ll love the Ultimate Bone as it has three!

Care Guide

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that the Ultimate Bone is machine washable and it floats too!

I’ve not tested these two features as Lilly doesn’t take her Ultimate Bone outdoors.

Colors & Sizing

The Ultimate Bone comes in three colors:
– Red
– Blue
– Pink
The Ultimate Bone is available in one size only.

Pricing

I’ll be honest if you’re looking for cheap the Tuffy Ultimate Bone certainly isn’t at £13! However, if you consider how much you’re spending on ‘cheaper’ toys it’ll probably add up to far more.

Also if you take my example of the original purchase of May 2017 to October 2018 and divide the cost of £13 by 17 months you’ll end up with a cost of £0.76 a month!! That’s outstanding value for money in my opinion.

Overall Conclusion

The Tuffy Ultimate Bone certainly is a favourite and we do feel it is a tough toy. However, as we said previously it isn’t indestructible so please supervise your dog and frequently check the Ultimate Bone for damage.

We are impressed by the longevity of the Ultimate Bone and will certainly be looking at some of the other toys in the range.
Whilst the Tuffy Ultimate Bone isn’t the cheapest of toys we do feel it’s worth the price.

If you’d like to purchase a Tuffy’s Ultimate Bone I bought mine from the lovely folks at Dapper Pets in the UK but it can be purchased on Amazon.

Canine Cruciate Rupture: Our Story

Canine Cruciate Rupture: Our Story

Introduction

Canine Cruciate Rupture, it’s not the best thing to hear your vet say, admittedly it isn’t the worst either. Unfortunately, this type of injury usually requires surgical intervention by a specialist orthopaedic vet, especially in larger breeds.

I wanted to share the journey that we’ve been on from initial injury to diagnosis of canine cruciate rupture and recovery. All whilst there’s a global pandemic going on too!

However, before we get started, I thought I should give a bit of background. Lilly is a 7, soon to be eight years old Labrador (at the time of writing this). We love walking the local Welsh mountains when the weather allows, though Lilly’s never been much of a zoomies kind of dog, actually she’s pretty chilled. With that in mind, let’s get on with our canine cruciate rupture journey!

The Injury Day

lilly feeling sorry for herself injury day

July 6th 2020, Wales was coming out of a lengthy lockdown with dog walkers allowed to resume work. It was Lilly’s first day back out with her favourite dog walker, and she was just as excited as I was. Not because I wanted to get rid of her for a few hours, but more because she’d get to play with other dogs and have fun, something she hadn’t been able to do in lockdown.

Lilly’s dog walker collected her at about 1 pm, so I went to do some work. However, at 2:21 pm, I got a text from Lilly’s dog walker to say that Lilly seems to have hurt her back left leg. So I downed tools and went to meet them at the side door to our garden.

I spoke with the dog walker, who said she had checked for any apparent wounds but couldn’t see anything. She said that Lilly was off-lead, not doing anything particularly crazy when she let out a cry and wouldn’t put her paw down.

The dog walker was so upset, but honestly, she did nothing wrong and has been Lilly’s dog walker since 2013! Lilly managed to get out of the van with no problem, but she was muddy and needed a shower so, we had to carry her upstairs to get her clean. Unfortunately, she didn’t put the paw down, so the wash was speedy and only to get the mud off.

I didn’t rush to the vets as, having worked at a vet as a nurse, I knew some rest could help with muscle strains, etc. However, once Lilly was dry and asked to go to the toilet, I went with her. It wasn’t easy for her, and she needed support to steady her whilst she went to the bathroom. I lifted Lilly onto the grass part of our garden as it’s raised, but I recorded her walking once back on the flat.

I forwarded the video to a friend of mine that’s a vet because I was worried that this was something more than just a muscle strain. I didn’t just drive to the vets because they only saw emergency cases. Lilly wasn’t an immediate emergency.

My vet friend replied pretty quickly and suggested that I called to make an appointment, as it looked to her that Lilly had ruptured her canine cruciate ligament. I immediately called my vets (I used to work there) and explained what my vet friend had said (this vet had also worked with me at Lilly’s vets). The receptionist told me to take her the following day for someone to look at her.

Visiting the Vets

lilly on way home from vets

The next day (July 7th), we went to Lilly’s appointment, and she saw one of the vets I knew. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go in with her to the examination room, so I waited anxiously for the vet to come back. The vets face as she stepped out of the room told me that yup, my vet friend was right! Indeed she was, the vet agreed with our suspicions of a canine cruciate rupture and gave some pain relief. She also advised if there was no improvement in a few days that x-rays would be needed, which an orthopaedic vet would ideally do. Their orthopaedic vet was on annual leave, and so was the other local orthopaedic vet.

Once we were home, I reached out to a group of my vet friends, telling them that we were pretty sure it was a canine cruciate rupture asking if anyone could recommend an orthopaedic vet. One name came out more than once, and that was Dr Mark Owen of Ossicle, based at Rowe Referrals in Bristol (UK), who has vast experience in dealing with canine cruciate rupture and repair. So on the 8th, I requested a referral be made from my vets directly to Rowe.

The Referral

lilly feeling sorry for herself

By the afternoon of July 10th, we hadn’t heard back from the referral vets within the timescale given, so I phoned them. I spoke to a lovely receptionist and explained that Lilly hadn’t been weight bearing since Monday afternoon. I was concerned that the stresses put on the other canine cruciate ligament in her right leg would cause that one to rupture. The last thing I needed or wanted for Lilly was a double canine cruciate rupture!

The receptionist asked me to forward Lilly’s video of her moving around as the orthopaedic vet did have her notes from my vets, but it was his day off. She promised to forward the video directly to Dr Mark Owen.

I forwarded the email to them, and much to my surprise, I was getting a callback within the hour. The receptionist explained that the vet had seen the video and could see how uncomfortable Lilly was; she also explained that, unfortunately, The vet was fully booked for the coming week but that he wanted Lilly added to the cancellation list as a priority. We agreed that any day and time would be fine; this is because I own my own small business and could take Lilly there when they called. I did explain I’d need a little notice as we live a 2-hour drive away in good traffic, which they agreed to.

The following email included all the forms for completing a direct claim through Lilly’s insurance (PetPlan Covered for Life). I immediately completed and emailed back to ensure there’d be no delays should a cancellation come up. I also phoned PetPlan and pre-authorised Rowe so that they could talk to PetPlan without issue.

The weekend was a long one, and I felt so bad for Lilly, she was struggling, but there was nothing else I could do other than wait.

Along came Monday, and that afternoon my phone rang; Rowe said that there had been a cancellation on Wednesday, July 15th and asked if I would like to take Lilly; I jumped at it!

The Journey to Rowe

the journey to rowe

We had to set off very early by that, I mean 5:45 am, to ensure we’d reach Rowe before 8 am as requested on Monday. Thankfully my dad was coming with us. Lilly wondered why there was no breakfast that day but also knew something was up as I’d packed some food for her.

The journey up was pretty uneventful; Lilly couldn’t get in and out of her crate too easy in the car, so we opted for her zippy bed. Not ideal, but I needed her to be comfortable and not to injure herself further, especially as we’d need to help her get out of the car.

We arrived at around 7:45 am, so I waited until 8 am to call and let them know we had arrived. We went through most of the information in the car due to Covid restrictions meaning we couldn’t go in. One of the nurses came out to collect Lilly, and I signed the paperwork agreeing that if Dr Mark Owen’s investigations did indeed confirm that it was a canine cruciate rupture, that he could go ahead and complete the TTA surgery to repair the damage.

Before anything happened surgery wise, The nurse told me that Dr Owen would call to discuss his findings. Lilly was a little weary as I’ve pretty much always been with her, especially for her last surgery as I worked at the vet’s. This time I’d be 58 miles away in Wales whilst Lilly would be in England; however, she went with the nurse without much fuss other than a glance back.

The drive back was strange, really strange. I hated that I wasn’t there with Lilly, and when we got home, the house’s emptiness was just odd. We’d only been back around 30 minutes when the phone rang at around midday. Dr Mark Owen confirmed it was indeed a canine cruciate rupture and that he would complete the operation that afternoon. We spoke for a little while, and because of my background and my knowledge of osteology, it helped. Dr Owen explained that usually, when a dog has one canine cruciate rupture, the other canine cruciate breaks, too, though the timescale is unknown. It could happen at any time! Dr Owen said he would call once the operation was complete and Lilly was completely awake, I thanked him, and that was that.

It was around 6 pm when the phone went again, and it was Dr Mark Owen saying that everything had gone well and that Lilly’s meniscus was intact! That was fantastic news; he also said that Lilly was awake and had already had something to eat. Another sigh of relief, The nurse also told me that I could call later that night for another update if I wanted to. I again thanked him and bid him goodnight.

Before going to bed, I wanted to check on Lilly, so I called Rowe and spoke to the night staff, who let me know that Lilly was doing just fine. She left her cone alone and had been out to the toilet without issue and was using her leg! I was so surprised, it had only been a few hours since her operation, and she was already putting the paw down and using the leg!! It put my mind at ease, and the nurse said that the vet would call again in the morning with an update before the day team took over.

Day 1 Post Op

emma and lilly in car

8 am, the phone rang; it was the on-duty vet calling with an update just as the nurse had said the night before. The vet said that Lilly had a comfortable night, was doing great, eating and drinking as well as toileting and would be discharged later that day once Dr Mark Owen had seen her too. They set the time for 1 pm, and I was so relieved to have a set time to get my gorgeous girl!

My dad and I set off to get Lilly and arrived shortly before 1 pm; I phoned in and let them know we were there and paid the insurance excess and admin fee for the direct insurance claim. Unfortunately, a few emergencies were going into the vets, and we had to wait much longer to get Lilly, but that’s ok; I’ve been the other side.

They dealt with emergencies and then irate customers because their appointment was delayed or they had to wait. 2 pm came, and no sign of Lilly, so I called just in case there was an issue with Lilly not wanting to leave her kennel. The receptionist apologised and promised a nurse would call me back within 5 minutes, which they did.

The discharge information was discussed and the date set for seven weeks for Lilly to return for a check-up and x-rays to check bone healing and alignment. Within 20 minutes of the call, Lilly was bounding out to us, tail wagging and bright-eyed on all four legs! I lifted her into the car and secured her in place, which was interesting because the cone she had was pretty big!

The ride home was not great, Lilly doesn’t travel well after the anaesthetic, and she was sick a couple of times. I was so glad to have her home, and we’d put down a lot of mats and rugs over the laminate as the nurse told us that Lilly should not be allowed to slip. As Lilly was crate trained as a puppy, she was instantly calm and relaxed and indeed did go off to sleep.

The first night at home was not fun, the anaesthesia was still wearing off, and Lilly whined for most of the night. It meant that I didn’t sleep much at all, nor did Lilly.

To Be Continued

Wow, this post has gotten pretty long. I will split it into a series. Our canine cruciate rupture journey is also quite long, and if I’m honest, trying to cram it into one blog post would have you reading for hours! If you’d like to follow our journey, please sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news and blog releases.

You can also find my must-have items for your dog’s recovery from canine cruciate ligament surgery here.

Find out more information about Canine Cruciate Rupture in Dogs here

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Top Tips for Grooming Your Labrador

Top Tips for Grooming Your Labrador

As a Labrador owner myself, I know there is a lot of conflicting advice regarding grooming your Labrador. So I wanted to be able to use my experience and knowledge to help other owners. Grooming is a massive part of any dog’s life, so it’s important we get it right from the start.

My Background

I started off my career working with animals at a Veterinary Practice as an Auxiliary Nurse and Supervisor. I’ve seen everything from Parvovirus to a cut pad and assisted in caring for some very poorly pets.

In the summer of 2017, I decided I would like to pursue further training in dog grooming and I attended Classic Canine Cuts. Classic Canine Cuts was the first dog grooming salon and training school in Wales. They also have three level 3 diploma City and Guilds Groomers. My training was full-time for 6 weeks, where I was professionally trained to groom many breeds of dogs.

I use the equipment discussed here on both my own dog and for my clients. Due to this, I feel I am able to correctly advise you about caring for your Labradors coat.

What we’ll cover

Now let us get started, I am going to discuss the following areas in order to help both new owners and more experienced owners. As such we will cover the following areas:

  • The Labradors Coat Type
  • Grooming Frequency
  • What brushes do I need?
  • What can a groomer do that I can’t do at home?

The Labrador Coat Type

It is important to understand that the Labrador is first and foremost a short coated dog. As such their coat lies close to the body but can be quite dense.

For groomers, coat types are categorised via breed groupings according to the kennel club and then their coat type. Under this system, the Labrador is in the Gundog category. They are a double coated breed that consists of a dense, soft undercoat concealed by a longer topcoat known as GdDc.

Grooming your Labrador: The Requirements

A Labradors coat doesn’t need to be trimmed, instead, they require grooming that removed the dead undercoat. Shedding is often year round, however, is often worse in Spring and Autumn. When the coat changes most drastically from winter coat to summer and vice versa.

If you consider this process a little more, you can understand the reasons why in the summer, dogs struggle with the heat. If your Labrador is unable to completely remove the dead and much thicker undercoat before the summer.

They will have, a thinner summer undercoat plus the layer of thicker dead undercoat plus the top coat on top of that……… quite frankly I think we would all suffer from the equivalent of 3 layers in the summer heat!

Grooming Your Labrador: Frequency

Lilly sat on grooming table with Hownd shampoos to her left
©lillythelabrador.com

Ideally, your Labrador would benefit visiting a professional groomer every 12 weeks. However, you can brush at home in between these sessions no problem. I personally brush Lilly (my Labrador), once a week, which I feel is more than enough. However, you should be able to continue grooming your Labrador in between visits by using some of the information found here.

Grooming Your Labrador: Brushes

In all honesty, I believe you need only one brush to maintain your Labradors coat between grooms. So what is the name of this brush and why is it so good?

I use the KONG Zoom Groom, it is a rubber brush with cone-like rubber “bristles”  that massage the dog as you brush. I sell these to many of my Labrador owners as they really are the best brush in my opinion for a Labrador.

KONG Zoom Groom
©lillythelabrador.com

Being that this brush is rubber and has no sharp edges it can be used regularly.  I personally find that you get the best results if used in a circular, anti-clockwise motion.

You can use this brush to shampoo too by placing your shampoo onto the KONG Zoom Groom and brush in the bath. If I’m honest I’ve never needed to do this with a Labrador, but that doesn’t mean you can’t if you feel it helps.
Order your KONG Zoom Groom on Amazon

KONG Zoom Groom Top View Pink
©lillythelabrador.com
KONG Zoom Groom Bottom View Pink
©lillythelabrador.com

The FURminator

FURminator top view Orange short coat version
©lillythelabrador.com
FURminator Range Short Coat Version Bottom View
©lillythelabrador.com

What about the FURminator? It can be a good tool however it can damage the coat over time. You will hear of many owners raving about how good it is, however, my fear is how do they know if they are damaging their coat?

Without knowledge of how a dogs coat grows and what each layer does. What a damaged hair shaft vs a healthy hair shaft looks like how can you know?

The FURminator cuts the guard hairs over time. These hairs take quite some time to regrow much longer than the undercoat does so please consider this.  During high shedding periods, I highly recommend you visit your local professional dog groomer. They understand the entire process of hair growth, health and so forth.

They will be able to use the correct tools at the right time and avoid any unnecessary damage to your dogs’ beautiful coat! However, if you want to try the FURminator then I would recommend using the FURminator no more than once a month. Then I would also recommend a check with your professional dog groomer, so they can check for any damage.

If you’d like to try the FURminator then you can order the short coat version pictured above on Amazon.

Grooming Your Labrador: Shampoo

Herbal Pet Supplies Bless You Shampoo Bottle in Fresh Mint
©lillythelabrador.com

Please also consider the shampoo you use. Don’t use human shampoos as they are meant for our skin, which has a different pH to that of your dog. I personally use Hownd, shampoos and colognes but I also use Herbal Pet Supplies Shampoo. They are cruelty-free and use no chemicals at all.

Buy Hownd Shampoo on Amazon

What can a groomer do that I can’t do at home?

First of all your dog groomer is a professional, they understand the process of hair growth etc. I personally have a hydrobath that penetrates even the thickest of coats, ensuring the shampoo reaches the skin. They also have a high-velocity drier that really does shift that dead undercoat. Something that is difficult to do with towels alone.

Labradors are energetic, happy dogs that unless introduced to grooming from an early age they can be difficult to groom at home.  A professional groomer will have support aids to be able to help keep your dog safe during the process. Over time your Labrador will become used to the process and will look forward to a visit to the groomer!

The Mess

The other thing to consider is the mess that comes from a really good deshedding session. We’ve all complained about the amount of fur that comes out of our Labradors. So why not let your dog groomer handle the mess and save your hoover!

The amount of dead coat removed is significantly less on a Labrador that is regularly brushed and has 12 weekly appointments with a professional dog groomer!

Please consider speaking with your local dog groomer, let them guide you and even show you how they achieve the results they do. I’m sure they’ll have some top tips for grooming your Labrador.

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