Yes! Labrador Retrievers shed, but there are some helpful tips to reduce the amount of shedding. Let’s first talk a little bit about your Lab’s fur coat. A Labrador’s coat consists of two layers, an undercoat and outer coat. The undercoat is a soft, thick under-layer that insulates the Lab from variant temperature conditions. The outer coat is typically oily and coarse which is the reason Lab’s fur is extremely water resistant.
Labrador’s thick, dense coat is very water and dirt resistant; therefore bathing isn't necessary that often. You may find that rinsing them off with water will help, unless the dog smells bad. Too much shampoo can cause them to have dry skin and get itchy irritations. It can also strip the natural oils that repel water and dirt from their coat.
Did I mention that Labradors shed? They do; however, each dog sheds at various degrees depending on their coat type. Their coats shed off about twice a year but the weekly brushing helps out. Below are some helpful tips:
We recommend grooming your Lab at least 2-3 times per week using either a shed blade or a Zoom Groom. Both of these can be purchased at your local pet supply store.
Because of their thick, dense coat, Labs don’t need to be bathed often. Rinsing them off with water is best unless he/she smells bad.
Nutrition is extremely important. We recommend researching dog foods to find the best for your pet. Some examples are Blue Buffalo Wilderness (we feed our foster Labs this), Acana, Evo, Canidae, and Taste of Wild. A great resource is www.dogfoodadvisor.com!
We also recommend adding an oil supplement to your Lab’s diet, for example Salmon Oil. Salmon Oil is an Omega 3 fatty acid that promotes a healthy skin and coat as well as supports a healthy immune system. Plus Labs LOVE it!
Never, Ever, Ever Shave a Labrador!!
Yes, it gets pretty hot in Las Vegas, and you may think by shaving your dog it will help them when it is hot. This is far from being true! Earlier we talked about your Lab’s coat. The undercoat actually helps your Lab in warmer temperatures. It is like a built in cooling system.
Some people will tell you that if you shave your Lab he/she will shed less. The fur will be shorter, but he/she will not shed any less. Also it is possible that your Lab’s fur will not grow back to its original condition. The undercoat will regrow, but the outer coat may not, leaving your Lab with a patchy, scruffy appearance. Also the skin will be exposed to the sun’s damaging UV rays. Not only is it possible for your Lab to get a sunburn, but it could damage their skin, leading to poor fur regrowth, scaling, and dandruff.