Purchasing a Labrador Retriever is one of life’s best decisions. The breed is hard-working, gentle, and obedient, welcoming home with an exuberant greeting that would make any owner feel appreciated. But, with all the perfect qualities for your family, it might be overwhelming to know what you have to do after you bring them home. So here are some tips on how to care for this lovely pup!
If you are getting a new pet, buy a collar, leash, and tags for it.
When you get your new Lab, make sure you have these things. It is essential to get them right away so that you can put tags on your puppy and control its movement. This will reduce the risk of it getting lost and not getting back to you.
- Dog collars, tags, and leashes are available at all pet stores. They are also available online.
- Put your puppy’s name, your name, and your phone number on the tag. Put this information on the title.
Tip: Pick a collar that is the right size for your puppy now. If you get one that’s too big, it will be way too loose on the dog. You will need to buy a different one when it gets bigger.
You should set up a bed and a crate for your puppy.
When you bring your new puppy home, make sure that there is an area to sleep. It should have a comfy bed to sleep in. If you plan on crate training your Lab, put the bed in the bin, so the puppy gets used to it.
- Choose a spot where you want the bed or crate to be permanent. Your pup will get used to that spot, so make sure it is permanent.
- Choose a safe an out-of-the-way spot in the house where your puppy can stay. It is also essential to ensure that the room doesn’t feel lonely and cut off from everyone else. A corner of the living room would be a good choice.
Pick out toys that you think are fun and exciting.
To keep your puppy happy, you need to give it things to play with. Toys are perfect when you can’t be around. You want to get safe toys appropriate for your puppy’s age and size and that your puppy can’t swallow. There are different types of toys. Some might include:
- Chew toys
- Puzzle toys
- Squeaking toys
- Tugging toys
- Plush toys
You might need other things, so buy them.
When you get a puppy, they need to eat and drink. They also need a place to sleep. When they are little, you will have to change their diaper often. You should buy some supplies for this before you get the puppy home.
- A bowl for food and a dish for water.
- You need to use baby gates if you want to keep your puppy in one place.
- Poop bags
- Pee pads
- Grooming wipes
- A surface cleaner is a type of cleaner that removes pee and poop stains.
Buy the food your puppy is already eating.
When you bring a new dog home, it’s essential to keep feeding it the same food it ate at its old home. If you change what your dog eats all of a sudden, they may have an upset stomach or other digestive issues.
- Talk to the person from who you are getting your puppy. They will tell you what food they are giving it. If they don’t have any, they will give some to you if you want it too.
- If you can’t find food in the store, order it on the internet. But make sure to call it before you need it, because if your puppy comes home and there is no food, then they will be hungry!
You need to change the puppy’s food gradually.
If you want to feed your puppy new food, you will need to change the food over several days. Start by mixing about 25% of the fresh food with 75% of the old food. Feed that mix for a few days. Then switch it to 50/50 for 1-2 weeks before giving all new food.
- If you want to give your puppy the food it has initially been eating, it’s okay.
Tell your vet how much to feed your puppy.
Every dog has different nutrition needs. To find out what they need, talk to your vet. They can help you decide what food and how much the puppy should be eating every day.
- The right size of food depends on the size of your puppy and how quickly it needs to eat.
- You should ask your vet to show you how to body score your puppy. This will allow you to do a quick check of whether your pup is gaining or losing weight. You can then adjust their diet accordingly.
Tip: If your vet suggests a specific food for your puppy but doesn’t tell you how much to give, read the instructions on the packaging.
Give your puppy food many times each day.
Give your puppy 3 or 4 feedings per day. This is enough food for them, and their body can handle it without having too many more meals at once. It’s essential to do this when they’re younger because their system is still delicate and needs to take in a little bit at a time.
- Do not leave food out for your puppy to eat all day. Take the food away after your puppy has eaten for 10 or 15 minutes.
Give fresh water to your cat when it needs it.
Lab puppies should always have water because they need to drink it. Put out a water dish and dump it out, clean the container, and refill it daily.
- Some puppies make a mess when they drink water. To prevent a lot of confusion in your kitchen, put the water dish on a tray so that the spilled water won’t go on the floor.
Get your puppy trained to go outside right away.
When you bring your puppy home, teach the pup to go to the bathroom outside. Then, take it out regularly and get thirsty or hungry to know what to do when you aren’t around.
Take your puppy outside frequently. Let him go to the bathroom. If he does go when you’re out, give him lots of praise.
- As a rule of thumb, a puppy can hold its urine for the length of its age in months. So an 8-week-old puppy can have his bladder for 3 hours (plus one hour).
- When taking your puppy outside, always take it to the same place. Then it will know that this is the place it needs to go potty.
Tip: House-training is a process that takes time. If your puppy goes to the bathroom in the house, don’t get mad. Just clean up the mess and take it out more often.
Socialize your puppy right away.
Take your puppy to public places like parks, pet stores, and other areas where people are.
Once your puppy is vaccinated, you can also take it to places where other dogs are. Example: to a dog park.
- If you don’t do this, your puppy will be sad. If someone comes to visit, he’ll hide or bark at them. This can make the person feel bad and make your dog bite people or be aggressive.
Do basic obedience training.
When you bring a Lab puppy home, make sure to train it right away. For example, train the dog with treats when they do something you want them to do. This will help them learn and do things when you ask.
- For example, when you take your puppy on a walk, say “sit” any time it sits. Give them a treat when they do that. They will learn that the word is associated with the action, and if they do it when you ask for it, they will get a treat.
- Training a puppy is hard. You need to be committed and consistent. Before you start, make sure you know what it needs to learn and how to respond when you command. That way, if your plan changes, later on, the puppy won’t get confused.
Play with your puppy every day.
Lab puppies have a lot of energy. If they don’t use their power, they might get into trouble and chew up your things. To keep your Lab puppy healthy and to avoid having anything in your home chewed up, you should let them run around for at least one hour every day. This exercise can include walks, runs, or playing tug-o-war with them.
- You can break up this hour of activity into many sessions. For example, you can take your puppy for a walk in the morning and have a long play session in the evening.
- Puppies need a lot of exercises. If they don’t, they will get fat and be grumpy.
Tip: If your puppy looks tired, panting, or reluctant to continue with an activity, let the dog rest.
It is essential to spend time petting and snuggling with your puppy.
Labs are happiest when they are with people. They like to be petted and curled up in your lap. Labs also need some adventure time, so make sure you spend some time playing with them or on adventures.
- Puppies need attention and time alone. Dogs need to get used to being alone for a few hours every day, as well as getting love.
Teach your puppy tricks, such as fetch.
Pick things that will get your dog’s mind and body moving. For example, labs are good at playing fetch, but there are lots of other games he can do too. So try a bunch to see what you and he like to do the best.
- Some Labs like to catch a Frisbee or go through an obstacle course.
Have you taken your puppy to the vet?
When you bring a new puppy home, go to the vet. The vet will look the dog over and tell you if it needs any medical care. During the exam, they will test its blood and face and assess its physical condition. The vet will also make sure your dog has clear, shiny eyes that are free from discharge. They will also make sure that your dog’s coat is glossy, with little flaking skin.
- The vet may also play with your puppy to be sure it is alert and playful. A puppy that is not alert or playful may have a medical problem that makes it tired and uncomfortable.
- After your puppy’s first visit, take it to the vet every year, so it is healthy. The vet checks for diseases and other problems that might happen.
Ask your vet to check for illnesses that are common in Labs.
There are many conditions that Labs get. Make sure your vet knows about these problems when you bring your puppy in for regular checkups. These problems include hip dysplasia, heart disorders, muscle weakness, exercise-induced collapse (EIC), bloat, and eye conditions. If your dog gets one of these problems, it is essential to treat it quickly– before it becomes worse or starts hurting them too much.
- Vets check your puppy when it is young. They will make sure that the joints are good and the heart is healthy. They will also look for parasites and diseases.
- Some conditions, like bloat, can be avoided by taking care of your horse. Other requirements are genetic, and you cannot prevent them, like EIC.
Begin to get your immunizations and pest prevention as soon as possible.
There are a lot of illnesses that your puppy could get. A vet will give them shots when he is about 6-8 weeks old. These shots will be for distemper, measles, and parainfluenza. The vet will also provide daily medicine to apply to your puppy to prevent pests and parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and heartworms. You need to give your puppy more injections as he gets older.
- Your veterinarian will tell you when to give your puppy shots. It is essential to follow these shots so that your dog stays healthy.
Tip: Some shots for your puppy’s health, like the distemper shot, need more than one round. You should get it done, or you will not be protected against disease.
You need to keep your puppy’s teeth and gums healthy.
Start brushing your puppy’s teeth when it is a small puppy so that the dog will not think of it as something new and scary. This will help keep your dog’s mouth and gums healthy.
- Use a toothbrush and toothpaste that is made for dogs. You can get these from a pet store or buy them online.
Brush your pet dog’s coat at least once a week.
Brushing your puppy will make the fur clean and smooth. It’s time to bond with your puppy. Get some kind of brush or comb that is fine-toothed, and go over the whole body of the puppy.
- Brush your Labrador puppy often so it will be used to people touching it, and you can groom it. This will make the dog more personable and easier to groom in the future.
You need to have your puppy’s nails trimmed regularly.
Listen to your puppy’s feet on the floor. If you hear nails clicking on the floor, it is time for a trim. You can either cut your puppy’s nails yourself or have a professional groomer do them for you. Having trimmed nails will allow your dog to walk and run more efficiently.
- When you cut a dog’s nails, pay attention to the quick. The quick is where the blood flows through, and it is excruciating if you miss it. Cut off just the end of each nail.
- If you want to cut your puppy’s nails, make sure you have styptic powder on hand just in case there is any bleeding.
- Ideally, the puppy’s nails would wear down by walking on concrete or other hard surfaces. But this does not always happen.
Bath your puppy if it is filthy.
Lab puppies do not need a bath on a regular schedule. An exception is if your puppy is stinky or dirty. In that case, feel free to bathe them.
- You should use soap or shampoo that is made for puppies. It will have things in it that are good for the skin and fur of a puppy.
- Bathing your dog at a young age will help it get used to baths. This will make cleaning your dog as it gets bigger easier, too!
Tip: It can be hard to keep a puppy in the bath. Put a squeaky toy in the tub to keep your puppy entertained while it is being scrubbed.
If you have a Labrador Retriever, congratulations! You’ve just made one of the best decisions you could. But now what? Well, there are some things to do before and after your new pup arrives at their forever home. First off, make sure that they get plenty of love from both humans and other dogs as soon as possible. They need to know that they belong in this family! Next up is getting all those shots taken care of ASAP so that everyone stays healthy throughout life together. And lastly, take them for an introductory walk around the neighborhood; deserve it after such a long journey ahead with you on board! What else should we add to this list? Let us know below or share if you.