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Breed of the Week: Labrador

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Labradors are one of most popular dog breeds in the UK. They typically live between 10 to 12 years and make great family pets that are fun, loving, gentle and kind.


Key characteristics

  • Labradors are active animals and depending on the age of the dog require the correct levels of exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit
  • Powerful swimmers and have a short dense weather resistant coat
  • Sociable animals that are great with children and other dogs
  • Alongside their inquisitive nature, Labradors are obedient and intelligent and require training to channel their high levels of energy
  • If they do not receive the correct level of exercise, they may show signs of disobedient behaviour such as: increased barking, digging holes and chewing



When it comes to a Labrador’s diet, there are several factors that should be considered including, the size and weight of the dog, the type of food being given, and individual exercise levels required. If you’re thinking of adopting a Labrador or have recently just adopted one, we would recommend visiting your vets to understand their dietary needs or follow the manufacturers recommendations.

As with any dog, it’s also important to take note of how much your dog is eating to prevent obesity and potentially other health issues. If you’ve noticed that your dog’s weight has increased, we recommend you speak to your vet as obesity can cause serious health problems, just like it does with humans.


Grooming and general care

Labradors have weather resistant coats that consists of a topcoat and an undercoat. They tend to shed their fur, so be prepared to find dog hair around your home. Daily brushing of their coat is highly recommended to ensure they are well groomed. This breed only usually requires a bath every 2 months, but it depends where and when you are walking them. If they are rolling around in mud on their daily walkies, a bath may be required more often.

Nail trimming is important and depending on how much exercise your dog gets; will determine how regularly they require their nails to be cut. If you’re exercising your dog on hard and rough ground regularly, trimming their nails does not need to be as often. Check your dog’s nails often and if you’re unsure whether to cut them, always speak to your vet for advice.

It is advisable to brush your dog’s teeth a couple of times a week, if not daily, to prevent tartar build up and gum disease.



Just like us, our pets can become ill and unwell. It’s important to visit your vet at least once a year or more regularly if you are concerned about the health of your pet. These visits to the vet play an important part in helping to prevent health conditions. Below are a few conditions that Labradors can be susceptible to:

  • Ear infections. Check your pet’s ears regularly for redness and keep them clean with ear cleaner. This is recommended after a swim or a bath.
  • Hip or elbow dysplasia that can result in arthritis and immobility. It’s important to check their weight regularly to help minimise the risk of health any conditions.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which is the gradual process of retina deterioration.


What would your pets say if you didn’t cover them with pet insurance?

We understand being a pet parent can be tough, especially if your pet is unwell. It’s important to consider pet insurance even if you have a new dog or cat or puppy or kitten, as it can help provide peace of mind that your pet is covered if they go to the vet and get the treatment they need to get better.

How does pet insurance work?

There’s no NHS for pets. We understand your pets are part of the family and you want to make sure they are safe and well. Pet insurance can help to provide you as a pet owner with peace of mind knowing that if your pet becomes ill or is unwell, you’ll receive help paying for any unexpected veterinary treatment.

Get a quote for your cat or dog

By Melissa Pickburn

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