How To Care for a Labradoodle

A cross between labrador retrievers and poodles, labradoodles are known for their sweet dispositions and their intelligence. They take very well to training and, much to the delight of labradoodle owners, don't have shedding coats. With the proper care and attention, it doesn't take much to keep your labradoodle a happy, healthy, and often hypoallergenic dog.

Shelters are overflowing with labradoodles, so the first step you should take is to spay or neuter your dog. People love the idea of a so-called "designer dog" but often can't take care of one. Getting your pet spayed or neutered will prevent the overbreeding that leads to short-sighted owners dropping yet another dog off at an already overflowing shelter. Spaying and neutering has health and behavioral benefits as well; completing this operation can prevent health and behavioral problems in your dog, including: breast and testicular cancer, urinary infections, prostate issues, and aggression.

As with any dog, you will need to get him vaccinated and give him the proper flea/tick and heartworm preventatives. Give your pet regular home checkups, making sure you check his eyes, ears and skin. These dogs are prone to catch infections due to their big floppy ears. Keeping the ears clean will prevent pricey vet bills down the line. Keeping your labradoodle's teeth clean will also keep him happy. Taking him to the vet to have the teeth cleaned and scaled every 6 months or at least annually will keep his teeth nice and pearly white. If you brush the labradoodle's teeth in between visits, this will keep the vet's job nice and easy and making your dog's kisses smell a little bit better.

These dogs do have problems with hip dysplasia. Even though you can't always prevent it, strengthening the hip muscles does reduce the risk. Give your labradoodle two 20-minute walks a day; just don't push the dog if he looks like he's in pain. Due to the labrador genes, labradoodles love water and swimming. Swimming is a perfect low-impact way to exercise your labradoodle.

Bathe your labradoodle every couple of months. If you do it more often you will strip his coat of its natural oils. Brushing the labradoodle every week or so will help distribute these oils all over the coat and will keep the hair nice, healthy, and shining. Trimming the hair around the eyes and chin round out the grooming duties for the labradoodle, and keeping his nails trimmed to a comfortable length will not only keep the dog healthy, but will keep everyone happy.


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