Keeping Your Pet Labrador In The Pink Of Health
The health condition of a Labrador depends on the love and attention it gets from its owner. A good diet, supplementation (if any), and vaccinations contribute to overall health and well-being.
Building blocks in the diet
A healthy Labrador is one that is fed with all of the life’s building blocks such as carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, fats, and amino acids. Having an overweight dog will surely reduce their lifespan.
Avoid giving food that is chiefly corn and wheat as well as those with too many preservatives. Closely examine if the store-bought dry feeds have enough protein or are just loaded with too many cereals. You can test this by soaking them in a container of water for about 10 to 20 minutes. If it turns out mushy, it is mostly corn and wheat. A labrador that’s not too active will thrive on the protein content of at least 21% but the more active ones will require higher amounts of protein in their diet.
Vets and labrador breeders highly recommend raw food diet such as raw meat on bones, fresh veggies, and offal, especially for active labradors. However, as this feeding option can be time-consuming, difficult to prepare and store, many dog owners rely on commercially-prepared food that’s also as healthy since they contain the right mix of nutrients.
When to use supplements
Supplements aren’t entirely good or bad but there are cases when your Labrador may need supplementation on top of an already healthy diet. Your vet might recommend it if your dog is diagnosed with a condition that will respond well to certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E for arthritis or zinc for dermatosis. Also, if your dog is on home-prepared meals, you will need to supplement this meal with vitamins and minerals. Lastly, if your dog has a poor appetite, he will need the boost of a supplement. It must be stressed, however, that nothing beats a very healthy diet.
Vaccination and prevention
Vaccinations are critical to your Labrador’s well-being. Follow the vaccination regime established by your veterinarian. While there are special protocols in certain areas, shots for all dog breeds are generally the same. Starting at age 7 weeks and every 3 weeks thereafter until the 16th week, Labrador pups should be administered with Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Distemper vaccines. Vets usually combine these in a single vaccination referred to as DHLP-P. Booster shots of the same vaccine are done yearly to keep them healthy.
On the other hand, rabies shots are administered by 4 to 6 months of age and yearly thereafter.
Rabies, parvovirus, and parainfluenza are diseases that can be life- threatening to both young and adult dogs. An established vaccine regimen is a key to ward off diseases.
Prevention has been proven to be worth more than a ton of cure. House pets, such as Labradors cannot express themselves well and it takes a lot of loving attention from you to recognize and provide those needs to maintain their health.