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How Often Should You Bathe A Labrador? Your Lab Bathing Guide

As a Labrador parent, you’re probably aware that your fur baby’s skin needs a little extra special care. This guide will answer all of your Labrador bathing questions, such as what are the most gentle bathing techniques? What to use? And how often should you bathe a Labrador? 

There is no golden rule on how many times you should wash your dog. Luckily, Labradors have short coats, so they are less prone to knots, tangles and things building up in their fur.

However, it’s no secret that Labs love to play outdoors, hunt and swim. Therefore, if your dog is dirty, then a good bath is needed.

What Shampoo to Use On A Labrador?

A labrador retriever lying on a carpet

Can I use shampoo on my Labrador?

Washing your Labrador helps to minimize shedding, keeps their coat healthy, reduces allergies, decreases chances of infection and diminishes the spread of dirt and germs throughout your home! So, yes, you can use the right shampoo on a Labrador, when it is needed.

Can I use human shampoo on my Labrador?

Even if your human shampoo is ‘all natural’, ‘mild’ or for babies, they should still not be an option for a dog. A dog’s skin has a different pH balance than humans and therefore they require a tailored formula.

As well as having a totally different PH level to humans, a Labrador’s delicate skin requires an extremely gentle, sulphate free formula, to ensure no irritation is caused.

It is so important to use a safe and appropriate dog shampoo. Avoid cheap synthetic shampoos and watch out for pet shampoos that contain sulphates, parabens, phosphate, MEA or DEA as these can be harsh on your Lab’s skin and fur. You should also avoid shampoos that are intended for humans. These also contain chemicals that can be too harsh for a dog’s delicate skin. They are not designed for pets and tend to irritate them.

What is the best shampoo for Labradors?

Instead of human shampoo, always opt for gentle and naturally derived shampoos.

That’s why we have created our super sensitive 5-in-1 Shampoo! Specifically tailored to be extremely gentle on a dog’s delicate skin, this specially formulated shampoo features naturally derived oatmeal to help protect your Lab’s precious skin between washes. It gently cleans your mucky pup and eases out knots, without stripping away any natural oils.

This mild and gentle cleanser also features rejuvenating coconut oil, ensuring a baby-soft, supple coat after every wash. And although it contains no artificial fragrances, soothing coconut oil ensures your Labrador will be delicately scented with a subtle yet gorgeous tropical coconut scent.

Not only does our best-selling 5-in-1 Shampoo contain no artificial fragrances, our shampoos are also proudly sulphate-free. It is the ideal shampoo for those who prefer to take care of their dogs the safer, more natural way, whilst doing the world a huge favour. How? You may ask! And by the way, what is a sulphate?

What are sulphates?

Sulphates are a form of a polyatomic anion, which enable two or more immiscible liquids (liquids that don’t mix such as oil & water) to emulsify. Products containing sulphates including shampoos, face and body washes and house cleaning products produce a bubbly lather that leaves us with a squeaky-clean feeling. In other words, sulphates are cleansing agents.

Our 5-in-1 Shampoo gently and effectively cleanses your dog without any lather-inducing detergents, known as sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate and ammonium lauryl sulphate (SLS, SLES and ALS).

As a result of this, you may notice a lesser lather. Rest assured that this makes no difference to the cleaning action of our pawesome shampoo. If you (or your dog) are a fan of bubbles, simply add more water on top of the shampoo to encourage a lather.

Why sulphate free?

The popular use of sulphates provokes questions about sustainability. The compounds found in sulphates are produced from petroleum, which is a fossil fuel, a finite resource. Meaning it is more environmentally friendly to not use sulphates in our products. Sulphate products that get washed down the drain may also be toxic to aquatic animals.

Sulphates can have an impact on our dog’s skin and fur too. Sulphate shampoos strip the natural lipids off the skin breaking its natural water barrier. This exposes the underlying layers of skin to disease, causing bacteria that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get there. Also, chemicals from the shampoo or other products can then penetrate the top layers of your dog’s skin, potentially causing irritation and inflammation.

Sulphates not only strip fur of its natural lipids, they also wash away the natural anti-microbial peptides, proteins, and water-proofing oils. Without these health-preserving substances, a dog’s fur and skin is stripped of vital moisture, leaving it exposed to harmful microbes, allergens and environmental pollution and is vulnerable to damage, infection and illness.

How To Make A Labrador Smell Better?

A labrador lying on a sofa with it's tongue out

Can I use perfume on my Labrador?

No! As much as you may want to repel any musky or stinky smells, it is very important to use a product and scent that is intended for them.

You may think ‘why not just apply some regular perfume to my dog’s fur?’. Well, the alcohol content and high number of chemical compounds in a traditional perfume poses a huge risk to your pooch. These cosmetic products are highly likely to cause irritation, allergies, dryness and infections. So, never ever use perfume on your Labrador or any other pet.

Different scents can trigger different behaviors in dogs. A dog’s sense of smell is incredibly strong. So whilst you may love the subtle aroma that Chanel No5 leaves, your dog probably doesn’t.

How do I make my Labrador smell nice?

Introducing PET CARE Sciences Pet Scent Spritz! Whilst gentle enough for a dog’s sensitive nose, this time-saving-treat infuses an explosion of freshness to ensure a trail of allure follows your Labrador, regardless of the activities they may engage in!

But, this product does so much more than just smell good! The gentle ingredients are engineered to lock in moisture, tame frizz, de-tangle and add shine. The result? Fresh smelling, manageable fur with lustrous gloss from root to tip.

Ideal for refreshing your Lab between washes, Pet Scent Spritz allows you to comb through the coat with ease whilst adding a gorgeous glossy finish, without any greasy residue.

Our easy-to-spray, fine mist bottle design delivers instant freshness & ensures a gentle, fuss free application in no time. This quick drying, lightweight spray is enriched with natural fragrance oils, allowing you to gently eliminate foul odors & bask your dog’s fur in an invigoratingly fresh fragrance! (Choose from Apple Blossom or Bamboo & Mint).

When you don't have time to shampoo, a little mist of Pet Scent Spritz is all you need to replace any mounting grossness in your pup’s fur. Great for on the go, Pet Scent Spritz can be quickly misted onto wet or dry fur to deliver benefits in any dire times of need. For ultimate freshness, apply to fur after bathing with PET CARE Sciences 5-in-1 Shampoo.

How To Bathe A Labrador?

A trail of muddy paw prints on a carpet with a labrador sitting in the background

Now you have the right cleansing product for your pup, it’s time to learn your lab-bathing techniques!

Making it less scary- A lot of dogs find baths scary, especially if they’re young. It is important to use positive associations towards the bath and to speak to your dog in a calm and reassuring tone, before, during and after washing them. Be patient, give your pet plenty of praise and always award them afterwards with a tasty treat or some play. This way, they will begin to realize that having a bath isn’t too bad after all.

Expect to get messy!- Bathing a dog is inevitably messy. They shake, jump and splash about. You can’t really prevent these from happening, but you can protect your bathroom (and yourself) from your Labrador’s cheeky bath time-antics. Besides, what good is a bath when you can’t splash about? Be sure to wear some old clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty.

In addition to washing your dog, you may have to assist them in getting in and out of the bath too! Prepare the bathroom floor by laying down some towels. This will keep the floor clean and dry and will prevent anyone from slipping over and having injuries. Also, don’t forget to check that you have closed the bathroom door before beginning. Once out of the bath, dogs often attempt to escape the bathroom and run their wet paws throughout the house.

Bath water- Ensure your Lab’s bath water is lukewarm and always test it yourself beforehand. Fill up the bath so that a few inches of their legs are in water. This keeps your dog warm and allows their paws to have a nice soak too!

Brushing- If your Lab has longer hair, be sure to give them a brush before bathing them. Matted and tangled fur holds a lot more water, is more difficult to rinse and can be uncomfortable for the dog too.

Shampooing- Shampooing your pet requires a small amount of technique. Thoroughly massage the PET CARE Sciences 5-in-1 Shampoo into your dog’s coat and be sure to massage it in the direction of the hair growth. Going against the direction of hair growth may cause ingrown hairs to grow in the future. A dog’s ears, eyes and nose are very sensitive, so always be careful around the head. Also, watch out for any cuts or abrasions that your Lab may have, as shampoo may irritate these areas.

Rinsing- Shampoo can sometimes be stubborn to rinse out, so to guarantee it has properly been removed, always double rinse. We would recommend using a cup and scooping the water onto your dog. This is gentle, makes less noise (noise could make the experience scarier for them) and you are less likely to spray water across the room. It also allows you to control the direction of the water.

Drying- With a Labrador, gentle is always the best approach. Once you have rinsed your dog, use a towel to gently squeeze the fur and pull out as much water as possible. Your pet should be damp but not dripping wet.

Spritzing- Avoiding the eyes and ears, hold the Pet Scent Spritz bottle 8-10 inches away from your Lab & mist over the coat. Alternatively, mist Pet Scent Spritz onto your dog’s brush or your hands and brush through or massage into the coat to apply!

So, now you know how to care for your Labrador’s skin like a professional, leaving them clean and fresh and sporting a super soft, sweet-smelling coat. Who’s ready for some snuggles?!

Below are some Pinterest-friendly images... so you can pin them to your PET CARE Sciences board!

A blonde labrador puppy sitting on some grass. Text says: How Often Should You Bathe A Labrador?

 A blonde labrador puppy in the arms of it's owner. Owner is laughing. Text says: How Often Should You Bathe A Labrador?

A blonde labrador sitting in a bath surrounded by bubbles. Text says: How Often Should You Bathe A Labrador?


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