Whether you have a lifetime of experience raising Labradors or are planning to adopt your first furry friend, it is always helpful to have resources to turn to when struggling with anything from behavior issues and nutrition questions, to looking for helpful tips on training and appropriate exercises to help keep your pet healthy.
Over the years, I have researched and collected a number of resources to help guide me in the process of raising our Labradors. Below is a list I have complied to help make it easier for you to access these resources when in need for general answers:
Health and Nutrition
The American Kennel Club - The AKC is a great resource for all things dog related. Visit this link to access a number of articles related to your Labrador’s nutritional needs. If you have questions about their general health, you can visit this link to access articles covering a wide variety of topics for all canine life stages.
Dog Food Advisor - This is a great site to refer to when considering what to feed your canine friend. The organization has researched over 4,500 dog food products and offers unbiased reviews and ratings on each of them. You can also sign up to be alerted of any and all dog food product recalls.
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook. 4th Edition, 2007, written by Debra Eldredge, DVM, and Delbert G. Carlson, DVM. This is an excellent resource for general health conditions. While we always depend on our veterinarians for the care of our Labradors, we find that this to be an indispensable resource when caring for our Labradors.
Exercise and Training
The Labrador Site - We love this website as it is specific to raising and training the Labrador Retriever. There are hundreds of articles that cover everything from basic training tips to behavior modification. Also, you can find a number of product reviews on items such as dog beds, toys, grooming tools, and books. Definitely a site worth “bookmarking”.
Labrador Training HQ - An excellent resource for all things related to the Labrador Retriever, especially when it comes to training your Labrador.
Whole Dog Journal - Although not Labrador specific, this website has numerous articles covering topics related to training and behavior modification.
While there are a number of other resources available out there on the web, we have found these to be our most valuable source of information. Of course, having a good relationship with your veterinary office is extremely important, as they too are an excellent resource for all things related to the care of your furry companion.
Be Calm and Hug Your Labrador
As a professional dog breeder and trainer, I am regularly fielding through a numerous questions about how to keep pets healthy with the overwhelming increase of viruses and illnesses impacting the canine community. While the complexity of the issue is frightening, there are a few steps you can take at home in order to help keep your pet healthy during these challenging times:
Second to regular wellness exams, your pet’s diet is the most important step you can take to ensuring his health and well-being. Here at the farm, we feed all of our dogs Life’s Abundance All Life Stages Dog Food. We take a holistic approach to raising our Labrador Retrievers. One of the ways we do this is by ensuring that our dogs are getting the nutrition they need to live a happy and healthy life. This is why we have shied away from commercial pet food brands, preferring homegrown and reliable businesses that care about the product they are creating, and the beloved pets that are consuming it. Life’s Abundance All Life Stages Dog Food not only provides your dog with the essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for long term health, but also contains important pre and probiotics that aid in your dog’s overall GI health and digestion. These key ingredients, including several other needed vitamins, also support your dog’s overall immune system.
To learn more about the importance of canine diet and nutrition, check out our blog series on Dog Nutrition.
Even the very best brands in the canine dry kibble category fall short of providing all of the essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for canine well-being; therefore, at Ashling Place, we complement their diets with Life’s Abundance Wellness Supplement. What we like most about this supplement is that all of the nutrients are sourced from real foods such as chicken liver, cranberries, carrots, eggs, pineapples and several others.
Aching and stiff joints are just as much a part of life for aging dogs as it is for humans. To help provide support for overall joint and connective tissue health, we give our senior dogs Life’s Abundance Agility Formula. This supplement not only helps to maintain healthy joint cartilage and connective tissue, it also aids in the production of healthy synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints. It also features Glucosamine, MSM, sea mussels and hyaluronic acid.
It is our strong belief that overall canine health begins and ends in the GI tract, which is why we supplement our dogs’ diets with Nusentia’s Miracle Enzyme and Miracle Probiotic. Oftentimes, illnesses can be traced back to the imbalance of “good” vs. “bad” bacteria in the intestines. Usually referred to as "good bacteria", probiotics helps to support a healthy immune system and digestive system. Adding the Enzymes to the mix helps during the digestion of their processed food and helps to support a healthy environment in the digestive tract so that the probiotics can do their thing. This duo is especially helpful with pets who may be suffering from mild food intolerances and allergies.
Arming our pets with the proper nutrition, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, is an important step in helping them prevent and fight off illness. If you have any questions about these products, please don’t hesitate to contact us any time. Also, if you are interested in completing a complimentary wellness survey on your pet, please contact us by clicking here.
Choosing the right food for our pets is a serious decision. Because our pets eat the same food every day for their entire life, it is critical to understand whether or not the food we decide to feed them is providing them with the necessary nutrients and vitamins that they need for a long and healthy life. Furthermore, identifying potentially harmful ingredients is essential in preventing long-term illness and disease.
The first step in keeping informed about canine nutrition is to know where to find unbiased information. Fortunately, there are a few websites that you can refer to that provide a wealth of insight into dog nutrition, pet food recalls, and food ratings. Two invaluable sights are:
www.dogfoodadvisor.com - An informational sight that provides unbiased dog food evaluations and ratings, analysis of brand specific ingredients, and up-to-date dog food recalls. You can sign up for free to receive instant notification of all dog food recalls.
www.dogfoodproject.com - An informational sight that provides research based information on canine nutrition and how to read and understand the good, the bad and the ugly of dog food labels and ingredients. Furthermore, you can find current information on dog food recalls and class action lawsuits related to recalls.
There is not one perfect dog food out there; however, if you can determine the difference between the good and the not-so-good, you are one step closer to making one of the most important decisions on your dog’s health and well-being. Understanding the label is the fist step, but also being aware of the brand’s manufacturing methods, storage procedures, and shelf-life is just as critical. While the ingredients in one brand may look similar to another, how it is prepared and stored can mean the difference between a nutritious vs. non-nutritious food. The fist step in responsible pet ownership is taking responsibility for their health needs, which includes proper nutrition, so please, take the time to understand what’s in your pet’s food.
If you are interested in completing a free Canine Wellness Assessment, please contact me by clicking here to make your request.