The internet has way too many articles convincing you to get a cute little lab. I’m going to be straight up with you and give you 6 reasons why you SHOULDN’T get a Labrador.
You’re probably wondering what I have to say, read on, and you’ll find out soon enough. To be frank, there are a lot of reasons to not get a Labrador. They shed a lot, so much so they could be considered descendants of Chewbacca. They’re susceptible to genetic problems and require a lot of attention. Their needs and wants will probably get in the way, and that’s not even all of the reasons!
The list goes on, and you should read that list! Although A LOT of people would disagree with me, all I’m saying is that Labs are great but not for everyone.
Let me give you some reasons why you should be realistic about your decision rather than bombarding you with the world’s positive opinions.
Their one too many needs
These dogs have the activity level of a toddler with a constant sugar rush. Basically, they are really active dogs and require a lot of exercise. Being indoors too much can make them irritable. This can get in the way if you’re a homebody or don’t have time to go for a walk every day.
Moreover, they can’t be left alone for too long. For someone who works a lot and has to spend hours in the office, that is not ideal. The worst part is, if you do leave them alone for too long, you’ll come home to a trashed and scratched up apartment/house.
Other than exercise, you need to attend to them as well. They need lots of love and belly rubs. This is a great quality for people who live alone and need some company, but for families, a cat would better. Hyperactive kids and an energetic dog are not a good mix.
The amount of baths you’ll have to give them is insane. They can and will roll in anything slightly damp or sticky. Say goodbye to your white rugs and sofas!
Since they grow up rapidly, they’ll need more space to sleep or rest. This can be especially difficult if you live in an apartment.
Furthermore, you also may have to make some modifications to your home. If you have a lot of fancy and delicate furniture or decorations, you’ll have to rethink your whole décor.
Most people assume that these dogs are very family-friendly, and they are. But they aren’t really children-friendly. If you have toddlers, you will need to put more effort into raising them and handling them. Getting a dog at this stage just means more pressure on you. Your kids may try and reason with you, but you have to keep in mind that you’ll be the one picking up after the dog anyway.
The health issues, so many health issues
Not only is this painful for the dog, but it is also painful for the owner. Moreover, the vet bills will seem never-ending.
The demand for labs is very high as they’re friendly and usually considered suitable for families. Because of this demand, there is a multitude of breeders, and some do it for the money only, resulting in weak breeds of puppies.
This is mostly the reason for their susceptibility to genetic disorders. Of course, this can be avoided by purchasing a dog from a reputable and reliable breeder. But then again, that won’t be cheap and there’s no guarantee that your dog won’t develop these diseases. There’s a lot of risks involved.
The money and the wallet
As I mentioned before, reputable breeders are more expensive and can reach up to a thousand or more. The initial price of a dog is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of your dog-related expenses go to dog food, which will keep him healthy and running. If you thought these are all the reasons I had, you were wrong!
With modern medicine, anything that can be cured in humans can be cured in dogs. Then again, you can only avail these services through money. Veterinary insurance can help you out with things like these, but the more elaborate insurance packages are expensive.
Aside from that, you’ll need to vaccinate your lab as well, and some of these vaccines need to be given every year. And for their safety, you’ll need a playpen or dog car seats which yet again require money. Don’t forget the bedding, bowls, collar, leash, toys and… you get the point.
The bottom line is, you’ll need to do a lot of planning and a lot of money for these little investments that’ll surely pile up. If you’re in a tight spot regarding money, then it’s better to put off this decision till you’re financially stable enough. When your heart is set on getting a dog, no rational reason can stop you, but you also have to look at your budget.
Pros and cons of having a Labrador (Video)
Shedding and its dangers
Here’s the thing:
Shedding is a normal part of a dog’s life, but it can have harmful effects on you. Initially, it may not seem much, but it could get worse very rapidly.
Females generally shed heavily twice a year, according to their heat cycle. Neutered/spayed or not, all labs shed throughout the year. It isn’t just dog hair; there’s a thing called dander produced by dogs. It is a type of dead skin flakes that can lead to allergic reactions in humans. Microscopic dander can be found in a dog’s bodily fluids as well.
It all begins with a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and all those symptoms of allergies. Some people may be able to handle all this, but those with sensitive respiratory tracts can develop asthma from this. From someone who has asthma, let me tell you, it is NOT fun.
If you’re someone with a weak immune system or really sensitive to changes in your environment, then getting a dog would not be recommended at all.
Dangers of getting a dog…continued
Here’s the deal:
Dogs can carry a number of diseases. And if they’re not directly contracted through dogs, its usually because of them or their belongings.
This one isn’t directly contracted by a pup, but more so from their food. Some processed pet foods carry salmonella-causing bacteria, which can make you sick but is actually safe for a dog. You’ll have to spend just as much time on your lab’s meal as you’ll have to on your own.
Fleas are common in dogs, and so are ticks. Ticks are especially dangerous if they come in contact with you when you lean into pet your dog. This is because some ticks carry Lyme disease. And if you get infected, you’ll have to take antibiotics to get rid of them.
To prevent ticks and fleas, some collars contain pesticides. Now, this doesn’t seem like much of a problem except that pesticides can put you and your family in danger.
A few things about their nature
Some people think they’re dog people until they get one. That’s when they realize they were very wrong. This is why you should know some things about the nature of labs.
The noise they produce
Before a dog, you can have a sweet night’s sleep, but after one, you can’t even fathom about it. Most labs don’t bark a lot. Although if they’re stressed, frustrated, or suffering from separation anxiety, they won’t sleep or let you sleep. They will also bite your ears off if they don’t get enough attention. Attention-seekers much?
Just like toddlers, dogs will follow you everywhere. To the bathroom, kitchen, garden, anywhere! This can get a little annoying if you have errands to run and chores to do. but if you’re a patient person, this won’t bother you.
The Labrador retriever breed is one of the most common breeds to suffer from separation anxiety. We’ve already discussed how much time they need. And if they don’t get that, separation anxiety can cause them to act in bizarre ways.
Labradors physically grow up at a fast rate. Mentally? Not so much. They’re essentially big puppies. Not only does this mean you’ll have to deal with chewing problems, but you’ll have to keep them entertained at all times to avoid a tantrum.
These reasons may not have convinced you, but over time, they’ll pile up for sure, so make your decision wisely!
How do I stop a lab from shedding?
You can’t stop the shedding but you can reduce it through regular brushing. Most groomers can help you choose the best type of comb for your dog’s hair. Other than combs, there are many kinds of shampoos that can prevent shedding. Nowadays, many brands offer all-natural shampoos to avoid dry skin, as it can produce extra dander.
At what age do labs stop growing?
Labs stop growing completely during their second year, but the majority of growth occurs at the age of nine months. Most of the growth consists of height. Regarding weight, it continues to increase between one to four years old.
How often should you groom a Labrador?
Labradors should be brushed once or twice a week, and during shedding season, that should be increased to 4 times. As for bathing, it should be done twice a month to avoid dry skin.