It is the most popular breed known in India. It is a fast maturing breed which has an average life span of 10-12 years. They were not only known as family companion but also known for tracking, hunting, watchdog, police work etc. It has soft flapped ears, thick tail and water resistant coat. The coat has short hairs and found in four coats i.e. black, yellow, chocolate and silver. This breed attains the height of 1foot 9inches – 2feet. The average weight of male lab is 30-35kg and that of female lab is 25-30kg. They need to be taken on long walks, jog or run daily. If exercise is not given properly they become lethargic or gain weight. This breed gives birth to 5-10 puppies.
Food amount or variety depends upon the age and breed of the dog. Small breeds require less amount of feed as compared to large breeds. Food in proper amount should be given otherwise the dog will become lethargic and obese. The balanced diet which contains of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and trace elements are required to the pet to keep it healthy and in good shape. The dogs required 6 essential elements such as fats, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, water and protein. Among with all of these it also required clean water all the time. The puppy needs 29% protein and the adult dogs need 18% protein in the diet. We can give all this essential elements by giving them high quality dry food. It requires 2.5-3 cups of high quality dry food per day, divided into two meals.
The feed which should not be given to the dog:
• Coffee: It is dangerous for the pets as it will causes caffeine poisoning. The symptoms of this disease are rapid breathing, restlessness, muscle tremors and heart palpitations.
• Ice cream: Just like in humans, many dogs don’t tolerate lactose and as a result it will cause diabetes.
• Chocolate: As chocolate contains high amount of theobromine which is an offending substance. It will causes excessive thirst, seizures, irregular heart beat and then sudden death.
• Alcohol: It will damage the liver and brain of the dog. It causes difficulty in breathing, coma and even death.
• Chewing gum: If the gum contains xylitol substance it will causes liver failure in dog.
• Onions: They harm the dogs by destroying the RBC’s of the dog.
• Avocado: It contains persin which upsets the stomach of the dog.
Care of Breed:-
Care while selecting a pup: Pup should be taken according to your need, purpose, hair coat, gender and size. Buy the pup which is 8-12 weeks old. At the time of buying check the eyes, gums, ears, tail and mouth. The eyes should be clear and bright, gums should be pink, tail should not be broken and there will be no signs of diarrhea.
Shelter: Provide well ventilated, clean and protected living environment to the dog. Shelter must be safe from excessive rainfall and winds and thunderstorms. In winters, the dogs are given blankets to protect them from cold weather and in summers, shade and cold place is required.
Water: Clean water should be available 24 hours to the dog. The utensils which are used to keep water must be cleaned thoroughly atleast twice in a day or more as per requirement.
Grooming: Grooming should be done twice in a week. It is better to do combing and brushing everyday. For short haired breed only brushing is required and for long haired breeds combing should be done first followed by brushing.
Bathing: Dogs should be given bath once in every 10-15 days. Medicated shampoos are recommended for bathing.
Care of pregnant dog: Proper care of pregnant dog is required to get healthy puppies. Vaccinations should be given at the proper interval before or at the time of pregnancy. The gestation period is approximately of 55-72 days. Proper diet, good atmosphere, exercises and proper checkup is required during gestation period.
Care of new born puppies: For few weeks of puppy’s life; their primary activities include giving good environment, feeding and developing good habits. Provide mother milk to the newborn pup for atleast 2 months and if the mother is died or in any case puppy gets separated from their mother then starter’s dog feed or powdered dog milk (mixed in water) is given to the puppy.
Dental care: Just like humans, dogs also need to visit vet for the checkup of teeth’s after every 6-12 months. Brush your dog’s teeth with soft brush and choose a paste which is fluoride free as fluoride is very poisonous to dogs.
Recommended vaccines: Regular vaccinations and deworming are required to avoid health problems in the pet.
• The primary vaccination of canine distemper, canine hepatitis, corona viral enteritis, canine parainfluenza, parvo virus infection, leptospirosis is given when the dog is 6 weeks old and then the secondary vaccination is given when the dog is between 2-3 weeks to 16 weeks old. And then the annual vaccination should be given.
• The primary vaccination for rabies disease is given when the dog is at 3 months of age, the secondary vaccination is given after 3 months of primary vaccination and then annual vaccination is given.
• Deworming dose should be given to prevent your pet from harmful parasites. After every 15 days dose is given to the puppy having an age 3 months or less, once in two months dose is given to the puppy having an age between 6-12 months and then dose is given after every 3 months to the dog having an age more than 1 year. The dose must vary according to the weight of the dog.
Diseases and Treatment:-
Cancer: The symptoms are bad breath, lethargy, rapid weight loss, sudden lameness, loss or decrease of appetite and difficulty in breathing or urinating. The cancer is much more common in older dogs. Mainly Boston terrier, Golden Retrievers and Boxers are the breeds which develop tumor and in Great Danes and Saint Bernard breed bone cancer is mainly found.
Treatment: Depending upon type and stage of cancer, treatment should be given. The treatment mainly includes chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and immunotherapy.
• Diabetes: This disease is mainly caused due to lack of insulin hormone or inadequate response of insulin. The symptoms are lethargy, vomiting, chronic skin infections, blindness, dehydration, weight loss and increased urination. Mainly it is seen that diabetes is caused in dogs having 6-9 years of age. In Poodles, keeshonds, Dachshunds, standard and miniature Schnauzers, Samoyeds and Australian terriers breeds in which this disease is mainly found. In golden retrievers and keeshonds breeds mainly Juvenile diabetes are found.
Treatment: Insulin injections are necessary for proper blood regulation.
Heartworm: The symptoms are bad breathing, vomiting, coughing, weight loss and fatigue. It is mainly transmit from animal to animal through mosquitoes.
Treatment: “Adulticides” name drug is given in dog’s muscle to treat heartworm disease.
Kennel cough: The symptoms are dry cough with a honking sound, fever and nasal discharge.
Treatment: An antimicrobial or cough suppressant is recommended to get relief from kennel cough.
Rabies: The symptoms of rabies are hypersensitivity, fever, loss of appetite, weakness, paralysis of jaw and throat muscle, sudden death etc.
Treatment: No treatment is there to cure rabies once it appears on the dog. The disease results in sudden death.
Parvovirus: The symptoms are loss of appetite, lethargy, sever vomiting, bloody and foul smelling diarrhea etc.
Treatment: Parvovirus vaccine is recommended to give 6-8 weeks old puppy and then as a booster is given at the age of 16-20weeks to prevent from parvovirus disease
Ringworm: The symptoms are lesions appear on the ear, paws, head and on forelimbs, etc. The ringworms are circular and patchy in shape. The puppies are more prone to this disease.
Treatment: Medicated shampoos or ointments are recommended to treat the ringworm.
Canine distemper: Pups having age of 3-6 months are more susceptible to this disease. They symptoms are vomiting, cough, diarrhea and pneumonia.
Treatment: Antibiotics such as Chloramphenicol or ampicillin or gentamicin for 5-7 days.
Prevention: First vaccination should be given when pup is 7-9 weeks old and then second vaccination is given when pup is 12-14 weeks old.
Leptospirosis: It is a bacterial disease which is caused by Leptospira canicola and Leptospira icterohaemorrhagica. The symptoms are rise in body temperature, vomiting and uremia.