Black Labrador all wet and looking very happy but shedding hair.

There are many amazing qualities that people love about Labrador Retrievers, but one of the things that people may not love is the fact that they shed so much fur on a regular basis. 

So how do you deal with Labrador shedding and not lose your mind? And can you stop a Lab from shedding in the first place?

You can’t completely stop the shedding process, as it’s part of the breed’s inherited traits. However, there are definitely a few simple steps you can take to make it less of a problem and not cause you as much frustration.

Do Labradors shed? They most definitely do! Those beautiful, fluffy double coats that make them such good performers in the water can shed tremendously, and leave more than a little bit of a mess in your nice, clean home.

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Read on if you’re thinking of getting a Labrador, or if you already have a Labrador and you’re overwhelmed with trying to minimize the mess of beautiful fur they might be leaving behind in your home.

Labrador Shedding: Reduce It With 3 Easy Tips

Labs can be hairy, glossy, super-shedders. If you’ve been around a Labrador very often, you’re already aware that they shed what seems to be an extraordinary amount of hair.

Below we’re going to show you three easy, everyday things you can do to help control Labrador shedding in your house and make life a lot more enjoyable with your wonderful dog.

Get Your Dog on An Excellent Quality Food

The first step in solving the issue of how to deal with Labrador shedding in your home is to start at the foundation of health and wellness for your dog, and that means getting them on a good quality food.

If you’re new to dog ownership, or the Labrador world, you might not realize yet that having your dog on a really good quality food will definitely affect the quality of their coat. 

We’ve personally witnessed this firsthand, after having our Labradors over the years on many different kinds of food. A good quality dog food will increase the thickness, richness, and texture of a dog’s coat.

The wrong type of food, or a food that’s lower quality, will cause dry, flaky skin and more hair loss. You won’t want this, we promise!

For more information on what to look for in a good quality food, see our article on How to Choose the Best Food for Your Dog. And if you’re overwhelmed by choices and don’t know what to do, you can always ask your veterinarian for guidance.

Dog paws sitting by food bowl, how to find best food for dogs.

Along these lines, it’s a good idea to have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian to make sure they don’t have any skin conditions that could be causing excessive shedding. These could be conditions such as allergies or mange, which can definitely cause skin problems and hair loss.

Now that we’ve established that a good food is critical for the overall health, as well as skin health, of your dog, let’s move to another step you can take to deal with Labrador shedding in your home.

Choose the Right Tools: The Furminator

After you know your dog is on a good quality food, and have ruled out any skin conditions that might have been contributing to the problem, the next step is to arm yourself with the right tools to safely remove excess hair from your dog.

While Labradors don’t need a lot of grooming, they do tend to “blow out” their coats twice a year, in spring and fall. Especially during those times, you might notice excessive shedding and additional accumulations of hair around your house.

The best tactic here is to get the right brush to deal with shedding, all year round, and especially at those times of excessive Labrador shedding. While you can’t stop a Lab from shedding completely, this tool is going to cut down on the amount you’ll see around your home.

Our favorite tool for helping to cut down on hair loss and excessive shedding is to brush your dog with a tool called the Furminator. Oh, how we love this thing… it’s awesome!

Photo of yellow Furminator dog brush which is one of the best ways to deal with Labrador shedding.

The Furminator resembles a little combination of a dog brush and a rake.

We love the Furminator and have used it for nearly 20 years since it originally came out and was a new product. It’s a great tool that, when used lightly and correctly to brush your dog, can really cut down on the amount of dog hair you find all throughout your house.

Be careful when first using it because your dog may take a little bit of time to acclimate themselves to it.

The Furminator tool for dogs works by removing much of the excess fur in the undercoat of the Labrador, while still leaving the beautiful topcoat. It will dramatically reduce the amount of Lab shedding you see around your home within the first few weeks of using it.

It’s important not to overdo it when using the Furminator or any other type of brush to help Labrador shedding problems.

Start gently and use light strokes following from the head to the tail, while being very careful around any delicate areas.

Avoid sensitive areas like the ears, the face, the tummy, and the paws.

We recommend you brush your dog outside or in your garage because there will likely be a ton of hair coming off your pup the first few times you use it!

We find that we only need to use the Furminator on our Labs at max once a week during the high-shedding periods of the year (usually spring/fall). Typically, we really only need to use it monthly.

We also usually only have to use it on their areas prone to the most shedding, which for our Labs is only down their backs.

Make sure you don’t overdo it, especially the first few times, as your dog is getting accustomed to being brushed with a new tool. You also don’t want to take off too much excess hair at first!

We find it’s helpful to use it right before Labrador bath time to get rid of excess hair and prevent less of a mess to clean up during and after bathing.

The Furminator comes in several sizes, suited to the size of your dog and the length of their coat. We find that the large size Furminator for short-haired dogs works well for Labrador Retrievers of 60+ lbs.

There’s also a large size Furminator for longer-haired dogs, which may work well for you if you have a Goldador (a Golden Retriever-Lab mix) or other Lab with a longer, more fluffy coat!

You might be really surprised how much hair you’re able to get off your dog, even if you’ve been using a dog brush already. You can find the amazing yellow Furminator here on Amazon. We’ve also seen them sold at veterinarian’s offices, but we’ve found Amazon usually has a far cheaper price.

It’s definitely the easiest and best dog brush we’ve ever used and has been a game-changer for us. We wouldn’t be able to live without it, especially with multiple Labs in the house.

Now that we’ve tackled the importance of good nutrition and having the right tools to help, let’s move on to another key strategy to deal with Labrador shedding.

Get the Right Vacuum & Make It Work For You

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people do not have an adequate vacuum cleaner that can handle a household with pets.

You need one that can really hold up to handling excessive amounts of dog hair, and if you’re noticing a lot of Lab hair around your home, the one you’re using might not actually be doing as good of a job as you think it is.

Getting the right vacuum cleaner can make your life a lot easier. We don’t recommend necessarily getting the most expensive one either. Here are some suggestions based on our own purchases and experience with what works and what doesn’t:

Upright Vacuums

In our experience with many years of Labrador ownership and a ton of pet hair, the best we’ve ever used is the Shark Navigator Pet. For us it’s been a powerhouse of sucking up pet hair for years without clogging or needing tons of maintenance. We give it a quick clean once year and it’s good to go!

The Shark is so awesome that we got rid of our other more expensive vacuum and have only used the Shark for the last five years!

Another popular option for pet lovers that’s highly recommended is the Dyson Animal. This one’s available as both a fun cordless model, found here, and a regular corded model, which you can check out here.

Both Dyson’s are catchy and colorful, and have garnered a lot of press and somewhat of a cult-following, especially in the pet world. While vacuuming might never become your favorite task, it can become a lot easier and faster when you have the right equipment working for you.

When you have a heavy-duty vacuum that can really withstand pet hair, you will have a much easier time dealing with your Lab’s shedding, because you won’t have clogged parts and frustration.

It’s better to get the right vacuum and get the job done correctly than be annoyed that what you’re doing’s not working well enough.

Robot Vacuums

Another vacuum we recommend that’s been a huge lifesaver (and time saver) is a robot vacuum. With a robot vacuum cleaner, you can schedule it to do a little bit of vacuuming in your most high-traffic pet areas every day.

It’s meant to just keep up on the daily shedding (which you’ve hopefully reduced by feeding a good quality food and using the right de-shedding tools appropriately).

We’ve found that if you get the right robot vacuum, it will save you a great deal of aggravation, as well as time.

It’s the next best thing to making your Lab not shed at all!

Getting a robot vacuum ends up saving you a lot of time because you won’t need to get the big, “real” vacuum out as frequently, and when you do use it, it won’t have as much work to do.

We’ve purchased many robot vacuums over the years to try to keep up on top of pet hair. Some of them have been excellent, while some of them have died a sad death at the altar of Labrador hair.

iRobot Roomba iRobot Roomba I3 (Amazon)/I4

Our favorite robot vacuum of all the brands and types we’ve tried for Labrador hair is this Roomba I3. It does an excellent job on carpet but is gentle enough to use on wood floors. We use it multiple times per day and it is durable, reliable, and effective.

The vacuum connects to your smartphone via the iRobot app. You can control when and where the vacuum runs, see its status, and locate it if it’s gone lost or missing under a piece of furniture.

It’s also helpful to be able to access the vacuum via the app while you’re not at home.

This robot vacuum can run a little bit louder than other brands and models we’ve tried, but it’s powerful, effective, and can perform well on dog hair, which many models we’ve tried cannot.

One of the settings we love for this model is that it will notify you if the bin is full, which in our case is usually due to Labrador hair. Sometimes even running it daily during high-shedding seasons it will alert you that it’s full before even finishing the complete cycle of the room or floor it normally runs on.

With daily use it has lasted us years and is still performing well without needing maintenance or repairs. You will occasionally need to buy replacement filters and brushes, which you can find here, a few times per year. But it saves you so much time vacuuming!

If you’re a Costco member, you can find a similar iRobot model there called the I4 for about $349, but it’s often on sale for under $300.

The features are almost identical, with the exception of the Costco version giving you a few extra filters and replacement parts.

The Roomba stays on top of pet hair every single day so that it never accumulates or feels like it’s overwhelming. We program ours to run at a certain time and it never allows the hair to pile up, which makes a huge difference.

The Awesome Splurge: The I3+

There is another cool version of this same iRobot vacuum that we also own (purchased at our own cost) that is amazing as well and one that we absolutely recommend you get!

It’s the Roomba I3+ that offers you the option of a self-emptying bin.

The self-emptying bin allows the robot vacuum to take itself back to the charging station, empty a full bin, and restart to continue vacuuming.

The vacuum portion of this model is the exact same as the I3/I4, so you’re just paying extra for the ability to have it “take out its own trash,” which might be worth it to you.

It’s definitely worth it to us because we have multiple Labradors and a considerable amount of shedding to deal with!

What’s great about the self-emptying feature is that the vacuum will empty its bin and then continue going… so if it fills up before the space is done, it will keep going to finish the space.

Otherwise (if you didn’t have the self-emptying one) you’d have to manually empty it to keep it working, or else it either returns to base or is vacuuming full (which doesn’t accomplish anything).

If you plan to run your Roomba when you’re not home, we HIGHLY suggest you get the I3+ with the self-emptying base, because you won’t be home to empty it throughout its cycle when it’s full.

Some have noted that the self-emptying feature can be extremely loud when it empties, and we have personally observed that it is a little bit loud but nothing unreasonable. It’s not something you’d want to run when your kids are sleeping, or you’re headed to bed, but during the day it’s completely fine.

Also keep that in mind if you’re living in an apartment with Labradors or in close proximity to your neighbors and you’re worried about noise.

Coredy Robot Vacuum

This is a budget model for a robot vacuum that we tried on a whim during an Amazon sale, and it has performed better than many other robot vacuums we’ve tried before.

This model has fewer features than iRobot but still has excellent performance, and comes with a remote to control and direct the robot. It also has the Coredy app you can download on your phone to get access and control it.

You won’t find as many features on this as you would on the iRobot models listed above, but it’s also lower in price. It’s good if you’re looking for a second model for your house, or if you have multiple stories in your home and need one for an additional level.

We’ve found through our experience that this model works very well on hardwood floors, tile, and other hard surface floors with lighter or smaller rugs. It didn’t last as long for us as the iRobot Roomba models listed above have.

If you have primarily carpet in your house where you plan to use the robot vacuum or have really thick or heavy rugs, you might find the iRobot models above do a better job on picking up Labrador hair on those thicker flooring types.

Summary – How to Deal with Labrador Shedding

We know that bringing a Labrador into your home and your life can be an adventure, and definitely a lot of fun. But we want to help you minimize some of the stress, frustration, and aggravation that can come with managing a shedding dog!

Our goal is that your life with your Labrador would be more fun than stressful, and we hope that these 3 tips will help you easily deal with Labrador shedding around your house.

Helping to reduce the amount of shedding in your home can give you more time to love on your dog, and we’re all for that! For more tips on Labrador life, see our Health and Care section.

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