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Is a Labrador Retriever Right for You? Survey Results from Lab Owners

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

Read By: Pet Lovers
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31. What do you feed your lab? Most labs are fed dry food. Nearly 60% of lab owners indicated that their lab ate premium dry dog food only; an additional 17% said they fed dry food of a consistent brand but not a premium food; and approximately 2% feed dry but changes brands often. No lab owner surveyed said they fed canned food or table scraps only. Approximately 13% of lab owner said they did a combination of canned and dry, 4% said they did an all-natural diet and the remaining 4% said they cooked for their dog.

32. How much time per day do you think a person needs to take good care of a lab? We further indicated that by care, this meant to include feeding, watering, playing, exercising, and walking their dogs. Most lab owners believe it takes 1 to 4 hours (68%) per day to properly care for a lab. The most common answer was about 1 to 2 hours (38%), followed by 2 to 4 hours/day (29%), 31 to 60 minutes (18%), more than 4 hours (11%), 16 to 30 minutes (4%) and < 15 minutes (<1%).

33. How much "barking" does your lab do? Most labs are not big "barkers". Over 77% said their dogs didn't bark or did only some barking. To further break it down, 52 % say their lab barks some but not a lot, 25% said their dog rarely barked, 20% said their dog did a moderate amount of barking and < 3% said their lab barked a lot.

34. How does your lab tolerate heat (high temperatures)? The lab owners responded that their labs handled the heat fine (61%) and the remaining 39% said their dog did not handle the heat well.

35. How does your lab handle cold temperatures? Labs seem to prefer the cold temperatures. Over 95% said their dogs handled the cold well with < 5% indicating that their dog has problems when it is cold.

36. Which of the following traits does your lab have? This question stemmed from users indicating to us that they DIDN"T wanted a dog with certain characteristics so we asked about some of those traits. Answer options included snoring (39%), drools a lot (12%), has substantial "gas" (19%), begs (32%), eats his own feces (6%) or has no problems (37%).

37. What is your lab's favorite toy? Labs like to fetch! Approximately 43% of lab owners said their dogs favorite toy was a fetch toy, followed by chew toy (36%), followed closely with stuffed toy (35%) and finally a pull toy (17%). The remaining 24% indicated that their dogs favorite toys were balls (all kinds with the #1 ball being a tennis ball), squeaky toys, Frisbee, and Kong® toys with treats in it.

38. Does your lab enjoy going for car rides/traveling with you? Most labs like to go! Over 92% said their dogs like to travel with them and only 8% said they did not.

39. How much does non-medical care cost for a lab? We asked lab owners to guess at approximately how much they thought they spent on food, toys, beds, treats, grooming supplies and other non medical care per year for their lab. Only 10% thought their lab cost them less than $200.00/year. Approximately 30% estimated $200.00 to $400.00 per year, 12% estimated $400.00 to $500.00, 23% thought their lab cost them closer to $500.00 to $700.00 per year, 9.2% thought their lab cost them $700.00 to $900.00, 13.3% estimated $900.00 to $1500.00 and 3% estimated that their labs costg them over $1500.00 per year for non-medical care. To summarize, most lab owners estimated that their lab cost them in the $500.00 to $700.00 range and approximately 25% thought their labs cost them over $700.00 per year.

40. How much does medical care cost? We asked lab owners "If you had to guess, how much do you think you spend on medical care per year for your lab? (This cost includes vaccines, heartworm prevention, flea control, health problems, and emergencies). Most lab owners (40%) estimated that medical care cost them $100.00 to $300.00 per year, 26% estimated that medical care cost them $300.00 to $500.00 per year, 13% estimated that medical care cost them $500.00 to $700.00 per year, 7% estimated that medical care cost them $700.00 to $1000.00 per year, 5% estimated that medical care cost them $1000.00 to $1500.00 per year, and 3% estimated that medical care cost them more than $1500.00 per year. Only 7% estimated that medical care cost them < $100.00 per year.

41. Which of the following do you routinely give your dog? The breakdown was as follows: Heartworm prevention (84%), Flea control medications (74%), Arthritis or joint supplements (23%), Medications to treat a specific problem (18%), Vitamins (17%) and other Nutritional supplement (18%).

42. Does your lab have any medical problems? Approximately 70% said no and 30% said yes.

43. What type of medical problem does your lab have? User further expanding in question #42 and filled in their labs particular problem. The most common problems were hypothyroidism, skin allergies, arthritis, ear infections, urinary tract (bladder) infections, and cancer.

44. What do you love most about your lab? We received hundreds of responses that were wonderful. To summarize, lab owners love their dogs' loyalty, love of life, the unconditional love they give, affection, companionship, gentleness, beauty, and...friendship.

45. What question should we have asked about labs (to help people determine if it is the right dog for them)? Several users emailed suggestions of questions we should have asked. These included – we should have asked how much space they need (they are not great for a small apartment unless they get tons of exercise). We got many responses that suggested that dog lovers looking to choose a lab really need to understand how much exercise and time they need to be happy. Another thing that lab owners didn't feel the survey reflected is the fact that that labs are known to be late maturers and can act like a puppy and have lots of energy for a long time.



Did this survey help you? Email us. We are trying to decide if we should create these for other breeds and would appreciate your feedback.

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Is a Labrador Retriever Right for You? Survey Results from Lab Owners




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