More On Labradoodle Dogs

Labradoodle dogs are very friendly and love human company. This dog can bring a smile to anyone’s face regardless of how they may be feeling. Thus, a Labradoodle can be very therapeutic for those who are sick, and can be trained as a therapy dog.

A therapy dog is a canine that helps people who are lonely or sick by visiting them in hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, prisons and other environments. Labradoodles are the perfect candidates for this line of work, as both the Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever have been used for many years to help humans.

However, despite the fact that Labradoodle dogs are by nature gentle, loving creatures, they do require training in order to be used for therapy. A therapy dog must be well behaved. This means they can’t run around, jump up on people, bark or lick others without permission.

In addition, they must be willing to be pet frequently, need to be patient, and act extremely calm around those who may be mentally disturbed or unstable, as well as children who may attempt to tease or grab the dog. A dog can not be high-energy or overly friendly as it may cause unintentional injury or stress to patients.

What are the benefits a Labradoodle can provide as a therapy dog?

  • Socializing with a dog can lower blood pressure
  • Petting a dog provides the hand and arms exercise
  • Overall improvement of happiness, affection and wellbeing.
  • Provides friendship to children, those suffering from depression, the elderly, victims of abuse, etc.
  • Helps improve response in patients
  • Improves the happiness and life quality of both patients and staff
  • Improves attention and memory problems in people suffering from Alzheimer’s
  • Etc.

In addition, patients look forward to seeing and socializing with Labradoodle dogs used for therapy. It positively changes their routine and brightens up their day.

What do I need to know about therapy dogs? If you would like to have your Labradoodle become a therapy dog, he/she will need to be certified. Your dog will need to undergo and successfully complete appropriate testing. To learn more about what is involved and what you need to be aware of, visit Therapy Dogs International Inc. at tdi-dog.org.

Aside from your dog needing to meet certain standards, don’t forget that you are part of therapy as well. You need to be with your Labradoodle while he/she is on the job. This means you not only need to know how to properly interact with your Labradoodle, but you also need to know how to interact with certain types of patients. Therefore, it is important you find out which patients you are comfortable with, and which ones you are not. For instance, although you may be comfortable with the elderly, you may have a problem socializing with those who are mentally unstable.

Labradoodle dogs used for therapy require certain types of equipment. For instance, you will want to make sure that your dog has a washable collar and lead. Remember, hospitals and many other public facilities are riddled with germs. You need to protect the wellbeing of both you and your dog.

Finally, make sure your dog is well groomed and healthy. Your dog should be free of any parasites or illnesses. His coat, breath and ears should not have a foul odor. If your dog is unwell, you need to reschedule visits until your dog is in tip-top shape.

Labradoodle dogs can make the world a brighter and happier place for more people than just their owners. Therefore, if you are interested, find out more about therapy dogs to see if this is an ideal choice for you and your dog.

More Labradoodle Care

Proper Labradoodle care is how you keep your dog healthy and happy. Care doesn’t only mean grooming your dog and taking him in for regular vet checkups, it also is about being aware of the any health problems that may or are currently affecting your dog.

All dogs are prone to a genetic health problem, some more than others. Although the Labradoodle is an overall healthy hybrid breed, they did not fully escape the genetics of their parents and are prone to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia runs deep in the heritage of both Standard Poodles and Labrador Retrievers, so it should come as no surprise that this issue could be a problem for Labradoodles.

Nevertheless, although you may not be able to prevent hip dysplasia from developing in your dog, there are ways that you may be able to lower your dog’s risk by learning about the condition and following important Labradoodle care tips.

What is hip dysplasia? It is a genetic condition that generally affects large dog breeds. It is characterized by a malformed hip joint that does not properly fit into the socket as it should. This condition becomes increasingly worse as time passes, and the constant wearing down of the joint can be quite painful, often resulting in other health problems such as arthritis.

What are the symptoms of hip dysplasia? The following are the most common signs and symptoms of the condition:
” Tenderness in one or both back legs
” Pain when standing up in the morning or after a long lie down
” Difficulty rising from a sitting or laying position
” Difficulty climbing stairs or jumping up
” Walking at a slower pace than is normal
” Lack of excitement when engaging in fun activities
” Limping one or both back legs when walking

If any of these symptoms are present, it is important you make an appointment with your Vet as soon as possible to provide the necessary Labradoodle care and diagnosis for your dog.

How is hip dysplasia diagnosed and treated? Hip dysplasia is diagnosed after a standard X-ray is taken. Treatment is determined based on the severity of the condition. In extreme cases, a vet will recommend surgery. However, in most cases, alternative remedies such as exercise and other adjustments are recommended to help the dog cope.

The following is how you can provide effective Labradoodle care to your dog to help avoid and improve hip dysplasia:

Strengthen the joints – One of the best ways to help support your dog’s hips is to strengthen his/her muscles. Strengthening the muscles helps to relieve some of the pressure and tenderness off the hip joint. Make sure you take your dog on two, 20 minute walks daily. You can go on more walks or extend your regular walk, but only if your dog is up to it. Never push your pet to exercise if he/she is exhibiting pain.

Another good exercise to help strengthen the muscles is swimming. Swimming not only gives your dog’s body an excellent workout, it also allows him/her to exercise without placing any extra stress or strain on their joints.

Make sure your Labradoodle is warm – If your dog is experiencing pain in his/her hip joint, cold, damp weather can make the pain worse. Keep your dog indoors in cold, rainy weather, and make sure he/she has a nice, warm comfortable place to rest.

Specialty bed – There is more than one type of bed available for Labradoodle care. If your dog suffers from hip dysplasia, you may want to invest in an orthopedic bed. This specialty bed can distribute your dog’s weight evenly which will take excess pressure off sore joints.

Make stair climbing easier – make a ramp for your dog to use to allow him easier access to all the high places he/she’s permitted. You can make a ramp going up the stairs by using an old board, as well as portable ramps for beds and couches. A ramp will stop your dog from making a hoping motion that is required in order to climb steps and jump off/on couches.

Secure your floors – If you have slippery floors, this can be dangerous for your dog and cause more wearing of the joints. It can also make your Labradoodle feel more anxious when walking on these surfaces. It’s a good idea to think about adding some traction to your floor (I.E. a mat or rug)

Over-the-counter (OTC) Meds – If you know your dog suffers from hip dysplasia and sometimes experiences severe pain, Vets often recommended that dog’s be given aspirin. Speak to your Vet about the recommended dosage so you don’t run the risk of injuring your dog.

OFA – Last, but not least, as part of Labradoodle care, you should ensure that the breeder you are purchasing your dog from has had the parent’s hips certified with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

To learn more about hip dysplasia, consult your Vet.