The average lifespan of Labrador retrievers is between 10 and 12 years. However, the oldest recorded Labrador, called Adjutant, lived for more than 27 years. This means that your Lab can certainly survive more than the average age of this breed. Keep reading to know why Labrador Retrievers die early and learn how you can prevent these problems.
Why Labrador Retrievers Have a Shorter Lifespan?
Labradors are prone to many health issues, but joint disorders and cancer are the most common ones. Although most musculoskeletal problems are not fatal, the severity of their symptoms forces owners to euthanize their pups. The following are some ailments that can reduce the lifespan of your Labrador Retriever.
Obesity – It may not be categorized as a medical disease, but obesity is a huge problem. This is because it leads to many other issues, including joint disorders. Just like many other dog breeds, Labs are notorious for eating more than their need. This can result in significant orthopedic problems, like hip dysplasia.
Otitis Externa – This painful condition is the result of inflammation in the external ear canal. According to research, more than 10% of Labrador Retrievers suffer from this problem. It also makes your pooch more vulnerable to ear infections.
Degenerative Joint Disease – Hip dysplasia and arthritis are the biggest and most common examples of this disease. In this condition, the cartilage around the joints deteriorates, allowing the bones to rub with each other. This results in inflammation and pain and will ultimately lead to arthritis.
How to Prolong the Life of a Labrador Retriever?
Both obesity and joint problems progress gradually and can be prevented. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of the owner to keep an eye on the pooch and take necessary preventative measures. Some useful tips for keeping your Labs healthy and increasing their lifespan are discussed below.
Ensure High-Quality Nutrition – Consult with a vet or canine nutritionist to figure out a balanced diet for your pooch. Follow the schedule strictly and don’t let your Lab have too many calories. Not only will this prevent obesity, but useful nutrients, like vitamins and antioxidants, will also reduce inflammation.
Neuter Your Dog at the Right Time – Labradors are big dogs and will require more testosterone than small breeds to reach their full muscular potential. Therefore, you shouldn’t neuter them before they reach the age of 1 year. Always remember that spaying a dog has many benefits and must be done, but at the right time.
Monitor Vaccinations – Keeping your Lab’s vaccinations up-to-date can play an important role in increasing its lifespan. This will prevent your pooch from developing serious medical conditions and boost his/her overall health.
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