How long does a Labrador dog live? The short answer to this is between 10 and 14 years. However, several factors can affect this lifespan average. They might even live longer depending on different factors to contribute to their life expectancy, and these include general health, environment, and genes.
What Limits A Lab’s Lifespan?
Labradors may have a shorter lifespan that is directly linked to their genes.
Typically, small dog breeds can live longer than the Labrador and other large dog breeds. Mongrels may also have a longer lifespan than a pedigree dog by 1.2 more years.
The Labrador, without even saying, has a shorter life expectancy than a mongrel or a smaller dog.
While the root of this isn’t fully understood, their body’s conformity and size are said to be significant contributors.
Another factor that can also affect their lifespan is their susceptibility to genetic diseases being pedigree dogs. Some of these diseases are epilepsy and hip and elbow dysplasia.
Average Lifespan of Labradors
What’s the average age of a lab? These smart and active dogs can live anywhere between 10 and 14 years provided they’re healthy and well-taken care of.
If you’re trying to take home a lab, make sure to get it only from a reputable breeder to ensure that the dog is genetically tested before breeding.
Do Labrador retrievers die early?
Several factors may come into play to this like those mentioned earlier. Generally, they have a shorter lifespan than smaller dog breeds and mongrels, but an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years is still considered a good lifespan for dogs.
A health problem, however, can make them live less than 10 years of age. This is why it is important to consider getting your lab tested early and giving them a healthy, nutritious diet.
How do I know if my Labrador’s dying?
None of us would want to come to this point because we love our Labradors. However, it is a reality that we have to face as our dear lab is coming of age.
Be watchful of the following signs to ensure you’re giving proper care to them and take them to the veterinarian ASAP.
Senior dogs may not be energetic anymore and sleep more often as they age. You may also notice that they’re no longer interested in playing games. See your vet to check them.
Extreme weight loss
Senior dogs may start losing weight especially if they have medical problems and are prone to muscle loss because their body becomes less efficient in protein digestion. Talk to your vet about changing their diet.
You may notice that your pet may start struggling with activities like stepping and walking than they used to do. They may even slip or stumble especially when walking on uneven surfaces and floors without carpeting. It is because their nerves and muscles stop functioning properly.
Common causes of Labrador death
Your senior lab is prone to suffering one or two of these health issues.
Obesity can take a toll on the health of your pet because it can reduce their life quality. If they’re suffering from a medical condition, their symptoms may also worsen.
Don’t leave food out or give them a lot of treats and snacks because they’re known to eat more than they have to.
Obesity can result in hip and elbow dysplasia or another orthopedic issue. To reduce their chances of being obese and developing orthopedic conditions, ensure their proper diet and regular physical activities.
Labs can develop it as they become older. It can impact their quality of life, especially their movement. Your vet may prescribe pain pills, supplements, or another treatment to treat it if it’s still in the early stages.
But as it worsens, your dog may struggle to even stand, walk, or step because they can lose their leg movement.
This disease in dogs can result from different factors, like weight, diet, and genetics. Some symptoms of a heart disease may include but are not limited to coughing, tiredness, and difficulty breathing.
More than 10% of Labradors are affected by otitis externa. This condition is characterized by the external ear canal’s inflammation, which can lead to ear pains and increase your pet’s chances of developing an ear infection.
Among the Labrador types, chocolate Labrador retrievers are known to be more prone to this disease than their counterparts having a different coat color. Dogs that often swim are also more likely to develop it.
Degenerative Joint Disease
This degenerative disease is common among around 5.5% of Labradors whose joints start losing function as they come of age. There are also some of them who suffer from having their cartilage splitting away from their bone, losing some of their hip movement.
And again, obese dogs are more likely to suffer from this condition, so it really pays off to keep your dog’s healthy weight.
Females than males have higher chances of developing tumors on the legs, chest, and other parts of the body.
However, don’t worry because not all tumors are dangerous, terminal, or cancerous because senior labs in particular can develop some bumps and lumps as they grow older. Your vet may recommend a biopsy or surgical removal.
Another disease that a Labrador can suffer from includes chronic or acute kidney failure.
Chronic kidney failure, which develops due to poor dental hygiene, can happen more slowly.
Acute kidney failure can happen when they consume toxins, which can lead to the complete shutting down of their kidney.
You can help lower your dog’s risk of kidney failure by ensuring they don’t have access to toxic substances and giving regular teeth cleaning.
How to prolong the life of your dog
The simplest way to do this is to ensure they remain healthy by giving them nutritious food and regular exercise. The following are some tips that can help you further understand how your Labrador can have a longer life.
Ask about dog screening
Talk to your breeder if your dog has been screened for a joint disease or cancer. Also ask about cancer prevalence in the bred dogs. This is why it is important to find a good breeder who maintains standard practices in dog breeding. A good one is sure to know this information to share with you.
Don’t neuter/spay too early
Labradors that have undergone any of these before one year of age are more likely to have joint issues and cancer, like prostate and bladder cancer and bone cancer osteosarcoma.
Maintain your dog’s healthy weight
Obesity will put much strain on their joints, leading to poor mental and physical health.
Avoid obesity in your pet, which snacks often when given the opportunity. Do not leave out food or they will keep eating.
Keep the healthy weight of your dog to avoid joint straining especially if they have developed joint issues.
Even if they develop symptoms, dogs with healthy weight will be more manageable for treatment. They’ll also not have much straining while recovering, too.
Give them supplements
Ask your vet about good supplements to give your Labrador to maintain optimal health, especially those that can support joint health.
These supplements will be able to reduce their chances of developing joint disease and inflammation. And if they already display symptoms, supplements can help with reducing the chances of the disease from worsening.
Don’t overfeed them
Follow the instructions of your vet when it comes to the right amount of food to feed them based on their lifestyle, age, and size as well as the kind of food you choose to feed them.
Obese dogs can live at least two years shorter than their lifespan. Obesity in dogs is also known to cause diseases that include arthritis and can strain the tendons, joints, ligaments, muscles, and heart.
It can also lead to inflammation due to the fat cells producing inflammation hormones. In addition, obesity can make the Lab less energetic to move around because of the pain and discomfort they feel.
Pay attention to their dental health
From a pup, make sure to pay attention to their dental health. Otherwise, poor oral hygiene will be the cause of bacteria entering their body and eventually disease because bacteria surrounding the teeth roots can enter their bloodstream.
A dog’s periodontal disease can inflame the heart muscle and potentially lead to damage to several organs that include the heart, liver, and kidneys. The damage can be irreversible.
Regularly brush the teeth of your Labrador to prevent bacteria build-up and calcification that can result in dental disease. They must also get regular dental cleanings with their vet to prevent it from happening.
At-home dental care is also advised, and products like diets, water additives, and dental chews may also help support their dental health.
Regular dental cleaning, care, and maintenance can prolong their life by up to five years.
Keep them active
An active dog is a healthy dog because regular activities can help them develop good muscle tone, which is essential in mobility and joint health. Incorporate exercise and stretching in their routine and don’t wait until your dog is old to get into exercise.
If they’re older, they’d need physical therapy especially if showing signs of arthritis, joint stiffness, and muscle mass loss.
Give mental stimulation
Cognitive decline will be common in older dogs, so it is important to keep their minds alert, focused, and sharp while they’re younger. Enrich your pet’s environment to keep them mentally stimulated. Training sessions, toys, and activities can sharpen their brain, too.
Regular vet visits
Vet visits are essential to your dog’s health. Do it at least once a year and twice a year if they’re older. On your visit, your vet will do a physical exam and perform tests and blood work to ensure that your dog is healthy. Routine tests can also help in determining any abnormalities that can worsen and shorten your Labrador’s life.
Your vet may give medications or recommend any preventative measures, too. Nevertheless, a visit to the vet is significant to prolong the life of your Labrador. He can diagnose any issue early on before it becomes a major problem later.
A Labrador retriever may live from 10 to 14 years, although factors, like age, lifestyle, and overall health, can affect their lifespan. Follow the tips above to extend it and give them the best life they deserve.
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