The affectionate, vivacious Labradors make wonderful pets for energetic families since they always want to be included in the fun.
They make amiable, helpful, devoted, and active pets. They require a sizable, enclosed yard and numerous daily activities.
At 10–12 years, the Labrador retriever’s lifetime is comparable to that of other large breeds. While many well-cared-for dogs live a lot longer than this as well, some Labradors have shorter lifespans. The oldest Labrador reached the age of 27.
Comparing Labradors’ Lifespan To Other Dog Breeds
Compared to larger creatures like whales, smaller species like guinea pigs have shorter lifespans.
When you look at a particular animal, like a dog, this is frequently inverted. Although we’re starting to gain a clearer picture, scientists still don’t fully comprehend the logic behind this.
Compared to smaller dogs or even wolves, large dogs grow faster. The shorter lifespan might have resulted from breeding for huge dogs.
Compared to lesser breeds, Labradors do have shorter lifespans, however, they are no different from other popular large breed dogs like:
- Golden Retrievers – 10-12 years
- Siberian Huskies – 12-14 years
- American Bulldogs – 10-12 years
- Boxers – 10-12 years
Factors That Can Affect A Labrador’s Lifespan
A variety of Labrador traits are passed down from purebred-to-purebred offspring, and these traits are shared by all pedigree Labradors.
Not just his coat color, ear shape, and tail length are determined by these genes. They also have some control over his temperament and disease propensity.
2. Body Shape of Your Lab
Labradors are fortunate in a certain sense. They are born with generally healthy conformation or body shape.
They lack the long spines and short legs that can lead to spinal issues. Their bodies are nicely balanced and built for physical agility, including running and jumping.
Labradors have not been bred to have small skulls that could harm their brains or shorter faces that could make breathing difficult.
They also don’t have an enormous lot of skin or fur. This is fantastic because a dog with a healthy body structure will naturally be healthier than one with bad conformation.
3. Inherited Diseases
Even though Labradors are generally in good condition, the breed is prone to certain disorders, which may shorten a Labrador’s lifespan. Additionally, it will have an impact on each dog’s overall health over its lifetime.
We have tests that can be performed on adult dogs before they are used for breeding for some of these disorders, such as hip dysplasia and CNM.
We don’t have diagnostics for some disorders, like some malignancies. We only know that under specific circumstances, Labradors might be more prone than some other dog breeds.
According to a 2004 survey, cancer claims 31% of Labrador lives. This is somewhat higher than the cancer incidence rate for all canines.
4. A Lab’s Size
Dogs of all sizes live shorter lives. One of nature’s oddities that we don’t fully comprehend is this. Naturally, there are a lot of exceptions to the norm. However, in general, a dog’s size is pretty significantly correlated with its lifespan.
Contrary to what we frequently discover when comparing large mammal species, this is the case here.
Taking the elephant as an example, compare it to smaller creatures like the mouse. When examining individuals from a single species, in this case, the domestic dog, being bigger appears to be a disadvantage.
Size is a limiting element in your Labrador’s lifespan because it is a medium- to large-sized dog. Simply put, the typical Labrador is unlikely to live as long as the typical toy poodle.
5. Purebred or otherwise?
If a Labrador is purebred, how old are they? The simple fact that your dog is a pedigree dog has some limitations on the probable extent of his life.
According to a 2013 study that appeared in The Veterinary Journal, mixed-breed dogs live 1.2 years longer on average than purebred dogs.
This does not necessarily imply that your Boxador will outlast your neighbor’s pedigree Lab. The key concept is averaging.
6. The Color of Your Lab’s Coat
For a very long time, it was thought that the coat color of Labradors had no bearing on how long they lived. It was believed that no specific color or breed of Labrador was associated with an inherited disease, except for color dilution alopecia in silver Labradors.
That premise has been called into question by a new study involving more than 33,000 canines. It demonstrates that the average lifespan of black and yellow labs is 12.1 years. While the 10.7-year life expectancy for chocolate Labs is somewhat less.
As of now, we are unsure of the precise cause. However, the study’s chocolate subjects were more likely to experience ear and skin issues. This included “hot spots” that one caused on oneself in response to irritants like fleas.
Additionally, it is unknown how the two primary Labrador “types” vary. So we are unable to tell you whether English Labs have a shorter lifespan than American Labs.
The study included a sizable sample of canines. Therefore, it is likely that the findings are representative of the entire Lab population.
Common Causes Of Labrador Deaths
Labradors regrettably frequently develop tumors. Skin tumors on the chest and legs are the most frequent in female Labradors, who are also more prone to developing tumors overall.
Not all tumors are malignant or incurable. As they age, your senior lab may get a few lumps and bumps; your veterinarian can help you decide how to manage them. They might perform a biopsy, choose surgical removal, or make other recommendations.
As they age, Labradors are more prone to acquiring arthritis. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean a dog will die, it does affect how they move.
As recommended by your veterinarian, vitamins, painkillers, and other treatments can be used to treat arthritis in its early stages.
However, it could worsen to the point where the dog finds it extremely difficult to move around and could even lose the use of its legs entirely.
When the dog’s quality of life is sufficiently diminished to warrant consideration of euthanasia, that decision ultimately rests with the owner and veterinarian.
3. Heart Disease
There are many causes of heart disease in Labradors, including nutrition, weight, and heredity. While maintaining a healthy diet for your dog can help to lower the danger, it won’t completely remove it.
See your veterinarian as soon as possible if you experience any heart disease symptoms, including fatigue, coughing, or breathing difficulties.
4. Kidney Failure
Kidney failure in Labradors can be either acute or chronic.
A dog will frequently have acute renal failure after ingesting anything harmful since the kidneys swiftly shut down.
On the other hand, chronic kidney failure develops gradually over time. Poor dental hygiene is one of many potential causes.
Maintaining your dog’s teeth regularly and dog-proofing your home to prevent your dog from accessing any poisonous substances are two ways to reduce your dog’s risk of kidney failure.
What You Can Do To Increase Your Lab’s Lifespan
Genetic considerations, aside from the ability to choose your puppy’s parents carefully, are mainly beyond your control.
However, as your Labrador grows and matures, he will experience life events that could affect how long he lives. You may be able to influence some of these occurrences. Now, let’s look at those.
Every dog requires protein, fat, and carbohydrates in its diet, and dog food is made based on age and size rather than breed.
If you can afford premium grain-free, non-raw dog food and maintain a lean body condition for your furry buddy with a slightly calorie-restricted diet, this may contribute to a longer lifespan. Find out from your veterinarian what the ideal food is for your pup.
2. Reduce Roaming and Subsequent Accidents
Yearly accidents claim the lives of many canines. And many of those were preventable. When dogs are allowed to spend time outdoors unattended, accidents happen much more frequently.
Your dog won’t be able to roam freely on your land if you securely fence it off (or just a small portion of it). Additionally, teaching him to respond promptly to your calls will make it easier for you to summon him in an emergency.
3. Conditions and the Environment
Having a lab requires a lot of energy. They enjoy playing fetch, swimming, and running in especially. If you intend to bring a lab into your family, be sure to set out time for their preferred pursuits and to either have a yard or a dog park close by.
This breed is not content to spend the entire day lounging on the couch, even if they would adore being your best friend. Dogs without any activities to engage in may quickly become bored and may even turn destructive.
It was once thought that neutering lengthened life expectancy. The fact that dogs are not carefully managed is one of the reasons why some earlier research indicates that neutered dogs have a higher death rate.
Those that feel the need to mate will wander farther from their homes and have more mishaps.
However, recent research has connected neutering to certain major health conditions, like cancer and joint problems. Leading causes of disease and demise in laboratories. The neutering controversy is no longer easily resolved.
Training and self-control are two ideas that will enable your dog to live out his allowed years to the fullest. For the safety of most Labradors, recall is essential.
As a result, be sure to spend the necessary time training him to respond to calls. Whatever potential irritants might be close by.
There are still several deadly diseases that regularly claim the lives of unvaccinated dogs and puppies in some parts of the world. Your dog could die from severe infections and illnesses. Should he survive them, though, they also have the potential to degrade his general health.
So, your dog’s lifespan may also be influenced by where you reside and if you vaccinate him. Your dog’s body weight is arguably the single biggest factor that you can impact in terms of his longevity and quality of life.
6. Avoid Overfeeding
Dogs, in general, and Labradors in particular, are becoming more and more prone to obesity. The cause is clear: overfeeding. Labradors are gregarious, amiable dogs that are excellent at convincing people to give them goodies and to keep refilling their food bowls.
In addition, a lot of Labrador parents struggle to determine how much food their dog needs. Whether he is overweight or not. We can assist you there. To ensure that your dog is the proper weight for optimal health, check out our guide to Labrador weight.
The Labrador Retriever is the most loved American breed of dog, despite coming from Newfoundland.
This endearing species has found a place in our homes and hearts, showering us with affection for their 10-12 years of life.
Your Labrador will live their best life for as long as possible if you make sure they have the essentials for health, such as nutritious food, exercise, and plenty of attention.
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