We love our Labs, but we know for a fact that dogs live much shorter than humans. So, how long do Labrador Retrievers live on average?
Read on to know more about the basics of Labrador lifespan.
How long do Labs live on average?
The longest known life for a Labrador was 19 years (which is pretty rare).
However, the average lifespan of healthy Labrador Retrievers is 10-14 years, with most Labradors living at least 12 years old.
This may not sound very old, but a bunch of factors can automatically limit the lifespan of Labradors to some extent.
For instance, big dogs usually have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs, while smaller dogs can live for 12-14 years. Moreover, hybrids live 1.2 years more than pedigrees, which are more vulnerable to genetically inherited illnesses.
Researchers have not yet fully understood the science behind this, but body conformity and size are believed to be important factors that may affect your furry friend’s lifespan.
What would affect the lifespan of my Labrador Retriever?
Of course, inherited and serious diseases can decrease your Labrador’s lifespan.
For instance, breeding can affect your Labrador’s genetics. If you got your Labrador from a backyard and/or unlicensed breeder, there is a chance that they are not bred properly. It can cause your Labrador to be more susceptible to disease.
Furthermore, hip dysplasia is common in Labradors, so it would be good to keep an eye out for that. Additionally, it is important to note that Labradors have a higher chance of developing cancer.
Obesity is also another factor that can significantly affect your Labrador’s lifespan. Labradors are one of the most obese dog breeds.
Take note, however, that obesity is extremely preventable.
While your Labrador may seem hungry all the time, it is just in their nature to be hungry. As long as you feed them as much as they need, they will be fine.
On the other hand, malnourishment is also dangerous. You need to make sure you are feeding your Labrador an appropriate amount and kind of food.
To know exactly what you should feed your Labrador and how much, consult a veterinarian.
Chocolate Labs have shorter lifespans
Although most healthy Labradors can live to 12 years old, studies show that chocolate Labradors usually live shorter lives than other Labrador colors.
In fact, chocolate Labradors have an average lifespan of 10-11 years.
Researchers suspect that chocolate Labs have shorter lifespans than Labs with other coat colors due to the fact that chocolate Labs frequently get non-life-threatening conditions.
For instance, they are more prone to getting ear and skin disease compared to yellow and black Labradors.
However, it has nothing to do with the color of their fur. Researchers believe that breeding the Labrador to become chocolate may have caused them to be more prone to certain conditions, which may have resulted in them having “weaker genes” that can affect their average lifespan.
Additionally, because both parents need to have the recessive gene to create a chocolate Lab, these recessive traits could be the reason why your Lab has a shorter life span.
How can I increase the lifespan of my Labrador Retriever?
Well, there is no guarantee, but regular exercise and a healthy diet can definitely help your Labrador live a long life.
After all, your Lab will be much happier and live longer when they are healthy.
It is important to give your Labrador the right nourishment and exercise at a young age. This will help determine their health as an adult Labrador. You can speak to a veterinarian to know how much and what your puppy should eat.
As for exercise, it depends on your Labrador. However, most puppies should exercise for 5 minutes per month of their age, up to two times a day. So, a 2-month-old puppy can exercise twice a day for 20 minutes.
You should also avoid disturbing a sleeping Labrador. While they look so adorable that you just want to play with them, you should let them sleep. Lack of sleep can make them stressed, which can be bad for their health.
As we stated earlier, Labradors can be more prone to certain conditions and illnesses. Luckily, many of them can be treated when spotted early. Early treatment for most conditions can either manage or get rid of them completely.
Therefore, you should bring a Labrador puppy to a vet several times a year, an adult 1-2 times a year, and a senior 2-4 times a year.
If your dog suddenly has alarming symptoms, you should bring them to a veterinarian immediately.
Make sure also that your Labrador gets the right vaccinations. Vaccinations will prevent life-threatening conditions like Parvo disease.
While dogs can recover from serious diseases like Parvo on rare occasions, it can still affect their lifespan.
All in All
Labradors Retrievers live an average of 10-14 years, but they can definitely live longer and happier lives when you take care of them properly.
Make sure to follow our tips above to ensure that you will enjoy more years together with your Labrador.