How to Combat Obesity in Older Labradors

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Labradors are often a popular choice among dog owners with an active lifestyle; this breed is known for demanding plenty of activity, so they are often found outside running, playing Frisbee, and even swimming with their owners. They are also known for their sometimes ravenous appetites, which can lead to weight problems, especially in the later years. Injury or other diseases can also contribute to obesity due to lack of physical activity. Just as people battling obesity are prone to heart and respiratory problems, obese dogs are also at risk, so it is very important to learn how to combat obesity in older Labradors.

Healthy adult Labradors weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, with females weighing slightly less than males. Most healthy Labradors live 10 to 12 years, and in some cases, they can even live to 14 years. This breed usually reaches full maturity after about 3 years of age, so they will be especially active in these early years. Labradors are by nature one of the most active dog breeds, and as such, they have healthy appetites and require plenty of activity to balance their intake. They can become depressed when deprived of an outlet for their activity, so owners who are away from home for several hours throughout the day are recommended to get a dog run for their Labradors. Because of their activity levels, this breed is often predisposed to obesity, which is an essential point that any Lab owner should keep in consideration when choosing a dog.

Labradors are not picky eaters, which is one reason why it is not hard for them to become overweight. Owners who make a habit of feeding leftover table food to their Labs should keep this in mind; these dogs usually can and will eat whatever they are offered. If not carefully monitored, this can eventually make the dog overweight or even obese.

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The older a Labrador is, the more important it becomes to monitor its weight. Labradors are a very active breed with healthy appetites, so they tend to be predisposed to obesity. Usually, if it occurs, it will happen later in life as the dog ages and becomes less active. To prevent or reverse obesity in a Labrador, especially in the later years, careful monitoring of food intake and exercise if and when possible are the best ways to ensure a dog’s health.

Another factor that can cause obesity in Labradors is injury or disease. As dogs age, they are prone to arthritis and other degenerative disorders, and when their activity levels drop off, they can easily become overweight if their intake is not monitored. These disorders can sometimes lead to obesity; to prevent a snowballing of health problems as the dog ages, it is crucial to have the dog scheduled for regular veterinary visits so the vet can recommend a proper diet according to the dog’s age, activity level, and health status.

If the Lab is injured and cannot burn off extra food intake with exercise, the best way to combat obesity is through proper diet. If the problem is severe, it will even require the owner to actually track calorie intake for the dog.

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Comments (2)

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  1. […] writer…yes. As the owner of two Labradors under the age of three, I have come to realize that exercise is essential to a happy dog as well as a happy owner. I am part of the 70% of dog owners who believe […]

  2. Mike says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post.

    As people have gotten more and more obese over the last decade, so have our pets. I saw a statistic that said that 45% of dogs that visit the vet nowadays are obese.

    Bringing attention to dog obesity is important, but so is letting owners know that the power is in their hands to improve their pet’s health.

    Thanks again.