Healthy Labradors usually have a good lifespan of about 12-15 years. Like any other creature, they need proper food, regular exercise, and periodic checkups. These go a long way in keeping your Labradors fit and healthy. It is up to you, the master, to keep a close eye on your dog’s health and detect any signs of ailment.
Dogs are active creatures and need regular exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to a multitude of problems such as heart problems, obesity, orthopedic problems, poor muscle tone, and so on. It can also affect your Labrador’s mood and make him quirky.
Walking is a good exercise for both you and your dog. A brisk walk for at least half an hour everyday will utilize his energy. Labradors are natural retrievers and love to fetch. So play with a ball, and throw it as far as you can and get your dog to fetch it. You can also use a Frisbee. This endless throwing and fetching will be good for him.
Labradors love to play with other dogs, so try to take out some doggy time for him where he can romp around with other dogs. Swimming is also an enjoyable sport and it will improve his cardiovascular fitness, stamina and muscle strength. If you are a nature lover or a sportsperson, you can go hiking with your Labrador. It will be a refreshing exercise. However, your playful Labrador requires proper training and firm handling.
Another important aspect of fitness is proper food. He should be fed food that has a proportionate ratio of proteins, fats, carbohydrates. When you buy readymade dog food, ensure that it contains actual meat products and not fillers like bone and excess corn. An essential ingredient in dog food is omega 3 that can be found in salmon oil, canola oil and flax oil.
Labradors are also prone to illnesses such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and knee problems. Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip is not properly formed. Your dog will have problems while walking. If you notice that he is in pain while walking, take him to a vet immediately. The same is the case with arthritis.
Eye infection is also common in Labradors. In such cases, you will notice he has ‘weepy’ eyes as fluid keeps oozing out. He will be blinking his eyes often and there will be great discomfort. He will worsen the situation by trying to clean his eyes. Don’t ignore the symptoms. A simple course in antibiotics will cure the problem, but it has to be attended to as soon as possible.
Don’t be overindulgent. An obese dog is an unhealthy dog. Give him good food that has a proper ratio of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium minerals and vitamins. Keep him active with regular exercise. A fit dog will be your companion for many years.