Labrador retrievers - the good, the bad and the hungry
The Labrador retriever is a very popular breed of choice throughout the world as they have the reputation of being very mellow, an excellent family dog and have a good reputation with other animals and children of all ages. They have an enthusiastic attitude towards life and for the most part are a dependable companion - eager to please and responsive to training.
Some lines which are bred specifically for their skills working in the field are particularly fast and athletic. Their fun-loving boisterousness and lack of fear may require training and firm handling at times to ensure things do not get out of hand!
Unfortunately, the Labrador has a well-known reputation for appetite and some individuals may be highly indiscriminate, eating digestible and non-digestible objects alike! They are persuasive and persistent in requesting food which means they can easily become overweight and lack of activity is a contributing factor. For this reason, the Labrador owner must carefully control his or her dog's food intake and exercise them daily, to avoid obesity and its associated problems.
A healthy Labrador should keep a very slight hour-glass waist and be fit and light, rather than fat or heavily set. Excessive weight is strongly implicated as a risk factor in the later development of hip dysplasia or other joint problems, as well as diabetes, and can also contribute to generally reduced health when older. Osteoarthritis is also extremely common in older, overweight Labradors.
A 14 year study involving 48 dogs by the dog food manufacturer Purina, showed that Labradors fed to maintain a lean body shape outlived those fed freely, by around 2 years, emphasizing the importance of not overfeeding.
Give our reception staff a call if you have any questions at all regarding your dog, whether they are a Labrador or a Chihuahua - we love them all!