Labradors are loyal, playful, and loving animals, which makes them a perfect match for any family.
But how long do labs live? Many factors come into play in a labrador’s life expectancy, but their average lifespan is 10–12 years.
How Long Do Labs Live
Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds. Besides being friendly and loyal, this breed has a mild temperament—making it a perfect match for any family.
The average life expectancy for labs is usually 10–12 years, around the same age as any other large dog breed. However, you may find that your labrador retriever lives longer than what the average life expectancy is. Similarly, diseases and health issues can cut the dogs’ lives shorter.
The truth is that many things influence a pup’s life expectancy, like health, diet, and even genetics. For instance, overweight labs will likely have a shorter life compared to dogs with a more balanced diet.
You should always ask for veterinary records and ensure the dog was bred responsibly when buying a labrador puppy from a breeder.
Which Types of Labs Live the Longest
You might think that a lab’s coat is just a matter of a visual appearance, but it can give you an insight into the pup’s dominant and recessive genes—therefore revealing some health tendencies.
How long do chocolate labs live? These pups tend to have the lowest life expectancy out of all lab types, and it is all due to their limited gene pool. Chocolate-colored fur is a recessive gene, which means that for a breeder to make more chocolate labs, the young ones need two copies of that trait.
Because of this, chocolate labradors are more likely to develop an inflammation of the ear canal, also known as otitis externa. A brown lab is also more prone to contracting skin diseases, such as hot spots, which can seriously affect the dog’s overall health and lifespan.
Statistics show that the life expectancy of a yellow or black lab is 10% longer than that of a chocolate labrador.
Related article: How Long Do Huskies Live?
Health Issues That Affect the Average Labrador Retriever Lifespan
Every breed has specific conditions that might affect them more than other dog types, so it’s always wise to read into them for prevention and thus give your labrador retriever a longer lifespan.
- Joint and Hip Issues—Hip dysplasia has a 31% prevalence in the labrador population, and it’s an excruciating degenerative joint disease that mainly affects labs with weight problems.
- Diabetes—An unhealthy diet, obesity, inflammation, and genetics can all lead to a disturbance of insulin and glucose balance. Although there are very few cases where diabetic labs have inherited the disease, it can happen.
- Cancer—Lymphoma is the most common type of cancer among labradors. Luckily, it can be identified easily, and the treatment is also highly successful, thanks to chemotherapy.
- Bloating and/or Flipped Stomach—Labradors are known for overeating. This can cause air to get trapped in your puppy’s stomach, which then bloats and twists. If this happens, your dog needs to be immediately operated on; otherwise, it can be fatal.
To summarize, obesity is the number one cause of health issues for labrador puppies. Overeating can lead to diabetes, bloating, and flipped stomachs, all of which are incredibly pain-inducing for your dog—so, keep an eye on those dieatal habits and your dog should be safe.
How To Prolong Lab Life Expectancy
We understand that you might be worried that you might lose your furry friend too early. However, there are some steps you can take to prolong your labrador‘s life span, and we’re here to show you how to do it.
- Choose a reputable breeder—A good breeder will give you information on the pup’s genetic information and the potential inherited diseases, such as eye problems, heart defects, myopathy, and Cushing’s disease.
- Spay or neuter your dog—Did you know neutering your dog increases its lifespan by one or two years? It can also help prevent certain types of cancers and diminish the possibility of pregnancy which causes stress and inflammation.
- Maintain a healthy diet—Consult your local vet to give your lab a proper age-appropriate and nutritional diet. Labs don’t need much food, so it’s best to feed them once a day.
- Exercise—If you want to help your overweight dog become healthy again, you must create an excercising regimen for them. However, don’t overdo it since it can lead to additional joint strain.
- Add supplements to your dog’s diet—Supplements can be handy in preventing simple health maladies and keeping your dog healthy for a long time. This will ensure your lab gets all the nutritious value it needs.
There you have it! Now that you know how to give your lab proper healthcare, you’re all set to live out many years with your furry companion. Hey, maybe you’ll even get to beat the 27-year record of Adjutant—the oldest labrador to have ever lived!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do lab mixes live?
Lab mixes have a better life expectancy than that of a pedigree labrador. While the average age of labs is 10–12, labrador mixes usually live 12–14 years.
What do labs usually die from?
Studies show that cancer and musculoskeletal disorders are the most common causes of death among labrador puppies. Meanwhile, the most common disorders affecting these pups are obesity, and ear and joint conditions.
How long do labs live with arthritis?
Labs with arthritis can have a long and healthy life, but only if they are adequately cared for. If your pup has this disease, you can help increase its longevity by managing its diet and body size, purchasing orthopedic beds, giving it proper exercise, or even opting for surgery.
How long do labs live with cancer?
A lab’s life expectancy depends on the type of cancer. While some cancers can be easily treated, others can cause unbearable pain, so you’ll have no other choice but to euthanize your pup in order to spare it any further suffering.
So, how long do labs live? On average, they have about 10 to 12 years of life ahead, but this can vary depending on certain factors like diet, genetics, and health. You can also prolong your lab’s life by adding supplements to their food, training them often, and neutering.