If you are the owner of a Labrador, you probably already know how loving, kind and affectionate they can be. Hopefully, you will get to love and care for your lab as he grows old. If you have (or will have) a senior lab in your care in the future, it can be helpful to learn all you can about senior labs so that you can ensure that he or she has as healthy and happy a life as possible. Learn more about senior labs below.
A Senior Lab Will Slow Down
Labs can be energetic and all over the place as young and adult dogs. One of the first and most obvious signs of aging in a lab is that he’ll start to slow down. This means that he will spend much of the day sleeping, and he will probably run less and walk slower when you take him on walks. If your dog starts to slow down, fear not, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with him at all! He’s probably just getting a little older and little less energetic.
A Senior Lab Can Gain Weight
When dogs don’t exercise as much as they used to but they still have the same appetite, it can be easy for them to gain weight. If your lab starts to gain weight, make sure that you adjust his diet and exercise and that you do not allow him to become obese or develop other weight-related health problems. Consult your vet about how to best maintain your senior lab’s healthy weight if you notice his weight is starting to change.
A Senior Lab Can Get Arthritis
Much like a senior human, a senior lab can get arthritis in his joints. Having arthritis can make it painful to move around the world and may hinder their sense of well-being or their ability to exercise and expend energy. This can also eventually lead to weight gain and heart problems in labs. If your dog gets arthritis, talk to your vet about the best ways to manage the condition. He may choose to prescribe your pup a medication that can help make him more comfortable and able to move more easily.
A Senior Lab Should Go to the Vet More Often
Whether you notice any changing health conditions in your senior lab or not, you’ll want to start taking your dog to the vet more regularly. This will ensure that your vet catches any potentially risky health conditions as they arise and that proper treatment is provided — so that your dog can continue to live a life that is healthy and also feels good.
Your vet can give your dog pain medication for pains he is experiencing, treatments that can help with senior lab incontinence, supplements to boost his overall nutrition and health, and medications like Apoquel, which can help with skin itching and allergies. Should your vet prescribe anything, make sure to check the web for more information on how to obtain your prescriptions at a fraction of the cost.
Having a lab as a pet is an amazing experience from the puppy years all the way through the senior years. By educating yourself about how to care for your lab as he ages, you can keep him as comfortable and happy as possible and ensure that you have an unbeatable partnership no matter what age your pup is.