If you’ve got a Labrador retriever as a family protection dog, you need to be aware that this particular breed can be prone to weight issues as they approach middle age.
According to new research from Edinburgh University, between the ages of one and four, these dogs will gain an average of 2lb each year, the BBC reports.
This is in spite of the fact that dogs on average were exercised for over two hours each day, with those fetching and chasing more frequently weighing less.
These findings form part of Dogslife, a project that aims to delve further into the association between the dogs’ lifestyles and their overall health and wellbeing.
“Dogslife is a ground-breaking study of canine health, which is made possible thanks to the incredible dedication of dog owners,” Dr Dylan Clements, lead author of the study and part of the Royal School of Veterinary studies and the Roslin Institute, was quoted as saying.
Keep an eye on your Labrador to ensure it doesn’t become overweight. Your dog should not have extra fat on their bodies or be barrel-shaped, so ensure your pup is lean and has loose skin. You should be able to feel their ribs if you run your hands along their sides, although you shouldn’t be able to see the ribs themselves.
Exercise-wise, aim to take your dog out for an hour twice a day and encourage them to do a lot of running. If you have a garden, make sure your family spends some time with the dog there as well, as this will help to burn off calories.