When it comes to retrievers, like every other dog they have a life expectancy of up to 12⁄13 years. However, Chocolate labradors in specific have a shorter life span if 9-11 years. The life expectancy of any organism is dependent on many factors inclusive of the health, genetics and lifestyle.
From the above statement, you can easily tell that Chocolate Labradors have a shorter lifespan. According to National Geographic, it’s not the colour itself, but rather breeding for it that may have introduced harmful genes. Hence the short lifespan of this breed.
Why they have shorter life spans
Different studies have come up with different reasons as to why Chocolate labs die earlier than their other counter breeds. When compared with other labs, chocolate labs appear to suffer certain non-life-threatening ailments more frequently.
It has been seen that they tend to suffer from skin and ear diseases. As these were significantly more common in chocolate labrador breeds than in black or yellow dogs breeds.
Another research carried out by the Royal Veterinary College’s VetCompassTM programme together with the University of Sydney revealed that Chocolate labradors suffer ear infections at most. They say it is basically a disorder for them.
Obesity and joint disorders were also found to be major afflictions for Chocolate Labradors, with 8.8% of the breed found to be overweight and 5.5% affected by osteoarthritis. Meanwhile, the most common cause of death was from musculoskeletal disorders, which lead to the death of 24.5% of the breed.
How can they live longer
Keep them at a healthy weight
Giving a dog too many treats and/or too much, or the wrong sort, of dog food can make them gain weight. Overweight or obese dogs are at higher risk for a whole host of diseases, including high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Feeding your dog the right food for his age, activity level, breed, and any health conditions can go a long way towards keeping them alive.
Exercise them on a daily
A dog needs at least some exercise every day. Most dogs have fenced yards or live indoors most of the time. While this keeps them safe from many dangers, it cuts down on the amount of exercise the dog would get.
The type and amount of exercise your dog needs should be tempered by his age, overall health, and activity level that is natural for his breed, but dogs should get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It will help keep them lean, his muscles toned and will stimulate their mind.
Regular Vet Visits
Be sure to take your dog for routine wellness checkups. Most adult dogs only need to see their vets once a year if they’re healthy. Your vet can let you know if your dog should come in more often. In many cases, the sooner a health issue is discovered, the easier it is to cure or at least manage and control.
The chocolate colour in the labrador is a recessive trait in the dog breeds, meaning that to produce a chocolate labrador puppy, both parents must have the gene that produces the colour. Researchers have then come up with a theory that breeding for the chocolate colour may have introduced genetic consequences for the dog’s health. Which may be the overall reason why they have a short life span.