Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, and rightly so! We see many of them at our branches in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham. They are highly intelligent, affectionate, loyal, gentle and playful. In many ways, they are the perfect family dog. They do require plenty of exercise, and stimulation is important for gun dog breeds because in the fields they are used to retrieve, which involves a lot of running and sniffing! Even though your pet won’t be a “working dog”, the traits of the breed are present and lack of stimulation can lead to boredom and in term, destruction! Labradors are generally a health breed when diet and exercise are under control. However, as with every dog breed, health issues do exist and early detection can be vital to recovery or treatment.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are understandably upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have and how to keep those health conditions which could be avoided at bay. The potential health problems that Labrador Retrievers are prone to include:
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Elbow dysplasia – elbow joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Prone to obesity
- Progressive retinal atrophy – gradual deterioration of the retina of the eye. Symptoms can start with night blindness and progress to total blindness.
Orchard House Vets and your Labrador
Whilst not all diseases and ailments can be avoided, there are plenty of ways to reduce the risk of certain problems. Here at Orchard House Vets our nursing team run daily weight clinics which are well received and in particular by Labrador owners! We are blessed to live in the Tynedale area with plenty of walking country such as Kielder Water, Hadrian’s Wall, Slaley Forest and so much more. Walking is 50% of the battle for a pet’s weight, the other of course, is food! You can book nurse clinics by clicking here, or just give us a call at our Hexham, Stocksfield or Bellingham surgery.
It sounds a bit obvious to say, but yes, at least one health check each year is highly advisable. We recommend two health checks a year, 6 months apart. Many problems can be detected during a health check and early detection can be of vital importance to your pet. Our veterinary surgeons in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham are here to help, but why not make two health checks a year part of your pet’s routine? Our Well Pet Club is a veterinary health plan which spreads the cost of your pet’s preventative treatment, booster vaccination and allows you exclusive discounts on other services and treatment. Starting at just £9.00 a month you will receive reminders and keeping on top of your pet’s health has never been as easy!
Other Labrador tips and information
We would recommend two hours of exercise and stimulation every day for Labradors.
Labradors are highly trainable and very intelligent. We would recommend a dog trainer to help you and we are blessed with many great dog trainers in Northumberland.
Pet insurance is very important and should be a priority for all pet owners. To give an idea of costs, something awful like a leg break may require specialist veterinary referral work and this can cost £3,000+. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind should the worst happen. We have a handy guide to pet insurance which explains the difference in policies to aid you in your decision.
So, you are taking the decision to welcome a Labrador Retriever into your life? We are jealous! But now that you have done your “homework”, the next step is to know what will be coming up for you and your puppy. We look forward to seeing you at our Vets in Hexham, Stocksfield or Bellingham very soon, but in the meantime, why not download our Orchard House Vets puppy guide.