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If you’ve welcomed a bouncy Labrador puppy into your life, adopted a middle-aged shelter dog, or made room in your home and heart for a dog of any age, you’ve probably already thought about senior dog care, at least for a moment or two.
If there’s a downside to living with and loving Labradors, or any dog for that matter, it’s that their lives are so short compared to our own.
Sharing your life with a dog means loving them and caring for them through every stage of growth and development, from the moment they bounce into your heart, until old age and their eventual death.
The good news is that dogs, like people, have a longer life expectancy now than ever before.
Modern research and technology, advanced veterinary care, and more nutritious food options have enabled our dogs to stay healthy and active well into old age.
While these advancements are welcome and encouraging, the biggest factor in the quality of your dog’s geriatric health is still you.
How you care for your senior dog will have a huge impact on their golden years. This article will cover everything you need to know about caring for your senior Labrador.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- How Long Will My Labrador Live?
- How will I know when my Labrador is Getting Old?
- What Kind of Health Problems Affect Older Labradors?
- Signs that Your Senior Labrador May Be Sick
- Keeping your Labrador Healthy and Happy for as Long as Possible
- Grooming Your Older Labrador
- Preparing for Limited Mobility
- Preparing Your Home for Your Older Labrador
- Letting Go
- Top Picks For Our Dogs
How Long Will My Labrador Live?
Not so very long ago, as recently as the 1970s, the life expectancy for most dogs was between 6 and 8 years.
Today, the average life expectancy for most dogs has risen to between 10 and 18 years. Smaller breeds tend to live longer, and large breeds, like Labradors, have a shorter life span.
Based on genetics alone, the lifespan of your average Labrador is between 10 and 14 years, but there are various factors that will have an effect on your Labradors’ health as they age.
Have you heard the myth that one year of a dog’s life equals seven human years? It’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
If you’re curious, we’ll be adding an article on this topic very soon, so check back in a couple of weeks!
But do you want to know how old the oldest Labrador ever was? Check out this article: How Long do Labs Live? Average Labrador Lifespan? The Oldest?
How will I know when my Labrador is Getting Old?
Probably the first sign of old age in Labradors is an overall slowing down.
As your dog ages, they will find it harder to get up after napping, will walk slower, and take longer to climb the stairs. And they will spend lots of time sleeping, often between 12 and 18 hours each day.
While exercise is still important for aging Labradors, you may find that your dog just can’t manage those long jogs, walks, or runs.
Your dog will probably enjoy shorter, more frequent walks, and will have to urinate more often due to less bladder control.
Less exercise and a slower metabolism may also cause your senior Labrador to start gaining weight.
These are all typical signs of aging, and are generally not reasons for concern. You should, however, keep in mind that as your Labrador ages, illnesses and other age-related health issues are more common.
Some of these illnesses can be treated, while others are just a byproduct of old age and can only be accepted with love and understanding.
What Kind of Health Problems Affect Older Labradors?
- Obesity – The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) classifies obesity as a weight that is 30% more than the ideal for that pet. According to the organization’s recent study, more than 54% of dogs were overweight or obese in 2015, and obesity in senior dogs is even more common. Obesity will only exacerbate age-related health problems, causing joint, bone, and ligament damage, as well as respiratory decline.
- Cancer – Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs, and older dogs become more susceptible to cancers as they age. The most common type of cancer in dogs is Lymphoma or Lymphosarcoma, accounting for 20% of all canine cancers.
- Kidney Disease – Kidney disease will affect 1 in 10 dogs over the course of their lives, and it becomes more common as dogs age. Signs of kidney disease include drinking and urinating more frequently, weight loss, and reduced appetite.
- Senility – Aging can certainly dull the senses a bit, but if your dog is showing signs of confusion or disorientation, it could be a thought processing disease similar to Alzheimer’s known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or CCD. While there is no cure for CCD, there are drugs available that will help alleviate symptoms.
- Eye Problems – Two common eye problems in older dogs are nuclear sclerosis and cataracts. Nuclear sclerosis is a bluing of the eye lens, caused by fibers growing into the lens. Nuclear sclerosis is a normal part of aging and has a minor effect on your dog’s vision. Cataracts generally start to appear in dogs who are 6 to 8 years old, damaging their vision and eventually causing total blindness. Luckily, most cataracts can be removed with surgery.
- Heart Disease – Older dogs are highly susceptible to heart disease, especially dogs who are overweight and don’t exercise. Unlike humans, dogs won’t suffer from a sudden “heart attack.” Instead, their hearts will slow down and pump erratically. Symptoms of heart disease include constant coughing, difficulty breathing, and excessive panting.
- Arthritis – While all senior dogs slow down a bit, a dog suffering from arthritis or joint pain will seem to have difficulty moving well. They may limp, tremble, or cry out when they try to move, especially when they get up from a nap. Medications and supplements are available to ease the symptoms of arthritis and ease your dog’s discomfort.
Signs that Your Senior Labrador May Be Sick
As we discussed earlier, senior dogs do start to slow down. They will sleep more and exercise less. So how will you know the difference between a medical problem and regular old age?
Regular vet visits (every 6 months) will help set your mind at ease. You should also schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Sudden Lethargy – Even old dogs need to get out for a daily romp, even if it’s just around the block. If your dog suddenly shows no interest in exercising, it could be a sign of a serious disease.
- Persistent Vomiting or Diarrhea – Vomiting and diarrhea are an occasional part of caring for a dog. Like people, dogs will deal with stomach issues from time to time. If your aging dog develops persistent vomiting or diarrhea, it is cause for concern.
- Frequent, Unproductive Attempts at Urination – This can be a sign of a bladder infection, bladder stones, a urinary tract infection, or cystitis. All of these conditions show up regularly in older dogs, but they are all treatable.
- Urinary Incontinence – Common in older dogs, but also a telltale sign of kidney disease, especially if the symptom is combined with increased thirst, lethargy, or fever. A visit to the vet will help rule out serious problems. Once you’ve ruled out kidney disease and other problems, you might want to invest in some washable diapers to help keep your dog’s bedding (and the rest of your home) clean.
- Weight Loss – Most dogs gain a bit of weight as they age. If your dog starts to lose weight, it could be a sign of diabetes or heart problems.
- Tumors or Wounds That Won’t Heal – Obvious lumps and bumps should always be checked out by a veterinarian to rule out cancer. Because cancer affects your dog’s immune system, you should also pay attention to wounds that fail to heal or seem to fester.
- Bad Breath – Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between senior dog breath and sick dog breath, but breath that has an unusually chemical smell is a warning sign for a number of diseases, and bad breath that seems excessively smelly is a sure sign of periodontal disease.
Keeping your Labrador Healthy and Happy for as Long as Possible
Your senior Labrador, who has given you love, loyalty, and devotion for so many years, will now need special care from you as they age.
The better prepared you are for the senior years of your dog’s life, the easier it will be for both of you.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy during the senior years:
- Increase your dog’s veterinary care. Yearly check-ups are sufficient for adult dogs, but as your Labrador enters into the senior years, you should switch to check-ups every six months. Many serious diseases are best treated early, and frequent visits to the vet, will allow your veterinarian to look for symptoms and monitor your dog’s health. It’s equally important to establish a relationship with a veterinarian that you trust and feel comfortable with.
- Pay special attention to diet and nutrition. Feed your Labrador the best dog food you can afford, and consider a commercial dog food that has been specifically developed for senior dogs.
- Control Your Labrador’s Weight. Labradors are prone to obesity, especially as they age. Based on your dog’s exercise level, you may need to adjust the amount of food you feed them to keep them trim and you might want to consider changing your lab to a specially formulated senior dog food. Your veterinarian can help you adjust your dog’s caloric intake for maximum nutrition without weight gain.
- Keep pests and parasites away from your Labrador. Flea and tick control becomes increasingly important as your dog ages. Check your dog for fleas daily and keep their bedding meticulously clean. Your vet can help you decide on a flea-control method based on your dog’s unique situation.
- Help your Labrador stay active. Your senior dog may not be able to hike mountains or run marathons, but they can still enjoy a fairly active life as seniors. Shorter more frequent exercise sessions will probably be appreciated, followed by long naps. Because your Labrador will do just about anything to please you, there is a danger of them overexerting themselves to make you happy. Pay attention to their energy levels and cut the outing short before your dog is totally exhausted.
- Pay attention to your dog’s mental health. Your dog must continue to challenge themselves mentally to keep their minds sharp. As you go through the day with your senior dog, don’t be afraid to try new things – new tricks, new games, new toys, new forms of exercise. All of these things will help challenge your dog and expand their mental horizons.
Grooming Your Older Labrador
Your Labrador’s fur and skin are the first line of defense against parasites, disease, and infection, but as your dog ages, their skin and coat may appear dull, and the fur coarse and brittle.
This is entirely normal, but it does affect the way your dog’s coat protects the rest of the body. Because of this, a regular grooming routine is especially important during old age.
Because older dogs have less energy to get out and explore, they will crave a bit more attention and physical contact.
Grooming is a great way to connect with your dog, and it is also a good time to check your dog for tumors, growths or changes in skin condition.
Just 15 minutes a day will help keep your dog’s coat healthy, and it will help strengthen the bond between you and your aging Labrador. Here are some basic tips for grooming your senior Labrador.
- Skin and Coat – Short, frequent grooming sessions are best for your aging Labrador. When brushing their coat, you should use a soft-bristled brush that won’t damage your dog’s thinning skin. A flea comb is another necessity for checking your dog’s coat for fleas and ticks.
- Nails – Younger dogs have an easier time wearing down their nails as they walk and run. Nail-clipping is important for all dogs, but even more so for older dogs, who can experience muscle strain and balance issues if their nails get too long. Trimming a small amount off of your dog’s nails weekly should keep them at a manageable length.
- Ears – Labradors, especially frequent swimmers, are prone to ear infections. Dry your senior Labrador’s ears after swimming, and check for discharge, foul smells, or constant head-shaking.
Preparing for Limited Mobility
As your dog starts to slow down, walking, running, climbing stairs, and getting into the car can become a problem.
Here are a few tips and resources to make things easier for you and your dog as you deal with limited mobility.
- Give your dog some traction. Prevent slips and falls by keeping the fur on your dog’s pads trimmed close. You should also consider skid-proof carpeting under your dog’s food and water bowls, on slippery stairs, and wherever they lie down frequently so it’s easier to get up. If your dog has trouble walking on tile, linoleum, or hardwood floors, you can spray an all-natural product called Firm Grip on their paws to give them more traction.
- Use a harness to help your old dog walk. Dogs who suffer from arthritis or other joint problems may have trouble getting up and walking. For these situations, we recommend a handled harness that you can hold to help distribute your dog’s weight and help them walk.
- Use a ramp to help them in and out of your car. This is especially important if you have high truck or SUV. This tri-fold ramp is a compact solution that you can keep right in your car for traveling with your dog.
Preparing Your Home for Your Older Labrador
As your dog ages, they will spend more and more time at home. You can help keep them comfortable by making a few adjustments to their home environment.
- Invest in a special bed for senior dogs. We love orthopedic dog beds, particularly those that come with waterproof, washable covers, perfect for dogs who are incontinent. You can see a list of recommended beds for Labradors here.
- Raise your dog’s bowls off the ground. This will ease tension on your dog’s spinal cord and neck muscles as they eat and drink. You can put your dog’s bowls up on blocks, or buy elevated bowls designed for large-breed dogs like Labradors.
- Keep your dog warm. Your aging dog will not be able to regulate temperatures as easily as when they were young, so it’s important to keep your dog’s sleeping areas away from drafts. You may also want to buy a few dog sweaters for use in areas with cold, wet, or snowy winters.
One of the hardest parts about living and loving a dog is knowing when it’s time to say goodbye. We all want our dogs to live long, happy, and healthy lives, but a dog’s lifespan is still so much shorter than our own.
Your Labrador may die a peaceful, natural death when the time is right, or you may have to intervene. This article will help will help you decide when euthanasia is the right decision.
The bond we share with our faithful dogs runs deep, and the sorrow we feel when they leave us behind can be heartbreaking.
But, what we are left with is the joy that they have brought us, the memories that we have made together, and the knowledge that we were able to walk side by side through life, if only for a short time.
Your dog will always be a part of you, and that is reason enough to be thankful.
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Thankyou for this, I have a lab who’s nearly 12 and has slowed down so much in the last few weeks and this may sound selfish but it’s hitting me rather hard, it’s comforting to read stuff like this and get things into perspective x
Thank-you very much for sharing in the health and welfare of an animal! They do become family and it’s important to know the things to do and watch for concerning their care! Thanks once again! Mark n Claudia Hedrick!
Hi there i have been concerned about my 12 year old Chocolate Lab as she has slowed down quite a bit, has a few fatty lumps now and has started this cough/choking every now and then… seems to be when she is resting.
Hoping this is not anything too serious.
You should consider taking your dog to the vet. Your vet will know best what might be causing the coughing/choking in your dog.
Love this Article. My Lab is going on 17 and we lost her sister 4 years ago. Maggie is starting to have a hard time getting up. She eats great and no mistakes. I’m coming to the point that I hate thinking about. Love her so much.
My 14 year old lab has begun having incontinence problems and messing in the house, like he doesn’t feel what’s happening in his back end.
He’s nearly blind and deaf but we still walk his vet check up was good for his age very normal lab work. He pants a lot and gets confused and of course he sleeps a lot. We had to euthanize his brother in August I like to not go through that again but I don’t want him to suffer. I’ve got him on carprofen to keep him comfortable but don’t know what else to do. Takes thyroid pill twice a day
Thank you for this
Information- my wonderful 14 year black lab
Girl passed away naturally in the grass yesterday – I’m devastated!
One minute she was
Hopping happily in the kitchen for a treat as I was
Cooking then I went to look for heron 30 minutes outside as was our usual daily
Routine she usually hops and runs in when I call her- but nothing!
When I went outside she was lying On the green grass that she loved on her side I thought she was sleeping-
but saw no chest Breathing movements up and down I went closer
And she was dead! Her beautiful big brown Eyes wide open and whitish blue- mouth open Oh my gosh I lost it- called vet and he said most likely a brain aneurysm or kidney
Or other organ failure- so hard to lose her she was my constant companion so sad
Everywhere I look I see her- it’s gonna take some time she was so sweet and kind
Unconditional love and so very obedient
I’ll miss her and never forget her
I’m sorry for your loss Carolyn, I truly am… I have 13 year old black Lab’, Boomer, who I just can’t seem to slow down, and really don’t want to. He’s so happy when he’s running through one of the many alfalfa fields that surround our home, comes back to me with biggest grin on his face, exhausted as hell but so damn happy. I can’t imagine finding him the way you did, but I’d rather have it that way then holding him when being put down. Mocha was happy out there, probably didn’t feel a thing, and passed in a place he would have chosen if he was able. I know for a fact that on the other side, all those that we loved and loved us will be there to great us, including our dogs. How could it be any other way? You’ve invested 14 years into an eternity of love, count on it.
Oh dear just cried my eyes out reading these so sorry for any one who’s lost a faithful lab , my old lab is 14. She fine very slow now but seems happy got lumps and bumps and she put on a bit of weight she lives for her food try so hard to restrict her diet , thanks for article good reading
So sorry for your loss
Please take your dog to the vet, he is very old and he is in serious trouble due to his age, and hopefully not in pain. It is difficult to know when they have chronic pain because they try to hide it.
My 12 year old lab has really slowed down the last month or so. Like someone above she has also started this cough/choke noise! Limping on the front legs – Currently on hold to the vets to see if we can get her an MOT!!
I have a lab Aussie mix who is going to be 19 soon. He has lost his hearing, has a hard time getting up, will walk and just pop like he has no idea. He paces a lot and falls often. He has lost so much weight but eats treats and some dog food like normal. Occasionally he will run and take a small jump out the door. He refuses to let me help him when he falls. On Christmas he bit me in the face when i tried to help him. I know i should put him down but i keep hoping he will pass naturally. When he was younger he was a therapy dog, competed in flyball and donated blood. He still seems to enjoy like and doesn’t seem to be in pain. Everyone says i should just let him go but i think he has a bit longer.
Hi Hannah… Reading this some time after you have posted it, but relate as our almost ten chocolate lab cross has been coughing too for the last fee weeks or so. Had thought it was stop thing stuck in her throat, however just found out it’s DCM. Google it, a degenerative heart condition… scary time! I hope your little rascal got sorted!
My ka roadie is about 14 years , lives a wonderful life but suddenly due to age now his digestive system seems to be giving up . I need some good recipes for home cooked food to give him all the energy and nutrients he need to go peacefully from the world when the time comes .
Hello. We have a 13 yr old yellow lab. She has always been little but for the last year she is really slimming down. U can see ribs. She eats all the time and also drinks water. She has started to walk backwards onto her bed and down the hallway, but this started a few years back and there was nothing wrong per tests at the vet. She also has a lump on her butt.
If you think something might be wrong you might want to keep asking your vet or try a different one. When Stetson started coughing the vet didn’t really do much about it. Several months later we found it was cancer. I’m not sure if an early diagnosis would have made a difference, but I felt like the vet should have done a little bit more on our initial visit.
My 12 years Lab ASTRO has been with us
In perfect living conditions and he loved
home cooked food . Now he is overweight
but still fairly active. Now he has got
Some bots, Vet says it’s age related . I don’t
I don’t quite agree with it , must be some
remedy. Please advise . Homeopath has
some treatment , am going to try .
Our 15 year old lab has slowed down in the last few months. He has a large growth on his side that has tripled in size in the last six months. He is losing weight and having bowel movements inside in the house. We have never had trouble with that before. His back end will give out occasionally as well. He still eats and walks everyday. Our walks take three times as long. Any suggestions?
Please take your dog to the vet, he is very old and he is in serious trouble due to his age, and hopefully not in pain. It is difficult to know when they have chronic pain because they try to hide it.
Our 14 yo lab drake is slowing down. He still jumps on the couch but often falls down a couple stairs or takes a while going up. No stopping him from being where we are. He has been more restless lately; which is making me nervous. I read about the tread spray, this might help with him slipping on the hardwood floors. He still eats and has no issues with his bladder. He is on some anti-inflammatory medication and of course, acts like nothing is wrong. I’m so worried he is declining; it is selfish, we have such a strong connection. Anyone have any thoughts?
I’m SO in awe of how many of your labs have lived such long and wonderful lives. My two boys will be 11 years old this year. A chocolate and Dudley lab that are brothers. I am hoping that I can get a few more years out of them. So many 13,14 and 15 year olds!!!
For those of you having joint issues with your older labs, Adequan has completely changed my boy’s life. He went from being very lame in one front leg to having no limp. The vet taught me how to give him the injections sub q. It’s not hard and, once you get through the initial dosing which is every few days, you can get down to once or twice a month. It’s not cheap, but his relief is incredible. He was already on rimadyl and gabapentin and only getting worse. This has reversed his symptoms. His quality of life is so much better. It’s not a medication that a lot of vets prescribe , but his best friend from puppy hood had good results with it, so we asked to try it.
My labradoodle died yesterday afternoon due to my ignorance of the topics covered above. He had been exhibiting the cough/choke for three months prior and the vet nor I ever related it to DCM or congestive heart failure. It was treated as a gastric issue instead, which in hindsight was wrong. He was 10-1/2 and the suddenness of it all has been devastating for me. He was healthy and playful in the morning and dead at 3pm. I found a lot of comfort reading CAROLYNs experience because that was mine too. Thanks for letting me share this.
My Labrador is LULU, she is the most adorable young lady! She is now 18. Loves her food. We take her out often, she has always been a lady who, likes her space. She would often lay in the garden on her own. We called it her ‘I want to be alone darling’ Esp when windy or a storm brewing. But always a truly loving girl to all of us. My Husband works odd hours and the two of them would have their ‘special time’ at 4am, or so. Cuddles and treats!
At 18 of course she has slowed down. She can no longer manage our stairs. We have an upside down house. She would always be at the entrance to welcome anyone into our home. She can no longer do this. We go out for regular walks (no longer the longer ones we used to do). She always been a swimmer omg like diving into the river. She loved int. but now she says ‘hey mum I’m off home now and gets a little jog on and away she goes, she’s had enough and walks herself home despite my calling her to come back. No notice at all. I follow – blame the deafness but really! then its a very very slow walk up the hill together.
Her back legs are going, often needing a little help up, but once going is fine. One leg seems to kinda spasm, and her paw claws over (almost like a dead leg) and takes a while to get going. But it does. I massage her groom her. She doesn’t groom herself. She’s occasionally incontinent (urine and faeces) but knows where she needs to be mostly. Walks along pooing. (sorry for details).
Other dogs we meet say hi and then don’t seem interested I wonder if this is a sign that she isn’t well.
Understand she is not well old age. Probably heart failure, she isn’t overweight, if anything loosing weight for her. You can see her ribs. Still has an interest in ‘naughty’ food most definitely but selective.
I want the best for her, I am worried if I take her to the vet and they suggest her PTS. I work from home even before lockdown and spend as much time with her at my side, but I do not want her to be in pain or suffer.
We have moments where she pants and is seemingly needy, but that happened when she was younger too usually associated with a storm brewing even to the extent she would come into my shower and sit with her body right up against the door (glass door) .
any advise? or tips most appreciated. Thank you in advance. :)
Hi, fellow Lab lovers, after 13 years together we recently lost our best friend Theo, he was just turning 15yrs. old and we got him as a rescue when he was almost 2 yrs old.
He was doing fine 6 weeks before he pasted, weight issues came and went, so did skin issues, and the occasional limp tail from to much swimming, but his life changed dramatically (for the better) at the age of 10 when we found out that his thyroid was failing.Once we had this under control that gave us all the extra 5 yrs. we would never have had. The seizures came on quickly in his final 6 weeks once we discovered he had a terminal Cancer.
Most of what I am reading sound so familiar to us, the signs that you are seeing in your wonderful 11-12-13 yr + friends are what we experienced. Since they can not tell us how they are feeling and want to be so good, we have to rely on these signs and what the Vet’s tell all of us.
The best advise we can give is to work with your vet,ask as many questions as you can and watch closely for the signs that your best friends are trying to tell you. They are getting older and need your help to get them through this part of the journey until the final days. Your Vet can give you with sensible direction on how to care and respect them in this time of their life.
The most important advise we took from this period was that we need to be there for our best friend and continue to love him with in a calm and respectful way and spend as much time as as possible as they need our comfort and love. This is a wonderful, yet heart wrenching time, but what is amazing is this bond gets even stronger as it is based on a true and mutual love.
In the 13 yrs together every stage was a typical text book Lab experience, the older lab is the sweetest and most tender stage, so enjoy this time together and hug them and give them as many tummy rubs as possible.
My 10-year-old lab Louie ( Loudog )passed away from cancer saddest thing in my whole life but during the last three years of his life I got to pick up a bunch his son Louie Junior LJ a week before his dad passed away the pup got a change of attitude and started biting even bit me it seemed that he knew something was going on with his dad how can I change him from being so aggressive and growling being that his dad‘s passing probably stirred up some kind of rejection from anybody . He won’t let me take off or put on his collar / harness and I’ll never get rid of my dog but I’m afraid he’s gonna hurt someone or something. He went from Wanting to be first then having everything his way lover boy everything to be in this mean dog I can’t even hug him scratch his butt
Please let me say Thank You for all the great advice, and all the experience you’ve all had w/ your Senior Labs. We have a 12.5 yr old male Chocolate lab. He’s been such a loving, sweet baby for us. We call him Austin, as the little boy that had him before us, must have liked that name.. I tried twice to change his name to Wrigley, but he preferred to keep the capital of Texas, I guess. He was found in Georgia, a very high kill state. They apparently only allow 3 days in a shelter before euthanizing, even a 6 mos old puppy, like Austin was. He was found on the side of a road, clinging to the lifeless body of his brother, who’d been struck by a car. Just breaks my heart to think about my baby so young and terrified.
Now Austin is a retired dude. We go on @ least one walk everyday to see the ducks in the pond down the street. I have a 3″ foam dog pad outside my front door, so he can drop out of the door, and not injure his hind legs. So far our HOA hasn’t sent any warnings so I guess he’ll be allowed to step out of the house safely for much longer! He is on Cabapentin and doggie ibuprophen. So walking is made possible because of that. We live in N IL and FL. But we brought him up from FL to IL several summers, when our son was on summer break from school. Now he cannot travel, so I stay here in the cold w/ my baby, and my family is already back in FL.
Has anyone else seen that their Labs don’t like central heat? My guy sits by the slider and scratches to go out on our screened in porch in very cold/rainy weather. I think it’s the heat, but I keep it around 68F for him and just really pack on the sweaters!
For being almost 13, I think he’s doing pretty damn well.. I hope we have him for several more years w/ my baby boy!
My 13 y/o chocolate lab also doesn’t like the floor heating. I put a cooling mat to distribute the heat evenly underneath her bed, but she’s often panting as they often do at this age and we aren’t sure what she wants, so we also put a fan on her which she really seems to enjoy until she doesn’t. Her winter fur is very thick now, so I think I will take your cue and put on more sweaters and lower the heat a bit more. She’s really happy laying outside anywhere. I think she loves the cold earth underneath her and it’s made her coat just gorgeous. She attended her first ever dog birthday party last night for a 2 year old friend of hers and I thought something was wrong tonight when she skipped her dinner and went straight to bed. Then my husband reminded me of the doggy birthday cake, doggy birthday cake to go, doggy treats in cute boxes to take home, etc. etc. He thinks she’s not interested in her boring old can of dog food after such a great party. I think he’s right. A dog owner told me today that she looks thin and suggested a supplement that someone else had recommended for the joints, so I’ve just ordered that, it will arrive tomorrow and I guess I’ll have to learn how to make doggy cakes because I think she really enjoyed it! :D
I must admit my eyes are full of tears and my heart is aching! I had to stop reading halfway down the list. I have a 13 yr old yellow lab and he is showing signs of his age outwardly but not inwardly and not with his eyes! He is a lab that didnt grow out of his puppy stage in 3-5 years like most labs. He has been a puppy at heart all his life much the same way as George Burns said always stay a kid at heart! He used to always wake up in bed with me and roll back and forth and nudge me with his head a smile on his face while we gently play wrestled/fought pausing every minute waiting to see who would start it up again. I can get him to do it now with a little coaxing and i never start it back up now always wait for him to get impatient and toss his head backwards on top of me looking into my eyes as if saying “well come on””! I continue this till he is tired ( doesnt take very long) and is content to lay beside me catching his breath. When he is breathing normal we get up and go outside for the morning bathroom routine! He has been the BEST dog I ever owned and I am 57 myself. He has NEVER not even as a puppy used the bathroom inside nor EVER chewed anything up that wasnt his not even a sock, shoe, or glove of mine! His favorite toy, believe it or not, is the cheap thin clear EMPTY plastic 16oz water bottles! But you better put the cap back on tight because the first thing he likes to do is hold it in his paws and screw the lid off without tearing it up! Put it on loose or leave it off he will look up at you as if to say “Now What Were You Thinking About?” He likes to mouth the cap off bottle and the noise it makes as he squeezes it but again NEVER punctures a hole or tears the bottle or cap up, just has fun!!!
He is full blood lab but I can’t call him retriever he is useless at retrieving birds! We live in North Central Texas and while useless as a bird dog I think I have to ONLY Lab that is a Top Notch Treeing Coon Hound Dog!!!! Natural doing it at that didnt have to teach him a thing! We live on a decent size ranch and only took me opening a shed door to feed my cat and a coon sitting at the bowl growling and snapping at me while i slammed the door shut!! The coon hastily shot out a rear exit/entrance hole at the rear/side of the shed and my Lab ran over and stood in front of the coon in a HALT Critter stance! The coon jumped up on his head and sunk his teeth in his nose. YELP!! and my Lab knocked the coon off his head and they both lit out running away across a field grabbing each other and tumbling in a tussle then separate run another ten yards and grab each other again this continuing for a little over two hundred yards till they hit solid oak timber with a thick growth of green briars on the ground the coon escaped in my dog unable to follow! He has been treeing coons ever since!!! His name is Pepper but not a single spot on his coat but yellow lab!!! My name is Rex.
Love these stories, but yes, hard to read. Our darling black Lab Reuben made his transition a week ago. He was 15! We still walked with him, but slower. He was on supplements, and a super healthy diet. He did struggle getting up, and had to go out much more frequently with an occasionally accident in the house. A few months ago an X-ray revealed a tumor on his bladder. He told us when it was time. Enjoy your Lab buddies! We miss him terribly.
My chocolate lab is a rescue and is about 10 years old. We got her when she was about 18 months old having just recently having puppies ( no puppies with her) and a tummy which hung to the ground. People at the vets asked about her puppies as she is a very pretty lab. She used to have terrible nightmares and hate men. She finally allows men to pat her after so many years of being afraid. I am worried that she is getting older as it is so very hard when they die. I have never had one die naturally and hate the euthanasia thing, although necessary to alleviate suffering. She is such a sweet loving dog . It is hard to understand how anyone could have been mean to her. We go on 2 to 3 mile hikes everyday in the forest and she loves it. It will be very hard on me when she dies- my beautiful Chocolate lab, Annie. I can only hope that she will live as long as some of the labs on here. My last lab was 12 1/2. I missed her for a very long time before rescuing this lab.
Yep, my eyes are dripping now…. My best mate black labrador, Sab is 13 1/2 and I’ve noticed after our recent move, she has started to go down hill. She gets a small walk everyday, when I take her, I’m in tears when I get home… Her tail is still wagging, but her eyes are telling me… Her breathing is getting a bit flu like, I’m taking her to the Vet tomorrow… something inside me is telling me it won’t be a good experience… She came everyday to work with me, until it got to hard for her to jump in the cab. she wanted to come, but she was happy just to stay at home and sleep… This will be the hardest thing I’ll have to do, when her time is up.. I fear that time is arriving.. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences, I’m not alone…. Col…
ok. so I inherited Clair when my boyfriend her previous owner passed away in 2019. In 2019, her vet said she had two more winters and then it may be time to put her down. Clair became more active with me and has lived longer than the vet estimated. She has trouble with the hind getting up from a resting position and sometimes avoids steps – even the ones leading outside where she would go to use the restroom or take a walk. I cant get her in or out of the car. I noticed now that she has a large hanging ball or sack that just suddenly has open wound and is bloody. Shes losing weight suddenly as well. Still eating and drinking LIKE A LAB with a bottomless pit. It is very expensive to live and maintain myself let alone vet bills so unfortunately, I am not financially able to take her plus she cant get in the car. I am at an empasse. I know her dad wouldnt want her to suffer and his plan was once she had trouble getting up to use the bathroom to put her down out of further misery. I am grappling with the decision. I can see the sadness in her eyes, yet she still has personality, though she does seem to be confused at times like circling and circling then standing still.
I guess I am looking for opinions here. I googled looking for possible answers for the hanging lump and found this chat. Clair is between 17-18 years.
Thanks for any advice … Chris