Labrador Retrievers as a breed have a life expectancy of around ten to twelve years.
So it is a little sad to think that when they reach age seven, they are already considered to be entering the winter of their lives.
The average age is 7 when labs start to show their loss of athleticism and stamina. There appetite, once ravenous, fluctuated. When a Lab is younger, he could have slept through the Battle of the Bulge. But when they turn around 7, they start to get restless and occasionally paced at night as much as he slept. Even their coat, once as glossy as spit-shined charcoal, lost some of its luster.
Concerned, I brought him into the vet. The results: He was perfectly healthy, except for “a touch of arthritis” in the “elbow” of his front left leg – a problem that got worse over time and required treatment and medication.
“If your dog is just getting old,” please take him or her to the vet, as Lab owner and bird hunter we all want the best for our friend and special companions. “Enjoy his golden years while you can.”