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How healthy is UK’s favourite dog breed?
16th July 2021

By Karen Pickwick



A new study from the Royal Veterinary College has revealed an overall picture on the healthiness of Labrador retrievers in the UK, showing that arthritis is a particular concern for the breed.

The study, led by the RVC’s VetCompass programme, compared the health of a random sample of 1,462 Labs with 20,786 non-Labrador Retrievers, compiling a list of the 35 most common disorders across both groups of dogs, including arthritis, ear infection and obesity.

This RVC says this research is important as it helps to provide owners with valuable guidance about what health issues to look out for in order to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

The Lab has been the most popular dog breed in the UK for many years but, until now, there has been limited reliable evidence on their general health compared with other dogs.

This new study shows they are a unique breed with a quite different disorder profile to others. Owners can now better understand the unique strengths and weaknesses of their dogs and therefore give them the best care possible.

It provides owners and breeders with a list of disorders with higher risk that they can monitor for in their dogs, enabling them seek veterinary support as early as possible in order to address potential problems.