A major contributing factor in early-onset arthritis in Labradors is obesity
. Labs are notoriously greedy and as a result can quickly become overweight.
Carrying extra pounds places additional strain on the joints of your dog’s legs and feet, causing degeneration of the protective cartilage and thus hastening the onset of arthritis. It's a vicious circle; the more overweight the dog becomes, the worse your pet's arthritis gets, and the less able or willing your Lab is to exercise to shed the excess weight.
By keeping your Labrador fit and at the correct weight
, you’ll help to delay the onset of arthritis. And rather than waiting until your pet’s later years when arthritis may already be troubling him, you should ideally begin giving your Lab a daily dose of a joint supplement from his first birthday as an effective preventative therapy.
Drug treatment involving anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving pharmaceuticals will relieve an older Lab’s pain, but their long-term use can interfere with the body’s natural healing abilities, as well as causing other health problems. By feeding your Labrador a joint supplement throughout his life, you may negate the need for any drug therapy whatsoever in his later years.