If your Labrador is very big, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common causes and what you can do about them.
So, why is my Labrador so big? Possible reasons are that it is genetically big, it might be eating the wrong foods or too much of the right foods, it might not be getting enough exercise or it could be due to a medical condition.
Your Labrador could be big for a number of reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can do about them and you can consider some things when trying to figure out the cause more precisely.
Why your Labrador is so big
Each of the different reasons why your Labrador is big will likely come with a number of clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
It is eating the wrong food
The cause might be that there is an issue with its diet. It might be eating too much, eating the wrong foods or someone might be feeding it without you knowing. This would be more likely if it has become big suddenly after a change in its diet.
Generally, a Labrador should be 1000-1200 calories daily as a healthy adult (source). It would help to consult with your vet to confirm that its diet is the right one and that you have been feeding it in the correct quantities. It would also help to make sure that there are not any opportunities for it to eat things it shouldn’t be and that no one else is feeding it without you knowing. You can look here to see what you should be feeding it.
It’s not getting enough exercise
Labradors are a breed that is meant to get exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise, it can cause them to become bigger especially if they also eat too much.
Generally, it is recommended for a healthy adult Labradors to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If your Labrador is not getting that much exercise it would help to make sure that it does.
A medical condition
It might be the case that a medical condition has been causing your Labrador to get big. This would be more likely if it has started putting on weight suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill such as being fatigued. If it does seem like it might be ill or it has gotten big suddenly it would help to take it to a vet for a checkup.
Injuries such as hip dysplasia can cause dogs to be less active and to put on weight. An injury would be more likely to be the cause if your Labrador has been less active lately and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as limping. In this case, the best option for you would be to consult with a vet.
If your Labrador has gradually become bigger as it has become older it could be because it is not as active as it used to be but you’re feeding it the same amount. It would help to confirm with your vet that you should still be feeding it the same amount when you see them next.
The reason might also be that it is genetically big. This would be more likely if your vet has not noticed any issues whenever you took it for a checkup, if it has always been big and it has not come on suddenly.
Consider if it has always been big
If it has happened suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a change in its diet, illness, injury or being less active. If it has started being big suddenly it would help to take it to a vet.
If it has always been big it would be more likely that it is genetically big. However, it still might be the case that you have been feeding it too much, it has been eating without you knowing or that it has not been getting enough exercise.
How to get your Labrador to be less big
Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to be less big. You will likely find that a combination of them will work best.
Make sure that it is eating the right foods
It could be the case that your Labrador has been eating things that it shouldn’t be. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it and to consult with your vet about its diet.
Make sure that it is eating the right amount of calories for its activity levels
It would also help to make sure that it is eating the right amount of calories for its size, age and activity levels. Generally, Labradors should be eating between 1000 to 1200 calories per day (source) but this could be different for your Labrador so it would help to ask your local vet when you see them next.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, Labradors are meant to get a lot of exercise daily. If your Labrador is healthy and it is not getting a lot of exercise it would help to make sure that it does either by exercising it yourself or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador is big, it seems to be ill or injured or it has become big suddenly the best option would be to take it to a vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador.