Lockdown experience of Britain's favorite dog breed affected their lifestyles and veterinary care

Labradors had similar levels of illness overall but went to the vet less often during the early months of the pandemic

Labrador owners also reported less coughing by their dogs, which might have included infectious causes like kennel cough—a perennial ailment in dogs

Researchers say the findings can inform owners and vets of the best practices for keeping dogs healthy during future pandemics

Future studies should aim to help veterinary professionals and owners minimize the negative impacts of a pandemic on dogs

However, not all impacts of lockdown were negative. Just as some people stepped up their fitness routines, Labradors enjoyed an increase in exercise

The implications of the changes are complex and further research should aim to shed light on how negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

The team also found that, compared with previous years, Labradors were less likely to be insured