When you get a new puppy you want to make sure you’re meeting all of their needs. And a lab puppy is going to have a whole lot of them.
If you’ve ever had a lab before or knew someone who did you likely already know that they are pretty energetic.
But you might not know just how energetic they are, or what they really need out of their owners. Which leaves you wondering, just how much exercise does a lab need?
The quick and easy answer is that a lab needs approximately 1 hour of exercise each day. But that’s a very generalized answer that needs a whole lot of additional information for you to really understand it. After all, you want to make sure that you’re getting the right amount of exercise for your dog specifically, right? That means you don’t want to exercise them too much and you don’t want to exercise them too little.
You will need to look at a number of different factors that include their individual personalities and needs. For example, different ages of dogs will need different exercise. Dogs that are in different conditions for their health will also need different amounts of exercise, which is something you need to think about. Overall, there are a number of things you want to consider when it comes to exercising your dog, so let’s take a closer look.
Do I Need to Give My Lab a Lot of Exercise?
A lab needs to get a good amount of physical activity in order to stay happy and healthy. In fact, they’re one of the breeds of dogs that requires the most exercise, which is something you absolutely need to think about when it comes to taking care of them and choosing to get this breed for yourself. But just why is exercise so important? Because these dogs are retrievers.
You’ve likely heard of the full name for a lab before, a Labrador retriever. And that’s because they were originally bred to do a whole lot of running and other physical activity in the course of their daily work. And because of that they are designed and specially made to handle a whole lot of physical activity. When they get it, they tend to thrive and do really well, but when they don’t, it can be difficult for them to feel happy and to actually get the physicality that they need.
In short, labs are:
- High energy
- Working breed
- Physically demanding
What About Puppies?
Lab puppies require even more physical activity than their adult members, but they may require their exercise in a slightly different way. For example, these puppies need to be able to play and burn off energy in whatever way they see fit. But taking them on walks when they’re less than 3 months old is going to be difficult and really not worth it. They can get the exercise they need through fun time with you.
Now, puppies are also going to play for short spurts of time throughout the day. You want to continue to allow them to play when they want to but make sure you’re not pushing them too much. Five minutes per each month of their age is a good place to start. This will make sure they’re not working too hard and yet it lets them have fun. Remember, you can play multiple times in a day, but when they seem to be getting worn out make sure that you are giving them plenty of time to rest.
What About Adults?
We mentioned adult labs earlier, but in general you want to make sure that you are getting your adult lab around an hour of exercise each day. At least 45 minutes and sometimes more than an hour are good for your dog because these things are going to make sure they can burn off energy and use the muscles that they were bred to have. And keep in mind that getting exercise can be a whole lot of fun.
Unlike exercise for a human, exercise for your dog is about running, playing fetch, walking and even swimming. You can take them with you to engage in a number of different activities and both of you can have a great time at the same time. There’s no reason that you have to make it all about work. But make sure you’re also keeping an eye on your dog. If they seem to be panting or getting overworked it’s time for a break and you can come back to exercise again later.
What About the Elderly?
If your dog starts getting a little older and seems to be getting a little slower in the process it might be time to slow down their activity levels. That doesn’t mean you should stop getting them exercise at all. Instead, it means that you need to be mindful of any health problems they might have and any signs of tiredness or overwork that they might exhibit while you’re exercising them.
You may need to be careful about shorter walks or the type of exercise that you’re engaging in to make sure they stay healthy but not too worn out. The right amount of exercise is going to help them feel better and it’s definitely going to make them look better.
Are You Give Your Dog Enough Exercise?
Watch for a few signs that your dog isn’t getting the exercise you need like:
- Lethargy and depression
- Barking or whining
- Rough play
- Destructive behavior
- Weight gain