Just like we need exercise on a daily basis to stay fit, dogs also require plenty of exercise on a daily basis to stay healthy and fit. Whether you have a young, old, big, or small dog, all require daily exercises to remain healthy.
Generally, Labradors are quite an active and healthy dog breed. It was bred for the purpose of hunting and retrieving the hunt. They were used to be called retriever gun dogs.
With time the bloodline has diversified and Labradors dogs have become one of the most favored home pets. However, they are still active dog breeds and require regular exercise. The question is how much? Let us help you understand.
Why do Labradors need to exercise?
Like humans, Labradors have a cardiovascular system (blood vessels and heart) that becomes more healthy and efficient, the more it is used.
Exercise helps your dogs grow more blood vessels and helps to effectively oxygenate the body of your fur baby.
Exercising helps to strengthen and build the muscle of a dog’s bones. It helps to protect them against any injury and increases their lifespan.
Exercise to a certain extent also helps to control weight. Dogs are efficient converters of energy. It means that reducing food quantities will be a much more significant factor in keeping your dog slim.
How much exercise does a Labrador need?
It depends on their age, overall health, and genetics. Labradors are considered a working breed. Those in line of duty need more exercise than the household ones.
Usually, 1 hour of daily exercise is good for a normal and young Labrador. It can be in the form of running, playing fetch, jogging alongside their humans, etc.
Labrador puppies exercise routine
A Labrador puppy after it reaches the age of 3 months requires minimal exercise. They can tire easily from normal playing as well. So, do not over-exercise your puppy in the first 3 months. Too much playing and less rest can harm the development of their joints. So, monitor the duration.
After 3 months, you can start with a planned exercise routine for 5 minutes. Continuing the 5-minute rule for at least 1 year of age will make the puppy accustomed to a healthy exercise routine.
An elderly Labrador exercise routine
The amount of exercise an elder Labrador needs highly depends on the dog’s overall health and can vary from one Labrador to another. Some labradors’ energy will slow down when they reach the age of 7 and others might remain active even at the age of 10. You have to keep an eye out for health issues like arthritis, dysplasia, etc.
These health issues can prevent a Labrador from playing and exercising. You may have to find an alternative exercise routine based on their conditions to keep them fit at an older age. Don’t forget to consult your vet before implementing any exercise routine for your elderly Labrador.
The best form of exercise for an elderly Labrador would be gentle walking and swimming on daily basis. It will help them in recovering from joint pains.
Signs Your Labrador Isn’t Getting Enough Exercise
It is relatively easier to say when your Labrador is not getting enough exercise. You must know the signs that will easily allow you to adjust accordingly.
- If your Labrador tears around your home like a tornado. If they dig, bark, and chew what seems like ‘all the time’.
- If they do not listen to the commands they have been reliably trained to follow, it is sure that they might not be getting enough exercise.
- If your Labrador puts on excess weight, and you are not over-feeding them that includes the treats and table scraps, possibly they are not getting enough exercise.
However, if your dog can relax around the home, is not destructive, follows your commands, is in perfect shape, and is not overweight, it is safe to say they are being exercised enough.
If you notice these signs, it means they’re not getting enough exercise. A relaxed dog that listens to commands and looks athletic is a dog that is getting its daily exercise.