For fur parents with Labrador Retrievers, questions like “Can I keep a Labrador in an apartment?” or “Can a Labrador live in a small house?” or “Are Labrador Retrievers good apartment dogs?” may be something that you’ve wondered about at least once.
After all, keeping any type of household pets entails being conscious of the space that you are putting them in.
And for Labs, this means allowing them to have the space they need to play and exercise in.
However, a large space for recreation is not always available to all, and it leads us to ask, “Can I keep a Labrador in an apartment?”.
This article will help you through the task of keeping your Lab in an apartment while making sure that they are still getting the exercise that they need.
Let’s dive into it.
Can I keep a Labrador Retriever in an apartment?
The long and short answer to this is of course, you can.
In general, the best area that you can put your Lab in is where they can have fun in a backyard or an outdoor space.
But, keeping a Labrador in an apartment is perfectly fine if you keep up with their energy demands and regularly take them out for walks or outdoor activities.
As long as there is enough space for them to move around in without bumping into too many things, you should be in the clear.
The main idea behind giving your Labrador Retriever a large space is so that they have space to play around in.
But, if you take them out regularly for walks or to play, strenuous physical activity inside the home is not at all necessary.
How much exercise do Labs need?
Ideally, keeping your Labrador in an apartment where you don’t have any backyard space means you need to take them out for regular walks. Around two a day should be sufficient.
Even if you had a spacious home, you would still need to take your Labrador Retriever out for a walk anyway.
The extra space is just a bonus so that you and your Lab can have somewhere to play games that involves the use of a large area.
Even indoors, you can still enjoy playing with them if you make sure that they won’t be toppling over any furniture or be accidentally breaking something during playtime.
Take around one hour of every day and set it aside just for Labrador exercise.
Of course, it depends on the personal preference of your Lab, but you will get the hang of it in time.
With Labrador Retrievers as a very energetic breed, they will need tons of exercise most of the time.
Add to that the fact that they have already been known as a working dog historically, and you will see why it is important for the dog breed to spend the tons of pent-up energy they have.
Are Labradors good apartment dogs?
Despite their medium to large size, Labrador Retrievers can make good apartment dogs—as long as owners are responsible, committed, and willing to meet their Labrador’s needs to be happy and healthy even while living in an apartment.
For this reason, it is crucial that you, as pet parents, take your Lab into careful consideration if you are planning to an apartment your new home.
Factors such as the amount of exercise they need, their chewing habits, training, and Labrador shedding are matters that you will need to keep in mind.
Tips for keeping a Lab in an apartment
As promised, here are a couple of things that you may benefit from if you’re asking can you keep a Lab in an apartment:
1) Train them well.
Having a pet means that there will always be mistakes or slip-ups along the way.
Even the most well-behaved Labrador Retriever pup could be the reason you throw out a pair of shoes or two because of their incessant chewing.
Training your Lab properly is a way to mitigate future damages that could happen.
For instance, potty training them very early on in their life will help you a lot in saving time for cleanup later.
If you do not have a backyard to work with and cannot gain access to any outdoor facilities quickly (e.g., if you live on a high floor), make sure that you have a dedicated indoor potty area that your dog knows how to access.
One of the cons to an indoor potty area is the smell, so it is better to deal with it as soon as possible.
Crate training is one excellent way that you can train your Lab while they are still puppies or even if they are already full-grown.
It will surely help you loads in the future when in a pinch.
2) Optimize your living space.
Make sure to arrange or organize your apartment in a way that makes it safe for your dog.
For instance, take care not to expose too much of your chewable belongings right where your dog can just take them.
You should also set up your furniture in a way that gives space for roaming around.
While your Lab should not really be running around your apartment, it is helpful if they can move around the space without it feeling too cramped and without them bumping into too many things.
3) Make sure your apartment allows pets.
We cannot stress the importance of this one enough.
Since not all living areas allow pets inside the apartments, you should take that into consideration first.
Usually, the no-pets rule is clearly written and not in fine print in your lease, so make sure to check that before signing.
For certainty, it’s best to ask your landlord if they allow pets inside the complex or not.
Doing this from the get-go will save you a lot of disappointment later on if it does not work out in your favor.
4) Spend time with them.
Your attention means a lot to your pet, so you should take the time out of each day to spend it with them either when going on walks or just playing inside.
Regular exercise and quality time will also help reduce your Lab’s separation anxiety.
In fact, according to this study, dogs with the proper amount of exercise were less likely to get separation anxiety or other forms of canine anxieties.
5) Get them toys.
Another way for you to ease your Lab’s boredom is to get them interactive or mentally stimulating toys.
These toys will do wonders for your Labrador’s restlessness or boredom after being cooped up at home.
On the other hand, if you are short on time and cannot opt for training them new tricks, interactive toys are also a great way to exercise them mentally.
There are tons of toys that you can choose from depending on your Labrador’s level.
Some toys are basic and simple, while others are more complex. If you and your Lab are new to the toy game, it’s best to choose a toy that’s not overly complex and one that’s specifically made for beginners.
So, all in all, yes, you can totally keep a Lab in an apartment.
It is up to you to be creative and organized to make sure that your Labrador Retrievers still have all of their necessities, may it be physical or emotional.
Even with limited space in your apartment, there are still so many things that your Lab can do.
Furthermore, it is hardly a large dent in their quality of life as long as you keep up with their needs.
Hopefully, the tips above will help make it possible for you to keep your Labrador in an apartment.