If you are a new Labrador Retriever puppy parent, you may be wondering, “When can a Lab puppy stay outside?”.
At what age can a Lab puppy live outside? When can I leave my Labrador Retriever puppy outside? Can Labradors sleep outside?
These are valid questions considering that lifestyles have changed in recent decades, and the outside world is not always a very hospitable place for pups.
So, here is a quick guide to everything you need to know.
At what age can a Labrador puppy live outside?
You can leave your Labrador Retriever puppy outside when they are at least 17 weeks old.
However, before you can actually rest easy about letting them live outside, you have to train your Labrador puppy first about how to stay outside before they turn 17 weeks old.
After all, you cannot expect your Labrador Retriever to be okay with being left outdoors if you don’t train them first.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your Lab puppy should also have all of their vaccinations before you let them sleep outside. This will help protect them from viruses and parasites.
Most Labrador Retriever puppies complete their vaccinations when they are 16 weeks old, which is why we advise most pet owners to wait until their pup gets all their shots, and the latter turns 17 weeks old.
It is also a good idea to have your Labrador puppy stay outside only when they are big enough by the time they are 17 weeks old. This way, they will not get injured or fall sick easily.
Is it safe for my Labrador puppy to stay outside?
As long as your Labrador Retriever pup meets the basic considerations we have mentioned above (i.e., they are big enough and have taken all their vaccinations) at the very least, it can be safe for your Labrador puppy to stay outside.
Tips on how to train your Lab puppy to stay outside
Here are some practical tips about if you have been wondering about the answers to the question “Can a Lab puppy stay outside?”:
1) Let them be alone.
After you play with your Labrador Retriever puppy outside, leave them alone for a while. They may cry for a short time, but it is vital that they get used to being alone.
To help them get used to being left in their outdoor bedroom, you can also make sure they have lots of toys to play with so they will not be bored.
Keep in mind that they should not be outdoors alone for too long, though, especially at first.
You can try leaving them alone for 20-30 minutes first and slowly increase the time so they will not be shocked.
2) Get them used to sleeping outside.
Once your Lab pup becomes comfortable with living alone outdoors, it is time for the next step. Your puppy can try to sleep outside.
Make sure they know they have shelter and a place to sleep. You may have to check on them throughout the night to make sure that they are okay.
Try to do this for several days so they do not feel abandoned.
3) Greet them in the morning.
Make sure you greet your dog in the morning when they sleep outside.
Whether they are new to sleeping outside or are used to it, it will help them still feel like a part of the family.
Be sure to reward them for the first few mornings and say kind words to them. They will learn that sleeping outside can be good.
Important tips on how to make it safe for your Labrador puppy to stay outside
If you are set on having your Lab puppies live outside, it is vital that you bear the following suggestions in mind to ensure the safety of your pups:
1) Secure the backyard.
If you want to let your puppy sleep outside, you need to make sure your property is secure.
You need to check the gate or fence to look for any potential holes or anything your dog can slip through.
You also want to put away anything that is dangerous. For instance, keep your lawn mower and gardening shears in a shed that your puppy cannot enter.
2) Give them proper shelter.
This is crucial if you want your Labrador puppy to sleep outside. You do not want to let your Labrador sleep outside with no shelter.
You can set up a dog house with some pillows, blankets, a water bowl, or toys.
Make sure also to clean their shelter regularly and to make sure that your Labrador won’t have to deal with anything wet.
3) Remember to let them in the house regularly.
You do not want your Labrador puppy to feel unwelcome in the home. If they do not spend enough time indoors, they will not feel like they are a part of the family.
Make sure that you still give your dog enough time indoors even if you have decided to let them live outside. Not only will it make them feel more loved, but it will also help them learn how to behave when they are inside.
Try to keep your Labrador puppy indoors during the day. They can hang out with you, with other family members, or simply spend time alone inside.
You should also try to make it a routine for them to be inside.
For instance, they can stay inside your home from 6 am to 9 pm. Then, when it is 9 pm, they need to go outside for the night. This way, your Labrador puppies will get accustomed to the routine and will feel happier.