Diet and Exercise For Labradors

diet exercise

Providing the right diet and exercise for your Labrador will help keep him fit and healthy

But it isn’t always easy to know whether you are doing the right thing.

In this section we show you how to feed your puppy or adult dog, how to make sure he is the right weight and how to keep him fit.

Labrador Diet

Labrador Weight

Labrador Exercise

Important Health Information

Every dog is unique and the information in these articles is just a guide.

If you have any concerns about your Labradorโ€™s health, dietary or exercise needs,  do give your vet a ring without delay.

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For a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy don’t miss The Happy Puppy Handbook.

An Amazon best seller, the Happy Puppy covers every aspect of life with a small puppy, including the important information you need on diet and exercise

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available(paid link) worldwide.


  1. Hi my name is ritam and i have a labrador pup and he is 12 months only. Actually i have a problem
    1. He is shedding heavily. Suppose if you pinch him lightly u may get lot of hairs in your hand. I tried diff medicines enriched with omega 6 but got no fruitful return.
    He got liver infection previously so i dnt know whether shedding process is on due to this reason or not.

  2. Hi!

    I have a 10 month old lab and currently have health issues this past few months. She has/had bursitis and had already surgery but i came back again. She is now on steroids and the side effects of it is she is more hungry and thirsty (can drink 10liters of water in 12hrs). This resulted in her being overweight. Can you suggest what she can eat so that she can loose weight? Or should i wait until she stops taking steroids before putting her on diet? Thank you!

  3. Hi

    I am manish.I have 42 days lab.we give ceralac and royal canin food 4 times but i think its not sufficient for him because he is crying to give could you please suggest what we have to eat more accept ceralac and royal canin

  4. Hi pippa
    I have 3 months labrador
    She is too weak and her legs are very thin what should i gave her for her healthy grow and how much should i feed her in a day plz suggest me about her diet

  5. I have 2.5 months Labrador puppy,i am feeding 4 times a day with RC Labrador junior with 50 grams per diet but still I feel that my dog’s stomach is not filled ,whenever I eat he starts jumping on my food,also I wanted to ask when and what can I give to my pup as my home made food? So far he is on RC.

  6. hi! i have a 2 year old lab and i think he has weak bones. so, pls tell me what i should feed him to strenghthen his bones..

    • Hi Raghav, If you are concerned about your Lab’s health then you should take him to see your veterinarian. They will be the best person to advice you on how to proceed. Best wishes, Lucy.

  7. Hi pippa
    I have a 3 months old lab puppy and he is not healthy and thin tooo , what should i fed her to keep her healthy and right weight. Plz help me pippa


  8. Hello I have a 8 weeks labrador and his weight is just 3 kgs. Could you please help what to do and what food should I give it to him for good growth.

  9. Hi Lucy, we have a seven month old lab and he’s super active. We live by he beach and he runs and swims with us in the mornings and afternoons. We’re currently feeding him twice a day but I’m concerned we should be feeding him more than that since he is super active. What’s your advice?

  10. Hello. I m ambika Mishra. I have a 1 year old Labrador. Who is overweight and have a big tummy. I give him meal 3 times. At morning rooti and meat. In afternoon rice and meat.and in night rooti and meat. Is it good for him?

  11. Hair.. I’m divin… I have 12 months lab male… He is always getting his legs injured… I don’t know y??? Can u pls help me.. I’m also giving him Pfizer nut rival also

  12. My labrador jet is growing so fast he
    7 months old and think he needs adult
    food to help him get what he needs from
    the food to grow he is full ogof energy and does
    not stop

  13. Sir I got 10 month female labrador which vomites once or twice in a day so pitifully that i couldnot see that,,,she vomites like a soap gaggle which is thick and watery,, and produces noise like gag gag gag while vomiting,,,, she is going weak,, what i can do? what sort of food is good to feed to her in home??? Thankyou11 hope positive response from you,

  14. Hi I have a 11 months female lab now a days I m watching that she is eating less food.So kindly suggest me the types of food which I can give to my lab.

  15. Hey Pippa. I have a 15 month old male. he is my whole life. We got him at 6 weeks old, as he grew he has always been slender, most of the time you could see his last 2 ribs. he is highly active, never stops. i asked the vet if he was under weight and the vet told us no. When we took him in to be fixed (at a year) they told us he was at 56 lbs, and that he should gain about 5 pounds. saying a 1yr old mail should be around 60lbs.He eats two cups a day of the blue brand. Once his body has started to change he seems to go threw fazes he fills out for a short time and then goes back to being very skinny(tomany ribs showing). His 2 sisters from same litter ar at 80lbs. im realy starting to worry. any ideas would be great, thank you.

    • Hi Pippa
      I need advice for my labrador,he is 9 yrs old and has been fed up to a couple of months ago Royal Canine dry nuts,then suddenly he started spitting it out,refused to eat it so we changed it,he is eating the food we got now but once a week now he vomits. He has been to vets got all checked out except we didnt get bloods done. Why is he vomitting this frequent tat cant be right surely?

  16. Hi
    My son Bruno is 3 months old. Can i feed him chicken and rice cooked together. What all i can feed him for his best health and vitality. I feed him Rc Lab junior 3 times a day. Thanks

  17. I have a 11weeks labrador puppy. He has seizures on 5th of june(9 Weeks of age) for 6 times in 8hours. He then got treated for Parvo Virus with strong antibiotics and DNS. Now he is 15days post the treatment & is recovered from Distemper, but he is very very Lean. Though he is having his proper meals( fond of Curd & Royal Canine Starter) and growing well, but he gets Stomachache after his meals. I’m giving Multi Vitamin & Liv-52 for his Health. What else I should feed him to make him better. After how long should he be free from the health issues as he is having hip joint problem. Plz reply….


  18. Hi. My choc labrador Dora is almost 9 months. And she weights 27kg. What should be considered as normal weight for her please, as vet said she is a bit overweight. Thanks in advance

  19. Hi
    Got 14 month old chocolate lab and we have been advised to put her on a diet. We have opted for a good quality dry food but she does not seem to want it, she ate it the first time we put it down but now she won’t, we have cut down her treats but getting worried that she has not eaten a proper meal for two days. We really need to stick to this good quality food as she is a little hyper and the better diet should help in in other ways to.

  20. Oh and I should have mentioned she is very small for her age and is only gaining a small amount of weight each month.

  21. Hl

    I wonder if anybody has some advice. I have a 5 month old labrador who has been very poorly with sickness and diorea recently. Since that time she won’t eat her food and has not fully recover from the runs. We are at the vets weekly with this. She has completely off her food which was barking head puppy food and also certain treats. The common ingredient is wheat. She cowers away from this type of food and hides. It is rather strange. The vet cannot confirm if there is an intolerance to the food or if she is associating it with be ill.

    The vets have recommended a food but the cost of it is more expensive Than feeding me, my partner and my daughter.

    Do you have any recommendations? The ingredients is just fish and potato.


  22. hi pippa.. i have male labrador Joy n he is almost 8 months old now. I usually feed him dog food along with home cooked flour breads twice a day and only dog food once a day. I wanted to know is 3 times a day feed sufficient for him and also that can i give him the left over cooked chicken bones to eat once in a while?

    • Hi Alok, cooked bones are considered dangerous. Please do not give them to your dog. An eight month old dog can have his daily food ration divided between two meals. Morning and Evening. Home cooked flour bread are not a good source of food for a dog. He is better off with just dog food. Pippa

  23. I have an 8yr old lab, Tucker, who is severely over weight. Guessing right now would say 135lbs. How much should I feed him a day to start the dieting process??

  24. Hi. I need some good advice please. I have a lab who is 2 years old. She is extremely large in size +-50kg. Is there a diet i can put her on? I know exercise is important but i struggle to make time to do this due to my work environment.

  25. I have 2 month labrador puppy…his weight is 4.3 kg. I just started giving him, 150gm of padegree per day and yogurt 300gm per + one egg per day … is this diet enough for him or more then enough… if yes than how much padegree and yogurt should i feed him per day?

    Help me out please… ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I have 4 months yello lebra . But i want to know his proper diet and i also have chappies for dog…but m confused…….how much i give him……

  27. My one year labrador he is nothing to eat home made food so he is very weak.i always visit vat clinic but they didnt got best solution .plz suggest me wat i give food to my dog.

    Ranu singh

  28. Hi, my lab is about 7 weeks old and we adopted it just today. The problem is that when it is tied up, it gets panicked and yells around[it doesnt bark, its a puppy]. It even goes round the house before it does diarrohea… We feed it pedigree and milk only..
    can u pls help?

  29. Hi, I have a 4 year old Labrador called marley she is over weight and i’d like to help her lose weight. She is’nt playful anymore with me but playful with our other 1 year old Labrador Hollie. She seems sad and always lying around since our Blue heeler died a couple months ago. I was just wondeing how much food and what food you would prefer for a Labrador diet and how often should i feed my dog Marley?

  30. Hi, I want to know how much food should be offered to a 3 or 4 month old labrador in one meal. I am offering my pup approx. Half cup of Royal canin dog food but it seems it is not enough for him.I am giving him four meals a day. Pls suggest.

  31. We adopted our lab (Leo) around a year ago with a whole bunch of health problems, including tick fever. The tick fever has relapsed at least 3 times till now, and somehow he comes down with it everytime I end up travelling out for business. Its not that he is left alone, he stays with my family, but he s very attached to me as against the rest. I would like to know if there is any correlation between separation anxiety and relapsing tick fever. This is 4th time it is relapsing in less than a year. Even the vets are surprised at this constant relapsing. Any thoughts?

  32. hello Pippa,
    i have a lab of five year and he suffer a regular hair fall problem from past 2 year. i tried everything but not success.and as i am from hindu family so its tough for me to gave meat regularly so feed him bread,milk,rice and other home made things which he prefer and also pedigree regular.
    pls suggest me about his diet and hair loss problem

    • Hi Sarvesh, dogs are carnivores and need to eat meat, or a commercial food which included sufficient protein and other nutrients. I couldn’t say whether your dog’s hair loss is from his diet but it is possible. I would feed him completely on pedigree, and stop the home made food, and get him checked over by your vet.
      Best wishes, Pippa

  33. Hello Pippa,
    My black female lab has 8 pups and they are just four weeks old.It seems that few of them are very active and healthy but few are very weak. Shall I leave them completely on mother for food (which is not adequate for all of them)or shall i introduce some food side by side. If I need to feed them , What should I feed?

    • Hi Ramesh,
      If your puppy is being fed a ‘complete’ commercial puppy food he does not need egg or any other supplements, but a raw egg will not do him any harm. You might find this article helpful.

  34. Hi Pippa

    I have a 11 months yellow male lab and he’s the most affectionate and happily active lab that i’ve seen, however my concern is he’s shorter in height and length than he should be.. Will he grow in height and length anymore or will he just fill up now? I feed home cooked chicken and rice.. Pls help

  35. Hi Pippa,

    We feed raw food to our two lab puppies (8 weeks and 13 months old). Both of them are pure bred English labs. Our 13 month old lab (male) seems shorter than most other English labs. He does not meet AKC stardard for height. I was wondering if I should continue feeding him at puppy level, which is about 4. 5 lbs a day. He has a deep chest and a good masculine build with tummy tucked inside. He is about 75 lbs and very healthy and active. My only concern is if he will grow taller and whether he is still growing. At what age should I transition to adult intake of about 1.5 lbs/ day?


  36. Hi Cheryl,

    I have a 15 months female Lab, She is underweight as welll as according to me she is too weak. Please suggest me something to improve her health and growth.

    Recently she has started bitting herself we went to Vet and the medicines are going on and there is some recovery……
    So plz urgently suggest me something good which can help her making healthier.

    Waiting for ur reply & Regards


    • Hi Noyonika
      There are lots of possible reasons for a Labrador to be underweight including but not limited to poor diet, illness, parasites etc, and what is also concerning is that you think she is showing signs of weakness. It simply is not possible for anyone to diagnose what is wrong with your dog over the internet, and you really do need to put your trust in a veterinary surgeon. If you are not happy with your vet’s diagnosis or treatment, my advice to you is to get a second vet’s opinion.
      I do hope your dog improves soon. Best of luck. Pippa

  37. Hi Pippa

    We’ve got two chocolate girls (sisters), they turned 1 year last week. Few weeks ago we took them to the vet to be weighed as they are heavier and slightly taller than your average female lab and the vet nurse said they were overweight and we should feed them a junior stage food. They’ve been fed Beta Puppy (Beta don’t do junior stage, just puppy and adult) all along and we always fed at the lower end of the suggested amount as we would food treat them whilst training. We can’t switch the food to adult stage yet can we as we thought they would still be developing until about 18 months of age. Is this true? We have however reduced the amount of their daily feed right down to the minimum of the suggested amount. We’ve been exercising the girls using the 5 minute/each month guideline. They have lost weight, we can see this visually as we haven’t weighed them again, however they have grown another cm since last month (58cm at the withers to date). Hope you can help with this query. Thanks


    • Hi Cheryl, I feed all my dogs on a totally raw diet. The ages and stages recommended for kibble may vary between brands and I have no recent experience of any of them. I would not want to advise you to ignore either the advice given by the food manufacturer, or that given by your vet.. However, I can tell you that I do know experienced owner/breeders that switch to adult kibble at around six months old. If your vet says that it is ok to switch, then I would be guided by him. If you want to confirm this with the vet rather than the nurse, it might be a good idea to give him a ring. Well done for getting some weight off your girls, they will definitely be healthier for being slim. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope that helps. Pippa

  38. Hi Pippa,

    Can I give my 4-month-old Lab cooked beef bones to chew on? Or lamb? I know chicken bones can splinter, but I’ve heard mixed advice on other kinds. Or, would it be better to give it to him raw? He’s at that “I-need-to-chew-everything-in-sight” stage, so I’m looking for good, relatively inexpensive options that he won’t eat up in 10 minutes or less. Thanks in advance for your help!


    • Hi Jordan, I have a couple of rules about bones. 1)They must be raw, and 2)They must be fed as a part of a meal.

      I don’t know of any studies that have been done on the safety of cooked versus raw bones, but cooking bones does change their consistency and there is a concern that cooked bones of any kind will splinter.

      Feeding recreational bones is something I avoid too, as I think there is less risk from consuming bones well wrapped in meat. When dogs chomp at a piece of chicken or rabbit they crush the bones within the meat before swallowing. The whole thing is then a floppy bone parcel wrapped in muscle. I think this is safer. For this reason I don’t give dogs those large beef bones to chew that some people do. I don’t have any evidence that they are harmful, but bits of bone can be chipped off over time and swallowed. I want to keep the risk down to a minimum and there is an alternative: So I give my puppies stuffed kongs to chew. If you freeze them first they keep the pup happy for quite a while.
      Hope that helps, Pippa

    • Hi Bryan, labrador puppies come in all shapes and sizes. Quantity depends on your individual dog and her build and needs. But there are rough guidelines on puppy food sacks. You need to feed enough to supply her growth needs without making her fat. Slower growth is better than too rapid growth. Divide her food into four separate meals and feed 3-4 hours apart. What are you feeding your puppy on?

      • Hi Pippa
        I have 18 mounth male ,labrador
        as i am from hindu family so its tough for me to gave meat regularly so feed him bread,milk,rice ,vegetable and other home made things which he prefer and also Drools regular.
        pls suggest me about his diet .How many time they eat food .still i gave 3time food

        • Please feed your dog meat – bread,milk and rice is not an appropriate diet for a dog. In my opinion a raw appropriately balanced diet is the best for your dog and at 18 months he needs 2 meals a day.