Labradors have a reputation where people believe they will eat anything. This might be true, but certain ingredients are better for their digestion and the needs of their breed. They need something to support their bouncy, high-energy personalities, not to mention dog food for labs that has their coat in mind.
The higher the protein content the better is usually the case for dog foods and although this is certainly something we will keep an eye on, we also want to see less grain and lots of flavour. Because there are so many dog food brands, it can be hard to tell which will help your Labrador. To take some of the strain away, we have created our top dog food for labradors to help.
Here are our top 7 picks for the best Dog Food For Labs:
#7 Nulo Adult Weight Management Cod Grain-Free Dry Food
Because labradors eat anything and eat it fast, they can be prone to weight issues. If you are wondering if it is time for a change in your labradors’ diet, then this weight management recipe from Nulo is a good option. the grain-free recipe contains no soy, artificial flavourings, or white potatoes to help keep their weight down. The high meat content takes the place of carbs and with 74% meat, it is going to help them come down in weight. It contains their BC30 probiotic which helps them maintain a healthy gut and even helps their digestive system. There is even L-Carnitine which aids metabolism in this clever dog food that is ideal for labs.
Pros: High protein content/ low carbs
Good for their metabolism
Cons: Some fussy eaters don’t like it
#6 CANIDAE PURE Real Chicken, Limited Ingredient
With only 8 ingredients, this dry dog food manages to pack in a lot of what they need, whilst keeping out the unnecessary ingredients. The number one ingredient is real chicken which means there is a good balance between protein and carbs giving your Labrador the muscle support their active bodies need. Canidae makes great foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs and pack them full of antioxidants to support a healthy lifestyle. The fat content is moderate and there is lots of fibre so if your dog can’t help but put on weight, this provides a viable option.
Pros: Low amount of ingredients
Real chicken is number one ingredient
Cons: Can be a lot of crumbs
#5 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Dog Food
With large breeds like labradors in mind, this food is packed with a life protection formula that helps to maintain healthy muscles. This is ideal for springy, energy-filled dogs such as labradors as the high protein content is also good to see. This product comes in a variety of flavours to suit fussy eaters (not such a common problem in Labs!) and contains added antioxidants and minerals to keep them healthy. Made from natural ingredients with no animal by-products included in the well thought out formula. With chicken as the first ingredient, it is no wonder this is such a popular dog food for labs.
Pros: Good for dog’s health
No animal by-products
Cons: Lots of crumbs
#4 Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free
100% grain-free and packed with loads of high-quality protein this is a great recipe for labradors to eat every day. There are no potatoes so it helps to manage their diet when they eat too fast and it contains premium proteins like duck and wild boar. There are no animal by-products included or soy and it is made in the USA in a quality-controlled facility. It doesn’t contain a lot of fat compared to other brands but has more than enough to give them the energy their personalities crave.
No animal by-product
Cons: Bag is not resealable
#3 Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast
L-Carnitine in this product helps dogs to burn fat so if your Labrador is prone to putting on a few extra pounds due to excessive eating then this product might be the one to help. With lean red bison meat as the first ingredient, the protein is quality and high enough to help maintain healthy muscles. It is grain-free and also does not contain potatoes which is ideal for labradors who need the right types of carbs to stay healthy. There are lots of finer sources including blueberries and peas to help their digestive system and metabolism.
Pros: Quality protein source
Good for digestive system
Cons: Bag seal is not reliable
#2 Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food
This dry puppy food for large dogs is ideal for your growing lab as it contains high-quality chicken protein as the number one ingredient. This means your pup is going to get a good amount of support for growing muscles. It contains ingredients to support several areas important to young dogs including Glucosamine that is great for developing cartilage and joints. The kibble is bite-sized to make it manageable and is digested easily. Plus, this dog food is high in antioxidants which are great for supporting a developing immune system.
Pros: Quality protein for puppies
Supports joints and cartilage
High in antioxidants
Cons: Could be a bit more protein
#1 Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food
Whatever your dog’s breed, you can generally count on Taste of the Wild to make a quality product. For labradors, their Pacific Stream recipe is a great option for pet owners who need a grain-free recipe that is full of goodness. Real salmon is the number one ingredient, something that is always a good start, the addition of vitamins and minerals makes it good for a labrador’s overall health and there is even a fatty acid blend that will give their coat a real shine. One of the main reasons this is so popular with labs is that it is highly digestible.
Pros: Premium dog food
Cons: Kibble can be small and gobbled quickly
More products also worth checking out:
Dog Food For Labs Guide
Labradors will eat anything, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Usually, the owner knows best and as tempting as it can be to feed your lab whatever comes available, it is best to stick them on food that is tailor-made for this loveable breed. Some store-bought food is fine, but it can be difficult to pick up quality food when you aren’t sure what to look for.
This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide. We’re going to take a look at what goes into the best dog food for labs, so you can make a sensible decision for your pooch.
What To Look For In A Food For Labradors
Quality Protein As The First Ingredient
This is something that will benefit any breed as it is usually the sign of a decent product. To help them maintain lean muscles for their sporty lifestyles, a quality protein is vital. Also look for highly-digestible proteins such as chicken, beef, and fish. These all help promote lean muscle mass, helping muscles to repair after they have been worked hard on an energetic day.
High Protein Content
One way a lot of the sub-par brands try to save money is on the protein content of their dog food. Labs need support for those hard-working muscles which is why dog food for labs will ideally feature at least 20% protein. Some sources will say this should be even higher and there is nothing wrong with a product that provides 30% protein for good measure.
Joint Support Nutrients
One of the common pains that a lab will experience is to do with their joints. They sure put them through a lot with those never-ending bursts of energy which is why it is important to find a dog food for labs with plenty of joint support ingredients. Glucosamine is a common one, but most brands that include such ingredients will make it clear on the label.
To support strong bones, a labrador will also need plenty of calcium in their diet. Most quality dog foods are enriched with these ingredients, but be sure to look for it on the label.
The ingredients in dog food for labs should all be easily digestible but there is no harm in finding a product that goes the extra mile. By including digestive aids, your lab will pass the food easier, making for more comfort food to consume. Although they have a reputation for eating anything, a lot of labs have sensitive stomachs.
Nutritionally Balanced Recipe
Dog food for labs should be complete, but also nutritionally balanced. This means it should also contain vitamins and minerals to support a well balanced and healthy lifestyle but also so their body can absorb the nutrition and get the maximum benefit that a quality food has to offer.
Every dog needs a little protection from the likes of Cancers, but labradors can be susceptible to them, particularly late in life. This is why it is always good to get quality antioxidant ingredients such as Vitamins E and C which are great for giving the immune system a boost.
Low Number Of Ingredients
It is no secret that a limited ingredient dog food is better. This is particularly down to the fact that they are less likely to contain filler ingredients that no dog needs, but it also puts a focus on quality over quantity. Instead of a long list of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce, it is always best to find a product that is full of whole foods, from a quality source.
How Many Calories Should An Adult Lab Eat A Day?
Depending on how active they are, an adult lab will typically need around 1,500 calories a day. The more active the lab, the closer they will need to what is often considered to the higher end of the scale, which is around 1,900 calories a day. A senior lab might not need so much but it is always important to consult your vet at this point to tailor their diet to their specific needs.
How To Stop My Labrador Eating So Fast?
They sure are eager eaters, but there are some easy methods for slowing down their eating, notably with a slow feeding dog food bowl. These use different sections to make it harder for a lab to wolf it down in a few bites, and the challenge that is posed is good for their brain. Not only that, but they reduce bloat, gas, improve digestion, and can stop them from producing so much gas or even choking.
How Often Should A Labrador Be Fed?
As they grow (and they grow fast!). a labrador pup will need to be fed 4 times a day, but small meals as they need a constant intake of nutrients and plenty of protein. An adult labrador is different. When they reach the age of six months, they should be fed twice a day and the same throughout adulthood.
What Are Some Common Food Allergies For Labradors?
Although they can be hardy, a labrador is not immune to the odd allergic reaction. Some of the most common ingredients that trigger this include egg, beef, chicken, wheat, eggs, and soy. However, most of these ingredients will be well tolerated by most, but the easiest way to find out what is causing a reaction is by eliminating an ingredient at a time and monitoring your lab.
What Foods Should A Labrador Avoid?
The same can be said of most breeds, but keep the following out of your labrador’s diet to keep them at optimal health. These include chocolate, mushrooms, cinnamon, almonds, grapes, onions, raisins, garlic, avocado, and raw eggs are among the most common.
What Vegetable Are Best For A Labrador?
As with any breed, labs have certain vegetables that they tolerate better than others. These include broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, cucumbers, peas, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and carrots among others. These can be a common sight in most quality dog foods.