Holistic Select Large Breed Grain
If your Labrador has food allergies or a sensitive stomach, you might consider a grain-free recipe like this Holistic Select Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Food. This recipe is uniquely formulated for large-breed dogs and it is a holistic recipe made with all-natural ingredients. It contains chicken meal as the first ingredient and a concentrated source of lean protein. Youll also find whitefish meal and eggs as supplementary sources of protein with nutritious chicken fat for energy and coat support. This recipe contains 26% protein and 13% fat, which is an ideal ratio for large breeds and has a moderate calorie content, which is important for breeds like the Lab that are prone to obesity. Overall, this recipe is complete and nutritionally balanced without any artificial additives or fillers, and it contains essential vitamins and chelated minerals for nutritional balance.
Pros: Formulated for large breeds, protein-rich with moderate calories, fresh fruits and vegetables, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fiber and probiotics, chelated minerals
Cons: Not all dogs require grain-free diets
Characteristics Of Good Dry Food For Dogs
While we have recommended some of the best dry dog food options for Labradors, if you are evaluating other options, here are the primary things to consider.
Protein is the core of a Labradors diet. Its the most important component and should be the main basis of the entire formula. It is essential for repairing tissue and building muscle and also a healthy source of energy.
Look out for foods that use a named source of protein as the first ingredients and which have a high protein level. In dry foods, this means at least 20% but options that are greater than 30 percent are even better.
Fats are an essential role of energy for dogs, and active pups like Labs actually need quite a lot of it. If possible, these fats should come from a named source, such as chicken fat, and should compose around 15% of the nutritional value of the recipe.
Added Vitamins And Minerals
Dried foods will almost always be enhanced with a nutrient pack containing essential vitamins and minerals for your pup to thrive.
When it comes to dogs like Labradors, which are prone to joint issues, look out for nutrient packs that include glucosamine and/or chondroitin, both of which are essential to healthy joints in dogs. High levels of omega-3 fatty acids are also essential as they prevent inflammation and degenerative conditions.
Grain-Free Or Whole Grain
How Many Times A Day Should You Feed Your Pup
Although you can get away with feeding an adult dog once a day , your puppy needs to be fed more frequently. A good puppy food will have feeding instructions that cover this, but in short:
- Four times daily until your pup is three months old.
- Three times a day from three to six months old.
- Twice a day from six months onward.
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Acute Vs Chronic Pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is when an attack comes on suddenly. Its particularly concerning because it can become life-threatening rapidly if not addressed.
Chronic pancreatitis means that the condition has developed slowly over time.
You may not notice any symptoms until the situation becomes serious. This is more common in a dog who has had repeated bouts of pancreatitis.
Best Dog Foods For Pancreatitis In 2022
Pancreatitis can be deadly, and the diet that you feed your dog is key to controlling this horrible condition. Picking the best dog for food pancreatitis can make all the difference in your dogs health.
A low-fat diet is important, but there are several other considerations to take into account. Thats why weve rounded up the best food options for your best friend.
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Feeding Household Scraps And Left Overs To Dogs
Many people will add household scraps to their dogs dinner bowl. In theory, there is a risk that this will unbalance his diet. In practice, most adult dogs will come to no harm if they occasionally get some extras in their bowl. Provided there is nothing in there which is unsuitable.
Make sure that your leftovers dont contain sugar, onions, cooked bones or any common human foods that are toxic to dogs. And to keep the diet balanced, unless they are mainly meat, try to make sure that left overs dont comprise more than 10% of your dogs dinner.
Which Food Do I Choose
Ask 10 different dog owners for their opinion on what the best dog food is, and youll likely get 10 different answers!
There will always be those who buy the cheapest brand on the market. Some will opt for the most expensive, while others will simply go with a brand name they recognize.
The truth is, there is no single best food for puppies in general. The key is to find the right food for your particular puppy.
One thing you cannot afford to ignore is the nutritional content. Food suppliers, vets, and researchers all agree that adult dogs need at least 18% protein while puppies require no less than 22% protein. Because they are still growing, puppies need more protein than adults.
Proteins foster muscle growth and development in puppies and lean muscle maintenance in adults, so the more of it there is in a diet, the better it is for your growing retriever.
Fats, too, are important for golden puppies because they provide the energy required for everyday activities. Lets not forget that this is an athletic breed that loves to play. Enough fats are therefore needed to help them stay active and healthy.
You should be careful, however, not to feed your golden excess calories because this will result in excess weight or obesity. Eventually, your dog will end up battling joint problems.
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Why Is Large Breed Puppy Food Important
Your Lab weighs anywhere between 55 and 80 pounds at maturity, making him a large dog breed. Large dogs grow at a much quicker rate compared to smaller dogs, and this can lead to skeletal abnormalities and joint issues. Hip and elbow dysplasia is a common concern in Labs, so it is important to control skeletal growth. Large breed puppy dog food does exactly that.
The nutrition inside each piece is optimized for controlled bone growth. The specific nutrients that are optimized are calcium, phosphorus, fats, and vitamin D. Dog food designed for small or medium-sized pups does not control bone growth. Sometimes, even those brands that claim to be suitable for all-sized breeds are unsuitable for large dogs. So, like before, nothing else will do here.
Our Most Highly Recommended: Wellness Core Dog Food
This particular food has a high quality protein content of 38%, with the first three ingredients being deboned chicken, chicken meal and turkey meal.
Deboned chicken is high quality chicken protein, whereas the chicken and turkey meal is a concentrate.
It contains approximately 300 percent more protein than standard chicken meat weight-for-weight because once cooked, chicken loses up to 80% of its water content whereas the meal doesnt.
It is nutrient rich with vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin A as well as containing minerals like zinc, iron and calcium.
Its loaded with vegetables such as potatoes, spinach, carrots and broccoli. It even has some fruit content like apples and blueberries.
The Lactobacillus acidophilus, green tea extract and rosemary extract are all known to help prevent infections.
This is a very high-quality food your puppy will truly thrive on and is our top recommendation as the best puppy food for labs.
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The 4 Best Puppy Food For Labradors
Labrador retrievers are a well-known breed of dog for being sweet, friendly to people, and loving. Though these dogs have adorable faces and personalities, they also require specific care to maintain their health. One important aspect of caring for a Labrador is making sure that they eat healthy food.
In this blog post, we will be discussing the four best puppy food brands for Labs what makes them different from one another as well as what not to feed your pup!
Note: If you click some of the links or pictures in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Best Dog Food For Labrador Puppies
Labrador retrievers are fun-loving and affectionate breed of dogs with hearty appetites. This breed of dogs is prone to arthritis, weight issues, and allergy problems. Therefore, establishing a good diet plan, when they are puppies, is one of the keys for a long, healthy life of labs.
Meat should be the preferred ingredient of the labs. Whole ground grains, like barley, oats, and rice and vegetables, such as potatoes and peas, also are nutritious and good for labs. Labrador puppies need fatty acids like Omega-3 and 6 that are found in herring oil. Foods with DHA, a nutrient in their mothers milk, help with brain development and vision. Prebiotics works with the good bacteria in the digestive tract of dogs and strengthen their immune systems.
Being a large dog breed, lab puppies have rapid growth that can cause a strain on joints. You should look for those food products with sources of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine that help maintain healthy joints of dogs. You should also watch calories intake of your puppy to make sure your puppy is growing appropriately and not just getting fat, which also can add stress to the bones and joints.
Some recommended Labrador food that comprises above-mentioned nutrients are given below:
For Labrador puppies:
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Homemade Food For Labrador Puppies
A labrador retriever puppys diet is not the same as that of an adult Labrador.
As Labradors age, they require fewer daily calories. A study showed thatsenior dogs require 20% fewer calories than adult dogs. On the other hand, the American College of Veterinary Nutrition states puppies need about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.3
A Labrador Retriever puppy homemade diet should contain a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, water and vitamins, as explained in our nutritional guidelines above.
How Much Water Should A Lab Puppy Drink
Once a puppy has been weaned off of his mothers milk, he will need a constant supply of water to compensate for the lacking hydration. Younger puppies drink about half of a cup of water every two hours.
Older puppies drink about an ounce of water per pound of body weight. When you are housetraining your puppy, you will want to remove the water dish at night.
Be consistent for when it is removed and make sure it is 2 to 3 hours before bedtime to ensure he can go out once more before settling into bed.
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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe
This is another high protein recipe, which also contains a lot of healthy fats, and is made by the experts at Blue Buffalo. Like all of their recipes, it is grain free to ensure it is highly digestible for your pooch.
It starts with a named meat, deboned chicken, as the first ingredient, and then has its protein levels boosted with chicken meal and fish meal, which is also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. There is also added chicken fat and dried egg product, though we arent a huge fan of the latter as some dogs are allergic to eggs.
It has high protein-levels, low carbs, and contains no soy, corn, wheat, or grains these are ingredients considered of little to no nutritional value and an allergen to some dogs, so it is ideal that this recipe contains none of this.
The kibble is laced with Blue Buffalos patented LifeSource Bits, which are a special blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that pups need to thrive, though it is also packed with real fruits and veggies as natural sources of these important nutrients.
We also like that it contains L-Carnitine, which can boost your Labs metabolism and give them an energy boost. This can be great for older Labs that are starting to slow down a little.
This is another high calorie recipe that needs to be fed to your dog in moderation, but its a bit lighter on the wallet than our top choice.
- High in calories
Best Ear Warmer: Zoo Snoods Panda Dog Costume
Our favorite alternative to a full-blown costume for your dog is the Zoo Snoods Panda Dog Costume.
This handmade ear and neck warmer goes around your pups neck and head to keep them warm. It is white, like a pandas head, with black and white bear ears.
A snood is traditionally a headpiece made of knit fabric that encircles a womans head. This idea has been tweaked to fit over doggy ears to keep them protected and warm. This snood provides not only these benefits, but the option of use as a costume as well!
This costume is made of acrylic yarn, stated to be non-irritating, easy to use, and hygienic. The head warmer keeps your dogs ears cold but also keeps dirt, bugs, water, and other debris out of them in adverse weather or climates.
You can purchase this ear and neck warmer in small, medium, and large sizes. To find the right fit for your pup, measure the widest part of his head in front of the ears. The small should fit dogs with a head measurement between eight and 13 inches, the medium should fit dogs with a measurement between 12 and 18 inches, and the large should fit canines with a measurement between 18 and 26 inches. However, some users found that the sizes can run a little small. Additionally, some reported that it doesnt stay in place very well and can slide backwards on active pups.
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Why Choose Specific Food For Labrador Puppies Or Large Breeds
It should be obvious that a Chihuahua and your Lab have very different nutrition and health requirements due to the huge difference in the eventual size and structure of their adult bodies. This is why you find breed specific foods available.
Large breeds grow faster and have far more growth to go through than smaller breeds, with a Labrador going from under a pound at birth to perhaps 75 pounds as an adult.
This means their bones and joints change quickly and dramatically as they grow from a puppy to adult, increasing in over 75 times their initial weight. This is one reason large breed puppies are more sensitive to nutritional imbalances, perhaps the most important of which is avoiding an excess of calcium.
Too much calcium in a Labrador puppys diet increases the risk of musculo-skeletal deformities, particularly hip and elbow dysplasia, because their bones grow so quickly and with excess calcium are prone to forming incorrectly.
However, lacking calcium can also result in problems, so Labrador puppy food contains a safe amount for a puppy to grow correctly without having unsafe excess amounts.
But not only this, excess calories can result in a puppy becoming overweight and in a growing puppy, excess weight puts undue stress on their growing, forming bones. To combat this, Labrador specific puppy food is somewhat restricted in calories and fats compared to smaller breed puppy food.
Do You Really Need A Special Diet For Your Lab Puppy
You may be wondering why you even need to get specially formulated puppy food for your Labrador puppy. Dog food is dog food, so why go into such details?
The thing is that the dietary needs of a puppy and adult Labradors vary drastically.
Puppies are growing rapidly, so their nutritional demands are higher than in adult dogs. They need resources to build their bones and muscles and whatnot, right?
At the same time, adult dogs are more or less in their equilibrium. They are already all grown up, and adult dog diets pursue maintaining form and weight rather than development.
Weve also mentioned that Labradors are extremely prone to obesity. This is thought to be caused by the full or partial absence of an appetite-regulating gene called POMC.
Due to this, Labradors are notorious for their gluttonous character. They will eat anything from dog food to socks and rocks, and you will need to control your Labrador puppys diet to make sure he is growing healthy.
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Do They Have Any Special Dietary Needs
All dogs have the same basic nutritional needs because they all belong to the same species. This being said, large dogs like the Labrador Retriever have slightly different requirements. As was mentioned earlier, these dogs may not reach their full size until they are 18 to 24 months of age. You dont need to feed your Lab puppy food for that long, but you should keep track of his growth. Large breeds have a high risk for musculoskeletal issues in adulthood and excess growth in the puppy stage increases that risk you need to control your Labs growth when he is young to minimize his risk.
Protein is the most important nutrient for any dog but particularly for large breeds. As a puppy, your Lab needs a minimum of 22% protein in his diet to support muscle growth and development. As an adult, he needs at least 18% to maintain lean mass, though more protein is always a good thing. Fat provides a concentrated source of calories for your dog, but this nutrient should be controlled in the diet for large breeds because it is so calorie-dense too much fat could equal too many calories. A high-protein diet with low-to-moderate fat and calorie content is best for large breeds like your Labrador.
Here are some of the other health problems to which the breed is prone: