Best If Youre Looking For Labrador
Like the others, the Royal Canin dog food is also packed with natural ingredients and full of nutrients. Since its marketed towards labradors explicitly, some people might prefer to go with this one.
Although its unnecessary to choose breed-specific food, it does no harm either!
Verdict: If you want puppy food made for labradors exclusively, this is one of your best options.
Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin has a whole line of products that are made with specific breeds in mind. This one is exclusively for Labrador puppies. It can support your dogs growth until they reach the age of 15 months.
The recipe contains all the right ingredients to keep your Lab healthy. Its high in protein, contains healthy oils, and even has ingredients to keep their gastrointestinal tract in good shape.
This product can also strengthen your pups immune system thanks to its use of vitamins. The individual kibble pieces are rather unique. They take on a donut shape to promote proper chewing and slow eating.
Common Health Concerns In Labradors
To choose the finest dog food for labs, it is important to keep in mind the health risks they are likely to face. It is important to note that food allergies are more common in Labradors than other logs and you may need to account for the allergens before choosing good dog food for labs.
Here are some common health concerns that your Labrador may face
Bloat is another life-threatening condition that your Labrador may be subject to. This is the condition where the amount of air in your dogs stomach disconnects the blood flow. It usually occurs when the dog eats too much or too fast and takes in too much air.
It is thus important to not feed the Labrador right after exercise. You should also opt for a special eating bowl that will not allow you to eat too much too fast.
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What If My Puppy Wont Eat
As most experienced Labrador owners know, not all puppies are greedy. And studies have shown that puppies in general eat more when they are fed in a group with other puppies
Many puppies go off their food for the first few days that that they spends in their new home. They eat a few bits of kibble then refuse any more. The puppy may eat from your hand but not their bowl. If your puppy wont eat at all for more than four hours, then call your vet for advice. Call sooner if the pup is listless or showing any signs of being unwell.
Otherwise, a somewhat reduced appetite, to begin with, is probably nothing to worry about. Just mention it to your vet when you take the pup for his first check up, or in the next day or two.
Example Puppy Feeding Schedule
Just to help you on the way, here is an example puppy feeding schedule. Of course, you can adapt this to suit your own routine as long as you pay attention to the above advice.
Feeding schedule for an 8 week old Labrador puppy
My puppy feeding times for 8-week-old puppies tend to be something like this:
You dont need to be a slave to the clock, but this is just to give you an idea. A few minutes or even half an hour earlier or later wont cause problems.
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How To Choose The Right Dog Food For Your Labrador Puppy
Raising puppies can be a daunting task. With the proper food choices, your Labrador retriever pups can grow happy and healthy. Choosing the right food means selecting the right ingredients. Being a responsible pet parent, serving a healthy balanced diet is essential for your puppys health.
Here are important factors to consider when buying you puppy food:
How Much Should My Adult Lab Weigh
Your labs ideal healthy weight will be determined by their appearance and confirmed with your vet. These numbers are based on an 18-year study from Purina that found these ideal weights helped dogs live an average of 1.8 extra years. An ideal weight dog will have minimal fat on its ribs and you can easily feel them.
Visible ribs will be present on the lower half of the rib cage .
You should be able to easily see their waist from above with a defined abdominal tuck from the side. The abdominal tuck.
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Puppy Dry Dog Food By Purina Pro Plan
This kibble is specially designed for large breeds, like Labrador, because they have higher nutritional requirements than small breeds. Each of the available flavors has meat as its primary ingredient. In addition to that, it contains omega-rich fish oil and rice to provide other essential nutrients. This makes it a proper meal that is based on natural ingredients.
This formula of Purina aims to deliver three main benefits: taste, physical fitness, and mental growth. The presence of DHA makes this dog food vital for your pups mental growth. It also contains antioxidants that are necessary for a strong immune system. Similarly, calcium constitutes healthy bones while omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and ensure overall health.
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy
Large Breed Puppy is one of 13 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, grain sorghum
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: All life stages
- Best for:Lab puppies and adults
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy receives the lions share of its meat protein from fresh lamb and lamb meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 17% fat and 45% estimated carbs resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Typical with all Diamond Naturals products, this recipe is 100% free of anonymous meat by-products, generic fillers or artificial preservatives.
One of The Dog Food Advisors favorite large-breed puppy foods. Contains an exceptional nutrient balance of calcium, phosphorus and calories a recipe thats ideal for growing Lab puppies. Reasonably priced. Enthusiastically recommended.
Sample buyer reviewReally good product. I like he fact that it is a top quality food without the high, high price.
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Recommended Best Puppy Food For Labs And Large Breeds
In this next section we give you 4 of the best foods on the market made from high quality ingredients but still available at a reasonable price.
These foods will provide your puppy with all the nutrients they need in just the right mix and quantities, not just so they survive, but so they can truly thrive.
References And Further Reading
- James W, 1960. The Development of Social Facilitation of Eating in Puppies. Journal of Genetic Psychology
- Hawthorne A, et al 2004 . Body-Weight Changes during Growth in Puppies of Different Breeds. Journal of Nutrition
- Larsen J 2010 Feeding Large Breed Puppies . Vetlearn.com
- Dammrich K 1991 Relationship between Nutrition and Bone Growth in Large and Giant Dogs. Journal Of Nutrition
- Roudebush, P., Bloom, P.B., and DJ Jewell. Consumption of essential fatty acids in selected commercial dog foods compared to dietary supplementation, QBC Europe.
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Senior Labrador Nutrient Needs
Similar to adults, a senior Labrador Retriever will need plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep their aging joints supple and strong, so be sure to look for the protein meals as described above, as well as extra added supplements.
Labs are prone to obesity, and seniors even more so, so be sure to feed him kibble that is low in calories, and any treats or dental sticks should be included in his daily food allowance if your are concerned about him getting slightly chunky. Fat content should also be much lower as his slowing metabolism will find this harder to digest.
While high protein content is still important in his bowl, superfoods and antioxidants are very important to ensure that his weakening immune system is supported as much as possible. As your Labrador ages, they are notorious for getting a case of bad breath. If your pup suffers from this, you may want to look into a formula specifically made for foul-smelling breath.
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy
Large Breed Puppy is one of 14 dry recipes contained in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, ground brown rice, salmon meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Growth
- Best for:Lab puppies
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy gets the better part of its animal protein from deboned chicken, chicken meal, and salmon meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 14% fat and 45% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Along with its AAFCO nutrient profile for Growth, this 5-star formula contains just the right mix of calcium, phosphorus and calories to help reduce the risk of canine hip and joint disease making it the perfect fit for Lab puppies.
By the way, Wellness products are some of the most frequent brands found on The Advisors best dog food pages. Enthusiastically recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI introduced wellness to my Great Dane since I got her at 8 weeks. I feel it provides her with essential needs. She has burst of energy after eating, and her coat is very soft. I believe Wellness will be a part of our fur babies life for good.
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Why Is Breed Important When Choosing A Dog Food
A dogs size and breed are huge factors when determining the best food, which is why we created this breed-specific list. Different dog breeds are susceptible to different genetic health conditions. Larger breeds, like Labrador Retrievers, are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Nutrition plays a vital role in preventing certain health issues. In recent years concern has been raised about a possible link between grain free and non grain free diets that list legumes high on their ingredient list causing heart disease. This may be of consequence to labradors as the breed is more prone to heart conditions than others.
Studies have shown that certain factors heavily influence these conditions, including feeding methods, the dogs rate of growth, food consumption, and specific nutrients and electrolyte balances in their diet. This does not just include Labs, but owners of any large or giant dog breed should be aware of this important information so they can make the most well-informed decision.
Orijen Dry Dog Food Puppy Large Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
The large puppy formula from Orijen is packed with protein. The ingredients list is filled with multiple meat sources. They include deboned chicken, turkey organs, and a variety of fish.
In total, protein makes up an impressive 38 percent of the formula! Thats more than enough protein to make your puppys muscles lean and strong. In addition to the protein, the kibble contains a lot of fruits and vegetables.
It has everything from whole pumpkin and pinto beans to apples and mustard greens. This array of plant ingredients gives your dogs all the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive.
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Nutro Cuts In Gravy Grain
Among the wet food options, this option tops the list. Nutro Cuts high protein, and low fat is excellent for a growing, active pup. Filled with beef, peas, and carrot, it also comes with the preferred options from chicken, lamb to turkey.
Nutro boasts of average protein and below-average carbohydrates, affording your pup the energy to play and socialize. The wet food kibble is non-GMO and has no corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.
Best Dry Food: Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey& Chicken Recipe is wholesome, grain-free dog food for dogs made with turkey, chicken, fish oil, fruits, and veggies, and fortified with antioxidants, probiotics, minerals, and vitamins, including a fish and flax omega blend for glowing skin and shiny coat.
Wellness CORE dog food recipes are founded on the dietary premise that dogs thrive on a meat-based diet. There are no meat by-products or preservatives, gluten, maize, soy, wheat-gluten, parabens, colors, or flavors in each grain-free, nutrient-rich formula for your dog.
Best Dry Puppy Food Summary
Every pup is different. Some have allergies and intolerances to different foods. But on the whole, if you go with a good quality brand you will do just fine.
The best dry dog food options cater to your growing dogs health requirements, and they taste good too.
Weve compiled the above list of some of the top dry puppy food available to give you some options to choose from, based on your puppys individual needs.
Remember, if youre changing from your puppys current diet, do so gradually.
Slowly replace larger amounts of your puppys current food rather than suddenly switching. This will give your pup some time to adjust. Theyre young, so a sudden change can upset their stomachs.
Best Canned Dog Food: Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Loaf In Sauce Canned Dog
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult Wet Dog Food is created specifically for pure breed Labrador Retrievers 15 months or older. This complete, nutritionally balanced canned dog food features a delicious pâté texture that appeals to a Labs appetite.
This highly palatable soft dog food promotes an ideal weight with precise energy levels for weight management in large dogs. In addition, EPA, DHA, and glucosamine provide bone and joint support for big Lab bodies.
This canned dog food can be fed as a complete and balanced diet or mixed with Royal Canin Adult Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food
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Do You Want Food Specifically For A Labrador
Best Food Specifically for a Labrador Puppy: Royal Canin Labrador Food
The Royal Canin food is the only dog food in this article explicitly made for labradors, so if thats what youre looking for, its a good option.
But is it really necessary to buy breed-specific dog food?
Generally, purchasing breed-specific dog food is redundant. It wont do your puppy any harm, but its simply not necessary. Once youre feeding your dog the nutrients it needs, it doesnt matter what breed the food is aimed at.
Most dog and puppy foods aimed at large breeds will be enough for your labrador because all large-sized dogs have the same nutritional needs, no matter what breed they are.
However, some people prefer to buy breed-specific dog food, and thats fine. Feeding a puppy breed-specific dog food gives some people reassurance that theyre giving their puppy precisely what it needs if thats the case, theres no problem with feeding your puppy that type of food.
Does A Labrador Have Any Special Dietary Needs
Labradors are large breed dogs and require high levels of protein for growth. Also, labs take around 18-22 months to grow to their full size and require at least 22% protein during puppyhood and at least 18% during their growth to maintain lean mass. Labs are also notorious chowhounds and need to control their level of fat intake.
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Ideal Balance Large Breed Puppy
If you are interested in Hills naturals line, they now have an Ideal Balance Large Breed Puppy food that is another great fit for the best dog food for Labrador Retrievers in this beginning stage of life.
This food is made with natural ingredients with added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Brown rice is a great source of natural fiber in this diet, which aids in healthy digestion.
We all know puppies have a tendency to eat things they shouldn’t, so they need all the digestive support they can get.
Wet Vs Dry Food For Puppies
Both wet and dry food can give your puppy what they need. We focused primarily on dry food because its more affordable and easiest to store, but its important to know about the differences between wet and dry food so you can make up your own mind.
As we said, dry puppy food is more affordable and convenient than wet food. Its less messy, easiest to measure, and you dont have to worry about it going bad if it sits in your puppys bowl for a while, which also means its less wasteful.
Dry food is also more calorically dense. Dry food is usually less than 10 percent water while wet food is as much as 75 percent water. So, dry food definitely gives you more bang for your buck. Your puppy or any large breed dogs will need to eat significantly more wet dog food to get the same amount of nutrition as it will get from a serving of dry food.
Wet foods may be enough for a small puppy, but a large puppy like a Labrador would not be able to get by on wet food alone, which is why we recommend dry dog food.
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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!
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