Purina One Smartblend True Instinct
Healthy Recipe with Real Salmon and Tuna
Show love to your canine friend by filling their bowl with the Purina ONE SmartBlend dry dog food. This particular dog food provides your Lab with the right amount of protein, fat, and calories with zero filler.
Apart from that, it is highly digestible and features a SmartBlend of ingredients with real salmon as its main ingredient. With a 30% protein content, you can expect it to provide the energy needed to sustain your dogs active lifestyle and support his strong muscles.
If your pet enjoys daily adventure, you will appreciate the fact that this food is also formulated with glucosamine to sustain his healthy joints.
Why We Like It:
Labrador Feeding Guide: How Much And Often Should You Feed Your Dog
Most Labradors have a faulty POMC gene, which regulates their appetite. Paired with their natural propensity for gluttony, you shouldnt allow them to free feed.
To find out how much food your dog needs, youll have to do some maths.
Fortunately, the equation is relatively simple:
Weight in Kg * 30 + 70 = Resting energy requirements
A lactating dam should be given 2 3 times more than an average adult dog. For puppies and working dogs, you will need to multiply their RER by 4.
As a general rule of thumb, an active adult Labrador should eat around 20 calories per lbs , and they should be fed twice a day.
Puppies below 6 months should be fed 3 4 small meals a day. A puppy between 15 18 lbs should be fed approximately one cup of kibble a day, whereas a 24 26 lbs pup will need a little over a cup.
Check out how much Buddy the puppy eats in a day:
Choosing How To Feed A Labrador
Dont be a slave to them, they are just there to help.
- If you have a small puppy you may be happier feeding kibble
- With children under five, it may be safer for you to feed kibble
- If your dog has a close relative that has suffered from bloat, he may be safer eating raw
- If your dog suffers from allergies, he might do better on raw
Now may be the right time to feed raw for you, or it may be the right time to feed kibble. Your circumstances are unique so only you can decide. For those of you that will be feeding kibble. Lets look at a few more concerns
Recommended Reading: Does Petsmart Carry Rachael Ray Dog Food
Should You Give Your Labrador Retriever Dry Kibbles Wet Food Raw Diet Or Homemade
Some dogs absolutely cannot touch kibble, whereas raw diets might be a hassle and expensive. There are owners who insist on everything homemade, so it really depends on the individual.
Kibbles are definitely a popular choice. You can get anything from Merrick to Purina off Amazon and have it delivered straight to your home.
How Often To Feed Puppies
The amount of food that your Labrador puppy needs to eat each day must be divided into several portions. If you try and give him the whole days ration in one go, he will probably give it his best shot. But it will almost certainly give him diarrhoea and could damage his stomach as kibble swells after drinking.
From eight to twelve weeks your puppy will benefit from four meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. Space the meals at least three hours apart to give him chance to digest them properly. And make sure the last meal is a two to three hours before his last trip to the toilet at bedtime.
Once your puppy gets to three months old you can divide his daily ration into three portions, and by six months to two. Breakfast and supper. For lots more information on feeding puppies go to this article.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Costco Dog Food
What Do You Need To Look For In The Best Dog Food For Your Lab
Your dog depends on you to make the best choices for them, and picking a proper diet is a very important choice.
Some things are more important than others when it comes to making the best food choices for your Labrador, and the following should be at the top of your list:
Animal-Based Protein: With Labradors, it is best to stick to lean proteins to give them an ideal balance of nutrients without putting them at risk of weight gain. Optimal protein guarantees the maintenance of lean muscle mass in your super active dog.
Controlled Fat Content: Fats are not only essential for fatty acids but also as a source of concentrated calories for your dogs. They are necessary for a healthy coat and skin as well as cognitive development. However, it is equally necessary to ensure low-to-moderate levels of fat to avoid going excessive with calories.
Digestible Ingredients: Dogs can have naturally sensitive stomachs. To avoid seeing the signs and symptoms of digestive sensitivities, make sure the food you pick has highly digestible ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help your dog maintain a healthy gut.
Nutritionally Balanced: The key is to stick to a food option thats not only complete but nutritionally balanced. In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, make sure theres an adequate amount of minerals and vitamins in the blend to support optimal nutrient absorption.
Check out these related guides as well:
Victor Classic Dry Dog Food
Victor Hi-Pro Plus is one of 4 kibble recipes included in our review of the Victor Classic product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat, pork meal, chicken meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Chicken, puppy, active sporting dog formula and more
- Price: $
Victor Hi-Pro Plus derives the bulk of its meat protein from beef meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 22% fat and 37% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
An affordable, all life stages kibble recently added to our budget-friendly dog foods list. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI have 5 active dogs of all different ages. Its been a struggle to find a quality, decently priced food that kept a good weight on all of them and didnt mess with their allergies. Theyve been on this food since April and its been amazing! No bad reactions when switching to Victor, no allergies, and they are all a good weight. Highly recommend.
Annamaet Ultra is one of 7 kibble recipes included in our review of the Annamaet product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, whole dry eggs, herring meal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Puppies, salmon, small breed, senior, weight loss and more
- Price: $$
Especially popular with sporting dog professionals. Enthusiastically recommended.
Recommended Reading: Can You Use Food Stamps To Buy Dog Food
A Homemade Recipe You Can Try For Your Labrador Retriever
Cooking for your dog can be highly satisfactory, especially since they are always eating the same old kibble. Heres a recipe that will stimulate your Labs palate:
1 1/2 cups brown rice1 tablespoon olive oil3 pounds ground turkey or chicken3 cups baby spinach, chopped2 carrots, shredded1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
At 10% carbs, 72% protein, and 23% fat, its rather a protein and calorie heavy. One cup is equivalent to 412 calories, so you might want to dole it out slowly and keep any leftovers in the freezer.
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.
Also Check: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good
Training Your Dog With Food
Another common issue is relying on food to train your Labrador puppy. If you slip him or her a treat every time they come or sit, puppies will come to expect a bite of food every time. More and more trainers are encouraging dog owners to incorporate food into their lessons. Since Labs are so food-driven, they do respond enthusiastically to this type of incentive.
If you train with food, only do so to get your Lab puppy to learn a new skill, such as sitting or giving its paw. Once it has mastered this skill, you will no longer need to provide this reward. The animal understands what it needs to do so it should listen to you because you give a command, not to get food every time.
Since Labrador puppies can be stubborn, you will want to train yours well, for its safety. There will be times when you need to call your dog away from danger such as a busy road or a bristly porcupine without them hesitating. The last thing you want is an injured pet and a giant veterinarian bill.
Training also builds a bond between you and your Lab puppy. Make sure you make it fun with lots of encouragement and praise when they respond to your command. Food should become a bonus, not always a regular thing.
Keep up the training with games, such as hide and seek or fetch, as you throw the ball in different directions. This will keep puppies engaged and learning as they age. It will also help keep you young and thats one of the best reasons to get the best dog friend you can find.
Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food
The Perfect Option for Labs with Sensitivity Issues
A great way to feed your dogs instincts is by filling his bowl with CANIDAE grain-free dog food. The CANIDAE PURE formula uses simple and healthy-weight recipe featuring just about 7-10 key ingredients that are easily identifiable and highly digestible. This means that it is less likely to trigger sensitivities or food allergies in your dog.
It has real meat or fish as its main ingredient which acts as a source of protein to give your lab the energy he needs to get through the day. Additionally, this grain-free diet features sweet potatoes as the main source of carbohydrate and is supplemented with grain-free options like lentils and peas or garbanzo beans.
Lastly, it is complete and nutritionally balanced. It contains fiber, probiotics for healthy digestion, Omega 6 & 3 for beautiful skin, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
Why We Like It:
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Darwin’s Dog Food
Comparison Table: Best Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers
If you want an easy-to-reference guide, check out the table below. It contains all of our picks for the best foods for your labs. Weve ordered them based on price ascending- keep in mind costs can fluctuate. Weve also given them a consumer rating based on online reviews.
You can find these same options for your labs listed in our product lineup below.
The table is mobile responsive, you might have to expand columns to view all the information weve gathered.
Eukanuba Breed Specific Labrador
Best Breed Specific
Higher fat content
Lower quality ingredients
A new trend in the pet food industry is creating diets made specifically for certain breeds of dogs. While these diets dont differ greatly from standard recipes, they do have some added benefits for the selected breeds.
Eukanubas labrador retriever formula has higher quality ingredients than many of the other lab specific formulas now on the market.
Compared to others on our list, it has a lower protein content at 23% and a higher fat content at 13%. We recommend this food for active labs that spend much of their day chasing balls or jogging with their owners.
As you might expect from a diet made for labs, this formula contains added glucosamine to help protect joints. It is also made to reduce tartar build-up and prevent dental disease, a problem that does affect many labradors.
Like many others on this list, chicken is the first ingredient in this food. This diet is not grain free, however, and does contain corn and grain. It is not recommended for labs with sensitive systems.
It is one of the lower priced foods on our list and would make a great choice for a lab whose family is on a budget.
Customers like this food because it is specially made with labs in mind. Many also rave about how shiny their dogs coats have become after switching to this diet.
You May Like: Where Can I Buy Dr Pol Dog Food
Every Dog Is Different
What makes choosing the right food more difficult is each dog is an individual, so wont necessarily respond to a food in the same way.
Some dogs may have an allergy or intolerance to a certain ingredient, or simply may not thrive on a particular food. Even if a brand of food is recommended by 1,000 Lab owners, it could give your dog an upset stomach or he might turn up his nose at it entirely.
You do have to be prepared for a degree of trial and error when finding a food that suits your four-legged friend.
The best type of food to feed your dog will also vary depending on his age and activity level. Puppies should be fed puppy food, as its designed to aid growth. Likewise, older dogs usually do better on a food designed for senior canines.
If your dog is particularly active, he may thrive on a high-protein diet. You should be able to find a variety of foods formulated to suit active or working dogs at any good pet supply store.
Diamond Naturals Dry Kibble
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete is one of 13 kibble recipes included in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Large breed, small breed, puppy, senior, lamb, beef and more
- Price: $
- See all 13 available recipes
This Diamond Naturals formula derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal and fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 28% fat and 29% estimated carbs which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.
Diamond Naturals was recently selected as one of our most affordable dog foods. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI own competitive English setter females. Im always looking for the best value per pound in what I feed my dogs. Over the past 25 years Ive tried many different foods and found that 30/20 or higher works best based upon the condition, looks, stamina, palatability and stool size, consistency and frequency. Ive fed this food before and found it is very close to, if not better than the Sport/Performance food it competes with!
This Nulo Freestyle recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from turkey, as well as turkey and salmon meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 37% protein, 20% fat and 35% estimated carbs which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Read Also: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good
Whats The Best Dog Food For Labs
Most experts agree that the best food for any dog is one that keeps him in excellent health at a reasonable price. They also agree that to keep a dog in great condition, he needs to be fed a balanced diet. Unfortunately thats about where the agreement ends. And choosing the best dog food for Labradors is not straightforward.
Giving Water To Your Labrador
Puppies and older dogs need water available to them at all times during the day. It is ok to take your puppys water away an hour before bedtime to help with housetraining. Provided that it is at least an hour since his last meal.
Kibble fed dogs drink quite a lot of water, raw fed dogs may drink very little. This is normal. Check out this article: how much should my Labrador drink for more information.
Don’t Miss: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
Where Do Labradors Like To Be Petted
Labradors in general have lean bodies which do not have a lot of muscle mass to protect them from the cold. Hence, they tend to love being petted anywhere that their owner chooses to pat because this makes their owner realize how wonderful it is for them to care so much about what they are doing for the dog!However, when you are choosing where you are going to pet your Labrador, you should be careful about giving them any attention when traveling down an incline since this may be unnerving for your canine. Its usually more comforting and less frightening for dogs who enjoy belly rubs or butt pats if these two touches happen on flat ground only.Who answers questions? Put.
Labradors And Dog Foods For Large Breeds
Many dog food companies now make special formulas just for large dogs. Your lab may not seem that big to you, but because labradors generally weigh over 50lbs at maturity, they are considered large breed dogs.
So what does a large breed dog need to stay healthy? According to Dr. Cheryl Yuill, DVM, large breeds need specific ratios of a low-fat food to moderate growth, especially in the joints and limbs.
This is most important during puppyhood, but large breeds can benefit from specially formulated dog foods throughout their lives. In addition to supporting optimal bone health, these high protein diets can help keep your dog at a healthy weight.
Look for large-breed formulas with added glucosamine to keep joints healthy and lower than average calorie content to avoid excess weight gain.
Recommended Reading: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good