Labrador Dog Food


Labrador Dog Food—How to Feed Your Pooch

Labrador Retrievers have a powerful jaw that needs strong and healthy food. These precious beasties are large breed dogs who love to munch on tasty recipes. 

The best way to make Labrador Retriever truly happy is to keep them company while exercising and to provide them with regular, healthy, and palatable meals.

Lab pups are known for their loyalty and obedience. They are highly active and energetic sporting dogs. Labs were used as working dogs in the past, and they don’t like to get lazy. Although they love food, lying around the whole day and waiting for the next meal is probably their worst nightmare.

They can manipulate their owners into giving them more food than they should. Overfeeding can be highly problematic for these cuties, and in this article, you are going to find out why.

Remember, we are not affiliated with any dog food producers. Our suggestions are based on our thorough research and great desire to give you useful information. 

How We Chose Our Top Picks

The formulas that make their way to our list must meet specific criteria: 

  1. The ingredient lists name of a meat source as the first ingredient
  2. They don’t contain unnamed meat source, by-products, and grains
  3. They meet the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
  4. Brands avoid artificial colors, flavors, or harmful preservatives

Our Evaluation

Our team wants to provide you with the verified info on the best food for your Lab cutie. So, we decided to consult with the experts in the field—our veterinarians. We picked their brains on harmful and beneficial nutrients in dog’s formulas. 

We also went through the unbiased online reviews and compared them to our findings. Owners’ hand-on experience gave us invaluable and personal insights into Lab’s diet.

By determining what our precious Labradors need in their nutrition, it was easy to pick the best food formulas for Labs on the market.

Best Dog Food for Labradors

Make your dear Lab twirl with joy—provide them with food formulas that are both healthy and tasty. Our team has chosen several products for your canine after our meticulous investigation and vets’ recommendations.

TheDogDigest Picks

BrandRating
Best overallTaste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison 

4.9

Runner-up

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food 4.8
Best for senior dogsVICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

4.7

Best for puppies

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe4.8
Best for sensitive tummyHill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipes

4.6

Best Overall: Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison

Image source: taste of the wild

Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison is a formula that derives most of its proteins from bison and buffalo. Eggs are also a healthy protein source! The recipe contains raspberries and blueberries that maintain healthy arteries. This delicious food is made of trusted ingredients, with no:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Grain
  • Fillers
  • Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

The high-quality formula is supplemented with fruits and vegetables, and it is rich in vitamins and minerals that support your pup’s overall health. Dried chicory root is added for probiotic purposes. It thrives in the gastrointestinal tract, and it maintains the dogs’ digestive system

Peas and sweet potatoes provide your pooch with digestible energy, which is perfect for active dogs, such as Labs. Healthy fatty acids maintain a shiny coat and skin.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

32.0% min

Crude Fat

18.0% min
Crude Fiber

4.0 % max

Moisture

10.0% max
Zinc

150 mg/kg min

Selenium (Se)

0.35 mg/kg min
Vitamin E

150 IU/kg min

Taurine

0.12% min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids*

2.8% min

Omega-3 Fatty Acids*

0.3% min
Total Microorganisms

80,000,000 CFU/lb min

Ingredients:
Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Manganese Sulfate, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

Runner-up: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

Image source: wellness 

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food abounds in high-quality protein, which is derived from deboned chicken, turkey, and chicken meal. Its kibble is specially made for larger breeds. You should not give this recipe to puppies. 

It is perfect for adult and senior pups, especially those who suffer from joint issues. The formula contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which reduce the pain and keep your dog’s joints healthy and oiled.

The product doesn’t contain:

  • Fillers
  • Artificial preservatives or flavors
  • Meat by-products

This formula is based on natural ingredients, and it contains optimum fat for maintaining the right body weight. Lignan-rich flaxseed reduces the risk of cancer. Probiotics with healthy bacteria are added for the healthy digestion of your adorable Labrador. Healthy acids are derived from flaxseed and salmon oil. 

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

34.0% min

Crude Fat

12.0% min
Crude Fiber

6.0 % max

Moisture

10.0% max
Calcium

2.0% max

Phosphorus

1.15% max
Vitamin E

400 IU/kg

Omega-6 Fatty Acids*

3.25% min
Omega-3 Fatty Acids*

1.0% min

Glucosamine

750 mg/kg min
Chondroitin Sulfate

250 mg/kg min

Beta-carotene

5 mg/kg min
Total Lactic Acid Microorganisms

+80,000,000 CFU/lb min

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Tomato Pomace, Dried Ground Potatoes, Ground Flaxseed, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Pea Fiber, Potassium Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Vitamin E Supplement, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols Added to Preserve Freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract,Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product.

Best for Senior Dogs: VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Source: victor

As dogs get older, their bodies and daily habits start changing. They may lose their appetite or gain too much weight due to inactivity. Elderly Labradors become senior dogs between the ages of eight and ten. You need to observe your pooch before you switch them to senior dog food. In case they turn eight or nine but still feel as energetic and active as always, there’s no need to change their diet. 

Large dogs like Labs can have tremendous pressure on their joints, which causes more pain as they get older. It’s crucial that you protect your pooch from putting on weight. Another issue is also the deterioration of their coat and skin.
VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food is made for our grandpa and grandma canines, to protect their bones from becoming brittle. The formula contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which maintain the bones lubricated and help with the pain.

It doesn’t contain lots of fat, which makes it an ideal diet for dogs who should eat food with fewer calories. Beef and chicken are the greatest sources of healthy protein. L-carnitine supports lean muscle development.

You probably know that Omega 6 fatty acids are good people, but they are highly useful for pups, too! Menhaden Fish Meal is a healthy source of fatty acids. DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is an Omega 3 fatty acid that supports the nervous system of your pooch. 

Always try to find the best senior dog food on the market for your grandpa doggo, as it’s essential to fulfill all their food requirements. 

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

27.0% min

Crude Fat

11.5% min
Crude Fiber

4.5 % max

Moisture

9.0% max
Omega-6 Fatty Acids*

2.6% min

Omega-3 Fatty Acids*

0.4% min
DHA

0.1% min

Zinc

150 mg/kg min
Selenium

0.35 mg/kg min

Vitamin E

150 IU/kg min
L-carnitine

150 mg/kg min

Glucosamine

800 mg/kg min
Chondroitin

300 mg/kg min

Ingredients:

Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Yeast Culture, Chicken Meal, Pork Meal, Peas, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Blood Meal, Natural Flavor, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Selenium Yeast, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Potassium Chloride, Carrot Powder, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Taurine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Dried Seaweed Meal, Vitamin E Supplement, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Zinc Methionine Complex, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Powdered Cellulose, Brewers Dried Yeast, Tetra Sodium Pyrophosphate, Vegetable Oil, Chondroitin Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,Spearmint Extract, Lecithin, Fructooligosaccharide, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Silicon Dioxide, Folic Acid, And Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract.

Best for Puppies: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe

Image source: bluebuffalo

As a responsible dog owner, you want to provide your little munchkin with food that is healthy, nutritious, and yummy. You need to find recipes that meet their nutritional needs. The lack or abundance of any nutrient can cause severe damage to their healthy growth.

Labrador whelps need calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth. This formula has a near-perfect ratio of these two minerals. It also contains sodium and potassium that our little pups need for nerve impulse transmission and cell signaling.

High-quality protein is also a priority for their healthy body development. The combination of animal and plant-based protein is ideal for these youngsters. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe derives protein from high-quality meat—chicken and fish, but also eggs. 

With this formula, you can sleep tight knowing that your puppy’s dietary needs will be satisfied until adulthood.

The product doesn’t contain harmful ingredients such as:

  • Meat by-products
  • Artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Cheap fillers

It uses oatmeal, barley, and whole-grain brown rice, which are packed with beneficial nutrients.

This recipe contains quality lipids. Linoleic acid that comes from eggs and fish oil provides health-beneficial fats. Fatty acids are vital for a growing Lab as they maintain their lustrous coat and skin.

This formula is a bit costly, but we at TheDogDigest advise you to opt for more expensive products rather than having to buy supplements—or in worse case, medicines—for your little furry canine. You shouldn’t risk your pooch’s health by exposing them to harmful ingredients. 

The owners of puppy Labs also told us that their munchkins don’t eat much of this product. Pups usually feel satiated from smaller quantities, which you should also take into account.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein

27.0% min

Crude fat

16.0% min
Crude fiber

5% max

Moisture

10.0% max
DHA

0.10% min

Calcium

1.3% min
Phosphorus

1.0% min

Choline

2,750mg/kg min

ARA

0.04% min

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

0.75% min
Omega-6 Fatty Acids

3% min

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Pea Protein, Fish Oil (source of ARA-Arachidonic Acid and DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Vitamin E Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract.

Best for Sensitive Tummy: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipes

Source: hill’s pet nutrition

If you have any doubt that your Lab is suffering from stomach sensitivity or allergy, try to discover the allergen immediately. Some dog owners cut out ingredients one at a time to figure out what’s been causing problems. Visit your vet as soon as you notice that something’s wrong with your pooch’s tummy, because any delay can worsen your dog’s health. Signs of possible food sensitivity are:

  • Gurgly stomach
  • Gases
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 

Some foods are known as frequent allergy-triggers, such as gluten, grains, soy, and dairy. Your task is to find the recipes that don’t contain these famous allergens and provide your gorgeous Lab with safe nutrition. 

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipes is a highly digestible formula that supports the health of the GI tract. Within its natural ingredients you won’t find:

  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Preservatives

The product contains lots of vitamins and minerals that boost your Lab’s immune system. High-quality protein comes from real chicken and eggs, which means that the formula has both plant-based and animal-based protein.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein

25.9% min

Crude Fat

16.0% min
Carbohydrate / NFE

51.5% max

Crude Fiber

1.3% max
Calcium

0.95% min

Phosphorous

0.77% min
Potassium

0.74% min

Sodium

0.28% min
Magnesium

0.098% min

Vitamin C

242 ppm
Vitamin E

800 IU/kg

Total Omega-3 FA

0.51
Total Omega-6 FA

4.71

Ingredients:
Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Calcium Pantothenate, Taurine, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Oat Fiber.

Labrador Retriever Dietary Requirements

The proper Labrador diet, along with a regular exercise routine, will keep your Lab buddy healthy and fit. There are several nutrients that you should include in their diet.

  1. Carbs provide Labs with energy. Typically, an adult Labrador should get between 1450 and 1850 calories per day. Senior dogs need fewer carbs as they aren’t as active.
  2. Proteins and amino acids take care of your buddy’s body organs. You must find formulas with high-quality protein sources
  3. Fat and fatty acids are needed for making your Lab proud of their shiny coat. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids maintain their lustrous skin, boost the immune system, and reduce shedding.
  4. Vitamin and minerals are always present in high-quality dog food products. Labradors are large breed dogs who can suffer from joint issues, especially if they put on weight. Provide them with vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus for healthy bone growth. 
  5. Water is vital for healthy digestion. Always leave a water bowl for your Lab somewhere they can find it. 

Final Thoughts on Best Dog Food for a Lab

Once you find the ideal, healthy formula that your beautiful Lab falls in love with, they will be brimming with joy.

Their nutritionally balanced diet should be high in protein, moderate in carbs and moderate in fat. Of course, each pooch has their own dietary needs, so this rule is not written in stone. 

Be careful not to give too much food to your Lab. Overweight Labs are susceptible to obesity, which leads to severe joint and bone issues.

If you want to look for some other high-quality products for your Lab, take a look at best large breed dry dog food. If you’re searching for canned food, we suggest you take a look at the best canned dog food that you can find on the market.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrador_Retriever
  2. https://www.quora.com/How-can-one-differentiate-between-an-original-Labrador-and-a-mixed-Labrador-dog
  3. Winsor, Katharine Dunbar, and Melody E. Morton Ninomiya. “The Past, Present, and Future of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Work in Newfoundland and Labrador: A Landscape Paper for Change.” Birth Defects Research, vol. 110, no. 16, 2018, pp. 1215–1222., doi:10.1002/bdr2.1378.
  4. Robertson, Debora. Bone appétit: 50 Clean Recipes for Healthier, Happier Dogs. Harper Design, 2019.

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