A lot of research should go into the selection of the best dog foods for Labrador. After all, your pooch’s health and growth depend on the food you serve to them! They cannot just eat the “people food” i.e. the food that we eat as there are tons of food items that are safe for us, but can actually be fatal for our furry friends! Hence, it is very important that the pet parents keep a tab on their pooch’s diet and pay special attention to the ingredients present in their food.
Important Nutrients To Include In Labrador’s Diet
If you have a Labrador pet at home, you should ensure that their daily diet is well-balanced and provides them the essential nutrients that their body requires on a daily basis.The nutritional needs of dogs vary depending on their breed and their life stage.
Carbohydrates: There are a lot of myths and doubts regarding whether carbohydrates should be included in dogs’ or any other pet animal’s diet or not.
Here’s the truth, carbs are actually great for your dog if they are given to them in a limited quantity. The carbs make the food easier to eat and also prevent tartaric acid build up in the dogs’ teeth. Furthermore, since dogs are omnivores, they can use carbohydrates as their source of energy. Their body requires glucose as much as our body does. Their intestine’s ability to convert certain carbs into glucose really helps them as they cannot obtain glucose directly from sugar.
Vitamins: Vitamins reduce the risk of certain diseases in Labradors. Out of all the different types of Vitamins out there, the B vitamins group is the most vital one for dogs as it performs multiple functions like regulating energy, facilitate overall enzyme function, generate glucose, etc.
Fatty Acids: Fats and fatty acids regulate the inflammatory response in dogs after injuries. In addition to that, they also work as a very concentrated source of energy.
Proteins: A macronutrient made up of amino acids, Protein helps to build strong muscles, bones, nails and a healthy fur coat in dogs. In short, it gives a body structure them. Chicken, beef and eggs are some of the main ingredients in dog foods that have the maximum amount of protein.
Things To Consider While Choosing Labrador Dog Food
Keep Their Hearty Diet + Activeness In Mind
Labrador breed can eat just about anything, hence, it is important that you stick to a proper meal plan for your lab and give them healthy meals that are not just stomach fulfilling, but also nutritive and healthy for them. If they are overfed, their chances of becoming obese becomes high, which can further lead to common Labrador diseases that are bone and joints related, e.g. hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, etc,.
Besides that, you should also consider your dog’s age status while choosing appropriate food for them. Most dog food brands have separate products that are to be given to dogs of specific age groups.
Inspect The Ingredients List Properly
If your Labrador has any kind of food allergies, you should be extra careful while choosing dog food for them. Usually, all the dog food packets come with a detailed ingredient list on their back which you should properly read before you give the food to your lab. If an ingredient listed on the packet seems unfamiliar to you, you should consult a vet and ask them if it is safe for your dog. Better safe than sorry!
Best Dog Foods For Labrador
1.Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food ASIN: B07GQG6BBQ
This is a protein rich and grain free dry dog food which is fortified with various key nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, etc,. The two unique ingredients, Glucosamine and chondroitin, present in this dry dog food are joint supplements known as chondroprotective. These two supplements help to maintain healthy tissues and bones in dogs.
Other than that, it has some really great natural ingredients as well like Kale, Spinach, Parsley and Broccoli that make it more beneficial for Labradors.
In addition to that, It is free of ingredients like wheat, wheat-gluten, corn, soy, eggs, artificial colors and flavours which means, if your dog is allergic to any of these particular ingredients, you can give them this food without any worries! Although, we would still suggest checking the ingredients list thoroughly by yourself, just to ensure that your dog isn’t allergic to any other ingredient in this Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food.
- Contains two beneficial joint supplements – glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Free of common ingredients that trigger food allergies in dogs.
- This dog food comes in a non-resealable packet and hence, it can get a bit difficult to retain freshness of the food with this one. You may have to use a separate airtight container to store this dog food.
Orijen Original Dry Dog Food (for adult dogs) ASIN: B01I3JPXPQ
Filled with nutritive ingredients from mother nature, this dry dog food comes with the benefits of a healthy raw diet. It mostly contains regional ingredients and meat. This Orijen Dry Dog Food has been an award winning, biologically approved dog food since the year 2014. Another reason why you might want to pick this dog food for your Labrador is that it has a very impressive nutritional values of 38% protein and 20% carbohydrates!
Please note that this variant is only for adult dogs. If you have a puppy at home, you can try out Orijen Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food.
- It is an award winning dog food which is grain free, non-rendered and preservatives free. Dogs who are intolerant to grains can have this!
- Suitable for dogs with allergies.
- If we go by its nutritional values chart, it seems like it is high in fat.
Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food ASIN: B00YFZ7BDA
With a perfect blend of vitamins and other nutritious minerals, Blue Wilderness dry dog food is an all-in-one, healthy meal for your lab that will meet all of their daily nutritional and energy requirements. It is formulated sans soy, corn and grain. Additionally, it is power packed with protein rich deboned chicken that promotes healthy muscle development in labs.
- This Blue Cuddle Wilderness dog food has real meat as its main ingredient.
- It has an optimal balance of omega 3 and 6 different fatty acids.
- Promotes strong bones, healthy teeth and a shiny coat.
- Doesn’t come in a resealable packet.
Purina Beyond Grain Free Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food ASIN: B01JAGGFKI
The Purina Beyond’s adult dry dog food comes in three flavours – Beef & Egg, Chicken & Egg and Tuna & Egg. All three of the variants will give your lab the required nourishment along with a delicious taste. Besides its main ingredients, it has a lot of other natural ingredients like cassava root flour, dried beet pulp, dried apples, etc, that you would easily recognize in its ingredients list.
- It is flavourful and nourishing for your dog, both at the same time.
- Comparatively cheaper than other dog foods available in the market.
- Available in variety of flavors that you pooch will enjoy.
- We could not find any.
Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food ASIN: B003NV2RYK
As we mentioned earlier in this post, Labradors have a hearty appetite which means, they can become obese if they are being overfed. If you feel that your Labrador is getting overweight and you should switch to a low calorie diet for them, then this is the diet dog food that you should go for with a veterinarian’s recommendation. Another reason you might want to switch to this diet dog food would be if your dogs activity levels are low.
Hill’s science diet dog food is the U.S vets’ #1 choice for a low calorie dry dog food. It is nourished with high quality chicken meal, pea fiber, whole grain sorghum, vitamins, pork fat and a lot of other wholesome goodness. The brand also has wet food options for labs which you can try out if you prefer feeding wet food to your lab.
- It is a nutritious low calorie dog food that will keep your dog’s weight in check.
- Enriched with different types of vitamins and natural ingredients.
- It is not grain free, hence, those labs with intolerance for grains cannot have it.
Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe ASIN: B00KZKM00I
This dry dog food is a grain-free option for those who are in a hunt for a low calorie dog food. It has deboned beef, chicken meal, potatoes and a lot of other such natural ingredients that pack a punch. With every bowl of this food, Your dog will receive 32% protein and 5% fiber.
Another fact about this Merrick dry dog food that you should be aware of is that it is suitable for all breeds. So if your lab has a four legged siblings from some other breed, you can give it to them as well.
- It has a grain-free low calorie formula with nutritious ingredients.
- Free of artificial flavours and by-products.
- The price of this product is a little higher than its counterparts
Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food ASIN: B07GNS35YY
The Iams Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food includes the goodness and nutrition of farm-raised real chicken, grains and vegetables as well as L-Carnitine that helps to maintain healthy metabolism. This food will give your dog the delicious tasting formula which will also cater to their daily nutritional needs.
- The ingredients present in this food are easy to digest for dogs.
- Promotes healthy metabolism, skin and fur.
- The prebiotics present in this dog food help to build strong defenses.
- Some lab owners have complained that their lab got stomach issues due to this food.
Calorie Intake Requirements For Labradors
Now that we are done with the list of best dog foods for Labradors, let’s discuss what should be the minimum calorie intake for your pet lab.
Most young-adult and active Labradors require around 1500 to 1825 calories on a per day basis – depending on their weight. Pregnant and nursing Labradors need additional 700 daily calories intake. For overweight and senior Labradors, you should consult a vet to know what should be the minimum and maximum calorie intake for them on a daily basis.
How Much To Feed Labradors
This is certainly a hard topic because how much and how often you should feed Labradors depends on their age, current/goal weight, medical condition(s) that they might be having and their daily activity levels.
Ideally, adult Labradors should be fed twice a day – early in the morning (breakfast) and in the evening (dinner). This is just a sample feeding schedule, we would suggest consulting with your vet to make a proper feeding schedule for your dog according to their needs. Over the day, you can also give dog treats to your lab because well, your furry friend deserves it!
Talking about the quantity of the food that you should be feeding your Labrador, it all depends on their current weight. Most dog food packets come with feeding instruction on the back side which you can follow and take the quantities accordingly.
The website, My Dog Breeds suggests that on an average, a 60 pound adult Labrador should eat 4 and a half cups of dog food which is divided into two portions – one for the morning and one for the evening.
On the other hand, Labrador puppies require 1 and a half cups of dog food in their each meal, for four times a day. After your Labrador puppy is 6 months old, you should change up its feeding schedule and feed it only twice a day.
Aside of proper meals for your Labrador, you should not forget about their daily water intake which keeps their body well hydrated. An average Labrador requires about 35 to 70 ounces of water on a daily basis. Dogs who feed on wet foods require significantly less water than those who feed on dry kibble. During warmer weather, they should drink more water in comparison to cold weather.
To sum up our post, we would just say that you should choose the best dog food for Labrador wisely, after inspecting its ingredients as well as its ins and outs thoroughly. You can read dog food reviews online to know about the experience of other lab owners with that particular brand. One more thing that we would suggest is that you should always try to stick to a specific dog food if your dog really enjoys it. Not all dogs react positively to rotation diet, but if you want to try that, you should give them their new food by mixing it with their old one for about a week – while gradually decreasing the amount of their old food.