Labrador Retrievers are one of the most intelligent, friendly and outgoing dog breeds. Their gentle nature and desire to please their owners make them very popular amongst people with family.
This athletic ball of fun is super energetic. Even as a puppy, their playfulness and liveliness trump most other breeds. That’s part of the reason such a special diet is required, to help them grow and be healthy.
Getting the best dog food for labs is not an easy job, because they should ensure certain nutritional values.
We, therefore, made this guide to help you decide the right food for your beloved Labrador canine.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Our Choices for the Best Puppy Food For Labs:
- What Should You Consider Before Buying The Right Food for Your Lab Puppy?
- What Is The Best Puppy Food For Labs?
- Labrador Puppy Feeding Guide?
- Best Puppy Food For Labs
Our Choices for the Best Puppy Food For Labs:
Last update on 2018-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What Should You Consider Before Buying The Right Food for Your Lab Puppy?
It’s only natural that you want the best puppy food for your labs; however, buying any brand off the shelf isn’t good enough.
Different breeds have different nutritional and health requirements. That’s why in the market there are different foods tailored to a dog’s “size”, “age” and “breed”.
Large breed puppies grow up fast; in fact, newborn Labradors can grow from less than a pound to a full-grown 75-pound dog. Due to their rapid growth, they are prone to many nutrition imbalances, especially excess intake of calcium.
Extra consumption of calcium will help increase Labrador puppy’s risk of musculoskeletal deformities. In layman’s terms, their bones will grow quickly and the excess calcium will cause deformations. In contrast, too little calcium also causes adverse reactions in your puppy. So what should you do?
Well, the best food for labs should have a balanced amount of nutrition for the right growth of your lap pup.
Important Read: Diabetes In Dogs: Causes, Treatments & Everything in Between
What Is The Best Puppy Food For Labs?
As dog parents, we all want the best for our puppies. But we need to be careful to feed our dog the right kind of food to support their health and nutrition needs.
A Labrador puppy has really different needs than an adult dog. It takes a lab puppy 12-18 months to reach full size.
Smaller Kibble Sizes:
The best puppy food for labs has smaller kibble sizes and the pieces are richer in nutritional content. The small size will prevent your puppy from choking and the dense content will support proper growth.
Quality Over Price:
Many are tempted to buy the best food for labs based on an appealingly low price tag. While saving money is not a crime, it’s highly recommended that you don’t sacrifice quality.
Cheap puppy foods typically use low-quality ingredients, fillers, artificial flavors, preservatives and an insufficient amount of nutrients required for you pappy’s proper growth.
Complete and Balanced:
A quality product will be balanced and full of essential vitamins and minerals. Since they contain no fillers, your puppy will require lower portions of food to get their fill.
Naturally Dry Kibble:
Naturally Dry Food or kibble is the best puppy food for labs. They can be properly measured, have a long shelf life and are not too hard on your wallet. The sold abrasive nature of the food will also get your puppy’s jaws working, helping to clean your lab’s teeth and gums.
Labrador Puppy Feeding Guide?
Before you go ahead and buy something, here is a fact checklist you might want to consider.
The amount of food that you give your pup will be defined by his age, weight size, and energy levels.
Ideally, it’s best to give them four meals a day—one every four hours. This will ensure a constant flow of energy and will also get rid of any kind of “gassy” feeling they might encounter.
Secondly, refer to the feeding chart below to measure the right portion size for your lab pup.
Most importantly remember, Labradors are very energetic and athletic—they need a good amount of exercise to keep happy. It’s a good idea to pay attention to your puppy for indicators on the amount of food they need to consume.
We encourage you to contact your vet or pet breeder for professional advice on the breed and age-specific nutrients your puppy needs.
In the market, you will find many brands that advertise to be the best dog food for your Labrador puppy.
However, in reality, that’s far from the truth. Many are lacking in both nutrition and ingredient standards that focus on the correct growth that a Lab pup needs. Here are some of the food brands that we’ve found that meet those standards. See if switching to them makes a difference.
Related Read: Foods You Can and Can’t Share With Your Dog
Best Puppy Food For Labs
#1 Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Puppy Formula)
Wellness CORE Puppy Formula is specially tailored to suit the nutrient needs of puppies. They are 100% grain-free and made with premium chicken, turkey, and salmon. When they say-protein rich, they’re not joking.
In fact, it contains 300% more protein more protein than the usual chicken. This is because chicken meal tends to lose over 80% of its water content when cooked.
Alongside the probiotics and prebiotics included in the formula, it is also loaded with veggies such as broccoli, carrots, and spinach. It also contains apple, blueberries, green tree and rosemary extracts for further protection against infection.
In terms of nutrients, it’s rich in vitamins D, B12, E, C and A with minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium.
We highly recommend Wellness CORE for Labrador puppy owners.
#2 Orijen Large Puppy Formula Dog Food
Orijen’s large breed puppy food formula provides nutritional content that targets the optimum levels of growth and development for your lab. Your dog will be in peak condition with lean muscle mass.
Their special formula is made up of cage-free turkey and chicken, wild salmon, herring, whole eggs, chicken hearts, and livers—all excellent and well-rounded sources of protein.
They use a low-ash method to prepare the chicken and fish so that the phosphorus and calcium stay within recommended levels. It certainly eases any dietary worry for large breed puppy owners.
In addition to using premium ingredients, Orijen balances the diet with apples, spinach, lentils, pears and peas along with all the vitamins and minerals your puppy needs.
All these ingredients make Orijen a “super premium brand” which means that it comes with a higher price tag. If the cost was more manageable, this brand would’ve taken the top spot on our list. Many users gave excellent reviews for this product; it’s made lots of dogs and owners happy.
#3 Taste of The Wild
Apart from the main ingredients, it includes sweet potatoes and salmon oil which provides much needed EPA and DHA to your puppy. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbs with fiber and beta-carotene.
The addition of chicory roots provides insulin and a prebiotic that keeps your puppy’s digestive system healthy.
Taste of the Wild is a very good choice which will provide a labrador puppy all the energy he needs for a busy lifestyle.
#4 Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food
Their large breed puppy food has a perfect balance of proteins, fats and phosphorous that takes care of bone and muscle development.
It promotes healthy connective soft tissues by adding chondroitin and glucosamine which are a great support for large breeds puppies. Labradors are especially known to suffer from joint problems later in life.
#5 Royal Canin Breed Specific Labrador Puppy
That’s landed them on our list of the best puppy food for labs. But hey, they have 31% protein in their ingredients, which is pretty good as it is well above the average requirements.
Though the protein comes from chicken by-products and brewers rice, protein is still pretty high in this formula.
To compensate for all that, the fish oil in the formula is dense in omega oils and prebiotics, which is a treat for your lab pup’s digestion and skin. Don’t forget the small kibble which will be easier and more enjoyable for your puppy to chew.
A healthy puppy is a happy puppy. With proper care, nutritious food and lots of love that puppy will grow into a fine companion. There are many conflicting reviews regarding dog foods, but, hopefully, this guide has helped you make an informed choice in getting the best food for your lab pup.
Don’t forget to share your experience with us, so that future readers can benefit from it.