The Best Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrievers are a type of dog breed used as a working dog. Anglers initially used them to haul nets and ropes and catch fish from the water. They are known for being good-natured and friendly, which is why they remain among the most popular dog breeds.

Labradors can be used as hunting companions. They are also used as assistants for people who are handicapped, show competitors, and rescue workers.

Table Of Contents

Labrador Retriever Breed Characteristics

Labrador Retrievers are a great breed of dog. They are known for being friendly, good with children, and great with other pets. You should be aware of several additional characteristics that they share in common. Below is a list of some of their most common qualities:


These dogs are very caring and friendly but can’t stand being alone. They are companion dogs and need someone to always be with them. They may not do well in apartments because they need a lot of space to run around. But these dogs suit novice owners and can tolerate cold and hot weather.

Friendliness and Trainability

Labradors are one of the most straightforward kinds of dogs to train. They love their family and get along with kids, other dogs, and even strangers. It is why you will find that they are straightforward to train.

These dogs are brilliant and can get unhappy if they’re not treated well. They might sometimes bark and growl, but they are still very friendly.

Exercise and Activity Level

Labradors are very active dogs that love to play. They need to be involved, though, or they will become overweight. Giving them the proper diet and exercise is essential to stay healthy and happy.

Health and Grooming

Labradors are a breed of dog that tends to shed a lot. They are also easy to groom because they are a giant breed. However, they do have some health concerns that you should watch out for. They have an average lifespan and are prone to weight gain if they are not given the proper diet and food.

Potential Health Risks for Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are usually pretty healthy animals, but they can still experience certain health conditions during their lifetime. Here are a few potential health risks you should be aware of.


Labradors love to eat; that much is true. They can quickly become overweight if they don’t get enough exercise or overeat. For this reason, you need to ensure they have plenty of activities and that their meals are measured and scheduled. It would help if you didn’t leave their food bowls full throughout the day because they will continue eating.

They have a big appetite and will eat not just food but anything. It will go through the garbage, grab items off the counters, and chew up shoes and toys. So it is essential to keep these smaller, inedible items out of reach and remain consistent with their feeding schedule to help avoid overeating and other harmful things.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition that some dogs inherit. It happens when the thighbone doesn’t fit correctly into the hip joint. In some cases, the dog will not have any symptoms, but in other cases, the dog may display pain or discomfort. Hip dysplasia is more common in larger breeds of dogs and can get worse if the Labrador is overweight.

Ear Infections

Labradors have long and floppy ears that can trap warm and moist air. That is why cleaning your Labrador’s ears is essential by gently scrubbing the inside of their ear flaps. If one or both ears smell bad or have buildup, it may be an infection that needs veterinary treatment.

Nutritional Requirements

Labrador Retrievers are very active dogs that love to eat and play. They can gain weight quickly, which can lead to health problems.

So, when we talk about what a Lab needs to eat, we have to think about its health and how to keep it healthy. We also must consider how to prevent any health problems that might arise for this breed of dog.


Labrador Retrievers need protein just like any other dog. That’s why it’s essential to give them high-protein dog food. This type of food helps the development and maintenance of their muscles. Labs don’t have as many muscles as some other breeds, so it is essential to ensure they get what they need from their diet.

Proteins are essential for forming hormones, cells, and other things in the Labrador. Structural proteins make up the coat and skin of this dog breed, and they could get infections if they don’t have protein. Cells in the immune system also need protein to function correctly. Labradors can’t make antibodies to fight disease without protein.

To guarantee that your dog receives all essential amino acids, the protein in his diet should come from animals, not plants. Plant-based protein sources have small amounts of amino acids, which might not be enough for your Labrador’s health. The primary source of protein for dogs should come from other animals.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Labs can cause joint problems. That is why they need food that includes glucosamine and chondroitin. These substances help produce the cells that makeup cartilage in adjoining bones. As we previously discussed,

DHA and Taurine

Labradors are prone to eye problems, so it is essential to give them foods that are rich in DHA and taurine. These substances help with the development of healthy eyes in Labrador puppies.


Probiotics are not nutrients. They are tiny organisms that live in the GI tract and keep bacteria from growing out of control. 70% of the immune system cells in your dog can be found in their gut. So, their diet needs to help keep a healthy balance of bacteria in their stomach, which will also help strengthen and improve their immune system.

Now that we know what is essential for our Lab’s diet, we can look more closely at the type of diet we can offer our beloved friends.

Now that we know what is essential for our Lab’s diet, we can look more closely at the type of diet we can offer our beloved friends.

  • A moderate to a high-fat diet

Energetic and active dogs can benefit from this kind of diet. They will need to exercise a lot, but if they do, they will be fine. If your dog isn’t very active, you shouldn’t feed it this way because it won’t be able to use all of its energy and might get fat.

  • A low to moderate calorie diet

Labradors that are physically active daily should eat high-calorie diets. Suppose the carbs they consume are not used as a needed energy source for their activities. In that case, their blood sugar levels can get too high, and they may risk getting canine diabetes. Again, Labradors who don’t get much exercise and physical stimulation should eat a diet with low to moderate calories.

  • Low-fat diet

Labradors have a lot of unused energy, so giving them a low-fat diet is essential, so they don’t gain weight. Because fat is needed to make certain hormones, it would help if you didn’t take it out of their diet. But they should still try to eat as little fat as possible.

Labrador Feeding Schedule

Labrador Retrievers need to feed regularly to ensure they stay physically healthy. The frequency of their feedings depends on their developmental stage. Puppies younger than one-year-old usually only need milk from their mother.

By six months, though, they may require puppy food twice daily. These are just general guidelines. Always with your veterinarian on your dog’s diet and feeding regimen to ensure they remain consistent.

How Much to Feed Your Dog

You need to figure out how many calories, proteins, and fats your pet needs. This number will base on what your vet recommends. After that, you can start thinking about how much your pet should eat daily.

When choosing the amount of food to feed your dog, you need also consider the sort of food. For example, canned dog food and wet food have far fewer nutrients than dry food.

Labradors that weigh between 15 and 18 pounds need to eat around 2 ounces per meal, four times a day. The amount they need to eat gradually goes up as they get older, and the number of times they need to eat per day decreases. So, a puppy weighing more than 15 pounds will only need to eat around 2.75 cups per meal twice a day when it is an adult.

Suppose your veterinarian has put your Labrador on a weight reduction diet. Remember that the food they feed your Labrador may be cut even further in that scenario.

Labradors are a type of dog. There are some excellent foods that you can feed them to make sure they have a healthy diet. A healthy diet is not just about the food you give them. You must also guarantee that they get sufficient daily activity for their long-term health and happiness.

Best Dog Food for Adult Labrador Retrievers

1. Canine Formula by Taste of the Wild

This dog food is recommended for Labradors because it is high in protein, which helps promote lean and strong muscles. The food contains a variety of proteins, including roasted bison and roasted venison, as well as other nutrients like probiotics that help keep your dog’s gut healthy.

Key Benefits

  • Grain-free recipe with only ingredients that are high in protein
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and powerful antioxidants have been added.
  • Components come from reliable, long-term sources.
  • Easy to digest and good for your gut health

2. Wellness Core Grain-Free Dry Dog Food with Less Fat

If your Labrador doesn’t get enough exercise or is overweight, this dry dog food with less fat might help. The food has 10% fat, less than regular dog food, and it still has enough calories for your Labrador. The food also has fiber and nutrients that help keep your Labrador’s joints, digestive system, and immune system healthy.

Key Benefits

  • The first things on the list are turkey, turkey meal, potatoes, chicken meal, and peas.
  • Packed with healthy fruits and vegetables and salmon oil
  • It has glucosamine, chondroitin, and fatty acids in it.
  • This food is good for your heart because it has taurine in it.
  • Food with less fat to help overweight dogs lose weight
  • Grain-free dog food that is high in protein

3. Blue Buffalo’s Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat in the Wilderness

This dog food is a high protein, grain-free food that provides your Labrador with the right mix of vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy. Each bite of this food contains protein, vegetables, and fruits suitable for their growth and development. This dog food is free from by-products and other potentially harmful additives.

Key Benefits

  • This dog food is full of antioxidants, which are suitable for dogs with stomachs that are easily upset.
  • It offers the right amount of complex carbohydrates for a healthy diet
  • To help burn fat, L-carnitine
  • Glucosamine helps keep joints healthy and mobile.

4. Eagle Pack Original Dry Dog Food for Adults, Lamb Meal

This dry dog food is ideal for your Labrador since it contains the perfect balance of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Glucosamine and omega fatty acids are also found. It can contribute to the health and balance of your dog’s diet while satisfying its nutritional needs.

Key Benefits

  • Lamb is easy to digest and helps build lean muscle mass.
  • Antioxidants help keep immune systems in good shape.
  • This recipe has oatmeal and brown rice, which are high in fiber and aid digestion.
  • Specially made to meet your adult dog’s nutritional needs.

5. Holistic Select Adult Dry Dog Food for Large and Giant Breeds

This dog food has been designed to help your Labrador’s digestive system. It includes active probiotics, healthy fiber, and digestive enzymes. The food also consists of high-quality protein necessary for your dog’s growth and development.

Key Benefits

  • Includes taurine to support a healthy heart
  • It contains pumpkin and papaya for a healthy digestive system
  • It contains protease that can help break down proteins
  • It has life and naturally occurring microorganisms to promote healthy digestion

6. Eukanuba Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food, Made Just for That Breed

This food is made for Labrador Retrievers and has a formula they will love. Multiple tests have shown that it is one of the best dog foods you can buy for your furry friend. Only high-quality proteins are used to make it, and it comes with its own 3D DentaDefense System. However, one thing to watch out for is the inclusion of beet pulp, which some manufacturers claim may or may not be dangerous.

Key Benefits

  • Uses high-quality proteins from animals to build solid and slim muscles
  • It has been made to help keep joints healthy.
  • L-carnitine and natural taurine both help keep the heart in good shape.

7. Best Dog Food for Labrador Puppies ,Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food

This food is designed for Labrador puppies and is meant to help them have a healthy diet. This food has significant enhancements for their development, like natural lamb protein and omega fatty acids.

Key Benefits

  • It is an all-natural recipe with natural fruits, veggies, and protein.
  • Nutrient-dense and easily digestible foods
  • It contains a probiotic blend to help with digestive health
  • It helps people eat well and build strong muscles.

8. Dry dog food from Royal Canin for Labrador Retriever puppies

This food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of your Labrador Puppy. It helps them grow into healthy adult dogs. This food has the right amounts of protein, calcium, and phosphorous for puppies from 8 weeks to 15 months old.

Key Benefits

  • Specially made to meet Labrador puppies’ nutritional needs
  • It helps keep the digestive system healthy.
  • Contains Vitamins E and C, as well as lutein and taurine
  • The kibble’s shape makes the puppy chew his food and slows down indigestion.

9. The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Puppies and Big Dogs

This food is good for Labrador Retriever puppies. It has chicken meal and oats, which helps puppies grow big and strong. The food is for puppies who will weigh more than 55 pounds as adults.

Key Benefits

  • It has the right amount of calcium to help bones grow.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help build strong muscles and keep joints healthy.
  • It contains antioxidants to support a healthy immune system
  • Lamb meal is the top ingredient

10. Wellness Complete Health Natural

This food has the proper calcium and phosphorus levels for your puppy to build strong bones. DHA-rich salmon promotes brain health. Boneless chicken and natural ingredients are used—wheat, soy, corn, meat by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives-free. The omega fatty acids help keep the skin and fur in good shape. This food is good for your puppy during its first year.

Key Benefits

  • DHA and vitamins E and A are in the right amounts.
  • It contains 3% calcium and has spinach and carrots
  • Includes taurine to support a healthy heart
  • It has Yucca Schidigera extract, making the dog’s poop smell-less harmful.

Best Dog Foods For Labrador Retrievers

Nom Nom Fresh Dog Food

It is easy to choose the best overall dog food for labs when companies like Nom Nom create pre-packaged meals from simple ingredients. The food is a bit more expensive than other dog foods, but it is of such good quality that it is worth the extra money.

Each of the four dog food recipes has a lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Veterinary put the recipes together to ensure your dog gets the proper nutrition.

The team that prepares the food cooks each ingredient separately to keep the nutrients from being destroyed. The food is highly digestible and delicious. Each meal is processed in the United States, and only whole ingredients that meet AAFCO standards are used.


  • AAFCO approved
  • Quality ingredients
  • Four recipes
  • High in protein, vitamins, and minerals
  • Easy to digest


  • Expensive

Rachael Ray- Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies Dog Food

If you are looking for an excellent deal on dog food, but want to maintain nutrition, then you should try Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies. A real chef created this food, so you know it is made with thought. You have a lot of food for your money here- it is the best dog food for Labs that you can buy for the price.

A serving of this dog food has 340 calories. The guaranteed food analysis includes 14% crude fat, 25% crude protein, 4% crude fiber, and 10% moisture. There are also a lot of added minerals and vitamins like omega fatty acids, zinc, phosphorus, and ascorbic acid.

The kibble in this dog food contains real chicken, which is a good source of protein. It also has live probiotics to help with gut health and no fillers, artificial flavors, or preservatives. The kibble also includes easily digestible starches and carbs—like peas and brown rice.


  • No unnatural ingredients
  • Affordable
  • No unnatural ingredients
  • Easily digestible recipe


  • It contains corn and soy.

Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy

Giving them the right food is essential if you have a cute Lab puppy. Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy is the perfect food for them because it has the right texture, flavor, and nutrient balance. It will help your puppy grow healthy and strong.

The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 12% crude fat, 27.5% crude protein, 4% crude fiber, and 14% moisture. It also contains the ingredient DHA which is essential for brain development. This recipe contains 387 calories per serving.

 This recipe was designed to be similar to mother’s milk and help puppies grow optimally during essential stages. It has more protein than other puppy foods to help puppies grow strong muscles.


  • Contains DHA
  • High protein
  • Formulated for puppies


  • Contains potentially irritating ingredients

Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials

The Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials is an excellent food for your pup. It has lots of good ingredients that will help keep your puppy healthy. The main components are lamb and rice, making the food taste good and healthy.

This recipe has 389 calories. Dog food includes 16% crude fat, 26% crude protein, 3% crude fiber, and 12% moisture. The food also helps with gut health and regularity with 600 million live probiotics.

This bag of food is made of dried kibble and tender pieces. This way, your dog will have different textures to eat. The recipe has the correct omega fatty acids, protein, and carbohydrates for healthy bowel movements, shiny skin, coat, and optimal muscle function.

 This product contains gluten, corn, wheat, and soy. It might not be suitable for all dogs.


  • High fiber
  • Lamb is the top ingredient
  • Well-rounded nutrition


  • Not compatible with specific dietary restrictions

Diamond Naturals Senior Formula

Diamond Naturals Senior Formula is specifically designed to support the body functions of seniors, so they maintain their muscle tone and bone density.

This dog food has 347 calories in every serving. The recipe includes 24% protein, 11% fat, 3% fiber, and 10% moisture. It also contains probiotics to help with digestion.

This food is perfect for seniors. It has superfoods like kale, coconut, and blueberries. These ingredients give seniors the proper nutrients their bodies need and help boost their immunity. The number one ingredient in this food is real cage-free chicken, which provides them with a good source of protein.


  • Live probiotics
  • Perfect for seniors
  • Full of superfoods


  • Not for other life stages

American Journey Active Life

American Journey Active Life Formula is a good choice if you have a young Lab who is always working out. It replaces the calories your dog burns with exercise. If you train your dog in the field or take it hunting or jogging, this kibble is a good fit for its lifestyle.

This dog food has 345 calories in one serving. The crude protein, fat, fiber and moisture content is 25%, 15%, 6%, and 10%. Salmon is the first ingredient which is a good source of protein. The food also contains brown rice and peas, which are healthy grains. This recipe has no wheat, soy, artificial, or animal byproducts. However, this food is high in calories, so it’s not recommended for less active dogs since it could cause weight gain.


  • Good for energetic dogs
  • No fillers or artificial ingredients
  • High-calorie and protein


  • Can cause weight gain in less energetic dogs

Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula

Try the Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula to give your dog a more natural diet. This food has a high dose of protein, fat, and other nutrients your dog needs.

This dog food contains 406 calories per serving. If your dog is overweight, there might be better food for them. The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 20% crude fat, 30% crude protein, 3.8% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.

This recipe is suitable for all life stages. That means that no matter if you have a pup, pregnant, lactating, or senior dog, they can benefit from this type of food. You would only have to transition them again if you wanted to switch their diet for other reasons.

Victor offers a dry kibble that boosts immunity and supports digestion. You will love all of the great benefits of this kibble. However, there is no whole protein source. The recipe starts with a beef meal, which might need to be improved for some owners.


  • Unique VPRO blend for immunity and digestion
  • For all life stages
  • Excellent protein source


  • It does not contain whole protein.

Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach

If your Lab has digestive issues, ask your vet about Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach. This food is easy to digest and can help soothe any stomach issues or irritation.

This dry kibble has 355 calories per serving. The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 12% crude fat, 22% crude protein, 4.5% crude fiber, and 10% moisture. Oatmeal and Brown rice ingredients soothe the digestive tract over other harsh options that are easy to digest.

This recipe has a lot of omega fatty acids to help nourish your dog’s coat and skin. It also has ancient grains like brown rice and pearled barley, which can help keep your Lab from getting sick and having diarrhea.

This recipe is an excellent option for dogs with trouble with digestion, but there might be better choices for adult dogs with no dietary issues.


  • Soothing ingredients
  • Easily digestible
  • Full ancient grains


  • Not necessary for healthy dogs

Buyer’s Guide:

Labradors are typically very active dogs, and they can be boisterous. Finding the right diet plan for them can be challenging. Here are some things you need to consider when looking for a diet plan for your Labs.

Dog Food Types

Everyday Health:

Aim to give your dog the nutrition they need. These recipes are simple and provide all of the nutrients that a healthy dog needs.

Limited Ingredient Diet:

A limited-ingredient diet is designed to reduce the number of ingredients that could cause irritation and allergic reactions.


Grain-free diets are created for dogs that have gluten sensitivities. These diets are not necessary for all healthy dogs. There is some controversy about grain-free diets even though they are popular. If you are considering a grain-free diet for your dog, check with your veterinarian first to make the best decision for your pet.

Sensitive Stomach:

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it might be more sensitive to the ingredients in its food. If your dog is having trouble digesting food, ingredients like pumpkin, oatmeal, and barley might help.

High Protein:

Labradors are typically very active dogs. If your Labrador is incredibly energetic, it might need more protein to help them rebuild its muscles.

Active Lifestyle:

If you have a very active Lab, try feeding them an involved lifestyle recipe. These recipes are designed for dogs that participate in hunting and agility exercises.

Dog Food Texture

Dry Kibble:

Dry kibble is a typical bait dog food. It is likely the most common on the market. It is used to provide adequate nutrition to your dog, but it does lack moisture. On the upside, it has a very long shelf life, and you can choose from a wide variety.

Wet Food:

Wet food is the first kind of dog food. It is made to meet the dietary needs of dogs. Wet food is high in iron and calories. It is also easy for seniors or dogs with bad teeth to eat.

Moist Food:

Moist food is a combination of wet and dry kibble. It is made similarly to dry kibble but has higher moisture content and shorter shelf life.


A combination diet is when you mix different types of food. For example, you can mix dry and wet food to get the benefits of both.

Raw Food:

Raw food diets are becoming more popular as time goes by. This diet gets your dog the most natural, nutrient-rich ingredients possible.

Lightly Cooked:

Light cooking helps to keep the nutrients in the food. When you cook food, it is essential to cook it sparingly, or the nutrients will be gone.

Final Thoughts

These five recommendations for the most OK dog food for Labrador Retrievers offer various options. You can choose a food with high protein or one with nutrients and vitamins to support proper digestion, muscle strength, and bone growth. There are also lower-fat options to help with excessive weight gain.

Read more: What Is Fresh Pet Food and Is It Actually Better?

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Dog Food for Labs

What Should Labradors Not Eat?

Some foods are poisonous to Labradors. Chocolate, macadamia nuts, walnuts, onions, garlic, leeks, grapes, raisins, alcohol, caffeine, and salt are some of the most common. Some less known foods that can be poisonous to Labs are raw potatoes, yeast dough, green tomatoes, and moldy food.

Is Royal Canin Good For Labrador?

If you have a Labrador Retriever, it is essential to feed them a diet specific to their breed. Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dog Food has kibble designed to help fast eaters slow down and chew. The food also has the right amount of calories and fat to help your Lab stay healthy, as well as nutrients like EPA, DHA, and glucosamine which support bone and joint health.

Is Chicken Good For Labrador?

Cooked chicken is a healthy food that is safe for most dogs to eat. Chicken is the best source of protein, which is beneficial to the health of canines. You can give your dog chicken by itself or mix it with his regular food.

What Foods Are Labradors Allergic To?

Labrador Retrievers can have food allergies. Allergic responses to popular dog food ingredients such as beef, corn, soy, fish, wheat, chicken, and chicken eggs cause these conditions. According to veterinarians, food allergies account for around 10 percent of canine allergy problems.

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