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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Best Diets for a Labrador Retriever
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.