Whether your Labrador is a puppy or fully grown, what you feed them has a major impact on their health, temperament and energy levels. If you didn’t know, the life expectancy of the Labrador Retriever breed almost halved over the last 20 years. Finding the best dog food for labradors is the first step towards a healthier Labrador.
The breed is known for being energetic, playful and loving. Feeding them a high quality diet will maintain their delightful nature. Labradors are prone to overeating so make sure you keep an eye on their weight and adjust their feeding schedule accordingly. Regular exercise should also be a part of taking care of your Lab, and adjusting the portions depending on the level of activity is crucial to avoid obesity or malnutrition. If you are breeding Labradors, increase quantities for the pregnant and nursing bitch, but otherwise be strict.
Below are our recommendations for the top 6 best dog foods for Labradors in regards to health benefits, nutritional benefits and value for money:
- Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food
- Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula
- Wellness Core Natural Low Fat Dry Dog Food
- Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food
- Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ground Wet Dog Food
Labradors do not require a fancy or expensive dog food. As long as you feed them quality dog food that is high in protein, they will maintain their happy and playful demeanor. That only makes choosing what brand of dog food to feed them slightly easier.
When choosing the right food for your Lab, the follow points should be on your list of priorities:
- Meat-based protein sources (preferably the first ingredient on the bag or can)
- A modest amount of carbohydrates
- No artificial colors or flavors
- No byproducts
- An AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose on the bag or can of food
There is an endless number of choices when thinking about what to feed a Labrador, but we’re here to help!
1. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food
— Best Dry Dog Food For Labrador Puppies
All-natural recipes especially formulated for large-breed puppies, this Eagle Pack dry food offers a dual protein source with Chicken and Lamb, with DHA to help brain and eye growth. Calcium and phosphorus will allow your puppy’s bone and structure to develop with very little complications, even with a lot of exercise (particularly important in female Labradors in order to avoid eclampsia.)
To us, this is one of the best dog foods for Labrador puppies. It is void of the loathed meat by-products, corn, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. On top of all the macronutrients it provides, the Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food also packs optimum quantities of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and antioxidants. Young puppies especially need such a great balance of micronutrients in order to improve their immune system.
2. Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain
— Best Premium Labrador Dog Food
If you haven’t heard of the brand Blue Buffalo before, we urge you to check it out. Blue Buffalo Wilderness is one of the best kibbles available for your Labrador for many reasons. The manufacturer boasts that the Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain recipe has been specially prepared to provide for “the Wolf that lives on in dogs today.” This formula is made using a protein-rich formula, containing meat such as deboned beef, lamb, bison, and venison.
The grains used in this recipe are gluten-free, and there are no traces of wheat, soy, or corn. Thanks to its unique hypoallergenic formula, you can stay confident that your dog won’t face any gastrointestinal distress. Your dog will remain energetic throughout the day, and his/her coat will be shinier than ever. The salmon formula helps Labs struggling with skin and coat problems by providing a meal rich in good fatty acids.
3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula
— Best Grain-Free Labrador Dog Food
When talking about grain-free dog food for Labrador Retrievers, not many products can live up to the reputation of the Taste of the Wild range. This is premium grade dog food in the truest sense because it contains all the right ingredients that will keep your dog healthy and lively. It is priced quite modestly to be affordable for everyone too. This grain free formula has been made keeping in mind the needs of your dog’s ancestors that roamed in the wild.
Taste of the Wild has included the best combination of meat, veggies, and fruit inside this popular recipe. Carbohydrates are usually supplied with a grain-based source yet, this formula instead uses sweet potatoes and peas. Sweet potatoes and peas provide the most digestible energy for your active dog. Roasted meat offers a taste that your pup has never experienced before. This combination of ingredients ensures your Lab will have a meal that is both nutritious and delicious!
Don’t take our word for it; go ahead and check out other reviews to see what we’re talking about. The grain-free formula helps every dog digest this food easily and enjoy all the advantages of getting the right nutrition. Sourcing nutrients from grain free sources also reduces the risk of your dog developing an allergic reaction.
From a healthy coat to active energy and a better mood, your Lab will show them all!
4. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free
— Best Low-Fat Labrador Dog Food
Fully grown Labradors should weigh between 55-80 pounds. If you believe your Labrador has to shed some weight, get them on a low-fat canine diet immediately. Fortunately, preparing low-fat food doesn’t mean that you have to rely on fresh-off the market ingredients and your culinary skills. There are several low-fat formulas available, but we want to choose one that will help your dog lose weight while still getting all the necessary nutrients. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food can do this job exceptionally well!
This product from Wellness Core boasts of having a grain-free formula and reduced fat-formula bundled together to support your dog’s weight management needs. As a concerned pet parent, you need not be worried about your pup’s daily nutrition. This product combines the best of protein-rich, low-fat ingredients like chicken, salmon, and real turkey to make every meal as nutritious as it is tasty.
Being free of grain, wheat, soy, corn, and meat by-products, means your Labrador is getting only the finest quality food. It contains 80% more meat than other dog foods and also offers healthy omega fatty acids, probiotics, and other antioxidants to provide complete care for your dog’s health. If you’re looking to trim some pounds off your Lab, give this formula a try! Your dog can get back down to a healthy weight without sacrificing quality ingredients.
It contains only all-natural ingredients and no artificial flavoring or preservatives.
5. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food
— Best Hypoallergenic Labrador Kibble
Labrador Retrievers are not particularly prone to developing allergies, however if you notice any behavior such as itching or excessive paw licking, your dog might be having a reaction to some allergen (not necessarily food- consult your vet before changing foods). Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food is a great hypoallergenic dog food, and we recommend it to all dog owners whose labradors are showing signs of a food allergy.
This formula offers advanced support for your dog’s digestive tract by being loaded with probiotics, digestive enzymes, digestive botanicals, and fibers. By all means, try it for a month and you should notice the difference in your dog’s stools whether they show signs of a food allergy or not. Remember that a food allergy should be monitored by your veterinarian and the diet revamped under their supervision.
This product has been specially formulated for large breeds that require lots of nutritional value. This is why Holistic Select only included premium quality lamb, duck, and salmon meat to deliver the right proteins in adequate amounts. This product does not include traces of meat by-products, wheat, gluten, fillers, or artificial flavors that can trigger upset stomachs in dogs.
This brand adheres to the highest standards of food safety and can guarantee that your dog will show signs of more energy and all-around development when you give them this food. The key to a dog’s overall health lies in their stomach, and you should feed your Lab the best food possible.
6. Purina Beyond Natural Grain-Free Wet Dog Food
— Best Wet Dog Food for Labradors
Wet dog food might not be the first choice for many dog owners as portioning out the right amount tends to get tough, but there’s no denying the fact that dogs love them! I mean, if they could ask for it, dogs would. Often times, due to its price, dog owners will mix wet and dry food together. This is a great way to give your dog the nutrient-packed and flavorful taste of wet food, along with cheaper dry food (which has unique advantages such as removing tartar from your dog’s teeth.)
Keeping chicken, beef, or salmon as the first ingredient, Purina Beyond has managed to deliver significant quantities of nutrients even in small servings. There is no need to worry about fillers such as wheat, corn, or soy; you get only the best ingredients when you buy this product. This formula is grain-free and gluten-free as well! This product also contains all-natural vitamins and minerals that fine-tune the whole nutritional profile of this wet food.
This product will give your pet the right nutrition to live a long and happy life. Make sure that you’re feeding your Lab the right amount, or they can end up eating more than what’s needed. This food is perfect for dog owners who think that dry food is not enough. Purina Beyond is also ideal for fussy eaters since wet dog food is known for its irresistible palatability.
If you choose to feed your Lab a strictly wet food diet, you should get them dog treats with a hard surface or be adamant about cleaning their teeth.
Last words to conclude…
You should always feed your Labrador a dog food that is high in micronutrients and meat-based proteins while avoiding fillers, artificial colors and artificial flavors. If you can avoid feeding them a formula with grains, this will ensure they have an easier time digesting their food and absorbing all its nutrients.
The main concern with Labradors (and dogs in general) is overeating. Make sure you manage their weight and exercise them regularly. If you feed your dog high quality food, you usually spend more but smaller portions are enough thanks to a higher density of nutrients. Plus, they will enjoy a healthier life, have more energy and live longer.
Your dog gives you endless amounts of love and affection, you should return the favor by feeding them a healthy diet from one of these best dog foods for Labradors!
About The Author — Kevin O’Donnell is the webmaster at TheBarkBuzz.com. As a lifelong dog lover, his goal is to share helpful information for dog owners in the areas of dog health and training. He also volunteers with a local dog rescue organization and helps promote animal advocacy.