Best Dog Food For Labs: Feed Your Labrador A Healthful Diet

Maintaining the health of your Labrador Retriever is an absolute priority, and the process does not only involve love and affection, but also a combination of nutritious wet and dry food. Some illnesses are far from our control. However, the food we give our pups can strongly prolong their quality of life and overall happiness.

This adorable and friendly breed is, despite its strong appearance, a vulnerable and sensitive one. The Lab's vulnerability is extended when it lacks a steady water supply, food, nourishing environment, or safe shelter. Any responsible owner will want to guarantee that their Lab is getting the best treatment possible, and that means food too. That’s why the following article will serve as a guide for some of the most nutritious food brands your yellow, chocolate, or black companion can indulge in.

Overview of the Top Products

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Price
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Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog FoodWellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

GRAIN FREE: 100% grain free, complete and balanced everyday nutrition for your dog.

PROTEIN FOCUSED NUTRITION: naturally grain free, rich with delicious premium proteins including turkey and chicken combined with real vegetables and essential vitamins and minerals.

$$$
Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's VarietyInstinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's Variety

FARM-RAISED RABBIT is the FIRST INGREDIENT – packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles

71% REAL animal ingredients and nutritious oils; 29% vegetables, fruits and other wholesome ingredients; 0% GRAIN

$$$
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog FoodTaste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food

A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON; REAL MEAT is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES

A NATURAL food with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for natural ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT

$$$
BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog FoodBLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food

Contains one (1) 24-lb bag of BLUE Wilderness Adult Grain Free Salmon Dry Dog Food

Always features real meat. Made with deboned salmon, chicken meal and fish meal to supply the protein your dog needs

$$$
Orijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bagOrijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bag

Orijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bag

28.6 pounds

Fromm Family Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog FoodFromm Family Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog Food

Large Breed 50+

Added cartilage to support joint health.

$$$$
EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog FoodEUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food

Contains one (1) 30-lb. bag of EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Labrador Retriever Dog Food (Packaging May Vary)

EUKANUBA Labrador Retriever Dog Food features 3D DENTADEFENSE System, which is proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days

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Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult dry dog foodRoyal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult dry dog food

Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers over 15 months old

Support healthy joint function and improve mobility

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Brothers Complete Turkey & Egg Advanced Allergy Care Dog Food 5 LBBrothers Complete Turkey & Egg Advanced Allergy Care Dog Food 5 LB

Advanced allergy care

Digestive enzymes selective prebiotics protected probiotics

$
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lbDiamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb

HIGH quality PROTEIN made with real PASTURE RAISED beef, tailored for adult dogs to thrive; optimal amino acid profile for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES

A NATURAL food with added vitamins & minerals; fruits, vegetables & SUPERFOODS for natural ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT

$$
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog FoodWellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

This formulated nutrition is designed for an adult Lab and his unique dietary needs. More specifically, the Wellness CORE lab food contains large sources of fiber –healthy green rich broccoli and potatoes. Additionally, we couldn’t forget about the probiotics which help labs better digest their meals without bloating.

If you tend to spoil your dog by going on multiple walks, you’re probably looking for a product which is able to provide an adequate amount of protein to restore his energy –without the added fat content. You’re in luck! The Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food contains 34% protein and 15% fat, making it ideal for dogs that are prone to gaining weight fast. Moreover, the product features rich and healthy omega-3s and omega-6s, which gives them the beautiful and lavish health skin and coat we all love seeing.

Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's VarietyInstinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's Variety

This US-made product is easily recognizable by the freshness of the natural ingredients it features in every single bite. Providing clear instructions on how to feed your Labrador, you can’t go wrong with your Instinct –yes, that's a pun!

The smallest sized bag is slightly bigger than other competitors offer, and it’s hard to not fall for this food considering that it’s primarily made with farm-raised rabbit. It couldn’t get much fresher than that. This also means that the main source of protein is made out of lean meat which still provides adequate energy for your dog. By taking a closer peek at the ingredients, they are 71% real animal-based, 29% of vegetable or green in nature, in addition to the nutritious oils and wholesome fruits. This good balance of meat-vegetable-fruit makes it an attractive choice even for fussier labs that would only munch on meat.

This brand hits the nail on the head when it comes to proper nutrition –lacking any artificial colors, preservatives, grains, wheat, corn, or soy, this product is an absolute must for Labrador owners.

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog FoodTaste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food

The antioxidants present in Taste of Wild are there to ensure that your dog’s body will be able to keep itself healthy for a long time and fight off any nasty infections or illnesses which sometimes occur.

This is another product which makes use of fresh ingredients which are high in omega-3s and omega-6s. Nonetheless, what slightly separates it from other products is the presence of antioxidants –blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

Customers love this product because its ingredients are suitable even for dogs that have more sensitive stomachs. The high contents of fibers play their part in maintaining your dog's gastrointestinal health. Free from soy, grain, or corn, Taste of Wild promotes the adequate functioning of the immune systems –plus comes in many different flavors that owners can pick from.

BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog FoodBLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food

This dry food is enriched with multiple lavish ingredients and antioxidants and has a highly affordable price.

Wilderness Blue uses one luxurious ingredient which dogs are quick to love –salmon. In addition to the healthy omega-3s which are known for offering a shiny, lush-looking coat and skin, the product is completely lacking chicken or any poultry by-products. This means that you can say goodbye to any worries about your dog eating chicken parts which are harder to digest or cause reflux. With only a 15% fat content, this food will ensure that your lab’s weight will not skyrocket, but that they will maintain their happiness and health.

It’s hard to not love products which are free or soy, corn, wheat, or any artificial flavors or colors. Another notable characteristic is the high content of calcium which helps maintain healthy bones which can keep up with you and your children’s runs, walks, and plays.

Orijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bagOrijen Adult Dog Food 28.6lb bag

This dog food does not fail to impress –being an ideal choice for owners who wish to give their labs an almost raw diet, but without any bones or potential choking hazards. Made out of 85% meat, one single bag of Orijen packs a whole lot of protein.

We mentioned protein, but haven’t yet dived in. In fact, it’s important to know that 2/3 of all meats in the packaged food are fresh or completely raw –meaning that your dog will be able to not only retain most if not all of the nutrients the food offers but will be attracted to the food due to its raw smell. The diet even includes fish and eggs, so there is a whole array of ingredients which you can count on for a healthy immune system.

Almost most of us might not even realize, dog food contains a lot of carbohydrates. In comparison to most brands, Orijen has 20% less, and it’s so healthy it’s even fit for human consumption –not that we recommend it!

Fromm Family Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog FoodFromm Family Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog Food

Specifically designed for Labradors over 50 pounds, this product contains lenient meats and a total fat content of 12%. The goal is to not put pressure on the dog’s bones by supplying them with food with will make them even bulkier.

This somewhat-holistic food is ideal for dogs, as it contains rich salmon –the perfect source of omega-3s and healthy fatty acids. It’s hard to overlook the role of fiber in promoting a good and adequate digestive process, and ingredients such as barley and flax seeds are just as recommended for our dogs as they are for us.

This food contains the perfect balance between meat and fat content. Not only will this food be delicious, contain probiotics which help with the good function of the heart, or fiber –but it is inexpensive, highly available, and will keep your dog’s weight within your control. What more could you ask for?

EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog FoodEUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food

It's common for different breeds to have different needs, and it's important to understand individuality even when it comes to pups –not much different from humans. EUKANUBA Dog Food is made in such a way that it accommodates for the vast and ever-changing diet requirements of a Labrador retriever.

The brand prides itself on the fact that it uses high-quality ingredients meant for maintaining the overall health of your Labrador –including his muscles and the amount of weight he can put on. This fact is also supported through the good quantity of calcium each bite contains, ideal for keeping your Labrador’s joints and bones strong as when they were young. Additionally, taurine is also integrated into the ingredients –meant for maintaining a healthy heart and blood flow.

People seem to have fallen in love with the brand due to its consistent results in providing labs with the nutritional value they need and deserve. It’s also undeniable that adults dogs seem to devour the EUKANUBA food, and we can’t say we’re surprised –the mouthwatering combination of chicken, fish, and grains make each meal a mouth-licking opportunity.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult dry dog foodRoyal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult dry dog food

There are few pet owners left on this planet who are not aware of the brand Royal Canin. Having made its mark into nearly every veterinarian or pet expert office, it’s hard not to recognize that this brand has a formula which has been developed by people who make their living out of improving the health of animals.

Even the shape of the food is designed with a specific purpose in mind –the exclusive kibble shape is meant to slow down dogs that tend to chew fast and inevitably choke. Because research has shown that a Lab’s level of activity is higher than with other breeds, the food they consume must be high in protein and healthy fats capable of supporting bone and joint development (i.e. chicken, brown rice, beet pulp, and taurine).

Unlike other foods in this list, the Royal Canin brand lists that this meal choice is suitable for retrievers over 15 months old –managing to extend the market and their customer base by supplying highly nutritious food which is suitable for young adult labs.

Brothers Complete Turkey & Egg Advanced Allergy Care Dog Food 5 LBBrothers Complete Turkey & Egg Advanced Allergy Care Dog Food 5 LB

The food’s formula is designed for Labs that sometimes struggle with allergies and food sensitivities. There are 3 different flavors owners can choose from in order to accommodate the individual needs and wants of their own dog.

Containing a high quantity of eggs –the natural protein that stores 22 amino acids – along with turkey and other animal proteins, the Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Care is made as a gentle alternative to traditional food choices which are hard to digests, or subsequently affect the colon and its function.

Dog owners love it because it gives them peace of mind to know that their dogs won’t suffer from allergic reactions, food intolerances, or even slight sensitivities. It will also help you and your pup feel healthier and happier –since there will be no more pain or acid reflux.

Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lbDiamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb

The combination of ingredients targets the activity levels your pet can engage in. Fiber, antioxidants, proteins and green-rich vegetables are meant to support your lab’s healthy body, heart and mind.

The first thing to mention: no corn, no wheat, no soy. Despite the fact that the food is made using grains, there is a healthy combination of beef, green superfoods, and probiotics. When you’re in doubt, rely on omega-6s and omega-3s to ensure a luxuriously fluffy and shiny coat and skin. Let’s not forget about the added vitamin E and selenium, and when you have everything put together, you’re left with a good price tag for an incredibly nutritious food.

The price is not the only great thing. Not everyone is able to afford foods which are incredibly healthy yet overly priced. In comparison to other brands, Diamonds is a more budget-friendly choice which still contains high-quality ingredients which are easily digestible.

Buying Guide

How Much and How Often To Feed Your Lab?

Any Labrador owner is aware that if left to their own devices, they will devour all the food they need and more. That’s why you should keep a close eye on when and how much your dog eats – especially considering that most Labs have a wider middle than other breeds.

Practicing moderation is hard enough for us, imagine how much harder it is for dogs that tend to run, play, and jump in and out of bed all day long. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to feed your Labrador only twice to three times a day, but in small portions. This is a great way for you to be in control of your dog’s metabolism and to establish a healthy routine which will make them stay healthier and strong for longer.

Labrador Food

This is similar to what dieticians and nutritionists recommend for us as well, as it’s an ideal way of controlling your weight without feeling desperate for food or overworking your pancreas. Offering your pup smaller meals can also significantly reduce the risk of bloating or developing food insensitivities. You can also keep an eye out for different ingredients which may affect your dog in a negative way, and then change his dietary habits if needed.

It’s always important for your lab to have a fresh source of water available as well, as their high level of energy demands good hydration.

Nutritional Needs for Labs

There is not one good ingredient which should be prioritized over another. More specifically, a Labrador retriever needs a variety of nutrients and vitamins, including:

  • Preferably lean proteins
  • Carbohydrates (low intake)
  • Healthy fatty acids
  • Amino acids
  • Nutritious oils

In some cases, the early signs of illnesses, lack or energy, skin conditions, and poor coat quality can be directly correlated to the dietary habits of your dog. In this is the situation in which you’re in, we recommend taking a closer look at the food you’re giving your lab and consulting with your veterinarian which can advise you of your option. A good and adequate diet will depend on the food maintaining certain dietary elements which are essential for the health and optimum function of your dog’s body.

One ingredient which is vital for providing energy is protein. Needless to say dogs which are older and have the wise-white beard will need a lower protein intake than younger dogs. This can for example be in around 21%.

In comparison, a pup of 15 months or older can probably be seen jumping from the sofa to the armchair, being chased around the house for hours at an end without even being tired –similar to a 3-year old. That high energy is usually the result of genetics in combination with a food diet. That’s why it’s important to try going for something which has 35% or more protein intake.

As a general rule of thumb, your veterinarian will recommend avoiding foods which are high in wheat, corn, or grains –as well as chemicals and preservatives, for obvious reasons. There are a few ways in which you research that, and it doesn’t involve reading reviews or looking at the labels.

More specifically, an interesting way of checking the radio between cereal and protein involves soaking a bit of dry food in water for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on the results, you will realize if your bought food is the right choice: mushy dry food means high cereal content (i.e. wheat or corn).

There is also the raw option –for those looking to feed their dog raw and natural foods, but without the bones and other potential choking hazards. Although this diet choice is widely debates amongst dog lovers, it may surprise you to learn that many veterinarian and breeders recommend it, especially for service dogs or police academy pups. Don’t worry though; what you choose will ultimately belong to you.

We understand that the market is flooded with choices, and this makes it increasingly hard for owners to choose the right combination of protein, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. We empathize with this problem, and that’s why we’ve creates this comprehensive list –to reveal some of the most popular and healthiest diets available on today’s market.

If you still feel pressured by the numerous choices, and are unsure of what the best options for your Labrador is, consult with your veterinarian. There are multiple tests which he can conduct in order to find out what’s best suited for your dog’s individual needs. A dull coat might point to one thing, whereas hyperactivity to another.

Food For Labs

Don’t feel as if you’re alone in this decision –and don’t forget about the option of home cooked meals as well. It has been widely made known that food which is prepared in your own home is extremely healthy for your Labrador. The added benefit is being aware of exactly what has gone into making it (i.e. ingredients, vitamins, minerals).

Different Types of Food For Your Lab

In some cases, the early signs of illnesses, lack of energy, skin conditions, and poor coat quality can be directly correlated to the dietary habits of your dog. If this is the situation in which you’re in at the moment, we recommend taking a closer look at the food you’re giving your dog and consulting with your veterinarian which can advise of the best dietary options. A good and adequate diet will depend on the food maintaining certain dietary elements which are essential for the health and optimum function of your Labrador's body.

One ingredient which is vital for providing energy is protein. Needless to say, dogs which are older and have the wise-white beards will need a lower protein intake than younger dogs. This can, for example, be at around 21%. In comparison, a pup of 15 months or older can probably be seen jumping from the sofa to the armchair, being chased around the house for hours at an end without even being tired –similar to a 3-year old.

That high energy is usually the result of genetics in combination with an adequate diet. That’s why it’s important to try going for something which has 35% or more protein intake.

As a general rule of thumb, your veterinarian will recommend avoiding foods which are high in wheat, corn, or grains –as well as chemicals and preservatives, for obvious reasons. There are a few ways in which you can research that, and it doesn’t involve reading reviews or looking at any labels. More specifically, an interesting way of checking the radio between cereal and protein involves soaking a bit of dry food in water, for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on the results, you will realize if the food you've picked is the right choice for your dog: mushy dry food means high cereal content (i.e. wheat or corn).

There is also the raw option –for those looking to feed their dog raw and natural foods, but without the bones and other potential choking hazards. Although this diet choice is widely debated amongst dog lovers, it may surprise you to learn that many veterinarians and breeders recommend it, especially for service dogs or police academy pups. Don’t worry though; what you choose will ultimately belong to you!

We understand that the market is flooded with choices, and this makes it increasingly hard for owners to choose the right combination of protein, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. We empathize with this problem, and that’s why we’ve created this comprehensive list –to reveal some of the most popular and healthiest diets available on today’s market.

If you still feel pressured by the numerous choices, and are unsure of what the best options for your Labrador is, consult with your veterinarian. There are multiple tests which he can conduct in order to find out what’s best suited for your dog’s individual needs. A dull coat might point to one thing, whereas hyperactivity to another. Don’t feel as if you’re alone in this decision –and don’t forget about the option of home cooked meals as well. It has been widely made known that food which is prepared in your own home is extremely healthy for your Labrador or any other breed for that matter. The added benefit is being aware of exactly what has gone into making it (i.e. ingredients, vitamins, minerals).

Conclusion

Remembering that different breeds have diverging needs is vital in being able to maintain the health and happiness of your dog. As previously seen, there are some notable brands and foods –sometimes finding the right one for your Labrador will call for some experimentation, or otherwise trial and error. When selecting a particular food for your dog, keep in mind that Labradors are prone to weight gain, especially as they age.

Best Dog Food For Labs: Feed Your Labrador A Healthful Diet
10 Total Score
We rate these best dog food for labs based on

Quality
9.5
Manufacturer (was there any recalls)
9
Value for money
9.5
Nutrition
9
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