What is the Best Dog Food for My Labrador?
Before you even bring your Labrador retriever home, you should already have some idea what type of food you want to feed him. In many cases, your breeder or the shelter from which you adopt your dog will let you know what they’ve been feeding him. It is your choice, however, if you want to switch to another food – just be sure you do it for the right reasons. Many dog owners switch to a cheaper brand of food without realizing that it could end up costing them (and their dog) in the long run.
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Nutritional Needs of Labrador Retrievers
The nutritional needs of dogs do not vary significantly from one breed to another, but it is wise to understand your dog’s needs before you buy his food. Like all dogs, Labrador Retrievers require a diet that is high in protein, and that protein should come from quality, whole-food sources like chicken, lamb, and fish. Labrador Retrievers in particular are a very active breed so they may require a more energy-dense formula than less active dogs. There is a fine line between feeding your dog enough and too much, however – Labradors do have a tendency to become obese when overfed. Once you find a food for your Labrador, it is often recommended that you feed him several small meals throughout the day to keep his energy up but do not leave food out all the time or he may overeat.
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Tips for Feeding Labradors
One of the main concerns when it comes to feeding Labrador retrievers is their tendency to eat quickly. You are unlikely to find a Labrador retriever that doesn’t eagerly wolf down his dinner as soon as it is set before him. While a healthy appetite is a good thing, it can be very dangerous for your dog to eat too quickly. Large breed dogs like Labrador retrievers are at an increased risk for a condition called gastric torsion (also called bloat). If the dog eats too quickly, the stomach may swell and twist – this can decrease the blood supply to vital organs and can also affect your dog’s breathing. If not properly treated, this condition can quickly become fatal. For this reason, it is important to keep an eye on your dog while he eats – using a raised food dish may also be helpful.
Recommended Brands for Labradors
There isn’t one correct choice for every Labrador Retriever – it all depends on your dog’s preferences and on how well he digests certain ingredients. If you are looking for recommendations, however, the following brands and formulas are popular with Labrador Retriever owners:
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Before switching your Labrador retriever to a new diet, always check with your veterinarian to make sure the new food is healthy. After getting your vet’s approval, mix some of the old food with your dog’s new food to transition him onto the new diet so his stomach does not get upset by the sudden change.
Hi everyone! Does anyone have experience with feeding Earthborn grain-free dry dog food to their lab? We currently feed our lab Taste of the Wild, he is doing ok but seems to have itchy skin. I also don’t like that they add salt to the food. We tried Origin Regional Red, he liked it a lot, but his stool started to get soft. Once we switched back to Taste of the Wild it got better. If you don’t have experience feeding Earthborn, can you recommend any other high-end grain-free dry dog food that your lab loves and keeps him fit & healthy? Thank you, any feedback is greatly appreciated!
I feed my 14 mo Chessie Earthborn Holistic, Coastal Catch. He’s still growing and I don’t want to overload him with the higher protein formulas (Primitive and Great Plains) just yet as he just transitioned from Fromm Large Breed Gold formula, (equally great pup food). Earthborn has been nothing short of extraordinary so far. He loves the taste, fantastic nutritional value, ZERO recalls ever, highly reputable company and he’s thriving on it; couldn’t be happier. You should without question give it a try. Lots of good brands out there right now but Earthborn, still kinda flying under the radar, is gradually finding its way into the bowls of some of the top working dogs in my area; fact!
I have a 53 lb half lab with sensitive stomach issues. I took ihim to a Holistic vet who recommended the following & he did very well until now & now needs a senior formula. Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Bison along with 1/3 can of salmon, 1 Tbsp of raw spinach, (we bought the frozen spinach & would unthaw a little at a time), & about 3/4 of a chicken gizzard which was boiled with a little bit of marjoram. We cooked the gizzards ahead of time & then froze the batch except for a couple that we’d refrigerate, (freezing only 3 together per pill bag because these things freeze together in a glob otherwise & it’s impossible to separate). We are now switching him to a Senior formula in Canidae that is grain free. He has a sensitive stomach & to switch foods we have to do so very slowly, starting with just 1/4 cup of the new & 1/4 less on the old, then gradually over time completely switching him. It sounds like a pain but with a sensitive stomach it must be done this way or he gets diarrhea & sometimes will vomit as well. I would suggest you transition your dog very slowly once his tummy has settled down. We feed him twice daily & gave him the giizzard with his morning meal & the spinach & salmon with his afternoon meal.
Thank you for this information on what we should feed our Labrador. Like you said, Labrador retrievers require a diet that is high in protein and that protein should come from quality, whole-food sources. I just bought a Lab and he is so great! I have never owned a dog before and I want him to be health and enjoy the food that I feed him. Thanks again!
Our 8 year old lab, who eats small amounts throughout the day, was on the DAD’s brand trail mix food until two months ago. He was active, healthy and a great weight for his build. We switched him to Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural and he loved it. However since then we have noticed he seems to be in pain when going from standing to laying or laying to standing. Once his Primitive Natural ran out we bought him the Earthborn Great Plains Feast. He doesn’t seem to like it as much but he is eating it. Now his hips seem to be worse than ever. He had hip xrays less than 4 months ago and they were free of arthritis. I am thinking it is the food but it doesn’t make any sense that a junk dog food was better for him than the grain free Earthborn Holistic food. Does anyone have any advice or thoughts? I don’t want to keep switching his food if that’s not the reason for the pain/joint issues but I don’t know what else to do. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Is It sufficient for my Labrador to have a fistful of Pedigree 5 times a day. I don’t understand the most suitable way to keep my 2 months older pup healthy.
He’s too thin to justify his age, which is not at all a good sign.
He’s very active and playful but looks as if he’s starving from hunger.
Suggest me a better diet plan for my pup.
Hi, I have a 2.5 yr old 90lb male labrador. He’s eaten Oijen, Acana (singles) dry, Merrick canned & sardines (1x/wk) the majority of his life. I believe he has yeast in his system and I’m avidly reading up on the best way to remedy it so that he is free of yeast. Is there a high quality line that does not have high glycemic veggies that you are aware? Even in what I’ve been feeding I find pumpkin, carrot & sun-dried alfalfa (unsure if this is same a general alfalfa). These, plus are ingredients Dr. Karen Becker says to avoid in her video on yeast & dogs. I find her info to be thorough & helpful.
Is there a blog to follow or join concerning (large dogs &) yeast remedies?
Separately, If I were to do a one day/wk raw day, what would that look like? I do not have room to store enough raw food to feed this big guy.
Got my 90lb male lab/white shepherd from P4P program at 1.3 years. Pitch handfuls of Champion Orijen Adult on tile floor 3-4 times a day. Substitute raw ground round, roasts, chicken breasts/thighs when on sale. Meaty beef rib bones for treats. If you have toured or researched Dogstar kitchen in Auburn KY, you will not want to feed anything else dry. There is a reason Champion brands are top rated folks.