Published on: 02/11/2020, updated on: 10/15/2021

Best Dog Food for Labs (A Thorough Guide)

Labrador retrievers, popularly known as labs, are one of the most renowned dog breeds in the world. In the past, these energetic dogs were used for hunting, but today they make lovable family pets. Just like other dog breeds, these dogs require a well balanced and highly digestible diet to keep them healthy and full of life.

Keeping your lab strong and healthy is very important. To achieve this, you need to understand their nutritional needs in order to buy the best dog food for your lab.

In this article, we will walk you through some of the best dog food for labs and also a guide for buying them.

Our top pick is the Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This food comes with the right amount of protein that your Labrador needs for optimal growth. It is also free from artificial compounds such as color or soy. To crown it all, it comes at a pocket-friendly rate.

The Best Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers Are:

1. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

If you are looking for the best grain-free dog food for Labrador retrievers, then this is one of the best options you have. This food contains about 34 percent protein that provides your high-end lab with all the support it needs. If you have a very active working dog, this tasty kibble is also suitable for it. This grain-free dog good also boasts of high-quality proteins, which are derived from low-fat turkey and chicken.

To enhance healthy skin and shiny coat, this food contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. This acid also helps to protect their heart. The fat composition in the food is about 15 percent, and this is great for large dog breeds that are susceptible to being overweight. While it’s suitable for dogs that are on diet, it is not ideal for dogs that suffer from allergies, as it contains chicken.

This food also contains high-end fiber sources such as potatoes and broccoli. These ingredients help to regulate the bowel movement of your labs and make them feel fuller for a longer. The fiber also plays a major role in weight control. In addition to the fiber content, this food comes with probiotics for healthy digestion.

This food also enhances a strong and healthy immune system, thanks to its antioxidant content. For strong and healthy joints, this formula contains glucosamine.

Specs

  • Grain-free
  • Adults
  • 26 pounds

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Affordable
  • Best for picky dogs
  • Does not contain wheat, corn, or soy

Cons

  • Not ideal for dogs that are sensitive to chicken ingredients
Wellness Core Food Dog | Chewy

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Dog Food

This dog food from Blue Buffalo is one of the best food for labs. Blue Buffalo formulated and manufactured this dog food and the food contains high-quality ingredients. This food also boasts of all-natural ingredients. This dog food for Labradors is grain-free, but it still provides your Labrador with everything it needs. With this, you no longer have to deal with incidences of food allergies caused by the inclusion of grains.

This dry dog food from Blue Buffalo is made with healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and peas, which are vital for energy. This high-protein formula also provides your lab with all the protein it needs through duck meat. The grain-free formula features LifeSource Bits, which is a perfect combination of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants processed at lower temperatures in order to prevent degradation and preserve potency.

Veterinarians and animal nutritionists select all the ingredients used to make this food carefully. However, if your lab does not like the duck protein source, this food is available in two other options. You can opt for the salmon or chicken flavor. It also comes with three different packaging, 4.5, 11, and 24 pounds. The recipe is made to satisfy your dog’s natural love for meat.

The food also contains Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. It is also made with healthy fruits and vegetables.

Specs

  • Grain-free
  • Adult
  • 24 pounds

Pros

  • Development of healthy muscle
  • Energy for an active lifestyle
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Contributes to strong bone and teeth
  • Grain-free formula

Cons

  • May cause diarrhea for dogs with a sensitive stomach

3. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Puppy Food

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Puppy Food

The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition dog food is one of the best dog food for lab puppies. When it comes to lab puppies, there are certain requirements a food must have in order to be worthy for the development of these little pets. This food contains 21 percent protein and .85 percent calcium, which is great for growing lab puppies. Each cup of it contains 293 calories, which means it is not particularly nutrient-dense.

It also comes in unique, donut-shaped kibble that prevents your dog from gorging themselves. This food comes with all-natural ingredients, and it is formulated to keep your dog happy and healthy at all times. With this food, your lab puppy can grow with a nice coat, strong eyes, and strong muscles also.

This food is ideal for puppies from 8 weeks to 15 months. The food supports healthy joint function and improves mobility. This product is made specifically for this breed. You will be very pleased with this food if you are looking for the best dog food for lab puppies.

Specs

  • Breed-specific
  • Puppy
  • 30 pounds

Pros

  • Reduced calcium for puppies
  • Supports health and growth
  • Prevents dogs from gorging
  • Great nutrient profile

Cons

  • It could be a bit higher in protein
  • It is a bit expensive

4. Taste of the Wild Premium High Protein Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Premium High Protein Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild is one of the most popular brands when it comes to making high-quality dry foods for dogs. This premium food for labs is one of the best in the market. Many dog owners love this product because of the high quality, natural ingredients used to make it.

This brand is also reputable for producing dog food that provides labs with excellent amounts of high protein and also moderate fat and calories.

The major ingredient of this dog food is smoked salmon. This ingredient provides your lab with all the protein it needs to maintain lean muscle mass. In addition, this food contains premium vegetables and fruits. The additional fruits and vegetables give antioxidants to provide your dog with a healthy lifestyle.

It also comes with fatty acid that helps to maintain the coat and skin of your dog. Many dogs also love the potato formula, as it delivers digestible energy to fuel their active lifestyle. It features a grain-free formula, making it an ideal option for dogs with allergies. With this food, allergies related to grain and digestion issues will no longer be an issue with your dog.

The ingredients of this food are from sustainable, trusted sources across the globe, and it contains no corn, filler, grain, and wheat. It comes with rich and highly digestible nutrients with guaranteed species-specific, proprietary probiotics that survive and thrive in the GI tract. This formula also offers a taste sensation like no other.

Specs

  • Grain-free
  • Adult
  • 28 pounds

Pros

Cons

  • The crude protein content is high

5. Purina Beneful Originals Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina Beneful Originals Adult Dry Dog Food

The sixth best food for labs on our list is the Purina Beneful Originals Adult Dry Dog Food. Many high-quality dog foods come with expensive price tags.

Fortunately, there are still some great dog foods in the market that will not leave a hole in your pocket. This dog food for Labradors from Purina is one of our favorites, as it comes with natural and high-quality ingredients at a reasonable price.

This food contains 23 percent protein and 13 percent fat. While this is not as much as the other options on our list, it is definitely enough to keep your adult lab strong and healthy. It also contains 4 percent fiber, which is the perfect fiber level for adult labs until they get into their senior years. The number one ingredient of this food is real salmon.

The food is accented with real sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans for wholesome goodness. It also comes with Omega fatty acids to help maintain the shiny coat of your lab. The high-quality proteins of this food also support strong muscles, keeping your lab strong and healthy. The downside to this product is that it lacks glucosamine and other nutrients that help to keep senior dogs healthy.

Specs

  • Grain-containing
  • Adult
  • 31.1 pounds

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Available in two flavors
  • Optimal fiber content
  • Great nutrient profile

Cons

  • Lacks chondroitin and glucosamine

6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein Grain Free Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein Grain Free Dog Food

If you have a very active lab, then this is one of the best food options you have. This tasty kibble is specifically made for Labradors, and it was formulated to provide them with a natural taste. The recipe is formulated to provide your pet with a close-to-natural diet. It contains high-quality proteins and meat such as deboned beef, lamb, bison, and also venison.

This food is made with gluten-free grains. There is no atom of wheat, corn, or soy in the food. It is also one of the best options for labs with a sensitive stomach, as it features a unique hypoallergenic formula. With this food, you do not have to worry about your pet having gastrointestinal disturbances.

It is formulated to provide your lab with enough energy all through the day. It also contains omega fatty acid that helps promote a shinier coat. It can also help your lab fix their skin and coat problems, thanks to its salmon formula.

Specs

  • Grain-free
  • Adult
  • 24 pounds

Pros

  • Available in three tasty flavors
  • Enhances a shiny coat
  • Grain-free
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Not suitable for all dogs
Blue Buffalo Wilderness for Dogs | Chewy

Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers

There are many brands of Labrador food out there, and picking out the right one can sometimes be a daunting task for many dog owners. Some pet owners just stick to popular brands only.

Nevertheless, not all big brands offer quality products as some of them are just after the profit. As such, it is crucial that you look out for certain things beyond the brand.

Here are some of the vital things you need to consider before buying dog food for your labs:

Ingredients

The most important factors to consider when looking for the best food for labs is the ingredients used to make the food. While the list of ingredients on the label may not entirely reveal the origin or quality of the ingredients, it will help you to know what the food contains. With this, you will be able to see the specific sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.

Great dog food for labs contains an adequate balance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and meat. To ensure you provide your pet with the best food possible, you need to look for the “complete and balanced” designation from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  The list of ingredients also come in handy for those whose dogs have special dietary needs or allergies.

Nutritional Requirements and Sensitivity

Another vital thing you need to put into consideration is the nutritional requirements of your Labrador. This is very important, especially for dogs that are allergic to certain ingredients.

Basically, nutrients such as calcium, protein, taurine, DHA, phosphorus, glucosamine, and chondroitin are considered necessary for Labrador retrievers.

If you have a very sensitive lab, you need to make sure you go for foods that do not contain the ingredients that your lab is allergic to.

Age Range

The best dog food for adult labs is not the same as the best food for lab puppies. When shopping for the best dog for labs, you need to keep in mind that different aged dogs have different nutritional needs.

As such, if you are shopping for lap puppies, you need to make sure that the nutritional values of the food are suitable for their age, and the same thing applies when shopping for adult labs.

Fat Level

Fats are molecules that pack highly concentrated forms of energy. Labs have a higher tendency of becoming obese due to excess unused sugar. As such, their diet should contain low fat.

This does not mean you should completely get rid of fat from their diet, because these molecules play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of cells. However, we recommend you opt for a low-fat diet for your labs. The food should be very high in protein and low in fats and calories.

Weight

Weight is another vital factor to consider also. To help your Labrador maintain a healthy weight, you should opt for food that offers a balanced diet.

Final Thoughts

There is no one-size-fits-all approach in feeding your Labrador retriever. This is because different labs have different needs. Some are allergic to certain ingredients, while some are overweight and need less food. Hence, you need to consider what your lab needs before buying dog food.

From the products reviewed above, our top recommended dog food for labs is the Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food. This food comes with the right amount of protein that your Labrador needs for optimal growth. It is also free from artificial compounds such as color or soy. To crown it all, it comes at a pocket-friendly rate.

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