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Best dog food for Labs 2022- Reviews and nutritional guidelines

Written by: Peter Laskay
Reviewed by: Amber LaRock
Last updated on:

This is my updated review about the best dog food for Labs.

If you want to know right now: 

I chose Wellness CORE Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food as the best one.

I included many important details about Labrador nutrition, so if you interested in the topic, just read on.

If you have a Labrador, you know: these dogs love to eat. Almost any food is enjoyed. However, you need to know that the quality and quantity of food is extremely important if the health of your dog is important to you. In my article, I reviewed the best dog foods for Labradors. Of course, I also selected my favorite and included plenty of tips and a buying guide in my article. I hope my article can help you.

Let’s start!

Best Dog Food For Labs

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Reviews of the Best Dog Foods for Labradors

In my article you will find detailed guidance on what criteria should be used to select the best food for your Labrador. Below you will find my list of the best products on the market.

Wellness CORE Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food

Key features:

  • Large kibble size
  • Contains chicken, turkey, vegetables, and fruits
  • Promotes lean muscle mass
  • Contains healthy micronutrients
  • Premium protein sources

This food provides dogs with the necessary nutritional balance. Protein sources include deboned chicken, turkey meal, and chicken meal. The recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, and does not contain any fillers. In addition, it contains nutrients such as chondroitin and glucosamine. These are very important for the joint health of Labradors. This dry dog ​​food is an ideal choice for all large breeds.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Key features:

  • Omega fatty acids
  • Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins
  • Promotes immune system health
  • High-quality protein
  • Free of corn, wheat, soy or chicken by-product meals

Blue Buffalo is also one of my favorite brands when it comes to dog food. This recipe is of high quality, providing everything your Labrador needs in every way. In addition to the real meat, it also contains fresh vegetables and fruits. The Omega fatty acid content of the food has a good effect on the health of the skin and coat of dogs. But it also helps your Lab’s overall health, thanks to calcium, phosphorus, other minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dog Food

Key features:

  • Grain-free recipe with real lamb
  • Contains vitamins, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids
  • Free of grains, corn, soy, wheat, fillers, and artificial ingredients
  • K9 strain probiotic blend
  • Made in the USA

Taste of the Wild is a deservedly popular brand in the dog food industry. This roast lamb flavored dish is high quality and a perfect choice for Labradors. In addition to lamb, it contains peas and sweet potatoes, which are very well digestible sources of carbohydrates. Because it is grain-free, it is a good choice for allergic and sensitive dogs.

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food

Key features:

  • Specifically formulated for Labrador Retrievers
  • Contains Omega fatty acids
  • Useful nutrients
  • Donut shaped kibbles
  • Made in the USA

I like dog foods made specifically for a single breed. That way I can be sure I make the right choice. This product has been developed with the needs of Labradors in mind. It contains good quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But it is not only healthy but also delicious. Dogs simply love it. Be sure to consider the Royal Canin formula when choosing.

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key features:

  • Contains no GMOs, meat by-products, fillers or artificial preservatives
  • Contains omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, and probiotics
  • Created for large breed dogs
  • Premium proteins and wholesome grains
  • Made in the USA

If you need a premium product that maintains your Labrador’s optimal weight while providing a perfect balanced diet, this is a very good choice. The kibbles are large in size, so this food is optimal for all large breeds. Deboned chicken is a good source of protein to help build and maintain lean muscle mass. The recipe does not contain artificial ingredients, corn, soy, wheat, and other fillers. So you don’t have to worry about your dog eating something that causes allergies or tenderness.

Earthborn Holistic Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key features:

  • A precise balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • High-quality protein source
  • Free of grains and gluten
  • Contains fruits and vegetables

The Earthborn product is a great choice for owners who have large dogs. The kibbles are not only delicious but contain the right amount of nutrients for your Labrador. Glucosamine and chondroitin content also have a good effect on bone and joint health. The recipe is grain- and gluten-free, so allergic and sensitive dogs can eat it.

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe

Key features:

  • Freeze-dried raw diet
  • Real deboned beef
  • Also includes lamb and rabbit
  • Made in the USA
  • Features glucosamine and chondroitin

This product with premium kibbles not only tastes good, but provides all the useful nutrients a Labrador needs. It contains three sources of protein and also added fresh fruits and vegetables. Dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies can also eat this food. That’s because it is grain-free and contains no fillers and artificial additives. Because of salmon oil, your dog gets the omega fatty acids that promote skin and coat health.

My choice

All of the above products are great for energetic large breeds like Labrador. However, the most sympathetic to me is the Wellness CORE Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food. It is clear that in creating this product, the manufacturer has paid attention to the needs of Labradors and other large breeds.

Click here to get one from Amazon.

Click here to get one from Chewy.

best dog food for labs

Finding the best diet for your dog is not easy. You have to consider several aspects, e.g., activity, breed, age, health condition, etc. If you want to make the best decision possible, check out my comprehensive guide on how to choose the best dog food.

The most important things to know about Labradors

Labrador Retrievers are probably one of the most popular dogs in the world. You shouldn’t be surprised at this, as they are smart, playful, loyal, and perfect family dogs. As adults, they can weigh up to 80 pounds. This is when a proper diet becomes really important.

These dogs are very active but prone to obesity, which carries many health risks. Proper nutrition and regular exercise are also important to maintain your dog’s ideal weight. In my article, you will find many helpful tips and advice on proper nutrition for Labradors. This is because there are aspects that are specific to each breed that must be considered.

By the way, there is a detailed article I made about Labradors. In this, I tried to gather all the important information characteristics of the breed.

Special dietary considerations for Labradors

When it comes to nutrition, there are a few things to consider. These are macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), micronutrients (vitamins, minerals), daily caloric intake, and frequency.

Labradors are energetic dogs, so they need a lot of protein and fat. Because they are large and active animals, food must provide them with energy. Of course, every dog ​​can be different, even within a breed. Therefore, there is no single perfectly accurate recommendation regarding diet. In most cases, you need to monitor your dog’s reactions.

Labrador Retrievers need enough quality calories. This translates to about 30-40 calories per pound of body weight when it comes to active dogs. The situation is similar for growing lab puppies. 

But keep two things in mind. One is that excessive calorie intake causes obesity. This should be avoided as being overweight can cause other health problems as well. 

Excessive caloric intake should also be avoided in large breed puppies, as rapid growth can cause bone and joint problems.

Don’t worry, companies usually add recommendations on the packaging of their products. You can also ask your veterinarian about the topic. In addition, monitor your dog’s or puppy’s weight and look.

The most important macronutrient in a Labrador’s diet is protein. This helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Adequate protein intake is equally important for adults, seniors, and puppy labs. The ideal intake is about 20-30%. For large breed dogs that are just actively growing, this number could be even higher.

Fats are also important macronutrients. These are concentrated sources of energy. Their unsaturated varieties have a number of positive health effects. Because fat contains more than twice as many calories as protein, less is needed in the diet. The ideal amount is between 10% and 15%.

Carbohydrates are digestible for dogs, but not much of them are needed in the diet of Labradors. However, they do not need to be eliminated completely as they are good sources of energy. In addition, they contain many useful nutrients (e.g., fiber, vitamins, minerals). Easy digestibility is critical for carbohydrates.

best dog food for labs

If you consider the above factors, you are one step closer to choosing the perfect food for your Labrador. A proper diet is the foundation of a long and happy life. However, there are some diseases that this breed is prone to and I would like to mention them. These problems can be avoided or treated with a properly formulated diet.

  • Hip dysplasia: This is a very common hereditary condition in large dog breeds. The head of the femur and the socket do not grow at the same rate. This can cause pain, lameness, and later arthritis. There is really nothing to do with this problem. On the other hand, nutrients like acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin help with joint health and reduce the problem and symptoms.

  • Skin allergies: Labradors may be prone to various allergies. There are several possible causes for this. The most effective treatment is to eliminate allergens from your dog’s life and food.

  • Bloat: This is a condition that seems harmless at first, but is very dangerous. The dog’s stomach fills with air, twists, and proper blood flow is interrupted. In this case, the blood pressure may drop in such a way that it can cause the dog to die. Bloat occurs when you eat too fast, with too much air. Divide your dog’s daily food into two meals. He should not eat just before strenuous exercise.

  • Obesity: Labradors love to eat. Prolonged excessive caloric intake causes obesity. In addition to the quality and quantity of food, pay attention to provide enough exercise for your Lab.

Ingredients to look for in the best dog food for Labs

Reading so far, I think it’s also clear to you how important it is to make a good decision. Your Labrador needs the best quality dog ​​food. Below I write about what ingredients you should look for and what you should avoid when choosing the best dog food for Labs.

Important ingredients

  • Real meat: Animal-based proteins are best for providing your Labrador with the necessary amino acids. This will guarantee the building and maintenance of lean muscle mass. That is essential for high activity Labrador Retrievers.

  • Controlled fat: Fats are very good sources of energy, and omega fatty acids have many benefits. They have a good effect on the brain, skin, and coat. However, fats contain 9 calories per gram. So if you don’t want your Lab to become obese, keep the amount of fat moderate.

  • Digestible carbs: Dogs’ stomachs are sensitive in many cases. For this reason, choose a food that has well-digestible carbohydrate sources. Examples include whole grains, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and fruits.

  • Micronutrients: In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, it is also worth paying attention to the vitamin and mineral content of the food. These greatly promote the health of your Labrador.

Ingredients to avoid from your Labrador’s diet

  • Fillers: Corn and soy are usually put as fillers by companies in their products. This is because they are cheap. On the one hand, the food purchased will not have adequate nutritional value. On the other hand, many dogs are sensitive to these ingredients. You better avoid them.

  • Allergens: You can’t know in advance what your dog will be allergic to. However, common allergenic ingredients are by-product meals, wheat, grains, artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. Artificial ingredients almost always cause allergic reactions in dogs, so be sure to avoid them.

best dog food for labs

Frequently asked questions about Labrador Retriever foods

How many calories do Labradors need?

This, of course, depends on many factors. An average adult Labrador needs about 1,500 to 1,600 calories a day. But an active dog can need up to 1800-1900 calories. About 1,100 calories are enough for an elderly Lab.

How many calories do Labrador puppies need?

Lab puppies need about 40 calories per pound of body weight. Be sure to increase your puppy’s calorie intake as his weight increases.

Are there any special dietary considerations for Labradors?

Labradors are big and active dogs. Because of this, they need a lot of protein. This means that they need a minimum of 22% in their puppy age and a minimum of 18% in their adult age. This ensures that they build and maintain lean muscle mass. In contrast, their fat intake should be moderated.

How often should I feed my Labrador?

Puppies under three months of age should be fed four times a day. Feed Lab puppies between 3 and 6 months of age 3 times and those over 6 months of age twice.

What is the best type of food for Labradors?

Most consider dry kibble to be the best food for Labradors. Regardless, anything can be good: canned wet food or home cooked food. Be sure to pay attention to the nutrient content.

What is the best source of protein for Labradors?

The best resources are poultry, beef, and lamb. These can be combined with, for example, fish meal or eggs. Avoid meat by-products in your chosen dog food.

Is grain-free diet good for Labs?

For large-breed dogs, a grain-free diet is not the most ideal choice. Of course, if your lab is sensitive to grain, you will be forced to choose a grain-free recipe.

Photo of author
Hey, my name is Peter, and I am the owner of this site. I have loved animals since I was a kid. I am constantly training myself; I recently obtained an accredited certificate in pet nutrition. But I am constantly learning about training, grooming for dogs and cats. I am currently a happy owner of two dogs, six cats, and two red-eared sliders. My goal is to provide my visitors with the most authentic information possible on any pet-related topic.
Amber LaRock
Reviewed By An Expert:

My name is Amber, and I am a licensed vet tech with 10 years of experience in the field. I spent the majority of my career working in emergency medicine but recently transitioned to creating accurate pet care information online. There is nothing more important to me than helping pet owners understand their furry friend’s health, and giving you the tools you need to offer your pet the best future possible!