Funny Looking Labrador Trying to Get Food from Counter

Best Dog Food for Your Labrador

Labs are wonderfully affectionate and loyal pets. You can return that affection and loyalty by ensuring that he is getting the absolute best possible diet for his unique needs. Learn more about what your lab’s nutrition requirements are and see our recommendations for best dog food for Labradors are.

Labrador Basic Nutritional Needs

Labs are fairly active and strong dogs but they should still be getting the majority of their calories from healthy, nutrient dense carbs (around 40-50%). This includes things like sweet potatoes and other veggies.

Cute Labrador Retriever Puppy Eyes

You should keep grains to a minimum though as these can be tough on some doggy stomachs. While carbs are important, protein should not be neglected.

A good dog food for labs should have at least 25% of its calories from protein. Remaining calories should come from healthy fat sources to help keep your lab’s coat glossy and smooth. Healthy fats also prevent skin problems.

Common Health Problems

Here are a few of the health problems you’ll want to watch out for in your lab:

  • Obesity: Labs have an enormous appetite so they will pack on the pounds no matter how active they are if you aren’t controlling their meal portions. Obesity places strain on bones and joints (in addition to causing a host of other health problems) so this is one of the most important things to focus on preventing in order to prevent all the other problems that come with it.
  • Joint problems: labs are prone to a variety of joint problems including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and luxating patella. These problems are genetic so they can’t be prevented but proper nutrition is an important part of managing these conditions so that your dog can still lead a long, happy life.
  • Bloat: this is a condition in which the stomach fills with gas and then gets twisted so that the gas is trapped. It is very painful and can be fatal if not treated. It’s primarily caused by eating too fast or exercising too soon after eating but it’s also made worse by grains for some dogs. So if you notice symptoms like lethargy, bloated abdomen, or attempting to vomit without success, go to the vet immediately and then switch your dog to a grain free diet.

Two Labrador Puppies Eating out of the Same Bowl

While there is no 100% guaranteed prevention method, a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of exercise are your best defense against illness. Making sure your Lab is getting the nutrients it needs to keep its body strong will give him a much better chance of fighting off any illnesses that try to harm him.

Basic Feeding Guidelines

Here are the key tips for feeding your lab properly:

  • Adult labs should be eating somewhere between 980 and 1,300 calories per day depending on activity level.
  • Food should be divided into at least 2 separate meals, one in the morning and one in the evening.
  • Do not allow your lab to exercise for at least 1 hour after eating. Making him wait this time will help prevent bloat.

When switching to a different brand, always do it gradually to avoid digestive problems. Start by mixing about 20% of the new food with 80% of the old brand of food and gradually increase the amount of new food over the course of about 3-4 weeks.

Top 2 Best Dog Food for Labradors

EUKANUBA Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

EUKANUBA Breed Specific recipe for labs is very well-crafted. It contains calcium and other vitamins and minerals that help support strong bones and joints which is important for labs who are prone to having problems in these areas.

EUKANUBA Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers

It also has fish oil in it to help promote a glossy coat and nourished skin. However, the majority of the carbs come from grains so if your dog is having tummy troubles, this one might be too difficult to digest for him.

Redpaw X-Series Dog Food for Canine Fitness

Redpaw crafts its recipes to suit specific fitness levels. This one is for dogs who have normal activity levels. It’s made up of 26% protein, 37% carbs, and 37% fat. This is a good balance for an adult lab. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals that will keep your dog nourished.

Redpaw Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers

It’s not specifically crafted for labs, though. And we would prefer if there were a bit more carbs and a bit less fat. But overall, it’s a great recipe.

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