Best Dog Food For Your Pet Labrador: A List of Top Options

Some dog food brands specially tailor certain dog foods for certain breeds. You can find dog food specifically for bulldogs, and even labs, which is what our focus is on today. Labrador Retrievers are among the most well-tempered, easily trained, well-behaved and gentle dogs. For these reasons and many more, Labradors are popular dogs in many households. Aside from their calm and well-rounded dispositions, they are also a popular breed for service, therapy and even military dogs. But at the end of the day, they are among the best of companions.

Your Lab is your best friend and fur child, and he deserves the best because you know you know he gives you nothing but. Labs are a large breed of dogs that suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia more often than other breeds. For this reason, and many other health concerns, they need to be fed a specific diet for preventative purposes and for relief. Read on to find the best dog food for your pooch.

Top 7 Dog Food For Labs: Comparison & Reviews

1 – Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Large Breeds

We are going to start off our list with dog food meant for large breed puppies. Large breed dogs, such as the Lab, need to be fed with food meant for their bigger frames from a young age.

Larger breeds actually reach maturity a lot slower than medium and small dogs. They also require a lot more calcium due to their larger bones and also for development. This large breed puppy food has the exact level of calcium needed to control his/her growth. A large dog cannot grow too quickly as it could damage their joints and bones and lead to obesity. Which is why some large breeds reach physical maturity anywhere between 1.5 to 2 years.

Large puppies need support when developing their teeth and cartilage, and this is where the balanced minerals in this formula come in.

Other than bones, your large breed Lab needs all the help he can get to build and maintain his muscle mass. The high-quality protein with chicken meal as the first ingredient will support your pup’s muscles.

For a growing pup, he needs all the help he can get in every department. The added DHA levels from fish oil help with cognitive development.

Made with natural global ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers, you can trust this number 1 vet recommended brand.

 

PROS:
  • Each of Hill’s recipes, no matter which breed or size or age it is meant for, is specifically tailored to meet your dog’s needs.
  • Hill’s makes sure your dog gets support in all areas, including skin and coat health, digestive system support and strengthening his immune system.
  • Nothing artificial goes into the recipe, only great tasting natural ingredients.
  • The number 1 vet recommended brand is made in the USA.
  • A team of scientists and nutritionists standby in-house and are involved in the process of manufacturing each recipe.
  • With every purchase, Hill’s donates to help pets all across the US.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavor.
  • Hill’s has had recalls.
  • Could possibly make your dog sick.
  • Ordering online has risks, like decreased freshness in the food.

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2 – Purina Pro Plan High Protein FOCUS Large Breed Dry Dog Food

The Focus line of dog food from Purina is exactly what it sounds like. It focuses on a certain need, for example, large breeds, small breeds, seniors, etc.

This large breed dog food comes in chicken flavor and even a pack with dry and wet dog food. If you have a particularly large Labrador or a Lab mix, you can opt for the giant breed option. Giant breeds are dogs weighing in at around 100 pounds or over give or take.

With chicken as the first ingredient, Purina makes sure your large pup gets enough protein to support his larger muscles. Meant for adults, the carefully measured ingredients include 26% protein and 12% fat, the optimal amount in every serving.

Larger breeds are prone to obesity so the protein and fat levels in each recipe need to be precise.

If your dog weighs more than 50 pounds, this is a brand that provides balanced nutrition for your dog.  With added EPA levels, omega fatty acids and glucosamine help with joints and overall mobility.

To avoid bloating, the natural prebiotic fiber added from wheat bran makes this whole formula easily digestible.

PROS:
  • It comes in different sizes and flavors, giving owners a better chance at finding one their pups will like.
  • High-quality protein from real chicken as the first ingredient supports healthy muscle growth.
  • EPA, omega fatty acids and glucosamine help with joints, bones, skin and coat.
  • Prebiotic fibers from wheat bran make the food much easier to digest.
  • The optimal guaranteed analysis with 26% protein and 12% fat, your dog will stay at a healthy weight.
  • Formulated specifically to meet the needs of dogs over 50 pounds.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavors.
  • May not sit well with some dogs.
  • Not grain-free, and could spark allergies.
  • Ordering online has risks, like decreased freshness in the food.

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3 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

 A lot of large breed dog foods like to use chicken as the first ingredient due to the low fat content. It is also packed with protein to ensure healthy muscle growth.

If your dog is allergic to grains or is more sensitive, this grain-free option could be a better choice. It is  grain-free but packed with lots of supplemental ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. These two substances help lubricate the joints and are the number 1 solution to hip and elbow dysplasia. Even if your dog isn’t showing any signs of pain, they could have a preventative effect.

Omega fatty acids or essential fats are in the recipe to aid in skin and coat health. Give your dog healthy skin and luxurious locks.

All of Blue Buffalo’s recipes come with lifesource bits. These softer bits mixed in with the hard and dry kibble that contain a boost of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The lifesource bits help boost your dog’s immune system and improve his overall health.

All-natural, with enhanced vitamins and minerals, you won’t find any artificial preservatives or additives along with by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy.

PROS:
  • Real chicken as the first ingredient, the protein-packed recipe supports lean muscle growth.
  • Grain-free, this dog food won’t cause allergies and is easy to digest.
  • The lifesource bits included in all of Blue Buffalo’s recipes contain a healthy blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system.
  • All-natural, no harmful ingredients go into the adult large breed dry dog food.
  • Omega fatty acids help improve skin and coat health.
  • Calcium, phosphorus helps build strong bones for his large frame.
  • The balanced diet meets your dog’s high energy demands.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavors.
  • May not sit well with some dogs.
  • Ordering online has risks, like decreased freshness in the food.

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4 – Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Large Breed Natural Dry Dog Food

 Yet another recipe that uses chicken, it’s worth it to note the ones used in the Nutro recipe are free-range. As for carbs, you have brown rice and sweet potatoes. Nutro adds all the necessary vitamins and minerals to help your large dog thrive.

It is important to note that clearly labeled animal sources of protein as the first ingredient should be what stands out about dog food. It is also what shows you the food is semi-decent.

For large breeds such as the Lab, joint issues are a big issue. Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin help keep your dog’s joints healthy.

Other added ingredients include vitamins E and A and antioxidants that help develop a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system means your dog won’t be susceptible to certain illnesses and his body is stronger to fight off infection, etc.

All of the ingredients used are non-GMO, although there may be trace amounts found due to cross-contact during the manufacturing process. Nutro prides itself on only using recognizable ingredients.

PROS:
  • Nutro only uses recognizable ingredients that are non-GMO. Recognizable ingredients are something dog food reviewers and vets will urge you to look for.
  • Free-range chicken as the first ingredient will build strong muscles for your dog.
  • Vitamins and minerals added to maintain your dog’s health.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help lubricate joints.
  • Antioxidants create a healthy immune system and results in a healthier dog overall.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavors.
  • May not sit well with some dogs.
  • Ordering online has risks, like decreased freshness in the food.

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5 – Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Large Breed

Grain-free recipes should be looked into if your large dog has sensitivities or problems with digestion. For any dog of any breed, size or life stage, a balanced diet with sufficient nutrition is the most important to his development.

The large breed formula from Wellness Core is protein-focused, giving large puppies the right amount of protein and carbs with added glucosamine and chondroitin to help and prevent against elbow and hip dysplasia.

Only premium and all-natural ingredients are included in Wellness Core recipes without the inclusion of anything artificial or harmful. Such ingredients include corn, wheat, soy, by-products, and artificial preservatives and/or additives.

Made in the USA, dog food made in certain countries is deemed to be safer since they need to conform to rigorous standards.

When purchasing dog food from Wellness Core, you are protected by The Wellness Guarantee. Everything is made with non-GMO ingredients obtained from trusted sources.

PROS:
  • Grain-free dog food means goodbye to sensitivities and digestive issues.
  • Provides your dog with a balanced diet with enough nutrition for his larger stature.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin levels help with joint pain and hip dysplasia.
  • Made with premium and natural non-GMO ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers.
  • Made in the USA, no artificial additives and preservatives are included.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavors.
  • May not sit well with some dogs.
  • Ordering online has risks, like decreased freshness in the food.

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6 – Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food

As said before, some manufacturers produce breed specific lines of dog food, and Royal Canin is one of them. They have dog food made just for your Lab!

Labs reach adulthood at around 15 months, and this line of dog food meant for adult Labs will aid in their development after maturity.

Even the size and shape of the kibble are engineered to fit your Lab’s mouth. The donut-shaped dry bites help them eat and chew slowly to reduce bloating and gas.

Labs and other large breeds need precise amounts of calorie and fat content to maintain the ideal weight. With the essential nutrients that also support healthy skin and coats, that’s exactly what your dog will get.

EPA, DHA, and glucosamine will support bone and joints as well as eye and brain development and maintenance.

This version of food for Labs also comes in a wet form. Supplement your dog’s diet for that extra flavor with some of the canned food.

PROS:
  • Not tailored for any large breed, it’s engineered for Labradors and Labs only.
  • The ingredients and nutrition will help your dog keep to his optimal weight throughout his adult life.
  • Even the kibble is created just for the Lab’s unique snout shape.
  • EPA, DHA and glucosamine aid in joint, bone and cognitive support.
  • Balanced and precise nutrition your Lab needs.

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavors.
  • May not sit well with some dogs.
  • Not grain-free, and could spark allergies.
  • Ordering online has risks, like decreased freshness in the food.

Click Here For Best Price

7 – Eukanuba Breed Specific Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food

 Yet another breed-specific recipe, Eukanuba also produces a line just for adult Labrador Retrievers.

Dogs can have a slew of dental issues and they can mostly be prevented by reducing tartar buildup. The dog food contains 3D Dentadefense System, which has been proven to do just that in less than 28 days.

Animal-based protein derived from chicken not only builds healthy muscles but also meets your dog’s energy needs. With added calcium to support strong bones.

The dog food supports joints and keeps your dog’s body in an optimal condition throughout his adult life. This will work to minimize health deterioration in old age.

The most comprehensive recipe out there, the Eukanuba blend for Labs takes care of everything. By everything, we mean lean muscles, strong bones, brain and eye function, dental health, overall immune system and a healthy heart.

PROS:
  • Dry kibble has been proven to help clean your dog’s teeth. Although it sounds a bit counterintuitive, the kibble actually prevents plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Real chicken and calcium keep your dog big and strong.
  • The joints, bones and muscles are well protected by this balanced diet.
  • L-carnitine and taurine aid in healthy heart functions and fat burn, to keep your dog at an optimal weight, since Labs are prone to weight gain.
  • Giving your dog the best from his puppy to the adult stage set the foundation for a healthy elderly dog.
  • The recipe thinks of everything, taking into account your dog’s dental health, cognitive functions, immune system and strong bones and lean muscle.

 

CONS:
  • Your dog may not like the flavors.
  • May not sit well with some dogs.
  • Not grain-free, and could spark allergies.
  • Ordering online has risks, like decreased freshness in the food.

Click Here For Best Price

 

Our Top Pick: Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food

Our first pick is from Royal Canin, followed closely by Eukanuba. We feel that not only size specific, but breed-specific food is vital in the development of a healthy Labrador Retriever.

Taking into account the growth rate of the breed, it is designed for adult labs from 15 months and older.

The kibble helps keep his teeth clean and reduces tartar and plaque buildup and encourages slower eating. Dogs who eat too fast tend to bloat and it could also result in weight gain.

If fed with too much protein, carbs or fat, a Lab is prone to weight gain. Taking this into account, Royal Canin creates the perfect ratio to maintain your dog’s ideal weight throughout adulthood.

Aside from bolstered skin and coat health, your dog’s joints and muscles are taken care of too.

Labradors are a dog breed without a ton of lean muscle. They typically weigh in at 50 to 80 pounds, putting them in the large breed weight class. Their weight and measurements are pretty well proportioned and won’t put a ton of strain on their spines and legs. Aside from being well-tempered and easy to train, these dogs were retrievers, which made them water dogs. They love to run, have high energy and love to swim as well. All that is good and well, but unfortunately, they come with common genetic dispositions such as hip dysplasia, diabetes, cataracts, muscular dystrophy and much more. So how do we find the best food for them? Read on to find out.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Dog Food for Labs? 

Protein

All dogs, need protein to grow. Proteins are building blocks to a healthy pup. Since Labs are larger dogs, it’s not hard to believe they need a lot of protein to develop and maintain their muscle tissues. It’s also important to note that Labs need animal-based proteins and not plant-based ones. This is due to the need of some essential amino acids that can only be found in animal-based protein.

Chondroitin and Glucosamine

One of the genetic dispositions that plagues Labs as well as many other large to giant breeds is hip and/or elbow dysplasia. With food rich in both these substances, you can greatly alleviate the situation or even prevent it from developing. They lubricate joints by strengthening the cartilage between bones. Some foods might only include one of the two, but finding food with both is best.

Calcium

Calcium is the number one for bones, but phosphorus is close behind. They are both important in strengthening bones and making sure your Lab isn’t the runt of the litter. It also ensures your dog’s bones aren’t easily broken if he is involved in any accidents.

DHA

Another genetic disposition we touched upon is cataracts, which plagues many older dogs. DHA is important to eye function. DHA along with taurine will also foster the nervous system.

Guaranteed Analysis

A diet best for Labs includes higher protein. The protein is essential for physical development and meeting your dog’s exercise needs and energy output. Dogs can also gain weight, and that is even more seen in dogs that have a sedentary lifestyle. This is, unfortunately, growing more common due to the busy lifestyles their owners lead. If this is the case, then probably a moderate amount of protein will do.

As for calories, they don’t need too much of it. More active dogs obviously require more. However, Labs that do nothing and are cooped up for most of the day only need low amounts to prevent obesity. Not only is obesity a problem for inactive canines, but a high level of calories can also increase blood sugar levels and therefore cause diabetes.

As for fat, your Lab doesn’t need much at all. Don’t get us wrong, fat is definitely needed, but at a minimum.

There are many other things you must consider, such as age, health, and activity level before you can find the perfect formula.

Weight

L-carnitine, a fat-burning ingredient can help your dog maintain a healthy weight. What’s more important to keeping a healthy weight is the guaranteed analysis mentioned above.

Grain-free?

Like us humans, some dogs are more sensitive than others and could be allergic to certain grains. If this is the case, opt for a grain-free option. So far, none of the breed-specific recipes we have seen are grain-free.

Benefits of Breed or Size Specific Food for Labs

Do I really need to switch to a size or breed-specific food? My dog likes his food now just fine. This may be what’s going through your head right now.

While it may be less costly, without feeding your canine the right food, his health will suffer. It may not happen in a day or two, but you will be able to see the difference over time.

With the right food, your dog will flourish. You will be able to see the difference in his eyes, skin, teeth, stature and coat.

When to Switch Your Lab to a Breed/Size Specific Food? 

You may think your dog is okay, but when he’s not, there are certain signs he will exhibit. A few of those include:

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drinking
  • A lack of appetite (he won’t touch his food)
  • Dandruff
  • Allergies
  • Overall unhealthy look

If your dog has any of these symptoms or is displaying any other worrisome signs, take him to a vet immediately to get an assessment.

If the problem is the food, the switch needs to take place gradually. Switching the food cold turkey could lead to digestive issues.

Mix in the new food little by little day by day until eventually, the whole bowl is full of the new food.

Conclusion

Labs are dogs that are loved by many and continuously rank in the top ten on lists such as best dogs for first-time owners, best breeds for therapy dogs, and of course, lists for well-mannered canines. Since they always give us the best, it’s only right that we provide them with the right nutrition they need. A lot of factors tie into the best choice of dog food for your pup. If you have any questions, there’s no harm in taking a trip to your trusted vet for some expert advice.

Sherry Morgan

Sherry Morgan has been a lover of animals for most of her life. She was introduced by her
parents to first pet Kelly, a Collie, when she was three, and that began a lifelong interest in all
sorts of of domesticated animals people adopted for a happier family. Today, Sherry heads
Petsolino, a website devoted to produce expert content on animals and how to take care of
them. Her house is now home to two dogs, two guinea pigs and a cat.
Sherry Morgan

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