It is no secret that the Labrador Retriever has captured the hearts of millions world-wide. While they are known as one of the best family dogs, they are also known for becoming obese in their adult years. This is just one of the many reasons that it’s so important for owners to find the best dog food for Labrador Retrievers.
This friendly, loving dog has been a family favorite for many years running. To make it even more official, the trusty Lab won the 2017 American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Breed. This was the breed’s 26th consecutive year at #1 in the United States.
As a practicing veterinarian, I have seen hundreds of Labrador Retrievers walk through my clinic doors. I’m here to give you the basics on what your Lab needs to grow and maintain good health throughout the years.
The Labrador Retriever is a large-breed dog with a stocky body, floppy ears, a paddle-shaped tail and webbed feet. They excel at swimming, short-distance sprints and retrieving. Labs typically live 12 years on average.
These dogs tend to be very high energy dogs throughout their lives and require daily exercise. Jogging, swimming, playing fetch, Frisbee…your Lab is up for every game when it comes to play. For active families, Labs are the perfect companion – hanging out on hikes, camping, and trips to the beach.
Labrador Retrievers tend to be chow hounds and many seem to want to eat you out of house and home. They can easily become counter surfers, as well – jumping on counter tops in the kitchen for an unsupervised snack or chomping on a discarded apple core on the sidewalk.
Today I’m going to be sharing my recommendations for the best dog food for Labrador Retrievers depending on the stage they are at in their lives. I’ll get into all of the details in just a moment, but for now, here’s a quick look at the brands I’ll be discussing:
|Dog Food Brands||Price||Value||Rating|
|Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Breed Health Puppy||$$||$1.93/lb||4.4/5|
|Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy||$$||$1.58/lb||4.5/5|
|Ideal Balance Large Breed Puppy||$$$||$2.56/lb||4.6/5|
|Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Breed Health Adult||$$$||$2.26/lb||4.6/5|
|Native Performance Dog Food||$$||$1.81/lb||2.0/5|
|Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic and Mobility||$$$$$||$8.21/lb||2.8/5|
|Eukanuba Lamb and Rice Senior Maintenance||$$||$1.27/lb||4.6/5|
* Click on the Labrador Retriever dog food for more information and prices or scroll down below for more details.
Their healthy appetite can be a blessing and a curse. Many Labs are not picky eaters, so they will typically enjoy any dog food you decide to give them. It’s extremely important to talk to your veterinarian about the best dog food for Labrador Retrievers that meet all of their nutritional needs without adding unnecessary calories.
Labradors are one of the easiest breeds to overfeed. I’ve met many that are bottomless pits and will continuously beg for whatever food you can provide. You must pay careful attention to their calorie intake and ensure they’re eating a healthy diet.
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Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Puppy Labrador Retrievers
Large-breed puppies, like Labs, are more susceptible to malnutrition and developmental orthopedic disease compared to small-breed pups. Many Lab owners have heard of these diseases- hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis (OCD), panosteitis and hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD).
While there is a genetic component to these diseases, there are significant nutritional risk factors that play a part during puppyhood. These risk factors are rapid growth and excess dietary calcium intake.