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Best Dog Food For Labradors | Keeping Your Lab Healthy With Top Rated Food

Best Lab Dog Food

Labrador Retrievers are among the most friendly, stable, loyal, devoted and playful dog breeds in the world. They’re also one of the breeds with preventable health problems, such as joint problems (elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia), eye problems, endocrine problems, and other congenital diseases. By starting your pet off with the best dog food for Labradors, with the right ingredients, exercise and health care, you can help extend their health and their life.

Contrary to what many dog owners believe, the best dog food for your Labrador isn’t necessarily what’s being promoted at their local pet food store, even if it’s their top-selling, most expensive, brand. If you want to make sure your pet gets the best dog food for Labradors, you need to read the ingredients. Ignore the flashy packaging and marketing promises and go straight to the important information: the ingredients. When buying wet or dry food for Labradors, look for ingredients in the food that include:

  • Meat as the first ingredient
  • L-Carnitine
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • EPA
  • High-quality protein

The L-Carnitine and protein will help your dog develop and maintain lean muscles with the proper exercise too of course. Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and EPA will help support and maintain healthy joint function and overall mobility.Dog food for Labs

These ingredients work well in humans as well but are especially helpful for our canine buddies. Not all Labrador Retrievers will be affected by the common health problems described above, but they are genetically predisposed to them. By feeding them good food with the right ingredients you can help keep these diseases at bay, or if your dog does develop them, they’ll feel better longer. You’ll feel better knowing you’re doing all you can to ensure they’re feeling and being their best.

Ingredients in all pet food are listed in order of the percentage of the food they make up. If meat is the first ingredient, then meat makes up the largest percentage of the ingredients in the food. If wheat or other grains are the first ingredients, then wheat or other grains make up the largest content of the food.

Look for no less than 20%, and preferably higher, percentages of protein in the food, and no less than 10% fat and 3% fiber in adult dog, dry foods. According to the National Research Council, a growing puppy requires a diet that is about 29 percent protein (by weight). This protein should provide about 20-25 percent of his dietary calories. Adults need about 18 percent dietary protein.

Veterinarians say that all dogs are classified as omnivores. That means they can survive on a diet of either plant or animal origin if the diet is balanced and diverse. But there’s a difference between surviving and thriving. Imagine how you’d feel if you only had cereal to eat! To thrive and be healthy, happy dogs, your Labradors should have a source of animal protein, and that means real meat in their diets.

Dogs without meat in their diets are typically very unhealthy. They fail to thrive because their owners for whatever reason, aren’t giving them the meat they not only crave but need. Dogs without meat in their diets tend to be overweight, have itchy, flaky skin, and coarse and brittle coats. Their energy levels are low, as is their resistance to infection.

Ninety-five percent of the time these dogs will be consuming diets high in grain-based products. When owners let price dictate their dog’s diet they end up buying inexpensive, corn-based dog food, which is some of the worst food a dog can eat.

The solution is not to swing the other way and give your dog a “meat only” diet. That’s just as hazardous as an all grain diet. Grains provide the carbohydrates dogs need, which is why they can and do assimilate grains such as corn, barley, oats, wheat and soybean meal.

As with humans, extra carbohydrate intake above the immediate needs of the dog will prompt the dog’s system to store that extra carbohydrate (sugar) as fat. Yes. Just like in their owner. If your dog is fat, it’s getting far too many carbs.

The solution? Find a diet or dog food your dog likes. Make sure it contains meats and meat by-products (meat by-products are blood and organ tissues and do not include hide, hair, hooves, or teeth). Meat by-products are exceptionally high-quality protein sources for dogs. You might be repulsed by the idea, but they love it.

Like humans, dogs manufacture 12 of the 22 amino acids involved with their metabolism in their livers. But they must get the other 10 in their diet. The animal-derived tissues they get in a balanced diet are more easily digestible and have a more complete array of amino acids than do grains, which may give them quick energy but aren’t giving them the things they need to thrive.

Hip Dysplasia in Labrador RetrieversLab dog food

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease. It refers to an abnormal development of the hip joint resulting in pain and difficulty walking or running. It’s not just a Labrador Retriever condition, it affects almost all large breed dogs.

If your dog has or develops hip dysplasia the classic first signs of the condition are limping and an odd, swaying walk often referred to as  “bunny hopping” where the animal pushes off with the rear legs, picking them up at the same time, like a rabbit. The difference is they don’t swing the legs back and forth in a normal range of motion. Hip dysplasia can range from “mild” to “severe”, and treatment for it can range from physical therapy up to medical therapy and/or surgery.

You don’t have to have an older dog to see signs of this disease. Your young dog can show clinical signs of hip dysplasia as early as 4 months of age. It shows up in most dogs between the ages of eight to 12 months of age. Stiffness on rising after a rest, lameness in a limb, and atrophy of the muscles in the hind limbs are typical clinical signs.

So what can you feed your dog to ensure they’re vibrant, healthy, and as free of hip dysplasia as genetically possible? Here are our choices:


BLUE Freedom Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best Dog Food For Labradors

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein minimum
  • Crude Fat minimum
  • Fiber

The top five ingredients in Blue Freedom are:

  • Deboned Chicken
  • Chicken Meal
  • Brown Rice
  • Barley
  • Oatmeal

Blue Freedom always features real meat as the first ingredient. This is also a top choice in best dry food for Labradors because of its additives for joint health. The high-quality protein in this food comes from deboned chicken and chicken meal (a meat by-product), plus L-Carnitine, which helps develop and maintain lean muscles.

Blue Freedom is grain free, meaning it’s also free of the grains that contain gluten, which some pet parents choose to avoid. Additives, including Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and EPA for joint health, help support healthy joint function and overall mobility.

Blue Freedom is a natural dog food enhanced with other vitamins and minerals as well. It contains BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits: a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists that support immune system health, all life stage requirements, and healthy oxidative balance. There are no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals. No corn, wheat or soy. No artificial flavors or preservatives. There are a variety of products for a variety of dog breeds, and wet/canned options available as well.

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NUTRO MAX Natural Adult Dry Dog Food 

best dry food for labradors

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein minimum 24% minimum
  • Crude Fat minimum 15% minimum
  • Fiber 3.5%

The top five ingredients in Nutro Max are:

  • Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)
  • Whole Grain Sorghum
  • Brewers Rice
  • Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)
  • Chicken

Nutro Max Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is made with farm-raised chicken and whole grains and specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large adult dogs. This all-natural, yet affordable dog food contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. It’s made in the USA in Nutro Max’s own manufacturing facilities. If you’re looking for one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers, this is one of them.

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Taste of the Wild, Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food 

best dry food for labradors available

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein minimum 32%
  • Crude Fat minimum 18%
  • Fiber 4% maximum

The top five ingredients in Taste of the Wild Natural Dry Dog Food are:

  • Buffalo
  • Lamb Meal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas

Taste of the Wild is more than just a fancy name. This dog food contains actual roasted bison. Real meat is the number one ingredient in this high protein dog food. There is an optimal amino acid profile, protein-rich for lean, strong muscles. Natural ingredients are balanced with added vitamins and minerals.

A proprietary blend of fruits and vegetables make this dog food a superfood because of the natural antioxidants. There’s a fatty acid blend to give your dog a soft, shiny, healthy coat of fur and skin. With the highest protein and fat contents, this is one of the best dog foods for Labradors.

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Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef, and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag

Best Dog Food For Labradors available

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 25% minimum
  • Crude Fat 15% minimum
  • Fiber 4.5% maximum

The top five ingredients in Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Dogs are:

  •  Beef Meal
  • Peas
  • Ground white rice
  • Egg Product
  • Brewer’s Yeast

Diamond Naturals Dry Food is beef-flavored for picky eaters. The high-quality protein in this food comes from pasture-raised beef cattle. They didn't just add a few superfoods here and there in Diamond Naturals. You'll find 10-20% superfoods in all Diamond Naturals dry foods, made up of tasty ingredients like kale, blueberries, chia seeds, pumpkin, quinoa, coconut, and spinach.

The blend of protein, amino acids, added vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables is what makes this a popular choice among Labrador owners. The superfood blend gives this food all the natural antioxidants your Labrador will need for soft skin, shiny fur and a healthy coat.

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Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food 

top Dog Food For Labradors

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 24.5%
  • Crude Fat 15%
  • Fiber 2.2%

 The top five ingredients in Hill’s Science Diet are:

  • Chicken
  • Whole Grain Wheat
  • Cracked Pearled Barley
  • Whole Grain Sorghum
  • Whole Grain Corn

The Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed dry dog food is recommended for adult dogs who weigh more than 55 pounds. This premium natural dog food for big dogs provides natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health and mobility. It’s made in the USA with global ingredients you can trust, including high-quality protein for lean muscles and a healthy weight

Hill’s Science Diet for large breed dogs provides an exclusive blend of omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and other nutrients to nourish skin and promote a shiny coat in 30 days (vs. previously fed grocery foods). This food supports a healthy immune system with a clinically proven blend of antioxidants with vitamins C and E.

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Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food with Natural Ingredients and Real Cage Free Chicken 40lb 

Dog Food For Labradors

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 26%
  • Crude Fat 16%
  • Fiber 4%

 

The top five ingredients in Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Diet are:

  • Chicken
  • Chicken Meal
  • Whole Grain Brown Rice
  • Cracked Pearl Barley
  • Peas

High-quality PROTEIN made with real CAGE FREE chicken; tailored for a LARGE BREED dog with an optimal amino acid profile for lean, strong muscles. It contains natural ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; SUPERFOODS for ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acids for SKIN & COAT; guaranteed levels of GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN. 

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Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend Large Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Dog Food For Labradors available

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 26% minimum
  • Crude Fat 16% minimum
  • Fiber 3% maximum

The top five ingredients in Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend Large Breed Formula are:

  • Chicken
  • Brewer’s Rice
  • Whole Grain Wheat
  • Poultry By-Product Meal
  • Soybean Meal

Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend Large Breed Formula Adult Dry Dog Food comes in a variety of meat and fish ingredients. This food guarantees live probiotics and prebiotic fiber to support your dog’s digestive health.

It’s made with high-quality protein, including real poultry, meat, or fish as the number one ingredient. This dog food is 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult large breed dogs weighing over 50 pounds. Adult Shredded Blend Weight Management Formula provides an optimal protein-to-fat ratio to help maintain muscle mass during weight loss.

Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend dog food is available in:

  • Chicken and Rice Formula.
  • Salmon and Rice Formula.
  • Lamb and Rice Formula.
  • Beef and Rice Formula.

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    Iams Proactive Health Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food - Chicken

    Best Dog Food For Labradors to eat

    Guaranteed Analysis

    • Crude Protein 25% minimum
    • Crude Fat 12% minimum 14.5% maximum
    • Fiber 5% maximum

    The top five ingredients in Iams Adult Dry Dog Food for Labradors are:

    •  Chicken
    • Chicken By-Product Meal
    • Ground Whole Grain Corn
    • Ground Whole Grain Barley
    • Ground Whole Grain Sorghum

    Veterinarians highly recommend IAMS for Labradors because they’re one of the few companies to develop a food especially for Labradors with a recipe tailored to meet their unique nutritional needs. The first ingredient for Iam’s is real chicken, always a good sign. Iams maintains healthy bones and joints because of its glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate mixture used to treat osteoarthritis. Suggested use of Iams dry food is to mix with wet: Replace 1 1/4 cup (124g) for each can of Iams with Chicken and Rice (375g can). This dog food helps maintain healthy digestion with a blend of fiber and prebiotics.

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    EUKANUBA Adult Dry Dog Food

    Best Dog Food For Labrador retriever

    Guaranteed Analysis

    • Crude Protein 23% minimum
    • Crude Fat 13% minimum
    • Fiber 5% maximum

    The top five ingredients for Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food are:

    • Chicken
    • Corn meal
    • Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
    • Ground Whole Grain Barley
    • Chicken By-Product Meal


    Chicken is the first ingredient in this premium adult dog food to help maintain lean muscles.
    This premium adult large breed dog food also offers a specialized fiber system, made from natural beet pulp and prebiotic FOS, which promotes nutrient absorption and healthy digestion.

    EUKANUBA Large Breed Dog Food contains naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy joints. This high-performance dog food promotes healthy skin and a radiant coat with optimal levels of omega-6 and -3 fatty acids. Eukanuba’s Labrador Retriever dog food also features their 3D DENTADEFENSE System, which is proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days.

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    Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Rice

    Best Dog Food For Lab

    Guaranteed Analysis

    • Crude Protein 24.5% minimum
    • Crude Fat 12% minimum
    • Fiber 4 maximum

    The top five ingredients in Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food are:

    • Deboned Chicken
    • Chicken Meal
    • Oatmeal
    • Ground Barley
    • Peas

    Wellness Complete offers complete and balanced everyday nutrition for your large breed dog.  This food has a larger kibble size to encourage your dog to eat slower, resulting in less digestive upset. It’s made with deboned chicken with regulated calories for healthy growth and has added glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy hips and joints. The formula is supplemented with antioxidants to keep immune systems strong and fight canine colds all year long. Sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries provide the energy your dog needs. Wellness Complete contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and is made only in the USA.

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    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food - Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula

    best dry food for labs

    Guaranteed Analysis

    • Crude Protein 21% minimum
    • Crude Fat 12% minimum
    • Fiber 4% maximum


    The top five ingredients in Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food are:

    • Lamb Meal
    • Brown Rice
    • Brewer’s Rice
    • Rice Bran
    • Canola Oil

    Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets are designed with a limited number of protein and carbohydrate sources. This food is scientifically formulated to provide high quality nutrition and optimize your dog's skin and coat health. A benefit of a limited ingredient recipe with limited carbohydrates and no artificial flavors or colors is that the high-quality nutrition aids in good overall health. Brown rice gives added nutrients such as fiber and essential oils, and the Omega- 3 fatty acid gives dogs a healthy and shiny coat. Because of the single animal protein source, this formula is perfect for pups with food sensitivities.

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