Labrador Retrievers (or Labs for short) have a pretty well-deserved reputation for not being particularly difficult dog breeds to manage. However, buying food that truly supports their lifestyle and meets their energy needs can sometimes be a lot easier said than done.
In this best dog food for Labs article, we are going to take a look at a wide variety of different foods that would be the perfect option for an adult, energetic Labrador Retriever. It is just up to you to read through our article and pick the one that works best for you. We would personally recommend the Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Dog Food For Labs 2022:
Dog Food For Labs Review
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food
- FORMULATED FOR PUREBRED LABRADOR RETRIEVERS: Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food is...
- SPECIALIZED KIBBLE: Unique kibble shape is designed to help quick eaters to chew slowly
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Promotes an ideal weight with precise calorie and fat content for weight management in...
- BONE AND JOINT: EPA, DHA, and glucosamine provide bone and joint support for big Lab bodies
- SKIN AND COAT: Adult dog food reinforces the skin barrier with essential nutrients to support healthy...
A big problem with buying the right dog food is that it is often difficult to find food that is geared specifically towards a certain breed. So often, dog food will have a couple of good features, but then miss the mark in some other areas because it has to appeal to a wide array of dog breeds.
That is why there are certain specialty brands that cater exclusively to certain breeds. One such example is Royal Canin. They make food options that are geared exclusively toward different breeds.
So, you just know that to start off our best dog food for Labs list, we had to do a review of the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food; after all, this food is geared exclusively toward Labrador Retrievers, so it makes sense to review it first.
The first indication that this food is geared toward Labradors can be seen in the general shape and design of the kibble. If you have owned a Lab before, then you know that they can be little doggy garbage cans.
They eat everything put in front of them and they eat it quickly. For some owners, this can cause worry because of the obvious choking hazard involved. The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food helps to get around this by having a specially shaped donut-style kibble.
What this uniquely shaped kibble does is encourage your Labrador to eat a lot slower and a lot more methodically. This drastically reduces the chances of your dog choking, which is obviously a big point in the food’s favor.
In terms of nutrition, the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food is an absolutely stacked food. It has so much great nutrition packed into each kibble that to talk about it would require an article of its own. Since we can’t do that, let’s just run down some of the highlights.
First off, it has nutrients that are designed to help with both joint and bone health, which is obviously very helpful since Labradors can suffer from hip dysplasia. Secondly, it has EPA and DHA, both of which are good for helping your Labrador’s brain and eyes to develop. Finally, the food has an ultra-precise fat and calorie content that is designed to both keep your dog sated and help them to maintain an ideal weight.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Large Breed
- GRAIN-FREE LARGE BREED ADULT DRY DOG FOOD: Premium protein from responsibly sourced chicken is expertly...
- LEANER BODY MASS AND MUSCLE TONE: Based on the nutritional philosophy that dogs thrive on a natural diet...
- SUPPORTS DIGESTIVE HEALTH & STRONG JOINTS: Guaranteed levels of omega fatty to support healthy skin and...
- NO CORN, WHEAT, OR SOY: Contains only premium, all natural ingredients with no poultry by-products,...
- MADE IN USA: Using only the finest globally sourced ingredients, we prepare each of our diets in our own...
Wellness Core Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Dog Food has been formulated to provide high quantities of animal protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate and a reduced quantity of carbs. It is made up of a special combination of healthful fruits and vegetables and superfoods, botanicals, and nutritional supplements.
This food is an excellent choice for developing healthy joints and bones since it contains minerals such as chondroitin and glucosamine in its formulation. As a result, it’s perfect for mature dogs of any big breed, including your beloved Labrador retriever.
Nutritional vitamins and high-quality animal proteins derived from deboned chicken, turkey, and chicken meals are included in this savory meal. This grain-free mix is also devoid of additives, byproducts, and gluten as a bonus.
Unlike other brands, Wellness Core’s formulas include fewer carbs and more protein and fat, ensuring that your pet gets just the nutrients they need and nothing else. Fresh meat or fish is the primary component in every Wellness Core dry dish. They are protein powerhouses, with a final kibble protein content between 31 and 37 percent.
These guaranteed amounts provide the nutrition and health advantages your dog needs and deserves. Wellness Core provides a diet for dogs closer to what mother nature intended by including a higher proportion of meat, fewer carbohydrates, and no fillers, all while maintaining a flavor reminiscent of fresh meat, which every dog will like.
To produce a higher protein dog diet that not only tastes wonderful but also encourages a lustrous coat, good skin, and strong, lean body condition, fresh chicken is the number one item to be considered.
Overall, every mouthful of Wellness Core Large Breed’s grain-free formula is filled with nutrients, with no fillers since there are no grains and a reduced total carb count.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
- Breakthrough adult dry dog food clinically proven for weight management
- Over 70 % of adult dogs lost weight within 10 weeks when fed this safe & effective weight management dog...
- Help your grown dog maintain a healthy weight with this dog food
- This adult dog food supports muscle maintenance
- Made in the USA with global ingredients you can trust
The next product that we want to take a look at is going to be the first entry on our best dog food for Labs list to not be a dog food that is specifically built for Labradors. Instead, it is a food that is designed for a wide variety of dog breeds, which also happens to include Labrador Retrievers.
However, despite not being specifically focused on the breed, we still believe that the quality of Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food earns it a place on our review list. As you will see in our review, it has a bunch of good things going for it.
As we have said a few times during the course of this article, and as we will talk about a lot more in detail later on in our buying guide, it is important to keep your Labrador Retriever at a healthy weight as they can quite easily suffer from hip and joint issues later on if they don’t stay at a relatively healthy weight.
Thankfully, one of the main benefits of Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is that it does an amazing job of helping your Lab to stay at a healthy weight. As the name indicates, Hill’s Science has been specifically engineered from the ground up to meet the nutritional needs of an active, adult Labrador Retriever, while also ensuring that they stay at a healthy weight. This can go a long way toward alleviating the joint and hip problems that tend to plague Labs.
Despite Hill’s Science not being known for its ingredient quality (at least not in the way that brands like Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild are), the food actually uses pretty high-quality ingredients. This particular flavor that we are reviewing is a chicken and vegetable mix.
It manages to use high-quality pieces of both chicken and real vegetables. It keeps the presence of artificial flavorings, preservatives, and filler ingredients to a bare minimum, which is always nice to see in dog food. Given how high the quality of this particular food is, it is pretty impressive that you can get a fairly decently sized bag for a very reasonable price.
Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Lamb
- Contains one (1) 40 lb. bag of IAMS Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food for Large Dogs with Real Chicken
- 1st ingredient is real, farm-raised chicken, and features smaller kibble size
- Maintains bone and joint health with a formula tailored to support large breed active dogs
- Promotes healthy digestion and immunity with a tailored blend of wholesome fibers and prebiotics
- IAMS Large Breed Dry Dog Food promotes strong muscles with quality protein sourced from real chicken
The next dog food that we want to take a look at is from a dog food company that you have undoubtedly heard of before, Iams. Without a doubt, Iams is one of the absolute premier makers of dog food out there.
You have likely seen their products on every store shelf. While a lot of dog owners will avoid big-name brands like Iams, the Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Lamb is actually a pretty good food option for your Lab and we would have no issues recommending it.
First off, the food does bring all the advantages of a big name brand to the table. For example, it is a lot cheaper than the more artisan brands that we have featured so far.
It also isn’t highly specialized (meaning it is meant for a lot of breeds), which also goes a very long way towards helping to keep the price very reasonable. Secondly, the food is widely available because Iams is such a big name brand. So, you can buy some of the food online, then move to get it at a store, since Iams is sold just about everywhere.
So, what exactly is it that makes this particular dog food offering from Iams so good for Labrador Retrievers? Well, for starters, the Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Lamb manages to be a great option for that common Lab problem that we have talked about before, which is dysplasia.
This food from Iams is full of both Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate. If you have been paying close attention to the other reviews on this list, then you know that these two nutrients are extremely good for helping to strengthen joints and bones.
Victor Purpose – Performance Dry Dog Food
- PERFORMANCE DOG FOOD: Performance high energy dog food is a nutrient-dense dry dog food for adult dogs...
- 26% PROTEIN DRY FOOD: This gluten free, multi-protein dog food is a nutrient-dense formula with...
- HIP & JOINT HEALTH: VICTOR Performance dog food is designed with added glucosamine and chondroitin to...
- PROPRIETARY VPRO BLEND: Every VICTOR dog kibble formula begins with our exclusive mix of supplements,...
- MADE IN THE USA: We proudly produce every bag of VICTOR kibble in our own Texas-based facility and do not...
The final dog food that we think deserves to be mentioned on this list is the Victor Purpose – Performance Dry Dog Food.
This dog food isn’t from a brand that has much recognition as Iams or Blue Buffalo, but they have managed to produce pretty good food that is definitely deserving of being on our best dog food for Labs list, as you are going to find out very shortly in this review.
The first thing that we want to note about this particular food is the presence of those two important nutrients that have been mentioned a few times before on our list, which are Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate.
If you have been paying attention to our best dog food for Labs list, then you know that both of these nutrients are important for a very good reason, which is that they help Labs avoid potential joint and bone issues. So, that feature alone goes a long way towards making the Victor Purpose – Performance Dry Dog Food a great food option that deserves to be on this list.
Just in general, the Victor Purpose – Performance Dry Dog Food is a good option for any dog breed that is expected to be active (and that includes Labs). It has lots of protein and also plenty of nutrients that are designed to aid with digestion as well.
Labs aren’t exactly known for having digestion issues but given that they tend to consume a lot of human food (through people giving them scraps and the like), some extra probiotics are good. So, you can probably now start to see why this dog food deserved to be included on our best dog food for Labs list.
Buying Guide: What You Need To Know When Shopping For A Lab
In this second part of our best dog food for Labs article, we are going to go over what you need to know when it comes to dealing with Labrador Retrievers. See, despite their popularity, they aren’t the simple breed that everyone thinks they are.
While it is true that in both temperament and diet, they are a lot easier to manage than say a Bulldog or a Husky, they can still be a tricky breed. So, in this buying guide, we are going to quickly explore what potential health and nutrition issues you need to be on the lookout for when shopping for food.
In terms of health issues, Labrador Retrievers get off very easily when compared to a lot of other breeds like Bulldogs, but they do still have some actual health issues that you need to be aware of. Probably the biggest health issue for Retriever breeds of all different kinds is the fact that they suffer from dysplasia issues, specifically, hip dysplasia.
Dysplasia can be a big deal as your dog ages. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be that big of an issue. Giving your Labrador Retriever the proper vitamins and supplements can seriously help to mitigate the problem before it becomes serious and painful.
Many people will use supplements, which are obviously helpful, but you can also give your dog food rich in vitamins that help to prevent joint issues. If you think back to our best dog food for Labs review list, you will recall that there was quite a different food that had joint-helping nutrients.
In particular, you want to look for foods that contain either (or ideally both) Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate. Both of these nutrients are great for helping to strengthen joints. Likewise, calcium is also a good option for obvious reasons as well.
Protein is a super important nutrient to look for in Lab dog food for two reasons. First off, Labs need muscles. They are very active dogs and they need strong muscles to support their lifestyle.
As we are sure you all know, the most important nutrient when it comes to building and maintaining muscle is protein. So, it helps with that a lot. Furthermore, protein is important for maintaining energy levels. Labrador Retrievers are, as we are sure all owners are aware of, very high-energy dogs.
To keep up these energy levels, you need to get food that is rich, not only in protein but also rich in fat. Fat and protein are both great sources of energy and they help to keep your Labrador Retriever going.
If you want to give us some feedback regarding our best dog food for Labs list, feel free to contact us and let us know what you think.
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