As a large (and sometimes medium-sized) breed plenty of energy to burn, Labs need the right diet from the beginning.
If you’re starting out with a Lab puppy (yay! We love Labs!), then you have plenty of choices when it comes to meal times.
What kind of food should you give? Are raw foods okay?
We’ll answer these questions for you in our guide below as we highlight the best puppy food for Labs.
Here we go!
Before You Select
Take the following things into consideration before you choose:
- Special Dietary Needs. If your puppy has a medical condition, allergies or sensitive stomach, you’ll need to approach your food shopping in a different way.
Consult with your vet or a Lab breeder for advice and tips for any special dietary needs.
- Regular or Large Breed Puppy Food. Large breed puppy food contains nutrients and proportions appropriate for dogs that weigh around 55 pounds or more as adults.
Many opt for this for large to giant breed dogs, so if you have a lab puppy that is expected to be on the smaller side as an adult, a regular puppy food might be best. Just don’t feed them small breed puppy food.
Top 6 Puppy Foods for Labs Table
|1. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food||26 pounds||$||4.6|
|2. Orijen Large Breed Puppy||28.6 pounds||$$$$||4.6|
|3. Nutro Standard Dry Dog Food||30 pounds||$$||4.6|
|4. Eagle Pack Natural Dry Dog Food||30 pounds||$$||4.5|
|5. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food||24 pounds||$$$||4.4|
|6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Puppy Food||24 pounds||$||4.4|
Kibble and Other Choices
Most of you are probably on the hunt for a decent dry dog food (kibble) which is what we’re focusing on in our guide, but remember that there are also a few other options available that some dog owners prefer:
- BARF. “BARF,” which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, consists of raw meats, fruits, vegetables and bone and doesn’t rely on any kind of kibble.
Some of you might not agree with or have time to organize a BARF diet, but remember that incorporating natural ingredients like fruits, vegetables and some raw meat can greatly benefit your lab puppy.
- Canned Food. Canned food is another option, but not something that we like to recommend. You can whip up something fresher and more natural in the kitchen in a just few minutes, so why opt for a processed wet food that has tons of additives and preservatives inside?
What to Avoid
Since Labs grow at a faster rate than smaller breeds, it’s best to get a large breed puppy food.
Here are a few ingredients to avoid when shopping:
- Too Much Calcium. Excess calcium makes them prone to improperly formed bones, especially in the hips and elbows.
- High Fat and Calorie Content. Excess weight puts too much stress on their growing bones and, again, formation problems. Check the fat and calorie content on the label and if you have a portly puppy, opt for a low calorie food until you get him back on track.
Top 3 Best Puppy Food for Labs Reviews
If you feel that a large breed puppy food is going to be too rich for your Lab, then this is an excellent alternative.
The grain-free formula is high in protein with the right amount of calories and DHA that puppies need for development.
No meat by-products are used and the flavor is hard for many little Labs to resist!
Great for active pups who have plenty of room to run and exercise.
To be honest, Orijen has the best puppy food for Labs and probably the best dog food in general on the market, but the reason that it isn’t everyone’s first choice is the high price tag.
It’s made with the freshest ingredients (chicken, turkey, wild-caught fish) along with the right proportion of calories and minerals that larger breeds need during the growth phase.
Some say it’s so good, even we humans could eat it!
If you want a high-quality dog food and don’t mind paying more, then you can’t go wrong with Orijen!
One of the go-to brands for Lab owners is Nutro Large Breed puppy formula.
There is no corn, corn gluten, wheat or soy protein used and chicken in the number one ingredient.
We noticed that they do use rice and whole grain oatmeal in the recipe (along with salt). For us, this means extra carbs and dogs shouldn’t have an excessive amount of them in their diet.
If you plan to incorporate some raw foods into the puppy’s diet, then this is an excellent choice! Affordable and nutritious.