Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog in America. With their sweet natures, high intelligence, and adorable good looks, there is a reason why everyone loves this dog. Labrador Retrievers have very specific nutritional needs to keep them active and healthy. Their breed also develops some common health issues that possibly can be prevented with the right diet. So if you are one of the millions of people who share your home with a Labrador Retriever here is a guide to the healthiest dog food for labradore retrievers.
Introducing: The Labrador Retriever!
Labrador Retriever Nutritional Needs
Labrador Retrievers are a working dog breed. They are often sporting and hunting companions, therapy dogs, and farm helpers. Even though they have calm temperaments they need a food that provides a lot of energy, especially if they are outdoor or working dogs.
A dog food rich in protein and complex carbohydrates that are high in soluble fiber would make for a great dog food for Labrador Retrievers.
Labs are prone to obesity though. So Labrador Retrievers should be getting 10-15% of their energy needs from fats rather than carbohydrates depending on their activity levels. You should also be very careful to make sure any dog food for Labrador Retrievers never contains added sugars.
Labrador Retriever Breed Specific Health Risks
Like all larger breeds, Labrador Retrievers are vulnerable to arthritis and hip dysplasia. A dog food that contains glutamine and chondroitin helps lubricate the joints and fits against hip dysplasia. Eye illnesses like cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and retinal dysplasia are also incredibly common about Labrador Retrievers. A diet rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and lutein can help prevent these issues. They are also very prone to heart disease, so you should choose a food low in sodium, high in omega-3 fatty acids the amino acid taurine and l-carnitine, magnesium, and B vitamins. Finally, Labrador Retrievers are very prone to skin allergies so you should avoid foods that contain processed grains and look for foods with novel protein sources to avoid any allergic reactions. Some veterinary nutritionists recommend the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet for Labrador Retrievers to combat these allergy issues.
Ingredients To Look For In A Healthy Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers
When shoppping for the healthiest and best dog food for Labrador Retrievers, you should look at the ingredients panel for the following:
- Fish and flaxseed oil for omega fatty acids
- Carrots, blueberries, eggs, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and broccoli for eye health
- Beans, peas, eggs, liver, and meat for B vitamins
- Either grain-free or whole grain
- Novel proteins like fish and game meats for hypoallergenic protein and amino acids
You should also check the guaranteed analysis panel for low sodium. If you choose to go with a BARF diet, you can include these ingredients into your dog’s food.
Breed-Specific Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers
To select the healthiest dog food for Labrador Retrievers, one of your options is to choose a breed-specific formula designed to meet the full nutritional needs of labs. Here are some of the Labrador Retriever breed-specific dog foods we recommend:
Royal Canin’s Labrador Retriever dog food comes in both adult and puppy formulas for each life stage. It is specifically made to address the skin, joint, and eye issues that Labrador Retrievers are prone to developing. Royal Canin Labrador Retriever contains supplemental vitamins A and B, glucosamine and chondroitin, and lots of omega-fatty acids. Though not grain-free or made with a novel protein, Royal Canin is high in the powerful carbohydrates and fats your Labrador Retriever needs and is easily digestible to avoid an allergic reaction.
Eukanuba Breed-Specific Labrador Retriever dog food is highly-fortified with all the vitamins and minerals your Labrador Retriever needs for optimal health. It also has omega fatty acids and glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints, heart, and skin. Easy-to-digest with high fiber and probiotics, Eukanuba Breed-Specific Labrador Retriever also provides the perfect carbohydrate and fat balance for energy.
Healthiest Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers (Non-Breed Specific)
If breed-specific formulas do not work for your Labrador Retriever, you can also check out these top dog foods for Labrador Retrievers that will meet all their nutritional needs:
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free is perfect for Labrador Retrievers. Made with novel protein sources, grain-free, and omega fatty acids, it is the perfect food for Labrador Retrievers allergy sensitivities. It also contains nutrient-dense carbohydrates like carrots, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and broccoli and eggs, peas, and beans for to support eye health and energy. Wellness CORE comes in three other flavors including Original, Ocean, and Low-Fat, as well as a range of wet food options, so your Labrador Retriever will get all their nutritional needs met without ever getting bored.
Though a bit on the pricey side, Orijen Regional Red Dog Food is one of the best options for your Labrador Retriever. Orijen Regional Red is based on the BARF diet and is formulated ⅔ raw, grain-free, and with novel proteins. All the nutrients provide by Orijen come from whole food sources so it is easy to digest. One of the biggest benefits of Orijen is that it contains the perfect balance of proteins, fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates so your Labrador Retriever will have plenty of energy without the risk of obesity.
If you have a Labrador Retriever, consider feeding them one of these great dog foods. If these options do not meet your needs and you are considering a BARF diet for your Labrador Retriever, read more on preparing a raw foods diet here: http://www.dogfoodinsider.com/raw-food-for-dogs/. Either way, you’ll be sure that your Labrador Retriever gets all their nutritional needs met.