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So…What is a Good Dog Food for Labs?

Labs are the best! Let’s dig into some good dog food for Labs. These brands offer a nutritional package that meets the unique needs of your Labrador Retriever.

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CC image “Kickin It On the Kitchen Floor” by Thomas Hawk on Flickr – Thx Thomas!

Good Dog Food for Labs

Known universally for being the perfect family-friendly companion, labrador retrievers are kind, intelligent, patient, and high-energy dogs that are persistent people-pleasers.

Good Dog Food for Labs

Nutro Large Breed Adult Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult
Earthborn Holistic Large Breed Natural Dog Food
Brothers Complete Dog Food

If you are lucky enough to own one of these dogs, then opting for the best nutrition only makes sense to ensure your likeable lab lives to see his golden years.

Check out these four different brands that offer a nutritional package that meets the unique needs of your lab.

1. Nutro Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Varieties: Large Breed Puppy Food, Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Puppy Food, Large Breed Young Adult Dog Food, Large Breed Adult Dog Food, Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult Dog Food, Large Breed Weight Management Adult Dog Food, Large Breed Senior Dog Food.

If you’ve been a fan of labs for a number of years then you’re probably aware that these dogs can have sensitive digestions. So while other dogs can happily munch away on grain-filled dog biscuits, cheesy treats, and smoked pig ears, those same foods can give your sensitive lab chronic diarrhea, noxious gas, and other tummy troubles.

Instead of covering your hardwood floors with newspaper every time your dog has a meal, try opting for a food that won’t strain his digestion in the first place.

Nutro offers a number of formulas that contain a limited set of ingredients that are designed to be eaten by dogs with sensitive tummies.

Nutro’s Limited Ingredient Diet for Large Breed Dogs restricts the number of ingredients in their final formulation to avoid overtaxing your dog’s digestion, while also using an unconventional source of protein like lamb.

Since many dogs have developed allergies to commonly used protein sources including chicken, pork, and beef, opting for a protein like lamb won’t ring any alarm bells with your dog’s high-alert immune system.

In addition, all of Nutro’s large breed formulas come with a helping of joint-supportive glucosamine and chondroitin that build and repair the cartilage between your lab’s joints.

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Like many large-breed dogs, labs have the tendency to develop hip and other joint disorders if they grow too fast or put on too much weight. By adding joint-supportive nutrients, you can help avoid chronic joint conditions when your puppy is young and ward off age-related arthritis as your lab grows older.

Nutro’s formulations also contain a moderate level of protein to support high-energy labs that require a high-protein diet without too many calories since these dogs have the tendency to become obese.

And since Nutro has so many formulations to choose from, you simply select the formulation that is right for your dog’s age, activity level, and condition, all while being assured you’re getting nutrition suited for a large-breed dog.

The bottom line is that Nutro’s Large Breed formula is a great option for labs with sensitive digestions and food allergies.

Plus, owners can choose a formulation according to their lab’s age making this food the perfect fit.

Key Points

  • Allergy-Friendly: Limited ingredient formulations and novel protein sources are the perfect combination for a breed that has the tendency to develop multiple sensitivities.
  • Joint Support: Glucosamine and chondroitin are added to support healthy joints.
  • Weight Control: Moderate protein levels to support healthy activity levels and build lean muscle.
  • Life-Stage Specific: Nutro offers large-breed formulations for puppies, young dogs, adult dogs, and senior dogs.

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult

Varieties: Large Breed Adult Chicken Recipe, Large Breed Adult Salmon Recipe, Adult Large Breed Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe, Large Breed Adult Bison Recipe, Large Breed Adult Red Meat Recipe.

Even though your lab has a larger-than-life personality and more energy than you know what to do with, your retriever doesn’t seem to be burning off all those extra calories his voracious appetite is demanding.

Unlike other high-energy breeds that require a high calorie diet to maintain their weights, labs’ metabolisms seem to be a bit more tortoise than hare.

In fact, labs are notorious for becoming overweight, especially as they get older. So what’s the solution to your lab’s pudgy problem? Try opting for a food that is high in protein, while lower in fat and high glycemic carbohydrates.

At 28% protein, Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Large Breed formula will keep your lab satiated, while also providing him with the nutrition needed to build lean muscle. And more muscle means a faster metabolism, so your lab will be fit enough to play fetch all day, while burning more calories even when he’s doing nothing more than watching TV with you on the couch.

Also, since fat is calorically dense (compare 100 calories of butter to 100 calories of broccoli), Blue Buffalo keeps the fat content lower to ensure your dog isn’t getting any needless calories that could pile the weight on. And the addition of l-carnitine will help your dog turn the food he does eat into lean muscle or energy, instead of stockpiling it away as an extra spare tire.

In addition, Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection formulation is targeted for large-breed dogs so there is an ample serving of glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints, and anti-inflammatory fats from flaxseed to reduce pain and swelling if your dog overexerts himself during his daily activities.

Finally, gut health is often an overlooked factor when owners think about how to extend the life of their four-legged companions.

Sometimes, too much focus is given to fat, protein, and carbohydrates, and not enough attention is given to what we’re doing to support our dogs’ digestive health. Luckily, Blue Buffalo has covered the bases for good gut function. The addition of probiotics and fibre-rich fruits and vegetables support a healthy bacterial population that will help your lab digest and absorb the nutrients from his food.

Blue Buffalo has also made their Life Protection line grain-free to reduce the number of digestive upsets your sensitive lab will experience.

Overall, Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Large Breed formulations provide a protein-rich food that will help your lab maintain a healthy weight, while also nourishing his gut.

Key Points

  • Weight Control: A high protein content for building lean muscle and providing your lab with the energy he needs.
  • Supports Joints: Glucosamine and chondroitin are added to support healthy joints, and flaxseed reduces inflammation.
  • Gut Health: Probiotics, fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, and a grain-free formula support your lab’s digestive function.

3. Earthborn Holistic Large Breed Natural Dog Food

Varieties: Large Breed Formulation

Although you might be aware that labs have the tendency to develop multiple allergies, did you know that your dog’s reaction to innocuous foods like chicken and beef aren’t real allergies at all?

It’s true!

A better word for your dog’s intolerance to a number of commonly used dog food ingredients is a ‘sensitivity’.

You may protest that ‘sensitivity’ is not a strong enough word for the byproduct of what appears to be chicken-induced explosive diarrhea all over your living room floor, but it’s the unfortunate truth.

The root cause of many labs’ sensitivities is actually an overactive immune system caused by a “leaky gut”.

When your lab’s gut is ‘leaky’, it starts allowing food into the bloodstream (where it shouldn’t be!). When this happens your dog’s body will identify these foods as foreign invaders and mount an immune response. A heightened immune response will often result in what you see as rashes, oozing welts, and diarrhea.

So to fix your dog’s hypersensitive immune system you need to fix his gut, which you can do by feeding a grain-free food such as Earthborn Holistic Large Breed Food.

Earthborn Holistic has crafted their lab-appropriate food to be grain and gluten free for a healthy gut. They’ve also added probiotics that will help your lab digest his food, while ensuring bad bacteria and yeast don’t take up too much space.

Another benefit of opting for Earthborn Holistic’s formula is the joint support your lab’s joints will receive from added glucosamine, chondroitin, and anti-inflammatory flaxseed.

As a reminder:  large-breed dogs need more joint support since they have a tendency to become overweight (thus, putting more strain on the joints).

Finally, the high protein content in Earthborn’s formulation will ensure your lab has the energy he needs to fuel his high-octane activities, while keeping his weight in check.

What you need to remember about Earthborn Holistic is that it’s a great choice for healing your lab’s gut, reducing food sensitivities, and providing complete nutrition for a large-breed dog.

Key Points

  • Weight Control: A high protein and moderate fat content for building lean muscle and providing your lab with the energy he needs without unnecessary weight gain.
  • Supports Joints: Glucosamine and chondroitin are added to support healthy joints, and flaxseed reduces inflammation.
  • Gut Health: Probiotics, fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, and a grain-free formula support your lab’s digestive function.

4. Brothers Complete Dog Food

Varieties: Turkey & Egg Allergy, Venison & Egg Allergy, Lamb & Egg Formula, Chicken & Egg Formula.

Protein is that magical macronutrient that provides energy, satiates hungry bellies, and builds lean muscle.

And if you want your lab to eat a high protein whole foods diet then look no further than Brothers Complete Dog Food formulations. At 36% protein, you’ll have a tough time finding a dry kibble that contains more of this muscle-building nutrient.

Another bonus is that 90% of the protein found in Brothers Complete food comes from whole animal protein.

You see, a lot of other companies will tout the protein content of their food when much of the protein content is coming from low-quality and poorly assimilated soybeans. From a profit perspective, the companies save a good chunk of cash by opting for plants over animals, but your lab’s health is the one that suffers.

An abundance of protein is perfect for labs, since they do tend to be high-energy, but this formulation would be especially beneficial for working dogs or very active dogs.

Brothers has also put a significant amount of time and research into crafting a food that will nourish your lab’s gut to increase the overall nutritional quality of the food he’s eating. You know your lab’s gut tends to be a bit sensitive, so it can be difficult to figure out which foods will heal and which will harm.

Feeding your lab Brothers formulations will give him a good dose of bacteria-building probiotics, enzymes to aid in digestion, and a low glycemic starch called cassava that helps build healthy bacteria in the colon.

The benefit of using such an exotic tuber over commonly used starches like white potato is that the glycemic index is much lower, meaning this starch will feed the good bugs while starving the sugar-hungry yeast that can cause rashes, dandruff, and digestive woes in your lab.

Finally, Brothers has created a food suitable for allergy prone labs by limiting the number of ingredients used in their ‘allergy’ formulations and ensuring their kibble is grain and gluten free for better digestion.

Opting for one of Brothers’ Allergy formulas will also allow your lab consume less commonly used proteins like venison and turkey, which tend to be overlooked in most mainstream kibbles.

The bottom line is that Brothers is a high-quality and extremely nutritious food whose high protein content will help your lab manage his weight, and give him a digestion of steel due to the inclusion of low glycemic starches.

Key Features

  • Weight Control: A high protein and moderate fat content for building lean muscle and providing your lab with the energy he needs without unnecessary weight gain.
  • Gut Health: Probiotics, enzymes, and a grain-free formula supports your lab’s digestive function.
  • Allergy-Friendly: Limited ingredient formulations and novel protein sources are the perfect combination for a breed that has the tendency to develop multiple sensitivities.

In conclusion, if you want to feed your lab a protein-packed, joint-supportive, and gut-healing dry kibble, then consider trying one of these four brands.

You won’t be disappointed!

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