In this article, we will be taking a look at the best food for labradors on the market. At the time of writing, the Labrador is the most popular dog breed in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. As most of our readers are from these countries, we figure there is a pretty high chance some of you own labradors and that this article may help you.
The main things to look for in your dog food of choice are Vitamins and Minerals, Proteins, Healthy Fats, Carbohydrates (grain free is possible) and Amino acids.
The Best Food For Labradors On The Market
We have researched the market in an attempt to create the best labrador food guide available online. We have read a number of professional sources offering labrador dog food advice to ensure each of our recommendations are the highest quality possible for your dog.
Over time we have managed to narrow the market down to the following three products in our search for the best dog food for labs. Although they are in numerical order of recommendation, any of the three will suit your labrador’s nutritional needs perfectly.
The Absolute Best Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers
The food mixture has been specifically designed to have the optimal amino acid profile that other brands are usually lacking in. Amino acids are an essential requirement for the vast majority of both physical and mental functionality in your Labrador.
The food mix has also been designed to be jam-packed with the various vitamins and minerals your lab needs to lead a healthy life. Rather than using synthetic substitutes, a taste of the wild includes a number of superfoods, fruits, and vegetables in their food mix. This benefits your dog by increasing both the nutritional and flavor profiles of the food mix.
The fruit, vegetables, and superfoods in the food mix are also packed with naturally occurring antioxidants. Antioxidants have been proven to help reduce the risk of cancer in your dog as well as prevent blood vessel disease and other conditions.
It’s Also The Best For Food Labradors With Sensitive Stomachs
The food mix also has a high amount of healthy fats and fatty acids to help your dog have healthy skin and a bright coat. As it is grain-free the food mix is highly digestible meaning there is only a very small chance your Labrador will suffer any digestive upset from the food. In addition to being grain free, a taste of the wild dog food is also free from fillers, artificial colors, artificial flavors and preservatives. This further reduces the chance of the food mix causing any digestive problems in your dog while offering it one of the best nutritional profiles on the market.
This taste of the wild food mix has proven extremely popular with dog owners. At the time of writing, it has managed to earn itself over 13,000 positive reviews from dog owners over on Amazon.com.
The below video is an independent review of a taste of the wild dog food that you may find useful.
Question – Where are the ingredients sourced for a taste of the wild?
Answer – The vast majority of the ingredient comes from the United States of America with less than ten percent coming from Belgium, New Zealand, and France. The food is processed and packaged in factories in South Carolina, Missouri, and California.
Question – Is a taste of the wild really 100% grain free?
Answer – Yes, a taste of the wild use high-quality vegetables such as sweet potatoes as their carb sources rather than grains.
Question – What is the ingredient information for a taste of the wild dog food?
Answer – The image below shows the full ingredients list for a taste of the wild.
Question – Where can I see the full nutritional information for a taste of the wild?
Answer – The screenshot below shows the full nutritional breakdown of the product.
Question – What is the recommended serving guidelines for a taste of the wild?
Answer – The image below is the recommended serving guidelines direct from the manufacturer.
As with any product that we choose to recommend to our readers, we always like to share a few additional reports for third-party, independent dog owners who are not affiliated with our website in any way. All of these dog owners either currently are or have recently used a taste of the wild for their dogs.
We have summarised the reports below to make them easier to read but you can click the links for each of the reports to read the original in full if you like.
- This report comments on how they have used a taste of the wild for their labrador since it was just a puppy. They mention how they changed to a cheaper alternative in an attempt to reduce costs but that they will be switching back to a taste of the wild as soon as possible due to the difference in protein content.
- This report comments on how one of their labradors has allergies to grains. They go on to mention how they feel that a taste of the wild is the best commercially available product on the market that is grain free. They also comment on how some of their labradors are picky eaters but they will eat a taste of the wild with no protests.
- This report comments on how they realized that their labrador had a bunch of allergies to a number of products that they have tried in the past. They go on to mention how a taste of the wild is the only product that the trust for their labradors as their dog’s allergy issues have now gone away from being switched to a taste of the wild.
- This report comments on how they were feeding their labrador a different product but it suddenly started to lose fur and get hot spots. They switched their labrador over to a taste of the wild and the owner reports they could see a difference in their dog’s condition in as little as a week.
- This report comments on how their labrador was being fed a competators product but they had to switch it over to a taste of the wild due to it having some digestive issues.
An Independent Video Review
The Second Best Food For Labs
One of the main reasons that we rate this second rather than first is its protein sources. Although it does contain real meat, to our knowledge, a taste of the wild not only contains more but their ensure their meat is sourced from ethical sources while using higher grade cuts of meat.
This food mix is also packed with antioxidants, omega fatty acids and naturally occurring probiotics to help with your dogs gut health.
Although a high-quality dog food for your standard lab or a lab with a sensitive stomach. Due to additional nutritional requirements of puppies and pregnant or nursing female Labradors, we would recommend you go with a specific food mix for puppies or pregnant dogs instead.
The below video is an independent review of Wellness CORE dog food that you may find useful.
Question – Is Wellness CORE Natural really 100% grain free?
Answer – Yes, they have taken every step possible to ensure the food mix is grain free in an attempt to reduce any possible negative digestive problems.
Question – Where is Wellness CORE Natural produced?
Answer – It is produced in the United States of America.
Question – Where can I see a full ingredients list for Wellness CORE Natural?
Answer – The image below contains all the ingredients in the food mix.
Question – Where can I find a serving guide for Wellness CORE Natural?
Answer – The image below shows the recommended serving guide for the product directly from the manufacturer.
Question – Where can I see a full nutritional breakdown for Wellness CORE Natural?
Answer – The image below shows the full nutritional breakdown.
- This report comments on how their Labrador mix used to be prone to ear infections and skin issues on their past foods. The owner goes on to mention how their dog hasn’t had any issues since being moved over to Wellness CORE Natural.
- This report comments on how their dogs love Wellness CORE Natural. They go on to mention how they were put into it due to it having a more reliable nutritional breakdown as their dogs needed to lose some weight.
- This report comments on how their dog would get ear infections every six weeks or so. They go on to mention how one of their friends suggested they try a grain free food so they decided to try Wellness CORE Natural. They then go on to mention how their dogs love this food and have been ear infection free since being moved over to it.
- This report comments on how their dog is fed Wellness CORE Natural and it is in excellent shape due to the high-quality ingredients in its food.
An Independent Video Review
An All-Round Good Dog Food For Labs
Again, although this food mix does contain some real meat ingredients, we feel the above two offerings are better with a taste for the wild being the best. This is due to this blue wilderness offering using some supporting protein sources in their food mix.
Containing high-quality and wholesome fruit and vegetables, you can rest assured that your Labrador will be getting a balanced nutritional profile if fed blue wilderness. There are also a number of antioxidants in the food mix to help assist with your dog’s general wellbeing as well as help fight off cancer and other serious health issues.
Question – Is BLUE Wilderness really 100% grain free?
Answer – Yes.
Question – Does this product contain canola oil?
Answer – No.
Question – Where can I find the recommended serving guidelines for BLUE Wilderness?
Answer – The image below shows the serving guidelines.
Homemade Labrador Dog Food Recipes
We often see people asking the question “What can labradors eat“? Usually, this is in relation to table scraps and other unwanted cuts from human food. Like most other dog breeds, Labradors can eat a wide range of foods.
Although many dog owners believe that dogs are carnivores meaning they survive off meat, they are actually omnivores meaning they can survive off meat, vegetables or both. There are multiple reports of dog owners converting their dogs to a vegetarian or even diet without issue. We also published this post on how you are able to convert your dog to a vegetarian diet if you choose.
When it comes to homemade dog food recipes for labradors, the key is variety. To provide your dog with the wide yet balanced nutritional profile it requires, it will need plenty of variety in its diet. As dogs aren’t too fussy when it comes to their meals you can usually throw together a mixture of different human based foods and your dog will eat it.
During our research, we found a number of different lists of human foods that dogs can eat. In our opinion, this one from the American Kennel Club is the best containing a large number of foods you can use.
When coming up with your homemade labrador food recipes, feel free to try any combination of foods. Hot-swap different items to experiment and see what your dog seems to enjoy the most.
What Not To Feed Labradors
Although dogs can eat a large number of human-based foods, there are some that can cause your labrador problems and potentially be toxic. If you are using a premium dog food mix then there is no need to worry. Dog food companies have to put their foods through a large number of tests to ensure it is safe before selling it.
The risk usually comes when owners want to make their own homemade labrador food or treat their dogs with table scraps. We have researched a number of sources and we feel that this article from pets MD is the best.
Do everything in your power to avoid letting your dog consume any of the foods on that list. That said, accidents do happen. If your dog does manage to accidentally consume any of those foods then our article on how to make your dog vomit may be helpful to you.
How Much To Feed A Labrador
When developing your labrador’s diet plan you have to know how much to feed your Labrador. This will help ensure you are not under or overfeeding it and ensuring it is getting optimal calories to grow and lead a healthy life.
Unfortunately, there is no easy one size fits all solution to this question. Labradors os different ages and different activity levels require different amounts of food. Thankfully the dog foods recommended above offer a feeding guide to help you ensure you feed your dog the correct amount.
This one is the guide from the packaging of a taste of the wild.
As you can see, they have broken the feeding amounts down by the weight of your dog rather than its age. This helps to provide a more accurate feeding amount as labradors will all grow at different rates.
One thing we want to quickly add is not to use the above feeding guide for other food brands. You should always use the feeding guide supplied by the dog food brand you are going to feed your dog. This is due to the many possible difference in the food mix meaning the same amount of calories can be provided via different amounts of food from different brands. If your chosen dog food does not include a feeding guide on their packaging then we recommend that you move to a higher-quality dog food that cares about providing you with this essential information ASAP.
What To Look For In A High-Quality Food For Labradors
Although we touched on this earlier, we thought we would go into a little more depth for the various things that you should try to ensure your food of choice has for your dog.
Although it may seem obvious that your dog needs vitamins, do you know what vitamins and in what amount? There are seven essential vitamins that every dog should have in their diet. If any of these are lacking your dog can develop health issues and become lethargic.
These vitamins are:-
- A Vitamin
- B Vitamins
- C Vitamin
- D Vitamin
- E Vitamin
- K Vitamin
Although the high-quality dog foods will include these in abundance for your dog, some of the cheaper or middle range brands have been known to skimp. They cover their self legally by putting a disclaimer on their packaging along the lines of “this food does not provide a complete vitamin profile for your dog”. If you see this on the label of your chosen dog food brand, we recommend that you switch as soon as possible.
Similar to vitamins, minerals are another essential part of your dog’s diet for it to lead a healthy life. There are a number of various minerals that your dog requires to be able to perform its regular bodily functions without issue.
Again, similar to vitamins, some dog food brands will skimp on minerals using a similar get out clause as explained above. If you see any get out clauses on the labels of your chosen dog food, switch to a high-quality brand.
Although many dog owners now associate having grains in their dog food with digestive upset or Gastrointestinal issues, there are a number of other issues grains can cause in dogs.
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Obsessive licking and feet chewing
- Itchy skin
- Dry flaky skin
- Hair loss
- Inflamed red paw pads
- Bumps or a rash on the skin
- Ear infections
We are always surprised by the number of dog owners who fail to realize that these issues can be cured by something as simple as switching to a high-quality grain-free dog food.
Protein is essential for all dogs, it is used to grow, repair muscles, and a number of other functions. Unfortunately, some companies will use cheaper, lower quality dairy protein sources in their food.
Not only are modern dairy products un-natural for your dog to consume, they can also cause gas, diarrhea, and vomiting in some with a sensitive stomach. This is why our recommended dog food for Labradors only contains protein sources from real high-quality meat sources.
Fats are one thing that most dog food companies get right. This is because even good quality fats are cheap and packed with calories helping them to keep their costs down. That said, the issue we usually see with fats actually comes from dog owners.
Many dog owners have been conditioned by the mainstream media to consider fats as bad. This often results in dog owners avoiding any dog food that has “high in fat” on their packaging. Fat is actually essential for your dog to live a healthy lifestyle. It offers a large number of benefits that can not be provided by proteins of carbohydrates.
Although many dog foods can legally say they contain amino acids, the cheaper products rarely contain a complete amino acid profile. Amino Acids are essential for dogs to lead a healthy life, they are used in countless essential bodily processes.
If you have a pregnant Labrador and are planning to keep one of her puppies then be aware that puppies require slightly different foods than adult dogs. Our post on the best food for labrador puppies will be able to help you in discovering the correct food for your needs.