5 Best Dog Foods for Labradors

Having been rated as the most popular dog in 2021 in the U.K by Hello Magazine, Labrador Retrievers have cemented themselves in the hearts of thousands of families across the country. Knowing what the best diet is to give your Lab can be a challenge, but as a Labrador Retriever owner myself, I have significantly researched to find the best products on the market and compare their calories, macro-nutrients and ingredients, to provide you with detailed and in depth reviews of the 5 best dog foods for Labradors…

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Comparing The Best Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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In-Depth Labrador Retriever Dog Food Reviews

AATU Dog 80/20 Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Fish
    2. Sweet Potato
    3. Chickpeas
    4. Peas
    5. Lucerne

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: Not listed
  • Protein: 31%
  • Fat: 19%
  • Fiber: 2.5%

AATU 80/20, a diet often recommended as one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers, is a high quality food formulation designed to support the nutritional needs of active breeds. The primary ingredients in this recipe are wild salmon and herring, two powerful meat proteins that are lean, easy to digest, and rich in essential fatty acids. Each meat included in this recipe is slow roasted to ensure maximum flavour and nutritional value.

An extremely high protein diet, AATU 80/20 contains no grains, taking fruits and vegetables as the basis of its carbohydrate content. These ingredients were selected for their high amounts of antioxidants and dietary fibre to provide a vital boost for good digestion and a healthy immune system.  A proprietary blend of botanicals is present in this food to promote optimal joint health.

AATU 80/20 is free from artificial flavourings, colourings, and preservatives.

Pros:

  • AATU 80/20 contains L-carnitine, an important nutrient that supports cardiac health and fluid metabolism in the Labrador Retriever.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to boost joint functionality.
  • Salmon and herring are two powerhouse proteins that deliver big on the essential fatty acids required for excellent coat and skin health and strong reserves of energy.

Cons:

  • AATU 80/20 is an expensive food formulation; however, since it is concentrated, less of this food is required for dogs to reach eating satisfaction, increasing the value of the food.
  • The lack of grains may be problematic for some dogs since the fibre content is a little low in this particular formulation.
  • The high protein amounts contained in this excellent quality food may be too much for older dogs that are no longer as active as they used to be in their youth.

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Vitalin Natural Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Duck
    2. Potato
    3. Pea Starch
    4. Sugar Beet
    5. Whole Peas

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: Not listed
  • Protein: 23%
  • Fat: 9%
  • Fiber: 2.5%

For a top shelf food formulation that delivers big on both nutrition and value, it’s hard to go wrong with Vitalin Natural Grain-Free Adult. One of the best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers on the market today, Vitalin Natural Grain-Free Adult lists duck meat meal as its primary ingredient. This lean and concentrated meat meal is easy on the Labrador Retriever’s digestive system and contains ample servings of the amino acids required for a healthy body.

A high performance food considered to be hypoallergenic, this diet contains no wheat, grains, or cereals in its recipe, all ingredients that have been linked to allergies in some dogs. Burdock root has been included in this recipe, a botanical believed to assist with relief from inflammation. Several superfoods also play a starring role in this diet including spinach, seaweed, and carrots.

Blueberries and rosemary have been added to boost the overall antioxidant content of this exceptional quality diet. Prebiotics have been supplemented, laying a foundation for good digestion.

Pros:

  • This diet is free from wheat, grains, and cereals, making it an excellent choice for Labrador Retrievers with skin or stomach sensitivities.
  • Glucosamine, MSM, and prebiotics have all been added to support joint and digestive system health.
  • The antioxidant content has been boosted through the addition of superfoods to promote a thriving immune system.

Cons:

  • Chicken digest has been added to this recipe, a less desirable ingredient that is typically added to dog food to improve overall flavour.
  • Potato and pea starch are the foundation of this diet’s carbohydrate content, two ingredients that cause blood sugar levels to spike and that can be common allergens for some dogs.
  • Since the Labrador Retriever can be predisposed to cardiac issues, this food could benefit from the addition of taurine to boost hearth health.

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Edgard & Cooper Natural Dry Adult Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Fresh Salmon
    2. Potatoes
    3. Peas
    4. Pea Protein
    5. Linseed

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 385 kcal/100g
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 17%
  • Fiber: 2.5%

Edgard and Cooper Adult is a high quality diet that is jam packed with top tier nutrition and available at a reasonable price point. The main ingredient in this diet is Norwegian salmon, included in its whole form. This lean protein is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to keep the Labrador Retriever’s energy levels piqued and to promote optimal coat and skin health.

A diet designed to be hypoallergenic, Edgard and Cooper Adult is free from the most common allergens dogs react to including wheat, cereals, and grains. This recipe is enriched with a probiotic blend to encourage optimal digestive processing.

With so many nutritional benefits to its credit, it is not difficult to see why Edgard and Cooper Adult is considered to be one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers available for purchase today.

Pros:

  • Norwegian salmon is the primary ingredient in this food, a powerhouse protein that keeps the Labrador Retriever primed for performance.
  • A grain-free diet, antioxidant and fibre-rich fruits and vegetables provide the fuel this breed needs for good digestion and a healthy immune system.
  • Edgard and Cooper Adult is available at a reasonable price point, making it affordable for most families.

Cons:

  • This diet places a heavy emphasis on potatoes, peas, and pea proteins, vegetables that are less ideal than a more nutrient-dense vegetable such as sweet potato.
  • The dietary fibre contained in this diet is a little low to support optimal digestion in the Labrador Retriever.
  • Edgard and Cooper Adult does not contain any supplements to support joint health.

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Arden Grange Sensitive Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. White Fish
    2. Sweet Potato
    3. White Fish Meal
    4. Potato
    5. Refined Chicken Oil

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 81 kcal/100g
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 3%

Arden Grange Sensitive Adult Grain-Free offers premium shelf nutrition to assist Labrador Retrievers with sensitivities to certain food-based allergens. Whitefish is the basis of this exceptional quality diet, a lean meat that is easy on the Lab’s digestive system while still delivering bountiful amounts of the essential fatty acids required for coat and skin health.

A diet that prioritizes the use of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in its carbohydrate content, Arden Grange Sensitive Adult Grain-Free is often recommended as one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers with digestive issues. The addition of cranberries ensures a vital support for optimal kidney and urinary function.

Pros:

  • The ocean fish and ocean fish meal found in Arden Grange Sensitive Adult Grain-Free contribute bountiful amounts of essential fatty acids to improve coat and skin health in dogs with allergies.
  • Several prebiotics have been added to help establish optimal gut flora.
  • MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin are all present to encourage healthy joint functionality.

Cons:

  • Potato is included in this recipe, a less than ideal carbohydrate linked to spikes in blood sugar in dogs.
  • The amount of protein found in this diet may make this formulation too rich for some dogs.
  • Fish digest has been included in this recipe, an ingredient of questionable value that is typically included in foods to boost the diet’s overall flavour.

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Wellness CORE Original Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Turkey
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Peas
    4. Dried Potatoes
    5. Potato Protein

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 369.8 kcal/100g
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Wellness CORE Original Adult Grain-Free is often recommended as one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers available for purchase today. A top shelf food formulation, Wellness CORE Original Adult Grain-Free places a high emphasis on lean, easily digestible meat proteins to ensure their formula is as nutritionally viable as possible. The main ingredients in this diet are turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal, three protein sources that are lean, nutrient-dense, and exceptionally flavourful to encourage hearty eating in the Labrador Retriever.

A lower carbohydrate food, Wellness CORE Original Adult Grain-Free utilizes fruits and vegetables in its carbohydrate base to ensure support for optimal digestion and a thriving immune system.

Pros:

  • Chicken and turkey are the two foundation ingredients, lean meats that are easy to digest and that are rich in amino acids to support strong muscles.
  • The addition of glucosamine and chondroitin promotes optimal joint health.
  • The absence of grains makes this diet an excellent choice for Labrador Retrievers with grain sensitivities.

Cons:

  • Peas, potatoes, and potato protein are all included in this diet’s carbohydrate content.
  • Though rich in fruits and vegetables, neither prebiotics or probiotics have been added to this diet.
  • The high protein content of this food may be too much for older Labrador Retrievers that no longer enjoy a highly active lifestyle.

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How to Select the Best Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers

The sociable Labrador Retriever is a dog of immense popularity worldwide. This dog is well renowned for its sweet nature and ready smile. The Labrador Retriever is a member of the sporting group, and its original purpose was to assist fishermen with retrieving their nets and ropes after a long day out of the cold waters of the Atlantic coast of Canada. However, today, the Labrador Retriever is best known as a beloved family companion, a job the dog performs with great skill and relish.

A working dog, the Labrador Retriever possesses an impressively muscled frame and the spirit and drive of a true athlete. Their coat is short and waterproof to assist the dog with water retrieval work.

The Labrador Retriever is a highly intelligent dog. A born people pleaser, the Labrador Retriever enjoys opportunities to learn new skills with its owner, requiring only praise and treats to be motivated for training sessions. The breed excels at many different activities including field trials, scent detection, tracking, obedience, agility, conformation, rally, and much more. A dog with an amiable nature, the Labrador Retriever can be trained to serve as a service or a therapy dog, possessing the skills to bring comfort to the sick and elderly and assistance to those with physical limitations.

The gentle-natured Labrador Retriever most often enjoys good health. However, sadly, there are a number of health problems the breed can be plagued by. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis dissecans, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, myopathy, bloat, acute moist dermatitis, cold tail, and ear infections. Diet alone is not sufficient to prevent disease from occurring in any breed; however, it can help to lay an excellent foundation for ideal wellness. The best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers contain supplements to encourage optimal heart, eye, and skin health.

The ideal diet for the Labrador Retriever is well-balanced nutritionally and contains approximately 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Labrador Retrievers

A breed intended to function as a working dog, the Labrador Retriever requires a high performance diet that is well-balanced and based on a lean meat protein to attain optimal health and wellness. Selecting the right diet can be a challenging task. Once the right food has been found, owners will then need to determine how much their dog should be given to eat each mealtime. The best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers provide suggested serving sizes based on age and weight on the side of their packaging.

The Labrador Retriever is a big fan of eating and will consume as much food as it can find if permitted to do so. Since the breed is prone to easy weight gain and is also predisposed to hip and elbow dysplasia, it is especially important to keep this dog at a healthy weight. Free feeding should be avoided. For best results, the Labrador Retriever’s meals should be measured and all mealtimes carefully monitored.

Bloat is a condition that affects many medium to large breed dogs including the Labrador Retriever. To date, it is not known what causes bloat to occur in some dogs. Experts believe that eating too much and too rapidly may play a role in the development of this condition. To prevent these actions, it is a good idea to feed the Labrador Retriever a food that contains large enough kibble pieces to encourage slow and careful eating.

Dog Food Dietary Requirements for Labrador Retrievers

The friendly Labrador Retriever is an active, athletic breed and needs a high quality diet based on a lean meat protein to enjoy optimal health. The best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers include a whole meat or meat meal as the basis of their diet. By-products are often utilized by commercial dog food companies because they are an inexpensive source of protein. However, they are not as high quality as whole meats or meat meals, and thus, are not the ideal choice for this busy dog.

Plant proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs. These ingredients are sometimes used in place of meat in commercial diets. Foods containing them are best avoided. Other ingredients to steer clear of in any dog food for the Labrador Retriever are chemicals, additives, derivatives, fillers, artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives.

Carbohydrates are an important part of the Labrador Retriever’s diet, contributing the antioxidants and dietary fibre required for a thriving immune system and healthy digestion. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, or a combination of the three. Some dogs are sensitive to grains and may be better suited to a grain-free diet.

Healthy fats are an absolute must in any high quality diet for the Labrador Retriever. These fats help the Labrador Retriever to have the energy it needs to enjoy an active lifestyle, and they also promote ideal coat and skin health. The best ingredients for these healthy fats are chicken fat and oily fish. However, some plant-based oils offer an excellent alternative.

Supplements are an important part of a well-rounded diet, contributing additional vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to meet the Labrador Retriever’s nutritional needs. The best supplements to look for in a diet for the Labrador Retriever are prebiotics, probiotics, taurine, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Labrador Retrievers

In selecting the best dog food for the Labrador Retriever, here are some guiding principles to keep in mind:

  • Meets APHA nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Free from chemicals, flavours, colours, or other difficult to identify ingredients
  • Fortified with beneficial supplements
  • Based on lean meat proteins

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