LogoPet-1.png
BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

The 10 Best Dog Foods For Labradors In 2024

As you have seen, there has been an overwhelming selection of dog food options. More products have been added to the market, making it difficult to decide which one to choose for your Labrador.

Most dog owners choose dry food, but there are many other options available. The snack and pet food market was worth an estimated $37 billion in 2019, indicating the vast selection of products available.

Labradors are a popular breed, so you're not alone in your search for the right dog food. They can weigh up to 80 pounds, which means they require larger meals.

To help you choose the best dog foods for labradors, BestForPets offers helpful suggestions and reviews.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

Read more icon

Our favorite picks for 2023 are summarized below

Image Product View on Amazon
1 Purina ONE True Instinct With A Blend Of Real Turkey and Venison Dry Dog Food Purina ONE True Instinct With A Blend Of Real Turkey and Venison Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
2 IAMS Adult High Protein Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken IAMS Adult High Protein Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken View on Amazon
3 VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
4 ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
5 Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe View on Amazon
6 Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
7 Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Large Breed, Chicken & Barley Recipe Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Large Breed, Chicken & Barley Recipe View on Amazon
8 GENTLE GIANTS World Class Canine Nutrition Chicken Feast Dog Food GENTLE GIANTS World Class Canine Nutrition Chicken Feast Dog Food View on Amazon
9 Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
10 Eukanuba Breed Specific Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food Eukanuba Breed Specific Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food View on Amazon

Reviews

1. Dry Dog Food by Purina ONE, SmartBlend, True Instinct, Recipes

Purina ONE True Instinct With A Blend Of Real Turkey and Venison Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dry Dog food  is a premium dog food that provides a significant amount of lean protein from venison, as well as poultry and turkey.

This dog food is an excellent source of glucosamine, which is essential for joint health in Labrador Retrievers. The food also contains omega-6 and linoleic acids, which promote healthy skin.

The nutritional profile of this dog food meets the highest quality standards and has been approved by the AAFCO. However, the high-fat content of the food may be problematic for dogs that are predisposed to weight gain, and some pet owners may be concerned that taurine has not been added to the food.

The size and shape of the kibble are perfect for Labradors, and the food is available in three different pack sizes: 15, 27, and 36 pounds. The food contains 341 calories per cup.

In conclusion, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Dry Dog food is a natural dog food that provides 100% nutrition for adult dogs. The food contains no poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

The food is a premium dog food that includes omega-6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat. The food also contains four sources of antioxidants to promote a healthy immune system.

The food is an excellent source of lean protein from venison, poultry, and turkey and includes glucosamine, which is essential for joint health in Labrador Retrievers.

Pros

An item that may be used for many different purposes

Good protein with little fat

AAFCO-approved

Cons

There isn’t any extra taurine

Contains a lot of fat


2. Iams ProActive Health Adult Dry Dog Food

IAMS Adult High Protein Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken

View on Amazon

When searching for the best dog food for Labradors, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Iams ProActive Health Adult Dry Dog Food is a popular option among dog owners.

Made with real chicken, it’s suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and the company offers breed-specific food, making it easier to find the right fit for your dog.

However, it’s worth noting that this dry dog food does not contain taurine, which is important for heart health. With 351 calories per cup, it’s a great option for adult dogs and comes in 15, 30, and 38.5-pound bags.

Another great option is IAMS Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken, which is specifically formulated to promote the bone and joint health of active large breed dogs. The formula includes a tailored blend of wholesome fibers and prebiotics to promote healthy digestion and immunity. Quality protein sourced from real chicken helps promote strong muscles in dogs.

Overall, IAMS Large Breed Dry Dog Food is an affordable, high-quality option for dog owners looking to meet the needs of larger breeds. It comes highly recommended by veterinarians.

Pros

Grain-based

Inclusion of a wide variety of ingredients

Contains a lot of protein

Cons

There is no extra taurine


3. Dry Dog Food with Added Vitamins and Minerals by VICTOR

VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food  is a high-protein, nutrient-rich diet that’s appropriate for all life stages. This multi-meat formula includes chicken, beef, and fish to provide your dog with the protein they need.

The food is produced in the United States at VICTOR’s own facility in Texas, using ingredients sourced from ranches, farms, and other reputable suppliers within a day’s drive.

The food is formulated with VICTOR’s proprietary VPRO Blend, a combination of supplements, vitamins, and minerals that helps support the health and well-being of every dog, regardless of breed, age, or level of activity.

While the food has a 30% protein content that exceeds the permissible range of 18%, it also includes beneficial compounds derived from fermentation.

The high fat and calorie content (20% fat, 406 calories per cup) means that larger kibble sizes may be appropriate for larger breeds, but canines weighing more than 70 pounds may be at risk of gaining weight.

Bags are available in sizes ranging from 5 to 50 pounds. Owners can help their dogs maintain a healthy weight by measuring out smaller portions and increasing exercise.

In summary, VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food is a high-protein, nutrient-rich diet that’s appropriate for all life stages. The food is produced in the United States and formulated with VICTOR’s proprietary VPRO Blend.

The food has a 30% protein content that exceeds the permissible range of 18%, but also includes beneficial compounds derived from fermentation. The high fat and calorie content means that larger kibble sizes may be appropriate for larger breeds, but canines weighing more than 70 pounds may be at risk of gaining weight.

Bags are available in sizes ranging from 5 to 50 pounds. Owners can help their dogs maintain a healthy weight by measuring out smaller portions and increasing exercise.

Pros

Good deals

Containing taurine.

Cons

The use of some cheap filler substances

Weight limit of 70 pounds


4. ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

The ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food  is a top-quality, nutrient-rich formula designed to promote the overall health and well-being of your dog.

This grain-free* dry dog food is made with the finest ingredients available, ensuring optimal nutrition at every stage of your dog’s life.

This formula boasts an impressive 85 percent** animal protein content, sourced from high-quality ingredients like free-run*** chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, and chicken liver.

With a focus on immune function, digestion, skin, and grooming, this formula provides essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, to support your dog’s optimal health.

Produced in the United States, ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food adheres to stringent quality control standards. It is crafted using the most flavorful and nutrient-dense parts of the prey, including organs and bones, following the principles of WholePrey nutrition.

This ensures that your dog receives a well-rounded and complete diet, mirroring the natural diet of their wild ancestors.

We understand the importance of providing your dog with the best nutrition possible. That’s why ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food is grain-free, eliminating unnecessary fillers and meeting your dog’s dietary needs.

Our commitment to using high-quality ingredients and ethical sourcing guarantees that your beloved canine companion receives a wholesome and nourishing meal.

Pros

Tailored formula supports immune function, digestion, skin, and coat.

High-quality ingredients

85% animal protein with WholePrey nutrition.

Grain-free for optimal dietary needs.

Cons

May contain trace amounts of grains.

Limited flavor options.

Higher price.


5. Adult Canine Formula Hill’s Science Diet Dry Food, Ideal Weight

Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe

View on Amazon

Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight dry dog food is an all-life stage diet that is an excellent option for hefty dogs. The food contains chicken and a healthy fat source like coconut oil or flaxseed, making it suitable for dogs of all ages.

The food also includes brown rice, which can benefit dogs with gastrointestinal issues. Per serving, there are 291 calories.

One potential issue with this food is that dogs that eat quickly, like Labrador Retrievers, may find the new kibble size problematic. This might mean that you need to replace bags more frequently.

Larger breeds like Labradors and other large-breed dogs may benefit from the larger sizes available in 4, 15, and 28.5-pound packages.

This adult dry dog food is clinically proven for weight management and has been shown to help over 70% of adult dogs lose weight within 10 weeks when fed this safe and effective weight management dog food.

The food helps grown dogs maintain a healthy weight and supports muscle maintenance. The food is made with natural ingredients, which is a great option for pet owners who want to ensure their dog is eating a nutritious diet.

In summary, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight dry dog food is an excellent option for dogs that need help managing their weight. The food is an all-life stage diet and contains natural ingredients.

The food has been clinically proven to be effective for weight management, although the new kibble size may be problematic for some dogs. The food is available in different package sizes to accommodate larger breeds like Labradors.

Pros

Easily absorbed protein

Total and proper nourishment

Grain-based

Cons

There was not a bag big enough available.


6. Dry Dog Food from Royal Canin for Adult Labrador Retrievers

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food  is formulated to meet the unique nutritional and behavioral needs of Labrador Retriever purebreds aged 15 months or older.

The donut-shaped kibble is designed to help large breed Labrador Retrievers chew and eat their food slowly, which supports their digestive health.

The food is formulated to help Labrador Retrievers maintain their ideal weight, with precise calorie and fat content tailored to their breed-specific needs. The food contains EPA, DHA, and glucosamine, which support strong bones and healthy joints in large-breed canines.

Additionally, the food contains essential nutrients that support healthy skin and dense undercoats, which are important for Labrador Retrievers. The food also contains more glucosamine than usual, which is beneficial for canines predisposed to joint issues.

The food is primarily made of chicken and contains a high level of protein. It has only 275 calories per serving, which is lower than some other brands. The food is made in the USA, which is a big selling point for many pet owners. The food is available in two bag sizes: 17 and 30 pounds.

Overall, Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food is an excellent option for Labrador Retriever purebreds aged 15 months or older.

The precise calorie and fat content of the donut-shaped kibble helps to maintain their ideal weight, while the food contains EPA, DHA, and glucosamine, which support strong bones and healthy joints.

The food also contains essential nutrients that support healthy skin and dense undercoats. The food is primarily made of chicken and is available in two bag sizes, making it a premium option for pet owners.

Pros

Detailed information on the breed’s feeding habits

Containing taurine.

Contains a lot of protein

Cons

Expensive

Energy density is low


7. Adult large-breed dog food from Hill’s, Science Diet

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Large Breed, Chicken & Barley Recipe

View on Amazon

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Mature Adult Dry Dog Food  is an excellent choice for large breed mature canines because of the manufacturer’s emphasis on quality and nutrition.

The company employs several Ph.D. nutritionists and is committed to providing high-quality pet food.

This chicken-based dog food has protein levels that surpass the USDA’s daily recommendation. The inclusion of chicken fat, glucosamine, and chondroitin makes this food an excellent option for canines predisposed to arthritis. Moreover, the omega fatty acids in the food promote a glossy coat.

The food is made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients that pet owners can trust. The product is specially formulated to meet the energy requirements of large breed mature canines and contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.

Fortifying Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E promote healthy skin and a glossy coat, while high-quality protein promotes lean muscle mass.

The product is available in 15-pound and 35-pound bags and contains 368 calories per cup. Thanks to its high protein content, inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin, and nourishing omega fatty acids, Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Mature Adult Dry Dog Food is a great choice for large breed mature canines.

The product is made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients that pet owners can trust and is recommended by veterinarians.

Pros

An incredibly high percentage of useful fiber

Aid for the digestive system

Containing taurine.

Cons

Toy-sized kibble

There was not a bag big enough available.


8. Chicken Dry Dog Food from Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition

GENTLE GIANTS World Class Canine Nutrition Chicken Feast Dog Food

View on Amazon

Gentle Giants Chicken dry dog food  is a complete and balanced diet that is rich in chicken protein and poultry fat. This diet is suitable for all life stages, including puppyhood, adulthood, and senior years.

The food also contains essential nutrients, such as taurine and glucosamine, which support heart and joint health, respectively.

Three protein sources are included in the diet: chicken, fish, and eggs. Vegetables include peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach, while dried blueberries provide antioxidants.

While the diet meets recommended dietary allowances, it’s important to note that the health benefits of several fermented foods and probiotics may be uncertain.

Additionally, the low-calorie content (358 calories per meal) may not be appropriate for dogs with certain health conditions or dietary restrictions. The product is available in containers weighing 3, 5, 15, and 30 pounds.

Before choosing a dog food, owners should consider their dog’s individual dietary needs and restrictions. This may involve consulting with a veterinarian or using an online tool to calculate calorie needs.

Overall, Gentle Giants Chicken dry dog food is a good option for pet owners looking for a complete and balanced diet for their dogs.

Pros

Containing taurine.

Sources of lean protein

Cons

Wealthy for certain dogs’ taste.


9. Newly-Puppies Should Eat Royal Canin Labrador Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food  is an excellent option for Labrador Retrievers between the ages of 8 weeks and 15 months. This dog food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Labrador Retrievers.

One of the benefits of this dog food is that it uses poultry by-products, which are higher in protein than whole chicken. The formula also includes glucosamine, which is beneficial for puppies with joint issues.

However, it’s worth noting that this dog food is more expensive than other options and has fewer calories, which means that you may need to feed your puppy more food to keep up with its increased energy demands.

On the other hand, this dog food has a higher concentration of taurine, which is beneficial for heart health.

The specialized kibble design of this dog food promotes better digestion by helping fast eaters process their food more slowly.

The exclusive complex of antioxidants, which includes vitamin E, protects your puppy’s immune system during the critical period of development.

Additionally, the formula supports bone and joint health and a healthy weight with precise mineral content and a balanced energy intake. High-quality proteins and prebiotics promote optimal stool quality.

Overall, Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food is a great choice for Labrador Retriever puppies due to its breed-specific formulation and incorporation of glucosamine and taurine.

However, it is more expensive than other options and has fewer calories, which means that you may need to feed your puppy more food to meet their energy requirements.

Pros

Breed-specific

Inclusion of a wide variety of ingredients

Cons

Expensive

Low in calories


10. Dry Dog Food from Eukanuba, Formulated Specially for Labrador Retrievers

Eukanuba Breed Specific Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food

View on Amazon

Eukanuba Breed-Specific Dry Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers  contains high-quality animal protein and fat sources, including chicken, poultry fat, egg product, and salmon meal.

This diet is formulated to meet the specific nutritional requirements of Labrador Retrievers, which may include promoting a healthy weight and joint health.

One of the standout features of this dog food is its 3D DENTADEFENSE System, which has been shown to reduce tartar buildup in as little as 28 days. Additionally, the diet contains glucosamine for joint health and flaxseed fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

It’s important to note that the diet may not be suitable for dogs that require a high-fiber diet or are sensitive to lower fiber levels.

The product comes in a 30-pound package and contains 306 calories per cup.

Overall, Eukanuba Breed-Specific Dry Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers is a premium option for pet owners looking to meet their dog’s specific nutritional needs. The diet promotes lean, strong musculature and healthy bones, as well as healthy digestion and skin and coat.

Pros

Different recipes for different breeds.

Treatment for Tartar

Containing taurine.

Cons

Weight limit of 30 pounds

Poor dietary fiber content

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Labradors

labrador buying guide

Choosing the right dog food for your Labrador can be a challenge. You need to consider their age, size, health, and nutritional needs.

It’s also important to avoid dog treats that contain artificial chemicals, allergens, or too much calcium, which can harm your Lab’s health.

Here are some general tips on what to look for and avoid when choosing dog food for your Labrador:

1. Look for high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient:

Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, supporting the immune system, and providing energy. Labradors require a diet with at least 18% protein, but more is preferable.

Choose dog food that has real meat as the first ingredient, such as chicken, beef, lamb, fish, etc.

Avoid dog foods that contain low-quality sources of animal protein, such as meat by-products, animal waste, or meat meals that don’t specify the type of meat they contain.

2. Look for moderate fat content:

Fat is crucial for providing energy, maintaining healthy skin and coat, supporting brain function, and producing hormones. Labradors should get at least 5% of their calories from fat, but not too much.

Choose dog food with healthy fats like chicken fat, fish oil, flaxseed oil, etc., that provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid feeding your dog foods that have too much fat or unhealthy fats like animal fat, vegetable oil, or lard.

3. Look for complex carbs:

Although dogs don’t require carbs, they can provide energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Labradors should consume approximately 30% of their diet from carbs, but not all carbs are equal.

Choose dog food with complex carbs like sweet potatoes, peas, oats, wheat, etc. that are easy to digest and provide sustained energy.

Avoid feeding your dog simple carbs like corn, wheat, soy, or rice, which are difficult to digest and can cause fluctuations in your dog’s blood sugar.

4. Look for controlled calcium content:

Calcium is crucial for bone development and growth, but Labradors and other large breed dogs can’t tolerate excess calcium. Too much calcium can impede bone growth and cause joint dysplasia and other bone disorders.

About 1% of a Labrador’s diet should consist of calcium, but no more than 1.5%.

Choose dog food with a fixed amount of calcium and a ratio of calcium to phosphorus ranging from 1:1 to 1:2. Avoid feeding your dog food that contains excessive amounts of calcium or an amount of calcium to phosphorus greater than 1:2.

5. Look for adequate calories:

Calories measure the amount of energy your Labrador derives from the food they consume. Labradors require enough calories to support their growth, development, and exercise levels, but not too many calories, which can lead to obesity and other health issues.

The number of calories your Labrador requires is based on their age, weight, and activity level.

Use a calorie calculator to estimate your Labrador’s daily calorie needs. Choose dog food with adequate calories for your Labrador’s needs, and ensure you feed them the correct amount. Avoid feeding your Labrador foods with excessive calories or too much food.

6. Look for natural ingredients:

Natural ingredients are derived from plants or animals and haven’t been altered or changed using chemicals. Usually, natural ingredients are safer and better for your Labrador than synthetic ones.

Choose dog foods that are made with natural ingredients and don’t contain any added colors, flavors, preservatives, or other synthetic additives. Avoid feeding your dog food that contains artificial ingredients or unclear or false labels.

7. Look for added supplements:

Supplements are added to dog food to make it more nutritious or to help with your Labrador’s health in a specific way. Glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are all popular supplements that are beneficial for Labradors.

Choose dog food with additional vitamins that aid your Labrador’s joints, skin, coat, digestive system, and immune system. Avoid giving your dog unnecessary or hazardous vitamins or those with insufficient amounts.

These are some general tips for choosing the best dog food for your Labrador. However, before changing or selecting a new dog food for your Labrador, you should always consult with your veterinarian.

Your vet can assist you in determining what your Labrador requires in terms of nutrition and recommend the best dog food for them.

How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Your Pet?

For detailed dog food reviews this year, please check out our comprehensive article

FAQs

1. Does a Labrador have any special dietary needs?

Labradors require high levels of protein to support growth, with at least 22% protein during puppyhood and growth. It’s important to control their intake of fat to prevent weight gain and related health problems.

2. How many calories does an adult Labrador need in a day?

Adult Labradors generally require around 1500-1600 calories a day, with active dogs needing up to 1900 calories and older dogs no more than 1100 calories. Consult with your veterinarian for your lab’s specific needs.

3. How often should I feed my Labrador?

Puppies should be fed four small meals a day until 8-12 weeks old, then three meals until 3-6 months, and then two meals for dogs six months and older.

4. How do I find out if my Labrador has food allergies?

Common symptoms of food allergies in Labradors include vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, itchy skin, and repeated ear infections. Consult with your veterinarian to identify the allergen and develop an appropriate treatment plan, which may include switching to a hypoallergenic diet.

5. What’s the best source of protein for Labradors, and how much is sufficient?

The best sources of high-quality protein for Labradors come from poultry, lamb, and beef when combined with additional protein sources, such as fish meal, fish, eggs, and plant-based proteins.

For lab puppies, the protein level in food should be around 22%, while adult dogs require a minimum of 18% protein for the maintenance of lean muscle mass.

6. Is a grain-free diet preferable for Labradors?

While some dogs may benefit from a grain-free diet, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine if a grain-free diet is appropriate for your Labrador, as many grain-free foods may not provide adequate nutrition for large-breed dogs like Labradors.

7. What foods should I never give to my Labrador?

Foods that should never be given to Labradors include almonds, chocolate, cinnamon, garlic, coffee, macadamia nuts, grapes, green tomatoes, raisins, onion, and nutmeg powder.

Conclusion

Deciding what to feed your Labrador Retriever requires careful consideration. Our top recommendation is Royal Canin Puppy Dry Puppy Food Bag for Labrador Retriever , as it is specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of large breed dogs like the Labrador Retriever.

According to our research, Iams ProActive Health Adult Dry Dog Food  is an affordable choice that provides a reasonable amount of protein to support your dog’s health and well-being.

While it may not be the most expensive option, it still provides important nutrients that are essential to the Labrador breed.

Ultimately, a healthy diet is the foundation of a high quality of life for your pet. By choosing the right food, you can ensure your dog receives the necessary nutrients for optimal health and happiness. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) is committed to helping you find the best dog foods for labradors.

Author Image

Dr. Elsa Fabian

Dr. Elsa Fabian, DVM, is a qualified veterinary and medical editor with seven years of experience and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. She has edited approximately 700 projects, such as research papers published in academic publications, continuing medical education training materials, and pet health articles.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Elsa Fabian

Comment

0.0
Rated 0 out of 5
0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Excellent0%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles