Choosing the right food is absolutely critical to the long term health of your Lab. It is also, by far, the most expensive item that comes along with dog ownership. Unfortunately, people tend to focus more on the latter.
Saving a few dollars to get the cheapest quality food may make sense on the surface when you multiply it over the expected life of your dog. However, if you take in to consideration other health factors that may give your dog problems as a result of improper food, it isn't so cut and dry. Factors to consider include:
I'm not here to promote the absolute top echelon quality food that will drain your wallet. There is certainly a balance. However, through extensive research and experience, I have a handful of food selections that I recommend for both puppies and adult Labs.
Hills Science Diet has a puppy formula (Amazon) specifically for large breed puppies. This is a great option because this brand is known for including only the highest quality ingredients. It includes the right amount of protein, fiber, and other must-have ingredients for your growing pup.
Blue Wilderness puppy food (Amazon) is a great option if you go the wet food route. It's packed with meat and is grain-free, and deboned turkey is a key ingredient. Other important nutrients are DHA, which is a crucial fatty acid for Labs, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that contribute to your dog's shiny coat.
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food (Amazon) is a great option for adult dogs. It's grain-free, in case your Lab has allergies or sensitives, it's high in protein, and it contains many vegetables and fruits for a balanced diet.
Another good option for adult dogs is Core Wellness (Amazon) for adult dogs, which has that deboned turkey or chicken that's higher in nutritional value than meat by-products.
In some cases, specialized food may be necessary. An example might be for senior Labs that need foods that contain specific ingredients that help some of the common deficiencies present in older dogs. Another example might be if your Lab struggles with allergies and shedding. In that case, there may be a need for a specialized blend to address that condition.
For more examples that cater to these situations, check out my post: Best Dog Foods For Labradors.