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What To Feed a Labrador Puppy (Best Options)
Dogs are a big part of our lives. They help us with our daily tasks, are always there when we need them, and bring great joy to our lives.
But, it is essential to ensure that our dog gets the best nutrition possible. They have a lot of energy and need to be fed accordingly.
This includes the number of calories, food type, and the number of meals per day. We will explain all of these factors to help understand what to feed these precious animals.
A Labrador puppy needs high-quality protein in their diet, so they should not be fed just any type of food. This is why we recommend three food options: dry food or kibble, fresh food or human food, or wet food.
We prefer using dry food or kibble in most cases, but it is beneficial to start with wet food for young puppies and transition to dry food after a few weeks.
Feeding a puppy human food is possible, but it can be more expensive and requires extra work to stick to a cleaner diet at this age. We’ll explain the benefits of each below.
Dry Food (Kibble)
Dry food or kibble is a good choice to feed a Labrador puppy because it’s easier to prepare, affordable, and there are plenty of nutritious options.
We have found it to be a healthier and more convenient option for our pets. It is also a good alternative to wet food which can be difficult to store and prepare.
The benefits of dry dog food are that it offers the pup a balanced diet that doesn't need refrigeration. It’s easier for a younger puppy to eat too.
It also offers convenience because we can buy it in bulk and store it in the pantry or freezer until needed. Dry dog food is also less expensive than wet food, which is another benefit for pet owners.
Fresh Food (Human Food)
Feeding a Labrador puppy a diet of fresh, real human food is one of the best things to do for their health and well-being. It will not only make them happy and content, but it will also keep them healthy.
There are many commercial pet brands with processed ingredients, and it’s difficult to find reliable brands to trust. This eliminates the guessing game; they are only fed real, natural foods with no unknown ingredients.
However, it will become expensive and require regular cooking and preparation. This isn’t advised for the budget family or the busy owner with minimal time to prepare daily meals.
Wet food is recommended for Labrador puppies when they are first born and for the first 2-8 weeks while they grow. It can be either raw or cooked.
Wet food is a good source of water and minerals, which are important in the early days of their life to help them grow strong bones and teeth.
It should be given to a puppy as soon as it comes out of its mother's womb, but it must not be given before it starts eating solid foods because it will cause diarrhea. Once they get more mature, moving to kibbles is best.
5 Best Food Options For A Labrador Puppy
There are so many different food options for a Labrador puppy, and it is important to know what to feed our new pet. We’ve mentioned the type of food to feed these puppies, but below are some of the best brands to consider too.
1. Royal Canin Breed Labrador Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Breed Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food is a high-quality product formulated for purebred Labradors, and we love it for lab puppies. It is known for its low level of grain and carbohydrate content and high protein content.
It’s recommended for puppies between 8 weeks and 15 weeks old. Once they reach the 16-week mark, there are better options to help the puppy continue to develop and grow.
This food also helps with digestion and weight management. It also promotes proper bone growth with antioxidants and necessary nutrients like vitamin E.
The kibble is also shaped strategically to help puppies who chew fast while helping with jaw growth. Overall, this is the best food option for a Labrador puppy.
2. Canidae All Life Stages Premium Dry Dog Food
The Canidae All Life Stages Premium Dry dog food is made with high-quality ingredients. It is designed for all life stages, from puppies to seniors, and we love the benefits it provides to younger labs.
The product features a blend of highly digestible proteins, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, taurine, and glucosamine.
This ensures the dog gets the nutrition they need while also reducing the risk of digestive tract problems such as bloat or pancreatitis. It also has a low glycemic index and no corn, wheat, or soy in the recipe.
It’s also available in multiple sizes and three different flavors, including chicken, lamb, and turkey. Dog owners can also expect an excellent protein ratio when using this food.
3. Acana High Protein Puppy Dry Dog Food
The Acana High Protein Puppy Dry Dog Food is one of the best-selling dog foods on the market. Both veterinarians and nutritionists have recognized it for its high-quality ingredients for young puppies.
It has been designed to meet a pet’s nutritional needs in every stage of its life, from puppyhood to young adulthood. The Acana High Protein formula is made with a blend of chicken, turkey, and fish meals, whole eggs, and natural beef or lamb meal.
The product has a limited ingredient list with no corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives. It also has no added sugar and a low glycemic index.
This food also contains probiotics and prebiotics to help the pet maintain a healthy immune system. It’s also affordable and sold in bulk.
4. Wellness CORE Dry Puppy Food
Wellness CORE Dry Puppy Food is made from high-quality ingredients and has no artificial flavors or preservatives.
This is the perfect dry dog food for puppies after eight weeks old. This brand is also very affordable for those who want to feed their dog a healthy diet without breaking the bank.
It features a patented recipe that helps to promote healthy digestion, strong teeth and gums, healthy skin and shiny coat, a strong immune system, healthy joints and muscles, and a healthy heart.
This is a high-protein food option for Labradors too. It promotes lean muscle growth and improved body health with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics
5. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Wet Puppy Food
Purina Pro Plan High Protein Wet Puppy Food is a premium dog food that comes in a variety of flavors and varieties. It is made with high-quality ingredients and has a great taste and texture for labs to enjoy.
This food is to help with puppy development and is suitable for all Labradors under one-year-old. It’s commonly used for newborn puppies in the first 2-8 weeks after birth.
This wet food provides the perfect balance of healthy proteins to support a dog's growth while providing the energy they need to maintain its fitness levels. This can be fed as a meal or as an occasional snack between meals.
It has no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or added sugar. It also contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are important for healthy skin and the dog's coat.
How to Choose the Best Puppy Food for Labrador Retrievers
Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. They are large, strong, intelligent dogs that need a lot of attention, exercise, and food.
These dogs can be picky eaters and usually need a lot of calories because of their size. This is especially true for puppies so they can grow properly and remain healthy due to their increased risk of health issues.
Labrador puppies' most popular dog foods are kibbles and canned wet food. Kibbles are the best option for a puppy because they are easy to chew and digest.
Canned food is a good option for pups who have difficulty chewing or digesting dry food and would benefit from a little moisture in their diet.
The food type also depends on the owner. Dry food or kibbles are faster to prepare, while serving human food to a lab puppy requires extensive prep time.
When it comes to nutritional value, we want dog food that has high-quality protein and carbohydrates. This will help the puppy grow strong and healthy.
This is why we need to take into account the nutritional value, quality of ingredients, and taste. It should be made with all-natural ingredients that are sourced from human-grade materials such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
A brand should have all the essential nutrients for a pup but still, be low in toxic elements and preservatives too.
Lastly, consider the dietary restrictions of the Labrador puppy before choosing a dog food option. This includes any allergies or health concerns for the dog and shopping for something that suits them best.
For example, lab puppies must reach a certain carbohydrate and protein number daily. Labradors are also known to have allergies, especially young ones, so planning around this is crucial.
How Much Should You Feed A Labrador Puppy?
A puppy should be fed at least three times a day, with a meal size that is appropriate for its body weight. They should also be given small daily snacks to keep them satisfied and happy, including treats to help with training.
We feed our puppies the best that we can. We want to give them all the nutrients and vitamins they need. We also want to make sure that they are getting a balanced diet.
The most important thing when feeding a Labrador puppy is that they get enough calories from their food every day. In the first 2-8 weeks, the puppy should eat four smaller daily meals.
Once the lab reaches three months, this can be changed to three meals per day. And after 6-12 months, we recommend two meals per day.
The key is not to change the calories much when the meals change but to simply modify the size of each meal to fit the total daily food amount.
What Age Should You Switch A Labrador Puppy’s Food?
Feeding a Labrador puppy is not rocket science, but there are some things everybody should know about what to feed them and when to feed them. We have covered this basis, but changes need to be made as they age.
This leads to a common question about changing food to fit the needs of a grown adult Labrador. The dog's age will determine how quickly they grow and how much energy they need.
Lab puppies can stick with kibbles for up to 12 months. Once they reach one year old, it’s time to switch to adult food to help them continue to grow and develop.
About THE AUTHOR
Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.Read more about Mark Brunson