If you’re the proud owner of a new labrador puppy, congratulations! Labrador puppies are fun, playful, and energetic, and they also make excellent companions with lots of personalities. As your new Labrador puppy grows into adulthood, however, you might want to consider switching his or her food to something different than what you fed him or her as a puppy. When it comes to choosing the best dog food for labrador puppies, look no further than the list below!
Labradors have unique dietary needs
So, what does a labrador puppy need in its diet? As with any dog, you’ll want to check with your vet to make sure that you’re not missing anything. But as far as generalities go, dogs from one through six months of age should have protein and fat intake that is close to 30 percent each. Your little guy needs about 22-25 percent protein after he hits 12 months old and 7-12 percent fat. The best food for labrador puppies contains fatty acids DHA and EPA since those are important when growing bones and joints. Calcium is also important, particularly during times of fast growth like right around birth and right after weaning.
Carbohydrates provide dogs with a necessary source of energy and are an important part of a Lab’s diet. But not all carbohydrates are created equal the best dog food for labrador retrievers includes healthy ones (like potatoes, carrots, and brown rice) as well as others that aren’t (like corn). We do recommend reading up on protein versus carbohydrate content in your pup’s food; we also recommend making sure your dog’s kibble has supplemental fiber added to it, which helps with digestion. Dietary fiber can also be found in fresh fruits and vegetables although in most cases these won’t provide enough dietary fiber to count toward your Lab’s total daily intake.
Protein is important too
If you’re wondering best dog food, start with a protein base. No matter what size or age your pup is, a good protein-rich diet makes sure he or she grows up strong and healthy. Researchers have found that growing puppies need at least 30 percent of their calories from protein, says Phillip Blair, founder of Holistic Blends pet foods. At four months old when most Labrador pups begin weaning that means they should be eating at least three cups of puppy food per day; when they hit six months old and are weaned off mom’s milk, it’s time to bump that amount up to three-and-a-half cups per day.
Protein can come from a variety of sources, including chicken, beef, fish, lamb, and venison. Timberwolf Organics suggest feeding a variety of proteins in rotation to help ensure your pup’s balanced nutrition. By combining different protein-rich ingredients say, lamb and fish you create what’s called a multiple protein blend, which offers a wide range of amino acids that your puppy needs to help him or her grow up big and strong. Most commercial dog foods how to take care of a puppy are multiple protein blends, says Blair. For example, if you’re shopping, you’ll find that most brands offer dry food made with several different types of meat as their primary ingredient. That means it has more protein than grain-based foods and is better suited to your growing pup.
Feed your puppy at regular times
While puppies can eat up to 4 or 5 times a day, until they’re fully grown, stick to feeding your puppy 3 times a day. This will help him learn regular eating habits and form good food-caching habits that will last his entire life. When you’re first starting with your puppy, feed him at roughly 8 am, 12 pm, and 4 pm.
The best dog food for labrador retrievers is one that helps your puppy grow into a healthy, strong adult. One way to do that is by feeding him three meals a day even if he doesn’t seem hungry at those times. For example, most puppies don’t wake up ravenous in the morning, but they do need food early to sustain their activity level. Feeding them at roughly 8 am will allow them to continue burning calories while they sleep until they need more food later in the day.
Try not to let your puppy out-eat itself
When you get a lab puppy, take special care to ensure that it does not out-eat itself. Despite their large size, labs are quite active and energetic and therefore need good quality food to maintain an ideal weight. If your puppy is left to its own devices, it can easily eat too much at one time which will lead to overweight issues later in life. Ideally, adult labs should weigh somewhere between 70 and 90 pounds (30–40 kg) when fully grown. A healthy diet containing plenty of high-quality protein combined with regular exercise will help keep them at a manageable weight.
In terms of specific foods, there are a lot of options. Your puppy will not just go off any food you give it, but your choices have a big impact on its development and behavior. The best dog food for labrador retrievers is high in quality protein with minimal carbs and added fillers that might lead to weight gain. Good options include grain-free products like Orijen or Acana which can be purchased online or from pet stores. When feeding your puppy, how to care for 6 week old puppy make sure you don’t overdo it as too much food at once can cause vomiting and indigestion. Be sure to feed them small meals throughout the day so that they don’t overeat at any one time.