6 Best Dog Food For Labs To Be Happy

best dog food for labs
Best Dog Food For Labs Review

As a canine Nutritionist and pet owner, I have tested various foods. My main concern always was my dog’s health as they would get older.

I have tested top market products and found Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for Labs overall. Keep reading to discover why and some other options.

Some breeds like Labs tend to have Heart, Weight, Joint, and Ear issues, which might only show later on in their life. They need to get the best possible nutrition to set them up for healthy adulthood and old age at an early puppy age.

Good quality food is one way to ensure your loved dog will have a long and healthy life.

However, every dog is different and needs dog food that is nutritionally balanced and tastes good. 

Good diets help keep Labs healthy. Dogs are at their fittest when they are the right weight. Keeping to ideal weight can even help improve the risk of Hip Dysplasia.

At every stage of life stage dogs, nutritional needs might change.

We have reviewed my top 6 choices for the best dog food for Labs.

labs
Best Dog Food For Labs Review

6 Best Dog Food For Labs

Because different life stages lead to different needs for your pup, we select the best dog food for Labs from when they are puppies to when entering old age. Have a look!

Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Labs Overall)

American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Labs Puppy Formula)

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Labs Adult Formula)

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Labs Senior Formula)

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice Canned Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Labs Canned Formula)

Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Labs Runner Up)

Best Dog Food For Labs Review

Because Labs nutrition needs change during different life stages, we offer 6 top choices for you to choose from.

All best dog food for Labs included in this list is within the standard of AAFCO and AAHA guidelines. It is advisable to speak with your dog’s veterinarian before changing its diet.

Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food

Best dog food for Labs Overall

Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food
Best Dog Food for Labs Overall

Top 5 ingredients

Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal

Key Features

Hight natural source of Glucosamine, High in Omega-6, 0% Fillers

Guaranteed Analysis 

Crude Protein 26.0%, Crude Fat 16.0%, Crude Fiber 3.0%, Moisture 12.0%

Calories

383 kcal/cup

Perfect for

Overall

The Benefits

  • High chicken and other high-quality protein sources, which help support strong muscles and a healthy heart.
  • Essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6. Our bodies use these fatty acids (both omega-3 and omega-6) to make compounds involved with our response to injury and infection. (1) In addition, it makes your dog’s coat radiant and skin healthy.
  • Glucosamine: high amount of naturally occurring glucosamine helps to support healthy joints.
  • Dietary Fibres: for easier digestion and stomach function.

Customer reviews

Customers who have purchased this product have rated 4.7 stars out of 5.

Main feedback includes:

  • Kibble size quite large
  • Great for picky eaters
  • Value for money
  • Great nutritionional ingredients

FAQ

How many cups of food come in a 31 lb bag?

There will be approximately 4 cups per pound of kibble. The 8-pound bag will have close to 32 cups, the 16.5-pound bag close to 66 cups, the 31.1-pound bag close to 124 cups, and the 40-pound bag close to 160 cups.

How many calories are in one cup of dry food?

This recipe contains approximately 383 calories per cup.

Will this help with joint issues?

This variety contains glucosamine to help support healthy joints. If your pet may have a specific health concern, we recommend consulting your Veterinarian to see what would be the safest for your pet’s current treatment plan.

What size is the kibble?

The dimensions for the kibble are approximately 13 x 7 millimeters.

What exactly is animal digest?

Animal digest is created from protein sources such as pork and poultry’s muscle and soft tissue. It goes through a process similar to the natural digestion in an animal’s body, where the word “digest” comes from.

It’s highly palatable and used to enhance the taste of your pet’s food.

American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best dog food for Labs puppy formula

American Journey Puppy Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Best Dog Food For Labs puppy Formula

Top 5 ingredients

Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas

Key Features

Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein 30% min, Crude Fat 12% min, Crude Fiber 5.0% max, Moisture 10% max

Calories

380 kcal/cup

Perfect for

Puppies

The Benefits

To ensure healthy growth for Labrador puppies, the diet should be species-appropriate with a balanced proportion of calories, minerals, trace elements, and vitamins. (2)

  • Grain-free dog food for puppies that’s also free of corn, wheat and soy to help food sensitive pets avoid fillers that might upset their stomach.
  • Nutritious fruits and vegetables like blueberries, carrots and dried kelp provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants for immune system support, and phytonutrients.
  • High-protein dog food with real, deboned lamb is not only delicious for your pup but full of amino acids that help maintain lean muscle mass.
  • Salmon oil and flaxseed provide omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, including long-chain DHA, which helps support your dog’s skin and coat health and brain and eye development.
  • Includes fiber-rich chickpeas and sweet potatoes for energy that lasts.

Customer reviews

Customers who have purchased this product have rated 4.5 stars out of 5.

Main feedback includes:

  • Good for skin issues, seen coat apperance improve
  • Some picky eaters might not like it
  • Good quality ingredients
  • Improved digestive health in some puppies

FAQ

What is this product’s kibble size?

The Kibble Size is 10 x 5 millimeters.

How many cups are in the 24-pound bag?

There will be approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound. The 4-pound bag will have close to 16 cups, the 12-pound bag close to 48 cups, and the 24-pound bag close to 96 cups.

Was a veterinary nutritionist consulted in the creation of this food?

American Journey is formulated by top industry professionals with over 20 years of experience in the industry combined. American Journey follows the AAFCO guidelines when developing.

Are these bags resealable?

These bags are not resealable.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best dog food for Labs adult formula

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Best Dog Food For Labs Adult Formula

Top 5 ingredients

Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes

Key Features

Immune support, skin and coat health, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, High-Protein

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein 32.0% min, Crude Fat 18.0% min, Crude fibre 4.0% max, Moisture 10.0% max

Calories

370 kcal/cup

Perfect for

Adult dogs

The Benefits

Taste of The Wild can provide protein, vitamins, and minerals to keep your dog healthy and happy:

  • It is made with real buffalo, roasted venison, and beef- for lean nutrition and to support strong muscle build.
  • Powerful antioxidants– berries, blueberries, and vegetables to support overall health.
  • No grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives- keeping the food recipe as natural as possible.
  • Added probiotic– helping with your dog’s digestive health.
  • Taste of The Wild Dog Food range is made in the USA. Using ingredients from long-term trusted suppliers.

Customer reviews

Customers who have purchased this product have rated 4.6 stars out of 5.

Main feedback includes:

  • picky eaters like this food
  • Some dogs has developed tummy upsets and gas
  • Improvement in coat quality, now soft and shiny
  • Perfect for dogs with chicken and grain allergies

FAQ

How big is the kibble?

The kibbles in Taste of the Wild adult canine and All Life Stages formulas are a flat, round disc shape and approximately the diameter of a dime.

Is this a resealable bag?

This bag is not resealable.

How is this food made?

The food is manufactured using a process called extrusion. The extruder operates like a giant, continuous flow pressure cooker. The ingredients are cooked using heat (185 degrees Fahrenheit), pressure, and mechanical shear.

As the product exits the extruder, it passes through a die that gives the kibble its shape. A knife cuts the kibble to the correct length. The food is dried to a moisture of 8-10%, is screened, and then a flavoring enhancer and canola oil or chicken fat are applied.

The formula is screened again and then packaged.

How many cups are there in a bag?

There will be approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound. The 5-pound bag will have close to 20 cups, the 14-pound bag close to 56 cups, and the 28-pound bag close to 112 cups.

The larger Taste of the Wild dry foods does not include a measuring cup.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best dog food for Labs senior formula

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Best Dog Food For Labs Senior Formula

Top 5 ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal

Key Features

No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein 20.0% min, Crude Fat 10.0% min, Crude fiber 7.0% max, Moisture 10.0% max

Calories

344 kcal/cup

Perfect for

Senior dog

The Benefits

As Golden Retrievers reach old age, it is essential to adjust the diet given to your dog. Senior Goldies might suffer from joint pain, and their activity levels might not be as high as they used to be.

Blue buffalo life Protection formula contains all necessary nutrients and minerals for the best dog food for senior Golden Retriever:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin: joint health.
  • Omega 3 and 6- healthy skin and coat.
  • Contains carbohydrates: for energy supply.
  • Vitamins: contains calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins for stronger bones and teeth.
  • Antioxidants: blueberries and cranberries for immune health.

Customer reviews

Customers who have purchased this product have rated 4.7 stars out of 5.

Main feedback includes:

  • Some picky eaters prefer this to similar brands
  • Easy transition to this food brand
  • Dog experienced gas and tummy upsets, but is better after 2 weeks

FAQ

At what age should you start feeding senior food?

The age for when a senior diet like this is appropriate will vary depending on your dog’s activity level. Around the age of 6 or 7, you may start to notice changes in eating, energy, or bodyweight that signifies your dog is in his senior years.

You can always check with your vet to confirm your specific dog.

How many cups are in a 30 lb bag?

There are approximately 4 cups of kibble in every one pound of dry dog food. This 30-pound bag contains about 120 cups.

How big is the kibble?

The kibble is 1-inch triangles with small life source bites.

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice Canned Dog Food

Best dog food for Labs canned formula

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice Canned Dog Food, 12.5-oz, case of 12
Best Dog Food for Labs Canned Food

Top 5 ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas

Key Features

No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein 8.5% min, Crude Fat 5.5% min, Crude fiber 1.5% max, Moisture 78.0% max

Calories

451 kcal/cup

Perfect for

Adult pups, dogs with UTI,  kidney issues, and diabetic canines.

The Benefits

Wet dog food has a more effective water content; therefore, this is a great way to help your dog hydrated. 

By increasing water content in your dog’s food, you decrease the strain of the dog’s internal organs like kidneys, as well as the urinary tract.

Vets will recommend canned dog food for dogs suffering from kidney problems and diabetic dogs.

  • Does not contain any by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
  • Serve as a special treat, mixed with dry food or all on its own as an entree.
  • It comes in a can- meaty chunks in a soupy mixture- easy to mix with kibble.

Customer reviews

Customers who have purchased this product have rated 4.5 stars out of 5.

Main feedback includes:

  • Great ingredients, but quite expensive
  • My dog gained weight, using as a tfood opper from now on
  • Good for picky eaters

FAQ

What consistency is this food? My dog has no teeth.

This food has a smooth pate consistency. This is a completely balanced meal with a soft pate texture, perfect for dogs with few or no teeth.

Is there an expiration date on cans? After opening?

You should cover any BLUE dog or cat food container and refrigerate it once opened. You can store canned food covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Do the cans come with a resealable lid?

This canned food diet does not come with resealable lids.

Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Best dog food for Labs runner up

Iams Adult Large Breed Real Chicken High Protein Dry Dog Food
Best Dog Food For Labs Runner Up


Top 5 ingredients

Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal

Key Features

Digestive Health, Hip & Joint Support

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein 22.5% min, crude fat 12.0% min, crude fiber 5.0% max, moisture 10.0% max

Calories

351 kcal/cup

Perfect for

Adult dogs with joint issues

The Benefits

  • This dog food is specifically formulated to support the nutritional needs of large breed dogs.
  • Premium-sourced protein helps your pooch maintain strong muscles.
  • It is formulated to provide bone and joint support—essential for active large-breed dogs.
  • Promotes healthy digestion and immune system with a tailored blend of fibers and prebiotics.
  • Cheaper than other known brands

Customer reviews

Customers who have purchased this product have rated 4.6 stars out of 5.

Main feedback includes:

  • Might not suit picky eaters
  • Good food at a reasonable price
  • Some dogs developed upset stomach and gas
  • Easy transition to this food brand
  • Improvement in dogs coat, shiny and soft now

FAQ

How long should one bag last me? I have one Labrador.

There will be approximately 4 cups of kibble per pound of kibble. Length of use for a bag will also depend on how much is used daily. Multiply 4 cups of kibble per pound (bag size), divide that by the daily feeding amount to see how many days a bag will last.

How big is the kibble?

The kibble for this formula has a thickness of approximately 7.5-9.6 millimeters (mm) and a diameter of about 15-19 mm.

labrador
Best Dog Food For Labs Review

Buying Guide of Best Dog food for Labs

how best buy
Best Dog Food For Labs Buying guide

How much to feed my Labrador?

There are simple guides on every dog food pack. However, they are very generous and are aimed at un-neutered or pregnant dogs most of the time. 

If in doubt, your local vet practitioner will be able to advise on your dog’s specific food amount needs.

Here are some general feeding guidelines:

Puppies

  • Two Months Old: 1 ½ cups a day
  • Three Months Old: 2 cups a day
  • Four Months Old: 2 ½ cups a day
  • Five To Six Months Old: 3 cups a day
  • Six To Seven Months Old (male pups only): 3 ½ to 4 cups a day (females should stay on 3 cups/day) (3)

Generally, divide the amount of food into four meals during the day. Spreading out is essential as large meals can upset small stomachs.

Adults

  • Females: 2 to 2 ½ cups a day
  • Males: 3 to 3 ½ cups a day
  • Active Males: 4 cups a day
  • Nursing Females: 5 to 6 cups a day

Aim feeding two times a day. In the morning and the evening. Some dogs might prefer one big meal per day. 

Kibble vs Wet Food

The fundamental difference between wet and dry food is primarily different water content. While dry food has a moisture content of just 3 to 12%, this is between 60 to 84% for wet food. (4)

This means that dog will need to eat three times as much wet food as kibble to gain caloric value.

Kibble is great as it keeps fresh longer. It comes in larger portion size bags, which means a minor environmental packaging issue. 

There are divided views on whether kibble is better for a dog’s teeth. Does it clean teeth or leave residue after a meal. This will not be an issue for those owners who regularly brush their dog’s teeth.

Wet food is messier around the bowl and needs to be bought in larger quantities if you are a Labrador owner. However, wet food can be God-sent if a dog is shy to drink water.

best dog food for labs
Best Dog Food For Labs Review

What ingredients are a must-have in the best dog food for Labs?

Meat

This ingredient should be the first item on the ingredients list for dog food. Usually, this will be chicken, beef, lamb, venison in commercial dog food.

Meat meal

This ingredient might throw your “off’ at first. But this is more protein-rich gram for gram than a whole chicken, also rich in nutrients.

Grains and Carbohydrates

In recent years grains have become a controversial topic in dog food. However, as long as your dog does not have a sensitivity or allergy to grains, this can be a very nutritious option for your dog.

Carbohydrates provide your pet with energy. Corn, soy, and whole wheat are considered lower quality ingredients, but rice, oats, barley, and peas are better. These should be lower on the ingredient list after meat sources. Good grains can provide your dog with good digestion. 

Veggies and Fruits

Although this is not something your dog needs, they are a great source of vitamins and minerals. 

For example: 

  • Sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium, vitamin B, beta-carotene, and antioxidants that specifically help fight against cancer-causing agents.
  • Blueberries and apples are excellent sources of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
  • Cranberries may assist with urinary tract infections and help with dental hygiene by killing certain bacteria (5)

Fats

Fat is needed for proper digestion and cell function. Fats are perfect for a healthy coat and skin. Look for Omega 3,6, and 9 and flaxseed oil.

Vitamins, nutrients, and minerals

These are needed for many chemical reactions in your dog’s body, such as building bones and keeping them strong. (6)

  • Vitamin A for a healthy coat
  • Vitamin B complex for the nervous system, brain function, and growth of blood cells, B12 maintains healthy digestion.
  • Vitamin C is great for the immune system (note that dogs make their Vitamin C from foods)
  • Glucosamine– to benefit your dog’s joint movement

Preservatives

These keep your dog food fresh for longer. However, look for preservatives such as tocopherols and ascorbic acid, as these come from natural sources.

Water

A dog needs to have access to drinking water. If a dog loses even 10% of its body water reserve, it can be in real danger or die. 

Remember
Always to have fresh water available for your dog. Especially when eating and in hot weather.

labradors
Best Dog food For Labs Review

Conclusion

Each life stage requires a slightly different balance of nutrients in a dog’s diet.

Our vote goes to Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food as the best dog food for Labs overall.

This product provides a balanced diet starting with 26.0% on Crude protein to all essential vitamins and minerals.

The price tag is competitive and cheaper than similar brands in the category.

Choose your best dog food for Labs here:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

jesus.benitofernandez@gmail.com

jesus.benitofernandez@gmail.com

I´m passionate about what I like and do. I love my dog and cats and want the best life possible for them. I´m an expert on human psychology and animal behaviour and my mission is to work for their wellbeing. A happy pet makes a human happy! I also love to travel by bicycle, photography, the great outdoors and writing.

Save 35% on your next pet food offer

We have partnered with chewy.com to offer the best deal on quality pet food to our readers. If you click on the button below we will take you to their exclusive discount page