You were searching for a labrador retriever dog food guide and you just opened this post-it means you are a proud pet parent of a Labrador. Labs are awesome. They are the most popular breed of dogs in the world. A very calm, friendly, affectionate, and well-behaved breed of dogs-labradors fills our life with joy. Owning a dog is often recommended as a cure for loneliness and depression, and increases life expectancy.
Bringing up a dog is not an easy job. Just like a human kid, dogs also require special attention, diet, healthcare, and grooming. Since Labrador dogs are the most commonly available pet dogs in the world, there are tons of products available in the market for Labradors only. Dog-parents are often overwhelmed to choose the right product for their lovely pet.
This post has been written after consulting dog owners, breeders, and doctors. We have restricted ourselves to labrador retriever dog food discussion only.
All pets are different and have their own very specific nutritional requirements. Also, pets have different nutritional requirements at different stages of life and it’s particularly important to get it right when they are young. You have to keep a fine balance, overfeeding is very harmful to your dog.
In this article, you will get all your answers about how to feed your labrador dog, what they can eat, what they should not, how many times you should feed them each day, basic information on homemade diets, and the pros and cons of various commercial dog foods. This breed of dog is prone to arthritis, weight issues, and allergy problems. Therefore, establishing a good diet plan, when they are puppies, is one of the keys to a long, healthy life of labs.
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Table of Contents
Labrador retriever puppy food
0-1.5 months old puppy
When the puppy is less than 3 months old, it should get only the mother’s milk. If it’s not possible, you can feed him/her dog milk available in the market. Be sure not to feed them cow milk or human baby foods like cerelac etc. as that will result in loose motion as well as stunted growth. At this tender age, you need to feed your labrador pup via a feeding bottle like you would feed a human baby of age 2 months.
Till 1.5 months, don’t feed anything else than dog milk and water.
Check out these dog milk products available online in India.
1.5-3 months old puppy
Now you have two options. Either you can continue feeding milk and water, or you can start feeding them starter foods. Labrador puppies of age 1.5 – 3 months should be given around 200g-300g(total) of feed divided into separate meals in a whole day. You should be following this diet of starter food till 3 months age at least. Also, make sure you are vaccinating as well as deworming your pup at the right intervals.
Most people feed kibbles to their labrador puppy. Kibbles are coarsely ground meal or grain typically used as animal feed especially: small, dry pellets of processed food for pets. The kibble for starter food is small and most probably, your puppy will be able to chew it. In case he/she is not, consider adding the dry food into a blender with lukewarm water and make a mix that should be dilute enough to be administered by a feeding bottle. Certain dry food can be extremely hard to chew, so depending on the toughness of the kibble you might have to break i.e – blend the food yourself as your puppy might not develop strong teeth at this age.
Check out these starter foods for your puppy less than 3 months old.
3-15 months old puppy
Puppies of age 3-6+ months should be given around 300g-450g of dry food per day.
In this period, your labrador puppy will grow the most, requiring the most nutrition. You can feed them homemade boiled chicken, with some fish oil added. Or, you may go for ready-made dog foods and supplements available on the market.
Adult Labrador Retriever Dog Food
After 15 months, your dog is considered an adult. Generally, it won’t grow any further. Still, a good diet is required for bones and muscle development and a long lifespan. The key is not to overfeed them. They will require regular exercise for weight.
Also, at this age, your dog will lose appetite, will not want to eat dry foods, and have other issues. Try to blend in some homemade tasty foods, and wet foods available online.
Senior Labrador Retriever Dog Food
The nutritional requirements of a senior Labrador are not the same as for a puppy, or even a younger adult.
As a general guideline, 7.5 to 10 years of age is the accepted age a Labrador becomes senior.
A senior dog has a slower metabolic rate than a pup or young adult. Simply put, this means that the dog’s body expends less energy when it’s resting.
A senior labrador’s diet should be lower in calories and higher in fiber than younger dogs. Their food should have adequate protein. Chicken, poultry, fish, or beef should be the primary source of protein. Salmons is also good to keep their skin and coat healthy.
Caution: Too much protein can cause kidney diseases in aged dogs.
For arthritis and joint problems, which are very common in senior dogs, some additives are available. Glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used to combat arthritis and joint problems and are frequently added to senior foods.
(Always on the advice of a vet; never give dog supplements or medications without professional consultation)
Omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants are also very much necessary for dogs, just like you.
Antioxidants will also assist your dog’s immune system, which we’ve already said may not work as well as it once did.
Include vitamins A, C, E, Zinc, Beta-carotene, and lycopene in senior dog food. Foods with rich, dark colors are often a source of antioxidants; apples, berries, carrots, and broccoli are good examples.