different kinds of dog foods

Best Dog Food for Labs: the Top Choices for a Healthy Labrador

Labrador Retrievers are known for their friendly and loving nature, making them a popular choice for families. As energetic and active dogs, they require a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy and fit. The best dog food for labs should meet their specific nutritional needs and provide them with the optimal fuel for their boundless energy.

When it comes to selecting the right dog food for your Labrador, there are several factors to consider: high-quality ingredients, proper nutritional ratios, and appropriate kibble size. Labs require a balanced mix of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. A diet rich in quality proteins will support their muscle development and growth, while healthy fats provide them with the energy they need for their daily activities.

In addition to considering the nutritional content, it is important to pay attention to the size and shape of the kibble. Since Labrador Retrievers tend to eat quickly, which can lead to digestion issues, choosing a kibble specifically designed for large-breed dogs can help slow down their eating and promote better digestion.

With so many options available on the market, finding the perfect dog food for your Labrador can be overwhelming.

To make the process easier, we spent countless hours reviewing and testing various dog food brands to identify the ones that provide the best nutrition and cater to the unique needs of Labrador Retrievers.

Quick Summary of the Best Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers

Best Dog Food for Labs

We have carefully researched and compiled a list of the top dog food options specifically tailored for your Labrador Retriever’s nutritional needs.

Browse through our selections and discover the perfect choice for your beloved pet.

Best Breed Specific Blend – Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food

We highly recommend this dog food for Labrador Retrievers due to its tailored nutrition and ability to promote overall health.


  • Formulated specifically for purebred Labrador Retrievers
  • Unique kibble shape for slower eating
  • Supports weight management in large dogs


  • Relatively expensive
  • Limited bag size options
  • May not address some of the common health problems of Labrador Retrievers like allergies or skin issues

We recently fed our Labrador Retriever with Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food, and we were impressed with the results. This dog food is specially designed for purebred Labrador Retrievers aged 15 months and older, ensuring that it meets their specific nutritional needs.

One of the highlights of this product is the unique kibble shape, which encourages quick eaters to chew slowly. This can be beneficial for proper digestion and may aid in reducing the risk of bloating.

What we also appreciate about this product is its focus on weight management. As owners of large dogs, we know how important it is to maintain our Lab’s ideal weight. With this dog food’s precise calorie and fat content, we can help prevent weight-related issues.

However, we want to note that the price of this food can be a bit steep for some. Additionally, there is a limited number of bag sizes available, which may not suit all preferences.

Regarding our lab with allergies or skin problems, the Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food may not be the perfect solution. Some users have noted that their dogs still experienced allergy or skin issues while on this food.

Overall, we find this product to be a great investment for our Labrador Retriever’s health, and we believe it can provide the essential nutrients needed to support their active lifestyle.

Best Affordable Option – Purina ONE Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Purina ONE Large Breed Adult Dog Food

We highly recommend Purina ONE Large Breed Adult Dog Food for its excellent nutritional support and appealing taste for Labrador retrievers.


  • Real chicken as the first ingredient promotes strong muscles and a healthy heart
  • Specially formulated SmartBlend to support the overall health of large breed dogs
  • Contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals for a shiny coat and healthy skin


  • Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken
  • No grain-free option for dogs with specific dietary needs
  • The kibble size might be too large for some dogs

We recently tried Purina ONE Large Breed Adult Dog Food, specifically designed for larger dogs like Labrador retrievers. It has real chicken as the first ingredient, which not only ensures our lab gets the protein needed for strong muscles but also supports a healthy heart. The SmartBlend technology in this dog food is a standout feature, formulated to provide optimal health support for our precious pet.

Purina ONE offers additional health benefits, including four antioxidant sources for immune support and essential fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin. Our lab absolutely loved the combination of crunchy kibble and tender meaty morsels, which are not only tasty but also free from artificial flavors or preservatives.

However, we should consider that some dogs might be sensitive to chicken, which could be an issue depending on your pet’s dietary needs. Additionally, if your dog requires a grain-free diet, this option may not be suitable. Lastly, some pet owners might find the kibble size a bit too large for their dog’s preference, but our lab didn’t mind it at all.

Best for Overweight Labs – Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Light

Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Light

We highly recommend Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Light for those seeking a healthy weight management option for their Lab.


  • Promotes ideal body weight and healthy mobility
  • High-quality protein and natural fibers for satiety
  • Nourishes skin and supports a shiny coat


  • May be pricey for some
  • Increased stool production reported by some users
  • Limited flavor variety

As Labrador owners, we understand the importance of finding the perfect dog food, and Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Light has proven to be a solid option. We’ve found that this food helps maintain our Lab’s ideal body weight and mobility, thanks to the L-carnitine and 18% lower calorie count compared to regular large breed formulas. The high-quality protein content and natural fibers also help keep our dog satisfied between meals.

Furthermore, we’ve noticed a significant improvement in our Lab’s coat, which appears shinier and healthier due to the omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E in the formula. Our dog definitely enjoys the chicken meal and barley recipe, but we would appreciate more flavor variety for those pickier eaters.

Despite the positive effects, we must note that the food can be a bit pricey for some budgets. Also, some users have reported increased stool production after consuming this product. However, we believe the health benefits, especially for weight management, make Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Light a worthy investment for your beloved Labrador.

Best for lab Puppies – Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

A highly recommended dog food for Labrador Retriever puppies, offering unique and specialized nutrients to support their growth.


  • Formulated specifically for purebred Labrador Retriever puppies
  • Unique kibble design for slow, mindful eating
  • Supports healthy immune system development


  • May not be suitable for picky eaters
  • Contains some by-products and grains
  • Slightly expensive

After trying this Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food, we noticed that it is designed to cater to the specific nutritional needs of purebred Labrador Retriever puppies from 8 weeks to 15 months old. The unique kibble design encourages quick eaters to chew their food slowly, which is essential for their digestion and weight management.

An exclusive complex of antioxidants, including vitamin E, makes this dog food great for supporting the healthy development of your Labrador Retriever puppy’s immune system. Additionally, the precise mineral content and balanced energy intake in this dog food help maintain a healthy weight and support bone and joint health.

On the downside, this dog food may not be suitable for all puppies, as some could be picky eaters, preferring other tastes or textures. The Royal Canin formula does contain some by-products, corn gluten, and wheat gluten, which some pet owners may want to avoid. This food is also slightly on the expensive side compared to other dog food options available in the market.

Despite these cons, in our experience, the Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food has significantly helped in keeping our Labrador puppies happy, healthy, and energetic. Their coat quality improves, and they appear to enjoy the flavor of this dog food. Just make sure to introduce it to your puppy slowly and keep an eye on their response.

Best for Adolescents – Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food

An excellent choice for Labradors, supporting joint health and promoting a shiny coat.


  • Specially formulated for large breed adult dogs
  • Supports joint health with natural sources of Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  • Promotes healthy skin and shiny coat with omega-6 fatty acids & vitamin E


  • Some concerns about freshness in certain bags
  • May not be suitable for dogs with extremely sensitive stomachs
  • A bit pricier compared to some other brands

We recently tried out Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food for our Labradors, and we’re quite impressed with the results. This dog food meets the energy needs of large breed adult dogs, making it perfect for our active Labs.

One of the things we appreciate most about this dog food is how it supports joint health, thanks to natural sources of Glucosamine and chondroitin. As Labradors are prone to joint issues and hip dysplasia, it’s necessary to look out for their long-term well-being.

Additionally, the omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E in this formula help maintain our Labs’ healthy skin and shiny coats, which is always a plus. The high-quality protein content also promotes lean muscle in our large dogs, keeping them fit and strong.

However, we did notice some concerns with the freshness of certain bags we received, which made us a bit cautious. We would recommend checking your dog’s food upon arrival to ensure it’s up to par.

While Hill’s Science Diet works well for our Labs, it may not be suitable for dogs with extremely sensitive stomachs, requiring a more specialized diet. Also, the price point is a bit higher compared to some other brands, but overall, we believe the benefits are worth the investment.

Best for Sensitive Stomachs – Purina ONE Natural Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE Natural Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food

We highly recommend Purina ONE Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food for labs for its nourishing ingredients, great taste, and benefits for skin and coat health.


  • Made with real salmon as the #1 ingredient
  • Promotes healthy skin and radiant coat
  • Supports strong teeth, gums, and immune system


  • A bit expensive
  • May not suit all dogs’ taste preferences
  • Limited international shipping options

We’ve tried Purina ONE Natural Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food for our Labrador, and the results were impressive. The formula contains real salmon as the main ingredient, which helps support strong muscles and a healthy heart. One of our favorite benefits was the significant improvement in our lab’s skin and coat health—thanks to the omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Furthermore, the antioxidant blend in this dog food helps strengthen the immune system, while the glucosamine sources improve joint health. The kibble itself is crunchy, which not only our lab loved but also supports their dental health.

The downside, however, is that Purina ONE Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food can be a bit pricier compared to other alternatives. Additionally, the taste might not be the best for all labs, as some may prefer different flavors. Lastly, the limited international shipping options may be a concern for those living outside the U.S.

Best Related Breed Option – Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food, 30 lb bag

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Dog Food

This dog food is specifically formulated for Golden Retrievers, providing essential nutrients for their distinct needs.


  • Designed for purebred Golden Retrievers
  • Specialized kibble encourages chewing
  • Supports healthy skin, coat, and heart health


  • May not be suitable for other breeds
  • Pricier than generic dog food options
  • Calorie and fat content might not fit every dog’s needs

We recently fed our Golden Retriever this Royal Canin dog food, and we can confidently say it has been a great choice for our pet. The specialized kibble design caters to a Golden Retriever’s straight muzzle and scissor bite, encouraging chewing, which aids digestion.

Besides its unique kibble shape, we noticed an improvement in our dog’s skin and coat health. The dog food contains essential nutrients that reinforce the skin barrier, supporting a glossy and healthy coat. Our pet’s coat felt smoother and looked shinier after a few weeks on this diet.

The added bonus of this Royal Canin formula is its focus on heart health. The blend of taurine, EPA, and DHA promotes healthy cardiac function, which is particularly important for larger dog breeds like Golden Retrievers. As much as our dog loves this food, it’s important to remember that it is specifically formulated for Golden Retrievers, so it might not be suitable for other breeds. It is also a bit pricier than generic brands, but the benefits have been worth the extra cost for us. Overall, we recommend Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food for Golden Retriever owners who want to invest in their pet’s health and well-being.

Best High Protein Option – Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food With Probiotics

Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

This Purina Pro Plan dog food is a great choice for labs due to its high protein and probiotics content.


  • High protein with real chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains probiotics for digestive and immune health
  • Appealing taste and texture combination of kibble and shredded pieces


  • May cause itchiness in some dogs
  • Unpleasant odor from dog’s gas
  • Not suitable for international shipping

Having recently fed our labs with the Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food, we noticed the difference it made in their overall health and energy levels. The combination of high protein from real chicken and probiotics definitely supports their digestive and immune systems.

The texture and taste of this dog food are perfect for our labs; they seem to love the mix of hard kibble and tender, shredded pieces. Feeding time has become an enjoyable experience for our dogs, and we feel confident in the quality of the ingredients.

One thing we did notice was that one of our pups seemed to develop some itchiness after consuming the chicken and rice formula. This could be specific to our dog, but it’s worth mentioning for those considering this product. Additionally, we have noticed an unpleasant smell coming from our dogs’ gas after they eat this food.

We would still recommend the Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food With Probiotics for labs but with caution for potential itchiness and gas issues.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best dog food for our Labrador Retrievers, keep in mind the several factors to ensure their nutritional needs are being met. In this buying guide, we’ll highlight some key aspects to keep in mind when looking for the most suitable product.

First and foremost, it is necessary to examine the ingredients list. A high-quality dog food should contain a high-quality protein source as its first ingredient, such as chicken, beef, or fish. Look for whole or named meats to ensure they come from reliable sources.

Avoid meals or by-products, as they can be less nutritious. It’s important to note that the nutrient content declared by manufacturers of dry dog foods can sometimes differ from the actual nutritive value when analyzed, as stated in a study, underscoring the importance of informed choices when selecting dog food.

Additionally, Labrador Retrievers require a proper balance of macronutrients. The ideal dog food should provide a 22-25% protein content and 12-15% fat content for adult Labs. Puppies or active working dogs may require higher amounts of protein and fat. Make sure carbohydrates come from wholesome sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Steer clear of corn, soy, or wheat, as they can be allergenic for some dogs.

Labradors are active and muscular dogs that require a significant amount of protein in their diet. Protein helps in muscle development and repair. It’s not just about the quantity but also the quality of the protein. Recent studies have shown that the quality and digestibility of protein in a dog’s diet can influence the balance of beneficial bacteria in their gut, with high digestible protein and fermentable fibers being linked to beneficial bacteria.

Caloric content is another essential factor to keep in mind. Labradors are prone to obesity, so managing their calorie intake is necessary. Consult with your veterinarian for the appropriate caloric requirements based on your Lab’s age, weight, activity level, and overall health condition.

To maintain our Labs’ overall health, keep an eye on essential nutrients of foods and consider proper feeding methods. Look for dog food that contains sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support their immune system, joint health, and cognitive function. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are beneficial for promoting a healthy skin and coat.

Life stage is another key consideration when selecting the best dog food. Different life stages require different nutritional needs. Look for dog food specifically designed for puppies, adults, or seniors to meet the unique dietary requirements of your Labrador.

Dog Food Consideration Based on Lab’s Life Stages:

Life StageCaloric NeedsProtein NeedsSpecial Considerations
PuppyHighHigh for growthSupports development
AdultBalancedBalancedPrevent weight gain
SeniorLowerVariesSupport joint health & cognition

Lastly, pay attention to product recalls and customer reviews. Dog food brands with a history of recalls may indicate potential quality control issues. Customer reviews often provide valuable insights into how a specific product has performed for other Labrador owners. 

By keeping these points in mind and consulting with your veterinarian, we can make an informed decision and provide the best nutrition for our beloved Labrador Retrievers.

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