Feeding Tips

Changing Brands

Try to keep your puppy on the same food the Breeder has been feeding the puppies for a little while.  Some puppies are sensitive to food changes. 

If you decide to change food, do so gradually over a 10 to 14 day period.  A sudden change can upset the digestive tract.  Mix 3/4 with 1/4 of the new puppy food for several days.  Then, 1/2 of the original food and 1/2 of the new food.  After 3 or 4 days, use 1/4 of the original food and 3/4 of the new food.  If the puppy has problems with mix, do not increase the amount of the new food until the puppy adjusts.

How Much And How Often

Keeping your Labrador slim throughout the growth phase helps reduce the risk of various orthopedic disorders.   Overweight puppies are cute, but not healthy.  The extra weight may contributes to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and OCD.  You should be able to easily feel the puppy's ribs, but not see them.

At 8 weeks old, the puppy should be fed about 3/4 cup of food 3 times a day.  Plan to increase the amount of food by 1/4 cup as needed.  At 4 months old, start decreasing the midday meal.  Six month old puppies can be fed twice a day, about 1 1/2  cups to 2 cups at each feeding.

Adult dogs should be fed twice a day.   The dog should be fed twice a day throughout its life.  Feeding a dog once a day may contribute to serious digestive problems such as gastric torsion. 

Adult Labradors need between 2 1/2 and 4 cups a day, depending on size, activity level and the type of food.  Water should be available at all times. 

What To Feed

Select your dog's food based on protein and energy requirements as well as the quality of the ingredients.

There are many good quality dog foods on the market today.  A food that is right for your friend's dog may not work well for your dog.  If you are not happy with one food, try another.   Discuss food choices and changes with your veterinarian.  Your veterinarian may recommend a specific food for you dog for various reasons.  

I like the naturally preserved commercial dry foods with several protein sources such as chicken, chicken meal, turkey, turkey meal, lamb meal and fish meal.  I prefer a premium quality dog food with approximately 25% to 28% protein, 15% fat and 1.2% calcium for puppies and young dogs.  Adult dogs seem to do well with a dog food formula with approximately 22 to 25% protein and approximately 12% fat.  Healthy carbohydrate sources include brown rice, barley, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. Avoid dog foods that contain cornmeal and soymeal.

Some of the foods that I recommend are listed below in alphabetical order. 

Canidae

Eagle Pack

Earthborn

Fromm

Holistic Select

Precise

Taste of the Wild

Wellness