How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Labrador Retriever Puppies
The amiable Labrador Retriever puppy is a wonderful addition to any home. A dog that is full of adventure and fun, this pup is an active little fellow, taking great pleasure in accompanying its family members wherever they choose to go.
A dog breed that was developed in Newfoundland, Canada, the Labrador Retriever’s original purpose was retrieving nets and other fishing paraphernalia from the cold waters of the North Atlantic on fishing expeditions with its owner. The breed is well renowned for its versatility and athleticism, making it well-suited to many different activities including hiking, agility, swimming, tracking, scent detection, obedience, and much, much more.
A highly intelligent dog breed, the Labrador Retriever puppy is most content when given a job to do. In its youth, it is high energy, requiring regular daily exercise to remain physically and mentally content.
Since the Labrador Retriever puppy is considered to be a large breed pup, it is best to look for a food formulation designed specifically to meet the needs of puppies of this size. The best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies contain the correct amount of calcium to phosphorus to promote a healthy rate of bone growth. This is defined as 1.2 parts of calcium for each unit of phosphorus included in the diet.
Labrador Retriever puppies should be fed a large breed puppy food until the dog reaches one year of age or 75 percent of its adult size. At that time, the pup can be transitioned to an appropriate adult diet.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Labrador Retriever Puppies
Labrador Retriever puppies are busy little creatures. To help fuel their energy reserves, they need to be fed a top quality diet. The best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies contain a list of suggested serving sizes on the side of the bag. These make an excellent starting point, and adjustments can be made until the correct portion size has been found.
As a large breed puppy, Labrador Retrievers can be predisposed to developing the life threatening condition known as bloat. To prevent this from occurring, experts agree that the puppy should be fed a kibble with large enough pieces to prevent eating too rapidly. It is also important the puppy not be fed too much at each meal. Free feeding is strongly discouraged as it can not only lead to bloat but also to obesity.
An appropriate diet for a Labrador Retriever puppy should contain a minimum of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat.
Dietary Requirements for Labrador Retriever Puppy Foods
The active Labrador Retriever puppy requires a diet that is nutritionally balanced and properly fortified to meet its needs as it progresses through each developmental period. The best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies take a lean meat as their foundation. Whole meats are the preferred choice; however, meal meals offer an exceptional amount of concentrated protein.
Meat by-products and plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat contain little nutritional value to benefit growing large breed puppies like the Labrador Retriever. It is recommended that foods containing these items be avoided. In addition to this, foods which include such ingredients as chemicals, additives, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives are best left on the shelf as these items have been linked to the development of recurring food sensitivities.
No diet for Labrador Retriever puppies would be complete without the addition of complex carbohydrates. These can come from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. The primary role of any carbohydrate included in a diet for large breed puppies is their high antioxidant content and ease of digestibility.
Healthy fats are part of the key to ensuring the growing Labrador Retriever puppy has the energy required to fuel its development. In addition to this, they also encourage healthy skin and coat and fuel brain and eye functionality. They are best found in animal origins such as chicken fat or oily fish; however, safflower and canola oils are plant-based fats that offer a powerhouse punch of DHA, ARA, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
In selecting a food for Labrador Retriever puppies, it is always a good idea to consider a diet that includes some supplements. Among the most beneficial supplements for the growing Labrador Retriever pup are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Labrador Retriever Puppies
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best food for a Labrador Retriever puppy:
Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
Since puppies do best on a diet of easily digestible proteins, whole meats are the preferred option for a food for Labrador Retriever puppies. Equally desirable are foods that take meat meals as their primary ingredients.
Plant-based proteins and by-products should be strictly avoided as they are inferior quality and offer few nutritional benefits to developing puppies.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to a growing Labrador Retriever puppy. Any foods containing these items is best left on the shelf.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements help a diet to be its most effective. The ideal supplements to look for in a food for the Labrador Retriever pup are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Labrador Retriever puppy should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.