5 Best Dog Foods For Labrador Retriever Puppies

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog food for Labrador Retriever puppies.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Dog Food for Labrador Retriever Puppies?

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Labrador Retriever Puppy Food Reviews

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

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Brown Rice
    4. Oatmeal
    5. Barley

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 386 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 5%

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Puppy is a premium quality diet designed to meet the unique needs of bigger puppies like the Labrador Retriever. This high performance diet is rich in DHA, ARA, and the essential fatty acids required to assist with proper cognitive and vision development in large breed pups.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Puppy, considered to be one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies, has included the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus to encourage a healthy rate of growth, something that is of great importance in large breed puppies. Each of the pieces of kibble included in this diet is large enough to prevent choking and is also textured to help support excellent dental hygiene.

This top shelf diet contains no corn, wheat, soy, or by-products, making it an excellent selection for Labrador Retriever puppies with food sensitivities.

Pros

  • Owners are very pleased with their puppies’ rate of growth when fed a steady diet of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Puppy.
  • Puppies enjoy the flavor of this food. They look forward to their every meal, consuming each piece of kibble with hearty gusto.
  • Owners noted their puppies were easily able to maintain a healthy weight when fed a consistent diet of this food.
  • Owners were very happy that this diet does not have an unpleasant smell to it.
  • This diet includes whole grains in its formulation. Owners of Chow Chow puppies really like this, believing grains lay an excellent foundation for good digestion.

Cons

  • Some owners noted their puppies’ stool quality was poor on this diet. This is likely the result of too rapid a dietary change and will resolve given time.
  • Some puppies disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it. This is likely simply a matter of personal preference and is not a reflection on the food itself.
  • Several owners had difficulty finding this diet in their local stores. Thankfully, it is available online and can be delivered.
  • Several puppies didn’t like the Lifesource Bits and picked them out of their meals, refusing to eat them.
  • This diet contains pea protein, peas, and potatoes; all controversial ingredients of limited nutritional value for Chow Chow puppies.

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Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Peas
    4. Ground Brown Rice
    5. Salmon Meal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 367 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 29%
  • Fat: 13%
  • Fiber: 5%

Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy, consistently rated among the best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies, offers all of the premium quality nutritional content that young dogs need to achieve optimal health and wellness. This food formulation has been fortified with additional DHA, a vital nutrient in assisting with eye and brain development.

The ratio of calcium to phosphorus found in this diet is correct, meaning the Labrador Retriever’s rate of growth at a healthy rate is supported by this diet.

Pros

  • The correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus to promote a healthy rate of growth is included in this diet. This gives owners confidence that this diet supports healthy development in Labrador Retriever puppies.
  • Puppies with regular gastrointestinal stress saw complete relief from their ailments when fed this diet on a regular basis.
  • Owners are pleased this diet includes whole grains in its formula. They expressed they felt grains lay a good foundation for ideal digestion in Labrador Retriever puppies.
  • This diet is jam packed full of flavor, encouraging hearty eating in Labrador Retriever puppies. Some owners like to use this food for their puppies’ main meals and for training treats.
  • Owners love that Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy includes prebiotics and probiotics in its formula to help support digestion in growing Labrador Retriever puppies.

Cons

  • In rare cases, some puppies were uninterested in this food and would only eat if their owners mixed in a broth, topper, or some meat.
  • A few owners indicated they felt this diet was rather costly. They found it difficult to budget for the expense of this diet each month though all agreed that it is an exceptional quality puppy food.
  • Some owners noted that even when transitioned to the new diet at a gradual pace that their puppies experienced some soft stool. This could be the result of a dietary sensitivity.
  • A few owners shared they preferred to feed a grain-free diet to their puppies, expressing that they felt the absence of these ingredients was important for puppies with food-related allergies.
  • Some owners shared that their bags of kibble often contained a large amount of crumbs.

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

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Water Buffalo
    2. Lamb Meal
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Egg Product
    5. Pea Protein

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 364 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 28%
  • Fat: 17%
  • Fiber: 5%

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy is a diet that dog owners can feel good about feeding their best canine pal. A diet that offers exceptional quality nutrition, Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy is also available at a very reasonable price point, making it an attractive option for families looking to feed a premium food within a budget.

Considered to be among the best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies on the market today, this diet bases its foundation on buffalo, a novel meat that is unlikely to trigger skin or stomach sensitivities. This less commonly seen protein is reinforced through the addition of both venison and beef to provide a powerhouse punch of amino acids to support the development of healthy muscles.

A diet that contains no grains, each carbohydrate in this recipe was selected for its high fiber content and rich antioxidant profile. These fruits and vegetables help to boost the immune system and promote good digestion in Labrador Retriever puppies.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy is free from grains, corn wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. A unique probiotic supplement has been included in this food to encourage fluid digestive processing.

Pros

  • Even the pickiest of puppies enjoys the taste of this food. They look forward to their every meal.
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy is grain-free. Owners of puppies with sensitivities to grains like this, feeling this diet helps their dogs find relief from their allergy-related issues.
  • Owners were pleased to share that their puppies with sensitive stomachs tolerated this diet very well. They no longer had problems with gastrointestinal distress.
  • This diet is available at a very reasonable price point. Owners feel Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy gives them top tier nutrition and excellent value for their dog food dollar.
  • Taste of the Wild has many different flavors in their puppy foods. This gives owners the opportunity to provide their puppies with lots of diversity in their meal options.

Cons

  • In some cases, puppies did not like the taste of this food and would note eat it. With a wide array of other Taste of the Wild puppy formulations to choose from, owners may find a different flavor is a better option for their puppies.
  • Some owners expressed that this diet has a very strong smell to it. They disliked that.
  • A few owners indicated they felt this diet may be better suited to small breed puppies. They expressed concerns that the kibble pieces were too tiny for larger pups like Labrador Retrievers.
  • A few owners noted that their puppies now seemed to struggle when fed this diet regularly. They questioned whether or not this food had recently undergone a change of formula.
  • There are no supplements in this diet to assist with optimal joint function in growing Labrador Retriever puppies.

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Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Potatoes
    5. Salmon Meal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 401 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 28%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 4.5%

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy, one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies, offers all of the nutrition large breed pups need to thrive during each of their vital developmental periods. Chicken is the foundation of this food, a protein that is easy for puppies to digest and full of amino acids.

This diet includes both glucosamine and chondroitin in its formulation to support joint health in developing puppies. Each piece of kibble is of a sufficient size that puppies are encouraged to chew each bite and not eat too rapidly, a problem that can lead to bloat.

Pros

  • Owners are very pleased with their puppies’ rate of growth when fed Merrick Grain-Free Puppy consistently.
  • Most puppies love the taste of this food, licking their bowls clean at every meal.
  • Owners of puppies with food-related allergies love that this diet is grain-free. They feel this dietary approach is a great help in their puppies finding relief from their symptoms.
  • This diet is available for a reasonable cost. Owners expressed this diet gives them great value and excellent nutrition for an affordable price.
  • Labrador Retriever puppies fed this diet consistently displayed coats that were soft, healthy, and shiny.

Cons

  • Some puppies disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it. Merrick has other puppy foods with different protein bases. One of these diets may be a better choice for these puppies.
  • Some owners disliked that this diet is grain-free. Merrick has several puppy foods that are grain-inclusive that would be a better fit for these puppies and their nutritional needs.
  • A few owners felt this food was a little on the costly side.
  • Some owners were unhappy with the size of the kibble pieces in this diet, noting they were better suited to toy and small breed puppies.
  • Owners hoping for relief for their puppies with food-related allergies saw no change in their puppies’ symptoms when fed Merrick Grain-Free Puppy. This may be because the allergies have been incorrectly diagnosed and may be environmental and not related to diet.

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American Journey Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)
    3. Turkey Meal
    4. Peas
    5. Chickpeas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy
  • Calories: 374 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 6%

For one of the best dog foods for Labrador Retriever puppies that offers premium nutrition and excellent value, it’s hard to go wrong with American Journey Large Breed Puppy. The carbohydrates included in this powerhouse formulation are taken entirely from fruits and vegetables that were selected for their ease of digestibility and high antioxidant profile.

The ratio of calcium to phosphorus found in this food is sufficient to encourage a healthy rate of growth in large breed puppies like the Labrador Retriever. DHA has been supplemented in American Journey Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy to ensure adequate nutritional content for brain and vision development.

This food contains no grains, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Pros

  • Owners are very happy with the price of this food. They expressed they are thrilled to be able to offer their puppies top tier nutrition for an affordable cost.
  • American Journey Large Breed Puppy is completely grain-free. Owners feel this makes this diet a great choice for Labrador Retriever puppies with food-related allergies.
  • Puppies that regularly struggled with gastrointestinal distress saw complete alleviation of their ailments when fed this diet on a consistent basis.
  • Puppies fed American Journey Large Breed Puppy regularly had coats that were thick, lustrous, shiny, and soft.
  • Puppies suffering from itchiness had skin that was healthy and well-hydrated when consistently fed American Journey Large Breed Grain-Free Puppy.

Cons

  • A few puppies found the smell of this diet off putting. They resisted eating it. American Journey has a wide array of puppy food with different proteins. One of these diets may be a better fit for these puppies.
  • A few owners expressed they felt the kibble pieces were too large for their puppies who struggled to break them down well.
  • Some owners reported they had a hard time helping their puppies attain eating satisfaction when regularly fed this food.
  • A few owners indicated they would prefer to feed their puppies a diet that is grain-inclusive. They felt grains play an important role in helping puppies enjoy good digestion.
  • American Journey Large Breed Grain-Free Puppy includes peas, chickpeas, and pea protein in its recipe. Each of these ingredients is considered to be controversial and may be connected to such health problems as lowered fertility rates in adult breeding dogs and rapid spikes in blood sugar.

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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.

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