How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Labs

If you are the proud owner of a Labrador retriever, you may be wondering how to best keep up with your dog’s energy and nutritional needs. Should you find grain-free dog food? Which kibble is best for large-breed dogs like Labradors? Does dog food need to be breed-specific? Is wet food or dry food best? With the sheer number of dog food brands on the market, it can be difficult to find the one that’s right for your pooch. 

The truth is that dog food doesn’t need to be breed-specific or grain-free (as long as the grains included are healthy), and, believe it or not, dry versus wet food doesn’t matter much. However, the right dog food can make a world of difference to your dog’s health, strength, stamina, and activity level. 

Learn about the nutritional requirements of Labrador retrievers, what ingredients to avoid, and how Bully Max’s products can help keep your dog strong and active. 

Why Labrador Retriever Dog Food Requirements Are Special

Labrador retrievers make great hunting dogs, able to retrieve ducks, rabbits, and more and bring them back to their owners. Because they are intelligent and very trainable, many Labradors also work as service animals, which means they need to be both alert and active. cute lab dog

Anyone who’s ever owned a Labrador knows they have a lot of energy. Maintaining that energy takes a lot of calories and building the muscle mass needed to play hard and work hard requires a lot of protein. 

Keeping Labradors strong and at a healthy weight helps prevent hip, elbow, and joint problems, such as hip dysplasia and arthritis in older dogs. This means that the diet you feed your Labrador retriever needs to have the right balance of protein and nutrients, without extra filler ingredients that only provide empty calories. 

Labradors are also known for eating just about anything and always acting hungry. This makes them prone to obesity. A dog food like Bully Max’s 30/20 High Performance Dog Food is specially designed to provide active, working dogs like Labradors the nutrients needed to build muscle mass and stay healthy. Higher-protein dog foods not only provide proper nutrition for this breed but can help curb your Labrador’s seemingly endless appetite, keeping their weight in check.

Foods and Ingredients to Avoid With Your Labrador Retriever

Many dog foods contain filler ingredients and limited ingredients that don’t add to the health profile of the food. Such ingredients can leave your dog lethargic and make it easier to gain unhealthy weight instead of the muscle mass needed for this high-energy breed.

Try to avoid the following ingredients in your Labrador’s food:

  • Soy: This vegetable-based protein simply does not provide the same usable high-quality protein as meat. Dogs are less able to process soy for energy and muscle maintenance. It can also be difficult to digest and cause bloating and gas.
  • Corn: Often used as a filler, corn is difficult to digest and can cause problems for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • Wheat: The gluten in wheat is not a natural part of a dog’s diet and can also lead to digestive system problems and food allergies in some dogs.
  • Artificial colors and flavors: There is no need to add artificial ingredients to a dog’s food. Many companies do this to make their dog food more visually appealing and to compensate for flavor deficits resulting from subpar ingredients. The ingredients in artificial colors and flavors may cause behavior and health problems, as well.
  • BHA/BHT: These are chemical preservatives that are questionable enough in their safety profiles to even be banned in some countries. 
  • Propylene glycol: Used to keep moisture in semi-moist foods, this ingredient can be toxic in large amounts.
  • MSG: A common flavor enhancer, this ingredient provides no nutritive value and is a common allergen in pets. 
  • Sugar and corn syrup: Dogs don’t need added sugar in their pet food. It can lead to blood sugar spikes in the short term and obesity and diabetes in the long term.

What Dog Food Ingredients Are Good for Labrador Retrievers?

The ingredients in your Labrador’s food should be all-natural. Good dog food is also protein-rich, with 30% of calories coming from protein. For active and hard-working dogs, calorie-rich foods with high-quality ingredients like those found in Bully Max’s High Performance Dog Food are ideal. 

Look for the following essential ingredients in your Labrador’s food:

  • High-quality animal protein: Meat — including deboned chicken, turkey meal, venison, and lamb meal — is a significant part of a dog’s diet. It provides the protein needed to build muscles and stay active. For example, Bully Max’s dog food is ideal because chicken meal — a highly nutritious form of chicken with nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken — is the first ingredient. Bully Max’s dog food also contains fish meal and other high-quality protein sources.
  • High-quality carbohydrates: Carbs provide the energy that active dogs need. Look for high-quality carbohydrates and whole grains, such as brown rice, sorghum, sweet potato, or barley, and avoid low-quality carbohydrates, such as corn and wheat.
  • Healthy fats: An essential part of a dog’s diet, healthy fats promote proper cell function and improve your dog’s coat. Bully Max’s dog food contains chicken fat and fish oil — a source of healthy omega-3s, which promote heart and brain health.
  • Fiber: Soluble and insoluble fiber are important for your dog’s digestive health. Fiber comes from the carbohydrates in your dog’s foods but may also be added. Bully Max’s dog food contains dried beet pulp, an excellent natural source of fiber.
  • Electrolytes: Sodium, chloride, potassium, and other electrolytes promote organ function and help prevent kidney problems. 
  • Vitamins and minerals: Ideally, your dog’s food should contain all of the vitamins and minerals they need to support their immune system and joint health. These vitamins and minerals may be contained in some of the main ingredients and also added in as supplements. Look for vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin D3, calcium, and trace minerals in your dog’s food. Bully Max’s Total Health Powder can serve as the right supplement — with ingredients like glucosamine to help promote joint health, chondroitin to support the tissues in their joints, and phosphorus to support strong bone development. 
  • Fatty acids: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote growth, immune function, and skin and coat health. They can be found in chicken fat, fish oil, and flaxseed — which are all ingredients in Bully Max.

What Dog Food Is Good for Labrador Hunting Dogs?

Labradors that work as hunting dogs need to be strong, well-trained, and have the sustained energy required to keep up on hunting trips. The best food for such dogs is protein-rich, high in calories, and made of natural ingredients with no byproducts or byproduct meal. 

labrador dog eatingEven non-hunting Labradors require a proper diet that provides them with the energy and nutrients needed for running and playing. Bully Max’s dog food contains all the important ingredients described above and none of the ingredients that should be avoided. In addition, our High Performance Dog Food also contains probiotic cultures that promote healthy gut bacteria and improve digestion, organic dried kelp that contains iodine and supports your dog’s thyroid system and hormone levels, and antioxidants and amino acids.

Bully Max’s dog food is 100% safe for all breeds and all life stages, whether you have a large-breed puppy or an older Labrador retriever, meeting Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for both “growth and reproduction” as well as “adult maintenance.” This means you can use it for Labrador puppy food, adult dog food, and for senior dogs, as well. 

Bully Max’s 30/20 High Performance Dog Food contains 535 calories per cup, as well as 30% protein and 20% fat, making it a top choice for improving your dog’s health and energy while helping build muscle. 

Choose Bully Max Dog Food to Keep Your Lab Feeling Their Best

If your dog works hard and plays hard, they need quality dog food that can keep up. Bully Max is used around the world by police K9 units, champion breeders, search-and-rescue dogs, and more. You want the best food option for your pet that prevents health issues and promotes healthy joints, healthy skin, and a healthy weight.

Originally designed by a dog owner struggling to find food that could keep up with his dog’s needs, this meat-based, calorically dense dog food is made with quality ingredients. 

Try Bully Max’s products today and give your dog one of the most researched, trusted, and best dry dog foods around.