10 Best Dog Foods for Labs in 2022  – Reviews & Top Picks


When it comes to canine nutrition, we are learning how vital it is to our beloved dog’s overall health to feed them the very best. If you have a large breed like a Labrador, providing a well-balanced diet is essential to ensure proper growth and longevity. These dogs are almost always ranked number one in terms of favorite breed in the United States, and many countries in the world. They love to play and cuddle, but they also love to eat, so we need to make sure we are giving the right food and the right amount to keep them living long and happy.

For your convenience, we rounded up 10 of the best recipes for Labs we could find. Hopefully, our reviews can cut out a lot of browsing for you.

divider-pawA Quick Comparison of Our Favorites – 2022 Update

The 10 Best Dog Foods For Labs

1. Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials

Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials (1)

Brand: Purina
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 389
Protein: 26%
Fat: 16%
Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 12%

Our favorite overall dog food for Labs is Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials. It is full of wonderful ingredients that check the boxes of your pup’s nutritional needs. This particular recipe contains lamb and rice as main additives, creating a flavorful experience with top-notch healthfulness.

In this recipe, there are 389 calories. The guaranteed analysis of this dog food includes 26% crude protein, 16% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 12% moisture. It also contains 600 million live probiotics to support gut health along with high fiber for regularity.

This bag is comprised of dried kibble and tender pieces to give your dog a variety of textures. All in all, this recipe contains just the right amount of omega fatty acids and protein for healthy bowel movements, shiny skin and coat, and optimal muscle function.

This product contains gluten, corn, wheat, and soy—so it isn’t for all dogs.

Pros

  • High fiber
  • Lamb is the top ingredient
  • Well-rounded nutrition

Cons

  • Not compatible with certain dietary restrictions

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies

Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies (1)

Brand: Rachael Ray Nutrish
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 340
Protein: 25%
Fat: 14%
Fiber: 4
Moisture:

If you’re looking for a bargain but don’t want to slack on nutrition, think about Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies. A real chef crafts it, so you know she put some thought into the ingredients. You get a lot for your money here—we think it’s the best dog food for Labs for the money.

In each serving, there are 340 calories. The guaranteed analysis of this dog food includes 25% crude protein, 14% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 10% moisture. There are tons of added vitamins and minerals like omega fatty acids, zinc, phosphorus, and ascorbic acid.

Real chicken is the number one ingredient, ensuring a wholesome protein source. The kibble contains live probiotics for gut health with no fillers, artificial flavors, or preservatives. It also includes easily digestible starches and carbs—like peas and brown rice.

Overall, we loved the quality for the price. We highly recommend this dog food if you’re on a budget. However, it does contain soy and corn ingredients, which can irritate some Labs.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • No unnatural ingredients
  • Easily digestible recipe

3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Light Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Light Dry Dog Food (1)

Brand: Hill’s Science Diet
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 271
Protein: 20%
Fat: 5%
Fiber: 14%
Moisture: 10.5%

The Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Light Dry Dog Food might be pricey, but it can be really useful to Lab owners. Labs have a tendency to gain weight as they age and their activity levels decrease. This dog food lets your Lab transform fat into energy, creating lean muscle in large dogs ages 1-5.

This dog food contains 18% fewer calories than traditional kibble. In one serving, there are only 271 calories. The guaranteed analysis of this dog food includes 20% crude protein, 5% crude fat, 14% crude fiber, and 10.5% moisture.

This recipe contains ingredients called glucosamine and chondroitin. These two additives work together to strengthen joints and preserve cartilage. It’s full of healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to create a well-balanced diet while controlling calorie intake.

We love that this dog food is specifically designed for breeds like Labs who sometimes have trouble regulating weight. However, it won’t be necessary for all Labs, especially if you have one who is a particularly high-energy dog. They will need a high protein, high-fat diet.

Pros

  • For weight control for large breeds
  • Supports joints and cartilage
  • Contains 18% fewer calories than dry kibble

Cons

  • Not for active dogs with healthy weight
  • Pricey

4. Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy — Best for Puppies

Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy (1)

Brand: Purina
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 387
Protein: 27.5%
Fat: 12%
Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 14%

If you have an adorably fluffy Lab puppy, you want to give them the optimal nutrition, Purina Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy is our recommendation. It has just the right texture, flavor, and nutrient balance to help your little one grow as they should.

This recipe contains 387 calories per serving. The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 27.5% crude protein, 12% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 14% moisture. It also contains the much-needed ingredient DHA to aid in brain development.

This recipe was crafted with the same ingredients as mother’s milk to promote optima growth during vital stages. It contains a much higher amount of protein than many competing puppy chows to ensure lean muscle mass.

One thing we didn’t like about this puppy chow is that meat is not the first ingredient. In fact, meat doesn’t show up until the third ingredient—poultry by-product—and many owners steer clear of the gluten meal and whole grain corn.

Pros

  • Contains DHA
  • High protein
  • Formulated for puppies

Cons

  • Contains potentially irritating ingredients

5. Diamond Naturals Senior Formula

Diamond Naturals Senior Formula (1)

Brand: Diamond Naturals
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 347
Protein: 24%
Fat: 11%
Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%

If you are transitioning your older Lab to a senior food that better suits their life stage, we recommend Diamond Naturals Senior Formula. This dry kibble is specifically designed to support the waning body function of seniors, so they maintain their muscle tone and bone density.

This dog food contains 347 calories per serving. The guaranteed analysis of this recipe includes 24% crude protein, 11% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 10% moisture. It’s loaded with guaranteed-live probiotics to aid in digestion.

This food is truly ideal for seniors, as it contains superfoods like kale, coconut, and blueberries.  These antioxidant-packed ingredients deliver the right nutrients to their body and boost their immunity. Real cage-free chicken is the number one ingredient to provide a solid protein source to your older pup.

Pros

  • Perfect for seniors
  • Live probiotics
  • Full of superfoods

Cons

  • Not for other life stages

6. American Journey Active Life Formula—Best for Active Lifestyles

American Journey Active Life Formula (1)

Brand: American Journey
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 345
Protein: 25%
Fat: 15%
Fiber: 6%
Moisture: 10%

If you have a younger Lab who often performs high-intensity workouts, American Journey Active Life Formula is a really fabulous option. It replenishes all the calories your dog burns with extensive exercise. If you field train or take your Lab hunting or jogging—consider it a fitting dry kibble for the lifestyle.

In one serving of this dog food, there are 345 calories. The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 25% crude protein, 15% crude fat, 6% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.

This dog food contains real deboned salmon as the first ingredient to give a high protein boost. It also contains easy-to-digest brown rice and peas for healthy grains and starches.

There is absolutely no wheat, corn, soy, artificial, or animal byproduct ingredients in this recipe. But because it is such a high calorie, we don’t recommend it for less active dogs since it could cause additional weight gain.

Pros

  • Excellent for active dogs
  • No artificial ingredients or fillers
  • High protein and calorie

Cons

  • Can cause weight gain in less active dogs

7. Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula—Best High Protein

Brand: Victor
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 406
Protein: 30%
Fat: 20%
Fiber: 3.8%
Moisture: 9%

If you’re looking for a high-protein meal to give your dog a more natural diet, try out Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula. It provides a solid dose of protein, fat, and just the right nutrients to balance out every area of the body.

In one serving of this dog food, there are 406 calories. If you have a dog who struggles with weight, this might not be the right recipe for them. The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 30% crude protein, 20% crude fat, 3.8% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.

What is incredible about this recipe is that it is fit for all life stages. So that means no matter if you have a puppy, pregnant, lactating, or senior dog, they can benefit from this type of food. You would never have to transition them again unless you wanted to switch their diet for other reasons.

Victor offers a unique VPRO Blend that boosts immunity and supports digestion. We really think you will love all of the benefits of this dry kibble. However, there is not a whole protein source. The recipe immediately starts with a beef meal, which might not be sufficient for some owners.

Pros

  • Unique VPRO blend for immunity and digestion
  • For all life stages
  • Excellent protein source

Cons

  • Does not contain whole protein

8. Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach (1)

Brand: Wholesomes
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 355
Protein: 22%
Fat: 12%
Fiber: 4.5%
Moisture: 10%

If you have a Lab that has some digestive issues, you might want to ask your vet about Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach. It contains easily digestible ingredients to soothe any stomach issues or irritation.

This dry kibble contains 355 calories per serving. The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 22% crude protein, 12% crude fat, 4.5% crude fiber, and 10% moisture. Easily digestible brown rice and oatmeal ingredients soothe the digestive tract over other harsh options.

This recipe contains a good dose of omega fatty acids to nourish the coat and skin. With soothing ancient grains like brown rice and pearled barley, your Lab can avoid gastrointestinal upset and actually enjoy their meals without diarrhea.

While this recipe is a terrific option for easily irritated pups, it might not be the number one option for adult dogs with no dietary issues.

Pros

  • Soothing ingredients
  • Easily digestible
  • Full ancient grains

Cons

  • Not necessary for healthy dogs

9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Large Breed

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Large Breed (1)

Brand: Blue Buffalo
Type: Dry kibble
Calories: 377
Protein: 32%
Fat: 13%
Fiber: 7%
Moisture: 10%

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Large Breed is a terrific option for dogs with gluten sensitivities. It is formulated to match the needs of a wild dog diet, touting high animal-based proteins, flaxseed, and potatoes.

In one serving of this dog food, there are 377 calories. The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 32% crude protein, 13% crude fat, 7% crude fiber, and 10% moisture. This recipe contains no harmful fillers or grains, creating a more natural approach.

Just as in every Blue Buffalo recipe, there are Blue’s signature LifeSource Bits, which are antioxidant-packed morsels full of goodness and nutrients. There are no byproducts or nasty ingredients that might negatively impact your Lab’s health.

Keep in mind that you should only opt for a grain-free diet under the supervision and recommendation of your vet.

Pros

  • No grains or other harmful additive
  • Antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits

Cons

  • Not all Labs need grain-free diets

10. Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Steak

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Steak (1)

Brand: Pedigree
Type: Wet
Calories: 332
Protein: 8.5%
Fat: 3%
Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 82%

If you’re looking for a dose of hydration and protein, whether as a standalone diet or topper, Pedigree Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Steak is a delicious option for your Lab. It has heavy chunks and a strong aroma to stimulate your dog’s appetite.

In one serving, there are 332 calories. The guaranteed analysis of this product contains 8.5% crude protein, 3% crude fat, 1% crude fiber, and 82% moisture.

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Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Food For Your Lab

Labs are typically athletic dogs with boisterous attitudes. Since they are so active, it might not be easy to find just the right diet plan. Here are some things to consider if you’re shopping around for diet options for your Labrador Retriever.

Dog Food Types

  • Everyday Health: Everyday health recipes aim to give your dog the nutrition they need without anything fancy. It covers all of the basics of canine nutrition to provide a well-rounded diet to any average, healthy, canine.
  • Limited Ingredient Diet: A limited ingredient diet aims to reduce the number of potentially irritating ingredients to prevent sensitivity and allergy-related issues from spiking.
  • Grain-Free: Grain-free diets were created specifically for dogs who have gluten sensitivities. These diets are not necessary for healthy, capable adults. In fact, there is some controversy regarding grain-free diets even though they are hot on the market. If you are considering a grain-free diet for your dog, be sure to check with your veterinarian so you can get approval
  • Sensitive Stomach: If your dog has a sensitive stomach, they might be a little more sensitive to certain ingredients in their food. If you find that your dog is having trouble, easily digestible ingredients such as pumpkin, oatmeal, and barley might be helpful.
  • High Protein: Labs are typically very active. Extra protein might be necessary if you have a young adult with super high energy. This protein helps your dog replenish their muscles.
  • Active Lifestyle: Active lifestyle recipes might be a very good option for your Lab. These dogs are generally used for hunting and agility exercises. If your dog matches this description, check out active lifestyle formulas.

Dog Food Texture

  • Dry Kibble: Dry kibble is a bait dog food And is likely the most common on the market. While it is used to provide adequate nutrition to your dog, it does lack moisture. On the upside, it does have a very long shelf life and you certainly can choose from a wide variety.
  • Wet Food: Wet food is actually the first dog food to ever exist. These dog foods are formulated and canned to meet the dietary needs of your beloved canine. Wet food is high in iron and calories. It’s also easier for seniors or dogs with bad teeth to eat.
  • Moist Food: Moist food is a combination of wet food and dry kibble. It’s made similarly to dry kibble but has higher moisture content and shorter shelf life.
  • Combination: Combination diets are those where you mix two or more varieties into a meal. Many owners mix dry food with wet food to get the nutritional benefits of both.
  • Raw Food: Raw food diets are becoming increasingly more popular as time passes. As the name would suggest, these diets consist of completely raw food sources that help your dog get the most natural, nutrient-rich ingredients possible.
  • Lightly Cooked: Lightly cooked fresh meals are prepared in the kitchen and cooked just enough without destroying vital ingredients within the recipe. Light cooking helps to preserve the natural benefit of each individual food item.

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Conclusion: Best Dog Food For Labs

We stand by our first choice—Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials. It is affordable for most budgets with a high-fiber, nutrient-rich recipe that will soothe your Lab in every sense. Keep in mind to sweep over the ingredients label. It does contain potentially triggering ingredients for Labs with allergies.

If you’re wanting the biggest bang for your buck, Rachael Ray Nutrish offers a carefully crafted recipe that is wholesome and delicious. You can’t beat the price for the quality.

Regardless of which of these dog foods caught your eye, hopefully, you have found a new option for your Lab. Remember to check with your vet if you’re unsure about the benefits of a diet change.


Featured Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

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