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Proper Feeding of a Labrador Retriever

Updated on July 22, 2013

Labrador Retriever: Introduction

Who doesn't love a Labrador Retriever? Their even-temper and pleasing nature has made them the most popular dog breed in the United States since 1991. While good natured, Labrador Retrievers are also well known for their tremendous appetite which if not controlled can result in obesity and all the associated health problems. So what is the proper why to feed a Labrador Retriever?

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History and Diet

Lets first look at the history of the Labrador Retriever. The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland where it's primary food sources included caribou, fish and whale fat. The breed was then further developed in England. In England, the breed ate poultry, fish, wheat and dairy products. Thus resulting, in a breed that requires a low carbohydrate yet high fat diet. However, the source of fat is extremely important. The Labrador Retriever has trouble breaking down beef fat but does very well with fat from poultry, fish and vegetables sources.



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What is your favorite Labrador Retriever color?

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Special Skin Considerations

The Labrador Retriever is one of a few breeds which produces an oil through the pores of its skin. As a result, the Labrador Retriever will develop a dry, brittle coat when the Linoleic acid group is missing from its diet. The best commercial sources of these fatty acids for the Labrador Retriever are fish oil, linseed oil and cold pressed wheat germ oil.

Ideal Labrador Retriever Diet Should Include:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Lamb
  • Green Vegetables
  • Essential Fatty Acids

Diet Considerations

The Labrador Retriever should consume a diet that is rich in fish, poultry, lamb and green vegetables. Foods to avoid feeding a Labrador Retriever include beef, beets, corn and soy.


Commercial pet foods that I recommend include:

  • Orijen: The only dry food I recommend. For a Labrador Retriever, I like their adult dog and 6 fish dog food.
  • Wellness: Good quality food. They have a chicken and sweet potato as well as a whitefish and sweet potato variety.
  • Nature's Variety Instinct or Prairie. Good quality food and ingredients.
  • Weruva. Great quality food.
  • Merrick. I like their Wingaling and Smothered Comfort.

Also all Labrador Retrievers should be on essential fatty acids. My favorite fish oil brand is Nordic Natural. They have pet line and make a very high quality product.

How to Feed a Labrador Retriever

Now, that you know what to feed a Labrador Retriever, lets move on to how to feed a Labrador Retriever? Because of its tremendous appetite the Labrador Retriever should eat twice a day and the amount of food that you feed them has to be measured. The Labrador Retriever cannot be "free fed" because it will overeat resulting in obesity. High calorie dog treats must be limited. Ideal treats for the Labrador Retriever are low calorie green beans.

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