Best Dog Foods for Labrador Retrievers

Adult Lab Lying Down and Waiting for the Best Dog Food

What’s the Best Dog Food for
a Labrador Retriever?

Finding the best dog food for your Lab’s age is far more important than it is for most other dogs.

That’s because Labs are large breed dogs.

Which is not a concern for adult Labs.

However, unlike adults…

Labrador puppies have an increased risk of acquiring a crippling form of canine hip dysplasia… unless they’re fed a diet that’s specially designed to be safe for large breed puppies.1

For this reason…

The Dog Food Advisor has selected the 10 brands listed below because they meet or exceed AAFCO2 nutrient profiles for adult Labs… and they’re made by some of the best companies in the industry.

A few (where marked on the list) are safe for Labs of all ages.

It’s important to remember…

Some Lab puppies keep growing and aren’t ready to eat adult dog food until they reach 12 to 24 months of age.3

Got a puppy? See a list of our most recommended large breed puppy foods.

We’ve intentionally included a few of our best grain-inclusive dog foods along with our best grain-free recipes to meet your feeding preferences.

Buying tip: Some 4-star recipes may actually be superior to 5-star brands when you also consider the companies that produce them… and their pricing.

The Best Dog Food for Labs

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best dog foods for Labrador Retrievers for September 2019.


Wellness Core Large Breed Dog Food

Wellness Core Large Breed Dog Food

Rating:

Wellness Core Large Breed is one of 12 recipes included in our review of Wellness Core Dog Food.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)

Wellness Core Large Breed derives most of its animal protein from chicken and turkey. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the product contains 38% protein, 13% fat and 41% (estimated) carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 35%.

Why We Like This Brand
Balanced grain-free design. No corn or wheat
Specially formulated for large breed dogs
Safe, antioxidant based preservatives for lower cancer risk
Contains lignan-rich flaxseed to help lower cancer risk
Contains probiotics with healthy bacteria to aid in digestion

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Sport Dog Active Series Kibble

Sport Dog Active Series Field Dog Formula

Rating:

Sport Dog Active Series Field Dog Formula is one of 5 recipes included in our review of Sport Dog Active Series.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, whole ground sorghum, dried sweet potato, whole grain millet, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-containing
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adults and puppies

Sport Dog Active Series Field Dog Formula derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 15% fat and 45% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

Why We Like This Brand
High-energy formula popular with sporting dog fans
Contains no pea-based meat substitutes
High-protein chicken and fish meal to promote lean muscles
Iron amino acid chelate and other chelated minerals for superior absorption
Traditional, nutritionally balanced grain-inclusive design

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Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Kibble

Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Rating:

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is one of 9 recipes included in our review of Taste of the Wild dog food.

  • First 5 ingredients: Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)

Taste of the Wild High Prairie derives the bulk of of its meat protein from buffalo, chicken, and lamb meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat and 36% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Why We Like This Brand
Multiple recipes ideal for rotational feeding
Zinc proteinate and other chelated minerals for optimal health
Nutritonally balanced grain-free recipe
Contains antioxidants like blueberries and raspberries for healthy arteries
Balanced nutrient design ideal for adult dogs

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Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Adult Dog Food

Rating:

Nutro Ultra Adult is one of 10 recipes included in our review of Nutro Ultra Dog Food.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
  • Type: Grain-containing
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)

Nutro Ultra Adult derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Why We Like This Brand
Balanced combination of protein, fat and carbs
Contains beet pulp fiber to promote healthy stools
No high-risk chemical additives for lower cancer risk
High-protein chicken and salmon meal to promote lean muscles
Contains grain. No legume-based meat substitutes

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Dr. Gary's Best Breed Dry Kibble

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Field Dog Diet

Rating:

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Field Dog Diet is one of 13 recipes included in our review of Dr. Gary’s Best Breed.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-containing
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adults and puppies

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Field Dog Diet derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 14% fat and 46% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

Why We Like This Brand
Iron proteinate and other chelated minerals for superior absorption
High-energy, high-protein formula popular with field dog owners
Glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
Omega-3 menhaden fish oil for healthy skin and coat
Contains no plant-based protein concentrates

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AvoDerm Natural Large Breed Dog Food

AvoDerm Natural Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Rating:

AvoDerm Natural Large Breed Adult is one of 9 recipes included in our review of AvoDerm Natural dog food.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, salmon meal
  • Type: Grain-containing
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)

AvoDerm Natural Large Breed Adult derives the bulk of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 11% fat and 52% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

Why We Like This Brand
Glucosamine and chondroitin for large breed joint health
With omega-rich avocados for improved vacular health and healthy skin
No plant protein concentrates for superior amino acid profile
High protein, low carb formula for superior nutrient balance
Low fat-to-protein ratio means quality meat

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Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Kibble

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete

Rating:

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete is one of 12 recipes included in our review of Diamond Naturals dry dog food.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-containing
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 28% fat and 29% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.

Why We Like This Brand
High-energy recipe specially formulated for active sporting dogs
Affordable yet high-quality recipe
Includes inulin from chicory root for healthy digestion
Contains lignan-rich flaxseed with omega-3 fats to help lower cancer risk
Generous quantity of meat based protein

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Origin Original Dry Kibble

Orijen Original Dog Food

Rating:

Orijen Original is one of 8 recipes included in our review of Orijen dog food.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, atlantic flounder, cage-free eggs, whole atlantic mackerel
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adults and puppies

Orijen Original derives the bulk of its animal protein from poultry and fish. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 21% fat and 28% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Why We Like This Brand
Multiple high-protein animal sources for optimal nutrition
Contains no plant-based protein concentrates
Omega-rich pollock oil to promote a healthy heart
No BHA or other toxic chemical preservatives
Kale and other fiber-rich fruits and veggies for healthy digestion

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Canidae Multi-Protein Formula Dog Food

Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula

Rating:

Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula is one of 5 recipes included in our review of Canidae All Life Stages.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice
  • Type: Grain-containing
  • Profile: All life stages
  • Best For: Adults and puppies

Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula derives most of its animal protein from poultry meal and lamb meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Why We Like This Brand
High-protein recipe from multiple animal sources for lean muscles
Copper proteinate and other chelated minerals for optimal absorption
Safe natural preservatives. No BHA
All animal ingredients clearly identified
Grain-inclusive design without corn, wheat or soy

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Gather Free Acres Free Run Chicken

Gather Free Acres Organic Free Run Chicken

Rating:

Gather Free Acres Organic Free Run Chicken is one of 3 recipes included in our review of Gather dry dog food.

  • First 5 ingredients: Organic chicken, organic dehydrated chicken, organic peas, lentils, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adults only (not for puppies)

Gather Free Acres Organic Free Run Chicken derives the bulk of its animal protein from organic chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 17% fat and 42% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Why We Like This Brand
Nutritionally complete grain-free recipe
Cranberries and other safe antioxidant-rich preservatives
Fiber-rich, low glycemic carbohydrates
Contains no anonymous meat ingredients
No risky chemical additives for lower cancer risk

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  1. Lauten SD, Nutritional Risks to Large Breed Dogs: From Weaning to the Geriatric Years, Vet Clin Small Anim 36 (2006) 1345–1359.
  2. AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles, Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2018 Official Publication, pages 155-159.
  3. IAMS: Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?, IAMS