Best Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers

by Shannon Steffen on April 8, 2010

Chocolate Labrador Retriever Running on Beach
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Labrador Retrievers love to run and play but when you notice that your dog is starting to get muscle cramps after your morning run, it’s time to take notice and look at the possible causes.

Question:
What is the best dog food for my very active labs? I recently switched dog foods (about 6 months ago) from Canidae to Diamond brand. I have noticed my 4 year old chocolate lab cramping up after our daily runs…could there be a connection or do you think he might have a deficiency of some sort?

Answer:
Labrador Retrievers are naturally active and all Labs need a diet that is balanced with all the nutrients and minerals for strong bones and hips, oily skin, and dense coats.

Labradors are also prone to many food allergies. Usually the allergies are centered on gluten and animal by-products.

If you notice your dog is cramping after a workout though, it may not be the food but rather a dehydration and lack of enzymes. Your dog is an athlete and although it isn’t wise to give it Gatorade, you need to replenish the enzymes and nutrients to rebuild those muscles.

  1. Have your dog checked by a veterinarian who specializes in large breed dogs. The vet should check for any joint or bone problems in order to rule out a medical condition.
  2. Make sure you are feeding your pup the right kind of food. Holistic and raw diets are the best way to go when ensuring your Labrador Retriever is getting the balanced diet it needs. I always recommend Eagle Pack Holistic as it is made in the USA and was one of the few to not be recalled during the dog food scare.
  3. Warm up to the exercise. Just like humans, dogs need to slowly warm up to a run. Start with a slow walk and build up to the run. When you are done with your run, bring it down to a walk for a while to let your pup cool down and start the healing process on those muscles and joints.

Remember that your dog uses their muscles and bones the same way as a human being. Think about what you can do for a human to help with muscle cramps and speak to your veterinarian about applying those methods to your beautiful Labrador Retriever.

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  • tafazzul malik

    i bought a new black 1 year old labrador.its my first ever pet and i dont know how to train it and what food stuff i should give him.

  • http://www.8pawsup.com/2010/04/best-dog-food-for-labs.html rosabella jumao-as

    i have a yellow lab. shes 7weeks old. what is the best dog for her? please help me.

    • http://www.8pawsup.com Shannon Steffen

      Rosabella – you will want to slowly ween her off the dog food that your breeder was using to a brand of your choice. I’m not sure if you are in the US but Holistic Select is the best dog food (we’ve found) for Labrador Retrievers.

  • Victoria

    Hello
    I have a two year old chocolate Labrador Zachary; he is feed twice a day and has dry Beta (light) in the morning and a sachet of natures:menu chicken/rice/veg again light at teatime. He is not heavy but we are very conscious of weight issues with labs. Is this Ok? Should he have additional vitamins? He is very active and shiny coat but want to keep him healthy.
    Victoria

  • http://www.suedehills.com Cindy

    The vitamins and minerals that an active pet or person requires can be found in nutrient rich organic Alfalfa Powder. Naturally dried to retain all its enzymes, Melchizedek’s Minerals and Vitamins Alfalfa Powder for pets or Suede Hills Alfalfa Powder for people will do the trick., and it is certified organic too!

  • Pingback: Best Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers | The Labrador Brats Dog …

  • http://www.petfooddirect.com Valerie

    Great post. You mentioned using something like Gatoraid after exercising and I wanted to share that there is such a product for athletic dogs. Nupro Custom Electrolyte Formula

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  • http://corgibutts.blogspot.com Kelly

    I sent this article to my mom, and got her to switch her lab’s food from Purina One to Eagle Pack! Yay :)

    • http://www.8pawsup.com Shannon

      Kelly – great! Thanks for passing it along!

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