Labradors are known for their loyalty, loving, patient and affectionate nature. They are highly intelligent and very willing to please. They are also playful and have a reliable temperament. Their lively nature enables them go get along with children in a superb way. Training a Lab is easy. When properly socialized, they do not give strangers a hard time. Labrador Retrievers are watchdogs although some can be guard dogs. Feeding them with a good diet is important. When properly fed and maintained, they can live longer, stronger and happier.
Getting a Labrador to eat is not a problem. Labradors like eating and can be liable to obesity. Labs can feed on different kinds of diet. However, it is important to make sure that the dog food you feeding your Labrador has the right nutrients.
Labrador has the same nutritional requirements other dogs have. Feeding them with quality food is beneficial. The best food for them does not need to be expensive. Some of the most expensive foods may not work well on your Labrador. Make sure to read food labels before making any purchase. As such, you get to know what exactly you are feeding your Labrador.
Labs are energetic and gain weight easily since they are not picky eaters. Make sure that your Lab does some exercise on daily basis to avoid obesity and other health problems. It is good to feed a Labrador depending on the kind of activities it is engaged in. Do not feed them foods rich in protein if they don’t have enough time exercising.
Labradors have a good appetite and eat quickly. This kind of appetite is good but can also be dangerous. It exposes them to gastric torsion. The stomach twists and swells when they eat quickly limiting supply of blood to important organs and these might affect how your Labrador breathes. It is recommended to use a raised dish while feeding your Labrador.
There is not a specific brand for each and every Labrador. Dogs have different preferences and do not digest ingredients in the same manner. When choosing the best food, you need to consider your Labs eating habits. Before switching to feeding your Labrador with a new diet, consult with your veterinarian to be certain that the new diet is healthy. It is important to mix the new food with some old food so that your dog is safe from stomach upsets as he adapts to the new diet.
Follow the nutritional guidelines below when feeding your Labrador with the best dog food.
The best picks to for the best food dog for Labrador includes;
Blue Buffalo Wilderness: This is one among the best brands you can buy for your dog. It price is perfect. The good thing about this brand is that it is grain free and has no soy or artificial preservatives. When you avoid these allergens, be sure that your Labrador will be free from gastrointestinal distress and the Labs coat will be healthy. This food has vital fatty acids that help labs maintain a good coat. Blue Buffalo Wilderness is rich in protein for healthy development of muscles. This keeps your Labrador energetic and active. It contains calcium, essential vitamins, and phosphorous for strong teeth and bones. It has chelated minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to boost the immune system.
Taste Of The World: This is an economical brand that is comprised of the right nutrient a Labrador needs. It has smoked salmon, fruits, and veggies. It has no grains but has potatoes. The food employs salmon formula that gives a Labrador a good skin and protects the coat. With this kind of food, you feed your lab with the right nutrients at a pocket friendly price.
Royal Canin: This brand has essential minerals required by your Labrador for healthy joints. In this brand, your lab gets vitamins vital for good eye health and as such your Labrador is able to fight cataracts. The protein formula used is high. To prevent your lab from high weight gain, keep the fat content low. Royal Canin is designed for Labradors over 15 months. This brand will help maintain your Labradors ideal weight since it has good calorie content. It is enriched with DHA and EPA necessary for healthy bones and joints. The nutrients are complex that helps a Labrador to maintain coat health and skin.
Canidae: This can be fed to Labradors at all stages. It keeps puppies satisfied despite their age. It has coat and skin conditioners thus your dog looks lovely at all time. It has no wheat, corn, or soy thus suitable for your lab. It is rich in fatty acids. With this kind of food, your dog remains active since its minerals keep the immune system at the right level.
Diet and Nutrition for Labradors
Labradors have different nutrition needs. Understanding what kind of nutrition and diet your Labrador needs is very important. Make sure you are equipped with the right nutrition tips your lab requires to be fit. The dietary requirements for a lab include; vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and amino acids. If you want to have a healthy Labrador, make sure you feed him high quality and balanced diet and drinks fresh water.
Labradors are easy keepers and really love to eat. You need to avoid food that has wheat or corn and chemical preservatives. You can know whether the food you are feeding your dog has more corn than protein by soaking it in water, if it becomes mush, then its likely wheat or corn.Get to check on the protein content before buying any food for your lab. A lab that is older and less active needs lower amounts of protein. The protein content should be about 21%. The more your Labrador is very active, the more protein he will require. Feed your puppies and pregnant females with special diets so as to handle the stress their bodies are experiencing.
There are many varieties of diets that you can feed your dog, raw food diet being included. This is feeding your dog with meaty bones, offal, and raw vegetables. This kind of diet is recommended if your Labrador is in training or very active. You can also opt to cook for your Labrador in order for you to provide him with vitamins and all other ingredients for a healthy diet. Raw food has minerals and vitamins your Labrador requires.
A balanced diet for your lab should comprise of vegetables and fruits. This way you keep the immune system of your dog functioning properly. Vitamins will keep the coat of your Labrador shiny and eyes in the right condition. This prevents your lab from eye diseases. In case you opt for commercial foods, make sure that they are rich in vitamin and fruits.
Fat is a good source of energy. Labradors are known to be energetic and they play hard. Despite keeping your lab strong, fats helps to maintain its coat shiny and skin healthy. It is important to control the amount of fat your lab consumes in a day. Fat consumption should be dependent on the activity level and the energy needs.
The healthy fats a Labrador requires are omega 6 and omega 3. These fats are present in dog foods. Most Labrador dog foods are rich in these two fats. These fatty acids help prevent a lab from skin problems and maintain immune system in a good level.
Make sure that your dog has access to clean water if you are feeding him dry food. The major ingredients in dry food should not be corn or whet since they may cause swelling up of your dog’s stomach. Water will enable nutrients to be absorbed from the food your Labrador eats and ensures that food is digested in the right way. Labradors have different water requirements depending on their age, activity levels, and the weather condition. Ensure that you always avail you dog with fresh water each day and regulate the amount they take based on their weights.
Your veterinarian should approve any food before feeding it to your Labrador. Your breeder should provide you with a list of foods he recommends for your lab. Check on the nutrient content before you make any purchase. Always feed your Labrador with a balanced diet.
Foods to avoid feeding your Labrador
You should not feed your Labrador with excessive amounts of human food despite the dog gazing at you. This is for the best interest for the dog. Avoid feeding your Labrador with the following kinds of food;
Dairy products: These include products such as yoghurt and cheese which may cause your Labrador to diarrhea. You can choose to try and see how your lab will react to this by giving him these products. However, you need to consult your vet before you try doing that. Make sure that the amounts of table scraps in your Labrador’s diet do not exceed more than 10%. You must never feed your lab with human supplements or vitamins unless you are instructed to do so by your veterinarian.
Cooked bones: Cooked bones can be harmful to your Labrador. They splinter easily in a dog’s mouth. This may damage his throat, gums, digestive system, and the stomach lining. They can have severe damage to the throat. Feed your Labrador with raw meaty bones and remove these bones immediately the lab has eaten all the meat.
Raw eggs: Uncooked eggs might cause salmonella, or reduce the absorption rates and amounts of biotin in your Labrador. As a result, the coat quality of the lab becomes poor and it develops hair problems. Both adults and puppies should not be fed with raw eggs.
Chocolate and candy: Candies have high amounts of sugar and it’s not healthy for a dog. Chocolates cause toxicity in most dogs that might be dangerous despite how small the dose is.
Raw pork: Raw pork or rabbit are not good for Labrador. They might contain tapeworms that can affect the health of your lab is not treated. Internal meats especially kidney and liver should be given to your dog only when organic.
Common Allergies in Labrador
Despite Labradors being energetic, intelligent, loving and playful nature, they are prone to developing allergic problems. Labs may develop allergy problems seasonally or any time around the year. Some of these conditions can be treated at ease. You need to know how to recognize these allergies once they come up to ensure that your lab has the proper quality of life. Dogs can have respiratory allergies but the most common are on skin. Monitor the behaviors of your dog so that you get to know when it is not in okay. The following are the common allergies a Labrador is likely to get.
Contact Allergies: Labrador has allergy symptoms similar to other dogs. Contact allergy occurs when a lab develops irritation or a sensitivity caused by objects that get in contact with the skin. They include scratching, licking, and chewing. This kind of allergy makes the Labrador lose fur and get spotting / patches in their nice coat. Once you note these problems make sure you consult with a vet. this is important so that your labrador’s vet performs the allergy tests early before the problem worsens.
Flea Allergies: Fleas are harmful not only to your lab but also to you. If your dog has flea allergy, he will be constantly scratching himself. Flea allergy makes the dog very uncomfortable. Biting or itching on the lower back or above the tail are the side effect of flea allergy.
Food allergies: This kind of allergy develops anywhere from five months to twelve years of the dogs age. There is no dog that is born with food allergy. A dog develops food allergy as a result of foods they have eaten for a long time.
How to go about feeding your Labrador
The feeding requirements of Labrador change over time. Make sure you feed your puppy thrice a day until it is four months old. A smaller puppy ought to be fed often since it has a small stomach and growing fast. Decrease the feeding to two times a day after four months. Adult Labradors can be fed once in a day.