The Labrador Retriever puppy food is crucial for further development. Only a well-nourished Labrador puppy will become a strong and healthy dog. However, there are a few things to consider in the Labrador Retriever puppy diet. Too much food as well as too little will harm the Labrador puppy in the long run. In the Labrador Retriever puppy diet, you should also pay attention to the correct mixing ratio of vitamins and minerals. Here are some Labrador Retriever puppy food recommendations.
- 1 Labrador Retriever Puppy Food Recommendations by Age
- 2 Dry Food, Wet Food or Raw Food in the Labrador Retriever Puppy Diet?
- 3 The Right Mixing Ratio of Labrador Retriever Puppy Food
- 4 How Much Should I Feed My Lab Puppy?
- 5 How Often Should I Feed My Lab Puppy?
- 6 How Long Should You Feed Labrador Puppies?
- 7 Conclusion
Labrador Retriever Puppy Food Recommendations by Age
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Labrador Retriever Puppy Food Up to Week 8
Additional feeding of the Labrador Retriever puppy can be started between the fourth and fifth week and the quantities determined. Because at this point in time the first milk teeth develop and the mother dog produces less milk. The Labrador Retriever puppy additional feeding is essential.
Getting used to normal food should be done in very small steps, because the Labrador Retriever puppy diet still consists of breast milk or puppy rearing milk. Only at 8 weeks of age are the deciduous teeth fully mature and weaning is complete. The best way to start the Labrador Retriever puppy diet is with soft and moist canned food:
Determining the quantities is particularly important now. Particularly special and easily digestible puppy food is recommended for feeding Labrador Retriever puppies. This contains special nutrients tailored to the needs of the Labrador Retriever puppy. They give energy and ensure an optimal conversion to solid feed.
Shortly afterwards you can also start with an easily digestible dry puppy food. Since dry food has a higher energy density, the right proportions should be taken into account in the Labrador Retriever puppy food so that there is no overfeeding. If you want to B.A.R.F. your puppies, i.e. raw feeding, you should first puree the food and offer it in small quantities.
In the course of the weeks you can switch to very soft fillet meat and firm vegetables. Bones should not be fed yet. It is even advisable to get the small dogs used to different feed consistencies without constantly changing the feed. Here, too, you should determine and observe the quantities. So the puppy gets to know wet, dry and raw food as edible, and there are fewer feeding problems in the Labrador Retriever puppy diet with the future owner. Also, feeding the Labrador Retriever puppies only makes sense up to the 8th week.
Labrador Retriever Puppy Food from Week 8
If the Labrador Retriever puppy has already completely switched to solid food, there are a few things to consider in the beginning. The type of food for the Labrador Retriever puppy diet in the new home should not be changed overnight. This can lead to uncomfortable indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, gas, or stomach pain. The switch to your own food should therefore take place gradually and not overload the little Labrador.
It is best to mix small amounts of the new food with the old food and increase these amounts every few days. This is how you can feed your Labrador Retriever puppies. It should take at least two weeks for the food to be completely replaced. Then the little puppy’s stomach has changed and the normal Labrador Retriever puppy food can be started without having to feed the Labrador puppies.
Don’t Overfeed, But Determine the Correct Amount
The Labrador Retriever is a big dog. Medium-large breeds should never grow too fast, so that the sensitive and still soft skeleton does not become unnecessarily unstable. If the dog receives too much food with too high an energy density, it can shoot into the sky within a few weeks.
Even if most dog owners enjoy rapid growth, this can be dooming for the adult dog. The Labrador Retriever in particular is known for various hereditary diseases such as HD (hip dysplasia). These and other diseases can be inherited, but diet is largely responsible for whether they ultimately break out or not. Anyone who ensures that their Labrador Retriever puppies grow slowly through an optimal Labrador Retriever puppy diet has already taken the first step in the right direction.
Dry Food, Wet Food or Raw Food in the Labrador Retriever Puppy Diet?
Whether dry, wet or raw food, every dog owner has special preferences. It is important to determine the quantities. Dry food is certainly the easiest. Relatively cheap to buy, very long shelf life and lower consumption. In addition, dry food in the Labrador Retriever puppy diet can also be fed throughout the day if, for example, the main food is used for training purposes. Dry food can be transported:
Most dogs, however, prefer wet food to dry food. It seems to get closer to its natural needs and taste better. Packaged in airtight cans, wet food also has a very long shelf life, but not quite as practical as dry food. However, due to the high moisture content of around 80%, it has the advantage of incorporating additional liquid into the dog and is significantly less energy-intensive than dry food:
The most natural way of feeding is also the one that the dog has the most fun. Raw feeding, also called B.A.R.F (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food): Real and, above all, raw food is fed here. Vegetables are partially cooked. When put together correctly, it is the most natural and healthiest of the three variants. The effort is relatively high, since dogs are by no means only carnivores.
It is also important to have a small amount of fruit and a high proportion of vegetables. It takes time to prepare, and sometimes the feeding itself is a mess. For example, when the dog gnaws at a fleshy bone for hours and carries it around the house. Certain precautions must be taken here. This diet also offers the dog a popular activity in the Labrador Retriever puppy diet. Anyone who makes this effort will be rewarded with a happier and healthier dog.
The Quality of Labrador Retriever Puppy Food
A good feed can be recognized by the fact that no artificial additives have been processed and the meat consists of high-quality muscle meat. Animal by-products are made from real organs and not from bone meal.
Good Labrador Retriever puppy food does not contain sugar or flavor enhancers. It consists of muscle meat, organs, vegetables, herbs and possibly high-quality oils. Vitamins, minerals and trace elements may also be added, as these can be lost in advance of the processing process in finished feed.
Here it is essential to pay attention to the correct mixing ratio for puppy food. Ready-made food in particular that says something like “puppy food” does not necessarily have the right mixing ratios for your Labrador Retriever puppy.
Dogs are by no means pure carnivores. However, your feed should consist of at least 60% muscle meat. A high meat content does not guarantee good feed. A good puppy food consists of wholesome and easily digestible types of meat. Animal proteins are especially important for good growth. Poultry, eggs, lamb or fish are particularly suitable for the Labrador Retriever puppy.
Grains such as rice, corn or oats can be found in some foods and are particularly good at giving the puppy energy. Puppies that are too thin can also be fed with it, because the body converts grain into sugar, which is then stored in the fat cells.
Grains are not part of the dog’s natural diet and are poorly digested. Cereals containing gluten, such as wheat, in particular, can trigger allergic reactions. it is often used as a filler in cheap feed. Often there is just 4% meat in them, the rest consists of cheap fillers, beaks, claws, hooves, bone meal and artificially added vitamins and flavor enhancers.
You shouldn’t just buy any food, but always pay attention to the ingredients on the packaging. The surcharge for good feed saves you later on veterinary costs.
The Right Mixing Ratio of Labrador Retriever Puppy Food
Especially with puppies of medium-large breeds like the Labrador Retriever, the mixing ratio should be considered. In contrast to an adult dog, puppies need a significantly higher energy density in relation to their weight. It is important to provide the puppy with everything it needs to grow.
The right mix of calcium and phosphorus is particularly crucial for healthy bone formation. The calcium content in puppy food, in contrast to food for adult dogs, must be lower. In the adult dog, excess calcium is simply excreted in the faeces. With the puppy, however, it is immediately invested in growth. This process can cause the puppy to grow too much too quickly and then walk around with an unstable skeleton, which in the worst case scenario can deform.
Therefore, puppies should really be given puppy food and not food for adult dogs. Neither should anything be added to a complete feed. Because then the calcium-phosphorus ratio shifts and gets mixed up. If you feed your dog raw, you have to put together the optimal mixing ratio yourself. For this it is advisable to deal professionally with the topic of B.A.R.F., because a lot can be done wrong on your own.
How Much Should I Feed My Lab Puppy?
In relation to their height and weight, puppies eat more than adult dogs. How much you should feed your Lab puppy depends largely on its age and weight. There are Labrador puppies with a very strong build and some that are rather petite. The dog owner should always have a say in whether the dog needs a little more food or whether the food should be reduced due to a little too much baby fat.
As a rule, the feeding recommendations are already given on the finished feed packaging. The puppy owner can follow these guidelines, because the circumstances are a little different depending on the brand. In general, it can be said that the larger and the older the dog, the less amount of food in relation to its body weight.
A Labrador puppy receives a daily ration of around 6 to 8 percent of its body weight. In contrast, an adult Labrador only eats 2 to 3 percent of its body weight. However, this value also depends on the type of feed being fed. Since dry food, for example, has a particularly high energy density and has little water, significantly less of it has to be fed than wet food, for example. The amount of water in the food largely determines what percentage of the puppy’s body weight should eat.
But here, too, determine how active the puppy is. A very lively Labrador, who can hardly sit still and is on its feet all day, naturally burns more calories than very calm puppies who prefer to doze on the couch next to their masters. Feeding cans are always to be viewed as very individual. It is better to keep the puppy a little narrower than to have too much fat on it. Although it should be based on the general feeding recommendations, it is primarily the feeling that is decisive.
It is also advisable to weigh the Lab puppy once a week. Many finished feeds on their packaging contain quantities that are primarily based on the dog’s weight. These should be taken into account. Of course, only if the puppy is at its ideal weight and doesn’t seem too fat or too thin. Feeding quantities always involve a little trial and error.
How Often Should I Feed My Lab Puppy?
Up to the age of 6 months, the Labrador puppy should be fed in smaller meals 3 to 5 times a day. The digestion of the puppy is not yet designed for one-time, huge portions. These can quickly lead to stomach problems or nausea. The frequent feedings can only be reduced a little from the age of approximately 6 months. From 5 meals to 3 or from 4 meals to 2.
This should not happen too abruptly in order not to make the transition unnecessarily difficult for the little Labrador. For example, you can go over to making the 5th meal a little smaller and distributing the food to the other meals (1 to 4).
It is best to always feed them at the same time. Because especially in the initial phase, it is important to make life as easy as possible for the puppy. Dogs are creatures of habit, and regular routines not only keep them safe, they also help them learn. If you keep the exact intervals between feedings, you will also help your Lab puppy to become house-trained. House training is above all a human matter. The dog only learns when the person is paying attention. If a person knows the toilet rituals of his puppy, then it will also be much easier for him to teach his dog house training.
How Long Should You Feed Labrador Puppies?
It always depends on the breed of dog and its growth. While very large breeds such as Great Danes can grow up to their 3rd year of life, small breeds such as Chihuahuas are fully grown by one year. The Labrador Retriever lies in between.
On average, the growth stops between the 12th and 18th month of life. But then, in the course of the coming year, it will expand considerably. Labrador Retriever puppy food should be given until around the age of 12 months.
Of course, it also depends on the degree of maturity of the individual dog. The vet can determine whether the growth plates are already closed or whether another shot upwards can be expected. Only when the increase in height is complete a change to the rations of an adult dog should take place. However, this should be done just as gently as switching from breast milk to solid feed. Slowly and with patience.
If the dog is fed twice a day, one should start by gradually replacing one meal with the adult food. It is important to ensure that the feed remains the same in the best case. Dry food, for example, has a completely different digestion time than wet or even raw food. In order not to cause unnecessary digestive problems, dry food should only be given together with dry food, and wet food only together with wet food.
Those who feed dry in the morning and wet in the evening will usually not have a problem, as the previous feed has already been digested. The changeover should take place over at least 2 weeks. During this sensitive phase in particular, it is essential to pay attention to the dog’s weight and the amount of food. The owner should determine the quantities. The puppy food can be adjusted in advance so that its energy density already corresponds to the food for adult dogs.
The Labrador Retriever puppy food recommendations are always a very individual matter. Not every puppy can tolerate every food equally well. Every little Labrador is an individualist and must be viewed as such. Regarding puppy feeding, only guidelines can be given. What is good for the dog, how much it gets and how satisfied it is with it, ultimately has to be decided by the dog owner. Only those who are well informed in advance will be able to enjoy a healthy, happy and full Labrador puppy.