Today, we’re taking a look at a mixed breed’s dietary needs, and we’re going with the Labradoodle (part Labrador Retriever, part Poodle, a very appreciated mixed breed).
A Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds around, and the mixed variants which exist (such as the Labradoodle) for it are also incredibly loved and appreciated. These dogs tend to be easy to train, family friendly, and they got lots of energy as well, for those looking for such a thing. They make for great pets for your family, and since people will get attached to them easily, it’s important that you treat them right, in order to insure that they have a long and happy life.
As for the Poodle, that side of the mix is just as appreciated, and it’s considered a dog breed which is hypoallergenic, a huge reason why people appreciate the Labradoodle mix as well. At the same time, it’s one of the most intelligent dog breeds around, and since the Lab doesn’t do bad there either, the mix between the two tends to result in an impressive pup for you to have as a companion.
While there are both small and medium-sized variants for the Labradoodle, today we’ll be looking at the bigger one, so the diet we recommend below is going to work for larger dogs.
Giving your Labradoodle the very best dog food you can afford, means looking into the dog’s needs, and picking something that agrees with him and his constitution. We’re going to give you a few recommendations below, of the best dog foods for a Labrador Retriever, but go even further and you will find information on how to pick something like that in the first place.
Top 3 Dog Foods for Labradoodles
We have three suggestions for you below, when it comes to dog food choices which are great for Labrador Retrievers. You can go with an option with a great price and good quality (Core Grain Free, from Wellness), with a high end option (Rocky Mountain from Blue Wilderness) or with the Top Pick (Taste of the Wild’s Canine Formula).
1. Canine Formula – made by Taste of the Wild (Our Top Pick)
At number 1, we have Canine Formula, a type of dog food which comes from Taste of the Wild. The company making it creates it as a blend of everything your dog needs to thrive, including a moderate amount of calories, moderate fat and high protein content. They also add probiotic microorganisms to help the Labradoodle’s digestive function. Add to this the fact that the source of the animal protein is one of high quality, and you will understand why Taste of the Wild’s Canine Formula is an excellent choice.
The type of ingredients found in Canine Formula are all of high quality. They include meat coming from lamb, buffalo, bison, cattle, chicken, deer and ocean fish. Rather than rely on cereal grains, this dry dog food chooses sweet potatoes and peas. Eggs, vegetables and fruits are also components which provide this food with some of its calories.
If you want food which is excellent for a Labradoodle (and for many mixed dog breeds which are part Lab), then I’d recommend Canine Formula.
2. Core Reduced Fat – made by Wellness (Best for Labradoodle dogs on a diet)
Wellness CORE is a type of food that I’d recommend you choose, if your Labradoodle has issues with his weight. Canine obesity is a serious matter, just as much as it is for humans, and I’d recommend you help out your four-legged friend to remain at a healthy weight level. Wellness CORE will help with that, as a type of food with reduced fat (10%), which is grain free, and it has a lot of fiber as well.
Wellness CORE is a well thought out type of food, which not only has reduced fat, but is also rich in fiber, while offering nutrients that will help the Labradoodle’s joints, and probiotic microorganisms to help his immune and digestive systems.
It’s a high quality choice, one that removes grain from the equation, so it should be more accessible to dogs with allergies as well. The downside there is that it has chicken meal in it, which is likely to not be great for some dogs.
Overall, Wellness CORE is the type of dry dog food I’d recommend for a Labrador/Poodle Mix with weight issues, or which is likely to have issues of that nature.
At number 3 in our list of recommended dog foods for a Labradoodle, we have a Blue Wilderness product, the Rocky Mountain Recipe. It’s a food with a high protein content and without grain in it, a Premium product which will set you back more than the product that’s got our Top Pick recommendation.
Rocky Mountain Recipe is one of the top choices when it comes to foods for Labrador Retrievers/Poodle mixed breeds, it’s made with the LifeSource Bits tech which BLue Wilderness is known for, and it will give the dog an excellent mix of vitamins and minerals, to make sure that it grows in an optimum way.
Content wise, it offers a higher calorie count compared with the other products we recommended so far. Its main ingredients are beef, chicken meal, along with tapioca starch and peas. The manufacturer also includes 5 different types of bacteria which is gut-friendly.
An overall excellent dry dog food for a Lab, Rocky Mountain’s only getting the third place because of its use of meats (chicken/beef can be allergenic) and higher price (for smaller bags of food).
Buying Guide – How To Pick Your Labradoodle’s Dog Food
Choosing the right brand of dog food, for a Labradoodle or for any other breed for that matter, is going to require that you look at the characteristics of that dog. Size alone is not enough to decide on this.
In the case of Lab/Poodle Mixes, we’re looking at dogs of medium to large size, which will have a weight of up to 80 pounds (35-40 kg), at best, but often they will be much lower. As the Labrador Retriever side of the mix suggests, this is a hunting dog at its core, and it will be more than capable of running, both on short and long distances. It’s an active dog, which really likes to swim, and so water is a big plus for them.
As a downside, the Lab is a bit more prone to certain diseases and health problems. Canine hip, shoulder dysplasia or elbow dysplasia are a possibility, and for some of them there are also options such as diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cataract, hypothyroidism and others.
The food that’s going to be given to a Labradoodle is going to have to take that into consideration, and try to address the possible health issues of the breed. Not only does the dog’s activity level needs the right type of food to support it, but you want to also try and prevent certain health problems from appearing in the future. A good diet will help with that.
Proteins: this is something that all dog’s need, so what’s left for you to do is pick the dog food which has the best type of protein, so that the dog gets all the amino acids that he needs. For this purpose, go for dog foods which get their proteins from animals, not from plants.
Chondroitin and Glucosamine: if the dog food you’re offering your dog has this, the cartilage formation is encouraged and the joint will be stronger.
DHA and taurine: this will help with the eye development of your dog, while also helping his central nervous system.
Calcium and phosphorus: this keeps the bones strong, preventing fractures and other problems.
Probiotics: these are the microorganisms that you keep hearing about, which will keep the gut healthy and working well.
What’s The Right Diet For Your Labradoodle?
In case you’re not going for the options I’ve mentioned above, or if your dog doesn’t like them for some reason, you should still be able to pick one that he needs. There are certain things that you should be looking at here.
Protein content (moderate-high)
This is a dog breed with plenty of energy, active whenever he can, so he needs food that will support him. Obviously, this needs to be adapted to how much exercise the Labradoodle actually gets. If he doesn’t get a lot of attention, and he mostly sits in the house, then a lower protein content would work better. If he gets to run around and exercise a lot, then go for a higher protein content.
Once again, adapt the dry dog food you’re giving the dog, to the amount of exercise he’s doing and to his current weight. If it’s an obese dog, then clearly you want a diet version (such as the Wellness CORE, mentioned above), with low calories. If he’s at a normal weight, and he gets exercise, then a higher calorie count would work better.
Fat content (low)
While fat tends to provide the dog with extra energy, in the case of a Labrador Retriever, you don’t typically need a lot of it. It’s especially important not to go for these types of foods, if your pet is obese or has an inclination to become so. It’s often a problem for Labs, and low fat diets seem to work better for them, because of this.
Other Things To Consider (Age, Health, Activity Level)
When deciding what kind of diet to give your dog, consider first what you’re trying to achieve with it. Look at the dog’s age, he might have completely different needs as a puppy, while he’s still developing, compared to when he’s a senior.
Consider his health as well. Whether you want to prevent common Labradoodle health issues from happening, or are you trying to treat existing conditions (diabetes, joint problems, etc), you can go for certain types of dog foods, which are designed to work in their case. If it’s an obese dog, then getting him more exercise and putting him on a low calorie/low fat diet could work better for him.
If there are any health issues at all, then consulting a veterinary professional is the best course of action, when deciding what type of dog food will work best for your pup.