Labrador retrievers are a common choice breed for a family pet due to their outgoing personality, eagerness to please and adaptability to training methods. Ensuring that your Labrador retriever has a balanced diet is essential to the overall health of the dog. The breed is prone to eating just about anything, so regulate and watch the dog to avoid your pet from eating too much food or something toxic, according to Anna Hart of Lovable Labradors.
Labradors thrive on some of the same foods that humans eat, so if you have the extra time to prepare home-cooked meals for your Labrador, it can be a healthy option. Prepare raw or cooked meats such as chicken, turkey and beef and fresh fruits including cranberries, apples and bananas for your Labrador's meals. Raw vegetables such as potatoes, celery, carrots, broccoli and spinach are also healthy food options for your canine. Other items to include in the dog's diet are dairy products such as yoghurt, cottage cheese and eggs as well as brown rice and oatmeal. However, refrain from feeding your pet corn.
Store-Bought Dog Food
Check the ingredients in the selected dog's store-bought food. Some manufacturers include corn, rice, grains and meats that are rejected for humans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in order to make a profit on the rejected items, they are manufactured into store-bought dog food, according to Deb Dempsey from Colorado Dog, an online magazine for dog lovers. Many manufacturers put these food items through processes to rid them from hazardous byproducts and bacterial contaminants through rendering, which is the process of melting animal products to separate the fat-soluble materials from the water-soluble ones and solid materials.
Health Signs and Eating
When Labradors eat the food they have vomited, it may be a sign that it is eating too fast and is still hungry. Labs may also eat faeces, which is normal for any breed of dog, but excessive faeces consumption may be diagnosed by a veterinarian as a condition called coprophagia. Eating faeces may be an attempt to gain essential nutrients that are not present in their diet. Other signs of illness are lack of attention, boredom, anxiety or neglect. Oral fixation issues may lead to carrying the faeces in its mouth and later swallowing it. When your Labrador eats grass or leaves, it may be a sign of environmental stress, hunger, lack of nutrients or an instinctual oral fixation.
How Much and When
Feed your Labrador puppy in small amounts a few times a day and as the dog reduces its growth rate, reduce the amount of servings. Feed the dog enough to satisfy it but not make it sick. Feed your Labrador in a peaceful place by itself to prevent the dog from eating too fast or more than it should just to finish it before it is disturbed.