logo Questions about feeding Labrador Retrievers are one of the most often asked here at Alderwood. It is difficult to separate hype for profit from good info based on science and experience. We'll try to do the latter!
MainPic It has been said that a Lab is a stomach with four legs. I think I agree with that. If you have a Lab that does not want to eat or is picky about his food, you need to pay attention, most times something is wrong. Either with your Lab or with the food. Generally you want your Lab with a waist and not seeing their ribs. Coat should be slick and shiny, no excessive scratching, stool should be firm and not excessively smelly. Eyes should be alert and bright, exuberant with life, desiring to please.

Remember, just because a food is expensive, does not necessarily mean it is good!

Labs running in field

Labs resting on road

Labs swimming in pond

Labs - Doc in field

Selecting a Feeding Program


We believe in feeding our adult dogs (over 6 months of age) two times a day. Free
choice feeding is not an option at Alderwood. We also recommend NOT feeding your
pup a prepared puppy food, start them on adult food right away, if possible feed 3
times a day for the first 6 months. Feed a little more (1/2 cup) than the
manufacturer recommends, but don't let your pup get fat. We feed a quality
dry dog food that is moistened with warm water, meat broth, soup, pasta water,
cabbage water, etc. Table scraps are great and the dogs love them (see sidebar to
the right for foods dogs should not eat). Vegetables are good for dogs and provide
lots of good fiber. Last year we had a bumper crop of spaghetti squash, every day
one goes in the microwave for 20 minutes, they look forward to it mixed with their
kibble. In season they love apples and blackberries. We also plant our garden with
the dogs in mind, they love veggies! Dog cookies (see recipe to right), are baked
every few days and handed out for a snack at lunch..... are you getting the picture?

Use the list below (no particular order) as a general guideline for choosing a good dog food. Generally stay away from the supermarket dog foods, and be careful about those foods with big advertising budgets. The first four ingredients on the bag label are the ones to pay most attention to. We are currently feeding Costco's Kirkland Chicken & Rice.

Manufacturer Brand Approx Cost (in our area)
Natura Innova $45.00
Natura Evo $54.00
Diamond Chicken Soup for the Soul $34.00
Diamond (Costco) Kirkland Lamb & Rice $23.99 (40 lbs.)
Solid Gold Millennia $36.00
Nutro MAX $28.99 (35 lbs)
Purina Pro Plan $26.00
PMI Nutrition Exclusive $32.00 (35 lbs)
Wellness CORE $47.00
Flint  River Ranch Adult $50.00 (40 lbs)