Feeding Your Labrador Puppy: How Much, Diet Charts And The Best Food

feeding your labrador puppy

We have lots of information here on feeding your Labrador puppy. We’ll talk about the four main different ways to feed a puppy. We’ll help you decide how much to feed a Lab puppy, how often to feed them, and help you choose the right diet for your puppy.

We will show you the best puppy foods, whether dry, wet, or raw, and we’ll look at food safety, together with schedules, quantities and even a handy puppy diet chart. Finally, we’ll include some reviews of the various brands, and will help you cope with the all-important transition to adult food.

Feeding Your Labrador Puppy

There’s a lot to cover so let’s get started! If you have a specific question, you can use this handy contents list to skip straight to the answer:


Can My Puppy Eat This?

We often receive questions on the website about feeding your Labrador Retriever puppies. People ask if it is OK to give puppies eggs, or rice, or milk, and so on.

When I was small, we fed puppies all sorts of things, including scraps, raw meat, canned puppy food, puppy meals, or breakfast cereal and milk.

Nowadays, feeding your Labrador puppy is usually much simpler. Most new puppy parents opt for a commercial food that is nutritionally complete and contains everything your puppy needs.

Best Puppy Food for Labs

Naturally, we all want the best for our puppies and want to give them a diet that is nutritious, healthy, and tasty. So, what is the best puppy food for labs? Most people feed puppies with commercially produced dry dog food also known as kibble. That’s fine and can give a perfectly balanced diet. We’ll look at some of the different brands of dry puppy food later.

Others like to mix in some commercial tinned dog meat, which is another healthy alternative. Pick a good quality brand that is specially formulated for puppies.

feeding your labrador puppy

Feeding your Labrador puppy on home cooked food or on a totally raw diet is also possible. You’ve probably heard of BARF, or ‘Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Feeding dogs this way is growing in popularity, and there are pros and cons to raw feeding puppies. That’s another area we will explore later on.

Ways of Feeding Your Labrador Puppy

Let’s break this down. The main alternatives are:

  • Kibble (dry food)
  • Barf (raw food)
  • Wet food (cans and pouches)
  • Home cooked puppy food

All of these have their pros and cons.

Experts Disagree on Puppy Feeding

One problem for puppy owners is that even the experts disagree on what is the best food for puppies. People often feel very strongly that one way of feeding is better than another, and you can always find evidence to support your view.

You will find veterinarians on YouTube pronouncing that BARF is the only way to keep a dog healthy. Other veterinarians and nutritionists argue that kibble is the only way you should feed your puppy, warning of dire consequences if you attempt to go ‘natural.’

To make things even more complicated, dog breeders also tend to be divided into those that feed a natural raw diet and those that feed kibble. Take a look online – you will find plenty of claims for the benefits of one method over the other.

The truth is that there is no good quality evidence showing that kibble is better for the long term health of your dog, or that raw feeding is better. There are risks and benefits to both, and the main thing is to ensure that your dog has good quality food to eat. So, we’ll now take a quick look at some of the pros and cons of the different puppy foods.

Choosing The Best Puppy Feeding Method

Different methods of puppy feeding suit different families. Some dogs and some families are better suited to raw feeding, and many dogs and their families are probably better suited to feeding kibble.

If like most people, you’ll be feeding your Labrador puppy on commercial dry puppy food, you should not feel that you are letting him down in any way. Let’s look now at feeding your Labrador puppy kibble. This dried food is how most modern puppies are fed in the USA and the UK

Feeding your Labrador Puppy on Kibble

In most parts of the world, you can buy ready-made puppy food made into pellets. Kibble stores well provided that you don’t get the food become damp. An airtight plastic container or tin will do the job, although you should make sure it is food grade quality.

Most vets and breeders believe that kibble is the best way of feeding your Labrador puppy. As a result, you are likely to get plenty of support from your vet if you decide to feed your puppy on dry food.

A good puppy kibble will contain every nutrient your Labrador puppy needs in order to grow and remain healthy. It will be tasty, good for keeping teeth healthy, and free from additives that can provoke allergies or stomach problems.

What happens if you choose feeding your Labrador puppy dry food? Can you give it other types as well?

What Other Food Should You Feed With Puppy Kibble?

If your are feeding your Labrador puppy kibble, there is no need to provide anything else apart from water. Puppy kibble from a reputable manufacturer is intended to be a complete and balanced food. Some owners like to mix in canned dog food or even scraps of raw food with kibble.

There’s probably no harm in doing this occasionally with an older dog, but with puppies you may find it causes upset tummies and there’s a risk that you won’t be feeding a balanced diet unless you include considerable variety in your ‘extras’.

Speak to your Vet

As always, check with your vet if you want to try it, especially if your puppy needs a special diet.

Whether you decide to feed only with kibble or you want to mix it up, pick a good dried food manufacturer and stick with them. Another type of food, which has grown in popularity in recent years, is the raw food diet.

What About Feeding Puppies On Raw Food?

Some people are worried about the long term effects of feeding your Labrador puppy kibble and believe there are advantages to feeding a more natural raw diet. I have fed many of my own dogs this way. There are pros and cons to raw feeding which you need to consider carefully before plunging in.

Do Plenty of Research

You’ll need to do some research on the nutritional needs of puppies in order to maintain a balanced diet during this period of rapid growth. Here is a link to the articles you need to help you decide whether or not raw feeding is for you:

Although I like the raw diet for my dogs, most puppies fed kibble go on to have long and healthy lives. Whatever food you choose, the most important thing is portion control. Too much food and they will become fat: too little and they might not grow and develop properly.

How Much to Feed a Labrador Puppy?

People often tell me how much their puppy weighs, and ask how much food they should give him. In fact, one of the most common questions we hear is “how much should I feed my Labrador puppy?”

I have put up a puppy diet guide, below, to give you an idea of what quantities you should be feeding. Most food brands give you a Lab puppy feeding chart.

However, knowing how much to feed a Labrador puppy is sometimes a matter of keeping an eye on her. If she look too fat, you might be overfeeding her.

Risks Of Overfeeding Your Puppy

Rapid growth doesn’t just put weight on a puppy, but leads to larger but less dense bones and associated skeletal abnormalities. Labradors and other larger breed dogs are particularly at risk if they grow too quickly. Try to follow the charts and feeding guides, and don’t forget booking a check up at the vet to make sure your Lab’s growth is normal.

The following diet chart is for kibble fed puppies and does not apply to raw fed pups. It gives you an idea of how much should I feed my Labrador puppy

Lab Puppy Feeding Chart

The Lab puppy feeding chart below is only a very rough guide. The quantity of food you need for your puppy will vary depending on your puppy and on the brand of food you are feeding him.
puppy feeding chart

Many food manufacturers provide similar dietary charts on the bag of food or on their website. You can also check with a vet or dog nutrition specialist to make sure that your puppy grows to be strong and healthy with just the right amount of food.

The diet charts are always useful when selecting the best dog food brand for your puppy.

Choosing Best Brand of Puppy Food

A good brand of dog food is one that will provide all your puppy’s nutrients and keep him healthy without costing you a small mortgage each week.

It’s important to give your little one food specifically designed for puppies, because they have different nutritional needs and their small teeth cannot handle large, hard dog biscuits. Don’t feed puppies the kibble sold for adult dogs.

When feeding your Labrador puppy, the right product will be for medium/large breed puppies. Check the pack carefully and look at the dietary charts. Ideally, you want the optimal protein content and the lowest amount of additives.

Part of this always comes down to the cost, because the healthiest foods are usually the most expensive and may not be affordable for some families.

The Cost Of Puppy Food

Some brands of food are more concentrated than and contain a higher proportion of proteins, essential oils, and other nutrients. The cheaper brands may contain more ‘fillers’ in the form of extra carbohydrates, usually made from grain. The absence of these fillers means that you can often feed lower quantities of more costly food, making them less expensive than they first seem.

You might also find that cheaper brands make your puppy poop more due to those extra fillers going straight through him. While some brands are beyond the budget of many families, it is usually good to buy a premium brand.

High Quality Brands of Puppy Food

Some brands of puppy food have developed a reputation for producing a high quality product and have many devoted supporters, including breeders that have fed them to generations of puppies.

We’ve selected some good quality brands in our Amazon puppy picks:puppy food

One of our favourites is Orijen Large Breed Puppy Formula.*

We also like Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Food*.

Orijen and Nature’s Variety (and some of the other more expensive brands), rely on legumes like lentils and chickpeas as a source of carbs.

These are much gentler on a dog’s stomach than grain, which can cause bowel irritation.

Both of these brands receive good ratings on Dog Food Advisor, an independent dog food review site where you can find lots more information on the ingredients of different brands of dog food.

Availability of Puppy Food

The big brands are widely available in many parts of the world, and they have a valuable reputation to maintain. So, the chances are, your puppy will be eating a good quality product if you choose one of these.

labrador puppy feeding and puppy food guideOn the packet, your puppy food should give you the manufacturers quantity guidelines for that brand.

Again, this is a rough guide only, and you should not follow the advice slavishly. Overfed puppies are prone to diarrhea, obesity, and too-rapid growth.

Now, we’ll explain how to figure out if your puppy is getting too fat or too thin.

Following Puppy Feeding Quantity Guidelines

Just to complicate things, not every puppy in each age group will fall within the weights displayed on the chart above. Some owners may worry that there is something wrong with their puppy. However, don’t worry, because our cuddly Labrador pups vary so much.

Quite simply, puppies of the same age vary in weight and size, so that means the amount of food you need to feed them will be different. Use the guidelines on the packet as a guide, then observe and feel your puppy to check how he is doing. You can always chat to your vet if you have any concerns.

We looked at the type of food and the amount, so we can now look at the feeding time routine. Let’s start with where to feed your puppy.

Where To Feed Your Puppy

If you’re feeding your labrador puppy in a family room when she is small, she will soon become used to eating with people milling around her. This should prevent behavior we call ‘Food Guarding.’

Food Guarding

At some point, puppies may attempt to guard their food by growling. This is more likely if he is used to eating in isolation, but you suddenly expect him to eat in front of people. Don’t panic if your tiny friend starts food guarding, because it is an easy thing to sort out if you are willing to learn a few tips and techniques.

Don’t be tempted to punish your puppy, because that will make things worse. You will need to follow the instructions in this link in order to stop your puppy growling over food.

Crate Feeding

Feeding your Labrador puppy some meals in his crate can be helpful, especially if he is a bit unsure whether the crate is a good thing or not. You can read more about this in my in-depth guide to crate training

Choosing The Right Food (And Water) Bowls

There is plenty of choice when it comes to choosing a food bowl for your puppy. You can if you wish, simply feed your puppy from one of your own plates or bowls.

My own preference is for a simple stainless steel bowl*. They are dishwasher safe, don’t break, and last a lifetime. Because they don’t scratch easily, food can’t gather in difficult-to-clean cracks and scratches, making it easy to keep the bowl clean and sterile.

The only disadvantage is that they can be a bit noisy when the puppy chases the empty bowl around the kitchen!

If you are worried about esthetics, there are plenty of much prettier bowls on the market if that’s what appeals to you.

I recommend a really heavy ceramic bowl for water*, simply because they are so difficult for your puppy to tip up – and he will try!

Size can be important, too. If you buy a bowl that is too big, then it is easy to give your puppy too much food accidentally. Too small a bowl, and you might give her too little. The right size bowl is a useful tool for keeping your puppy at the right weight.

Keeping Your Puppy At The Right Weight

It is important that your dog does not get too fat or too thin. However, you have some leeway, and you should increase or decrease his rations accordingly as he grows.

The most common problem is puppies that get too fat. Although we all love cuddly Labrador puppies, they should not be rotund!

By three months or so, they should have definite waist just like older dogs. Check out this page for more information. Don’t forget, if you are unsure about your puppy, your vet is the best person to give you some great guidance.

Of course, the other side of the weight issue is puppies that look too thin. That can be another important issue.

What If Your Puppy Is Too Thin?

If you are worried about your puppy’s growth rate it is a good idea to take him along to your vet for check up. Sometimes, it is just a matter of increasing the amount of food or changing the brand to a more nutritious option with fewer fillers.

Importantly, don’t just double her food overnight, because a sudden increase in quantity can upset her tummy and make matters worse.

If you can see your puppy’s ribs, or she weighs a lot less than the weights on the chart above for her age, get your vet to have a look at her.

How Often Should you Feed Your Labrador Puppy?

Like most baby animals, puppies need feeding more often than adult dogs. Right now, your puppy’s growth is the fastest it will ever be in his life. He needs plenty of calories to fuel that growth, as well as the right nutrients.

If you feed his entire day’s ration in one go, his digestive system will be overwhelmed and he’ll end up with diarrhea. So, you need to make sure that your puppy’s daily ration of food is broken up into several small meals, fed three to four hours apart.

puppy food bowlFeeding your Labrador puppy little and often is a great way of preventing tummy upsets. If your puppy has rather loose stools on three meals a day, try breaking his ration up into four meals a day for a while.

General Guidelines

As a rule of thumb puppies fed on kibble require

  • Four meals a day from eight weeks to three months
  • Three meals a day from three months to six months
  • Two meals a day thereafter

This is all part of getting your puppy used to the feeding routine. Puppies tend to like predictability and feeding at set times.

Mealtimes and Schedules: Or When to Feed Your Puppy

Your puppy’s feeding schedule can fit in with your personal preferences up to a point. But don’t try and cram all his meals into the evening. If you have to work during the day, you’ll need to make sure someone comes in to feed him.

You can’t just leave a puppy’s food ration for the day down, because he’ll eat it all at once and this may upset his tummy.

Ad Libitum Puppy Feeding

You may have heard of the ad lib feeding system, where puppies can help themselves to food at any time from a hopper.

The idea is that the puppy will regulate his own food intake if food is never restricted.

However, studies have shown that puppies fed this way have a higher incidence of bone and joint problems. As a result, it really is not a good idea.

Choosing the right time of day to give your puppy his meals is important, because it determines whether you can keep your puppy clean and dry at night. Feeding schedules can also influence how long your puppy sleeps for at night.

First Meal of the Day

Puppies love food, and crave the attention that comes with feeding time. If you’re feeding your Labrador puppy at 6am, because he has woken you and was hungry, the chances are he’ll wake you at 5:45 the following day!

Remember, feeding is a powerful reinforcer of behavior. If you don’t want to encourage your puppy to wake you up earlier each morning, don’t feed him as soon as you get up. Have a coffee and wake up before filling the bowl.

Have a set time for breakfast and don’t feed her before then, even if she has been awake for two hours. She won’t starve in that short period of time, although she might make you feel like she is! Be firm and resist the temptation.

Last Meal Before Bed

Try to space your puppy’s meals out fairly evenly throughout the day. Most importantly, don’t feed your puppy just before you put her to bed for the night.

I like to leave at least a four-hour gap between the puppy’s last meal and her bedtime. This helps to reduce the risk that she will want to use the bathroom at 2 am.

Example Puppy Feeding Schedule

Just to help you on the way, here is an example puppy feeding schedule. Of course, you can adapt this to suit your own routine as long as you pay attention to the above advice.

Feeding schedule for an 8 week old Labrador puppy

My puppy feeding times for 8-week-old puppies tend to be something like this:

  • 7am
  • 11am
  • 3pm
  • 7pm

You don’t need to be a slave to the clock, but this is just to give you an idea. A few minutes or even half an hour earlier or later won’t cause problems.

12 Weeks Old

Feeding schedule for a 12 week old Labrador puppy:

  • 8am
  • 1pm
  • 6pm

If you want to make an early start with training your puppy, you can use all or part of his daily rations during training sessions. Again, spread these out throughout the day, and don’t feed too close to bedtime

What If My Puppy Is Still Hungry?

One of the things people most often ask is, “what if my puppy is still hungry?” They have followed the guidelines on the packet, but the food doesn’t seem to be enough to satisfy the puppy.

Finding the right puppy food for hungry puppies

If your puppy clears up his food in a few seconds and begs for more, don’t panic. This is perfectly common and perfectly normal.

Your puppy doesn’t know for sure when his next meal will be along, so it makes sense to him to eat as much as he possibly can right now!

And, puppies are very good at using every trick in the book to win you round.

Stand firm!

Slow Feed Dog Bowls

You can try giving your puppy her meal on a slow feed bowl or plate. These work very well for some puppies and can help to  prevent a puppy eating its food so quickly that it makes her sick.

puppy slow feederOur favourite is the Northmate Interactive Feeder*.

The large one will hold a full meal of Labrador kibble, enough for an adult.

In addition, as an added bonus, your puppy will have a lot of tail-wagging fun getting the pieces of kibble out from in between the ‘blades of grass’. Problem solving can be very enriching for your puppy.

What about the opposite problem, that your puppy is refusing to eat?

What if My Puppy Won’t Eat?

As most experienced Labrador owners know, not all puppies are greedy. And studies have shown that puppies in general eat more when they are fed in a group with other puppies

Many puppies go off their food for the first few days that that they spends in their new home. They eat a few bits of kibble then refuse any more. The puppy may eat from your hand but not their bowl. If your puppy won’t eat at all for more than four hours, then call your vet for advice. Call sooner if the pup is listless or showing any signs of being unwell.

Otherwise, a somewhat reduced appetite, to begin with, is probably nothing to worry about. Just mention it to your vet when you take the pup for his first check up, or in the next day or two.

Should Your Puppy Have Milk?

A few older breeders still give puppies milk and cereal for two of their four meals. This is a throwback to the days before we invented kibble. It is also very natural to want to give milk to a baby animal, and it sometimes feels like the right thing to do. However, don’t forget that dogs are weaned at a younger age than many other mammals.

At eight weeks old, when you bring your puppy home, he is fully weaned. He does not need milk of any description. In fact, many older puppies are highly intolerant of milk and will simply get diarrhea if you feed it to them.

If you are feeding your Labrador puppy on complete kibble, your puppy does not need milk to drink, and fresh water is all they require.

Now, you have followed the puppy feeding advice and your dog is almost an adult. How can you change the feeding routine to help your puppy transition to the next stage of its life.

Changing From Puppy To Adult Food

Kibble manufacturers often recommend feeding your Labrador puppy kibble for puppies up to 12 months of age, before changing to adult kibble.

Feeding Labrador Puppy on kibbleSome breeders and experienced dog owners do switch their lab puppies on to adult food before this, but not usually before they reach six months of age.

Switching Between Dog Food Brands

If you haven’t brought your puppy home yet, make sure you get a diet sheet from the breeder, and feed her with the same brand for at least a week or two.

There will be quite enough for her little tummy to cope with when she leaves home without learning to digest a different food.

Adding Variety To Your Puppy’s Diet

It’s very easy to give human attributes to puppies and assume that, because we would be bored eating the same thing, your small one will too. This encourages people to try to add scraps to the puppy diet or change brand.

Remember, adding your own extras, like cereals or milk, to kibble might make you feel caring, but it will only unbalance the whole diet. Changing brands can upset puppies’ tummy and make them sick.

In other words, don’t be tempted to fix what isn’t broken. If your pup has a balanced and tasty diet, why change it? Puppies probably don’t get bored from lack of variety, although there is rarely any harm in changing the flavor of food, as long as it is the same brand.

Hand feeding, training and treats

With modern training methods, you’ll find that much of your puppy’s food allowance will be used up in training. You don’t need training treats for this. Simply use your puppies normal food.

If you want to, all the rest of the puppy’s food can also be hand fed. Nowadays I do this with my own puppies and if you are at home throughout the day you can do this too. It’s a great way to form a deep and lasting bond with your puppy

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

It works like this: I measure out the puppy’s daily food allowance and divide it into portions, but instead of putting those portions into a bowl, I put them in small airtight food containers labelled with a ‘mealtime’.

puppy food portions

As soon as one mealtime has passed I open the pot for the next mealtime, and over the next few hours I hand-feed pieces of the kibble in the pot to the puppy whenever the puppy does something that I like and want to encourage. I also get visitors to the house to hand-feed the puppy from the pot too. Here are some examples of when we feed the puppy

  • When the puppy is looking up into your eyes
  • When the puppy is keeping all four paws on the floor while you pet them
  • When the puppy is resting quietly on a blanket or cushion
  • When something new happens that might be scary (eg someone knocking at the door)
  • When something new happens that is super exciting (eg children visiting)

I also use much of the kibble playing puppy games – these are games designed to build the puppy’s confidence and lay the foundations for future obedience training. I keep some of the kibble in a pocket and give some to the puppy each time I leave the room so that they associate me leaving with a happy experience.

If there is any food left in the pot by the time written on the lid, I tip it into my hand and let the puppy eat it in one go. But usually the pot is empty. And all you need to do is open the next pot!

Good luck with feeding your Labrador puppy! And don’t forget to contact your vet if you are worried about him in any way.

If you want to find out more, we have plenty of new resources for you to look at.

More Puppy Feeding And Growth Resources

If you have recently brought home a new puppy then don’t forget to check out First Days at Home with Your New Puppy and our Labrador Puppy Growth FAQ, for lots more tips and information!

feeding a labrador puppyIf you want to find out the best way to feed an adult Labrador, then check out our article on how to feed a Labrador here.

One of the best places to get help and support in feeding your puppy is, of course, our wonderful forum. It is packed full of puppy advice and information, and lots of other new puppy owners and experienced Labrador owners are only too happy to advise and support you.

If this is your first puppy, don’t waste any more time – get yourself over to the forum now – we’d love to meet you. And don’t forget to bring some photos with you, because we simply love puppy pictures too.


Dry diets, wet diets, and raw diets can all work for your Lab, but you should not feel that you have to prepare home cooked food for your puppy if you don’t want to. Most puppy parents feed commercially prepared complete foods, and puppies thrive on good quality kibble.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment and, as always, we regularly update articles with new information from our readers. If you’ve enjoyed this article, you might also want to check out our guide to Labrador lifespan! Or find out when your Lab puppy can go outside safely here!

Affiliate link disclosure: Links in this article marked with an * are affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission if you purchase these products. However, we selected them for inclusion independently, and all of the views expressed in this article are our own.

Related Articles

References and further reading

  • James W, 1960. The Development of Social Facilitation of Eating in Puppies. Journal of Genetic Psychology
  • Hawthorne A, et al 2004 . Body-Weight Changes during Growth in Puppies of Different Breeds. Journal of Nutrition
  • Larsen J 2010 Feeding Large Breed Puppies (pdf). Vetlearn.com
  • Dammrich K 1991 Relationship between Nutrition and Bone Growth in Large and Giant Dogs. Journal Of Nutrition
  • Roudebush, P., Bloom, P.B., and DJ Jewell. Consumption of essential fatty acids in selected commercial dog foods compared to dietary supplementation, QBC Europe.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website

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Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. She is the founder of the Labrador Site and a regular contributor. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs.


  1. Hello Sir,
    i just got a Lab as a gift from my friend and he is just 2 months old, can you please tell me when should i take him for Vaccination, and what food i should i give?
    and one more thing i like to share is that, he bites a lot,. what is the reason for biting?

  2. I have a 6 months lab and he has got an very bad habit of pouncing on our leg and catch hold it.
    Plz tell me the solution for it

  3. Hi pippa,i hv got a choc female lebra,its 1 and half months old.its very active,plays alot.but it bites everything…..my hand , my mumma’s gown,my legs, everthing.its new teeth are coming.whenever we cuddle it,it bites us.what to do to stop this habbit?

  4. hi ,I have one month old lab male,out of excitement my hubby bought it home ,someone suggested that we feed him on baby food(ceralac wheat ) five times with four hours gap and add a little of yoghurt to his diet,first day he was OK but later he’s having loose stool and drinking less water
    please suggest me with an alternative

  5. Dear sir, I have Eric named baby lab of one n half month. His hemoglobin is only 3 as he should have 12. He is not having dog food royal cannin even if it is served. He is only having milk twice a day. What kind of food I should serve to him. Please guide me

  6. Hi there, I have a 4 month old lab. He is growing fast and seems quite lively. He is fed puppy kibble (beta). I am worried though because he seems to drink a lot (3 bowls of water a day) he is always licking the walls, floors, stones outside and finally… he eats his poop unless we can get out and stop him in time. Are these normal behaviours as our other lab didn’t do any of them?!!

  7. Hello Pippa,

    Thank you very much for the information in this website. I got a 12 week old lab yesterday and have been using this website as a guide for every action I take and it has been very helpful. However, my lab eats the mulch and everything else it can find in the yard or anywhere else. How can I control this behavior?

    • I was told by my breeder labs will eat anything.and it turned out to be completely true. Mine eats everything from mulch to poo. Can’t do much about it. Heard mulch
      is not harmful. I prevent outdoor nibbles
      as much as possible.

  8. Hi i have a 7 month old lab i was wondering if i can feed him regular rice. Mu dad fed his dogs this but idk i fee him 2 times a day but he always seems hungry

  9. Hi pippa,
    M getting a 34 days old lab home on 14th july and as my family bing a vegetarian we would feed da puppy with veg food. Wld dis b problematic fr da puppys health??
    Plzz rply soon will b w8ing for ur rply

    • Yes it will be problematic. Dogs are carnivores. If you don’t want to handle meat, you’ll need to purchase a complete pelleted dog food to give your puppy. Also, 34 days is too young to take a puppy from his mother. You need to wait until he is 8 weeks old. Pippa

  10. We lost or 7 year old yellow lab appeared healthy autospy showed right side heart failure.we have a new puppy 7 1/2wk old.took her for ck.OK someone came to vet while I was there petted my puppy then told me there dog was in the car so I asked what was their seeing vet. She tells me Parvo after she peted my puppy what chance of my puppy getting sick from her petting her I don’t want to lose another lab broke our hearts when we lost Casey our7 yr old

  11. hi Pippa,
    My labrador is over 6 months old and we feed her royal canin as per instructions twice a day but am not sure about the interval between the two meals. I feed her one meal at around 8 in the morning and the second one at around 7 in the evening. is it the right gap to maintain?????Please reply am worried.

  12. Hi Pippa, we have a 10wk old choc lab and are having troubles with runny poos we were feeding him twice a day as that’s what the breeder said she was doing but his poos are runny and smelly no blood and not watery just not formed After reading your post we have now started feeding him his food over 4 even meals 4hrly like suggested my question is how long should it take for him to start having firmer bowl movements?? Thanks in advanced

  13. Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss. I hope owners heed your advice Pippa, and I just have to say you are doing a wonderful job.

    Anyhow, I was wondering, what is the difference between waiting 12 months to switch from kibble to adult food and making the change sooner at 6 months?

    • ma lab pup is 1 and half month old… yesterday only we have bought him home but 1 once he had his food (kiddle) but after that he omitted everything..and he is not having anything. he is quite sleepy , continously lying down and not at all active. shopkeeper gave us royal canin maxi for mothers and baby dogs. 26-44 kg. is it ok to give these food to our pup or i should change his food

  14. HI Pippa,

    I have a labrador pup in my home. She is fawn in colour.She is one and half month old. She likes to eat ice cream very much. Can i feed her? Are their any side effects? I give her kiible four times a day. Is it good?

  15. I leave waterdownfor my 11 week old puppy all day however my step father is saying that he should only have water at food times and after play!!!! To me thats just cruel.
    He’s a puppy he’s bound to have accidents, however tonight he keeps dropping urine EVERYWHERE! On the sofa, inside and out? Is it territorial?

  16. Hi Pippa,
    I have an 8 month old English lab. I’ve been feeding him Inukshuk, which is what my breeder had fed him; the problem is, I can only buy it from her and she’s 40 mins. away. It’s made in Canada and can only be bought in 1/2 pallets or more. I would like to switch him to another brand, but there are so many to choose from! I’ve been researching and find many “reputable” brands with numerous recalls i.e. Iams, Blue Diamond, Eukanuba. I’d like to find the best brand for him and stick with it. Do you have any recommendations?


  17. Hi Pippa, firstly this site and the articles from you are very useful. We got a 6-7 weeks old lab puppy (he is called BoZo) on 1 Feb. We are feeding him Royal Canine puppy starter food and upon checking, the vet found his weight fine. Bozo eats proper and fine -4 times a day, a handful ( touch wood). My questions are:
    Do I need to restrict his water intake?
    Do pellets need to be soaked prior in wam water?
    Also, can I give my puppy treats? If yes, are those available in the supermarket safe for his age?
    Thanks in anticipation.
    Cheers, Tupur

    • Hi Tupur, your puppy should have unrestricted access to water during the day. You do not need to soak his kibble. Puppy kibble is designed to be eaten dry.

      Be careful with treats. If you buy them from a shop, make sure they do not contain sugar and are specifically made for puppies. I can’t comment on what is available in your supermarket I’m afraid, you’ll need to read the packet carefully.

      If you give your puppy too many treats, it will unbalance his diet. So I suggest you forget commercially made treats, at this point and use your puppy’s own food rations for training rewards. When you need more powerful rewards, tiny pieces of cheese or cooked meat are fine. Pippa

  18. Hi Pippa again, My 6 month old puppy has had loose stools for a month now on and off. He is fine all other way, it is ok to give them probiotic natural yogurt? Will this help.

    • Lots of people give their dogs probiotics, whether or not it will help would probably depend on the cause of the loose stools. Best to have him checked over by the vet. Pippa

  19. Hello Pippa

    We have just got bruno home , Hes 9 weeks old , The breeder used to feed him minced chicken rice and some kibble mixed with water and grind to be fine , We did that a few times and now are grinding kibble and mixing with water and feeding him 4 times a day , He poo seems alrite , Please advise if i am doing the right thing.


  20. Hi Pippa, My 5 month old puppy is on Hills Science and has had cake mix style poo for just over a week. We feed him 450 gms (3 cups) of food 3 times a day. He is correct weight and is happy in himself. Shall we start and feed him same amount twice a day? Do you think that will help firm up his stools?
    Please help.
    Ps I have your book and love it.

  21. Hi Pippa
    I have a two female lab (Rosie and Rusty ) they are almost 2- 3 years mid of this age.I would like to know how many times meal to be given and what?As these breed likes to eat a lot .In the morning i give them rice and chicken at 8am or 9am and directly i give them food at 9am or 8pm .So is it ok ? Kindly suggest .
    Thanking you for your co-operation.
    Good Day!

    • Hello Shivani, As you have rightly mentioned, these breads love eating to the core. When i had brought Mckie he was 30 days, as i am working and no at home, there was no one to feed him thru the day. The maid appointed was not regular. i started feeding him with boiled veggies for breakfast like potatoes which is full of carbohydrates, and them very small feeds of Royal Cannin in the evening at intervals of 4 as he is very active at nights. I see no problems with Mckie. Only point to note is not to put false habits in her by giving her anything to eat out off its feeding cycle. To put your answer in a nut shell, i do not see any reason in feeding them only twice a day. It looks perfect as long as adequate nutrients are made available

  22. Hi I have a 8 week old lab we have had him 2 weeks now how do I get him to sleep right through the night also what is the best time for the last feed thank you

    • Hey Carol, i do not see any point in wasting your efforts in putting your efforts in putting him off to sleep at nights. They wont. Over a period of time they would get accustomed to your habits. Give them that time. I had bought Mckie when he was 30 days of age. He slept through out the day and at night he was very active. Now he is almost 4 months, he know when i sleep and when i wake up. My nights are very peaceful now.

      • Hi Manoj
        I read your post and I am still struggling at nights because he wakes up and makes noise, almost every 3-4 hours. I take him to wee, and he poos also, is this normal or should I let him inside his create until he doesn´t wake up? He is 12 weeks old.

  23. Hi Pippa
    Have a wonderful 16 week lab puppy. He has never been too keen on kibble so imadded a few pieces of cooked chicken on the top (literally one chicken thigh over the whole day) because when he had to have chicken and rice for upset tummy he wS so much more interested in his food. The vet says at 17.5 kg he is overweight. Should I stop adding the chicken? He’s not interested when I try that or should I change his food to another make? He has 2/3 walks a day and lots of exercise in the garden

    • Hi Deanna, If you want to feed your puppy on kibble (and there is nothing wrong with this) I recommend you don’t add anything to your puppy’s kibble. Puppy’s love chicken so he is bound to prefer it.

      Just offer him his kibble, and take it away after a few minutes if he does not eat it.

      If he is overweight, you need to give him less food. It is that simple really. You hold all the cards. 🙂

  24. My 2 month Labrador puppy losing his hair so much, and he bit everyone in family, pillow so what can I do major problem is he losing his hair very badly in last 3 days pls tell me about medicine to give my lab.
    Thank you
    Pls tell me today is possible.

  25. Hi Pippa, I have your book and it is brill. We have an 11 week old fox red lab puppy and when he feeds its like he is on fast forward!! I tried putting a ball and mini kong in the bowl to slow him down but it doesn’t. Is this normal – is he just a little pigglet dogglet? He is healthy and putting on weight at a steady pace, he is 7kg but still looks the correct shape.

    • Hi Lesley, glad you like the book 🙂 Rapid eating is very common in Labrador puppies. Views differ as to whether it does any harm. You can buy ‘slow feed’ bowls, which will reduce the speed of eating. There is a link to one in this article Good luck with your puppy. Best wishes Pippa

    • We put a large rock in our puppies bowl, he had to fight around it which slowed him down so instead of 10 seconds it took him about 1 minute. This helped with his digestion ( eating so fast he threw up right after ) and stool. We did this for 2 weeks and he is a little slower but still a fast eater and does not vomit anymore.

  26. Hi Pippa:),
    My place lacks good vets..my doggy ,kukku,5yr old lab died recently..she had vomiting and fever like symptoms including cough…v tried a lot to get her back..:-(.eventhough we R in despair..planning to get a new puppy…and I’d like to know of what all things to take care of to get a long life?givin chicken and fish bones is dangerous?

    • Hi Rincee, giving cooked bones may well be dangerous. Giving raw bones as a part of a balanced raw diet is a different matter. There are pros and cons. Here is an article about raw feeding. Taking care of your puppy is a big topic, so you will need to read up on it using the articles available in the puppy section. Good luck with your new puppy

  27. I should have added that the vet had this little Pup on intraven. for 2 days & we don’t know just how long she was in this box . She was found by the Campsite Owner cleaning up after the Weekend. Still wondering if many small meals will help her catch up. Also we have 5 other Dogs here & 2 Cats all, but one spoiled one, like her a lot and play & clean her . Hope you have some helpful thiughts as there is too much info on the Web to grasp sometimes. Thanks

  28. Hi There – We have had the Joy of adding a Baby to our lot . We have always taken in 10 yr old> that have been displaced due to death, illness or ,mostly, people going to Old age Homes & family won’t care for the old dog. They have given us ,& still do, great pleasure. Now however, we have a yellow lab found in a box on the July 1st weekend & around 4-5 weeks at that time. We are feeding a Vets canned puppy food every 4 hours ( loose 1/4 of cup ) & are introducing 15 nuggets or so every couple of hours . Couldn’t do the nuggets earlier as she woofs them down & then throws them up ,as is, 15 minutes later. We make sure she chews each one now & that they are not the “main menue” item . Mostly snacks . She’s hungry all he time but are most pups like that ? I don’t want to starve her but don’t want to make her sick either. The vet said all dogs are different ??? There is also nothing on the can – just to contact the vet .She was 2 lbs on Juy 2nd & is now 5+ lbs & approx. 2 mths old. Anything extra I should know. Old dogs are easier to feed 🙂 Thanks for any help

  29. We just brought home our 8.5 week old pup and he is happy, playing, sleeping and healthy but he hardly seems to eat to me. He has only been here one day and I assume it is because he is adjusting. Any other advice or suggestions? Don’t get me wrong he is eating about 3 to 5 mouthfuls at eat feeding and drinking and peeing fine but there is still tons of kibble left compared to the suggested feeding amount. Thanks!

    • Hi Tanya, some puppies are a little subdued until they have settled in to their new homes. But you need to get your puppy checked by your vet in any case, so mention the feeding to him at the same time. Pippa

      • Thank you Pippa! He is eating great this morning and he sniffed his food bag out in the other room and keeps barking at it! lol … I think he like it now 😉 What a relief.

  30. Hi, I m a physician and planning to buy a Labrador puppy very soon . What should be the ideal age of the puppy for bringing home? Definitely not less than 2 months , I think. What do you suggest?

  31. Pippa, I found that mixing puppy kibble with a small amount of tinned puppy food. with plenty of water available. Unfourtnatly i did know what he had been fed on, as dumped in Chateau grounds. I have to say i was lucky , no problems. I feed him adult kibble with a small amount of tinned, Twice a day. Weigh it each feed, give him bones , ever so often. Then i cut a small amount out, as Labradors , can ballon easily.

  32. I have got a 4 weeks old labrador so please tell me how to take care of him… I havent took care of any pet yet so i request you to help me ….. Will be waiting for ur rply

  33. hi i have 2 and half month old puppy name labby female the day i bought her she was fine than gradually she having loose motion …now she is vomiting continuously and refuse to have food and water i showed her to vet they given her saline still she is not recover still vomits pls advice what to do..

    • Sorry to hear your puppy is sick. You need to let your vet take over now. He will do his best for her. I hope she recovers soon. Pippa

      • Hello,
        Thank you so much my labby is fine now..just have few more queries my puppy is 3 months old now almost 14 weeks and her weight is only 7 kg..even she is not growing that fast according to her age i spoke to my vet they had given her royal canin kibble.still no recover..pls help with some advice.
        Thank you

  34. hi, i own a 5 month old black labrador pup blacky. Just need to ask that what shall i give him in food coz his wait’s not growing whereas the other black lab which born with him only is way fatter than blacky. I give him veg foods. plz suggests sumthng

    • Hi Debonita, there are many reasons why a puppy might not put on weight. It would be best to check with your vet. Dogs are carnivores and benefit from an appropriate diet.

  35. Hello i just got my Lab for my 18th. im nervous in feeding her.
    I have food for adult dogs but i was wondering if i broke the chunks of food into smaller peices would it be ok im using Earls Premium moist and meaty

  36. Fido, my new dog, we are giving him vegetarian kibble. Will this harm him in anyway ? Please tell me. I am very worried about him.

      • Hi
        Dogs aren’t carnivores. They are omnivores – exactly the same as the wolf omnivores they descended from and the human omnivores they live with.

        The problems arise when well-meaning owners give dogs scraps of junk food, which are as unhealthy for the dog as for the owner.

        • Hi Maria, the question of whether or not dogs are carnivores is a topic for keen discussion. But scientific evidence currently suggests that they are.

          The domestic dog is now classified as a subspecies of the gray wolf. This classification is based on DNA evidence. Wolves (and dogs) belong to the family Canidae, all of which belong to the order Carnivora, or carnivores. There is often dispute as to how carnivorous dogs actually are, but right now, they are classified as carnivorous and their digestive system supports this classification.


          • Carnivores or omnivores, dogs most certainly are not vegetarians. Feeding them this way is very wrong and it can lead to serious health issues. We feed our dog raw, with pureed veggies for his easier digestion which supports the theses that dogs in fact ARE carnivores. If omnivores, there wouldn’t be the need to puree their veggies. Lately, since he was a bit on the slimmer side, I started adding carbs to his diet. I only give him rice, which is overcooked also for his easier digestion. He doesn’t get carbs every day. I started feeding him raw when he was a pup of 3 months and he’s thriving. As Pippa said, I wouldn’t feed raw (especially not at puppy life stage) unless you do a thorough research. Feeding raw is not just “throw dog some meat and raw bones”. There is a whole lot more to it.

  37. Biscuit, my last Lab, died from a tumour of the heart at 9 years 2 months, and was overweight from too many table scraps on top of her kibble. A word of warning there. She was fed on kibble for convenience I must admit, but the (popular and not cheap) brand I normally bought, had so much powder at the bottom of the bag that it needed sieving to get the last few handfulls. By contrast, Polly`s breeder fed her on Royal Canin Junior, and each big bag of the stuff I use is utterly clean when I get to the bottom, because there are a minimum of bulking ingredients. I plan to feed Polly the occasional meat meal but very few table scraps.

  38. I have a question. My lab puppy (his name is Ace) LOVES to eat human food and I understand they are not very good for any dogs but I was told that if I feed them once or twice every month or two months it should be okay. What is your suggestion on this?

    • As the website you attached to your comment, and of which you are the administrator, is advising people what to feed their dogs, I am curious as to the reason behind your question 😉