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

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feeding your labrador puppy

Feeding your Labrador puppy can be deceptively difficult. Popular feeding options include kibble, wet food, raw food, and home-cooked puppy food.

Choosing the best method for you, plus the right amount of food is important for your Labrador puppy’s growth and decelopment.

It really is a worrying time for many first time puppy owners. Don’t worry, because even experienced owners sometimes struggle!

In this article, we will give you a few pointers for feeding your Labrador puppy. We will show you the best puppy foods, whether dry, wet, or raw, and how much you should give. You will also find out if it is safe to give human food to Labs.

You’ll also find out how much to feed your Lab puppy and how often to feed. Together with schedules, quantities and even a handy puppy diet chart.

Finally, the article will include some reviews of the various brands, and will help you cope with the all-important transition to adult food.

Some Useful Links

Still with us? Great! Let’s start by giving you a few useful links if you want more information about dog feeding in general.

If you have a specific question, you can always use this handy navigation chart to skip straight to the answer.

Lessons From the Past

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.

They also want to know how much to feed their puppies, and how often. Fortunately, while feeding your Labrador puppy can seem complex, modern foods make it much easier to give your little one a balanced diet.

We’ll give you a few pointers and you will soon be on your way!

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. You just need to break it down into finding the best puppy food for Labs and working from there.

So, what is the best puppy food?

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 sometimes 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. Perhaps the experts will be able to help us pick the best option. What do the experts say about puppy feeding methods?

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 wild 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 To Use

Some dogs and some families are better suited to raw feeding, and many dogs and their families are probably better suited to feeding kibble. Really, you can choose the method that suits you best.

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. Of course, some of this food, known as kibble, is poor quality, using grain, ash, and other by-products to add cheap bulk.

Other kibble brands are of excellent quality and provide your puppy with all the nutrients it needs.

Dried, pelleted foods come in sacks or cartons in a range of flavors and textures, making it easy to find something that your puppy enjoys.

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. This will prevent chemicals leaching into the food. These can be toxic or they can affect the taste.

What do Experts Think?

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.

Here are some dry dog food options you might like to choose from.

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. There is no need to add anything else to it, but many owners do like to mix in canned dog food or even scraps or raw food.

Some experts argue that feeding mixed food is harmful, while others argue that it is still healthy and can bring some benefits by adding moisture content and reducing calorie intake.

Speak to your Vet

As always, check with your vet if you want to try it, especially if your puppy needs a special diet. You should never give any wet food intended for adult dogs, because most brands now offer special puppy food.

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. We’ll take a look at the pros and the cons of this diet.

What About Feeding Puppies On Raw Food?

Some people feel that kibble is not the best way to feed a dog, and they are advocates for the raw diet, believing that it brings a lot of health benefits.

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 feed my own dogs this way, but others happily feed kibble, so pick the best option for you and your puppy.

But, if you are interested, it’s best not to switch puppies to raw food in a hurry. There are pros and cons to raw feeding which you need to consider carefully before plunging in.

If this way of feeding appeals to you, it’s important to find a good book on raw diets for dogs, because these diets can be complex and need balance.Tom Lonsdale’s book is a good choice, and you can check out the articles below.

Do Plenty of Research

You need to do a fair amount of 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. There really are few problems with feeding them dried food.

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

It is very important not to over-feed your puppy. Overfed puppies may grow too fast, and this can be very bad for them.

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 brand 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.

For a start, don’t 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.

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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

Whether you’re feeding your Labrador puppy in the crate or outside, with family or in isolation, choosing the right bowls makes a difference.

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.

The amount of food isn’t the only important part of feeding your little one. How often should you feed them?

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. For example, 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 make himself sick.

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

It is tempting to fill up that little puppy bowl as soon as she wakes you in the morning with her little face and puppy eyes begging you to feed her. You should resist the temptation because it can lead to problems.

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.

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

Then, at 12 weeks I go to:

  • 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

What if he wolfs down everything he is given, but he still begs for more? This is perfectly common and perfectly normal, so don’t panic.

After all, 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

If your puppy seems ravenous, what you can do is to give your puppy her meal on a slow feed bowl or plate. These work very well and also prevent your 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

Accordingly, it’s possible that your puppy may have a somewhat reduced appetite for the first few days that he spends without his brothers and sisters.

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.

Now, we’ll look at some other feeding-related issues, including a bad habit picked up by many old-school Labrador owners.

Should Your Puppy Have Milk?

Old habits die hard, and 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.

One thing’s for sure – there would be fewer puppies with upset stomachs if all new puppy owners were advised to resist giving milk to their canine companions.

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.

Most experts consider that puppies have completed their growth when they reach 99% of their adult weight, and the age at which this point is reached depends on the size of the breed.

So, while a toy breed dog might stop growing at 9 months, a giant breed dog might need another six months to get to the same place. Chat with your vet if you are not sure, and they will be able to give you a good idea.

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.

Of course, many owners feel that their they are feeding their Labrador puppy a dull diet and want to add some variety.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

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.

Perhaps changing kibble from lamb to chicken will make you feel that your puppy is not bored with their food.

Treats

You can also give them the odd treat, especially if it you use them as training rewards,

If you want to give your puppy on-off treats then check out our extensive dog treats review here to find the right ones.

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

You can find out more about feeding your Labrador puppy in our puppy feeding FAQ here.

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.

Summary

Unfortunately, this feeding your Labrador puppy article is almost at its end. We hope that you learned a lot about feeding your Labrador puppy as it grows into a beautiful adult dog.

You now know that dry diets, wet diets, and raw diets can work for your Lab, with a little work, and we have given you some advice on feeding amount, frequency, and schedule.

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!

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.

This article has been revised and updated for 2019

188 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I have a Lab, she is 3 1/2 month. She is very thin, please suggest food for her ( Home made) or other commercial food except kibble. because Kibble is not available in our town.

    • The article above is a complete guide Rout. If you cannot get kibble, then raw feeding is a good alternative. If you decide to cook your puppy’s meat, you’ll need to remove the bones before feeding and give her supplements to replace the minerals they contain. Your vet will be able to advise you on local products.

  2. Hello pipa…I have labrador of 5 and half years.we feed her 3 meals a day..In the morning we give 5 biscuits and milk,at afternoon boiled chicken and rice or sometimes egg ,in the eve she is fed with again 5 biscuits and at night we feed her with bread and milk…so I wanna ask if this diet is okay or not?if no then please suggest something…and yes she also underweight.

  3. Hi, I have a 5 month old black lab Leo.
    He is happy, healthy and very well behaved.
    He got toilet trained very easily and now
    calls us if he wants to go. He is fed Hills
    Science Diet kibble and raw carrots apple
    and a bit of banana. I also give him
    raw organ meat and tinned tuna in oil.
    He seems to tolerate his meal well.
    Has a lovely coat and looks handsome.
    He sleeps throughout the day and
    demands playtime in the evening.
    He is crated and has family time for
    certain hours in the day. He seems
    happy and is the most well mannered
    dog in the world. He is being trained
    at home after attending 4 pup class
    sessions. One of the best breeds.

  4. My puppy is 45 days old and he eats pedigree.
    But sometimes he womits all his pedigree.
    I feed him 4 times a day.
    What to do.
    It is very cold this time and he is awake all night and runs here and here. I feel that he will get cold.
    Twice he have eaten his own pee.
    Suggest something.

  5. hi pipa i have a 45 days old lab pup.. he is happy with the kibble am feeding him.. few breeders suggest to give cerelac (the human babys food) what is your opinoin about it?? and also i would like to know about home made dog foods for pupies.

    • Hi Swai, my opinions on puppy feeding are pretty much all in the article above 🙂 Home made diets can work, but I don’t recommend them for puppies unless you are very knowledgeable about nutrition and a growing puppy’s nutritional needs.

  6. I have a 7-week old lab. I got her 4days ago. Upon getting her, the breeder adviced me to feed her with kibble. However, when we got home, she refused to eat kibble. Until now, she still refuses to eat ’em. Im worried because her ribs are already showing up so i gave her human food.
    Any advice on this? As i would prefer her to eat kibbles.

  7. Hi pippa…
    I hav a 3 month old healty lab…
    Eats nicely, sleeps nicely, poops nicely…
    Bt he never barks not even tries…
    N he is ready to go with evry guest that visits us…
    Moreover he is always tempted to food…
    Whenever we r havin our meal he’ll be there sitting trying to eat from the table…
    He has done this many times n it really pisses us off…
    N he does this even whn he’s full…
    Whenever anyone comes out of the kitchen he follows them…
    He licks our hands aftr v eat…
    V hav made sure dat v r feeding him sufficiently bt still his behavior isn’t changing…

  8. My Puppy is 3 month old and he weighs only 7.5-8 kilos. Is it normal? I’m a bit scared but his ribs and all are not seen. He looks Healthy and he is very active. He also doesn’t have face fat.

  9. Hi pippa,
    what can i say?? words fail me at some of these questions… totally agree with alan.!!.. we have a beautiful bouncing brown bundle of joy, our first ever lab, hes in amazing condition, hes 4 months old and is an absolute joy.!!! i had researched every food going before we even bought him home (dry, raw)!!!.. we wanted to give him the best possible start… his coat is beautiful, his poo is wonderful and firm, hes very calm (i put all this down to good quality kibble) his treats come out of his daily food allowance and he loves frozen carrot(under supervision of course)for his tender gums… just ordered the new book today.!! cant wait for it to arrive..

  10. Hi pippa,
    Actually me and my cousin has brought couple of puppies of almost same age and was feeding well as you have mentioned above but the problem is my sis’s lab is evenly growing but my lab is not getting fat in his face. Also my puppy is very healthy and good weight. I know growing odd doesnt effect health but looking odd is what hurting me. And mine is very active than her’s and mine has somewhat thin legs than her’s. What to do for this. If there is any remedy i’m glad to know.

  11. Hi Pippa!
    I have a 14-week old working lab who is quite skinny, we can see the ribs clearly on his sides. He weighs 9 kilos and I give him 80g 3 times a day. He has a very long torso and legs, almost looks like he had a growth spurt and didn’t “fill up” yet… I tried increasing his food, but he gets loose stools when I do. The vet took a stool sample to see if there’s anything wrong eventhough he is wormed regularly. Is it normal for working lab puppies to go through a skinny stage?
    Thank you for your advice as I am pretty worried,
    Virginia

    • It is common for young pups to go through a temporary skinny stage – often around five or six months old. But you do want to get those ribs covered. You may be able to increase his overall food consumption without upsetting his tum if you give him more smaller meals for a while (five or six meals a day for example). I would definitely go back to your vet and tell him your concerns and ask him to confirm that your puppy is healthy, he may have some other suggestions. Good luck with him. 🙂

  12. Hi
    my puppy’s 3and half months old. She is having her meals, stools also properly, my question is I haven’t seen her parents and I doubt on her breed’ s originality. Her hair in ears, stomach and sides are changing into black in colour. But the habits are as same as a labrador. I want to know whether is it any skin disease but my vet says it is not so. Please guide me.

  13. Comment:my 2 months old lab jenny is too thin..her weight is only 2 kg suggest me what to do.. I m feeding her cerelac/curd diluted in water. pls reply me fast

  14. Hi ,
    I have a gorgeous springador pup,18 weeks, 7.5 kg. Mum Springer,Dad working lab.
    Feeding her on kibble 3 times a day, 6am,11am and 4pm.
    Her housebreaking is going well,generally has a poo 3 hours after first 2 meals but then not before bed time!! She wants to go at around 4 in the morning.
    Any advice please..!!!

    • That’s a tough one Helen – you must be tired! There are things you could try – some exercise before bed can sometimes get things moving and help her sleep more deeply. Is she waking you up by barking? If so, you can try waking ‘her’ up before the time she normally wakes you, so she gets used to sleeping until you wake her, then gradually moving the ‘wake up call’ later each night. You could stay up late for a few nights and put her to bed later. Just to break the ‘habit’. Even if nothing else works, you’ll probably find this resolves when she drops down to two meals a day at six months old.

  15. Leo is going to be 4 months old next week. I’ve been feeding him Kibble soaked in hot water, apparently he has stopped eating lately. I’m assuming because of his teething phase (Since they are now coming out) he’s now looking to eat something hard; like kibble that is not soaked. I tried giving him the some, which he did eat but I’m not sure if he’s chewing it or simply swallowing it coz you can’t hear him munch on it (I’m not even sure if a 4 month old pup should be swallowing or should he chew the kibble) I’m also not sure if it’s the right time to start feeding a 4 month old unsoaked kibble. Even if I do, how much and how many times a day?. I’m guessing the water that he drinks is going to bloat up the kibble in his tummy so with that being said, I guess it’s safe to assume that I shall give him the kibble in small quantities!

    Any inputs and or corrections would be highly appreciated.

    • Hi Rohan, it is fine to give your puppy unsoaked kibble – I don’t normally soak kibble for my pups, even when teething, unless their mouths are very sore. Feeding schedules are in the article above, its just the same for unsoaked as it is for soaked. Most pups need three meals a day until 6 months old. 🙂 Hope that helps – Pippa

    • You’ll probably need to increase quantities just a little as there will be some slow growth for the next few months. I’ll add another section to the chart 🙂

  16. I have two Labrador puppies (sisters now 8 months old) I feed them only on fish and vegetables. I used James Wellbeloved kibble three times a day ( total of 360g per day each), then they have two carrots a day, one cold liver oil capsule and two ice cubes of tomato juice. Once a week I exchange a kibble meal for a whole fresh mackerel from the fish counter. What would be your advise on reducing their meals to twice a day?

  17. Hi Pippa!!!!
    I rescued a puppy lab with 5 weeks. I know that she is too young and should stay with her mom but sadly her mom died. I´m given her Milk Replacement for puppies and dry food with water. I would like to consult you some advices about how to grow up a too young puppies. And want do you think about the food.
    I am from Panamá and I went to a vet and he told me that she is OK, but Im not really sure… she es adorable and I want the best for her

  18. Hi Pippa Ma’am,
    I got a lab (male) few days back. My seller saying that the age of pup is around 1 month /5 week but he don’t look like as he is 1 month old. He looks as if he is 20/25 days old..
    I am giving him 1&1/2 or 2 spoons of Royal’s Puppy Lac Gold with water around 25ml 3 times a day; 2 times a day of Royal Canin Starter after soften it with warm water.
    He is peeing good,Poos around 2 times a day, Plays with me but while sleeping he starts to shiver, I didn’t get his this behavior. He has started bitting me. He is sleepless in night.

  19. I have a 13 week old Labrador bitch. She is gorgeous, healthy and growing well. We have been feeding her a good quality puppy kibble in line with the suggested quantities etc. but although supposedly highly digestible, she is unable to go more than three/ four hours before needing to poo… day and night. She is dry at night and has been for a few weeks, but we are having to get up twice a night to let her out, otherwise she has an accident. It does seem excessive to need to go up to eight times in 24 hours and she doesn’t have the runs or any sign of problems. Can you offer me any advice?

  20. Hello Pippa.
    I have been reading this with some distress. The amount of people that are acquiring Labrador puppies at 1 mth and 6 weeks etc, Which is totally wrong, and could cause severe distress, for the puppy. Resulting in behavioural problems, and health problems. And not having any idea what so-ever, how to feed them. Also some people who have had their puppies for over 6 mths and are still asking advice on how and what to feed them. This gives me grave concern for the well being of the dogs health. I have three beautiful young female Labrador’s. 21 mths / 14 mths & 6mths. 2 Fox Red and 1 White / Honey. They are my love & my life. But, I would never have dreamed of acquiring a puppy without firstly investigating all the avenues of care that is needed to maintain good health and well being in your puppy. The documented D-O-B. And how to manage a balanced diet for your puppies health. Please escuse me, but reading some of these posts fill me with extreme dread, over the quality of life these little babies are receiving. If people are only now asking the best way to feed a dog, and what to feed after having him / her for over 6 mths. Then there is something not quite right. I believe that anyone having to ask such questions, needs to be investigated by the RSPCA..Instead of just receiving a generic answer and leaving them to it. These are beautiful, loving, living creatures. And it chills me to my heart to think of what they are being subjected to, by people who have absolutely no clue.

    • The vast majority of the people posting about tiny puppies are not in the UK Alan, so the RSPCA is not going to be of any help. One of the things we are trying to do with this site, is educate people so that they are better equipped to look after their dogs. I don’t think there are any quick answers though, and I agree, it is very saddening to read some of the comments.

  21. hi i have a labra puppy he is only 2 month old .he bites so mwhat you think ? when he will be big? he will be stop biting or not

  22. dear sir/mam
    i have a lab puppy age of 5 months named as lassi he does not eat the food we should serve to his mouth is to difficult to make her eating what to do kindly help us & give some idea

    we are giving drools focus preminium food

  23. Hi,
    I have an almost 6 weeks/45 days old lan pup and have been feeding him baby cerelac as thats what was told. Now he stopped eating that since 2 days and im giving him pedigree professional range starter pup pack. But he didnt ate that too and i had to add little boiled egg and he started eating it happily. He’s 2kg in weight.
    Now his doc says feed him dog food only like the one i have but my friends says i should only give him dog food once a day and for rest meals i should give him yoghurt with bread or cerelac etc. im totally confused as its my first pet and I love him so very much that i dont want to do any mistakes. So please let me know how and what exactly should i feed him at this age and for further weeks?? Also what food brand you would prefer??
    Also his doc has given me 4 syrups – multivitamin, liver tonic, calcium and digestion one – which he hates all and its a whole big task to give him these syrups via dropper – are these syrups ok at this age?? If yes then how to give them to him so that he likes them and not makes it famn difficult for me to give him those.
    Im based in India at the moment.
    Waiting for your reply relentlessly!!

  24. You comment that dog’s probably don’t get bored with kibble. Not true! We feed our 5 month old labrador Royal Canin for Labradors and accept that it provides good nutrition for him. Lately, however, he prefers to eat anything else rather than the kibble, … anything else, apples, carrot (raw), fish, lamb, treats…. He delays eating his kibble until there is no alternative.

  25. I have 3 month old lab, I want to feed him with Indian food like Pulses, Chappatties, Cooked Vegetables, Milk and Meat once or twice in week. Should it will be healthy, as Indian food is rich and have vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, nutrients, etc ? If not suggest me which food should I feed to him?

    • Hi Ashish, I do not recommend that you feed your dog in the way you intend. It is not a suitable diet for a dog and will not keep your puppy healthy. You can buy commercial puppy food in India, that is probably the best way for you to go.

  26. My lab is 2 months old and its not eating properly…even after 5to6hours what should i do ….i give drools n even pedigree…but no use pls help

  27. hi PIPPA
    i bought a 30 days golden pup..the breeder told me to fed him cerelac in curd for 45 days…i fed him as he told me..but the problem is he go for stool after feeding for 2 to 3 times and loose stools…is it the ryt way to fed him…and he is not much active yet…suggest me about this..tnxx

  28. Hi Pippa
    I have a five month old English lab that has had a rough start. He had a progressive aortic right arch. It strangulated his esophagus and created mega esophagus. He is eating a 1/2 cup four times a day in a slow eating bowl but he appears to be very thin. He currently weights 12 pounds which is a great improvment from 2.4 at nine weeks. My question is if I feed him too much in one sitting he throws-up but what can I do to fatten him up.

  29. Hi! I have a 3months old lab and it seemed that she easily gets bored with the food that I give her. When she was 2mos old I give her kibbles since that was what I have read from your articles but I don’t think she liked the brand so I just gave her leftover kitchen food, and she seems to enjoy it. After a week, it seems like she lost her appetite again that’s why I bought kibbles for her (different brand from what I have bought last time). She enjoyed the kibbles and always empties her food bowl. But a week ago, she started again to lose her appetite with kibbles, I don’t know what to feed her anymore. I just told my sister to give her leftovers if we have, and kibbles if we don’t have kitchen leftovers. I think she wants different foods served to her, am I right? Please give me an advice on what I should feed her. Thanks! And, your articles are very helpful! Thanks again! 🙂

  30. My lab is almost 12 weeks old and I have trained him at feed time to sit and wait before I put his food bowl down for him to eat. I was wondering what age is fine to start training him to wait while the bowl is on the floor before I order him to eat. I just want to make sure he isn’t too young. Our other dogs do this and I need him to be able to do the same before I start feeding them together. Thanks

  31. i have 26 days old labrador puppy..he does not take artificial food but when given milk drinks easily..should i give him milk

  32. Hi, I have a 2 month lab at home. Currently we are feeding him 3 times a day puppy food (N&D, as per his body weight) and twice we feed him curd diluted in water, in between his main meals. We do not feed him anything unscheduled. Some times we do give him treats. However I wanted to switch to home meals completely so that we are not dependent on dog food all the time. Our family is a vegetarian, although we do eat eggs. Please suggest something.

  33. Hi everyone i have a cross breed labra like goldador and i love him 5 times more than myself..he is 10 months older and from 7 mnths he doesnt growth too good only his weight is increased but his heifht doesnt increased properly..
    I m very much concernd abt him i feed him 3 times a day frm his born to now..what is the problem is it normal or i should do something else to grow him better..Pippa if u read this then pls help..

  34. Hi Pippa..

    I have a 2 & half months black Lab puppy boy.. He is playful and always want to bite/chew.Plz guide me how to train him or stop this . Secondly advice me some homemade food ideal for Lab puppy.. veg or non-veg ideal for Indian family.
    Thanks for guidance and help…
    Rgds!! Sanjeeb

  35. Hello,
    My 35 days old lab, Oskar has stopped eating his Kibble since yesterday. A local trainer suggested that I give him Baby cereal for the first 45 days. He ate Baby cereal for a day and has stopped eating that too. Drink very little water or not at all. He is my first dog and I’m so worried for him. Please help, how can I make him start eating again?

  36. I have a 10 month old black Labrador. She has been eating blue buffalo Lamb & Oatmeal puppy food (based on high reviews) since she joined our family in May. Although, her stool is soft and runny more times than not. I am now contemplating changing her food to see if it helps! What are your recommendations? What do you feed your large breed puppy?

    • As I have read, Labs normally looses hair at sometimes but it is easily replaced. don’t worry about your Lab. 😉

  37. Sir,
    My puppy is about 3 week.. I feed him starter..directly. Now he is doing poty in liquid form..in every 5-10 main. Suggest me plz. What could I do now.???

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