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Labrador Diet

 Labrador Health  |  Labrador Diet Labrador Training  | Puppy Health | Info

Recommended Dog Food:

     We have previously been recommending Nutro Natural Lamb & Rice products, but for various reasons we are now using  "Life's Abundance"  dog food products. Click here to learn more about Life's Abundance and why we decided to switch to their products. 1 BIG Plus, is that UPS Delivers this food to your Door. And, If you sign up for the "Auto-Ship" delivery, you will NEVER run out. Because, it's never a "Good Time" to run out and buy Dog Food.

Lifes Abundance Labrador Food

Delivered to your Door, Via UPS; we love good service!

Life's Abundance foods are made with the finest ingredients, including:

  • -A proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals

  • -High-quality protein from chicken meal for strong muscles

  • -An antioxidant system including vitamins A, C and E.

  • - A selection of nutritious vegetables and fruits.

  • -Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat.

  • -Calcium and phosphorus for healthy teeth and strong bones

  • -Dietary fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive tract.

  • This formula contains:

  •      No artificial flavors, No artificial colors, No corn or corn gluten, No wheat or wheat gluten, A balanced blend of calcium and phosphorous to support growing and aging bones, Our kibble has tested extremely positively with both puppies and adult dogs, regardless of breed or size, Optimal protein levels for growing puppies and adults, and Unique blend of antioxidants that support dogs throughout their life cycle.

Feeding Schedule

Begin Each Day, with a NuVet vitamin Supplement


(as advised from Life's Abundance)

     When ready to eat solid food, begin feeding moistened kibble and "free feed" until fully weaned, between 6-8 weeks old. After weaning, feed the "Suggested Daily Amount" of dry kibble according to weight and add at least 25% more. Individual Meal Feeding: From 8 weeks to 4 months, divide the daily amount and feed 3-4 meals in a 24 hour period. From 4-6 months, divide the daily amount and feed 2-3 meals in a 24 hour period. Free Feed: Measure the entire daily amount into a dish and allow your puppy to eat at will over the course of a 24 hour period. This method of feeding may lead to obesity. Food requirements may vary for individual puppies.

     FEEDING INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADULTS: (as advised from Life's Abundance)
Start with the suggested amount of Life's Abundance per day. Use the "Suggested Daily Amount" as a guideline. You can increase or decrease the amount you feed by more or less depending on your dog's weight and body condition. Be sure to keep fresh drinking water available at all times.

Body Wt. Lbs.

Suggested Daily
Serving Amount
In Cups

Avg. # of Servings / Bag


8 lb

20 lb

40 lb

3 - 10

1/4 to 2/3 cup

44 - 117

110 - 292

219 - 584

10 - 20

2/3 to 1 cup

29 - 44

73 - 110

146 - 219

20 - 30

1 to 1 1/2 cups

19 - 29

49 - 73

97 - 146

30 - 40

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups

17 - 19

42 - 49

83 - 97

40 - 60

1 3/4 to 2 1/2 cups

12 - 17

29 - 42

58 - 83

60 - 80

2 1/2 to 3 cups

10 - 12

24 - 29

49 - 58

80 - 100

3 to 3 1/2 cups

8 - 10

21 - 24

42 - 49

Over 100

3 1/2 cups +
1/3 cup for each 10 lbs
of weight over 100 lbs

< 8

< 21

< 42

     While the first five ingredients play a significant role in the nutritional make-up of your dog's food, every single ingredient is important. For nearly a decade, tens of thousands of dogs and cats have been eating and thriving on Life's Abundance foods. We attribute this success to our painstaking attention to the detail. Each and every ingredient in Life's Abundance food is carefully chosen to work with the other to supply your companion animal with a highly nutritious and perfectly balanced meal every day, every year over a lifetime.

     HIGH-QUALITY PROTEINS:  Proteins are the building blocks of all living organisms. Protein is essential for all bodily functions including those of the brain, heart, skin, skeleton and many others. Life's Abundance dog food contains at least 26% of high-quality protein. Look for identifiable animal proteins such as "chicken meal" rather generic terms like "poultry meal," which can consist of any fowl (turkey, chicken, geese, etc.).

Chicken Meal
     Some foods contain chicken meat or chicken parts, which naturally hold a fair amount of water. We prefer to use chicken meal because most of the water has been removed, which makes it a concentrated source of protein. This means that there is a greater "protein content" in one pound of chicken meal versus one pound of chicken meat. That's why high-quality chicken meal is a key ingredient in Life's Abundance foods.

     Eggs are one of nature's most nutrient-dense foods and play an important role in a balanced diet. They are considered a complete protein source, providing essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, B, E, K, Biotin, and Sulfur). Eggs also provide healthy fats, such as omega-6 for healthy skin and a glossy coat.

Catfish Meal
     Our top-quality fish meal is made by drying the freshest catfish at a low temperature, creating a concentrated, highly-digestible protein source. In addition to being an excellent source of protein, catfish meal provides natural DHA and EPA, the most important of all the omega-3 fatty acids.

Chicken Fat

     We believe the primary fat source in dog food should be animal based   because these fats contain a profile of fatty acids that are easily metabolized and generally more available to the body. Animal fats can vary in quality, so look for a species-specific fat like "chicken fat" (versus "animal fat") to be certain of the kind of fat your dog is eating.

Whole Grains

     Whole grains are an excellent source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, zinc and other essential minerals. They also provide the kind of carbohydrates that deliver sustained energy to your dog. We include the natural goodness of Ground Brown Rice and Oat Groats in Life's Abundance Dog Food.

Ground Brown Rice

     Ground Brown Rice is the entire grain with only the inedible outer husk removed. This whole grain contains manganese, selenium, magnesium, as well as tryptophan and vitamins B1, B3 and B6.

Oat Groats    

     Oat Groats are whole oats that have been cleaned, toasted, hulled and cleaned again. Amazingly, they retain nearly all of their original nutrients after this process. Oat groats contain seven B vitamins, vitamin E, and nine minerals, including iron and calcium.


      The proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals in Life's Abundance foods was carefully selected to work in concert with all of the other ingredients to enhance the overall nutritional value of the food.


     Ascorbic Acid, vitamin E Supplement, Inositol, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Citric Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid.

     Minerals: Potassium Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate Monosodium Phosphate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide.

     ANTIOXIDANT SYSTEM:  Among other nutrients, our antioxidant system includes vitamins A, C and E plus vegetables and fruits. The colorful skin and flesh of different vegetables and fruits contain phytonutrients, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Each vegetable and fruit was carefully selected for its unique nutritional properties.

Fruits and Vegetables:

Beets contain folate, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, tryptophan, iron, copper and phosphorus. The phytonutrient called betacyanin is responsible for the purple-crimson color of the beet.

Broccoli contains vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, dietary fiber, manganese, trytophan, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, phospshorus, magnesium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B5, iron, calcium, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, zinc and vitamin E. Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains the phytonutrients sulforaphane and indoles.

Carrots contain beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamins C, D, E, and K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Sodium and Iron.

Celery contains fiber, potassium and vitamin C. It also contains some vitamin A, calcium, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.

Lettuce contains thiamin, vitamin B6, iron and potassium. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and manganese.

Parsley contains vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and iron. It also contains antioxidant phytonutrients called flavonoids including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol and luteolin.

Watercress contains folate, pantothenic acid and copper. It is a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (Apha Tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.

Blueberries contain vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E and dietary fiber. The antioxidant phytonutrients called Anthocyanins are responsible for the blue-red pigments found in blueberries.

Pomegranate contains vitamin C and potassium. The polyphenols in pomegranate (hydrolyzable tannins called punicalagins) are responsible for the red color.

Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most extensively researched natural nutritional ingredients in the world. Among its many health benefits, the omega-3's in Life's Abundance help support healthy skin and a shiny coat. We also included flaxseed meal for its outstanding nutritional profile and its contribution to healthy skin and coat.

Flaxseed meal is the richest plant source of antioxidant lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seed meal also has a very high level of highly-digestible protein and essential amino acids. In addition, flax seed meal contains significant amounts of fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and is extremely rich in the minerals potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

Brewer's dried yeast is loaded with highly-digestible protein with an exceptional amino acid balance. It also contains an abundance of natural minerals and vitamins, featuring B complex vitamins (except B12).

Fiber is required in every diet to maintain healthy intestinal tract and proper nutrient absorption. We use beet pulp, which is the fiber from the gray sugar beet (sugar removed). Many studies have demonstrated that beet pulp performs better than many other types of fiber.

These ingredients are similar to those found in supermarket yogurts. Direct-fed microbials help support healthy immune and digestive systems. Life's Abundance contains the following direct fed microbials: Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product.

News Flash:

Not all dogs can free-feed :(
Any Overweight Adult Labrador should get 1 cup A.M., and 1 cup P.M.

Raw Food Diets

If you have the time to Feed "RAW," here's a recipe I found. The most natural and healthiest of diets if you have the time and patience. Remember, the dog needs to fast 1 day/week


- /4 cups raw ground beef or ground turkey or chunks of beef mixed with about 1/2 cup of raw mashed veggies

- 1 tsp kelp powder

- 1 tsp alfalfa leaf

- 1 raw egg (once or twice a week)

- 500 mg Vitamin C capsule

- 1 400 IU Vitamin E capsule

- 1 Vitamin B-50 tablet

- 1 tsp cod liver oil 3x a week or 1 capsule salmon oil

- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

- Pinch of minced garlic

- 1 tsp ground flax seed

- 2 Glucosomine caplets (if needed for arthritis)

- 1 Shark Cartilage capsule (if needed for arthritis)


- 2-3 raw chicken backs each with all the fat and skin removed

- or 6-7 raw chicken necks

- or 1-2 raw turkey backs (these are harder and take longer to chew)


- raw marrow bones every once in a while to gnaw on

- raw chunks of apples

- raw carrots

- raw banana

-raw celery

-Ice cubes made from mashed fruit

Useful Websites for Lab Diet and Nutrition

- Dangerous Vegetables

FuzzyFace Dogfood guide

- Kibble Ingredients

- Polluted Pet Food



Poisonous Foods:

Chocolate toxicity

     Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. When affected by an overdose of chocolate, a dog can become excited and hyperactive. Due to the diuretic effect, it may pass large volumes of urine and it will be unusually thirsty. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common. The effect of theobromine on the heart is the most dangerous effect. Theobromine will either increase the dogs heart rate or may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Death is quite possible, especially with exercise. After their pet has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours. Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell. Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Onion and garlic poisoning

      Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger. Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anemia, where the pets red blood cells burst while circulating in its body. At first, pets affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea. They will show no interest in food and will be dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in an affected animals urine and it becomes breathless. The breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body are reduced in number. The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness. Onion poisoning can occur with a single ingestion of large quantities or with repeated meals containing small amounts of onion. A single meal of 600 to 800 grams of raw onion can be dangerous whereas a ten-kilogram dog, fed 150 grams of onion for several days, is also likely to develop anemia. The condition improves once the dog is prevented from eating any further onion While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness.

The danger of macadamia nuts

     Macadamia nuts are another concern. A recent paper written by Dr. Ross McKenzie, a Veterinary Pathologist with the Department of Primary Industries, points to the danger of raw and roasted macadamia nuts for pets. The toxic compound is unknown but the affect of macadamia nuts is to cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated. Dogs have been affected by eating as few as six macadamia kernels (nuts without the shell) while others had eaten approximately forty kernels. Some dogs had also been given macadamia butter. Luckily, the muscle weakness, while painful, seems to be of short duration and all dogs recovered from the toxicity. All dogs were taken to their veterinary surgeon. Pets owners should not assume that human food is always safe for pets. When it comes to chocolate, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts, such foods should be given in only small quantities, or not at all. Be sure that your pets cant get into your stash of chocolates, that food scraps are disposed of carefully to prevent onion and garlic toxicity and that your dog is prevented from picking up macadamia nuts if you have a tree in your garden.

Other potential dangers

- Pear pips, the kernels of plums, peaches and apricots, apple core pips (contain cyanogenic glycosides resulting in cyanide poisoning)

- Potato peelings and green looking potatoes

- Rhubarb leaves

- Moldy/spoiled foods

- Alcohol

- Yeast dough

- Coffee grounds, beans & tea (caffeine)

- Hops (used in home brewing)

- Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)Broccoli (in large amounts)

- Raisins and grapes


     Dr Cam Day BVSc BSc MACVSc is a veterinary surgeon, an animal behavior consultant and media presenter. In 1995 he qualified as a Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in the discipline of Animal Behavior and is one of only 15 veterinarians with this qualification in Australia. He works full time in animal behavior management in Queensland.


Dietary Supplements & Hygiene Products

NuVet Supplement:

     Our dogs receive daily Vitamin C from when the mother is first breed, until the end of days. First, the weaning pup is given powdered Vitamin C (200Mg) on the semi-solid food, until it can swallow the pill form. Powdered Vitamin C supplement is available at ANY good Health Food Store. If it is unattainable, we suggest over-the-counter Vitamin C (Like found at Costco) 500mgs at early a.m. and 500mgs at sundown.NuVet Multi-vitamin Herbal Supplement


     Feed 4 times a day (beginning with an 8 to 10 week old pup) Once the puppy is 4 to 5 months old (or all adult teeth are in) feed 3 times a day. Start with a cup to one full cup of dry kibble if he eats it all- feed more. If he leaves some, good. Feed 2 times a day from 6 months on. Your dog should not be considered fat. This can affect his health and his hip joints. You should see a waist line on a grown dog, and see the outline of his ribs. But you should never be able to count the ribs. (This applies to a grown dog only) Be sure to fatten your puppy while he is growing. He will use the food for growth.


     We personally, free feed our puppies and some of our adults dry kibble. This means the dry kibble is left out all day for them. They seem to eat only when they are hungry. No one seems to be overweight, or too thin. This method is entirely up to you. All dogs have different needs so the above feeding is only a guideline. Your pup is used to getting raw carrots, apples, squash, broccoli spears ground up and placed on top of the kibble lightly soaked with warm water every morning. This encourages them to eat their first meal. You may use a spoon or two of yogurt or cottage cheese, or egg, scrambled or raw once or twice a day. If you do not wish to add the water or the egg, all he really needs is the NuVet vitamin and a vitamin C in addition to the dry kibble

     We are feeding Life's Abundance and add NuVet supplements for the first meal, I don't recommend a crate training puppy to free feed. It makes it too hard to know when they need to eliminate. Remember, it takes 10 minutes to hour after a meal to eliminate. Life's Abundance is recommended for the life of your dog it has a high protein content so as your puppy gets older you can feed your puppy the same food, but use more of it. It goes by the dogs weight, so be sure to look at the feeding instructions on the side of the bag. (the bacteria content is different and they will get very ill) I feed my dogs in crates here. It also eliminates fighting in multiple dog houses as well as food stealing. This way I can monitor who is eating what. (If you plan on feeding kibble in the crate, fine. I do not recommend feeding or giving water inside the crate)

Quick Tips:

If your puppy has diarrhea: use some chicken breast boiled up and broken into small pieces- on top of some white rice- 3 scoops of pumpkin (Libby's, in the can) on top- for 3 days- if it persists past 4 days- call me.

For Yellow spots on the lawn- try some tomato sauce or paste. Scoop this on top of his food everyday as well. (A heaping spoonful) The acid in the tomatoes will neutralize the acid in the urine.


     I don't do too many snacks- but I recommend carrots, apples, squash, and homemade treats. As a fast food alternative, get some packaged or boxed biscuits or bones - at trader Joes- or look for Mrs. Hubbard's or Life's Abundance Snacks. Or you can bake your own with brown flour...I may have a recipe if you are interested See the butcher, and have him cut you up some bones with his ban saw. They can be placed in your freezer until your pup needs another. For obedience training, and sit, shake tricks, I use boneless and skinless chicken breast boiled and cut up into small pieces and placed in a zip lock bag in the fridge, as a training treat. Hot dogs, bacon and really yummy pup-perionis are all good too. Don't give the puppy left over's just yet. Make this transition very similar to what the puppy has had while living with us. When he is 4 months old, you can give him some left- over's in his bowl after you are finished eating.