How Much Do I Feed a Labrador Dog?
The amount you feed your pet Labrador will depend on the size, age and the amount of exercise the dog gets. While commercial dog food products have directions on the amount to feed, they are often too much and should only be used as a guideline after taking all the factors into consideration. If your Labrador is overweight, it is getting too much too eat. On the other hand, if you can feel the ribs and hipbones easily while running your hand down the dog's flanks, the dog is not getting enough.
Labrador Feeding Amount
There are different claims made about the amount to feed a Labrador. One site, My Dog Breed, claims that a 60-pound Labrador needs about 4 1/2 cups of food each day, divided into two portions. Feed one portion in the morning and the other in the evening. Labrador puppies require four feeds a day and can be given 1 1/2 cups of food each meal, according to the Official Labrador Guide. Once the puppy is about 6 months old, reduce the number of feeds to two per day.
Precautions While Feeding
Labradors love eating and do not need any motivation to eat, if food is available. However, this dog breed is prone to hip dysplasia, and if the dog becomes overweight or obese, the chances of getting this disease increase. Furthermore, Labradors have sensitive stomachs and table scraps or poor food quality can result in upset stomach, vomiting, gas and diarrhea. Hence, be very particular about what you are feeding your pet.
Nutrition for Labradors
Your pet's diet should be high in protein, while providing adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fat, minerals and vitamins. If you are feeding homemade food, make sure that your dog gets 30 percent lean meat and 70 percent cereals along with vitamins and minerals. The food should have around 2 percent calcium, to strengthen the skeletal system.
Selecting the Right Dog Food
Generally, feeding just canned dog food can result in digestive, teeth and gum problems. Labradors require dry food in large amounts to ensure that they get all the required nutrients. Also, dry dog food helps clean the teeth and prevents gum problems. If you want to feed your Labrador canned food, make sure that just a quarter of the food is canned and the remaining portion is a quality dry food, which can be meal-based or meat-based.
Whether you are feeding commercial dog food or homemade food, stick to one that your Labrador enjoys. Keeping a close watch on your dog's activity level, weight and size will help you determine how much to feed it.