Labradors are a very popular dog breed in the United States. They are friendly, intelligent, and very active, which is why their diet needs to be high quality too.
The diet and quantity of food varies with the age of the dog, which we’ve discussed thoroughly below.
How Much Should A Labrador Eat?
The amount of food your Lab needs to consume will depend on his/her age, activity level and overall health, as well as other factors. A good rule of thumb is to feed him/her twice as much as a smaller dog would eat. an 8 week old Labrador puppy should eat about 2 cups of food per day.
For example, an 8 week old Labrador puppy should eat about 2 cups of food per day, but split throughout the day.
On the other hand, a younger Lab of around 4 weeks will still have to consume its mother’s milk predominantly, but can be fed a handful of soft kibbles too.
The quantity for this period is usually unlimited, as your pup will feed on its mother’s milk as it may. Experts suggest following feeding charts when tending to your Labrador dog.
Such charts allow you to personalize the meals according to the age of your furry pet, while also leaving room for changes in the future.
However, note that the meal requirements for Lab dogs will drastically change once they grow out of the 11th week. Pet owners might have to also feed them more or less than twice a day, depending on the activity levels of your dog.
2 to 3 week Old Labrador:
Pups of around this young age will not be able to consume any sort of hard kibbles. You will find them drinking their mother’s milk only, as they may.
It is hard to quantify the amount of milk they need to consume during this stage too. Such young puppies should be left to seek out milk naturally on their own whenever they experience hunger pangs.
4 to 5 Week Old Labrador:
Around this time is when pet owners can slowly start to introduce soft kibbles to their Lab puppies. However, similar to even younger pups, there is no specific quantity to the kibbles, as it can be paired with milk.
Experts recommend including softened kibbles to puppies only if they don’t affect the pups health in the short run. Pet owners are discouraged from introducing any sort of kibbles to Lab puppies if they cause stomach issues.
6 to 7 Week Old Labrador:
Vets recommend exposing 6 to 7 week old Lab puppies to less than 7.5 oz softened kibbles only once throughout the day, paired with milk. At this age, the pups will be able to digest some sort of hard food, but it’s best to not push it.
You can try combining around 1/4th of softened kibbles with 3/4th of liquid, such as water or milk during this time.
8 to 9 Week Old Labrador:
Labrador puppies of 8 to 9 weeks will typically move away from their mother’s milk naturally during this period.
You can introduce puppy kibble to your dog around 2 times a day, but split into 4 meals. However, don’t go over 8.4 oz when it comes to the kibble. Also, it’s best to stick to puppy friendly kibbles, and not those meant for adult dogs.
10 to 11 Week Old Labrador:
Your puppy should be able to fully consume and digest hard food at this point, but it’s still recommended to not go over the required quantity.
Stick to feeding your Labrador dog only 2 to 3 times a day. You should also measure the quantity up to 8.7 oz per day. For a better diet, split the quantity into the separated meals throughout the day.
3 Month Old Labrador:
By this age, your Labrador should be a young adult dog capable of properly consuming hard kibbles without showing stomach issues.
Pet owners can feed their Lab around 9.2 oz and a few ounces more, at least 3 times a day. Of course, this diet includes proper bodily activity as well, so make sure your dog is active too.
4 Month Old Labrador:
You can feed your labrador dog more than 10 oz of hard kibbles during this period. However, remember to keep the quantity under 12.5 oz at all times. Keep your dog healthy by splitting the quantity into 3 meals throughout the day too.
5 Month Old Labrador:
It is time to increase your puppy’s food intake. Around this age they are going to need a little more food. Give them roughly over 11 oz to 15 oz split between two meals a day at this age. This should provide enough food for the entire day.
6 Month Old Labrador:
As they grow older, they actually require less overall food throughout the day. At 6 months old, your puppy will still pretty much eat the same amount as 5 months of age. Make sure they are getting their two meals on time.
7 Month Old Labrador:
Bring it down a bit at this age, as your puppy will now need even less food. A 7 month old Lab will eat about 10 oz or slightly more, split between, you guessed it, 2 meals a day.
The less frequent meals provide more energy and stamina for your pupper to run around and play.
8 Month Old Labrador:
Not much changes between 7 months and 8 months of age. Your Lab puppy will still eat roughly 10 oz. sometimes maybe a bit more. Continue to give them their meals on time and they should be good with this amount.
9 Month Old Labrador:
This whole age range basically eats the same amount of food. Experts suggest not to give them less than 10 oz and more than 14 oz. at this age. This ensures proper nutrition along with stamina retention for your active pup.
10 Month Old Labrador:
A 10 month old Labrador should be eating over 10-12 oz. and the number of meals should stay twice a day.
You can go up to 14.6 oz. at this age, but experts recommend not going over this limit. These larger pups need more food compared to the 4-6 month old ones, but less frequently.
Labrador Feeding Chart
|Age||Expected dog Weight (pounds)||Recommended amount of food per day (cups)||Daily calorie intake||Feeding frequency|
|2 week||Less than 3lb||N/A||N/A||Unlimited|
|3 week||Less than 5lb||N/A||N/A||Unlimited|
|4 week||Around 5lb||1/2||5.5 oz||Unlimited|
|5 week||Around 7lb||1/2||5.5 oz||Unlimited|
|6 week||Around 10lb||1||7.5 oz||Unlimited|
|7 week||Around 12 lb||2||7.5 oz||Thrice a day|
|8 week or 2 month||Around 15lb||2||8.5 oz||Four times a day|
|9 week||Around 16lb||2||8.5 oz||Four times a day|
|10 week||Around 20lb||3||8.7 oz||Thrice a day|
|11 week||Around 22lb||3||9.0 oz||Thrice a day|
|12 week or 3 month||Around 26lb||3||9.2 oz||Thrice a day|
|4 month||Around 35lb||2||12.0 oz||Twice a day|
|5 month||Around 40lb||2||12.5 oz||Twice a day|
|6 month||Around 50lb||2||10.0 oz||Twice a day|
|7 month||Around 55lb||2||10.0 oz||Twice a day|
|8 month||Around 60lb||2||10.0 oz – 10.5 oz||Twice a day|
|9 month||Around 70lb||3||12.0 oz – 14.0 oz||Twice a day|
|10 month||Around 75lb||3||12.0 oz – 14.0 oz||Twice a day|
Are You Overfeeding Your Labrador Or Not Feeding Enough?
Overfeeding a Labrador puppy can cause a number of health problems, including obesity, vomiting, diarrhea, and malnutrition.
If your Labrador puppy is constantly overeating or gaining more weight than it should, you may be overfeeding it. Overfeeding can cause your puppy to develop health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
On the other hand, if your Labrador puppy is consistently losing weight or does not seem to be gaining weight, you may not be feeding it enough. Underfeeding can cause your puppy to develop health problems such as malnutrition and dehydration.
To determine whether you are feeding your puppy too much or too little, there are a few things you can do.
First, check the size and weight of your Labrador puppy. If he is significantly overweight or obese, he is probably overfed. But if it is the opposite, and they are visibly starting to look skinny, they are definitely underfed.
If you are still not sure whether you are overfeeding or underfeeding your puppy, measure its weight and height regularly and consult with a veterinarian.
And to avoid either of the issues, make sure you are giving them the exact food requirements of their age.
How Frequently To Feed Your Labrador?
Labradors are very active dogs, which is why they need enough nutrition to continue being active. However, in order to not become sluggish and lazy, the frequency of their meals should be low.
Young Lab puppies can eat up to 3-4 meals a day around the age of 4-7 weeks or so. After the age of 2 months, Labradors should eat only 2 meals a day to remain in perfect shape.
Make sure the gap between the two meals is not too high or too low, as this will also determine their energy levels.
Recommended Feeding Time
The recommended time for the first meal of the day is usually right around 7 A.M. You can feed them softened or hard kibbles, occasionally paired with milk (depending on their age and weight).
Follow the feeding chart above to know what quantity you should go for the meals. On the other hand, the second meal of the day should be in the afternoon, around 6 – 7 hours after breakfast.
However, experts suggest dinner to be always consumed before 5 P.M, as Labrador’s usually require quite a bit of time to fully digest their meals.
Labrador puppies have a varied meal system, which changes with their age and weight. The range remains 7 – 14 oz from 7 week to 10 months of age, and the frequency of meals fluctuate between 2 – 3 times a day. Follow the chart above to know how much to feed your Lab dog as they grow.