Many Labrador Retriever owners feed their pet semi-moist foods because they are easier to prepare than canned food and usually more delectable than regular dry food.
Semi-moist foods are usually packaged in easy-open pouches or as “hamburger patties.” The semi-moist foods contain much less water than canned foods, but they are expensive and loaded with sugar, preservatives, and additives.
These materials can sometimes produce allergic reactions that commonly result in skin biting or scratching by the sensitive Labrador Retriever. Though there are some semi-moist foods that are more nutritious than others, it is best to limit their intake to no more than ¼ of the dog’s diet, with the remaining ¾ being a quality dry food.
The dry-food category spans a large spectrum of quality, mostly commercial and professional. Most of the popular brands that are seen in supermarkets fall into the first category. The main problem with these is the amount the dog needs to consume daily in order to attain proper nutrition. Often, it is just too much, and leads to excessive elimination.
Check the recommended feeding amounts on the bag and apply it to the weight of your Labrador Retriever. If the suggested amount turns out to be more than your dog can easily eat in one meal, choose another brand. A second drawback of this type of dry food is that the mixture of ingredients often varies from batch to batch, due to fluctuations in which crop such as soy, wheat, oats, etc. is available at what time. Therefore, the nutritional value may differ somewhat from bag to bag.
The “professional” meat-meal blends offer some improvement. These are the high-quality dry foods that are sold primarily in pet shops, specialty stores, and online catalogs. They offer a nutritious, balanced diet in an easily digestible form. The makers retain a standard blending procedure from batch to batch to insure a uniform product.
The suggested feeding amounts are adequate to fill a dog up without overfeeding him. Although such products may cost a little more than the regular dry food, in the long run they are no more expensive than brands that require more to be eaten.
A quality meat-meal-based dry food has also been shown to aid in the housebreaking a Labrador Retriever because this type of mixture usually contains bran or fiber in amounts that help to produce firmer stools.