Are you thinking about making a change to your Labrador Retriever’s diet?
Labradors are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom – an estimated 35,000 were registered in 2020 alone.
That’s a lot of new Labrador owners in Great Britain trying to figure out the best type of dog food for their canine companions.
Some traditional dog food brands use additives, mystery fillers or unwanted nasties in their food, hidden by confusing ingredients labels.
The good news for Labrador owners is that there’s a range of fresh and healthy options available on the market right now.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the leading dog food options for Labrador owners who want to feed balanced, complete and healthy dog food to their canine.
We’ll take a look at the best fresh dog food, tailored dry dog food and raw dog food options for Labrador owners in the UK.
Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. The content of our articles does not constitute veterinary advice. It’s always best to speak with your vet or a certified pet nutritionist before making any changes to your pet's diet or feeding routine.
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Best Dog Food For Labradors UK: The Options
|Butternut Box||• Rip-and-serve • Six recipes • Human grade||Buy Now|
|Pure||• Air-dried food • Backed by vets • Customised||Buy Now|
|Poppy's Picnic||• Raw dog food • Locally sourced • Reliable deliveries||Buy Now|
Things To Look For In Dog Food
• Ingredients – If you want to bring your Labrador’s diet into the 21st century, you’ll understand the importance of your Lab eating fresh food responsibly sourced. You’ll value fresh, high quality ingredients rather than traditional dog food full of additives and nasties.
• Formulated By Vets – You can have peace of mind knowing that these new dog food companies use vets to formulate their recipes to ensure their meals – irrespective of whether their fresh, air-dried or raw – meet your Labrador’s mineral and nutrient needs.
• Preparation – Most dog food delivery companies will lift the veil on the preparation methods, giving you an insight into how your Lab’s food is prepared with care. Whether it’s being gently cooked or air dried, you can learn about the benefits.
• Customization – Whether your Labrador needs to lose weight or put on a few pounds after a bout of illness, these dog food companies give Lab owners the opportunity to enter all the key details about their dog so they can tailor the meals to your canine companion’s needs.
• Recipe Variety – Although Labradors have a reputation for being voracious eaters, some Labs could be fussy like my Alaskan Klee Kai. If that’s the case, you’ll be thrilled to learn that most of these dog delivery companies offer a range of recipes to tease your Lab’s taste buds.
• Portioned – Some of these dog food companies will portion their meals so you won’t have to worry about fiddling with utensils or messing around with weighing scales.
• Price – You can expect to pay a little more than you would for traditional dog food brands that you find in your local pet store or supermarket. Having said that, you’re paying for a higher quality of food.
• Deliveries – It’s never been more important to limit your trips to the supermarket considering the pandemic we’re currently facing. The three dog food companies that we recommend for your Lab in this article all deliver their meals to your door.
Fresh Dog Food UK: Butternut Box
Butternut Box are a fresh dog food company that deliver their customised meals direct to your doorstep so you can feed your Labrador high quality dog food at your convenience.
This dog food delivery company have been in operation since 2016 when the founders set about creating fresh dog meals using fresh and healthy ingredients.
Butternut Box’s website explains that their aim is to put the food back into dog food, catering to Lab owners who are tired of feeding their pets traditional dry food.
They use fresh fruit and vegetables and high quality meat to ensure your Lab gets the very best in dog nutrition. Butternut Box emphasise their recipes are free from any additives, fillers or nasties.
What’s more, Butternut Box will tailor their meals to meet your dog’s needs, while offering a wide range of recipes to cater to those fussy members of the Labrador breed.
They’ve also got outstanding reviews online with an incredible average rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 based upon over 6,500 customer reviews. More on that in a little bit.
• High quality ingredients – Butternut Box use human-grade ingredients in their meals, responsibly sourced. Their recipes are comprised of 60% meat, 40% vegetables, lentils and minerals.
• Customised meals – They’ll tailor your Labrador’s meals to meet their specific requirements, whether you’ve got a working Lab or one that needs to shed some pounds.
• Range of recipes – If you’ve got a picky Labrador, Butternut Box offer a range of recipes: Pork This Way, Chow Down Chicken, Beef It Up, Wham Bam Lamb, Oh My Cod and Gobble Gobble Turkey.
• Pre-portioned – You won’t have to fuss around preparing your Labrador’s meals. Butternut Box store your Lab’s grub in pre-portioned packaging so it’s as easy as rip and serve.
• Eco-friendly – Butternut Box have embraced an eco-friendly approach to their operations. Their packaging is recyclable so you can leave a green paw print on the world.
• Higher cost – Butternut Box will cost more than your average dog food. However, they use high quality ingredients, which explains why you have to pay a little more than traditional dry dog food brands. Having said that, Butternut Box still costs less than your daily cup of coffee.
Good news: We can offer new Butternut Box customers an exclusive discount of 50% off their first order and 50% offer their second order through this link.
• Can only order from their website – You can only order Butternut Box direct from their website. You won’t be able to find them anywhere else.
What Are Dog Owners Saying
Butternut Box have an average of 4.9 stars out of 5 based upon over 6,500 reviews on independent review website Trustpilot.
Denise highlighted Butternut Box’s personal touch to their business.
Since discovering Butternut Box late last year, my Labrador Hermes has been in food heaven. If you know Labs, you’ll know that they are VERY food driven. Hermes now literally inhales his meals and is a very happy boy! Their food is of an excellent quality, with an amazing variety of choices. Every interaction with team Butternut has been very positive, fast and efficient. When sadly we lost Bacchus, Hermes’ gorgeous chocolate brother in January this year, I received a beautifully worded card and flowers from the team which was a wonderful gesture and very much appreciated.
Rebecca is one of the rare owners of a fussy Labrador – but Butternut Box worked a trick.
We have a fussy Labrador (I know, is he actually a Labrador?!) and we struggled to find food that he liked. Not only does he now like his dinner, but he also gets excited about it! Deliveries are always on time, communication is excellent -all in all their customer service has been brilliant. We would highly recommend.
We’re big fans of Butternut Box. I own two fussy Alaskan Klee Kai who regularly turned their nose up at their food – until I found Butternut Box.
They love these fresh, high quality meals. I really appreciated the range of recipes on offer, allowing me to tailor their meals accordingly.
Butternut Box use pre-portioned packaging so it’s simple to prepare your Labrador’s meals: you just rip the pouch open and serve the contents into your Lab’s bowl.
My Klee Kai are much healthier since making the switch to Butternut Box – their stomach issues are a thing of the past and I noticed their tear stains have significantly reduced.
We can offer new Butternut Box customers an exclusive discount of 50% off their first order and 50% offer their second order through this link.
Customised Dry Dog Food: Pure Pet Food
If you’d rather stick to dry food rather than fresh meals, there’s still some excellent options within the dog food market in the UK.
For instance, if your Labrador is already eating dry food, you may want to make a change to a brand that uses fresh ingredients in their recipes and avoid any additives or fillers.
Pure Pet Food is one of the leading dry dog food brands in the UK, operating from their human-grade kitchen in Yorkshire.
They explain on their website that they use an air-dried method to ensure your dog’s meals have optimal nutritional goodness by locking in all the minerals and nutrients.
Pure Pet Food will still be able to customize their recipes to meet your particular Lab’s needs, depending on what your input in the sign-up questionnaire.
You’ll have to mix the dry food with some water to create your Lab’s food.
• Air-Dried – Pure Pet Food’s air-dried method is one of the unique selling points to their food. The company claim by cooking it this way, moisture is removed and nutrients locked in.
• Personalised recipes – They’ll tailor their meals to meet your Lab’s needs, whether they’ve been ill and need to put on some weight, or they need to shed some extra pounds.
• Vet approved – You can have peace of mind knowing that your Labrador’s meals are approved by vets.
• Storage – Unlike fresh meals, Pure Pet Food’s bags can be stored in the cupboard so you won’t have to worry about losing room in your freezer.
Delivered to your door – Your air-dried food will be shipped direct to your home – minimal fuss.
• Price – Pure Pet Food will cost more than regular dry dog food that you’ll find at your local pet store or supermarket.
• Preparation – You’ll be required to use two scoopers to combine Pure Pet Food’s air-dried dog food with water before mixing to create your Frenchie’s food.
• Website – You can only order direct from their website.
What Are Dog Owners Saying
Pure Pet Food get 4.8 stars out of 5 based upon nearly 2,000 reviews on independent review website Trustpilot.
Phil explained that Pure Pet Food helped to improve his Lab’s health.
Our Black Labrador suffered from severe itching which the vets put down to an allergy and were no help. Within a week of using Pure, the itching stopped and she has been fine ever since. After the change of food, she did lose about 3 kgs but is now putting that back on.
Terence highlighted that Pure works well for both young and old Labs.
After a great deal of research on the internet I decided to try Pure Pet Food. I’ve just finished transitioning my 17 week old Labrador onto the wholesome chicken, the results speak for themselves, he’s lost his bloated stomach and stopped nibbling at his feet, I’m that impressed with your product that I’m now in the process of transitioning my 10 year old Lab onto Pure Pet Food.
Pure Pet Food get glowing reviews from Labrador owners on Trustpilot, which is encouraging to see.
Having given my Alaskan Klee Kai some samples of Pure Pet Food to try, I was impressed with this format of dry food.
It’s clear to see that the air-dried food contains high quality ingredients.
While Labrador owners will be required to put a little effort into creating the meals, the benefits will outweigh the small inconvenience.
Pure will ship your Lab’s food to your door so you can permanently cross off dog food on your shopping list.
Raw Dog Food UK – Poppy’s Picnic
Raw food is a controversial area of pet nutrition.
There are pros and cons to feeding raw just like any other pet food diet, whether it’s fresh meals or dry dog food.
It’s important you do thorough research to come to your own decision, while consulting with your regular vet or an animal nutritionist.
Editor's note: It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with raw pet food, as it can be contaminated with harmful bacteria (such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and E. coli). The UK government website offers the following advice to pet owners: wash your hands with hot water and soap immediately after handling raw pet food or treats; clean and disinfect all surfaces and utensils that the raw pet food touches; store and defrost raw pet food away from where human food is stored. Young children should not touch or eat raw pet food, as they’re more at risk of illness because their immune system is still developing and they’re more likely to put their hands in their mouth. You can check out the UK government’s guidance in full via this link.
Poppy’s Picnic are one of the leading raw dog food companies in the UK, having launched in 2016.
• Wholesome recipes – Poppy’s Picnic use high quality ingredients in their meals – so human-grade meat with fresh fruit and vegetables.
• Vet input – Their website explains that Poppy’s Picnic use the expertise of vets to create their recipes, which are balanced and complete.
• British – If you believe in buying British, you can be proud to support local businesses as Poppy’s Picnic source their ingredients from within the UK.
• Community feel – Like Butternut Box, Poppy’s Picnic will make you and your Labrador feel part of their community with lovely little touches in your monthly deliveries.
• Freezer space – Poppy’s Picnic will need to be stored in the freezer. However, they’ll enquire about your freezer space so you won’t be overwhelmed.
• Risks of raw dog food – People can become unwell after handling raw pet food and treats. The UK government doesn’t recommend feeding raw if you live in a home with small children, immunocompromised people or elderly grandparents. Raw meat can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and E. coli. Consult your vet before making the switch to raw food.
What Are Dog Owners Saying
Poppy’s Picnic have an average rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 based upon nearly 1,200 reviews on Reviews.io.
Lee explained how Poppy’s Picnic helped him to make the transition.
The first time I have ever fed raw and Poppy’s Picnic have been great giving me all the advice I have needed, the food is great quality, my puppy eats it in seconds, he is doing really well, getting bigger by the day, his coat is shiny & no tummy problems. Delivery is excellent, well insulated packaging & is always still frozen when it arrives. Highly recommended!
Spink was surprised by how much his dogs loved their raw food.
Tried a trial hamper and I was very surprised at how quickly both of our dogs adapted to the new diet. Our oldest dog Bugzee cannot contain himself enough and scoffs his food with relish. Our youngest dog Roxie has always been a fussy eater but she is now eating with relish. I am so impressed that I have made another order today.
I haven’t fed my Klee Kai raw dog food on a permanent basis but I did get to try some Poppy’s Picnic samples.
I used it as a topper on my dog’s regular food and my mini huskies seemed to love their raw food topper.
Poppy’s Picnic have excellent customer service and I had a phone call with one of their experts to help explain all about raw dog food.
If you’re a Labrador owner thinking about making the switch to raw dog food, Poppy’s Picnic is an excellent consideration.
Anything Else To Consider?
If you want to make a change to your Labrador’s diet and you’re weighing up your options, you should speak to your vet to get their input.
They can advise you which type of dog food could best suit your Labrador’s needs.
All three dog food companies mentioned in this article provide guidance on how to make the transition to their food.
We’ve reached the end of our feature on the best dog food for Labradors in the UK right now.
In my experience, fresh dog food like Butternut Box is the best option for UK Labradors.
My Alaskan Klee Kai love their Butternut Box meals and I’ve seen lots of benefits since making the switch.
Having said that, if you prefer to stick with dry food than Pure Pet Food is a great choice for Lab owners.
Alternatively, those who want to adopt a raw fed diet for the Labrador, Poppy’s Picnic is a great choice.