Puppy Labrador licking apple

The 6 Best Labrador Foods Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023

Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 26th October 2023

The most popular dog breed in Australia for years in a row (1), the Labrador Retriever is a real star. They are great family dogs but also great working dogs, and their diet needs to be adapted to their lifestyle.

Regardless of your Lab’s specific requirements, we are here to help you find the best Labrador food available. We teamed up with independent experts ranging from canine nutritionists to veterinarians to test out the most popular varieties out there. After several months and dozens and dozens of foods, we finally agreed on this list of the best Labrador food Australia offers. We share these ahead, along with guide on everything you need to know to keep your Lab happy and healthy.


Quick Picks - The Top 3

Petzyo Dog Food

Our Number 1 Pick - 
Petzyo Dry Dog Food Salmon & Ocean Fish

  • High-quality protein as main ingredient
  • Australian-made
  • Superfood additions boost the nutritional profile
  • Good value for money

Eureka Dog Food.

Runner Up - 
Eureka Wild Venison & Lamb

  • Super premium dog food
  • High protein content
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Gently air-dried
  • Carbon neutral production
  • Australian made & owned

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Recipe for Dogs

Third Choice - 
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Recipe for Dogs

  • Free-range New Zealand beef as the main ingredient
  • Offal and green lipped mussels provide valuable nutrients
  • Gently air-dried to preserve nutrients
  • No fillers or artificial flavours


Australia's Best Dog Food Options for Labradors Reviewed

Petzyo

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • High-quality protein as main ingredient
  • Australian-made
  • Superfood additions boost the nutritional profile
  • Good value for money

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

26%

Fat

12%

Fibre

4%

Petzyo - 5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Salmon & ocean fish meal, field peas, lentils, sweet potato, salmon offal, sunflower oil, tomato, basil, spinach, broccoli, green lipped mussels, carrot, rosemary, oregano, parsley, salt, flaxseed oil, kelp, turmeric, fish oil, hemp seed oil, yucca extract, green tea + added vitamins and minerals
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive
  • Recipe Range: Kangaroo, Sweet Potato & Superfood Extras or Salmon, Ocean Fish & Green Lipped Mussels or Chicken, Turkey & Superfood Extras or Petzyo Raw Food Range.
  • Suitable For: Petzyo's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes

Petzyo is one of our all-time favourites when it comes to dog food made in Australia. Petzyo is a local company that puts a lot of attention into their recipes. Each of their recipes features an awesome source of protein. Our panel of independent experts chose the Salmon & Ocean Fish recipe as our favourite for Labs due to the extra nutritious punch it packs, but all over their formulas are top quality. You won’t go wrong with any of them, depending on your dog’s preferences.

The main ingredient in this dog food is salmon and ocean fish meal. This is a great source of protein that’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which do a lot to support the skin and joint health of our canine companions. Fish skin also contains collagen which supports healthy bones, especially as dog’s age (2).

The Petzyo being tested by our independent expert team.

Petzyo being tested by our independent reviewer, Daze The Dog.

Besides the protein, this feed contains a well-thought-out combination of vegetables, herbs, and superfood additions rather than useless fillers. Every ingredient is full of health benefits: green lipped mussels, kelp, turmeric, and spinach are some of them - just to give you an idea of the level of ingredients used. Overall, a really great option that comes at a reasonable price too.

Pros

Cons

  • High-quality protein as main ingredient
  • Only a couple of recipes available
  • Australian-made
Cell
  • Superfood additions boost the nutritional profile
Cell
  • Good value for money
Cell

#2: Premium Choice: Eureka Wild Venison & Lamb

Eureka Wild Venison & Lamb
  • Super premium dog food
  • High protein content
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Gently air-dried
  • Carbon neutral production
  • Australian made & owned

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

37%

Fat

28%

Fibre

2%

Eureka Wild Venison & Lamb - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Venison; venison offal (liver, heart, lung, kidney, finely ground bone); lamb; lamb offal (liver, heart, tripe, kidney, lung); salmon oil; green lipped mussel; kelp; blueberry; chia seeds; flaxseed; free range eggs; chicory root; apple fibre; broccoli; sea salt; vitamin & mineral mix
    *Also contain: Postbiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifdbacterium animalis ssp. Lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum), lecitihin, citric acid, mixed tocopherols (natural anti-oxidant).
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive
  • Recipe Range: Wild Venison & Lamb; Wild Kangaroo & Lamb; Wild Boar & Chicken
  • Suitable For: All ages
  • Cost: $$$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes

Want to treat your Lab to the best food available? Consider Eureka.

Eureka is an Australian-made dog food with 99% locally sourced and high-quality ingredients.

For example, the Venison & Lamb formula's main ingredients are wild Australian venison and grass-fed Lamb. But it’s not just the meat - the food also includes offal and finely ground bone; these are an essential source of nutrients for dogs, so we are happy to see them on the list.

This venison-based formula is excellent for dogs with food sensitivities to common proteins like chicken or pork. My dog has these food sensitivities and Eureka's Venison & Lamb food didn't bother him during our testing phase, which is a big deal for me.

Eureka Pet Food being tested by our independent expert team.

Eureka Pet Food being tested by our independent expert team.

Besides the meat, Eureka adds some whole food additions to their food. There are green lipped mussels, which our panel of experts note are a natural source of glucosamine, known to help maintain joint health in dogs. Ingredients like blueberry and broccoli aren’t a natural addition to a dog’s diet, but a positive one. They are added to Eureka formulas in small quantities and are certainly better than potato or corn, which are often added to low-quality dog foods.

This makes it similar to our number one choice, Petzyo, although Eureka is pricier.

Overall, our vote goes to Eureka, as long as you are OK with the subscription model and the price.

Pros

Cons

  • Super premium dog food
  • High price point
  • High protein content
  • Only available through a subscription
  • Suitable for all life stages
Cell
  • Gently air-dried
Cell
  • Carbon neutral production
Cell
  • Australian made & owned
Cell

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Recipe for Dogs
  • Free-range New Zealand beef as the main ingredient
  • Offal and green lipped mussels provide valuable nutrients
  • Gently air-dried to preserve nutrients
  • No fillers or artificial flavours

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

38%

Fat

30%

Fibre

2%

Ziwi Peak - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Kidney, Beef Tripe, Beef Liver, Beef Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Beef Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast), Salt, Parsley, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free
  • Recipe Range: Chicken or Mackerel & Lamb or Beef + more.
  • Suitable For: Ziwi Peak recipes are generally suitable for all life stages, although the dosage should be adjusted
  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned)

There has been a lot of talk about Ziwi Peak dog food lately, and there’s a good reason for this. The range of air-dried dog food from Ziwi Peak is a great example of what dog food should be. Lots and lots of meat and offal, and green lipped mussels that provide extra nutrients, all of that gently air-dried to create a lightweight and nutrient-dense product that is super-convenient to use.

Ziwi Peak being tested by our independent expert team.

Ziwi Peak Dog Food being tested by our independent reviewer, Daze The Dog.

Well, that sounds too good to be true, one might think, but it is true. On top of that, everyone on our team of experts loved how all of the meat is ethically sourced and raised in sustainable ways.

The only drawback of this feed is the price, which is even higher than our Eureka option in slot two. Especially for owners of larger dogs like Labs, or even multiple dogs, the price of Ziwi Peak might be too high to be sustainable. If that’s the case, though, Ziwi might also work as an extra-tasty topping on top of your dog’s regular dry dog food. 

Pros

Cons

  • Free-range New Zealand beef as the main ingredient
  • High price point
  • Offal and green lipped mussels provide valuable nutrients
Cell
  • Gently air-dried to preserve nutrients
Cell
  • No fillers or artificial flavours
Cell

#4: Best Food for Labrador Puppies: Black Hawk Large Breed Puppy Food Chicken & Rice

Black Hawk Large Breed Puppy Food Chicken & Rice
  • Recipe designed for large breed puppies
  • High protein content
  • Balanced nutritional profile
  • No artificial flavours

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

26%

Fat

16%

Fibre

4.5%

Black Hawk - 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Oats, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols [source of Vitamin E], Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract), Field Peas, Fish Meal, Beet Pulp, Eggs, Canola Oil, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Brewers Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Kelp, Salt, Choline Chloride, Essential Vitamins & Minerals, Natural Antioxidants, Emu Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Tomato Powder, Carrots, Dried Blueberries, Dandelion, Peppermint, Rosemary, Cranberries.
  • Named Protein First: No (but chicken meal is ok)
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-inclusive (some grain-free options also available)
  • Recipe Range: Chicken or Australian Lamb or Tasmanian Salmon or Kangaroo or Ocean Fish + More.
  • Suitable For: Puppies (more recipes available for different life stages)
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: No (owned by Masterpet New Zealand)

We often rave so much about top-of-the-line options like Petzyo and Ziwi Peak that we sometimes forget about the lesser-known Australian brands. The three foods mentioned above are suitable for all life stages, and that includes puppies too. However, if you need another option made specifically for puppies, we liked this recipe from Black Hawk.

While there are some potential issues with Black Hawk food, everyone on our team of independent experts liked how their Large Breed Puppy recipe is formulated. Although Labradors are not huge, they are still considered large dogs and the nutritional profile of this recipe certainly won’t hurt them.

Made with large puppies in mind, the main ingredient in the Black Hawk formula is chicken meal combined with rice. The food is enriched with fish meal as well as extra glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy bone and joint development. That’s a very important point when it comes to large breed puppies and also a great feature for Labrador puppy food.

Pros

Cons

  • Recipe designed for large breed puppies
  • There are higher-quality options than chicken meal
  • High protein content
  • Not for puppies with sensitive stomachs
  • Balanced nutritional profile
Cell
  • No artificial flavours
Cell

#5: Best High Energy Food for Labradors:  Meals for Mutts Duck & Turkey

Meals for Mutts Duck & Turkey
  • 30% protein content for extra energy
  • Duck and turkey meat as main ingredients
  • Balanced nutritional profile
  • No artificial preservatives

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

30%

Fat

16%

Fibre

4.5%

Meals for Mutt - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Duck & turkey meat, sweet potato, red lentils, seasonal vegetables, alfalfa, natural fats and oils, omega 3,6,7, coconut oil, turmeric, parsley, pre & probiotic, kelp + added vitamins and minerals. Preserved using vitamin e and rosemary extract.
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Gran-free
  • Recipe Range: Duck & Turkey; Kangaroo & Lamb; Salmon & Sardine; Bacon & Eggs and more + a range of single-protein formulas
  • Suitable For: Adult dogs
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes

Many Labradors are very high-energy dogs. They often need a lot of activity to stay happy, not to mention some of them are working dogs on the job. And all this exercise needs food rich enough to support their lifestyle. For such dogs, one of our favourites is this recipe from Meals for Mutts.

The reason why members of our expert panel picked this food for high-energy dogs is the high protein content. At 30%, this formula is richer in protein than other dry dog food options on this list. At that, it’s not just any protein but high-quality named ingredients: duck and turkey meat.

Besides the meat, this formula mostly contains vegetables (it’s grain-free). On top of that, I love how Meals for Mutts added some extra health boosters like turmeric, coconut oil, and added healthy fatty acids to support skin and joint health.

Overall, we found this is a good option that is not overly expensive. We don’t love the fact that Meals for Mutts is weirdly unspecific about some of their ingredients. Namely, the list includes ‘seasonal vegetables’ and ‘natural fats and oils’ which doesn’t tell us exactly what the ingredient is. However, wholesome protein is there along with other well-picked ingredients, so you might be willing to look past this issue.

Pros

Cons

  • 30% protein content for extra energy
  • Unspecific entries on ingredient list
  • Duck and turkey meat as main ingredients
Cell
  • Balanced nutritional profile
Cell
  • No artificial preservatives
Cell

#6: Best for Picky Eaters: K9 Natural Dog Food Lamb Feast Can

  • Highly palatable
  • Perfect as a topper
  • 90% meat, organs, and bone
  • BPA-free recyclable packaging
  • Grain-free

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

7.5%

Fat

3.5%

Fibre

3.5%

K9 Natural - 2.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Lamb, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Blood, Eggs, Lamb Spleen, Lamb Kidney, Ground Lamb Bone, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed Flakes, Brown Kelp, New Zealand Green Mussel, Pumpkin, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dried Kelp, Apples, Pears, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Magnesium Oxide, Selenium Yeast, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free wet dog food
  • Recipe Range: Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Lamb & King Salmon, Hoki & Beef
  • Suitable For: All life stages
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but made in New Zealand)

Some dogs, like my brood, simply have exquisite taste and won’t settle for just any kind of dog food. Plain kibble? Boring! If your Lab is like that, canned food might be the solution. Especially if it contains a delicious recipe like this one from K9 Natural.

This New Zealand-based brand makes cans that are full of quality meat and other goodies. In this recipe the first ingredient is lamb which is followed by liver, heart, and tripe - all ingredients are clearly named and great for your dog!

So far so good, but what else is there? Well, mostly veggies and a few other additions including green lipped mussels, like our first two options by Petzyo and Eureka. The ingredient list might look long, and this is because the usual “vitamins and minerals” section has been clearly listed individually.

All in all, these cans are 90% meat, bone, and organs, which is just what your dog needs. Plus, our doggos tell us it’s very tasty. 

Pros

Cons

  • Highly palatable
  • Pricey if used exclusively
  • Perfect as a topper
  • 90% meat, organs, and bone
Cell
  • BPA-free recyclable packaging
Cell
  • Grain-free
Cell

Everything You Need to Know About a Labrador Diet

Are there any special requirements when it comes to dog food for Labradors? Well, not really. If you are getting high-quality food, it will probably do just fine for healthy adult Labs. However, if you want the best for your pooch, our panel of independent experts note there are a couple of things to keep in mind when thinking about their diet.

First, the Labrador Retriever is a fairly large breed. As such, they have the dietary requirements specific to large breeds as opposed to small breeds (3). This is especially true when they are puppies. Large breed puppies grow very fast in the early stages of life which leaves them vulnerable to specific issues.

“Large breed puppies are prone to developmental orthopedic diseases like hip dysplasia. Feeding these individuals diets that are a little less energy-dense, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorous, and have a very carefully balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio has been proven to reduce the incidence of developmental orthopedic diseases in large and giant breeds of dogs.” - Jennifer Coates, DVM for PetMD

In general, Labradors are a fairly healthy dog breed, so there is no need to worry about anything specific as long as you follow the general guidelines for choosing quality dog food. If you want to do the best you can for the health of your Lab, choose food rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These have many benefits for dogs, the most visible of which is a shiny and healthy coat. As they age, Labs may also benefit from more glucosamine and chondroitin which help keep their joints mobile.

How Much to Feed a Labrador

Feeding recommendations are always individual. A good place to start is the feeding guideline on the back of your dog food package. The guidelines for each individual food type are different, so it’s difficult to make estimates. They are always based on the weight of your dog which you will use to calculate the recommended daily amount. Divide this amount into as many meals as your Lab is used to eating.

However, do keep in mind that these are just guidelines. The needs of each dog may vary. If you feel your dog is too skinny adjust the dosage.

“Energy requirements for dogs can vary depending on many factors. It is important to meet your dog’s specific energy requirement to sustain their daily lifestyle.” - Tiffany Tupler, DVM for PetMD

Labs are known to be high-energy dogs, so they often benefit from highly-caloric foods. However, this will also depend on the lifestyle of your dog and how much exercise they get daily. Moreover, Labs are known to have healthy appetites, so overfeeding them is easy too. In the end, the right amount of food to feed any dog is something that has to be learned from experience.


My Final Verdict

It’s time to end our Labrador feeding guide, but not without a final comment on choosing the perfect food for your pooch. If you are not sure what to try, our team of independent experts recommend you go with Petzyo dry dog food. This kibble is reasonably priced with top-notch ingredients and most dogs seem to love it.

If you’d like an extra special treat for your dog, then we recommend you consider Eureka or Ziwi. In any case, remember that every dog is unique, and they do have personal tastes, so sometimes you have to try out a few different brands before you find what works.

FAQ

How often should I feed my Labrador?

When it comes to large dogs, options vary. Some say they should be fed only once per day (with some treats in between), while others recommend two times. Free feeding where you leave the food out for your dog all day is also an option, but usually not the best solution for Labs as they tend to be real chowhounds. For this reason, you’ll probably want to control the portions. In the end, the exact number of meals doesn’t matter as long as you feed the right daily amount and your dog isn’t overly hungry between two meals. Puppies need to be fed multiple smaller meals.

When should a Labrador puppy switch to adult food?

It is usually recommended to switch Labradors to adult food once they are between 12 and 18 months old. The exact timing may vary. The cue for switching to adult food is when your dog stops growing - that is they reach their adult size. The exact timing is not overly important as long as you watch your dog and adjust the diet to their needs.

What type of food is best for Labs?

There is no specific type of food that is best for labradors. Generally, they will do well on any type of quality feed. No matter if it’s wet food or dry food, or perhaps freeze-dried or air-dried, what you are looking for is high-quality ingredients and lots of quality protein. That’s what makes all the difference. Labradors can eat both grain-free and grain-inclusive food too, unless they have specific allergies which are quite rare in this breed.

References

  1. MacSmith, J. August 17, 2021. “Australia’s most popular dog breeds”. Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 29, 2023. https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/home/pets/australias-most-popular-dog-breeds/news-story/44cd695b2ccf02de38b0ad90e3c03ab8
  2. Gilette, L. August 7, 2023. “Can Dogs Eat Fish?”, PetMD. Retrieved October 29, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_can-dogs-eat-fish
  3. Coates, J. February 3, 2012. “Nutritional Differences for Small, Toy, and Large Breed Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved October 29, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2012/feb/nutrition_differences_for_small_toy_large_breeds-12459
  4. Tupler, T. February 01, 2021. “Dog Nutrition: Guide to Dog Food Nutrients”. PetMD. Retrieved October 29, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_whats_in_a_balanced_dog_food

Vedrana Nikolic


Vedrana Nikolić is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer, Anthropologist & dog lover.

With a Masters Degree in Semiotics & Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, studying the communication between animals and humans, Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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