As soon as their eyes open, it is time to introduce food into a pups life, and for Labrador pups it is love at first sight.
In 2019 we are feeding another made in Canada food, Canadian Naturals Lamb and Brown Rice. The reason for our switch was based on Maggie developing a sensitivity to chicken based diets. Maggie and Hope were put on the food about a month before the pregnancy. Hope was still on puppy food as she had not gone into her first season. She finally did but we are waiting for the pups to leave before figuring out our next food choice. Both are doing well on it so who knows, we might just stay on it longer.
We fed Maggie's 2014 litter ACANA large breed puppy food. It was available at our local pet store. And it is made right here in Alberta. It is expensive and it is rich. We found that the pups and Maggie had a lot of weight on them. And diarrhea tended to be a problem. So in 2017 we retried Purina ProPlan Large Breed Puppy Food as it is what we fed Kassey's pups. It seemed to work fine.
We fed Kassey's puppies Purina ProPlan Large Breed Puppy Food available at PetSmart. It was the Chicken and Rice formula. We fed Koko's puppies Purina One Large Breed.We fed Maggie's puppies ACANA large breed available where all good quality pet foods are sold.
At first we soaked it in water, although water will be reduced t as the puppies grow, so by seven weeks they should be eating dry kibble.
Puppies eat very fast, so some of them might choke at first. Maggie, Grace and Kassey still eat very fast. It is probably is due to competition. As your puppy realizes that there are no other puppies to compete with he/she will probably slow down.
At first we fed the puppies three to four times a day. As they grow, the number of feedings can be reduced. Our girls still got fed three times a day as Koko require more, smaller meals. It was better for overall health as it reduces blood glucose peaks. However, as most families are busy and may not bbe home at lunchtime, reducing meals to twice a day is fine. One large meal may result in gorging and vomiting.
When you get your puppy home, I would recommend that you continue to feed three times a day until the puppy is four to six months old. It will not take long for him or her to eat. Schedule: (morning, noon, supper) or (morning, home from work, before bed). If you have other pets in the house, you will need to feed them separately, and put their food bowl were puppy cannot get them.
Labradors will eat anything, from anywhere they can get it. We call our girls the garbage collectors. It does mean if the kids leave plates of food around, they will always be clean when collected. But it also mean, Labradors can chuck up the strangest things. Kassey ate all the Valentine Kisses off our daughters Valentine cards. She chucked up the nicest smelling minty chocolate with foil. Koko once ate a whole fresh pumpkin pie, and we only induce vomiting because we were not sure if she ate any of the glass pieplate or not (Vomiting can be induced by injecting hydrogen peroxide via syringe into the mouth. Please check a reliable source for the amount based on weight.)
Keep your puppy on a good quality puppy food for 12 to 18 months. Puppy foods are formulated to control rapid growth, that can lead to joint problems in large breed dogs. We had both Maggie and Kassey on large breed puppy food from the start to 18 months and have never had a problem with weight or joints with them. We are not certain what Grace was fed but believe it was not a good quality large breed formula. She is very tall and her long back legs are possibly one of the reasons for her ACL tears. We only honour the health guarantee if you can prove (by receipt) that your puppy has been fed a large breed dog food of good quality (Purina One or ProPlan, ACANA, Orijen, Eukanuba, or from your vet).