You will get a zillion responses here. *The best food is going to be what your dog does the best on. *Many here feed everything from ProPlan, Diamond, Chicken Soup, and on and on. *What are you currently feeding? *
Thank you for the feedback. When we got her from our friends they had given us a baggie of their food but she would not touch it so I went and got her Beneful, she will not eat it unless I mix it with canned food, which I do and I use Pedigree to mix with the food. Since I am new at this - do I just give her a mix (wet & dry) twice a day - or once a day, sorry I seem so nieve but I haven't had a dog for over 25 years (since I was a child). So I want to make sure that I am feeding my lab the right way. Thank you again
I would feed her 2 x a day. You can certainly mix canned and dry. I sometimes do that -- adding about 1/4 cup of canned food. Or you might just want to try adding warm water to the dry food. I always add at least 1 cup of water to my food, whether it's all dry or a mixture.
Regarding Beneful and Pedigree -- those are near the bottom of the barrel for food quality. The packaging makes Beneful seem like it's healthy (lots of meat, fruits and veggies on that package), but read the ingredients. One thing I learned a long time ago is that better foods have less fillers, which means you serve less of it. The costs pretty much even out in the end. If you have access to Costco -- they have their own brand (Kirkland) that is pretty good and the price is very nice, too.
To be perfectly honest with you, Benefel and Pedigree are not the best quality foods. *They will turn the dog into a pooping machine because they have a lot fillers, i.e., grain and grain by-products. *Most foods bought at the grocery store are less than desirable. *Though some of them may be cheaper, you will end up paying more because usually you have to feed more and also they can cause problems with ear infections, etc.
This might help you in making a decision on what food to choose: *LINKY
As mentioned, Pedigree is not a great food --full of crappy fillers. You can get much better quality foods for a similar price. As for brands...heck, food brands are probably one of the most discussed topics on dog internet forums! you will get many variating opinions on food. People are absolutely right in saying that what works for one dog will not always work for another.
I think the best advice would be to research and experiment. Try and experiment with good food that cators specifically for your dogs needs. Bare in mind her size, weight, activity level, an allergies/intolerances she may have, etc.
IMO Labs less than a year old should be fed a Large Breed Puppy formulation according to canine nutritional scientests and many Lab owners/breeders.
There are a number of quality foods.
Procter & Gamble owns Iams/Eukanuba; of the 2, Eukanuba has the better ingredients (less fillers), Iams has more.
Nutro has a Nutro Max and a Nutro Natural Choice -- the Natural Choice has much better ingredients.
Diamond (which has high quality but lower price since they do not advertise) has a variety of formulas for LBP and adult dogs. (Google Daimond pet foods to find a dealer near you.)
Kirkland (sold only in COSTCO warehouse clubs) is made by the makers of Diamond* and sells for about $15/40 lbs. bag. This is probably the cheapest high quality food you can buy IF your Lab, like most, finds it agreable. (Google COSTCO to find a store near you.)
Hiill's Science Diet makes a dog food equal in quality to the others listed.* For years they were shunned by many owners because they used preservatives known to cause cancer.* They've since then used other preservatives.
Purina -- Purina One is the cheaper proiduct and has more fillers (like Iams) and ProPlan is the better product (like Eukanuba).
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
If you don't mind paying a bit extra but having very good natural ingredients also check out the following foods: Solid Gold, Innova, California Natural, Timberwolf Organic (you feed less since there are less fillers/grains).
Pro Plan is a huge one to keep in mind. My mom is HUGE into hunt tests and showing both of our girls, and she said that most of the breeders and owners she encounters feed Pro Plan. There are several different varieties of PP, the base one being Chicken & Rice. We personally feed Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach to Larry since he has a sensitive stomach. We usually pay about $33 for a 40 lb bag of Sensitive Stomach. I think the Chicken & Rice runs around $25 for the same size.
If you're wanting to go a step beyond Pro Plan you can look at Eagle Pack, Innova, or Wellness. All of these are good, healthy foods with little to no corn products.