Is there such a thing as the best dog food for labs with ear infections? Can the right food really play a role in combatting these types of problems? The answer might surprise you! Chronic ear infections are serious business. Sure, they are uncomfortable and sometimes painful in the short-term, but over time, chronic ear infections can cause serious damage to the ear canal and tissue. When a dog has enough of these infections close enough together, they can cause permanent thickening of the ear canal and surrounding ear tissue. This leads to a tendency to get even more infections.
The Labrador Retriever is a breed prone to ear infections, whether it be from having the classic, floppy ears that are associated with frequent infections or from a food allergy. If your lab has chronic ear infections, one of the ways to fight them is to address the underlying problem, which often times can be food related.
Combating Chronic Ear Infections with Food
If your lab gets ear infections frequently, your first stop should be the vet. A visit to the vet will help you determine whether those infections are related to the ear itself or to a food allergy or sensitivity. You see, dogs with floppy, low handing ears often experience frequent ear infections. However, there’s nothing to say that your lab couldn’t have this issue due to a food allergy. Your vet can help you figure it out.
What is the Best Dog Food for Labs with Ear Infections?
If your vet determines that your lab’s frequent ear infections are due to a food allergy, you’ll have to start looking for a new food. Your vet will most likely recommend a limited ingredient diet. LID’s are best for dogs with food allergies because these foods take out everything that most dogs are allergic to. That still leaves you with a lot of options. Here are some suggestions to help you pick the best dog food for labs with ear infections and maximally contribute to your dog’s overall health.
Omega Fatty Acids
Look for a food with added omega fatty acids or with fish as the main protein source. Labs are not small dogs, and they’re highly active. As such, you’ll want a food that protects joints and promotes joint health. Omega fatty acids reduce whole body inflammation, which means they help keep inflammation out of joints along with everywhere else. As an added bonus, omega fatty acids are also excellent for the skin and coat.
Glucosamine adds an extra layer of joint support to your lab’s diet. Again, dogs like Labs are prone to joint issues, so it pays to get a food with added glucosamine. They’re out there. This one is a bit controversial. Some vets swear by it. Others say that there’s no conclusive proof that it helps joints at all. As an owner of a dog with impaired joints and after working at the vet for 7 years, everything I’ve seen points to efficacy in most dogs.
Many foods these days come with either berries added as ingredients or an antioxidant complex. Look for this in your Lab’s food. All dogs can get cancer as they get older. A diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce their risk of cancer, so it pays to get a food with added antioxidants if you can find it.
Battle Chronic Ear Infections with Food and Your Vet
If your lab has chronic ear infections, make your first action getting him in to see your vet. Your vet can help you determine if those chronic ear infections are a physical problem – the shape of the ear – or a diet-related issue. If your vet finds that your dog has food allergies, work with them to find the right food for your Lab. And remember the above ingredients are only a guide. Your vet should always have the last word on the food your feed your dog and what to do about his chronic ear infections.