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This article is about the ten commercial diets that we believe are the best food for golden retrievers.
According to AKC registration statistics, the Golden Retriever is consistently in the top three dog breeds in the United States. These dogs are known for their soft golden fur, gentle temperaments, and goofy personalities.
Golden retrievers have always been a popular choice for many pet families because they are known for their reliability, kindness, trust, intelligence, and unparalleled kindness, especially for younger family members.
From the Golden Retriever puppy phase to adult, the right diet for this large breed helps your dog stay slim and active and at least postpone hereditary joint problems such as hip to prevent elbow dysplasia.
In this article, we will talk about the unique nutritional needs of Golden Retrievers to help you choose the best food for golden retrievers. You will also see our best choices for 2023.
Table Of Contents
- Things To Consider When Choosing Food For Your Golden Retriever
- 10 Best Food For Golden Retrievers Of 2023
- 1. Royal Canin Golden Retriever Breed Health Nutrition Dry Dog Food
- 2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Dog Food
- 3. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free
- 4. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- 5. Castor Pollux Organix Grain-Free
- 6. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
- 7. Primal Beef Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food
- 8. Fromm Adult Gold Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
- 9. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient, canned
- 10. Eukanuba Senior Lamb Rice Formula Dry Dog Food By Eukanuba
- Best Puppy Food For Golden Retrievers: Wet Or Dry?
- Ingredients To Avoid When Buying Food For Golden Retrievers
- FAQs About Best Food For Golden Retrievers
- What does your Golden Retriever need?
- Are grain-free diets safe for Golden Retrievers?
- How much should Golden Retriever eat per day?
- Are vegetables suitable for Golden Retriever?
- Are dairy products suitable for my Golden Retriever?
- How can you see if your Golden is doing well with their food?
- How do you feed a Golden Retriever?
Things To Consider When Choosing Food For Your Golden Retriever
When choosing food for your Golden Retriever, you should keep in mind that it is a large breed that is more active than most large breeds.
This means that they need the right amount of protein and healthy carbohydrates. Their diet must be low in fat, but there must be enough fatty acids to keep their golden fur glowing.
To ensure that the basic needs of your Golden Retriever are met, it is best to have dog food for large breeds that are formulated for their stage of life.
Here are some other things to look out for with a good Golden Retriever feed:
The best food for Golden Retriever is meat as the first ingredient, and that meat must be lean.
Poultry is preferred over red meat because it also has the right amount of fat.
Moderate To High Protein
Animal protein is still the best.
The amino acid profile of animal proteins is more complete than their plant counterparts. Ideally, you should aim for a protein content that is at least 25% of the dry matter weight of the dog food.
Also, the very first ingredient must be a clearly stated animal protein. In some cases where a plant ingredient is first on the list, these are often treated as special diets. You still have to look at the guaranteed analysis of the product.
No active variety can thrive without carbohydrates. Look for high-quality vegetable sources such as potatoes or other tubers. These sources are also rich in minerals and vitamins that are essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Low To Moderate Fat
Fats in the Golden Retrievers diet should not exceed 20%, although this can be difficult if you have dog food containing mainly animal ingredients. Meat contains both proteins and fats, so you also get many proteins and a lot of fat. Don’t let the fat in dog food discourage you because they need healthier fur, skin, and endocrine systems.
EPA, DHA, and ALA are all critical for the optimal functioning of the neurological, cardiovascular, and immune systems. Chondroitin and glucosamine are also necessary for better joint health. Probiotics can also help improve digestion and immunological functions.
Fatty Acids And Additives
Goldies are fairly hairy, which means that you also have to look for fur-friendly ingredients. Fish fatty acids can do wonders for your baby’s skin and fur.
Go for food without a filler that contains no artificial flavors or additives. These should also be your criteria for snacks and treats.
In addition to ensuring that your Golden Retriever’s food meets these requirements, you must also check whether it comes in a larger lump size. Large and deep-chested breeds have a high risk of bloating, which is exacerbated by eating too quickly or overeating at once – larger chunks mean that your dog will get the same food in smaller portion sizes.
10 Best Food For Golden Retrievers Of 2023
Although all dogs are susceptible to specific health problems, Golden Retrievers are plagued by joint genetic issues, various forms of cancer, and allergies.
Unfortunately, many of these conditions cannot be diagnosed in growing puppies, which is why responsible breeding practices are so important.
Choosing high-quality dog food for your Golden can also reduce the risk of health problems.
It is better to understand your dog’s nutritional needs and make an informed decision based on those needs. Take your dog’s age, breed, and activity level into account to make the best decision.
Here are our top choices for the best dog food for Golden Retrievers:
1. Royal Canin Golden Retriever Breed Health Nutrition Dry Dog Food
View On AmazonGolden Retrievers are susceptible to malnutrition and developmental orthopedic diseases like all large breed puppies, including osteochondrosis (OCD), hip dysplasia, hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), and panosteitis. Although these disorders contain a transparent genetic element, nutritional risks play a significant role during the puppy years. These include an excess of calcium intake and rapid growth.
Large breed puppies must be given a diet that prevents these problems. That’s why we think the best dog food for Golden Retrievers puppies is Royal Canin Golden Retriever Breed Health Nutrition Puppy. Everything about this formula meets the needs of this magnificent breed.
The mineral balance and calorie content are ideal for preventing joint and bone problems, and the kibble has even been designed to fit Golden Retrievers’ teeth. They have a so-called (scissors bite) with a long snout and mouth. Royal Canin chunks are thin and square for optimum digestion and chewing.
Because they are a slow-maturing breed, it is advisable to feed Goldens this food until they are around 15 months old.
- Calorie content: 276 per cup
- Minimum protein: 23%
- The minimum amount of fat: 11%
- First 5 ingredients: brown rice, oat groats, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten flour, and brewer’s rice
- With EPA, DHA, taurine, prebiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Dog Food
View On AmazonThe Evolutionary Diet Protein-rich dog food from the Blue Wilderness Nature, specially developed for very active, very playful Goldies, is a smorgasbord of delicious duck meat mixed with premium chicken and Menhaden fish meals. The ingredients for peas and pea proteins.
A single cup from the NED offers at least 34% proteins made even more special by incorporating amino acids and omega fatty acids for continuous tissue growth and healthier skin, fur, and nervous system. The probiotics in the formulation further improve the immune-enhancing properties of omega fatty acids. At the same time, glucosamine in a chicken meal can help to strengthen the various structures that make up the joints. Generally, it is a meal that is perfect for active Goldie.
This is a protein-rich food that is low in carbohydrates. Your adult Golden Retriever must be careful that you do not arrive too much. They can enjoy the delicious duck with chicken and turkey meals without the carbohydrates of some other foods.
The complex carbohydrates are supplied by sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and potatoes. You know that blueberries, cranberries, and carrots are excellent antioxidants. Your dog also benefits. Blue Buffalo also makes the best dog food for senior golden retrievers.
- Calorie content: 416 per cup
- The minimum amount of proteins: 34%
- The minimum amount of fats: 15%
- First 5 ingredients: boneless duck, Menhaden fish meal, chicken meal, pea protein, and peas
- With glucosamine, omega fatty acids, prebiotics, and five types of probiotics
3. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free
View On AmazonThe Taste of the Wild cereal-free range is designed to display the local, regional products available throughout North America. Therefore, the High Prairie variety contains a mix of buffalo, lamb, bison, and game. As well as vegetable food, including sweet potatoes and a variety of berries. Those ingredients sound better than the way most people eat.
According to the (biologically suitable) model for dog food, it contains many proteins and few carbohydrates. This product is 100 percent grain-free, although this does not necessarily make it better for your dog unless they have an allergy.
The guaranteed analysis shows at least 33 percent protein and 17 percent fat. It contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and you will find that reading the ingredients, almost everything is easily identifiable, unlike some foods where you cannot decipher half of what is in it.
It is quite expensive food, but it contains high-quality ingredients and no hidden nasties.
- Ingredients of extremely high quality
- Biologically suitable
- It contains a good assortment of vegetables and legumes, as well as meat
- Grain-free (this can be a pro if your dog cannot tolerate grains)
- 70 percent of meat content
4. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
View On AmazonNatural Balance L.I.D. The best dog food for Golden Retrievers dogs that are active have an average weight and are in good condition. Mature potato and fish formula. It is an excellent choice for adult retrievers older than 15 months to 7 to 8 years old.
Because they are sensitive to itchy, dry skin caused by inhaled allergens or atopic allergens, the Limited Ingredients Diet supports a natural balance with fish and sweet potato, a healthy coat, and skin. Salmon and omega-3 fatty acids also reduce any skin irritations.
Although the main ingredient is sweet potatoes, the addition of salmon, fishmeal, and salmon oil more than makes up for it, making the diet rich in DHA and EPA for optimal neurological, integumentary, cardiovascular, and immunological function. Since both sweet potatoes and salmon are less allergenic than other ingredients, you feel relieved knowing that your Goldie has no stomach and allergic problems. At the same time, you get the energy to walk around freely.
If your vet suspects your puppy has a food allergy, this is not the best choice for a type diagnosis (elimination diet).
- Calorie content: 350 per cup
- The minimum amount of proteins: 21%
- A minimum amount of fats: 10%
- First 5 ingredients: sweet potatoes, salmon, potato protein, Menhaden fish meal, and rapeseed oil
- With DHA, EPA, vitamins, and minerals
5. Castor Pollux Organix Grain-Free
View On AmazonIf you prefer to buy organic food for yourself and your family, you can now also include your furry family members on the list. Made from predominantly certified natural ingredients and hormone-free meat, these high-quality dry kibbles don’t worry about the effects of pesticides on your pet.
This is a popular food for good reason and usually gets top reviews from almost everyone who has given it to his dogs. It also offers excellent value for money, especially if you order it in larger bags.
It is made using chicken as a single type of meat, which may be more comfortable with some dogs than with a single one. Combination of meat.
It also contains fish, salmon meal, and some vegetarian protein sources, including peas and eggs.
Healthy carbohydrates come from brown rice, barley, and millet. Fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and apples add some vitamins and minerals. Still, this food also contains chelated vitamins and minerals, which are easily absorbed and ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients he needs.
The guaranteed analysis shows that it contains 27 percent protein and 14 percent fat.
We especially like that this is a formula for a large breed because it has to meet the nutritional needs of a golden retriever more precisely.
- It contains certified organic ingredients
- Hormone-free meat
- It contains chelated vitamins and minerals
- Good value for money
- The formula for large breeds
6. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
View On AmazonIf you want a balanced diet with exceptionally high levels of protein and moderate amounts of fats with only 30% carbohydrates, then grain-free dry dog food from Merrick in Real Buffalo Sweet Potato formulation is always the right choice.
Packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as nutraceuticals that help improve joint, bowel, and immune function, Merrick’s formula fits into the tradition of useful dog food formulations with only the best ingredients.
Merrick Real Buffalo-Sweet Potato recipe is perfect for such large dog breeds because it contains the right calories for energy and large amounts of protein for muscle and organ tissue growth. The taste of buffalo should give your dog the treat of his life.
- Calorie content: 364 per cup
- A minimum amount of proteins: 38%
- The minimum amount of fats: 17%
- First 5 ingredients: boneless buffalo meat, salmon flour, chicken flour, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
- With omega fatty acids, chondroitin, glucosamine, prebiotics, and four types of probiotics
7. Primal Beef Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food
View On AmazonWe are always happy to add a product that you may not be familiar with, so Primal Beef Formula Nuggets is grain-free freeze-dried dog food on the list. It is different from all other products offered here, but it is also an excellent alternative to a raw diet.
This formula is not wet or crumbled but is a freeze-dried raw food hydrated to almost wet. If you want to try a raw diet for your dog, this is probably the most trouble-free way to do this. The food is 77% beef and 23% of supplements and vegetable food, so there are very few fillers or unhealthy additives. There are also fruit and vegetables such as kale, broccoli, apple, blueberries, and yam with meat. And vegetable food is organic, so there are fewer pesticides.
If you don’t know this type of dog food yet, the biggest challenge is preparing it correctly. We have added a short clip to show you how
- A complete and balanced diet for all stages of life
- Cows raised without antibiotics or added hormones
- Naturally derived vitamins and minerals
- Grain, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy-free
- Cows raised without antibiotics or added Hormonesgrain, Gluten, Corn, wheat, and soy Released in the US.
- A complete and balanced diet for all stages of life
- Cows raised without antibiotics or added hormones
- Naturally derived vitamins and minerals
- Grain, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy-free
- Made in the USA
8. Fromm Adult Gold Large Breed Formula Dry Dog Food
View On AmazonThe Fromm Family Pet Foods are best known for their artisan creations that prioritize the quality of their ingredients. The Goldie with the Gold Nutritionals Dog Food came with premium quality duck, chicken, and lamb and supplemented with real Wisconsin cheese and whole eggs.
It is supplemented with both prebiotics and probiotics to stimulate your Goldie’s immune system and digestive functions. At the same time, the 5: 1 ratio of essential fatty acids ensures healthier skin, immune system, cardiovascular function, and nervous system. It also has cartilage to build stronger joints for your very active Goldie. The price can be high, but if you are looking for one of the best for your Goldie, then Gold Nutritionals is for you.
- Calorie content: 378 per cup
- Minimum protein: 23%
- Minimum fat: 12%
- First 5 ingredients: duck, chicken, chicken flour, pearled barley, and oatmeal
- With essential fatty acids, cartilage, prebiotics, and probiotics
9. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient, canned
View On AmazonThe Canidae PURE Sea Salmon and Mackarel Formula are perfect for those who are looking for high-quality wet food for their four-legged friends. And vegetable broth, with peas and sweet potatoes. However, the addition of vitamins makes it a complete and balanced food for your dog. So if you only want to feed wet food, it meets all your pet’s nutritional needs.
That said, it would be costly for a dog the size of a golden retriever if this were the only thing she gave her. Unless money is a problem, it’s best to feed it with a kind piece.
Although it is grain-free, there are enough carbohydrates from the sweet potato. It contains above-average protein and below-average fat compared to other wet foods, so that it can be good for dogs with trouble cutting.
- High-quality ingredients
- Free from artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Good meat content
- A complete and balanced food
10. Eukanuba Senior Lamb Rice Formula Dry Dog Food By Eukanuba
View On AmazonBy the age of 8 or so, Golden Retrievers are already considered older dogs and are changing their nutritional needs.
Their joints are starting to hurt, and their mental function is deteriorating, so it is essential to feed a dog food with specific active ingredients.
The Eukanuba Senior Dog Food range contains many antioxidants that support cell functioning and reduce the accumulation of tartar on their teeth by up to 46%.
- Eukanuba Senior Lamb 1st ingredient dry dog food is a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs of small and medium-sized breeds older than seven years with up to 54 lbs.
- It helps keep joints mobile and support lean muscles inactive seniors with chondroitin sulfate and 50% more glucosamine (versus Eukanuba Adult Medium Wide dry dog food)
- Supports healthy brain function in older dogs with DHA and antioxidants
- Nourishes the daily activity levels of your active older dog with optimal levels of fats and carbohydrates
- It helps maintain your dog’s natural defenses with guaranteed antioxidant levels for older dogs
Best Puppy Food For Golden Retrievers: Wet Or Dry?
This is a matter of individual choice, as long as the food you choose is made with large breed puppies in mind and is balanced in terms of nutritional value.
- easy to store
- has a long shelf life
- useful for cleaning the teeth of dogs
- easy to use as training aids
However, many dog owners are concerned that a continuous diet of chunks can be boring and monotonous for puppies.
- Palatable and tasty
- Useful for keeping your puppy hydrated and often come in more than one taste of the same brand.
However, they do not save that long after they are opened. Your puppy may also be more inclined to lose them, remove the tastiest pieces, and leave the rest behind.
Feeding a mix of wet and dry food is an excellent way to add variety and interest to your puppy’s diet. It also lets them get used to different textures and tastes.
Ingredients To Avoid When Buying Food For Golden Retrievers
It’s certainly true that not all ingredients are created equal. But, unless you’re a nutritionist or a food scientist, it can be hard to determine what’s what.
There may be some preservatives that could cause damage to your dog. They may be fine in the short run, but since you’d be feeding them to your dog every day for their whole life, the cumulative effect could be cause for concern.
Here are a few chemical preservatives you should try to avoid,
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT): These compounds have been labeled carcinogenic by the World Health Organization.
- Ethoxyquin: This is also used as a pesticide and a hardening agent in rubber. The FDA is investigating whether it causes liver and blood problems. And it’s already banned in Australia and the EU.
- Propylene glycol: This is used to preserve the moisture content in some dog foods. The FDA already banned it for use in cat food, as it can cause Heinz body anemia.
- Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ): Studies suggest that this preservative can cause stomach tumors in animals and damage the DNA in cells.
- Propyl gallate: This substance contains xenoestrogens, which are linked to breast cancer in humans.
While it’s not 100 percent certain that these substances would cause significant harm to your dog, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are plenty of foods that don’t use these kinds of ingredients, so why not go with them?
It’s worth noting that there’s likely nothing wrong with natural preservatives, such as those containing the words “tocopherol” or “ascorbate.” Their job is to stop the meat and animal fats in the food from going rancid.
FAQs About Best Food For Golden Retrievers
What does your Golden Retriever need?
Caring for a dog is a big responsibility. They depend on you for all their needs.
When choosing food for your Golden Retriever, look for higher protein and fat-rich formulations. Animal protein is best because it contains amino acids that your dog needs. Nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus are essential for puppies and vitamins B, A, and E for all stages of life.
Search for EPA, ALA, and DHA because they are useful for the brain and nervous system, heart and lungs, and immune system.
Are grain-free diets safe for Golden Retrievers?
There has been much debate over the past year on the subject of grain-free diets for dogs. It started in July 2018 when the FDA announced it had received several reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs related to grain-free diets.
Following these reports, the FDA launched an investigation with the following results:
- Of the 300 reports from DCM, 90% of dogs who ate a single primary diet received grain-free food.
- These reports contain different breeds, not just gigantic breeds known to have a genetic predisposition to DCM.
Released cardiomyopathy is not a condition commonly seen in Goldens, but a UC Davis report shows an increase in cases of DCM, often in dogs on a grain-free diet.
How much should Golden Retriever eat per day?
It depends on the size, build, and activity level of your Goldie. I would say that two drawers with useful chunks are sufficient, but a larger, more active adult may need more.
Are vegetables suitable for Golden Retriever?
Dogs are omnivores, and they can get many essential nutrients from vegetables and get fruit. They also get healthy carbohydrates and fiber, so you don’t have to rely on grains for that.
Are dairy products suitable for my Golden Retriever?
Dairy products rarely gel well with a dog’s digestive system. You can add a small amount of yogurt to their probiotics diet, but milk and cheese are not a good idea.
How can you see if your Golden is doing well with their food?
It’s not hard to tell if your dog is flourishing in its diet. Signs to watch out for are,
- A shiny coat
- Clear eyes
- Fresh breath
- A consistent, healthy weight (not unintentionally losing weight or gaining weight)
- Healthy, regular stools
- Lots of energy
If your dog gets itchy or flaky skin, vomits, or has diarrhea, they may not be able to handle their food correctly. However, these problems can be caused by many other possible health problems, so take your dog to the vet for a checkup.
How do you feed a Golden Retriever?
Feeding your Golden Retriever does not differ from that of another dog breed. It should always start with choosing the best dog food that is very suitable for its life phase.
Starting with puppies, the only food for Goldie puppies in the first month of life should only be replacement breast milk or puppy milk.
Are in cases where the mother cannot feed. By the 5th week of experience, you can start adding solids to your food. You can start with high-quality wet or canned puppy food because the softer texture makes it easier to consume and can give lumps, but you may want to moisten it a little.
You can feed your puppy four times a day until it reaches its 9th week.
By the second to the third month, you can reduce the frequency to 3 times a day but adjust the calorie intake. Once your Golden Retriever is in its 4th month, you can already feed it twice a day.
This will continue to feed your Goldie for the rest of its life unless directed otherwise by your vet.
Some pet parents feed their Goldies only once a day. Although this is possible, we do not recommend it because frequent small feeds are much better to prevent bloating, a condition known to Golden Retrievers and other large dog breeds.
One of the most important lessons you can learn from this article is that there is no one best food. There are also not only five or ten best foods that everyone should give.
There are many high-quality foods on the market, and all dogs respond differently.
The most important factors for your Golden Retriever who lead a long, healthy life include ensuring that they are in good physical condition, receive the right stage of life, and regularly visit veterinary.
That is why you should not be too carried away by trends such as grain-free, raw, or biologically suitable food (although that works well for your dog). Just find something that keeps your dog healthy; they love the taste and do not have too many additives or chemical preservatives.
A proper diet combined with the right love, exercise, and care ensures that your best friend stays around for much longer.
That said, if you are looking for a place to start, all the best food for golden retrievers listed above are made with high-quality ingredients and must be suitable for most goldens.