Golden retrievers are one of the most famous pet dogs among many families. It is because golden retrievers are ranked among the top 5 most intelligent breeds in the world. Moreover, they are known for their strong immunity against many common dog diseases. However, it doesn’t mean that you get to feed everything to your beloved pup. This article will provide you the handpicked options for the best dog food for golden retrievers.
Food has a great impact on your retriever’s health. Good food dictates healthy life, an active body, immunity against diseases, and an intelligent mind. However, there are so many options of dog food to choose from, and the complexity doesn’t end here.
A product that is suitable for one golden retriever may cause sickness to another dog from the same breed. Therefore, it would be best to know your dog’s requirements before choosing the food for a golden retriever puppy.
Table of Contents
How to Feed a Golden Retriever?
Most first-timers are often confused about what to feed and how much to feed their golden retriever. As a matter of fact, I also faced the same issues when I first got my brownie. The quantity of food offered to the dog matters a lot because both excessive feeding and insufficient feeding may lead to many problems.
For instance, if you feed your dog all the time, he may become lazy and overweight. On the contrary, an insufficient diet promotes diseases, muscle problems, dullness, and even fatigue. To help you out, here is a sample chart about how much to food your retriever on a daily basis according to age:
|Age||Food per day|
|7 weeks||¾ cups (3 times a day)|
|8 weeks||¾ cups (3 times a day)|
|9 weeks||1 cup (2 times a day)|
|10 weeks||1 cup (3 times a day)|
|2 months||1 ½ cups (3 times a day)|
|3 months||2 cups (3 times a day)|
|4 months||2 ½ cups (3 times a day)|
|5 months||3 cups (3 times a day)|
|6 months||3 ½ cups (3 times a day)|
|Adults||4 cups 2times a day)|
Though these are recommended by the experts, there are some factors you need to consider when deciding the amount of food. For instance, the amount of food per day depends on the puppy’s weight, energy, and activity. It would be best to form a schedule that never leaves your dog hungry for more than 15-20 minutes at any time.
You can choose from tons of dog food brands depending on the nutritional requirements, price, and age of the dog. However, these are not the only things that you should consider. As a matter of fact, the main factor between choosing and passing to the next product is the main ingredients of the product. You need to test several ingredients manually and test the dog’s body response to know which food is healthy for your puppy or adult (1-year-old golden retriever and above).
The Top 3 Picks:
Don’t wanna read the whole article? Here are my personal favorite top 3 recommendations of the best dog food for golden retriever puppies. All these products have been tested by both experts and dog parents. Furthermore, these products are universal and can be used by almost every golden retriever around the world. Lastly, all of them are available at an affordable price to ensure a smart purchase.
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula: Top rated dog food for golden retrievers
- Amazon Brand – Wag Dry Dog: High-protein dog food
- Royal Canin Golden Retriever: Best dog food for adult golden retrievers
Top 10 Recommended Dog Food for Golden Retrievers:
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When you go to the supermarket or simply visit an online store, you are presented with tons of options for dog foods. However, not every product is as good as it looks on paper. It makes the process of filtration and shortlisting even more complex as you never want to feed your buddy the wrong food. I faced similar challenges during the first few weeks because I am very health conscious about my brownie. Afterward, I learned to rely on a single brand and stick to it forever. These are the products that I shortlisted when choosing food for my golden retriever:
Detailed Review of Products:
1. Merrick Grain Free with Real Meat
- High in protein
- 72% proteins from natural sources
- Low in carbs
- Promotes healthy diet
- Tail-wagging Taste
- Natural deboned meat
- Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids
- Food is lower in carbs, but sweet potatoes increase the level of starch and upset stomach in some dogs.
The first thing you should know is that dogs are as susceptible to high carbohydrates as we humans. As a matter of fact, many dogs develop conditions like paw infections due to a high-carb diet. Therefore, you need to keep the proteins and other nutrients higher than the carbs to balance things out. This is exactly what you get with the Merrick dog food.
Every Merrick food consists of carefully measured ingredients to create a perfectly balanced meal. The real meat in the food consists of chicken and beef flavors to look to the dog’s demands. Furthermore, real bison and sweet potatoes introduce vegetables and other healthy materials to the diet to balance the weight properly. In short, your golden will get the best diet dog food consisting of meat and veggies in this product.
The main reason you ought to look at ingredients when purchasing dog food is to look for the nutritional values. The Merrick dog food is high in protein and other vital nutrients to boost the dog’s health and active body. As the dog needs proteins and fats more than carbs and other minerals, this diet is perfectly balanced according to those requirements:
Merrick Grain-Free food Review:
The Merrick dog food is optimized according to the nutrient requirements of both young and adult golden retrievers. The diet consists of 65% proteins and other fatty nutrients. On the other hand, the rest of the 35% consists of carbs, vitamins, fibers, and other minerals. However, some vets prefer carbs from grains rather than carbs from sweet potatoes because it may cause an upset stomach in some dogs.
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- Deboned chicken
- Easy to make
- Lifelong food
- Complete nutrition
- Contains whole grains
- Suitable for both puppy and adult dogs
- Some dogs may develop allergic reactions to added nutrients.
Are you afraid of your dog’s malnutrition? Or you just want your goldie to have everything in the belly. In any case, this BB dog food is an all-in-one recipe that contains every type of food, including meat, veggies, and wholesome grains. Each part of the diet is perfectly measured and ensures that no part is dominant over the other. In short, if you are not good with the nutritional count, you should choose the Blue Buffalo as the best dog food for golden retrievers with a sensitive stomach.
According to the manufacturer, all the ingredients for the Blue Buffalo are handpicked for premium quality. Each pack of the food is carefully examined by experts to ensure the signature quality in all their products. The recipe dictates to only use fresh and healthy chicken meat rather than the bi-products of any sort. Moreover, fresh veggies as well as wholesome grains are included and crushed to create the perfect blend of meat, veggie, and grain diet for your golden retriever.
You are no nutritional expert, I know, but just for your information, this dog food contains every nutrient that your pet needs. The rich chicken meat provides the necessary proteins as well as the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These acids not only promote healthy skin but also create a shiny coat on your beloved golden retriever. Furthermore, nutrients such as vitamins that are not included in the food are added externally under the supervision of experts to ensure a perfect diet.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Review:
Blue Buffalo is the best life protection dog food that you can use throughout the dog’s lifespan, starting from 2 months of age. It contains everything from meat to vegetables to whole grains to create a perfectly balanced diet. Moreover, the addition of nutrients and vitamins provides any deficiency left behind by the food itself. However, some golden retrievers are allergic to certain added nutrients. Therefore, it would be best to consult your vet before choosing this product as a lifelong food for your dog.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
- Highly nutritious
- Low carbs
- No artificial flavors
- Omegle 3 & 6 fats
- Glucosamine & chondroitin supply
- Promotes healthy immune system
- My recommendation.
- Sometimes it causes smelly poop in my dog.
The most common problem that retriever parents face is weight management. It is because the large breed of dogs like the golden retriever loses and gains weight very quickly. For instance, 70% of adult golden retrievers change weight within 10 weeks of extra nutrition or malnutrition. Therefore, you need nutritionally complete homemade dog food for your golden retriever. This is exactly the reason why I choose Hill’s science dog food for my brownie.
The perfectly balanced dog food should contain everything, including meat to vegetables to whole grains, and some extra multi-vitamins. Therefore, this product contains carefully trimmed chicken meat along with garden-fresh vegetables. Lastly, each pack of Hill’s science dog food only contains whole grains and none of the lousy materials like corn or soya.
These ingredients provide the necessary proteins, fats, and vitamin C and E through a natural diet. The remaining carbs and anti-oxidants are included in the form of whole grains and additives like vitamins and minerals. Therefore, you can think of Hill’s science dog food as a complete package of food and medication inside a single package.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food Review:
Being a regular customer of Hill’s science products, I can assure you of its quality. All the ingredients of this package are perfectly balanced and carefully treated for high quality. Ever since my brownie is eating this food, she has developed a shinier coat of hairs, and the skin condition is better than ever before. Moreover, she has also stopped licking her paws like she used to before. However, the only issue I am facing is that sometimes her poop smells bad due to the digestion of multi-vitamins, but my vet says it is ok for dogs to face such issues sometimes.
4. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Wet Dog Food
- Highly nutritious
- Real meat
- Different flavors
- Perfectly boiled
- Contains yummy gravy
- Fish oil supplements
- Boiled rice
- Comes prepared
- Contains low carbohydrates and little to no starch.
If you hate the fact that dogs eat raw meat, you can take a relaxed breath now. The IAMS wet dog food is a complete package of real meat along with healthy veggies submerged in yummy gravy. All these ingredients and treated before use and boiled to perfection to create the perfect taste while retaining all the nutrients inside the food.
When scanning through the list of ingredients, you will quickly realize that there is nothing that you never heard of. As a matter of fact, everything included in this meal is also consumed by humans on a regular basis in the form of various meals and snacks. For instance, this meal contains rice, meat (chicken, beef, or lamb), wheat, and supplements as the main ingredients.
Adult dogs have similar nutrition requirements as us human beings. Therefore, they should be fed the same food and nutrients that we use ourselves. The IAMS wet dog food was prepared with the same thought in mind. The meat part of the food provides proteins as well as necessary fatty acids. The vegetables and rice provide the required carbs, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. The remaining nutrients are included in the form of supplements like fish oil to promote a healthy immune system.
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Wet Dog Food Review:
There is a my that boiled dog food contains fewer nutrients than raw food, which is not correct. As a matter of fact, cooked meals contain lower microbes than raw meals, and also they have a higher level of good bacteria. Moreover, this wet dog food contains the perfect mix of veg and non-veg aspects of the meal along with fish oil supplements to ensure a perfect diet. However, it doesn’t contain any whole grains except rice, and thus a very low percentage of carbohydrates are provided through this diet.
5. Fromm Adult Gold Large Breed
- Cheesy dog food
- Real meat
- Contains cartilages
- Free of corn
- USDA approved
- Prebiotics & probiotics
- Contains oatmeal
- Not suitable for lactose intolerant dogs
Say cheese! Not for a picture but for the Wisconsin cheese in this dog food. Cheese is known as an all-in-one food that contains everything from proteins to fats and even vitamins in one tasty bite. Moreover, this food even contains processed meat and many other ingredients that help create the most balanced diet for your golden retriever.
If my brownie was lactose tolerant, I would be using this dog food for a very long time. I mean, obviously, who won’t choose a meal that has cheese in it. Besides Wisconsin cheese, this meal contains real meat (chicken, lamb, beef, turkey), oatmeal for dogs, fresh vegetables, and fish oil supplements. Lastly, it even includes cartilages to make the food even more exciting and to help strengthen the muscles and joints of the dog.
Every ingredient in this dog food promotes a better lifestyle for an adult dog. It contains proteins, carbs, starch for a start. Moreover, the different parts of meat provide the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are essential for any dog’s healthy skin. Furthermore, the supplements include the remaining multi-vitamins and anti-oxidants to help maintain an active body for the most part of the day.
Fromm Adult Gold Large Breed Review:
From a nutrition point of the way, this is the most perfectly balanced dog food you can get at such a reasonable price. It contains everything that helps your dog grow and maintain a healthy system throughout its lifespan. However, the only issue is that not all dogs are lactose tolerant, and the wrong choice of food may lead to bigger problems. Therefore, it is best to test this food in a smaller quantity before choosing it for your adult retriever.
6. Amazon Brand – Wag Dry Dog
- Protein-rich food
- Three types of meat
- Salmon oil
- No corn or soy
- Balanced pH levels
- Takes care of smelly poops
- It can upset the stomach if directly swapped with the old food.
Protein makes up most part of the dog’s nutritional requirements. However, most of the dog parents avoid foods rich in protein due to lack of meat tolerance by the parents of the smelly poop the dog produces afterward. Therefore, it is necessary to feed your dog with food that contains real processed meat along with other ingredients to help provide necessary nutrients without producing smelly poop.
The Wag dog food contains everything that your dog needs to go for the day. Each pack contains up to 3 different kinds of meat in a balanced quantity. Not only the meat but also the vegetables are present in a great variety to provide everything essential for an active lifestyle. Finally, the food even contains whole grains and lentils to promote a healthy, perfect diet with every bite.
Like I said before, the dog needs proteins, so don’t help them back. Therefore, this dog food is rich in protein in the form of 3 different kinds of meat along with salmon oil and flaxseeds. These ingredients provide proteins along with Omega 3 fatty acids and long-chain DHA. Furthermore, the lentils, as well as the vegetables, help balance the diet by introducing a blend of carbs and vitamins. Finally, the added supplements will ensure that the pH is balanced and no smelly poop is produced as a result of such high calories.
Amazon Brand – Wag Dry Dog Review:
The main reason why dog parents avoid meat in their dog’s food is because of the smells it produces afterward. However, the wag dry food will provide a center road between you and the dog by taking care of both the problems. The protein-rich dog food contains all the meat that your dog needs, while the other ingredients take care of the toxicity levels and maintain a smell-free environment. However, never directly jump from old dog food to this new one. Take your time and make a slow transition by introducing little to more portions of the new food in each serving.
7. Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics
- Energetic diet
- Complete plan
- Athletic food
- Easy to prepare
- Rich in calories
- 30-20 ratio
- Chicken first formula
- SAVOR Shredded Blend
- Contains rice
- Energetic food requires appropriate exercise
According to experts, your dog’s physical health depends on the food you give. For instance, a diet rich in carbohydrates will cause laziness and increased body weight. On the contrary, a diet with proteins and fats as the main focus will keep the golden retriever fresh and healthy, especially during adulthood. Therefore, the Purina Pro is a complete package for proteins, carbs, and fats to ensure a consistent supply of nutrients in every serving.
All of the dog food’s ingredients are of the finest quality, including real chicken for proteins. For additional fats, fish oil and other such supplements are included in the recipe that helps your dog grow better. Finally, the multiple vitamins included in this diet plan prompts muscle growth and nourishment while amplifying your golden retriever’s energy level with fats.
A large breed of dogs, especially golden retrievers, deserve a specific diet crafted to boost their performance. Their larger bodies require a higher amount of nutrition and calories to exhibit the perfect growth development in every region of the body. Therefore, the 30/20 Dog Food aims to provide. It features a unique blend of 30% proteins and 20% fats. The rest, 50%, consists of various vitamins, anti-oxidants, omega 3 & 6, and many other essential minerals and glucosamine.
Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics Review:
Active and healthy dogs require a heavier dose of nutrients to boost their energy levels. Therefore, this diet plan contains everything from proteins to glucosamine which ensures that your retriever gets a complete and holistic diet. However, you need to provide adequate exercise to your pup to help utilize this much energy. Otherwise, it will only result in weight gain.
8. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
- Natural ingredients
- No added flavors
- Nothing artificial
- Easy to prepare
- Rich in calories
- Truly protein-rich
- Relatively expensive
When it comes to advertising, dog food manufacturers leave no limits from falsely advertised ingredients to professional foods to even gaming dog foods. Anyways, the taste of the wild is free from all such claims, i.e., they advertise only the true facts about their food. Honestly, these facts provide ingredients that are way better than what even humans normally eat in their diet.
This dog food is a complete combination of healthy natural sources of food and nothing else. For instance, this food is a mix of lamb, beef, bison, and venison. Moreover, on the vegetable side, the team is even more, stronger than ever before. The vegetable part of the food includes a variety of berries, rice, and sweet potatoes for dogs.
Unlike humans, dogs require a lower percentage of carbohydrates and a higher percentage of fats and proteins. Therefore, this meal is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Moreover, this meal is 100 percent grain-free, though this doesn’t necessarily make it better for your dog unless they have an allergy. Furthermore, the analysis shows that this food is rich in proteins and fats, having 33% protein and at least 17% fats in each serving.
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food Review:
This product contains all-natural ingredients collected from different parts of the country. Therefore, when reading through the ingredients, you will not come across anything that you’ve never heard before. However, It is quite an expensive food, but you will definitely be impressed by the aftereffects of it.
9. Royal Canin Golden Retriever
- Low carbohydrates
- Rich in protein and fats
- Real meat bi-products
- Pork liver
- Very affordable
- Not suitable for adults and young puppies
This offering from Royal Canin is formulated with a specific focus on your Golden Retriever’s dietary needs. Most of the time, the goldies can develop heart conditions if their nutrients are not rationed perfectly. Therefore, you need a diet plan that contains small amounts of carbs and cholesterol foods but rich in proteins and fatty acids.
It is a heart-healthy recipe because goldens can be susceptible to heart problems. The Royal dog food is truly royal in terms of ingredients and calories. All the ingredients are specially included to target the senior and older adult golden retrievers. No such food that can be difficult to digest is ever introduced in the recipe. Therefore, this is a blend of ingredients that will keep their golden coat shining in its full glory.
It has taurine and DHA to support the old age developments in the golden retrievers. Being seniors, they require food that will fulfill all their nutritional needs while managing a healthy weight. Moreover, the proteins and fatty acids along with little amount carbs and other minerals.
Royal Canin Golden Retriever Review:
Royal Canin’s exclusive Golden Retriever formula is one of the rare products suitable for senior golden retrievers. Moreover, this Royal Canin formula is one of the most popular and is considered one of the best dog foods for golden retrievers. However, the food is not suitable for adult dogs because it will lead to malnutrition.
10. Pedigree Homestyle Meals
- No artificial ingredients
- 100% organic
- Boiled to perfection
- Comes with yummy gravy
- Real meat and vegetables
- Homestyle meal
- Lack of artificial supplements required for a healthy immune system.
If you prefer to buy organic food for yourself and your family, you can include your furry family members on the list now. The Pedigree dog food is a special homemade recipe made with real and natural ingredients. Moreover, it contains the minimum amount of carbs that makes it suitable for all ages of dogs, including young puppies.
Unlike other canned wet dog foods, the pedigree meal is a diet made completely from natural and organic material. It is pure to the level that not even processed grains are included in the package. Furthermore, you get to choose from a variety of real meat combinations, including meat ribs, chicken, and beef. Moreover, fresh vegetables are also added to the mix and boiled to perfection to make the food suitable for every golden retriever.
Besides great taste, the pedigree homestyle canned dog food also has a balanced nutritional coverage. The major part of the food consists of proteins and fats like omega-3 fatty acids. However, the balance of toxicity and pH is maintained by using the anti-oxidants from natural vegetables. These nutrients allow your goldie to remain active and healthy without feeling a burden on the stomach.
Pedigree Homestyle Meals Review:
Nowadays, many people prefer organic food rather than synthetic material for both themselves and their pets. Therefore, Pedigree dog food is made especially for such individuals. It is a complete diet with most of the nutrients coming directly from their organic sources. However, as there are no artificial supplements in the meal, you need to provide them separately to your buddy for a healthy immune system.
Best Food for Golden Retriever Buyer’s Guide:
There are numerous products available in the market. Each of them claims to be the best, natural and complete diet for your golden retriever. However, it is not always completely true. Several artificial additions are made to the food to make the product long-lasting and addictive for the dogs. Therefore, it is best to consider these aspects before choosing any dog food brand:
- Ingredients: Dogs are animals and thus have certain protein requirements that can only be fulfilled by meat. Therefore, make sure that the food you are using has a balanced mix of meat and vegetables along with some source of carbohydrates in it. Moreover, grained food contains a higher percentage of carbs. It therefore should not be preferred, especially if your dog is allergic to certain food.
- Nutrients: The main reason to prefer canned food over homemade is to provide necessary nutrients regularly. Therefore, you should look for the nutritional facts and ensure that it has many proteins and fats and a limited amount of carbohydrates and starch. Moreover, anti-oxidants and fatty acids should also be present in a considerable quantity to ensure a healthy immune system and shiny skin.
- Artificial: Make sure that the food you are using has a limited amount of synthetic materials and other bi-products. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it should have zero artificial products. Various supplements are necessary for your dog and therefore need to be included in the dog’s meal.
- Age: Not every dog food is suitable for golden retrievers of different age groups. For instance, puppies have different food requirements than adults, and seniors are a completely different story. Therefore, it is best to use dog food for a specific age group and in the recommended quantity.
Are there any Ingredients to Avoid?
Dog food manufacturers often include certain preservatives that may damage your dog’s health. Moreover, some of them are even used to make your dog addicted to a specific brand of food. Therefore, try to avoid any food that has any of these ingredients in a large quantity:
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Propylene glycol
- Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
- Propyl gallate
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the best dog food for golden retrievers?
Any food that is rich in proteins and fats while contains a limited amount of carbohydrates is best for your dog. The Blue Buffalo dog food is the best complete meal for golden retrievers of any age.
Is a raw diet good for golden retriever?
A raw diet contains a slightly higher ratio of nutrients than boiled food. However, you need to balance the pH level by including supplements and anti-oxidants in the diet.
What is the best dog food for golden retrievers to avoid DCM?
Avoid any dog foods that contain corn, soy, and raw meat by-products as the main ingredients.
What is a good brand of dog food for golden retrievers?
Merrick, Blue Buffalo, and Hill’s science are the top brands that produce dog food for golden retrievers and other breeds.
How to train a golden retriever?
Golden retrievers or any other breed of dogs are just like kids and therefore need to be trained likewise:
- Teach with affection and patience.
- Introduce a Reward and punishment system for good and bad responses.
- Keep repeating the actions till they become a habit
- Never give up easily; keep calm and control your patience.
- Use food and other treats to control certain actions and responses.
To summarize, golden retrievers are generally considered one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs in the world. Therefore, their daily demand for nutrients is also higher than most other dogs. You need a diet plan specially optimized for the golden retriever to prevent malnutrition as well as excessive feeding. I hope this article was informative enough to help you choose the best dog food for golden retrievers.