Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best food for your Golden Retriever is, then we recommend Taste of the Wild Grain-Free for Golden Retrievers as the best one.

A typical Golden Retriever ranges between 55 and 75 pounds in weight. It stands between 22 and 25 inches tall. As a rule, the males tend to be larger.

They are part of the Sporting group. As such, they live to be around 12 years of age. This means that your golden will give you company for a long period.

However, you have to play your part and support their growth and development. For example, you need to take care of their exercise needs.

But, more importantly, you need to ensure that they feed on nutritious, healthy foods. So, what’s the best food for your Golden Retriever?

In this article, we’ll help you answer this question.

Here’s a quick overview of the recommended formulas we’ll review in this article:


How Do You Choose the Best Food for your Golden?

Before you make a food purchase for your Golden, you need to consider a number of factors. A good dog food should have:

  • A good fat-protein ration (should not exceed 75%)
  • No unidentified by-products
  • A good amount of high-quality proteins
  • Products with known sources
  • No preservatives, food colors, and controversial chemicals
  • A decent level of carbohydrate content (not too high)

Some experts are of the opinion that the ingredients should be good for human consumption. However, this is not cast in stone, and opinions on this matter vary.

best-dog-food-for-golden-retriever

Are There Any Ingredients Dangerous for Your Golden?

Yes, some ingredients out there are not necessarily good for your Golden Retriever. Some unscrupulous manufacturers use chemicals that can cause grievous health repercussions for your dog, over time.

Let’s have a look at some of the more common ones:

  • Ethoxyquin

This chemical is used in the agriculture industry as a pesticide. In the US, the FDA has pointed out that it can cause serious blood and liver problems when ingested.

This product is no longer in use in the EU countries and Australia.

  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) and Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

These two chemicals will expose your Golden to the serious risk of contracting various cancers. Indeed, WHO advocates for their ban in all countries around the world.

  • Propylene glycol

The FDA has discontinued the use of this compound in cat food. Studies have shown that it is responsible for Heinz body anemia reported in some animals.

  • Propyl gallate

This compound has xenoestrogens, which cause cancer of the breast in humans

  • Tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ)

Ongoing studies indicate that this substance can damage DNA in healthy cells, as well as cause tumors.

It would be fallacious to say that all these substances have been tested extensively on dogs. As such, we can’t say for certain what harm they can cause your Golden Retriever.

But, you’ll agree with me that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

NB: Some preservatives are quite harmless. For example, all natural preservatives labeled ascorbate’ or tocopherol’ do more good than harm in the dog food.

Are Grain-Free Foods Superior to those with Grains?

There’s a rush the world over, for manufacturers to make gluten-free human foods. As such, many pet owners tend to assume that only grain-free foods are good for their pets.

Yes, it is true that grain-free foods have many advantages.

But, foods with grains are a rich source of carbohydrates for your Golden. The good thing is that dogs have no problem metabolizing carbohydrates.

A word of caution, though!

Some Golden Retrievers are intolerant to gluten. Yet others are allergic to certain grains. Thus, it important you understand the peculiarities of your dog before you buy any dog food.

In the same way, some dogs react negatively to certain meats, others do not take well to food with grains.

Let a vet diagnose your Golden for possible allergies.

Dry or Wet Dog Food – Which is the Better Option?

You need to consider several things before you decide on what works for you.

Dog owners tend to favor dry kibble over wet food for a number of reasons. For example, they find the dry kibble affordable, as well as convenient to use.

Moreover, dry kibble is particularly good in helping your pet fight plaque build-up. This is because as your pet chews, the kibble pieces scrap against the teeth, cleaning them up.

Dry kibble lasts longer than wet food. You have to refrigerate wet food if your Golden does not finish it in one sitting.

On the other hand, a number of factors favor wet foods. For example, they don’t need any chemical preservatives. Their packaging is airtight.

In addition, older dogs find them more chewable than dry food.

Many pet owners speak well of the nutritional superiority of wet foods over dry kibble.

Our advice is that you can get the best out of both worlds. Make an appropriate blend of wet food and dry kibble. Your vet will come in handy to assist in this matter.


THE TOP 5 BEST FOOD FOR GOLDEN RETRIEVERS

#1 – Canidae Grain-Free Pure Limited Ingredient, Canned

This product works very well for those seeking a high wet food for their Golden. The diet comprises mainly of mackerel, salmon, sweet potatoes, peas, and vegetable broths.

It also has healthy doses of vitamins to make your pet’s meal more complete. As such, it is a whole-some wet food for your pet.

The product is grain-free. The potatoes provide all the carbs your pet needs. Its protein-fat ratio highly favors protein. Thus, it’s an appropriate option for dogs having trouble controlling their weights.

You need to understand, though, that your Golden will require a lot of this food if you are not feeding it on any other. This could be costly.

Take it up as the only diet only when you don’t have any financial constraints. If not, consider mixing it with dry kibble.

It has adequate carbohydrates from sweet potato. The product contains above average protein and below average fat compared to other wet foods, so it could be good for dogs that have trouble staying trim.

Sale
Canidae Grain Free Pure Limited Ingredient Diet Cat Wet Food Morsels With Duck, 3 Oz (18-Pack)
24 Reviews
Canidae Grain Free Pure Limited Ingredient Diet Cat Wet Food Morsels With Duck, 3 Oz (18-Pack)
  • Duck First For High Quality Protein
  • Made With 5 Key Ingredients For Cats
  • Morsels Your Cat Will Love

The Pros:

  • Very rich nutrients
  • High meat content
  • It’s well-balanced, with all the right ingredients
  • Has no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

The Cons:

  • It’s a bit pricey

#2 – Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free

Does your family enjoy organic foods? Well, now there’s no reason to leave your pet behind in your organic meal plans.

This product boasts of having certified organic ingredients – at least most of them. Its meat is free from hormones and all no pesticides are used on any of its ingredients.

Pet owners favor this diet for a number of reasons. For example, it is quite affordable, more so when you order in bulk.

Also, it is made of rich ingredients. The manufacturers use chicken and fish as the main sources of protein. It’s an easy meal, and many animals find it quite digestible.

Its carbs come in the form of millet, barley, and brown rice. The vitamins and minerals come from apples, carrots, and broccoli.

Sale
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food 4Lbs
48 Reviews
Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food 4Lbs
  • #1 Ingredient Is Organic, Free-Range Chicken
  • Made With Omegas For Healthy Skin And Coat
  • Grain Free Nutrition With A Nutrient Packed Superfood Blend Featuring Organic Flaxseed, Organic Blueberries And Organic Coconut Oil

The Pros:

  • Suitable for large breeds
  • Clean, hormone-free sources of proteins
  • Has chelated minerals and vitamins
  • It’s quite affordable
  • Most of its ingredients are certified as organic

The Cons

  • Some of its ingredients are not organic

3 – Taste of the Wild Grain-Free

The manufactures intend that this diet reflects the produce from most parts of the US. As such, it contains a blend of various ingredients from the country.

For example, it has venison, bison, lamb, and buffalo as part of its ingredients.

According to leading animal scientists, a proper’ dog diet must be high in proteins and low in carbs. The makers of this product produce it with this in mind.

This diet is 100% grain-free. As such, it is very appropriate for dogs that suffer from allergies.

It’s easy for the average shopper to understand the label. Thus, you are able to identify all the ingredients listed.

Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Premium Dry Dog Food
5,926 Reviews
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Premium Dry Dog Food
  • A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON; REAL MEAT is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives Added

The Pros:

  • Ingredients are drawn from various regions of the US
  • Made with the biological needs of your dog in mind
  • It’s well-balanced
  • High meat content (over 70%)
  • 100% grain-free

The Cons:

  • It’s a bit pricey

#4 – Primal Freeze-Dried Formula Beef

Unlike the other products that made it to our list, this is a freeze-dried food. This means that you have to rehydrate it to make it palatable.

It comes in handy for those moments you want to feed your Golden Retriever raw food, but you can’t get any at a short notice.

The product contains 23% of plant-based ingredients and 77% beef. The manufacturers are keen to exclude any preservatives, flavors, and fillers from this diet.

The plant ingredients are organic. The producers get them from blueberries, yams, apples, broccoli, and kales. These have few or no pesticides as compared to other products in the market.

Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Canine Beef Formula 14 Oz
140 Reviews
Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Canine Beef Formula 14 Oz
  • Complete And Balanced Diet For All Life Stages
  • Cows Raised Without Antibiotics Or Addedhormones
  • Naturally Derived Vitamins And Minerals

The Pros:

  • It’s easy to access raw food for your dog
  • Its meat and plant-based products are top-notch
  • Has no preservatives
  • Most of the ingredients are organic
  • Great diet for highly active dogs

The Cons:

  • Not suitable for the less active dogs

#5 – Wellness Core Large Breed Formula

The turkey and chicken used on this product will be very easy on your Golden’s stomach. You won’t have to worry about stomach upsets and such other hassles that are brought about by other products.

Better still, the product offers a wide range of plant-based ingredients. These are rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins. They include sweet potatoes, blueberries, apple, kale, parsley, broccoli, spinach, and potatoes.

To make it more balanced, the manufacturers add healthy doses of beneficial vitamins and minerals. As such, your Golden Retriever gets all that it requires.

Sale
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Large Breed, 26-Pound Bag
100 Reviews
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Large Breed, 26-Pound Bag
  • Grain Free: Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Large Breed Dog
  • Large Breed Formula: Protein Focused, Naturally Grain Free, Using Higher Levels Of Premium Ingredients Like Chicken & Turkey And Glucosamine & Chondroitin To Meet Larger Breeds Needs
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Wheat, Corn, Soy, Meat By-Products, Or Artificial Colors, Flavors And Preservatives

The Pros:

• It has chelated vitamins and minerals

• Its large breed formula

• Has chondroitin and glucosamine for healthy joints

• Its ingredients are both meat and plant-based

• It’s made to the US high standards

The Cons:

• It’s a bit pricey


Our Recommended Food for a Golden Retriever

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free

When you consider all that a Golden Retriever needs, then you’ll understand why this takes our top slot.

According to animal food experts, your dog needs a diet that is biologically appropriate’. This diet contains a mix of some of the best meats from across America.

It boasts of containing a mix of bison, venison, buffalo, and lamb. The plant ingredients, too, are of a wide variety.

Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Premium Dry Dog Food
5,926 Reviews
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Premium Dry Dog Food
  • A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON; REAL MEAT is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Preservatives Added

Are all Foods Suitable for all Golden Retrievers?

The market today has a wide option of foods that pet lovers can choose from. However, what works for one dog may not work for another.

There’s no such thing as the perfect dog food. As such, don’t over-stretch your finances just to buy what you think is the perfect food. It may not work for your dog.

It is best you involve your vet as you make decide what works best for your dog. And, the good thing is that you can always change your mind if one product doesn’t work for your Golden Retriever.

Golden Retriever Food-Related Health Problems

Just like other dogs, Golden Retrievers do suffer health complication related to diet. Fortunately, you can use the right diet to avert or reduce the impact of some of these diseases.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.

Allergies

Golden Retrievers are susceptible to allergies. You know that your Golden is allergic to certain foods when they start exhibiting such symptoms as a scruffy coat, itching, sneezing, and wheezing.

The presence of these signs could mean that your beloved dog is reacting negatively to some ingredients in a certain diet.

Your best course of action? Stop all feeding and immediately consult your vet.

Gastric Dilation and Volvulus

This condition manifests when the stomach swells (bloats). It happens when the dog eats too much at a go or takes to exercise immediately after a meal.

The main causative agents of bloating are food, water, and air.

To avoid this condition, ensure that you measure each of your dog’s meals carefully before they feed.

As bloating is often fatal, ensure to consult your vet when it occurs.

Obesity

Most of the health issues that Golden Retrievers suffer from arise from their being overweight. Obesity leads to such life-threatening conditions as hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and heart failure.

Your dog may also experience complications related to their joints and hips.

You can prevent most of these challenges by monitoring your dog’s caloric intake carefully. Get the best way to balance between carbs and proteins.


How to Tell Whether Your Golden Is on the Right diet?

It would be futile to continue feeding your Golden Retriever, without being able to tell whether the diet is working.

When you put your mind to it, it will be quite to see whether the diet is the right one. If it is, your dog should exhibit the flowing:

  • Healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Fresh breath
  • Sharp eyes
  • Good weight control
  • Robust energy
  • Consistent, firm stools

On the other hand, if the food is not right, your dog will display the following:

  • Uncontrolled bowel movement
  • Unnecessary aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Vomiting
  • Whimpering
  • Howling
  • Unsightly, flaky skin
  • Itching
  • Any untoward behavior

Any of the above signs warrants you calling your vet urgently.


To Conclude…

All responsible pet owners desire to help their dogs live long, happy lives. Of course, it not always possible to take full charge of your dog’s health. Some illnesses and injuries happen when you least expect it.

But, you can control the diet your dog thrives on. Always choose a high-quality product over the cheap, low-end brands.

And, remember, there isn’t one size for all. Be very vigilant as you seek what’s best for your canine friend.

After all, your dog’s life is in your hand!

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