The Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

ESA Pet Staff

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Well, that golden retriever energy has to come from somewhere, right? Golden retrievers are some of the most lovable dog breeds you’ll have the pleasure of meeting. They have goofy personalities, soft temperaments, and the softest golden coats. These dogs can lift your moods even on the saddest of days. For all the love and friendship we get from them, we have to give some back. What better way than through food? Only the best for the best.

As a dog owner, you are probably wondering what the best dog food is for golden retrievers? Well, wonder no more. We will give you a list of the best dog food for golden retrievers. But first, let us look at why golden retrievers need special dog food. We will also look at what to look for in good golden retriever food.

Do Golden Retrievers Require Special Dog Food?

Do Golden Retrievers Require Special Dog Food?

Golden retrievers are a special breed. These energetic and fit dogs grow to huge sizes. As with many large breed dogs, golden retrievers are susceptible to joint problems and dysplasia. Other common health concerns are allergies, genetic heart defects and food sensitivity. They also often suffer from bleeding disorders.

You can prevent most of these common golden retriever health concerns with proper nutrition. There are many ways that diet can help moderate or manage these diseases. Here are some common golden retriever health issues you can prevent or manage using appropriate nutrition.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Golden retrievers have a predisposition to hip and elbow dysplasia. These are conditions where the joint capsules fail to develop normally. This makes the connecting bone tissues not move smoothly. The constant friction from the bone rubbing against each other damages the joint over time.

Hence golden retrievers need foods rich in naturally occurring nutrients to help support joint health. They should be given foods that can supplement the synovial fluids in the joints and support the cartilages.

Obesity

We all love spoiling our furry little friends with treats and dog food. Small dog breeds have a relatively faster metabolism and need more calories to burn. Large dog breeds like the golden do not need more calories. Excess calories can lead to obesity.

Obesity runs rampant in golden retrievers. Their diet should consist of fewer calories. Healthy options for dog foods work best. Keep the treats to a minimum and pick dog foods with moderate-energy density.

Osteochondrosis of the Shoulder and Elbow

Golden retrievers grow up pretty fast. Before you know it, your sweet little puppy is a big energetic dog! Because they develop fast, they are prone to osteochondrosis. The cartilage at the end of long bones fails to develop to bone at maturity. It makes the cartilages separate too soft to a point that it can separate from the bone.

For this reason, golden retrievers need foods contributing to rapid bone growth. Feed your dog foods that support cartilage and joint health. A rich balance of nutrients can correct osteochondrosis.

Allergies

Allergies are another thing you need to consider while feeding your golden retrievers. They are highly susceptible to different allergies, especially food allergies. Some of their allergic reactions include red, itchy skin, and dandruff.

Feed your golden retrievers limited ingredients of different foods to reduce the risk of food allergies. Talk to your vet if you notice any adverse reaction to a food. You can also talk to your vet about conducting an allergy test so that you can find out and any all things they should not eat.

Hypothyroidism

Golden retrievers are one of the most common breeds affected by hypothyroidism. This is where the thyroid glands fail to produce enough hormones. This makes the dog less active, increases shedding, and causes thinning of the dull hair coat.

You can help manage this condition through diet and additional supplements. Give your dog a protein-rich diet and whole meats such as poultry and fish. Also, look for ingredients that help to support healthy skin and coats. Balanced nutrition will go a long way to supply your dog’s nutrition needs.

Sensitive Stomach

You need to consider your dog’s stomach sensitivity before feeding it. Stomach sensitivity can cause harmful reactions to your dog if they are eating certain foods. The wrong food can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and soft stools. If your golden retriever has a sensitive stomach, go for easy foods on the stomach. Foods rich in high fiber content also aid in digestion. Other aspects are low, moderate fat, whole food ingredients, and wholesome meats.

Things to Consider Before Picking the Best Food for Your Golden Retriever

Things to Consider Before Picking the Best Food for Your Golden Retriever

You need to put some considerations before deciding what would be the right food for your dog.

  • Your dog’s age – Golden retrievers develop differently in different life stages. You need to pick foods rich in the proper nutrients that will support your dog’s life stage. Puppies, adults, and senior golden retrievers take different quantities of food. You need to pick appropriate nutrients in the correct amount for your dog’s age.
  • Golden Health issues – If your dog suffers from certain health conditions, pick foods that can manage them. Nutrition is a big part of healing. You can control and manage certain dog conditions through diet. Consider foods with the right ingredient to support your dog’s health.
  • Nutrient source – Always consider where the nutrients in the food came from. Despite different foods offering the same nutrients, some are usually chemical additives. It is better to go for natural, wholesome foods.

What to Look for in a Good Golden Retriever Food

Golden retrievers are a large breed of dog. Certain foods are more suitable for their development. Here are some of the things to look for when choosing the best dog food for golden retrievers;

  • Low fat and calorie content controls puppy growth and minimizes the chance of obesity.
  • Natural and wholesome ingredients with no artificial flavors or fillers.
  • Foods with low calcium and phosphorous levels and rich in chondroitin and glucosamine. These help to support joint health.
  • Foods rich in proteins from high-quality animal sources such as fish, poultry and meat.
  • Foods that contain balanced formulas and are nutritionally complete.
  • Valuable supplements to support your dog’s health. They include glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. Calcium and phosphorus for bone development. Prebiotic fibre for easy digestion.
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements. If the dog food meets the standards of the AAFCO, then you can be certain it is safe for your dog.

The Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers

You need high-quality dog food for your golden retrievers. We have made a list of the best dog foods for golden retrievers. These foods are sure to meet your golden retrievers’ nutritional needs. Here is a list of the best golden retriever dog foods;

  1. American Journey Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free Large Breed Puppy Recipe
  2. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb and Rice
  3. Holistic Senior Health
  4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Chicken
  5. Wellness Core Grain-free Original Deboned Turkey
  6. Taste of the Wild Salmon Dry Dog Food
  7. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice
  8. American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato
  9. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
  10. Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Raw Infused Large Breed
  11. Halo Holistic Chicken Recipe Large Breed Dry Food
  12. Solid Gold Love at First Bark – Wet
  13. Eagle Pack Adult Large and Giant Breed Dog Foods
  14. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken
  15. Natural Balance L.I.D Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Diets
  16. Royal Canine Golden Retriever Puppy
  17. IAMS Proactive Health Large Breed Dog Food
  18. Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Puppy Blend with Probiotics

American Journey Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free Large Breed Puppy Recipe

Primary Ingredients; Chicken meal, turkey meal, deboned chicken, peas, wweet potatoes, chickpeas

Key features: Moderate fat, high-protein

Type of product: Grain-free dry dog food

Caloric content: 491 Kcal/cup

Best for: Puppies

AAFCO Statement: AAFCO approves it for growth and lactation/gestation in puppies.

This is the best option if your golden retriever puppy is sensitive to grains. It is highly rich in protein which large breed puppies need for their growth. It supports growing puppies to build lean and healthy muscles. The fat content in this formula provides enough energy for highly active puppies and their development.

Growing puppies also need proper bone and brain development. This formula supplies the necessary nutrient to support this development. It also provides other essential vitamins and antioxidants that improve immune strength.

You can trust this dog food as it does not have any artificial additives. Your dog is also less likely to suffer any allergic reactions as it is also grain-free. The beet pulp contains fibre that helps to support easy digestion.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb and Rice

Primary Ingredients: Chicken meal, deboned lamb lam, brewers rice, split peas, whole grain brown rice, and whole grain whole-grain sorghum.

Key feature: High protein, moderate fat.

Type of product: Natural dry dog food

Caloric content: 318 kcal/

Best for: Large breed dogs

AAFCO Statement: Meets the nutritional level of AAFCO dog food nutrient profile.

The deboned lamb provides the essential ingredient that helps your dog develop lean muscle mass. This is important for large dog breeds such as the golden retrievers. This dog food provides just enough fat to keep your dog active and fit.

The prebiotic fibre and whole-grain help to ease digestion in your dog. This food also provides essential nutrients such as omega fatty acids that aid healthy skin. Additionally, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin that support hip and joint health.

Nutro wholesome essentials provide clean dog food without any additives. It is also free from common ingredients golden retriever are allergic to. Pet owners report a significant improvement in their dog’s skin and coat after using this food.

Holistic Senior Health

Primary Ingredients: Chicken meal, lentils, dried ground potatoes, peas, chickpeas, dried molasses beet pulp.

Key feature: Rich in protein, moderate fat.

Type of product: Dry dog food, grain-free

Caloric content: 417 kcal/cup

Best for: Seniors

AAFCO Statement: It meets the AAFCO requirements for dog food nutrients and maintenance.

Senior golden retrievers need a proper diet to meet their grown, large bodies. The holistic senior health formula contains readily digestible ingredients highly rich in proteins. It sources its protein from real chicken.

As dogs age, some of their hips and joints start to deteriorate. Feeding your dog this meal provides them with glucosamine and chondroitin. These two compounds help to support your aging dog’s joint health.

This formula is also free from any artificial additives that could potentially harm your dog. It contains nutrient-dense nutrient-dense whole foods such as apples, cranberries and blueberries.

This food also helps to support cardiac health in your dog. It contains taurine supplements and omega-fatty acids. It also aids in digestion in ageing dogs with the help of the lactic acid micro-organism. This dog food is easy on the stomach, and your golden retriever will love it.

 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Chicken

Primary Ingredients: Chicken meal, peas, deboned chicken, pea protein, tapioca starch, Menhaden fish meal

Key feature: High in protein, moderate fat

Type of product: Grain-free

Caloric content: 409 kcal/cup

Best for: Adult dogs

AAFCO Statement: Meets the nutrition requirements by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile.

This is one of the most popular dog food brands on the market. You cannot go wrong with it when it comes to your golden retriever. It has a healthy combination of proteins, vegetables and fruits that help to build lean muscle mass. Your developing puppy or dog needs this for its growth.

It has a grain-free diet comprising whole foods that provide healthy carbs. It is easy on the stomach as the prebiotic fibre aids in digestion.

It also promotes good cardiac health, strong teeth and improved skin and coat texture. The calcium and phosphorous promotes healthy bones and joints. It has excellent taste, and your pup is bound to love it.

Wellness Core Grain-free Original Deboned Turkey

Primary Ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, dried ground potatoes, peas

Key features: High protein, moderate fat

Type of product: Protein-dry dog food, grain-free

Caloric content: 417 kcal/cap

Best for: Active adults

AAFCO Statement: Meets the nutritional levels made by the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile

When it comes to developing dogs, you need foods that help to build their lean muscle mass. This dog food is highly rich in protein from three ingredients. This protein, combined with the moderate fat content, gives your dog the energy to stay active.

It also provides antioxidants that strengthen your dog’s immune system. The lactic acid microorganisms help to boost your pup’s gut health. To top it off, it is 100% natural; it has no fillers, artificial ingredients, and by-products, and it’s grain-free. This food can help clear up allergy symptoms in your dog.

Taste of the Wild Salmon Dry Dog Food

Primary Ingredients: Salmon, sweet potatoes, ocean fish meal, peas

Key feature: Grain-free, rich in nutrients

Type of product: Dry adult food

Caloric content: 360cal/cup

Best for: Skin allergies

AAFCO Statement: Meets the standard of AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile.

It provides enough proteins from whole foods to build lean, solid omega-fatty muscles. Fish and salmon are natural sources of omega-fatty acids. Omega fatty acids support healthy skin and hair in your dog.

This dog food also provides antioxidants and vitamins to boost your dog’s health and immunity system. It also supports cardiac health through the additional supplements of taurine.

It is also easily digestible with the help of the chicory root that offers prebiotic fibre. This food will be easy on your dog’s stomach. It is also an excellent option for dogs that suffer from allergies. It has an amazing flavour and will make your dog’s coat and skin healthy.

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice

Primary Ingredients; Whole grain brown rice, chicken meal, ground white rice, cracked pearl barley, pea flour, and rice bran.

Key features; High protein, nutrient-rich, moderate fat.

Type of product; Dry large breed adult food

Caloric content; 320cal/cup

Best for; Sensitive stomach

AAFCO Statement; Meets the nutritional needs of the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile.

Diamond Naturals is among the leading dog food brands that provide holistic dog foods. This formula is made particularly for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It is very easy on the stomach and easy to digest.

Another reason why it is easy on the stomach because it contains prebiotic fibre and lactic acid microorganisms. These aid in digestion. The ingredients in the dog food, like whole grain rice, are also gentle on the stomach.

Additional supplements include omega fatty acids and taurine. The former promotes healthy skin and coat while the latter better cardiac health. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, the primary support for good joint and hip health.

If you notice your golden retriever has a sensitive stomach, give them Diamond Naturals.

American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato

Primary Ingredients: Deboned chicken, turkey meal, chicken meal, chickpeas, peas

Key features: High protein, moderate fat

Type of product: Grain-free dry dog food

Caloric content: 370 kcal/cup

Best for: Adults

AAFCO Statement: It meets the standards of the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile

The American Journey dog food brand offers some of the best food for puppies and adult dogs. Adult dogs need enough proteins in their diet to help them build lean muscle mass. Your golden retriever needs proteins to grow into their large bodies.

It consists of glucosamine and chondroitin, essential for proper hip and joint health. It has enough fat to give active dog energy while maintaining a lean body.

It also carries blueberries, carrots and kelp, which act as antioxidants and add flavor. This formula has no artificial additives and is grain-free.

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

Primary Ingredients: Garbanzo beans, lamb meal, peas, egg product, beef, wild boar

Key features: High protein, moderate fat

Type of product: Grain-free dry dog food

Caloric content: 360 kcal/cup

Best for: Picky eaters

AAFCO Statement; Meets the AAFCO standards for dog food nutrient profile

If your golden retriever is a picky eater, you need dog food that will entice it to eat. This dog food has the perfect, tasty appeal that will make your dog go crazy for it. The beef, lamb and wild boar flavors will make any dog want to eat. These whole meats also provide a rich source of proteins for muscle growth.

The moderate-fat also provides sufficient energy for highly active golden retrievers. Other essential nutrients that will help your dog include omega-fatty acids. This will maintain your dog’s skin and coat and increase nutrient absorption. It also has antioxidants that will prevent your pup from getting sick frequently.

Many dog owners report positive reviews of this food. Not only do dogs love to eat it, but they also thrive and become energetic.

Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Raw Infused Large Breed

Primary Ingredients: Deboned beef, salmon meal, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas

Key features: Moderate fat, high protein

Type of product: Grain-free raw infused dry dog food

Caloric content: 368 kcal/cup

Best for: High protein

AAFCO Statement; Meets the needs of the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile

This Backcountry Raw infused dog from Merrick is among the best dog food you can get for growing pups. Golden retrievers are generally a large dog breed. This means they need a lot of protein to develop lean muscle mass for their development. This dog food contains high-quality proteins necessary for your dog’s growth.

It also supports gut health in your growing pup through probiotics, fruits and digestible carbs. All these ingredients make a balanced blend of all the essential nutrients for good health.

Halo Holistic Chicken Recipe Large Breed Dry Food

Primary Ingredients: Chicken liver, chicken, dried egg product, pearled barley, oatmeal, dried peas

Key feature: High protein and moderate fat

Type of product: Holistic adult dry dog food

Caloric content: 430kcal/cup

Best for: Heart health

AAFCO Statement: Meets the standards of the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profiles

Golden retriever puppies need foods that promote optimal bone strength as they grow. Golden retrievers are highly active and need to develop strong bones and muscles. The Halo holistic chicken recipe supports your dog’s bone strength development. The blend of chicken and liver also helps to build lean muscle mass.

This dog food also has many other health benefits. It has taurine that offers nutritional support for a healthy heart. It contains no added salt and no artificial additives.

The Halo Holistic chicken recipe has a balanced blend of vitamins and essential nutrients. The omega fatty acids help to support your dog’s overall health. Taurine promotes good cardiac health. The antioxidants support an excellent immune system. Dog owners who prefer holistic food options will find this very satisfying.

Solid Gold Love at First Bark – Wet

Primary Ingredients: Lamb liver, lamb, brown rice, ocean whitefish

Key feature: Holistic ground food

Type of product: Wet food

Caloric content: 552 kcal/cup

Best for: Adult dogs

AAFCO Statement: Meets the standards of the AAFCO dog foods and nutrients.

This dog food option offers nutrient-rich protein sources to help build your dog’s muscle mass. The ocean whitefish also supplies a natural source of omega-fatty acids. You know your dog is bound to have healthy skin and a coat with omega fatty acids.

It contains wholesome grains such as brown rice that are easy to digest. The probiotics also make it easy on the stomach. You can feed this to your golden retriever as a main course or a topper. For picky eaters, start with this, as it has a pretty tasty flavor that your dog will love.

Eagle Pack Adult Large and Giant Breed Dog foods

Primary Ingredients: Pork meal, chicken meal, ground brown rice, rice, oatmeal

Key features: High protein, moderate fat

Type of product: Dry dog food

Caloric content: 340 kcal/cup

Best for: Joint health

AAFCO Statement: It meets the standards of the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient profile

The Eagle Pack large breed dog food contains all the necessary ingredients to support hip and joint health. Large breed dogs must maintain healthy joints and bones to support their weight. This dog food has food sources of chondroitin, glucosamine, calcium, and Vitamin D3. The essential nutrients your dog needs for healthy joints and bones.

The fat content is on the moderate to low side, which helps to promote a steady, healthy weight. It is easy on the stomach. The carbs from whole grains are easily digestible. Lactic acid also enhances digestive health. Lastly, it is flavorful and will boost your dog’s weight gain-free appetite

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Grain-free Grain Free Chicken

Primary Ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, peas, menhaden fish meal, tapioca

Key feature: Low fat, high protein

Type of product: Dry dog food

Caloric content: 368 kcal/cup

Best for: Grain-free, dry dog food

AAFCO Statement: Its formula meets the standards of the AAFCO dog food nutrients profile.

This dog food provides enough proteins to facilitate the growth of your dog. The primary ingredient is raw chicken which has a very low-fat content. This helps indulge your dog without worrying about it adding unwanted weight.

You may also want to consider this dog food if you are trying to get your dog to lose weight. It has L-carnitine and dense fibre content that helps your dog burn fat. It also has low fat and calorie content. Your dog can indulge but still maintain a healthy weight.

Natural Balance L.I.D Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Diets

Primary Ingredients: Menhaden fish meal, salmon, sweet potatoes, cassava flavor

Key feature: 100% natural

Type of product: Dry LID food

Caloric content: 373 kcal/cup

Best for: Treating allergies

AAFCO Statement: Its formula meets the standards of the AAFCO dog food nutrients profile.

The Natural Balance LID dog food is perfect for dogs that are sensitive to certain foods. It consists of a diet that is highly low on allergens—the meat source of salmon fish supplies omega-fatty acids necessary for healthy skin and coat.

This formula is 100% natural- it has no artificial additives or ingredients. It is also very easy on the stomach as it uses digestible sources of carbohydrates. It also has moderate fat to meet your dog’s body needs and also to supply energy. If your golden retriever suffers from red itchy skin, this dog food will help clear it up.

Royal Canine Golden Retriever Puppy

Primary Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, wheat gluten, corn, wheat

Key feature: High protein

Best for: Puppies

AAFCO Statement: Its formula meets the standards of the AAFCO dog food nutrients profile.

Golden retriever puppy food needs to be able to support their growing needs. The Royal Canine puppy food helps your puppy’s growing needs and shapes their health. Your puppy needs to grow up healthy, so high-quality doesn’t experience many complications as an adult.

This food supports your pup’s digestive health. The primary ingredients are whole grains that are easily digestible. It has sufficient fat to fuel your puppy’s activities. Additionally, it maintains puppies’ coat health.

IAMS Proactive Health Large Breed Dog Food

Primary Ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain barley

Key features: Moderate fat, high protein

Type of product: Large breed dog food

Best for;:Adults

AAFCO Statement: Its formula meets the standards of the AAFCO dog food nutrients profile.

IAMS proactive health large breed is one of the leading brands of dog foods that you can trust. They produce high-quality food in the best interests of your dog. Their prices are also quite affordable. Therefore you can treat your golden retriever on a budget.

It is rich in proteins from whole food sources such as chicken. It also contains antioxidant-rich veggies that help to boost your dog’s immune system. All the essential nutrients in this dog food will meet your golden retriever’s health needs. It also has a low-calorie content that will help maintain your dog’s weight.

Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Puppy Blend with Probiotics

Primary Ingredients: Chicken, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soy bean meal, beef fat

Type of product: Shredded puppy food for golden retrievers

Best for: Puppies with sensitive stomachs

Puppies do not have very strong teeth. It is essential to get the foods that they can easily chew. The Purina Pro Plan is a great option for puppies with sensitive teeth. Those with a sensitive stomach can also benefit significantly from this food. The probiotics help to aid digestion.

You can also mix this food with other meals.

Wrap Up

Golden retrievers are some of the most loyal dog breeds and man’s friend friends. When it comes to food, you need to get the best. Get the best dog food ideas for your golden retriever from this article.

ESA Pet Staff