Golden Retrievers are typically loyal and active dogs that are great for people of all ages and are loved by dog owners around the world. It’s not surprising as the golden retriever puppy is one of the cutest on the planet. They tend to be healthy, as long as they get plenty of exercise and are fed a healthy diet. How do you choose the best food option for your Golden Retriever?
You should take into account the quality of the food, as well as the breed’s specific needs. Goldens have different nutritional needs than other dogs and it’s also important to consider your specific dog’s age and activity level when choosing a food.
Foods approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) are guaranteed to be made with high-quality ingredients. The organization evaluates dog food brands and ranks them based on a set of rigorous requirements that help you understand what is safe and healthy and what is not for your puppy.
Animal protein should always be the primary ingredient in your dog’s food. You want to avoid “filler” ingredients and, if there are any, then they should not just be empty calories. Think of those non-animal-source dog food ingredients as you might your own side dishes with a meal—plenty of veggies and beneficial grains.
Common health problems (especially in senior dogs) include:
- Allergies (especially food allergies)
- Sensitive stomach
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Von Willebrand’s disease
Finally, make sure whatever food you choose for your puppy fits your budget. Golden Retrievers are very active large dogs and tend to eat a lot of food. You want to be sure you can afford to buy enough of whatever you’ve chosen to feed your pup.
High-Quality Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Dog food brands must be evaluated by the AAFCO. If a brand hasn’t received approval from the AAFCO, it’s better to avoid it. Food that is properly evaluated has a lower risk of containing ingredients are not sourced from safe sources.
Also, keep in mind that what works for one breed needs might not be right for another. Add to that the fact that different dogs—yours included—even within the same breed, need different things nutritionally. You need to consider your dog’s lifestyle, age, and overall health when choosing the right food.
Whether you are looking for the latest grain-free dog food, dry dog food, raw food, dry food, puppy food, or some other high-quality dog food, just what dog food for Golden Retrievers is best to ensure a well-balanced diet? Read on to find out our best dog food reviews for the health and well-being of large breed dogs
Our list can give you a few options for great food picks for Goldens and you can narrow down your selection from there. In the end, it might come down to which of these picks your dog loves the most.
Our Top Three Picks for Best Foods for Golden Retrievers
So, what are our top three food choices for Golden Retrievers?
<a href = “https://www.amazon.com/BLUE-Wilderness-Adult-Grain-Free-Chicken/dp/B00YFZ7BDA/?tag=petguidesnet-20”>Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-free Dry Dog Food</a>
Blue Buffalo is designed to mimic the diet of a dog in the wild. The recipe also includes Blue Buffalo’s LifeSourceBits, which contain the exact antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs for a healthy immune system.
Blue Buffalo also contains a mix of animal proteins, apples, spinach, pumpkin, and blueberries. This means your Golden is eating a well-rounded diet that helps it stay healthy and active.
This food is high in calcium and phosphorus and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
Benefits of Blue Buffalo
- GMO-free ingredients
- LifeSourceBits offer added nutrition
- Tends to cause gastric or digestive issues for some Goldens, so watch your dog carefully if you transition to Blue Buffalo and follow recommended adjustment tips for switching food brands
<a href = “https://www.chewy.com/stella-chewys-stellas-super-beef/dp/121084 “>Stella & Chewy’s Chewy’s Super BeefPatties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food<a>
Stella & Chewy’s offers raw food in patty and kibble form. We chose patties for Goldens since they are bigger. The brand also offers frozen food options that can be thawed and fed raw.
Stella in Chewy’s comes in a variety of flavors in addition to beef, including chicken, lamb, duck, and turkey. They also combine animal protein with vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients. The brand also features a line of treats, meal mixers that can be blended with non-raw food (great for transitioning to raw), and wet food toppers.
Benefits of Stella & Chewy’s
- Protein sources raised without hormones or antibiotics
- 100% organic-certified fruits and vegetables
- Formulated to mimic a natural dog diet
- Free of grains, gluten, and other fillers
- Contains no artificial preservatives or colorings
- Added probiotics to aid in healthy digestion
- Made in the USA
- Raw feeding can be tough for some dogs. Many tend to handle it well, especially if it’s started in puppyhood, but there might be a transition period for your dog
- Stella & Chewy’s raw foods tend to be pricey, especially when you’re feeding a large breed. They offer a line of raw meal mixers that can be added to non-raw food—a great option when you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still want the benefits of raw feeding.
<a href = “https://www.chewy.com/zignature-turkey-limited-ingredient/dp/36739”
Zignature Turkey Meal Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food</a>
Zignature dog food claims to be “meat-first,” which means meat is always the most abundant ingredient in the recipe. It also limits the total number of ingredients in its food.
The Turkey Meal Limited Ingredient Formula includes no high-risk allergy foods, such as chicken, corn, wheat, soy, and potatoes. This means the food offers hypoallergenic and low-glycemic nutrition.
The recipe also contains key antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and a blend of essential vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of Zignature
- Made from only one protein source and a few other ingredients
- Made with American Midwest farm-raised turkey
- Turkey is a great source of protein that’s low in saturated fat, rich in selenium, and provides riboflavin and phosphorus
- If you choose to feed your dog a single-source protein food, it’s important to mix things up. You might keep two different options on-hand and vary from day-to-day (turkey one day, salmon the next, and so on). At the very least, make sure you switch up the protein source with each new bag of food purchased.
There are plenty of great food options out there for Golden Retrievers. We’ve narrowed down the selection for you to make it a little easier to choose, but this is by no means a complete list. Within some of these brands are also additional flavor options.
If you are going to mix up your Golden’s food, make sure you are careful about transitioning from one brand to another and you do it gradually, as the switch can be rough on a dog’s digestive system.