My Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers Review: Overweight or Puppies

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(Last Updated On: February 11, 2019)

Golden Retrievers are many dog lovers’ favorite breed. Puppies are usually nurtured by the mothers until seven weeks old, but they can start eating soft food when they reach three weeks.

As dog owners, you always want to keep your dog healthy.

While it might not be possible to control their health and illnesses completely, the best thing you can do is to make sure they eat nutritious food.

Here are some tips on getting the best dog food for your golden retrievers.


Best dog food for golden retrievers

Royal Canin BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever Adult

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The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition range of dog foods for Golden Retrievers is specially designed to suit the needs of your beloved Golden Retriever.

Suitable for dogs above 15 months of age or 1 ½ years and older, this product comes with a special blend of Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids to improve your Retriever’s skin and coat health.

Along with this, as Golden Retrievers have a tendency to suffer from cardiac diseases, the Breed Health Nutrition range is formulated with special nutrients to promote good cardiovascular health. Among some of the nutrients present are taurine, EPA and DHA.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy

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Unlike adults, Golden Retriever puppies and all puppies in general have significantly different nutritional needs. Thus, this variant of the Breed Health Nutrition range, is specially formulated to provide puppies with the nourishment that they need to grow up healthy and strong.

To ensure good cardiovascular development, taurine, EPA and DHA are blended in to give your pup a good start on life. Also present are Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids to ensure that your pup’s skin and coat develop healthily.

Along with this, the Breed Health Nutrition for puppies contains a mix of vitamins and minerals for healthy joint and muscle growth.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural

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Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food focuses on providing dogs with all-natural, quality nutrition. Made primarily from U.S farm-raised beef to provide Fido with all of the protein he needs, Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food does not utilize any filler ingredients of any kind.

Instead, quality ingredients such as brown rice and vegetables are added to supplement your dog’s diet. Thus, you can rest assured that your beloved pooch is able to enjoy healthy, nourishing food.

Finally, to further support healthy growth and development, vitamins and chelated minerals have also been added.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Loaf

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Formulated for dogs above 15 months of age i.e. 1 ½ years, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Loaf in Sauce Dog Food is a type of wet dog food for Golden Retrievers. This product features probiotic ingredients that aid in healthy digestion.

As Golden Retrievers are particularly susceptible to cardiac health problems, Royal Canin has added a variety of supplements to promote good cardiac health. Along with this, essentials oils have also been blended in to ensure that your pooch has a shiny and lustrous coat.

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Shredded Blend

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Manufactured by Purina and formulated for adult Golden Retrievers this dry dog food is formulated from a variety of top-quality ingredients. Made from real chicken to give your Golden Retriever the protein he needs, this product is rich in protein and taste.

Probiotic ingredients have been added to promote health digestive function. As Golden Retrievers are usually active and always on the go, the secondary ingredient of this product; rice is sure to give Fido the fuel he needs to keep on playing.

Finally, in order to supplement Fido’s health on the long-term, specially selected ingredients have been added to ensure that your dog’s cardiovascular health is maintained.

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natura

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Made in the USA, Taste of The Wild is the dog food of choice for dog owners with Golden Retrievers who live active lives. To promote healthy development and growth, real Bison meat is added to this product to give Fido a proper source of lean, protein.

Blended in also are a variety of antioxidants and superfoods that improve your dog’s general health. Also, to ensure that Fido has a lustrous and health coat, a unique blend of essential oils and fats have been added.

To curb the risk of cardiovascular disease which is endemic in Golden Retrievers, no filler ingredients such as wheat, rice or grower’s yeast have been added.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Grain Free

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Give your Golden Retriever a leg up in life with Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food. Specially formulated and made from carefully sourced ingredients, Nutrish Zero is the food of choice for health Golden Retrievers.

Free of filler ingredients such as grain and rice, Nutrish Zero provides your dog with all-natural nutrition. Also, as it is made from Turkey meat, even the pickiest eaters will find the taste difficult to resist.

Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Grain Free

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Satiate your dog with Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food. Let your Golden Retriever reconnect with his instincts with this specially formulated recipe. Designed to be as nutritionally dense as possible to give active Golden Retrievers the energy they need, PEAK is made from authentic, US farm raised beef.

Not only is this delicious, but it is also free of filler ingredients and carbohydrates so as to provide Fido with an excellent source of energy. Finally, in order to keep your dog healthy, PEAK is totally free of preservatives of any kind.

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Grain-Free Classic Ground

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This range of wet dog food has been specially formulated with Golden Retrievers in mind. As Golden Retrievers are often active and constantly on the move, this product is made from a combination of nutritionally rich ingredients.

Made from Venison and Turkey meat, satiate your Golden Retriever’s need for meat-rich food, low in carbohydrates and high in energy. To enhance your dog’s immune system, a special blend of superfoods have been added to provide your dog with a antioxidant boost.

Highly digestible and delicious, even the fussiest of dogs will find Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct impossible to resist.

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Adult Wet Dog Food

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Manufactured by Purina, the Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Adult Wet Dog Food foregoes any pretensions and gets straight down to business. Formulated from a blend of meat, vegetables and rice, this range of wet dog food is intended to provide your Golden Retriever with delicious, energy-rich food to sustain his active lifestyle.

This food is offered in a variety of combinations like chicken and rice or lamb and vegetables. Your golden retriever will love the real meat and vegetables. Along with this, your Golden Retriever can enjoy healthy development thanks to the addition of 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

Feeding Your Golden Retriever

Feeding schedule

Design a feeding schedule based on the age of your golden retriever. The younger they are, the more frequent they will need to eat.

If you worry about over or under feeding your dogs, you might take the following as a reference: For golden retrievers that are over 1 year old, they should be fed once a day.

If they are between 6 months to 1 year old then they should be fed twice a day; while those who are 6 months old or younger some recommend to feed 3 to 4 times a day.

You might have heard of the term free feeding, meaning free choice. In fact, free feeding makes it difficult to monitor how much your dog eats.

Once free feeding has become a habit, it is difficult for you to change and establish a new protocol. This breed is a fast growing breed and their meal frequency should be closely monitored.

Similar to any kinds of training that you do with your pet, you should not force your dogs to adapt to a new feeding schedule immediately.

It takes time for them to learn and practice any new habits.

Keep them hydrated

All golden retrievers need to stay hydrated, so make sure they have easy access to a bowl of fresh water.

In order to keep the water clean, you should change the water at least once a day and use a stainless bowl.

Stainless bowls are more durable and they are less likely to foster bacteria when comparing to plastic or ceramic ones.

Quality matters

When feeding them, you should make sure that they get a complete and balanced diet, which provides all the nutrition they need. There are dog foods and dog food brands that are made for specific breeds.

It is important to look at the nutrition label on the packaging. A good product should have meat as an ingredient.

Wet vs Dry Food

Dry food

Dry food gains popularity among dog owners because it is so convenient to get and they are very affordable.

Also, having your golden retrievers bite on hard kibbles helps scrape your dogs’ teeth and prevent plague from building up.

Wet food

For wet food, it is not as easy to store as dry food. If your golden retrievers cannot finish the food in one meal, you have to keep the rest in the fridge.

Wet food is usually considered a healthy option because it can come in airtight packaging which may not contain any chemical preservatives.

Besides, wet food are usually soft and easy, which can make eating more joyful for your older dogs. It is also considered a more nutritious and tasty meal for dogs.

The mixed approach

In order to make the most out of the dog food in the market, some dog owners will mix both dry food and wet food when feeding their dogs.  

Fighting Off Health Risks with Dog Food

There are some health risks amongst all kinds of dogs, including this breed. You can tackle the problem for giving the right food to your dogs.


When feeding your golden retrievers, make sure you take notes of their reactions. Some dogs are allergic to dairy, eggs, pork, beef, fish, soy and so on.

Sometimes, when your dog has been consuming the same type of protein for a long period of time. It is possible that an allergy will be developed.

Signs of allergies include swollen paws and eyes, digestive problems, coughing and nasal discharge.

After consulting a vet, you should also provide some allergy elimination meals for them. It is possible that you can detox your dogs and tackle the allergy.

Gastric dilation

Golden retrievers have a deep chest, making them easier to bloat or suffer from gastric dilation.

The bloat usually happens when gases build up in the retrievers’ stomach, making them inflate. Once that happens, take your dog to the vet immediately.

While the cause of gastric dilation for them is unknown, you can help reduce the risk by changing your dogs’ feeding schedule from once a day, to 2 to 3 times a day.

Additionally, you can reduce the risk by avoiding vigorous exercise within an hour before or after feeding.


Pancreatitis means that there is a leakage of digestive enzymes in the pancreas, making the organ digests itself.

It could be chronic or acute, but it also happens when your dog eats too much processed food.

Signs of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lack of hunger and pain in abdomen. If you see any of these signs contact your vet immediately. 

Oral health

Tooth decay is common for dogs that have a rich carbohydrates diet. Carbohydrates is an ideal substance that promote the growth of bacteria inside your golden retrievers’ mouths.

When the bacteria interacts with the starch remains in your dogs’ mouth, they will release an acid that dissolves your dogs’ tooth enamel.

Once the bacteria started to take their actions, other oral problems such as bad breath, rotting teeth, gum diseases or even tooth loss might happen.

In order to maintain your dogs’ oral health, you should pick a dog food that is not high in carbohydrates.

At the same time, you should also pay attention to the sugar in the food and keep the amount moderate.


Golden retrievers can eat a lot and they can suffer from different health problems such as diabetes and orthopaedic problems.

It is also common for them to have hip and elbow dysplasia or joint problems. Obesity can easily affected and worsen these conditions.

If your golden retrievers are overweight, you might need to take them to the vet for a consultation and switch to a diet food.

It will be helpful for them to take food that contains more fibre but less calories.

The Nutritional Requirements of Golden Retrievers

Fat and protein

Fat is an important nutrients to your dog and 5% of the food should contains fat for your adult golden retrievers.

It serves as a good sauce of energy and can give thier skin a healthy and shiny look.

Your full-grown retriever needs at least 18% of protein in their diet, and a golden retriever puppy needs about 22% of protein, according to the Association Feed Control officials.


Based on the information provided by the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active dog needs about 1,350 to 1,750 calories a day. While golden retrievers that are not as active will need about 1,000 to 1,270 calories every day.

For older golden retrievers, they are likely to suffer from joint problems, so that they are less active and require fewer calories than their healthy and active counterparts.

How to Choose the Best Food for Your Golden Retriever

Read the label

When shopping for dog food, read the ingredients label carefully and pay attention to the top five ingredients.

It would be ideal to include some protein and fat from an animal source instead of a vegetable source.

You may also want to check if there are a lot of by-products in the product because that might not be good for your dogs’ digestive system.

For dog food in the market that has a label “complete and balanced”, it means that they are considered a nutritious diet based on the standards created by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

Getting food with this label implies that your golden retriever will have a balanced diet that contains most of the important nutrients and vitamins they need.

Stay natural

A healthy diet for your golden retrievers should be free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Some common preservatives in  dog food include BHT, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, sodium nitrate and BHA. All these additives are also known to be carcinogenic.

Give some varieties

It might seem easier for you to stick to the same brand and flavour of dog food, but it is actually a good idea to switch both brands and flavors every few months.

By doing so, your dogs will not get bored from what they eat. Most importantly, they will also be able to receive different nutrients.

Avoid dangerous food

You might feel tempted to give your golden retrievers some of the tasty food on your plate.

Food such as raisins, onions and grapes are poisonous for dogs. Hence, you should also make sure that these are not one of the ingredients in the dog food that you have chosen.


Golden retrievers is a large breed and they are sensitive about their feeding regime. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the decisions you need to make.

There are a lot of choices in the market and it can be confusing sometimes.

A quality diet will help improve the immune system of your golden retrievers, so start making a good choice for your golden retrievers today.

You will be able to make a difference to your golden retrievers’ diet and prevent health issues from happening in the future.

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