Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers – Our 2019 Reviews & Top Picks
Golden retrievers are our favorite dog breed because they always have a joyful and pure heart. They’re also very loyal and make the best lifelong friends that a man or woman can wish for.
Since your golden retriever will spend all its years in constant devotion to you, it’s only fitting that you provide it with good quality nutrition for a healthy life. After all, you want them around to make memories and share life’s special moments for as long as possible.
Here’s a comprehensive list of best dog foods that you can feed your golden retriever.
- Table of Contents
- #1: Top Pick - Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Dry Dog Food
- #2: Budget Conscious Pick - Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
- #3: CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food
- #4: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Dog Food
- #5: Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- #6: Zignature Limited Ingredient Turkey Formula Dry Dog Food
- #7: Prairie Real Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food
- Dog Food for Golden Retrievers Buyer’s Guide
- Feeding Golden Retrievers
- What Are The Nutritional Requirements Of Golden Retrievers?
- What Ingredients You Should Avoid
We all know that Royal Canin is the bee’s knees when it comes to pet health and nutrition. So it comes as no surprise that they’ve developed a dry dog food formula for golden retrievers, which is aimed at providing optimal nutrition to support your dog’s development needs.
Each one cup serving of this Royal Canin Dry Dog Food comes with 276 calories which is much less than the other dog food products on this list. Also, unlike most other dog food products, the main ingredient in this pack is brown rice instead of protein. This is intentional as Royal Canin wanted to create dog food that has optimal levels of DHA and EPA to promote heart health and healthy skin. Just keep in mind that this Royal Canin dry food is formulated for golden retrievers aged 15 months and up.
- Helps to maintain an ideal weight with the right amount of calories and fat content
- Contains DHA, EPA, and Taurine to maintain heart health
- Comes with essential nutrients to protect the skin barrier
What do we like about it?
The Royal Canin Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for growing golden retrievers and comes with all the nutrients that your dog needs to realize its highest potential. Plus, the kibbles have a chew-friendly texture and shape that make it easy for goldies to enjoy their food without any hiccups.
The Rachel Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food is well-known for being a clean and optimal source of nutrition for health-conscious pups. It’s made with real ingredients like farm-raised chicken as well as natural prebiotics to promote healthy digestions.
The fact that it’s flavorsome with an agreeable texture also helps, and it’s all thanks to the ingredients and blend of flavors featured in the recipe. We expected no less from one of the world’s most famous chefs - Rachel Ray. Rachel created this unique recipe for her dogs and decided to share it with other pet owners who’re concerned about providing their dog with superior nutrition and flavor.
You’ll be glad to know that there are no added preservatives, wheat, wheat gluten, fillers, poultry by-product, meat meal or artificial flavors in here. It’s all made from 100% real natural food found in nature. In fact, this product prides itself on being one of the best dog food formulas on the market because of the quality ingredients used as well as the high ratio of nutrients present in each serving.
- No artificial or harmful ingredients
- Main ingredients are farm-raised beef and chicken which is 100% grown and produced in the US
- No poultry by-product meal
What do we like about it?
The Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food does what very few other food brands can. It provides nutritious dog food that’s made with high-quality ingredients with all the flavor in the world but at an affordable price tag.
The CANIDAE Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a simple yet highly nutritious recipe that can help your pet achieve optimal health levels. It’s perfect for pups with sensitive tummies and only features nine primary ingredients - no additives, no preservatives and certainly no chemicals or substitutes.
The main ingredient is chicken which represents the protein element of the food, while the peas, potatoes and lentils assist with healthy digestion. There’s no soy, wheat, or corn so you won’t have to worry about any possible allergies. To top it off, pups love this grain-free dog food for its superb flavor and taste which will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
- Doesn’t contain any allergy-causing grains, wheat or soy
- Comes with nine key ingredients
- The main ingredient is chicken
What do we like about it?
The CANIDAE Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is available in different formulas to suit different tastes and preferences. Plus, your pup will be spoilt for choice with healthy, satisfying and tasty ingredients that take care of all your pet’s nutritional needs.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free formula boasts high-quality protein as its main ingredient with no additional fillers or artificial ingredients. The meat featured in this recipe is real and natural.
Next on the ingredients list is a whole host of healthy carbs including sweet potatoes, peas, whole carrots, cranberries, and blueberries. This means your pup is guaranteed to get a balanced meal with each serving of this formula.
- The main ingredient is real meat
- Offers a combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
- Doesn’t come with any allergens like soy, wheat or corn
What do we like about it?
To support proper bone growth and joint health, this dog food has a healthy supply of glucosamine and chondroitin. That’s why it comes highly recommended for senior dogs that suffer from conditions like hip/elbow dysplasia and arthritis.
The main ingredient in this Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is whitefish, salmon, and herring. These are all fantastic sources of lean, heart-healthy protein. In addition, this recipe also offers natural fiber in the form of carrots, peas, spinach, blueberries, cranberries, blueberries and apples. On top of keeping your dog healthy, these ingredients are a great source of natural antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
The fact that there are no grains in this recipe means that this formula is suitable for allergy-prone pets and it’s perfect for goldies on a grain-free diet. Plus, Earthborn uses advanced processing technology to preserve the nutrients and flavors in the ingredients so that it’s easier for your pet to assimilate the nutrients.
- Contains a good amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
- Designed to maintain good health and wellness
- Grain-free formula
What do we like about it?
This dry dog food formula is ideal for dogs on a grain-free diet and it’s designed to condition the body through developing lean muscle mass. It’s also a great source of energy thanks to the inclusion of L-carnitine, while the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help to promote healthy skin and coat.
The Zignature Limited Ingredient Turkey Formula Dry Dog Food promises to provide your pup with a tasty blend of nutritious ingredients including flaxseed, chickpeas, wholesome peas and farm-raised turkey.
This blend of ingredients gives a whole new meaning to the idea of “farm to table” as it’s made with natural ingredients found in nature. Plus, there are no allergens in it either, such as wheat, corn, soy, potatoes or chicken. This makes it ideal for dogs with sensitive tummies and can protect against developing glycemia, allergies, and other conditions.
Included in the recipe is a mix of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins that are guaranteed to provide your pet with balanced nutrition in every meal.
- Features antioxidant-rich chickpeas and wholesome peas
- Farm raised turkey is the main protein ingredient
- Doesn’t contain any allergens like wheat, soy, corn, chicken or dairy
What do we like about it?
With only a few key ingredients, this grain-free formula is made for energetic golden retrievers. It’s made with only a few hand-picked ingredients that will make your pup feel great.
What better way to show your pets that you love them than with one of the best in pet nutrition? That’s what the Prairie Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food promises to do and it’s filled with nature’s bounty. The main ingredient is protein packed chicken with turkey and menhaden fish for a flavor-packed profile.
This food is easy for pets to digest because it doesn’t contain any hard grains and it’s made with real, farm-raised meat with no added preservatives or artificial additives. With Nature’s Variety formula, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your pet is getting balanced nutrition.
- Doesn’t come with any harmful ingredients
- Well-balanced recipe
- Made with real meat
What do we like about it?
Not only is this recipe a good source of lean and high-quality protein but it’s packed with digestion-friendly probiotics as well. This makes it ideal for growing pets that need that the extra energy and immune boost to develop appropriately.
If you have a golden retriever then you should count your lucky stars because your dog will be there for you when you need a hug, they’ll protect you with their own life and will always be there to share joyful moments. Their fluffy fur is perfect for snuggling up in front of the tellie, and who can resist that adorable face?
Goldies are the perfect family dog because they love kids and can teach them a lot about kindness and compassion. They are also quite an active breed, so be sure to protect your leather couches with a dog couch cover.
We know very well that it’s difficult for most pet owners to choose the right kind of pet food for their pups because there are a lot of different options out there. The best way to narrow down your options is to educate yourself about your dog’s nutritional needs before you start looking at the different options. You should be aware of any health conditions that your pet may be prone to so that you can buy food that will help to prevent those conditions while supporting optimal health.
Here are a few pointers to help you out.
Feeding your golden retriever doesn’t have to be difficult and it’s all about giving it food that will cater to its growing needs.
We all know that pups start out drinking their mother’s milk which comes with all the nutrients and calories they need at that stage at life. But, as they grow up, they need to start consuming solids to grow optimally and this process usually starts after about five weeks. Be sure to start house training them as soon as possible!
It’s best to start with wet food because your pup is still fairly young and probably won’t be able to handle hard kibbles. Pups at this age need to eat at least four times a day up until they get to 9 weeks. Do keep a lookout for puppy worms and deworm your puppy immediately if there are any symptoms of worms infestation.
From 2 or 3 months onwards, they’ll start eating three times per day while maintaining the same calorie intake. By month 4, your golden retriever will only eat twice per day which is the same eating schedule that it will maintain for the rest of its life. Do remember to bring your goldie out for regular walks on a retractable dog leash.
It’s worth noting here that some dog owners choose to feed their pets once per day but it’s better to stick to the twice per day recommendation to maintain proper digestion. If time is a constraint, do check out these automatic dog feeders that make feeding your golden retrievers easy.
Golden retrievers have similar nutritional requirements to other large dog breeds with the only difference being the nutritional “content.” That’s because goldies aren’t as muscular as pit bulls and rottweilers, for example, but they’re still large and require a fair bit of nutrition to maintain good health and keep energy levels high.
Protein is quite crucial to pets, which is why your goldie’s food should have a protein content of at least 25%. In fact, protein should be the first and main ingredient in your pet’s food, unless your golden retriever is on a special diet. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to check the product’s guaranteed analysis as well.
Golden retriever food shouldn’t have a fat content above 20% as that’s all they need to maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin. However, it can be hard to keep track of this because meat has fat too which will contribute to the overall far percentage in the food.
The most important micronutrients are phosphorous and calcium, both of which are instrumental in helping your pet develop healthy bones and joints. B-vitamins are also essential to ensuring optimal metabolism, and you should look out for Vitamin A and E as well.
To supplement your golden retriever's diet, we have compiled a list of dog multivitamins that are beneficial.
When it comes to nutraceuticals, look out for ALA, HAD and EPA because they’re essential in developing and maintaining optimal immunity, cardiovascular and neurologic health. To keep your pet’s joints healthy, you’ll need to give it food with glucosamine and chondroitin, while probiotics will help it to maintain a healthy gut.
Aside from healthy ingredients and nutrients that your pet needs to thrive, there are also certain ingredients that you should avoid, including colorings, flavor enhancers and preservatives. If you notice any of the following words in the ingredients list of your pet’s food, run the other way!
According to scientific research data, propyl gallate is packed with essential xenoestrogens which is a known carcinogenic. So, it doesn’t bode well to see it in pet food.
BHA & BHT
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), both butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene are classified as carcinogenic. Stay far away from foods that contain either of these ingredients.
The Propylene Glycol ingredient has been shown to produce Heinz body anemia and yet some pet food manufacturers still use it to retain moisture.
Ethoxyquin has been banned in Australia and the EU because of its ability to compromise blood and liver health. Keep in mind that golden retrievers are prone to develop conditions like aortic stenosis and Von Willebrand’s disease, and consuming this ingredient can increase their risk of developing these conditions.
TBHQ is a dangerous preservative that’s known to cause irreversible DNA damage and even stomach cancer.
As a golden retriever parent, you want what is best for your pooch and proper nutrition is an excellent first step towards providing them with a healthy life. Now that you know what to look for when shopping for dog food, it’s time to announce our top pick for what we consider to be the best dog food for golden retrievers in 2019.
Drum roll please… It’s the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Dry Dog Food! We love the fact that this formula features a balanced combination of nutrients from healthy ingredients like brown rice for digestion, as well as DHA, EPA and Taurine for optimal heart health.