Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers: Good Eats for Gold Babies!

Dog Food

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Kate Brunotts

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Best dog food for golden retrievers

Golden retrievers (and many goldie mixes) are known for their delightful dispositions, making them surefire forever friends. Most dog breeds have fairly similar dietary requirements, but there are a couple of key considerations to pay attention to if you’re lucky enough to have a golden retriever. 

We’ll do our best to outline the most important food considerations for goldie pet parents below, and share some of our favorite picks for these special pooches. 

Quick Picks: Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

Best Overall Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Best Dog Food For Picky Golden Retrievers
Most Affordable Dog Food For Golden Retrievers
Best Overall Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Best Dog Food For Picky Golden Retrievers
Most Affordable Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

The 11 Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers 

Golden Retriever with Three Plates of Food

Ready to find a food for your four-footer? Check out some of our favorite dog foods for golden retrievers below! 

1. Ollie Baked Food

Best Overall Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Ollie Baked Food

A human-grade food personalized for your pooch with fresh, baked, and mixed meal plan options. 

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About: Does your good boy simply deserve the best? Consider the human-grade fresh or baked recipes from Ollie. The grain-inclusive baked chicken recipe features whole protein and great sources of fiber to fuel your canine companion. 

Ollie food is slow cooked in small batches to preserve nutrients without compromising on flavor. Plus, all recipes are made in US-based kitchens, so you can count on the quality. 

Features:

  • Minimally processed ingredients
  • Fresh, human-grade food
  • Contains no corn, wheat, or soy
  • Vet formulated for all life stages
  • Great source of fiber and omega-3s 

Ingredients List

Chicken, oats, chickpeas, pea flour, chicken livers...,

whole dried eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, tricalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, apples, salt, spinach, calcium carbonate, fish oil, sunflower oil, rosemary extract, choline bitartrate, vitamin e supplement, zinc gluconate, potassium iodide, ferrous bis-glycinate chelate, copper amino acid chelate, beta carotene (vitamin a), riboflavin (vitamin b2), niacin, cholecalciferol (vitamin d3), cyanocobalamin (vitamin b12), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin b6), calcium pantothenate (vitamin b5), thiamine hydrochloride (vitamin b1), potassium citrate, folic acid.

Pros

  • High-quality meal plan that most pups absolutely adore 
  • Nutritious, balanced meals that are full of omega-3s, fiber, and vitamins
  • Food is customized to your dog’s allergies, life stage, and other individual needs 

Cons

  • Food cannot be purchased a la cart – you have to sign up for a subscription
  • Pricey, but you tend to get what you pay for 

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection

Best Kibble for Golden Retrievers
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult
A well-balanced dry food that will keep your dog’s belly full, body healthy, and lips smackin’.
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About: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Kibble offers a great source of omega-3s, lean protein, and joint supportive supplements making it an all-around great pick for golden retrievers. It also has a ton of nutritional “extras,” such as probiotics and Blue Buffalo’s patented antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits. 

Features:

  • A whole protein is at the top of every flavor’s ingredient list 
  • Good source of omega-3s
  • Packed with fiber, joint supportive supplements, and vitamins
  • Made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients
  • Contains no corn, wheat, or soy 

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal...,

Barley, Pea Starch, Peas, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Fish Oil (source of EPA-Eicosapentaenoic Acid), Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, DL-Methionine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Garlic, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

Pros

  • Recipe includes joint supportive ingredients like glucosamine 
  • Even pickier eaters enjoyed the taste of this dry food
  • This nutrient-rich food has plenty of good fats, fiber, and vitamins

Cons

  • Some dogs may eat around the “LifeSource Bits” 
  • Somewhat pricey for a kibble

3. Blue Buffalo Canned Food

Best Canned Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipes Chicken Dinner

A tasty wet food made with nutritious proteins, whole grains, produce, vitamins, and natural antioxidants.

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About: If your pooch prefers wet food (or is in need of a tasty topper) consider Blue Buffalo Homestyle Wet Food for your furry family member. Notably (and unlike many other canned foods), this pate-style food  is a grain-inclusive recipe, which may help prevent heart-health problems, such as DCM.. 

Features:

  • A  whole protein appears at the top of the ingredient list
  • Antioxidant-rich recipe
  • Great sources of fiber like peas and sweet potatoes
  • Contains no meat by-products, corn, wheat, or soy

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas...,

Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Flaxseed, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9).

Pros

  • This is one of the relatively few wet foods with grains 
  • Can also work as a kibble topper
  • We love that it includes antioxidant-rich produce, such as blueberries

Cons

  • It can be more expensive to feed dogs a canned diet
  • Some dogs experienced stomach upset after switching to this food 

4. ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Tundra Recipe

Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Tundra
A tasty, nutrition-packed freeze-dried food with plenty of protein and fiber.
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About: Want to give your dog the flavor of raw proteins in a safer form?  Well, you might want to consider this freeze-dried food option from ORIJEN. This freeze-dried food can be used as a complete meal, topper, or mixer. To prepare the food, simply mix the frozen patty with water or broth and let it sit for five minutes before serving.

Features:

  • Protein-packed freeze-dried food
  • Food is rehydrated with water or broth, then served
  • Great source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Fiber-rich ingredients like pumpkin and apples
  • Grain-free, made in the USA 

Ingredients List

Venison, duck (ground with bone), flounder, lamb meat...,

duck liver, herring, lamb liver, wild boar liver, wild boar, goat meat, pea fiber, whole pumpkin, collard greens, carrots, apples, wild boar bone, lamb kidney, lamb tripe, wild boar heart, goat liver, goat tripe, goat kidney, duck heart, dried help, zinc proteinate, potassium chloride, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin E supplement, mixed tocopherols

Pros

  • Most pups love the taste of freeze-dried foods 
  • Protein-packed recipe is a great pick for active dogs 
  • Features a variety of tasty, nutritious fruits and veggies

Cons

  • Multiprotein foods are not a good pick for dogs with allergies 
  • This quality food comes at a high price

5. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food

Most Affordable Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food

A balanced, nutritious dry food that provides all the taste and nutrition your golden deserves at an affordable price. 

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About: Seeking quality food for your golden that won’t break the bank? Check out this affordable dry food by Diamond Naturals. Despite its price tag, this dry food is packed with antioxidants, fiber, and probiotics for your pooch. 

Best of all, this large breed recipe features joint supportive ingredients like glucosamine to support your growing sweetheart’s hips, elbows, and knees.  

Features:

  • Good source of omega-3s 
  • Family-owned company, made in the USA
  • Recipe includes joint supportive supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Features whole grains  
  • Probiotic rich recipe

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley...,

Ground White Rice, Rice Bran, Grain Sorghum, Dried Yeast, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Chondroitin Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Pros

  • Pet parents were impressed with the quality of this kibble for the price 
  • Large kibble size is perfect for goldens
  • A couple of pet parents noticed a shinier coat after switching to this food 

Cons

  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavor of this food
  • This food gave some dogs stomach issues

6. Nutro Natural Choice

Best Dog Food for Golden Retriever Puppies
Nutro Large Breed Puppy

A nutrient-rich puppy food made with lean protein, antioxidants, and joint-supporting supplements. 

Pros:
  • Designed for large-breed dogs
  • Made with nutritious grains
  • Loaded with fiber
Cons:
  • Chicken alternatives would be nice
  • Doesn’t contain any probiotics

About: Help your canine cutie grow into his best adult self with Nutro Natural Choice. The balanced puppy food is specially formulated for large breed dogs, providing an excellent source of joint-supporting ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin.

This dry food is also an excellent source of omega-3s, making it a great pick for growing pups. Additionally, it’s packed with whole grains and fiber to keep your canine companion feeling full. 

Features:

  • Features a lean, whole protein at the top of the ingredient list
  • Pumpkin, kale, and spinach are excellent sources of fiber
  • Great source of omega-3s 
  • Contains no corn, wheat, or soy
  • Designed for large breed puppies 

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)...,

Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Barley, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Rice, Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract

Pros

  • This food has plenty of omega-3s making it great for brain development and shiny coats
  • Owners were impressed with the quality of this food for the price
  • Full of antioxidant-rich produce

Cons

  • A few dogs experienced digestive problems after trying this food 
  • We wish it included probiotics

7. Nutro Ultra Superfood Senior 

Best Dog Food for Senior Golden Retrievers
Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food
A lean dry food packed with antioxidants, whole rains, and fiber to satiate your senior sweetheart.
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About: Do you have a golden oldie at home? Help him enjoy his best years with this Nutro Ultra Superfood Kibble designed for senior sweeties. This food has plenty of protein and whole grains to keep your pooch full. It’s also packed with natural sources of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins to keep your senior furball feeling his best. 

Features:

  • A whole protein is the first-listed ingredient
  • Contains plenty of antioxidants and vitamins 
  • Made with whole grains 
  • Great natural fiber sources like kale, pumpkin, and apples

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin)...,

Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Barley, Natural Flavors, Brewers Rice, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Whole Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Dried Kale, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Spinach, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots, DL-Methionine, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Pros

  • This food contains several joint-supporting supplements
  • Most dogs love the taste of Nutro foods
  • Great source of antioxidants

Cons

  • We wish it was fortified with probiotics 
  • Multiple protein sources may not appeal to dogs with sensitivities

8. Wellness Complete Health

Best Dog Food for Overweight Golden Retrievers
Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight
A nutritious and lean, nutritious dry food that’s packed with fiber to keep your dog feeling full.
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About: Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for golden retrievers to suffer from obesity. If your pooch struggles with weight management, you may want to consider Complete Health Healthy Weight by Wellness

Despite containing fewer calories than typical kibbles, Wellness’ dry food has whole, lean protein as its first ingredient, and it’s packed with natural sources of fiber and whole grains to help keep your pooch full throughout the day. 

Features:

  • A lean protein source is the first listed ingredient
  • Whole grains helps keep pups full
  • Fiber-rich ingredients like spinach and peas
  • Includes joint-supportive supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Made with probiotics to promote proper digestion 

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice...,

Ground Barley, Peas, Tomato Pomace, Rice, Ground Flaxseed, Tomatoes, Chicken Fat, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Chicory Root Extract, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Garlic Powder, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Pros

  • Lean protein and fiber-rich recipe is great for weight loss 
  • Most dogs digested this food without issue 
  • Some owners saw improvement in their dog’s energy levels and weight after switching to this food 

Cons

  • Some dogs didn’t like the flavor of this food
  • Specialized foods like this one come  at a higher cost 

9. Merrick Dry Dog Food

Best Overall Dog Food for Joint Health
Merrick Texas Beef + Sweet Potato

A premium, grain-free food that's loaded with chondroitin, glucosamine, and inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids.

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About: If you have an active furry friend or your dog suffers from joint problems, you might want to consider this  dry food from Merrick. In addition to being full of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, this food is also fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to provide the kind of joint support your best buddy deserves.  

Additionally, this recipe appeals to many pooch palettes and is cooked in Merrick’s own kitchens. It also has probiotics to help your dog digest properly. 

Features:

  • Made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients 
  • Formulated without grains 
  • Contains probiotics to aid digestion
  • Packed with protein-rich ingredients 
  • No corn, wheat, soy or gluten 

Ingredients List

Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes...,

Potatoes, Peas, Potato Protein, Pork Fat, Natural Flavor, Whitefish Meal, Pea Protein, Sunflower Oil, Beef Liver, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Apples, Blueberries, Organic Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Niacin, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Citric Acid for freshness, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Pros

  • Fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to support your goldie’s joints
  • Most dogs love the taste of this dry food 
  • Most pups had no trouble digesting this food with its built-in probiotics 

Cons

  • This food is pricier than many other dry foods 
  • Multiple protein sources might not be the best pick for pups with allergies 

10. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food

Best Food for Golden Retrievers with Food Allergies
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult
A limited ingredient food that can help prevent your dog from suffering itchy skin.
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About: Does your furball suffer from food allergies? If so, you may want to consider this limited-ingredient dog food from Natural Balance. Made with lamb (a novel protein that most pups love) and nothing unnecessary, this food should make it easy to avoid Spot’s allergy triggers., 

Features:

  • Contains only a single protein source 
  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
  • It’s a good source of fiber
  • Packed with vitamins 
  • Designed for large breed dogs 

Ingredients (Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe):

Ingredients List

Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran...,

Brewers Dried Yeast, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Dl-methionine, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Pros

  • Perfect for dogs with food allergies 
  • Unlike some other LIDs, this one tastes great to most pups
  • It’s a grain-inclusive LID, which is somewhat rare

Cons

  • Some owners didn’t like the smell of this food 
  • Because it is made with limited ingredients, this food doesn’t contain probiotics or many other supplements

11. A Pup Above

Best Dog Food for Picky Golden Retrievers
A Pup Above
An enticing, human-grade fresh food perfect for tempting the palates of picky pooches.
Special Discount: Get $50 off with code K950 at checkout!
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About: Is your goldie pretty particular about his food? Serve him up a meal that will get his tail wagging from A Pup Above. In addition to tasting great, this fresh, human-grade food is grain-inclusive and is a great source of lean, whole protein. Each recipe is also packed with natural sources of antioxidants and fiber to fuel your furry friend. 

A Pup Above’s meals are delivered directly to your doorstep, alleviating the need to leave your house. 

Features:

  • Human-grade food made at a USDA facility
  • Whole, lean protein sources
  • Food is delivered in portion-friendly patties
  • Great source of natural fiber
  • Recipes formulated by on-staff nutritionists 

Ingredients (Turkey Pawella Recipe):

Ingredients List

Turkey, turkey liver, tomatoes, carrots, green peas, rice...,

turmeric, thyme, parsley, minerals [dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium oxide, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, potassium iodide,sodium selenite], vitamins [vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement].

Pros

  • This is one of the few foods formulated by in-house nutritionists at a USDA facility
  • These high-quality foods are adored by furry friends, even picky pooches
  • The frozen patties make the food relatively easy to defrost and portion compared to some other fresh frozen foods

Cons

  • Fresh frozen food is challenging to deal with on the go
  • As you may expect, this high quality food comes at a higher price point than standard kibbles

Golden Retriever Breed Basics

Golden Retriever with Empty Bowl

To find the right food for your canine companion, it’s important to understand the basics of the breed. 

Golden retrievers truly are the best friends of their people, with with a sunny disposition that consistently earns them a spot near the top of the AKC’s most popular breed list

These medium-sized dogs were initially developed to be hunting companions, which speaks to their intelligence, willingness to please, and their tendency to bond strongly with their favorite humans. 

These things also make goldens fairly easy to train, especially since they are typically so food motivated.

These precious pups are affectionate and usually friendly to all – including family members, strangers, and other pets. But as people-oriented doggos, pet parents should provide goldens with plenty of companionship, cuddles, exercise, and playtime to keep their tails wagging.  

Common Golden Retriever Health Problems

Golden Retriever with bowl of kibble

In order to get the right food for your furry friend, it’s important to understand what sorts of health problems your pooch may experience. 

While every dog is an individual, golden retrievers are prone to developing the following health conditions:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Heart disease 
  • Eye issues, including pigmentary uveitis and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Aortic Stenosis

But understand that not all golden retrievers will suffer from these issues;  health is heavily dependent on your dog’s lifestyle and family history. 

In any case, it’s key to keep up with your dog’s preventative health visits to ward away any health problems. 

What Makes Quality Dog Food? 

Golden Retriever with Veggies

We’re focusing on golden retrievers here, but there are a few things you should look for when picking a food for any dog. 

For starters, pick a food that’s formulated to AAFCO guidelines for your dog’s current life stage.

Your dog’s diet should also be selected in conjunction with your veterinarian and address any specific health concerns your dog has

These are the most important factors, but you can also prioritize foods made with whole proteins near the top of the ingredients list, as well as those that are manufactured and sourced in Western countries

Things to Look for in a Golden Retriever Dog Food 

golden retrievers are good service dogs

So what exactly makes for fitting food for golden retrievers? Here are a couple of factors to take into consideration: 

  • Top-Notch Nutrition: As mentioned above, you can check off a lot of boxes for your golden by ensuring that you pick out a high-quality diet with your veterinarian based on AAFCO guidelines. 
  • Joint Supportive Supplements: Foods that include joint supportive ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin are good picks for bigger pups like goldens. 
  • Healthy Fats: Maintain your goldie’s glorious coat and joint health with the help of healthy fats like Omega-3s.  
  • A Whole Protein at the Top of the Ingredient List: Lean, whole protein sources will help keep your active canine companion energized without packing on the pounds. 
  • Any Other Individual Needs: It’s not uncommon for golden retrievers to face allergies or other ailments that require a special diet. Your dog’s food should be optimized to meet his individual needs. 

Golden Retriever Food Selection: FAQ

Are you still having trouble tracking down high-quality food for your golden retriever? Consider these commonly asked questions and answers: 

Do golden retrievers need special food?

Golden retriever owners may want to seek out a dog food that appeals to common breed-specific issues. For example, goldens often deal with hip or elbow dysplasia, so foods that include joint supportive supplements like glucosamine are a plus. As with any dog, your golden’s food of choice should aim to meet his individual health needs. 

Should golden retrievers eat grain-free food?

The vast majority of golden retrievers do not need a grain-free diet. However, if your veterinarian recommends grain-free food or your dog has a bona fide grain allergy or intolerance, there are plenty of grain-free food options available.

How much food should you feed a golden retriever?

The amount of food your dog needs on a daily basis varies based on his individual needs, but generally speaking, 30 calories per pound of body weight is a good place to start. You need to consult your veterinarian along with the manufacturer’s recommendations on your dog’s food to determine a personalized figure for your pooch. 

When should golden retriever puppies switch to adult food?

Golden retriever puppies should switch to adult food around 12 to 16 months of age, but be sure to discuss this with your vet. Larger breeds, like golden retrievers, tend to require a puppy diet for longer than smaller breeds do. 

When is a golden retriever considered a senior?

Most dogs, including golden retrievers, are considered senior at 7 or 8 years of age.

   

Our furry friends deserve the best of the best. Hopefully, this guide helps you nail down a fitting meal for your goldie!

Do you have a golden retriever at home? Has he tried any of these foods? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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