How To Choose The Best Dog Food For A Golden Retriever
Goldens Retrievers are generally healthy dogs. Still, there are some genetic health issues to keep in mind:
- certain cancers
A healthy diet may help to prevent some of these diseases. The best way to select a quality dog food is to consult your veterinarian and read the dog food label to ensure your Golden Retriever is getting the proper nutrients. Generally, a large breed dog food will be a good fit for an adult Golden Retriever.
The Golden Retriever Guide: Food Personality Exercise And More
Year after year, the golden retriever ranks among the top three most popular dog breeds in the U.S. and its not exactly hard to figure out why. Known for their friendly and people-loving personalities, goldens are as famous for being the perfect family pet as they are for their picture-perfect looks.
The typical golden is SO friendly, SO easygoing, and SO adorable that they can give the impression that theyre a low-maintenance dog. But, like any breed, they demand ample mental stimulation, exercise, and training. Goldens can be pretty chill compared to some breeds but most wont be content to laze the day away on the couch.
Read on to learn the basics about golden retrievers and golden retriever mixes, and insight from owners and experts to help you live the happiest possible life with this sunny companion.
Basic golden retriever breed facts
Golden retrievers are medium-to-large sized, sturdy, and muscular in build but with broad heads, short ears, and friendly, intelligent eyes. What really makes these dogs stand out, however, is that lustrous golden coat.
As the name suggests, golden retrievers always have a golden coat, though it can range in color from a light cream-colored gold to a dark reddish gold . Dogs of this breed often exhibit a thick ruff around the neck along with feathering on the legs, stomach, and tail. Some goldens have slightly wavy fur while others have completely straight coats.
Typical golden personality profile
Golden Retriever Allergies And Food
Dogs can develop food allergies at any age. Those sensitivities can cause short- and long-term health issues if left unchecked. Watch for these symptoms, which may indicate a food allergy:
- Digestion problems, including vomiting or diarrhea
- Frequent ear infections
- Swollen ears, lips or eyes
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your golden retriever to the veterinarian and ask for an allergy test. Dogs can be allergic to plenty of common food ingredients, including beef, dairy, chicken, wheat and soy. You might try an elimination process to determine the cause of your dogs allergies, though first consult with your veterinarian before changing your dogs diet. A vet can rule out other possibilities, like infection or illness.
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Should I Feed My Golden Retriever Table Food
Feeding your Golden Retriever table food is not the best practice but a small amount of dog healthy table food is fine. Some example table foods that are healthy for them are carrots, blueberries and plain yogurt.
Just be aware that feeding them too much table food can throw their entire diet out of whack. They may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals like they do from their dog food. You will need to reduce the amount of dog food they get and table food should never be more than 10% of their diet.
What To Look For
The reason I always recommend commercial dog food over homemade is that the former is carefully prepared to fulfill the dietary needs per meal. And it is all right there on the label. From the amount of proteins and fat to the total caloric content per cup.
Here is what you should look for on the label.
- Lean Meat The best food for Golden Retriever is one that has meat as its first ingredient, and that meat should be lean. Poultry is preferable over red meat because it has the right amount of fat as well.
- Low Fat Keep in mind that large breeds have a slower metabolism, which means they are more susceptible to weight gain. I would say go for anything that has around 10 to 15% fat. However, you should focus on fiber as well because it can help with fat metabolism.
- Good Carbs No active breed can thrive without carbs. Look for quality vegetable sources such as potatoes or other tubers. These sources are also rich in minerals and vitamins essential for healthy bones and teeth.
- Fatty Acids Goldies are quite furry, which means you should look for fur-friendly ingredients as well. Fatty acids from fish can do wonders for the skin and coat of your baby.
- Fillers and Additives: Go for a filler-free food that doesnt contain artificial flavors or additives. This should also be your criteria for snacks and treats.
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How Much To Feed A Golden Retriever Adult
Golden Retriever adults should eat around twice a day. What is more important is the portion size of those meals. The portion size will vary depending on age, weight, activity level, and health conditions of your Golden Retriever. After being spayed or neutered, your Golden Retriever may not need as many calories so consulting with your veterinarian would be a good idea.
Golden Retrievers reach their full height and weight between 12 and 18 months old. They will usually weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. When your Golden reaches adulthood, their caloric intake should decrease.
During adulthood, they should be eating two scheduled meals a day. If they do get hungry between meals, give them a good, healthy snack that will tide them over until the next meal. Check out our article Best Dog Treats for Golden Retrievers for some healthy treat ideas.
Golden Retriever Homemade Foodrisks
Here are the most common risks of cooking homemade meals for your dog.
- Not understanding the nutritional needs of your Golden Retriever
- Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
- Not preparing a balanced meal
- Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
- Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
- Not understanding your dogs life stages nutritional needs
- Neglecting your dogs health conditions
In fact, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, most homemade dog food recipes lack essential nutrients while others contain dangerously high amounts of nutrients.
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science found that 48% of home-prepared diets for dogs had no precise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of pet owners lacked information on how much to feed the animal.
Even more alarming is that 30.4% of pet parents admitted to changing the recipe on purpose, 40% didnt measure the proportions of the ingredients properly, and 28.3% didnt use recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acids. In a survey published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, veterinary professionals reported that 97% of obesity cases can be traced to how owners feed and care for their pets.
Your vet should be able to provide you with trusted recipes, provide nutritional guidance, and/or recommend a dog food delivery service for your Golden.
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How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Your Golden Retriever
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You love your golden and want whatâs best for him. But there are so many choices.
The pet food industry has exploded in recent years.
Itâs so confusing when you go to the pet store or look on-line to choose a specific food for your special pup.
Of course, thereâs more than one food that will help your dog grow properly, be healthy, and thrive.
Iâll discuss some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a great food.
Iâll also recommend some foods that have been highly rated for large-breed dogs.
Remember though that, if you intend to switch your dog to a new diet, do so over the course of seven to 10 days to help avoid intestinal upsets or diarrhea.
Best Food For Senior Golden Retrievers
At around the age of 8 years old, you should look to switch your Golden Retriever over to senior dog food. Like most breeds, the Golden Retrievers nutritional needs will change as they age. As they approach their senior years, you may need to look for a food that contains additional fiber or probiotics to aid in digestion.
Most Senior formulated dog foods will have a smaller calorie count in order to match your dogs lower activity levels as they get older. Youll want to continue splitting feedings as well to ensure your Golden doesnt overeat. Below are our favorite foods for Senior Golden Retrievers.
This senior kibble is made with Chicken meal, Chicken cartilage and Herring meal so all of his senior protein needs are met, and they are also naturally high in glucosamine and chondroitin which help to support his aging bones and joints. Brown rice and other oat-based ingredients offer healthy carbohydrates to keep him feeling fuller for longer.
Full of Californian avocado oil, not only is this kibble high in omega fatty acids, but it is high in antioxidants to support his immune system and overall health. Dont be too concerned with the high amount of omega fatty acids, though, as this recipe has the lowest fat content. Flaxseed and biotin can also be found in the ingredients list, so you can be sure that he will have the best golden jacket in town.
We love that this senior kibble is full of omega fatty acids and avocado oil which will promote a healthy golden coat.
What Are The Top Dog Foods To Feed A Golden Retriever
Whether theyre in their golden years or you just brought a new puppy into the family, you want your Golden Retriever to be as healthy as possible to ensure a long, happy life. Part of this is making sure they are eating well and that their food meets their nutritional needs.
So how do you know which food that is? The best dog food to give your Golden Retriever depends on several factors including your pets age, activity level, underlying health issues, and more.
Best Overall: Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food is the best overall food for Golden Retrieverson this listand it was an obvious choice. This dog food was made specifically for Golden Retrievers and is designed to meet the nutritional needs of these gorgeous, friendly dogs 15 months and older. The specialized kibble is designed for your Golden Retrievers straight muzzle and scissor bite to encourage chewing . Additionally, this formula includes essential nutrients to reinforce your Golden Retrievers skin barrier and support his healthy skin and coat. Your favorite pals heart health is supported with taurine, EPA, and DHA, which all help to promote healthy cardiac function. You wont have to worry about your Golden gaining weight with this food because it has precise calories and fat content designed specifically for big dogs. This extra attention to the formula helps to support your dogs weight management.
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Best Overall Dog Food: Purina Pro Plan Large Breed
Purina Pro Plan Large Breed provides an overall nutritious diet to your Golden Retriever. This food comes highly recommended by our staff veterinarians. The number one ingredient is chicken which provides the protein needed to help develop strong muscles and healthy body function. It is also formulated with live probiotics that helps with your dogs digestive and immune systems.
The Purina Pro Plan adult product line has 19 different dry foods to choose from. The food is specially formulated to fit your Golden Retrievers needs. You can choose food that is good for sensitive skin or stomach. It also has different choices of meat like chicken, beef, or lamb. Having a variety of different formulas to choose from is beneficial due to different medical needs that your dog may have at certain times in their life.
Purina Pro Plan is the highest quality line of Purina dog food apart from the prescription diets. This food is highly digestible promoting optimal nutrient absorption to give your Golden the energy they need.
The nice thing about Royal Canin dog food is the exact calculations of how much to feed your Golden Retriever based on their activity level for the day . On the back of the bag, there is a chart that shows these exact amounts. They can do this because there is a veterinary nutritionist on staff who chooses high quality ingredients for a nutritionally balanced meal.
Symptoms Of Dcm May Include The Following:
If your Golden Retriever shows any signs of DCM, consult immediately with your veterinarian. Improvements in DCM take from 3-6 months. Your veterinarian may recommend taurine supplementation. Its always best to consult with a veterinary cardiologist if your Golden Retriever has DCM.
Nutritional research indicates that taurine is generally not considered an essential amino acid for dogs, because these animals can synthesize taurine from cysteine and methionine. Nearly all the grain-free products had methionine-cystine values above the minimum nutritional requirement of 0.65 percent for adult maintenance food for dogs published in the AAFCO Official Publication , via FDA
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Learn More About Golden Retriever Care With Golden Meadows Retrievers
Your golden retrievers health is important to you, which is why deciding on the right dog food is a priority. A healthy diet makes a huge difference for your dogs immune system, muscle development, energy, temperament and overall well-being. When choosing the best healthy dog food for golden retrievers, pay close attention to the ingredients, labels and language choices. Look for wholesome ingredients and keep an eye on your dogs appearance and behavior to ensure the diet you choose keeps your pup happy and healthy.
Diet is only one element of a healthy, happy dog. To learn more about golden retriever care, check out our dog blog. Here at Golden Meadows Retrievers, were golden retriever specialists. Were members of the Golden Retriever Club of America and the International All Breed Canine Association . We understand golden retriever needs, and we can give you expert advice about their care. If you have any questions, or if youre interested in adopting one of our puppies, contact us at Golden Meadows Retrievers.
Consider Your Dog’s Age
Puppies and adult dogs have different nutritional needs, so be sure to choose a food that is appropriate for your dog’s age. Puppy foods will have higher levels of protein and fat to support growth, while adult foods will be lower in calories to help maintain a healthy weight.
Senior golden retrievers may need a food that is easy to digest and has added joint support.
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Eagle Pack Adult Large And Giant Breed Dog Food
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed is one of 7 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Eagle Pack product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice, oatmeal, rice
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Profile: Maintenance
- Best for:Adult goldens
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Adult obtains most of its animal protein from chicken meal and pork meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 13% fat and 51% estimated carbs resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
We like the inclusion of multiple probiotics to promote healthy digestion and flaxseed to help deliver above-average omega fatty acid content for better joint health. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewWe used grain free before, but the risks led us to go wheat/soy free instead. Eagle Pack is fantastic. Our 6 year old Lab loves it and her coat is shiny shes eaten nothing but Eagle Pack since she was 4. She is a very active dog who retrieves every day, yet she thrives on amounts at the low end of Eagle Packs recommendation. Of the super dog foods, EP is consistently less expensive and yet we find it fully equal in taste and performance to the most expensive brands. We are committed users.
What Is A Good Golden Retriever Feeding Schedule
For a Golden Retriever puppy, the best feeding schedule is once in the morning, noontime, and in the evening. For example, you could feed their first meal at 7:00 am, lunch at noon, then dinner at 5:00 pm.
Planning their mealtimes around your mealtimes will often make it easier for you and the puppy. Make sure to give them plenty of time after eating to got to the bathroom a couple of times before heading to bed. Hopefully, this will help them sleep for a longer period.
After about six months, your Golden Retriever can go down to two daily feedings. This usually occurs once in the morning and once in the evening. They can usually last about 12 hours between meals. If it goes past 12 hours, they could become nauseated.
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Hills Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oat Recipe Dry Dog Food
For a scientifically-formulated puppy food that has exactly what your fur baby needs, look no further. Hills Science Diet for large breeds contains a specific combination of vitamins and nutrients that supports joint and muscle health while controlling bone growth in dogs up to one year old. Antioxidants will boost your goldens immune system so they can discover the world while staying healthy, though theyre only a supplement not a replacement for your puppys veterinary shots.