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Best Grain Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

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Holistic Select Senior Health

5 Best Dog Food For Golden Retriever in 2020.


Senior Health is one of 11 dry recipes covered in our review of the Holistic Select product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, chickpeas, peas, lentils, dried ground potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for:Senior goldens

Holistic Select Senior Health obtains the better part of its meat protein from chicken fat. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 13% fat and 48% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

We also note this dog food contains no generic animal by-products, artificial colors or chemical preservatives. The recipes below-average fat content combined with its inclusion of both chondroitin and glucosamine make it an ideal option for senior goldens. Highly recommended.

Final Words On Best Dog Foods For Golden Retrievers

Your canine friend surely deserves the best possible diet. Outlined above are some of the best dog foods for golden retrievers. It should get you started on finding the right fit for your dog.

As for me, my best overall choice goes to the Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food.

As far as dog food goes, this product is loaded with a range of premium ingredients, which provide essential nutrients to help promote the pups health.

It is formulated to provide the unique nutritional needs of large dogs like a golden retriever. This Wellness Large Breed dog food is doubtless the way to give your furry pals both what their bodies need and taste buds crave.

I hope that the above guide helps you find the right dog food for your Golden Retriever.

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Our Second Choice: Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy Food

Our 2nd Choice

According to our staff veterinarian, Dr. Amanda Jondle, DVM, the second-best puppy food for Golden Retrievers is Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy Food. Royal Canin is designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Golden Retrievers 8 weeks to 15 months old. There is added vitamin E to support the immune system as an antioxidant and protects the skin. It reinforces the skin barrier with essential nutrients to support healthy skin and a shiny, golden coat.

They have designed their kibble specifically for Golden Retriever puppies. The kibble is shaped for a Golden Retrievers straight muzzle and scissor bite to encourage chewing.

The formula lists chicken by-product meal as their first ingredient. This would be a downside considering many other brands list whole chicken as the #1 ingredient.

Top Ingredients:

  • Makes diets specifically for individual breeds
  • Only comes in dry kibble and only 1 bag size option of 30lbs.
  • Supports immune system
  • Protects skin with essential nutrients

Recommended Reading: Do Golden Retrievers Need To Be Groomed

How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Your Golden Retriever

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

You love your golden and want whats best for him. But there are so many choices.

The pet food industry has exploded in recent years.

Its so confusing when you go to the pet store or look on-line to choose a specific food for your special pup.

Of course, theres more than one food that will help your dog grow properly, be healthy, and thrive.

Ill discuss some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a great food.

Ill 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.

Top 7 Best Puppy Foods For Golden Retrievers: Reviews

Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers: The Good & The Bad

Below, you will find in-depth reviews of seven puppy foods that meet the nutritional needs of golden retriever puppies and are extremely tasty.

Want to feed fresh food to your golden retriever puppy but dont have time to prepare fresh and wholesome meals? If this is the case, youll be happy to discover what Nom Nom has to offer!

The nutrition begins when you choose which food youd like to give your dog. There are several recipes to choose from, all developed by veterinary nutritionists and cooked at Nom Noms on-site kitchen using fresh, restaurant-quality whole-food ingredients.

Food is portioned based on your dogs unique profile, including age, weight, health problems, and any goals such as weight loss. You get a free consultation with a veterinary nutritionist when you order, so your golden puppy gets exactly the right nutrients.

Once your dogs weekly menu is ready, food is sealed into single-serving packages, after which it is delivered to your home under refrigeration for optimal freshness. Just like your own fresh food, you keep your dogs meals in the freezer or refrigerator until mealtime. Simply open a pack, serve it up, and watch your pet enjoy every morsel. You can choose a single favorite or treat your dog to variety packs.



  • Cost is above the market average

Read this in-depth Nom Nom review to learn more about this dog food brand and discover their top three dog food recipes!











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Age Golden Years Or Puppy Times

How old is your super furry family member?

Age is one of the most important things to consider before settling on a food.

Different age retrievers have different nutritional requirements.


Although retrievers are generally seen as medium-sized dogs, technically, theyre classed as a large breed, and large breed puppies dont need as much calcium in their diet.

Too much of it and their bones can grow too quickly which will inevitably lead to mobility problems in later life.

Its also a good idea to avoid high concentrations of phosphorus too.

Middle Aged

Unlike us, retrievers dont get the urge to buy a swanky car when they hit middle age , they simply change their diet ever so slightly.

This is the easiest stage to feed your dog as you can stick to what they like.

Unless your pooch has digestive or weight issues, you can focus on protein-based foods that will help them develop lots of lean muscle.

The more lean muscle your dog has, the less pressure there will be on its bones, and the faster it will burn calories during exercise.

Golden Oldies

For all the lovely senior softies out there, youll need to take a trip to the vet.

Diets will vary greatly from older dog to older dog, but generally speaking, when theyre getting on a bit, golden retrievers need some extra proteins and fiber.

To keep them in tip-top shape, you may also need to augment their diet with supplements.

Nutrition For The Outside

One of the most visible components of your dog is its fur.

Youve probably noticed that a nice, shiny coat gets a lot of attention from dog lovers! Nutrition plays a vital role in this area.

A large percentage of the protein your puppy takes in goes towards maintaining the coat. Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for healthy skin and fur.

Also Check: Service Golden Retrievers

Best Puppy Foods For Golden Retrievers

Originally bred in Scotland, Golden Retrievers are extremely sensitive and amiable home companies. These multi-taskers are disability assistance dogs primarily but also trained as hunting or detection dogs. They are calm and equally friendly to strangers and hence, not purposeful guard dogs. These food lovers are likely to get overweight, which can cause disabilities like hip dysplasia, heart diseases, patellar luxation, and osteochondritis.

Still not sure about an appropriate puppy food for your Golden Retriever? Considering your doubts, the following are the reviews of the five best puppy food for Golden Retrievers.

Things To Look For In A Dog Food

Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers in 2020

Having said that, there are some general guidelines one can follow.

For instance, less expensive dog foods typically have lower quality ingredients. The contents are often inexpensive, low-grade protein sources, like animal by-products, and fillers.

Fillers are frequently things like corn meal, rice flour, or seed hulls.

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What About Feeding Your Golden Retriever A Raw Diet Or Homemade Food

Other diets in the study mentioned above included raw diets and homemade diets.

Heres what Dr. Lisa Freeman had to say about it: We also emphasize that changing to a raw or home-prepared diet may not be sufficient to improve cardiac abnormalities and may increase the risk for other nutritional deficiencies or infectious diseases.

Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend With Probiotics Adult Dry Dog Food

This brand is made with a high-quality protein, and contains probiotics for digestive and immune health. With real chicken as the first ingredient , vitamin A and linoleic acid for healthy skin and coat condition, Purina Pro Plan Savor is a high-quality dog food formula.


  • Well-known and reputable dog food brand
  • Delicious flavor for picky eaters
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
  • Scientifically tested by veterinarians, scientists and behaviorists
  • Honest and reliable information
  • Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures to ensure a well-balanced, high-quality dog food for adult dog maintenance.


  • None

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Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult


This Large Breed Adult formula is one of 13 dry recipes covered in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, ground white rice
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for:Adult goldens

Diamond Naturals Large Breed gets the better part of its meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 14% fat and 52% estimated carbs creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

We like the fact that this particular formula contains zinc proteinate and 3 other chelated minerals, costly items not typically found in such a budget-friendly, high quality option. A top pick for adult goldens. Easy to recommend.

Sample buyer reviewWe have seen great changes in our dogs on this food. My beagle is getting older and slowing down. With the Diamond food, he is running all over and back to jumping on the couch and bed again. My male Great Pyrenees had digestive issues that cleared right up. My female Great Pyrenees was always getting skin issues with a rough coat. She isnt scratching and her coat is gorgeous. Thank you Diamond for giving my dogs their lives back.

Bonus Dog Food Ingredients To Watch Out For

Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers: The Good & The Bad ...

Just like people, Golden Retrievers need nutritious ingredients like coconut oil, Omega -3 fatty acids, L-Carnitine, fruits and veggies. Heres what to look for:

  • Kelp offers additional minerals and vitamins. It is also rich in calcium and maintains skin and coat health in your Golden.
  • Chelated minerals that are chemically attached to a protein, thus making them easier to digest.
  • Chicken fat provides Omega-6s through linoleic acid.
  • Oatmeal contains B-vitamins and dietary fiber for gut health.
  • Flaxseed contains omega-fatty acids and is also rich in soluble fiber when in meal form.

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Purina One Smartblend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

PetListed Verdict:

Purina One is a solid choice for those looking for high quality dog food at an affordable price. The food has 30% protein content, with real turkey as the first ingredient, and Omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy coat.

Key Details:

  • 30% protein content, made with real turkey and venison
  • Turkey is the #1 ingredient
  • Good for active adult dogs, with balanced nutritional content
  • Includes Omega-6 for healthy skin and coat
  • Well priced compared with other dog foods

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.

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What To Look For In A Quality Dog Food For Labrador Retrievers

The first ingredient of any dogs food should always be whole meats. Food should also have fruits and veggies for optimum vitamins to support the immune system.

Essential fatty acids from natural sources help brain development in puppies, support the skin and coat, and may help keep joints supple.

If your lab is sensitive, limited ingredient foods may help keep digestion under control. In the later years, your lab may really need help controlling weight so limited ingredient foods could help with that.

They need good protein to keep up with their activity levels, so make sure theres a lean source of protein if theyre on weight control.

What Foods Are Bad For Golden Retrievers

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Not all food will be good for your Golden Retriever. You know some of these foods that we humans consume can be toxic to your dog. So which foods are bad for Golden Retrievers?

Chocolate and Cocoa.;Chocolate has theobromine thats hard to metabolize for Golden Retrievers. After ingesting chocolate, your Golden Retriever can start displaying poisoning symptoms like vomiting, muscle tremors, and diarrhea.

Garlic.;Garlic is one of the dog food bad for Golden Retrievers. The reason being, garlic predisposes your dog to hemolytic anemia.

Grapes and Raisins.;Grapes and raisins are toxic for many dogs as they can cause kidney failure.

Wild Mushrooms.;Many wild mushrooms are toxic for dogs like Golden Retrievers. Symptoms of toxicity include loss of vision, muscle tremors, drooling, and loss of limb function.

Avocado.;Even though avocado looks appealing, its not one of the best dog food for Golden Retrievers. ;Avocado has persin, which causes fluid build-up inside your dogs chest.

Cherries.;Golden Retrievers who eat lots of cherries are likely to get cyanide poisoning characterized by upset stomach and lethargy.

Alcohol.;Alcohol is not good for your dogs heart, liver, and brain.

Macadamia Nuts.;Macadamia nuts are toxic for most dogs, the Golden Retriever included. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and bloat.

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Taste Of The Wild Ancient Grains Dog Food


Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains is one of 4 dry recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Duck, duck meal, chicken meal, grain sorghum, millet
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Other recipes: Bison formula, fish recipe, lamb, and more
  • Price: $$
  • See all 4 available recipes

Taste of the Wild Wetlands derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh duck and both duck and chicken meals. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat and 36% estimated carbs which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

A new, grain-inclusive product line from one of the industrys most popular brands. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer reviewI have a Border Collie who grazed on the lawn for the past 8 years because we believed the hype that Grain Free was best. Due to several allergies and the information that some animals need grains, we tried Taste of The Wild Ancient Prairie with Ancient Grains. She stopped grazing the lawn and her allergic reactions ceased. She also no longer wipes her butt on my carpet because her stool consistency has improved. I would highly recommend this food for any canine owner. Im just sorry it took us so long to wise up. With the overall improvement in her health, we will continue to feed this food and will probably offer it to any future pets.

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Breed Health Nutrition Puppy

Golden Retrievers, like all large-breed puppies, are disposed to malnutrition and developmental orthopedic diseases, including osteochondrosis , hip dysplasia, hypertrophic osteodystrophy , and panosteitis. Although there is a definite genetic element to these conditions, there are nutritional risks that play a large role during the puppy years. These include an excess of calcium intake and rapid growth.

Its essential that large-breed pups are fed a diet that prevents these issues, which is why we think the best dog food for Golden Retriever pups is Royal Canin Golden Retriever Breed Health Nutrition Puppy. Everything about this formula meets the needs of this awesome breed.

The mineral balance and calorie content are ideal for preventing joint and bone issues and the kibble is even designed in such a way to suit Golden Retrievers teeth. They have whats called a scissors bite, with a long snout and mouth. Royal Canin kibbles are thin and square-shaped for optimal digestion and chewing.

Because theyre a slow maturing breed, its recommended to feed Goldens this food until theyre around 15 months old.

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Special Considerations For Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are very active. They are most active as puppies and young adults but they need exercise throughout their lives. Walking, swimming, and good, long runs provide excellent exercise for these sporting dogs. Because of their high level of activity, they do need quite a few calories in their daily food.

Golden Retrievers can be prone to hip dysplasia and some other health issues.

Golden Retrievers are one of the breeds that has been connected to food-related dilated cardiomyopathy . The FDA is currently investigating a possible link between grain free dog foods and a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. At this time there is no firm conclusion about a connection but you may wish to consider these findings when choosing a food for your Golden. The FDA has not advised anyone to stop feeding grain free dog foods. However, they have suggested that owners might cut back on foods with high amounts of peas and some other ingredients that have been used in place of grains.

Some Golden Retrievers have developed food allergies. Do watch your dogs health and reactions after meals, especially if you have recently changed dog foods. If you notice anything unusual, consult your veterinarian.

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