The Best Food For Golden Retrievers: Nutrition And Diet Tips
The Golden Retriever is one of the most lovable, loyal, and fun-loving dogs. It’s no wonder this breed is so popular! If you’re the proud owner of a Golden, you want to keep them as healthy and happy as possible for as long as possible. And one of the best ways to do that is through proper nutrition.
Take a stroll through the dog food aisle at your local pet store or supermarket, or scroll the products on sites like Amazon and Chewy, and you’ll easily be overwhelmed by the amount of choices you’ll see. There are all sorts of different brands Blue Buffalo, Purina Pro Plan, and countless others not to mention grain-free diets, diets made for different types and sizes of dogs, and foods made for puppies or senior dogs.
How do you know what to choose?
Read on as we learn why good nutrition is so important for your pet as well as what you should look for and avoid when selecting your dog’s kibble. Then, you’ll be able to decide on the best food for your Golden Retriever.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Struggle With Weight
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 60 percent of Golden Retrievers are considered overweight or obese. The Morris Animal Foundation further built upon this by conducting a research program dedicated to better understanding why Golden Retrievers struggle with obesity more than other breeds.
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study followed the lives of over 3,000 pups. It took a close look at the behavioral trends, environmental considerations, and health records of participants in order to identify canine risk factors for certain diseases.
Researchers determined there is a direct correlation between the amount of exercise a dog gets and their weight . The study showed that 74 percent of dogs reported to be very active have healthy weights, versus just 54 percent of dogs that are sedentary.
What you might find more surprising is that there is also a direct relationship between obesity and the age of a Golden Retriever at the time it was neutered or spayed.
While not all studies agreed, the Morris Foundation found that only 20 percent of Golden Retrievers that were never surgically altered became overweight. Of the pups that were spayed or neutered under six months of age, approximately 40 percent were tracked as obese. Around 30 percent of those over a year old when they had the procedure were classed as overweight.
How To Help Your Dog Lose Weight
56% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and that excess weight is tied to an astonishing array of health problems.
When it comes to preventing obesity, or even the slow creep of excess pounds, simple awarenessknowing what your dogs weight should be, and keeping on top of any fluctuationsis the first step .
You can seek your vets counsel on your dogs ideal weight, but a quick way to assess good canine condition at home is to ask:Does your dog have an hour-glass shape when you stand behind them and look down?Do they have a waist?Can you easily feel their ribs?
If youre getting three nos, theres a good chance your dog needs to lose weight. So, now what? Here, some vet-approved tips for helping your dog safely shed excess pounds and keeping them in good condition.
The food factor
For dogs, as for humans, losing weight really comes down to two things: food and exercise. And for a dog owner trying to manage or reduce their dogs weight, food is most important, by far.
Weight loss begins and ends at the food bowl for dogs and cats, Ernie Ward, DVM, and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention , tells us. Weight loss for humans and dogs is 60-70% diet and 30-40% exercise.
For dog owners who have active lifestyles, its easy to overestimate the impact of physical activity on weight maintenance. So even for active dogs, its important to establish clear guidelines for daily caloric intake.
Get specific with how much youre feeding
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How Can I Transition To Weight Loss Dog Food For My Golden Retriever
I have not gone through the overweight problem but yes I have gone through the skin allergies for Max and at that time, I had got a new food by hillspet and that had a transition guide on the product, which was like this:
Day 1 to Day 2 I served him 80% Old Food & 20% New FoodDay 3 to Day 4 I served him 50% Old Food & 50% New FoodDay 5 to Day 6 I served him 20% Old Food & 80% New FoodDay 7 I served him 100% New Food
This helped me a lot, I gradually changed the food and that worked out for me, you can also transition your weight management food in this way!
Side Effect Of Medication
As we know, Golden Retrievers are at higher risk of various diseases owners medicate them to ensure their healthier lifespan. But some of the medications have side effects like allergies, weight gain, coat thinning, and tiredness. As a result, they become fat.
Besides this, obesity is also a side effect of birth control treatment in dogs. And a study also states that spayed or neutered dogs are an early age are 50% more susceptible to being obese. Thus, spaying or neutering your Golden Retriever too early can make it fat.
However, after you know about the causes, are you looking for ideas to avoid obesity in your pal? Read further to get your answer.
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How To Choose The Best Weight Loss Dog Food For Golden Retrievers
There are a lot of factors to consider when you choose dog food and in this case, not only weight management would solve your problem. You have to look for high-qualityingredients and their , rich in protein, weight loss/weight management formula, taurine for a healthy heart, and no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and more few things.
You should also focus mostly on your dogs needs as advised by your vet. The dog breed, age, size, are they going under any health issues, are they active or not, and few more such factors.
Ill be going to the main factors that you should look at, lets learn more about it!
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How Can I Tell If My Golden Retriever Is Fat
The best way to tell if your Golden Retriever is fat is by looking at him from different angles and feeling for his ribs.
Look at your dog from the side.
His tummy should tuck up from the chest between the ribs and hind legs.
He shouldnt be the same width all along his body. There should be an upward curve from the chest to the hind legs.
His tummy shouldnt be a straight line, or worse, sag down between his legs.
Stand above your dog and look down at him. You should see an inward curve at the waist.
If this curve isnt visible from the side or from above, your Golden Retriever is probably overweight.
Another way to tell is by feeling for his ribs. Put your hands on either side of his rib cage.
Using gentle pressure, you should be able to feel each of his ribs.
If you cant feel them at all, your Golden Retriever is overweight.
Start at the chest, and run your hands along his body.
If you cant feel his waist, this is another indication that hes overweight.
When Can Your Call Your Golden Retriever Obese
Usually, all overweight Golden Retrievers arent obese. Thus, you should measure your pets fat content to know whether it is obese or not.
However, a guideline to know weight your pal is obese or not is:
- Too thin: 5% body fat
- Underweight: 5-15% body fat
- Ideal body weight: 16-25% body fat
- Overweight: 25-35% body fat
- Obese: 35% body fat
If you are sure your Golden Retriever is obese, you might want to help it to lose weight. Dont you?
Thus, what should you do to help your pal lose weight?
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Golden Retriever And Its Struggle With Obesity
Since Golden Retriever has an irresistible urge for food, obesity is a usual problem for them. Moreover, as Golden Retrievers evolved into family dogs, they gained skills to please their owners like tugging, licking, hugging, cuddling, and pawing. Thus, their owners reluctantly fall for their persistent pleasing behavior and always give them more treats that make them obese.
Further, according to the 2012 clinical survey of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, their veterinary healthcare provider classified nearly 62.7% of Golden Retrievers as overweight or obese. Besides this, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study conducted on 30,000 Golden Retrievers by Morris Animal Foundation also claimed that these breeds are at higher risk of obesity.
Moreover, the larger body frame and greater susceptibility to various health issues also make Golden Retriever more likely to become obese.
Cushings disease affects the adrenal glands of these dogs. And thus, it results in the overproduction of glucocorticoids and obesity.
In addition, due to unhealthy food habits, canine diabetes is common in these breeds. As a result, these dogs gain excess fat and become obese.
Besides this, Golden Retrievers are expensive and high-maintenance dog breeds. Thus, their offspring needs a lot of care. So, to prevent them from breeding, the owners neuter or spray them. But since obesity is the side effect of birth control, 50% of spayed or neutered dogs are more likely to get fat.
Wet Foods Vs Dry Foods
Both wet and dry foods are the most common types of dog foods you will find in the market. They are available in commercial quantities and come with different formulations for your dog breed, age, and size.
One of the many reasons dog owners prefer wet and dry foods is that they can easily access and store them. Plus, they contain most of the nutrients that your dog needs for growth.
The major difference between wet and dry foods is the moisture or water content. Wet foods contain more moisture than dry foods.
With dry food, pets eat lots of calories in small quantities. In contrast, your pet must eat twice or triple times as much wet food to gain similar calorific values as dry foods.
Wet foods are suitable for young Golden Retrievers that are just weaning off their mother’s milk. Because they contain about 60 to 85 percent moisture content, your pet can easily adjust to eating wet foods.
If your dogs are elderly, picky, have problems with chewing, or drink very little water, wet foods may also be your best bet. The moisture in the wet food will hydrate your pet and provide the nutrients they need.
Because wet foods are usually more palatable, your dogs may eat larger portions per meal. And due to the high water content, they need to take in more quantities per meal to get the ideal amount of nutrients they need.
Here are some of the downsides of wet foods.
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Causes And Culprits Of Obesity In Dogs
Weight gain in dogs may happen for several reasons from age, lack of exercise to overfeeding. Let’s start with an overview of the risk factors for dog obesity:
1. Age: As dogs get older, they’re more likely to become overweight.
2. Breed or genetics: Some breeds have lower energy needs or may be more genetically predisposed to higher weights. Accepted official breed standards may contribute to the obesity epidemic too a European study found that nearly 1 out of 5 show dogs had a BCS over 5.
3. Neutering or spaying: Neutering or spaying can cause weight gain in both males and females. This is most likely related to the influence of sex hormones on appetite, exercise, and perhaps, most important, the loss of lean body mass following the procedure.
4. Overfeeding: Calorie-dense dry foods and commercial treats, in particular, are culprits. Also note, one large daily meal could lead to overfeeding. Go with more frequent mealsand remember that portion control is essential.
5. Lack of exercise: It’s just as important for dogs to get moving daily as it is for humans. Dogs who get less exercise should eat fewer calories than active dogs.
6. Sex: Female dogs are more likely to be overweight than male dogs, and prevalence increases after spaying.
Is Your Dog Getting Too Many Calories?
Do exercise affect weight gain?
Could a medical condition be causing excess weight?
Do Golden Retrievers Get Fat Easily
It might seem as though your Golden Retriever is always hungry.
Biologically, dogs are descended from wolves and have an innate drive to constantly scavenge for food.
For domestic dogs, this means begging and mooching.
Its easy to get in the habit of giving your dog an extra snack or two when youre enjoying some together time on the sofa.
Tough as it may be, as pet owners, its our responsibility to not give in.
Snacks can cause weight gain and make exercise more difficult, which leads to gaining even more weight.
However, there may be other reasons why the Golden Retriever seems to have a problem with weight gain.
The Morris Animal Foundations ongoing lifetime study of 3,000 Golden Retrievers in the U.S. found that the probability of obesity was higher in Goldens who were spayed or neutered at a young age.
Theres also an indication that tendency toward obesity may be genetic in some breeds.
A study done at the University of Cambridge found a deletion in the canine POMC gene is associated with weight and appetite in Labrador Retrievers and flat-coated Retrievers.
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Best Weight Loss Dog Food For Golden Retrievers In 2022
56% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese, it is really one of the serious problems in dogs! If your Golden Retriever is overweight and has gained some non-essential fats on the body, I can help your overweight Goldie! Feed good nutrition and go for a proper weight management diet for your elegant looking dog. Choosing the best weight loss dog food for Golden Retrievers is really tough but Ive done the hectic part for you!
Health risks for an overweight dog are serious and every pet parent should know it! Diabetes, damage in joints, orthopedic problems, heart disease, and increased blood pressure are a few health problems caused by dog obesity.
This can reduce their quality of life and potentially shorten it too.
Dont get stressed out! In fact, 63% of Golden Retriever are overweight, according to the data collected by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
You are not alone there are more than 63% overweight Goldens on the globe and few of them have loosed their weight and Im sure your Golden will also lose his/her weight!
Theres a solution for your overweight Golden, heres it:
- Keep your dog active.
- Monitor your Goldens weight.
- Go for a Weight-Management diet.
- Feed fewer carbohydrates and more protein.
Now there are numerous brands out there representing themselves as the best weight-management dog food but Ill be genuinely listing out the best weight loss dog food for golden retrievers.
Weeks 12 Weeks Socialization
During the socialization process, the Golden Retriever will start to exploreand fill out its body as it finds its place in the world. This particular period in a Golden Retrievers life is essential for its growth.
Although some breeders tend to keep the pup with his or her mother, there is some other speculation of letting them loose and into the wild for exploration .
During this period, the Golden Retriever will also start eating some solid foods and be able to play and start to house train! This is a very developmental period indeed!
From three to twelve weeks, a Golden Retriever can reach up to 22 or 23 lbs in size !
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How To Help A Dog Lose Weight
The most critical factor in any dog weight-loss plan is dietand both the type of food and the amount matter. Exercise is always encouraged, but exercise alone is usually insufficient for substantial weight loss. What’s really important to remember is that weight loss needs to be a family or household affair. It takes dedication and commitment from every one of your dog’s guardians to ensure he stays on track . “A dog’s failure to lose weight is usually related to an owner’s failure to feed him the appropriate number of calories,” says Shmalberg. If you’re ready to learn how to put a dog on a diet, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to help your dog lose weight, step by step.
Overweight Dog Diet Plan
Once your vet confirms that your furry friend needs to slim down, it’s time to put your overweight dog diet plan into action. Here are 10 steps to get you there: