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Is Grain Free Dog Food Good For Golden Retrievers

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Best Dog Food For Golden Retriever Puppies

5 Best Dog Food For Golden Retriever in 2020.

Overwhelmed by the multiple choices of dog food for puppies? Aside from choosing one thats specifically made for large breeds, check out the other essential ingredients these brands offer that will benefit your Golden Retriever puppy.

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food

Top 3 ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Wheat Gluten

With calcium levels at only 0.97% and phosphorus at 0.82%, its a safe option for pups. This recipe is grain-inclusive and formulated for easy digestion of Golden Retriever puppies of up to the age of 15 months.

Get a complete look at this recipe by .

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dog Food

Top 3 ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal

This has glucosamine that promotes healthy joints. This formula uses real chicken for its base, boasts omega-rich fish oils, live probiotics, 1.1% calcium, and 0.9% phosphorus. It will ensure good gut health and support for your pups immunity.

Get a complete look at this recipe by .

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 3 ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice

Made with real lamb for growing pups, this filler- and corn-free formula is fortified with L-Carnitine, Omega-6, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Its enhanced with superfoods and has 1.2% calcium, and 1.0% phosphorus.

Get a complete look at this recipe by .

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Puppy

Top 3 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice

Get a complete look at this recipe by .

A Look At The Ingredients

The following chart shows that these cases may have something to do with common ingredients in grain-free dog food. The findings show high instances of cases reported in foods with ingredients such as peas, lentils, and sweet potatoes.

Image courtesy of FDA

And, to complicate the situation even more, some brands were reported more frequently than others, and some dog breeds also had more cases reported than others.

Image courtesy of FDA

With so many unknowns, its hard to pin down the exact cause of or contributor to these cases. But, as Dr. Patton shares, we should consider how these foods impact our dogs health, and we shouldnt limit our concerns to the risk of DCM. There are other problems that can result from some dog foods that have been labeled grain-free.

Heres What Petfoodology Tufts Had To Say:

However, recently, some astute cardiologists noticed higher rates of DCM including Golden retrievers and in some atypical dog breeds. They also noticed that both the typical and atypical breeds were more likely to be eating boutique or grain-free diets, and diets with exotic ingredients- kangaroo, lentils, duck, pea, fava bean, buffalo, tapioca, salmon, lamb, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas. Even some vegan diets have been associated. It has even been seen in dogs eating raw or home-prepared diets, via Dr. Lisa Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Tufts University.

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What Is The Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers have special nutritional requirements. It is, therefore, essential to pay careful attention to the kind of food that you feed to them.

The best food should contain appropriate proteins, carbs, vitamins, and essential minerals for complete and balanced nutrition.

Remember, each dog is unique, and as such, the food you give should meet your dogs nutritional needs based on your age, activity level, and health condition.

All the foods on our list are high-quality and make excellent choices for your Golden Retriever. However, if you dont know where to start, give Royal Canin Golden Retriever a try.

Taste Of The Wild Dog Food

10 Healthiest &  Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers in 2021

Taste of the wild is a high-quality dog recipe rich in quality meat proteins essential for your dog. This brand has strict and safety protocols that ensure everything your dog consumes is safe. As a highlight, the taste of the wild formula has breed-specific formulas that will be good for your Golden Retriever.

Key Benefits

  • This roasted bison and venison dry dog food is crafted with real meat as the #1 ingredient and is high in protein to help support bones, joints, and lean muscles.
  • Crafted with vitamins and minerals from real fruits and superfoods, omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, and nutrients for the energy your furry friend needs to thrive!
  • Contains species-specific K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics, along with antioxidants and prebiotics to help support healthy digestion, immune system health, and overall health and wellness.
  • Made in the USA by a family-owned brand that only uses quality ingredients from trusted and sustainable local and global sources.
  • Made without grains, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.

Recommended Reading: Golden Retriever Outline

What Makes For A Balanced Diet For Golden Retrievers

A balanced diet would provide all the nutrients your dog needs and would prevent deficiency or malnutrition, which means contain all the macro and micronutrients he needs, these include the following:


Protein is a necessary nutrient for your pets health. It gives your dog enough calories to be healthy. Proteins also aid in the development and repair of bodily tissues, muscles, and organs, as well as the growth of new skin cells, hair, hormones, and enzymes in your dogs.

The protein level of your golden retrievers food must be at least 30%. Meals including protein sources such as lambs, chicken, turkey, fish, meat, yogurts, and fried eggs should be considered.


A serving of high-quality dog chow should include 30 to 35 percent carbs. Whole wheat, brown rice, oats, and potatoes are all good carb food for Golden Retrievers.


Lipids are necessary nutrients for both puppies and adult dogs, much like protein and carbs.

The fat level of your dogs food should be between 12 and 18 percent.

Shedding can be reduced by include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in your dogs diet. Instead, it helps your dogs fur seem shinier, healthier, and more lustrous.


Mineral-rich food for your Golden Retriever includes calcium, phosphorus, potassium, salt, magnesium, zinc, iron, and others.

These minerals are present in vegetables, fish, molasses, beans, wheat bran, bone meal, organ, and muscle meats.



Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult Dog Food

Unlike the other dog foods on the list, this is a dog food formula made for senior dogs ages 7 and above. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult Dog Food is the best choice for senior dogs because all of the nutrients that an adult dog needs can be found here.

It provides enhanced botanical oils that would help improve the mental alertness of senior dogs and it will improve their sharpness as well. The first ingredient is still protein so you wont have to worry about protein deficiency issues.

This dog food is a combination of chicken as the first ingredient along with omega 3 fatty acids and glucosamine that would help improve their joint health, mobility and help build more lean muscles.

It has a combination of 29% protein and about 14% fat that would help the senior dogs in maintaining their ideal condition.

What to Like About It

The improvement in their mental alertness and sharpness is one of the most important benefits that this formula can provide. Senior dogs are starting to respond slower so this is the perfect choice for them.

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Hills Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken And Barley

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Pea Fiber, 4. Whole Grain Wheat, 5. Cracked Pearled Barley,

Chicken first formulas are usually preferred for large breeds like Golden Retriever, but pair it with the right grains and you have a complete balanced meal for your golden. That is what you get from Hills Science Diet large breed formula. Your dog will get glucosamine and chondroitin. There is plenty of Omega -6 fatty acids. There is vitamin C and E. Most importantly, there is a blend of antioxidants to aid a healthy immune system. And did I mention there is a good amount of healthy carbs to keep them happy and active?

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large

Grain Free Dog Food…Dangerous?

The top five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. The food contains a minimum of 38 percent protein.

The Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed recipe contains added glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy hip and joint function, essential for large-breed dogs.

Omega fatty acids from salmon oil help ensure a healthy skin and coat.

A unique raw-infused kibble recipe is loaded with protein.

Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, apples, and blueberries are also included to boost your dogs immune system

This formula has a large kibble size.

The recipe has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and is gluten free.

Also Check: Gsd Golden Retriever Mix

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.

The Culprit: Boutique Pet Foods

Pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients, are whats being linked to DCM, which leads to reduced heart pumping function and increased heart size. The alterations in heart function and structure can result in severe consequences such as congestive heart failure or sudden cardiac death. While the most common cause of DCM is genetic, on rare occasions other factors can also result in the condition, particularly in breeds that are not frequently affected.

Stern says the disease is now showing up unexpectedly in other breeds, such as the golden retriever. The common link unifying these cases is their diets. He began noticing the trend two years ago while treating many dogs with nutritionally mediated DCM he realized that they were all eating similar diets. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to pet owners and veterinarians about the potential association between the diets, which have become quite trendy, and DCM. The FDA continues to research this issue in an effort to help identify the exact dietary factor causing the problem.

Read Also: When Can Golden Retriever Puppies Go Up And Down Stairs

Which Food Do I Choose

Ask 10 different dog owners for their opinion on what the best dog food is, and youll likely get 10 different answers!

There will always be those who buy the cheapest brand on the market. Some will opt for the most expensive, while others will simply go with a brand name they recognize.

The truth is, there is no single best food for puppies in general. The key is to find the right food for your particular puppy.

How Much Food Should I Give My Golden Retriever

5 Best Dog Food For Golden Retriever in 2020.

There is no hard and fast rule about how much food you should be giving your pooch. The quantity depends on various factors like the dog food brand, the breed, the age, and most importantly the activity levels of the dog.

Generally, you do get the measurement guide for quantities on every dog food bag by all the brands. However, it is better you err on the lower side and feed a lesser than stated.

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The Nutritional Requirements For Golden Retrievers

Dogs have certain nutritional requirements and large and small dogs have their own healthy diet. If you are thinking of buying cheap dog foods, think about it carefully. Your large dogs require high-quality ingredients as these items are the only ones that can provide the right nutrition for your dogs. The first thing that you need to do is to know about the nutritional needs of your large dogs.

Animal Protein. High-quality animal protein is a very important component in the best dog food for Golden Retrievers. They require more protein as it helps build up their muscles and in order for them to live healthily. You have to make sure that 18% of your dogs diet is composed of high-quality animal protein.

Healthy Fats. Healthy fats are also needed but not too much. You have to check if the dog food has at least around 5% healthy fats.

Omega Fatty Acids. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are also required so make sure that you look for dog foods with a high concentration of omega fatty acids.

Limited Carbohydrates. It is not a bad idea to let your Golden Retrievers eat a small number of carbohydrates, but you should limit it. The carbohydrates should come from digestible sources.

Vitamins and Minerals. You have to check the vitamins and minerals contained in the dog food.

Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

Our 2021 Picks: Best Golden Retriever Dog Foods
  • No meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • Antioxidants to keep the immune system strong
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin

Overall Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers Our choice for the best dog food for Golden Retrievers is Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food. Deboned chicken and chicken meal provide good meat protein for your dog. Formulated for adult dogs, this food contains oatmeal, ground barley, and ground brown rice for a good selection of complex carbohydrates. Chicken fat is a good source of energy for your dog. Probiotics such as chicory root extract help your dogs gastrointestinal system digest the food better. And chelated vitamins encourage your dogs system to absorb more nutrients.

Peas are the fifth ingredient in this food and sweet potatoes are listed too low in the list to be a concern. We dont think these ingredients would be a problem for most dogs if you are concerned about the FDAs warning.

This Wellness Complete Health formula is considered a top tier food and receives good ratings and many sites. Its available in 5-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb bags.


This food is very high in calories so you will need to watch how much you feed your Golden.



  • Peas are the third ingredient but they appear to be the only questionable ingredient in the food

Sold in 12.5 ounce cans in cases of 12 cans.



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Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

A good golden retriever food diet must be made with high-quality proteins. Wellness Core dog food contains a healthy blend of different protein sources such as chicken and turkey. It also contains salmon oil with a blend of vegetables and fruits.

This formula is free of meat by-products or fillers. It is also free of artificial ingredients. The dog food is made especially for adult dogs to help them maintain a healthy weight and coat.

It comes in different sizes to make it more affordable. You can get bags of 4 to 26 pounds according to the size of your dog.

Its ingredient list contains lots of nutrient sources, and this makes it a healthy option for your golden retriever.

What we liked

What we didnt like

  • May cause vomiting in some dogs

How Many Calories Do They Need


Report from the National Research Council of the National Academies shows that a golden retriever should be given food with about 989 to 1,272 calories per day.

This figure applies to dogs that arent active. Active dogs need 1,353 to 1,740 calories per day. Make sure that you check the number of calories your golden retriever takes daily.

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Top Rated Dog Food For Golden Retrievers Reviewed

If youve ever wondered about feeding your Golden Retriever a fresh diet but you dislike the idea of raw food and the dangers that can come with it, then youre definitely going to want to take a look at what NomNomNow has to offer.

The nutrition begins when you choose which food youd like to give your dog. There are four delicious recipes to choose from for your Golden the popular Heartland Beef Mash, Chicken Cuisine with the highest protein, Porkalicious Potluck for dogs with allergies, and Tasty Turkey Fare for those picky eaters.

Each recipe is made with healthy meat-based protein and human-grade ingredients, with no weird byproducts or questionable preservatives. The food is easily digestible, and you can be rest assured that your dog is getting the right amount of nutrients because every recipe is finished off with an expertly formulated nutrition blend

Youll soon see the health benefits that come with eating fresh food, such as a healthier, shinier coat because of the fish oil in the NomNomNutrient Blend, smaller and firmer stools because of the highly digestible ingredients, and improve energy and mood

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



  • Cost is above market average.





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