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Is Grain Free Food Bad For Golden Retrievers

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Taurine And Grain Free Information

Grain Free Dog Food…Dangerous?

Recent studies have shown that many golden retrievers are being diagnosed with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy . If left untreated congestive heart failure and possibly death can occur. In the past this wasnt a problem for goldens. It occurred in larger dogs.

We have compiled information from several sources for your education and awareness and for your discussion with your veterinarian.

It is felt that the grain free foods may play a major part in taurine deficiency. Peas, beans, pea starch, legumes, potatoes and sweet potatoes have replaced the grains as the carbohydrate in most dog foods. These block the function of taurine.

The veterinary cardiologists and nutritionists are unanimous in their assessment that the best way to get your dog out of danger in this situation and to protect your dog from future problems is to buy your dog food from a company this is committed to resolving this problem and is involved in the scientific research.

UC Davis lead veterinarian researcher, Dr. Josh Stern, head of the study at UC Davis indicates the following dog foods satisfy the criteria:

Purina Pro PlanRoyal Canin Golden Retriever Eukanuba

The key is to read the ingredients and Taurine should be listed.

Here are two educational documents which replace the recommendation we have for Dog Food Advisor due to more current / updated information concerning this recent issue.

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.

What To Offer Your Golden Retriever As Treats

If youve gotten this far, and you havent discovered any allergies or obesity problems , its fun to treat them!

Foods you can treat your dog with

In addition to store bought treats, here are some foods you might find around the kitchen that you can indulge your pup with:

  • Apples
  • Turkey
  • Watermelon
  • Wheat and grains
  • Yogurt

Looking for something your dog might go crazy over? Freeze dried liver treats are cheap and can be broken up into small bits as a high-reward training treat.

Weve also put together an entire list of our best approved healthy dog treats, that cover everything from fully vegetarian, to steak jerky. Take a look if thats something youre interested in.

Read Also: How Often Bathe Golden Retriever

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.

Should Golden Retrievers Eat Grain Free Food

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

Grain Free Real Buffalo-Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food by Merrick.

If you want a well-balanced diet that has exceptionally high levels of proteins and moderate amounts of fats with only 30% carbs, then Merrick’s Grain Free Dry Dog Food in Real Buffalo Sweet Potato formulation is always a good choice.

Question from categories:golden retrieversretrievers

Read Also: Gravitas Golden Retrievers

Hills Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Hills Science Diet Dry Dog Food is always based on scientific researches so this type of dog food formula is created based on a unique blend that would maximize the effectiveness of the dog food.

This type of dog food is a good choice for large dogs with a weight of 55lbs or more. You have to remember that bigger dogs would require more support for their bones and joints so this dog food is made specifically for them.

This dog food contains a blend of omega 6 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals that would provide a glossy glow to the coat of your dogs.

What to Like About It

The best thing about this dog food is that mobility issues can be resolved through its formula. Since it is focused primarily on bones and joints, this a good option for adult dogs with bone and joint problems.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken And Brown Rice Recipe For Large Breed

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Barley

The top favorite of mine and many other Golden Retriever owners is this savory recipe by Blue Buffalo. Deboned chicken is the first ingredient, which means there are a lot of good proteins for your golden boy. You get high-quality ingredients without fillers and by-products.

All the ingredients are carefully chosen to give your baby the right amount of calories without increasing mass. One of the main reasons this is my favorite is the fact that this formula is created with good overall health in mind. It has glucosamine and chondroitin for joints, calcium, and phosphorus for teeth and bones, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for healthier coat and skin. Highly Recommended!

Also Check: Golden Retriever Grooming Kit

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.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb & Rice Recipe For Large Breed Adult

5 Best Dog Food For Golden Retriever in 2020.

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Whole Brown Rice, 5. Split Peas

Lamb and rice is something your retriever wont be able to resist. So, if you have a picky eater in the house, you need to get this one from Nutro Wholesome Essentials. While this is a meat-first recipe, high-quality varieties of rice add a lot of benefits to it. There are no by-products or fillers to cause any allergies or issues. You also get omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for your goldies coat and skin. You wont find a formula more wholesome than this one.

Read Also: What Size Crate For Golden Retriever

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.

What To Feed A Golden Retriever

Tom Thorpe Blog

The Golden retriever is a popular breed in the US, according to statistics. This breed is known for its soft golden coat and gentle temperament. Owners rave that these dogs have goofy personalities as well. But do goldens require a special diet? You might be wondering what to feed a Golden retriever. Every dog is prone to develop certain illnesses, and Golden retrievers are no exemption. They can suffer from inherited joint problems, certain types of cancer, as well as allergies. Choosing high-quality nutrition for your Golden retriever may mitigate some of these health risks. However, many of these health issues cant be detected in growing puppies. Thus, every breeder must follow proper practices. Although golden retriever puppy food wont dramatically eliminate these risks, giving them the right nutrition from the start can be a protective factor against any health issues they may develop as an adult.

Recommended Reading: How To Shave A Golden Retriever

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult


Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult is one of 14 dry recipes included in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, barley, peas
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for:Adult goldens

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult derives the bulk of its animal protein from chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 13% fat and 50% estimated carbs which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

The classic, grain-inclusive, large breed design contains no meat by-products and no BHA or other cancer-causing synthetic preservatives. Easily recommended for adult goldens.

Sample buyer reviewOur dog had developed a bit of a gas issue with another leading brand that featured mostly red meat, so I wanted to go back to a food with mostly chicken. After a lot of research, I settled on Wellness Complete, and weve been very happy with it. Our dog readily goes for the food, and for the first time with any kibble, she will eat a few pieces out of our hand as a treat. I am impressed by the nutritional balance and the glucosamine and chondroitin since she is 80+ pounds, and it seems to have eliminated the gas problems.

Expert Tips For Canine Nutritional Management

Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers: The Good &  The Bad ...
  • Understand your Goldens activity level
  • Age plays a role when choosing a formula
  • Your dogs breed needs to be taken in to consideration
  • Assess your dogs medical condition
  • Consult with your veterinarian for the best nutritional advice
  • Look for brands that assist with nutritional management for dogs with medical conditions.
  • Dog food formulas need to be tested using the AAFCO feeding trial testing methods instead of by formulation
  • The nutritional adequacy statement needs to be on the label
  • The dog food formula that you choose needs to be complete and balanced
  • The formula needs to be for the correct life stage of the dog

When it comes to choosing the best dog food for your Golden Retriever, keep in mind that a high-quality dog food will have better results in helping to keep your Golden healthy than a lower quality dog food.

Goldens may have diseases which are heavily impacted by their diets like inflammatory bowel disease or atopic skin diseases. These can be helped by feeding the correct diet, since Goldens with health conditions will need to follow a diet that is appropriate to their medical conditions. Always consult with your veterinarian for advice before changing diets.

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Reading The Nutritional Label

Food labels seem to all look the same, but there are two things that set them apart.

  • A label with Complete and Balanced: food must meet AAFCO minimum requirements to fit the complete nutritional needs of your dog. Even if this sounds funny, this is a legitimate seal of approval to see!
  • Flavor Guidelines: there are actually guidelines to what a label can say about its flavor. Heres what they look like, using venison as an example.
  • If it says
    Just enough to be able to taste

    How To Switch Food Brands

    The other day I was talking to someone who was complaining that her puppy was having lots of stomach issues.

    She said shed tried several different food brands and her puppy had problems with all of them!

    Well, in this case, its probably not the food thats the problem

    Its the fact that she kept switching foods so quickly!

    Dogs have sensitive stomachs so if you want to switch foods, you need to do it slowly.

    You should take about a week to transition from the old food to the new brand.

    For example, on day one, their meal might be 10% new food, 90% old food.

    On day two, their meal might be 25% new food, 75% old food.

    Youd slowly add in more new food, and give them less of the old food, until youve fully made the switch.

    And this rule applies whether youre switching to a different brand of puppy food, or switching them from puppy food to adult food.

    If you dont make this transition slowly, youll probably be dealing with a lot of diarrhea .

    Read Also: Golden Retriever Pedigree

    What Makes Food High

    Unfortunately, when reading the ingredient list on a food label theres no way to tell the quality of the ingredients.

    Chicken from one brand could mean free-range, twice-daily-massaged, serenaded by John Mayer hens, while chicken from another brand could mean chicken roadkill outside of the egg-laying mill.

    Dogs are omnivores, so a good dog food will have a mix of meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables with little preservatives, added salt, sugar, or artificial colors.

    AAFCO regulates dog food so approved foods will have this on their labels: is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

    Talking to your vet and researching dog food brands can also help you determine which foods are high quality.

    What To Do If You Think Your Dog Has Dcm

    Ask a Vet: Dogs-Drooling, allergies, linking grain-free food to heart disease in Golden Retrievers..

    To err on the side of caution, you may want to steer clear of grain-free diets for your pets, unless they have been tested positive for grain allergies. At University Animal Clinic, less than one percent of our food allergy pets develop an allergy to grains. Keep in mind, our food allergy dogs make up less than 10 percent of our population, which is quite a small number.

    If you are having concerns about your pet and cannot come into our clinic, check out the World Small Animal Veterinary Associations website. This is an outstanding resource that presents information about DCM and grain-free diets in a way thats easy to understand. Wed also suggest sticking to larger food brands for your pet because they have scientists and nutritionists behind them.

    If you think your pet has DCM, contact a veterinarian for a thorough physical examination at our University Animal Clinic immediately. Symptoms of DCM include:

    • Increased heart rate

    Read Also: What Is The Lifespan Of A Golden Retriever

    Do Goldens Have Food Allergies Or Food Sensitivities

    Any dog can develop an allergy. We didnt find any information to suggest that Golden Retrievers are more prone to food allergies or sensitivities than other dogs but they can occur.

    If your dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity its a good idea to work with your veterinarian to identify your dogs food triggers.

    In the long run, thats usually faster and less expensive than trying to figure it out by trial and error yourself.

    You and your veterinarian can put your dog on an elimination diet to figure out which ingredients are causing your dog problems. After you ave identified the specific ingredients you can select a food that should work for your dog.

    Depending on the trigger ingredient, you might need a hypoallergenic or prescription dog food or you may be able to buy the food you need minus the bad ingredient online or in a pet store.

    Also Read: Best Dog Food For Allergies

    Golden Retrievers can have a skin condition called ichthyosis which is seldom severe. It looks like fish scales and its the result of a mutation.

    Its specific to Golden Retrievers. Breeders sometimes call it puppy dandruff and puppies usually outgrow the flaky skin as they get older, though it can occur in adult dogs. Its not an allergy and its not contagious.

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