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The Best Puppy Food For Golden Retrievers

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Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food Review

At a Glance

  • Fiber: 5%

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Recipe is a high-quality diet that hits all of the high points a Golden Retriever puppy needs from its food. Enriched with DHA to promote brain development and with the correct balance of calcium to phosphorus, this food formulation is a nutritional powerhouse that is optimized to support a puppy’s growth.

When it comes to high-quality nutrition, it is not difficult to see why Wellness Complete Health has been included on the list of the best dog foods for Golden Retriever puppies.


  • Owners share that they are pleased with the growth rate of their puppies when fed this diet on a consistent basis.
  • The stool quality of puppies fed Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Puppy is considered to be excellent. Puppies digest this formulation very well.
  • Many owners report that this food is so tasty that they are able to use it as both a meal option and a training treat.
  • Several owners indicated that their puppies saw an increase in energy when regularly fed this diet.
  • Owners like that this food contains grains, giving them an excellent quality diet to assist their pup with ideal digestion and to help prevent DCM.


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food Review

At a Glance

  • Fiber: 5%

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula was specifically designed with the needs of large breed puppies such as the Golden Retriever in mind. This food contains many powerhouse supplements including DHA, ARA, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote optimal development of the Golden puppy’s developmental systems.

This diet, among the best dog foods for Golden Retriever puppies, contains the proper ratio of calcium and phosphorus to promote correct bone growth. The kibble pieces are of a suitable size for the Golden Retriever puppy to easily chew and swallow.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is free from corn, wheat, soy, and by-products.


  • Owners indicate their puppies love this food and clean their bowl with every meal.
  • Several owners remarked that this food did not have an unpleasant smell unlike some other brands they had used in the past.
  • Puppies fed this diet regularly did not suffer from gastrointestinal distress.
  • Owners report that puppies fed this diet have coats that are shiny, soft, and healthy.
  • Most owners feel this dog food offers excellent nutrition at an affordable price.


Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

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Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice, 3. Whole Grain Corn, 4. Fish Oil, 5. Fish Meal

Athletic dogs deserve a specific diet crafted to boost their performance. And that diet is precisely what the Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20 Dog Food aims to provide. It features a unique blend of 30% proteins and 20% fats that prompts muscle growth and nourishment while amplifying your golden retriever’s energy level with fats.All of the dog food’s ingredients are of the finest quality, including real chicken for proteins and numerous sources of fats. Moreover, the dog food also contains a bunch of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and glucosamine, which ensure that your retriever gets a complete and holistic diet.

Natural Balance Lid Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Adult formula
  • No artificial colors or flavors

The Best Food with Limited Ingredients – Natural Balance is widely respected when it comes to limited ingredient diets. If your Golden Retriever has a food allergy or food sensitivity and needs to avoid certain common dog food ingredients such as chicken, beef, or other things, Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food is a great choice. Lamb is the only source of meat protein in the food, making it easier for your dog to avoid meat proteins that could be a problem. Rice, in several forms, provides most of the carbohydrates. Brown rice is also a good source of fiber.

In addition, this limited ingredient formula is noteworthy for what it doesn’t contain. It has no corn wheat, or soy. And, it is pea-free. It has no fillers and no artificial colors or flavors. It’s a good choice for dogs with sensitive digestion.

If you think your Golden Retriever has an allergy or food sensitivity, it’s always recommended to see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can test your dog to find out definitely – and find out what, if any, ingredients might be bothering your dog. That makes it much easier to know which ingredients to avoid.

This Natural Balance food is available in 4.5-lb, 14-lb, and 28-lb bags.


  • Made for large breed puppies
  • Contains DHA for good brain and eye development
  • Precise calcium and phosphorus levels for proper bone development






Your Guide To Preventing Disease By Choosing The Best Dog Food For Your Golden Retriever

The Best Puppy Food For Golden Retrievers

  • Stay away from artificial flavors, colors or preservatives such as propylene glycol
  • Formulas should offer real meat or chicken instead of meat meal or chicken meal
  • Must contain a good source of calcium
  • Dog food formulas must meet AAFCO nutrient requirements for the correct life stage
  • Must be manufactured by a reputable company
  • Dog food formulas should offer antioxidants, healthy ingredients, Omega 3’s, and the right amount of micro nutrients.
  • The formula should not contain hormones or steroids
  • Dog food should not be overly processed
  • Dog food formulas should state which life stage they are intended for
  • Ingredients should not contain unnamed meat sources
  • Ingredients should contain veggies and fruit

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

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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!

Should You Give Your Golden Retriever Dry Kibbles Wet Food Raw Diet Or Homemade

Dry kibble

It’s the top choice for feeding dogs, simply because it is convenient. But be careful as low-quality kibbles are often packed with fillers, which can cause health problems.

Look for dry kibbles with different recipes that will suit your Golden Retrievers breed size, age, and lifestyle.

Wet food

Although they’re generally more appealing for dogs, it’s also more expensive even if they have about the same nutritional content as kibbles do.

It’s usually suggested for dogs that have trouble eating, like older canines whose teeth have been removed. It can also be given to a dog recovering from an illness or surgery.

Be wary of canned dog food that claims to be “all meat” because your pet needs more than just meat to stay healthy. This type of food has a limited shelf life and doesn’t offer the same benefits that kibbles do, like dental health.

You can choose to mix the two if you have a picky dog who refuses to eat plain kibble.


It’s believed that a raw diet can help minimize human food waste because it usually uses organ meat that humans generally don’t consume.

We should be aware of the risks and benefits of raw food diet for dogs, though. It takes a lot of effort to prepare and can contract certain viruses. While salmonella wouldn’t be a problem for your Goldie, it will be for you and the people in your home. Extra care should be taken to source for healthy and ethically farmed meat.

Home-cooked dog meals

Natural Balance Lid Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain

The best dog food for Golden Retriever dogs that are active, of an average weight, and in good condition is Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Fish Adult Formula. It’s an excellent choice for adult Retrievers that are over 15 months old up to 7 to 8 years of age.

Because they’re prone to itc????hy, dry skin caused by inhaled allergens or atopic allergens, the Limited Ingredients Diet from Natural Balance with fish and sweet potato sup????????port a healthy coat and skin. The salmon and omega-3 fatty acids will reduce any skin irritations too.

If your vet suspects your pup has a food allergy, this isn’t the best choice for an “elimination diet” type diagnosis.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid When Buying Dog Food For My Golden Retriever

In addition to allergens, artificial flavors, and preservatives, stay clear of additives like propylene glycol used to add moisture in dog food. This additive can cause anemia in pets. Also avoid TBHQ that causes irreversible DNA damage, and propyl gallate, a carcinogenic compound.

Becky Roberts

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The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Whole Grain Chicken Recipe

10 lb box makes 40lb of Food – $55.85 at Chewy

The Honest Kitchen REVEL uses the dehydration method to preserve the quality of all ingredients. With the ingredients also being finely diced for easier consumption, this brand not only offers affordability, but a high-quality dog food formula.

Nutrients, phytonutrients and minerals are also well- preserved through the dehydration process with a 10 lb. box delivering up to 40 lb. of food.

All the ingredients are natural and human- grade. It is a high-quality dehydrated dog food. The website adds that that “all ingredients are guaranteed 100 percent Human Food Grade” and that it “has been the only pet food manufacturer in the U.S to have proved to the FDA that every ingredient it uses in its products are suitable for human consumption.” This dog food is easy to prepare, and easy to take along when traveling or showing with your Golden Retriever.


  • Organic whole food grains like oats, barley and quinoa
  • Fresh veggies and fruits like bananas, green peas, carrots, kelp, parsley, celery and more
  • Easy- to- mix with water formula


  • Grain-free may be a problem today depending on further results from the FDA

For more on The Honest Kitchen’s comment about DCM:

Holistic Select Chicken Meal And Oatmeal Recipe For Giant And Large Breed

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Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Rice, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Oats, 5. Chicken Fat

Holistic is a brand trusted by thousands of pet owners and preferred by thousands of pets. I like how they have a different product for pets with different needs. And when it comes to your golden’s needs, Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal & Oatmeal is a perfect choice. In addition to a good amount of proteins, you a good source of protease that actually helps in protein break down. That means your pet will not just get the essential nutrients, it will also get more out of those nutrients. Plus, there are healthy probiotics to keep things gentle for those with sensitive tummies.

Choosing The Best Dog Food For Your Golden Retriever Can Prevent Illnesses

Canine hip dysplasia develops during their growing stage. Providing food that is formulated for a large-breed puppy will minimize the risks of developing this disorder.

Proper nutrition can also ward off diabetes, high cholesterol, and even cancer.

Obesity can considerably shorten their lifespan and reduce their quality of life. A well-balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients can prevent these problems from manifesting.

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

Feeding a Golden Retriever Puppy: Your Goldie Feeding Guide

35 lb bag – $43.49 or $58.31 for 47 lb bag at Chewy

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

Hills Science Diet Dry Dog Food Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipes


Ingredients:Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, vitamins , Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas, minerals , Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli.

American Journey Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain

At a Glance

  • Chicken Meal
  • Turkey Meal
  • Fiber: 6%

Available at an excellent price point, American Journey Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy is a dry food that is both nutritious and delicious for the Golden Retriever puppy to enjoy. The food, consistently ranked one of the best dog foods for Golden Retriever puppies, is grain-free, taking its carbohydrates from easily digestible fruits and vegetables.

The primary protein source is chicken in its whole form. This protein is reinforced by the addition of chicken meal. The calcium and phosphorus ratio in this diet has been carefully calibrated to support correct growth. DHA has also been added to this food to encourage proper brain development.

American Journey is free from grains, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.


  • Owners share their puppy’s stool quality greatly improved with a change to this diet.
  • Puppies displayed an eager readiness to eat this food, enjoying its flavor immensely.
  • Several owners shared that the kibble pieces in this diet are the perfect size for large breed puppies.
  • A few owners noted reduced itchiness in their puppies with allergies once transitioned to this diet.
  • Owners like that this diet contains no grains, making it a great choice for Golden Retriever puppies with skin and stomach sensitivities.


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Learn More About Golden Retriever Care With Golden Meadows Retrievers

Your golden retriever’s 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 dog’s 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 dog’s 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, we’re golden retriever specialists. We’re 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 you’re interested in adopting one of our puppies, contact us at Golden Meadows Retrievers.

Why Specific Feeding Requirements Are Necessary For Golden Retrievers

Before you learn what to feed your adult Golden Retriever or the puppy, make sure you also know the specific feeding requirements as well. An optimum diet can save your Golden Retriever from lots of common health problems. A proper dog food helps to avoid hip or elbow dysplasia, as well as other joint-related issues.

For Goldies, cataracts and retinal failure frequently occur, along with heart issues. Slow metabolisms caused by a lagging thyroid, as well as several sarcomas are often seen with these dogs as well.

Proper feeding addresses these concerns prophylactically and lets the Golden Retriever parents know we are doing everything we can to promote healthfulness.

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

Other diets in the studies above included raw diets and homemade diets.

Here’s 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.”

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb & Rice Recipe For Large Breed Adult

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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 won’t 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 goldie’s coat and skin.  You won’t find a formula more wholesome than this one.

Quick Look At Our Top Picks For Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers:

  • Specifically formulated for Golden Retrievers
  • Support healthy cardiac function
  • High levels of protein for lean muscles
  • Added calcium for strong bones
  • Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Purina employs veterinary nutritionists to formulate their foods
  • The company has outstanding quality control measures
  • Affordable price tag
  • Eukanuba foods are formulated by veterinary nutritionists
  • The company’s facilities have superior quality control
  • Made in the USA
  • 92 percent of the protein comes from animal sources
  • 60 percent animal ingredients

In this article we will tell you about the best food for your Golden Retriever. We’ll discuss:

  • Our choice for the best food to feed your Golden Retriever.
  • Four other very good dog foods for your Golden.
  • How we chose these foods.
  • The dietary needs of Golden Retrievers.
  • Special nutritional requirements for Goldens.
  • How much and how often you should feed your dog.
  • And, food allergies and food sensitivities in Golden Retrievers.
  • Sit back and we’ll get started.

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    Things To Look For In The Best Dog Food For Golden Retriever Puppies

    Best Food For Golden Retriever Puppy Dogs

    Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best food for a Golden Retriever puppy:

    • Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list

    High-quality proteins are the foundation of any healthy diet for a Golden Retriever puppy. Whole meats are best, but meat meals also offer an excellent source of condensed proteins.

    • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements

    All foods benefit from enrichment from helpful supplements which can help the diet to be more balanced and effective. The supplements to look for in a puppy food for a Golden Retriever are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

    DHA is also an excellent addition to a puppy food, assisting with brain development.

    • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food

    All foods appropriate for the Golden Retriever puppy should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.

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    Our Golden Retriever Puppy Feeding Guide Frequently Asked Questions

    Having learned the basics about your puppy’s nutritional needs, you’re finally ready to start shopping. Once you’ve followed our advice above to select a quality Golden Retriever puppy food, follow these tips for feeding your puppy:

  • How Much Should I Feed a Golden Retriever Puppy? – When it comes to feeding your Golden Retriever puppy, you want to feed him enough to fuel his growth and development but not so much that he grows too quickly. Large-breed puppies need their growth controlled because if they grow too fast it could put excess strain on their bones and joints, predisposing them to musculoskeletal issues in adulthood. The best thing you can do is choose a large-breed puppy food and follow the feeding recommendations according to your puppy’s age and weight. Keep in mind that you may have to adjust his feeding every few weeks as he grows.
  • How Many Times Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat a Day? – When your Golden Retriever puppy is less than 6 months old, it is recommended that you divide his daily portion into three meals spaced evenly throughout the day. This should be adequate to meet his energy needs without supporting excessive growth. Once he reaches 6 months of age, consider dropping him down to twice daily feedings that you will continue in adulthood.

    How To Select The Right Dog Food Formula For Your Golden Retriever

    Image Credit: Pixaby

    All dog food formulas are regulated by the FDA and the U.S. This provides protection to pet parents and pooch. A high-quality dog food depends on the ingredients within the dog food.

    Today, dog food formulas are always changing so as to update current formulas with new research. There are also numerous high-quality dog food formulas to choose from, which makes it all the more difficult for pet parents.

    There are also many alternative meat options for protein-focused nutrition that offer duck, alligator, venison, rabbit and boar supplemented with chickpeas, sweet potatoes or lentils.

    So Which Puppy Food Should You Get For Your Golden Retriever Puppy

    You should make this decision on a puppy-by-puppy basis. If you have a puppy that looks like he’s going to be a whopper, choose the large breed puppy food. If you have a smaller puppy, get the regular puppy food. Female Golden Retrievers are more likely to be on the smaller side, if that helps.

    Also, the bigger your puppy, the longer you should plan on feeding him or her a puppy food. If you have a large puppy that’s eating a large breed puppy food, it’s not unusual to continue feeding this kind of food until your puppy is about 14-15 months old.

    A 60-pound puppy eating regular puppy food may transition to an adult food by the time she’s 12 months old.

    If you would like things to be less complicated, you could simply feed your Golden Retriever puppy a large breed puppy food, regardless of size.

    Since Goldens can have some issues with hip and elbow dysplasia, this probably wouldn’t hurt. The important thing is to keep your puppy slim and encourage slow growth, regardless of the food you feed.

    As long as you are feeding a food that is complete and balanced, you should not have to add any supplements or nutrients to your Golden puppy’s food.

    Best Dog Foods For Golden Retrievers For Peak Health And Vitality

    If you’re a loving and responsible pet parent, you want to look after your dog as well as possible, making sure they’re healthy and happy.

    It’s impossible to be in full control of your dog’s health, as illnesses and injuries can just happen, but one thing you can control is what your pup eats. Choosing a high-quality food that your dog thrives on can make a huge difference to their health.

    But, with so many options out there, which should you pick?

    This is a tough one because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. A top-quality food that one dog thrives on might make another sick. Conversely, food that one person sees as cheap or lower-quality might keep a dog in perfect nutritional health.

    Although it’s important to do your research, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about finding the one perfect food because there are plenty of excellent options out there. Once you find a good quality food that fits within your budget and suits your dog, then you’re laughing!

    *The above links lead to current prices and customer reviews on Chewy.

    Read on to discover why we made these choices, and for buying advice to follow that will make sure you get the right product for your dog.


    Now that you’ve read the above, you should know a bit more about what makes a good dog food and what makes a bad one. However, you still might be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choice out there.

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