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What Food Do Golden Retrievers Eat

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Best Food For Golden Retriever Puppies

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There are so many options for Golden Retriever puppy food that it can be quite overwhelming.

And when you add in the strong opinions people have about dog food, the confusing marketing about whats good and whats bad, and the importance of choosing a high-quality food it can be downright scary to pick a food for your pup!

But heres the good news: this article will make this decision much easier for you.

Youll see two studies to help you choose the best food for your Golden Retriever puppy, as well as learn what makes a good dog food, what to avoid, and get answers to the most common food questions Golden Retriever puppy owners have.

Now before we dive in, heres a quick note: the best resource for deciding what to feed your golden retriever puppy is your veterinarian.

They know your puppy best and are most knowledgeable about their health needs.

Alrighty, now lets dive into that first study!

What Foods Can Golden Retrievers Not Eat

Dogs can be poisoned by a variety of completely safe foods for humans, and poisoning episodes in dogs are usually due to a lack of knowledge by the owner. So, as we learn what human foods Golden Retrievers can eat, we should also find out what foods they cant eat.

Foods that Golden Retrievers can not eat range from the more well-known such as chocolate, grapes, garlic, onion, spices, macadamia nuts, caffeine, and salt. But, dogs can not eat the less evident foodstuffs such as avocado, yeast dough, green potato, and products containing the sweetener xylitol.

Below is a list of the main toxic foods that your Golden Retriever cant eat. Some poisonings could result in severe illness or worse depending on the amount consumed and the potency.

  • Alcohol
  • Onions, Shallots, Leeks, and Chives
  • Potato

Best Food For A Golden Retriever Puppy

Quality nutrition sets your Golden Retriever puppy up for a long and healthy life. Here are our top picks for the best food for a Golden Retriever puppy.

This dog food will support your Golden Retriever puppys growth and development without going overboard on fat or calories. The recipe features fresh chicken and digestible brown rice.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large-Breed Puppy Recipe

Featuring deboned chicken as its first ingredient, this puppy recipe offers a wholesome balance of protein, whole grains, and vitamins and minerals.

Made with fresh chicken as a lean source of protein and chicken meal to provide glucosamine and chondroitin, this dog food for puppies will get your Golden Retriever off to a healthy start in life.

Nutro Ultra Large-Breed Puppy Recipe

This chicken-based puppy recipe is formulated to support the energy needs of young Goldens and other large breed puppies.

All dogs have the same basic nutritional needs when it comes to protein, fat, and essential nutrients, but there are some disparities among breeds of different sizes.

To learn more about the nutritional needs of large dogs, check out our guide to the best dog food for large breeds.

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How To Read A Dog Food Label

To help make an informed decision about what youre feeding your Golden, youll need to read the food label.

But food labels can be a little vague and confusing, so below is an explanation of what some of these terms mean, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual and the AKC.

Ingredients are listed in order of weight

The first ingredient listed is the ingredient that theres the most of in the food, while the last ingredient is the ingredient that theres the least of.

There is one caveat though.

Ingredients are listed in the exact type that theyre added in.

For instance, flaked corn, ground corn, and kibbled corn could be sprinkled in an ingredient list and not be listed as the first few ingredients, but in reality, if you were to add them all up , you might find that this food is made mostly of corn.

The same goes for chicken, chicken meal, and chicken byproduct.

Meat vs. Meat Meal vs. Meat Byproduct

Lets say youre looking at a food label and you see chicken, chicken meal, and chicken byproduct.

Chicken means that its chicken muscle, skin and/or bones.

Chicken meal means that its essentially ground and dried chicken muscle, skin and/or bones.

Chicken byproducts means that its byproducts .

Chicken byproducts meal means that its essentially ground and dried byproducts.

The quality of these ingredients can vary widely, so be sure to talk to your vet about this and choose a reputable brand of food.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe Grain

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Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Duck, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Chicken Fat

A wilderness-focused diet is the best choice for retrievers with sensitive stomachs and a high craving for a natural diet. With Blue Buffalos Wilderness Duck Dry Food, that diet can be executed perfectly. The dog food incorporates a variety of all-natural and wholesome ingredients such as meat, fruits, and vegetables that provide lots of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, omega fats, and other micronutrients necessary for a dogs health.

More than that, the dog food is also focused on high-digestibility and features a grain-free recipe. It uses real deboned duck meat as the primary protein source, which is both easily digestible and filled with nutrients. And with its Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, the dog food will also help nourish your retrievers skin and make their fur shinier.

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Why Do Golden Retrievers Eat Everything

There are several reasons why your Golden Retriever is eating everything. Some common reasons include stress, illnesses, boredom, and not getting adequate nutrients or food. Another reason includes their curious nature, which urges your Golden Retriever to taste different things and satisfy their curiosity.

Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Grain

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream may not specifically be for large breeds, but this grain-free fish formula will do wonders for your Golden Retriever. The formula is perfectly balanced in terms of nutrition and made from high-quality ingredients such as real smoked salmon. Fish means your goldie will get all the fatty acids required for a gorgeous shiny coat. This one is also highly recommended for dogs who have sensitive tummies. It has probiotics to prevent digestive problems. It is free of grains, fillers, and common allergens. And it is full of antioxidants that support a healthy immune system.

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Are Golden Retrievers Allergic To Chicken

When many people are still wondering about can Golden Retriever eat chicken? others are wondering are golden retrievers allergic to chicken. You should probably consult with your veterinarian about this.

They will most likely be able to run tests and discover whether or not your pet is indeed allergic to chicken.

If your dog has a hypersensitivity to chicken, then it can be very difficult for him or her to digest chicken meat. Also, any time your dog reacts to chicken, it can potentially cause your dog to have an allergic reaction to its own saliva.

If your vet determines that they are allergic to chicken, they may prescribe an antihistamine to alleviate the symptoms.

If the diagnosis is negative, or if it is determined that the allergies are not Can Golden Retriever eat chicken caused by chicken, then the chances are that other factors may have been triggered.

Chicken Soup For The Soul Large Breed

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Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Brown Rice

Made with real chicken and turkey, the large breed dry food from Chicken Soup for the Soul is an excellent choice for your Golden Retriever. It contains the perfect combination of natural ingredients to enhance your pets coat and skin, as well as improve their immune system and boost their digestive health.

Customer Review: Always been an excellent food for my dogs. The food is a great holistic diet, produces a shiny coat, good digestion, and a healthy dog. I highly recommend it.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Can Golden Retriever Eat Cooked Chicken

The problem about can Golden Retriever eat chicken are some opinions that say that raw chicken is better, some other opinions say cooked chicken is better. Yes, Golden Retrievers can ear cooked chicken, and the bones also.

Serving cooked chicken is better than raw because cooked chicken is clean, and you can choose which part to give to your dog. You can choose to give your dog only the meat, or all with the bones.

The question will also go to at what age can the puppies eat cooked chicken. The puppies can eat small bits of cooked chicken at four weeks of age. Chicken meat is served for puppies for training treats only and should not be used as a daily staple.

Puppies will enjoy it with chicken meat if served without spices such as garlic, onion, pepper, or even salt. Dont forget to boil the meat so that the bacteria in the raw meat will go.

What Are The Differences Between Puppy Food & Adult Food

Since puppies are growing and adults are just maintaining their weight, they have different dietary needs.

According to AAFCO, puppy food should have at least 22.5% protein, compared to 18% protein for adult food.

And for fats, puppy food should have at least 8.5% fats, compared to 5.5% for adults.

As far as when to switch from puppy food to adult food, talk to your veterinarian.

Theyll likely recommend making the switch when theyre done growing at about one year old.

To see a list of other milestones your puppy will hit check out this timeline of Golden Retriever puppy milestones.

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Final Thoughts The Importance Of Nutrition

Many pet food companies have spent millions of dollars studying which ingredients have the highest levels of nutrients to achieve a nutritious, balanced diet that will help vital puppy growth and mental and physical development.

Its your job to do your due diligence and select the right one for your doggo! As for supplements, theres no reason to feed them if your dog is eating a complete and healthy diet unless a veterinarian recommends them. So heres my best piece of advice:

Choose a diet that is appropriate for your Golden Retrievers age, your lifestyle, and your beliefs and invest in the highest-quality dog food you can afford. Your dog will enjoy a longer and healthier life due to this, and you will both be happier as a result.

I hope youve enjoyed this article and its helped you decide on the best diet for your Golden Retriever.

What Makes For A Balanced Diet For Golden Retrievers

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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.



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How Often Should I Feed My Golden Retriever Puppy

Growing puppies have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs, and they require more frequent feedings at different stages of development. Depending on age, heres how much you should feed your Golden Retriever puppy:

24 weeks onwards 2

Golden Retriever puppies get all of their nutrients from their mother when they are born. However, its safe to start the weaning process onto a new diet from three to four weeks old.

Puppies in the early stages of development need enough calories, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals to support rapid growth and development and set them on the road to a healthy life.

Learn More on How Often Dogs Should Eat

Since Golden Retrievers are a medium-large breed, they should be fed large-breed dog food, even puppies. Large breed dog food is actually essential for your Goldens health.

Heres the deal

Large breed foods have a higher protein content and lower calcium, phosphorus, and fat content. It is nutritionally designed to keep them from growing too quickly, leading to debilitating conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia.

While adult dogs can thrive on one meal a day, most Golden Retriever owners tend to feed their dogs twice a day. This makes it easier for the dog to digest the food, control hunger, and avoid life-threatening bloat . My dog would much rather eat twice a day.

What The Golden Retriever Owners Suggest

Im sure youve come across a lot of Golden Retriever parents.

And, Im also certain that each and every one of them recommended different diets and dog foods that worked for their fluffy ball of fur. Some people suggest you to buy dog foods meant for other large breeds.

Thats one thing you should never try.

The problem is that each and every breed is different in many ways so, obviously, each breed has different nutritional requirements. Golden Retrievers are intelligent, energetic, playful and have a long and beautiful coat, they need special nutrition for their needs.

So, the first thing you should do is to tune out all advice you get from fellow dog parents and stick to what your vet recommends.

There are three important things that you should consider when youre buying dog food.

These include the following:

  • Stay as far away as possible from filler ingredients which includes as soy, corn, rice, etc.
  • Always choose a dog food with high meat contentnot just high protein as it comes from vegetable sources as well
  • Macros matter more than total calories per meal do

That being said.

One of the most important things you need to know before making any changes to your dogs diet is to always consult the vet because he is a highly trained professional who knows more about your dogs body and nutritional needs.

After all, we all want our Golden Retrievers to be happy and healthy, right?

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How Can I Make Sure The Food Is Appropriate For My Puppys Level Of Development

As youve compared different kinds of dog food, you may have noticed that some of them are marketed as being for puppies or senior dogs. Because a pups dietary tract grows and matures over time, your dog may have different needs at different times in its life.

In general, your dog will benefit from puppy food from about 8 weeks of age until they are six months to a year old. Check with your vet to determine the right time to switch from a puppy food to one for adult dogs, as recommendations vary based on the size of your dog.

When Should I Feed My Golden Retriever


Golden Retrievers should have scheduled times to eat daily. The scheduled times will help them with their energy levels and keep them healthy.

You can schedule their eating times as to what works best for your schedule. For example, feeding them before you leave for work and then when you get home.

As a puppy, they will eat three times a day, so you will need to find times in those first few months to feed them more often. When they are an adult or senior, the scheduling of feeding times will be easier because they will only eat twice daily.

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Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult Food

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed dog food is our first choice for Golden Retriever adults. This food is highly recommended by our staff veterinarians, and it contains ingredients that are highly nutritious with high protein for strengthening muscles.

Below is a feeding chart for Purina Pro Plan Large Breed.

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult Feeding Chart

3 3 2/3 Cups Per Day
75-100 lbs. 3 2/3 4 Cups Per Day

This chart does not give an exact amount based on gender, age, activity level, or health conditions. Be sure to consult your veterinarian to get the exact amount for your Golden.

Some Foods That You Can Feed Your Golden Retriever

There are lots of great treats and foods that you can feed your Golden Retriever. Of course, some individual dogs may have a sensitivity to certain foods. Listen to your dog and see what he does and does not to well eating. Generally speaking, the items listed below can be a great addition to your dogs diet whether as a food or as a snack.


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