One of the most popular dog breeds in the world, the Golden Retriever is known for being a great family dog, is smart and easy to train, and is a perfect dog for those who are active. Being a large, active dog, Golden Retrievers need a lot of exercise and stimulation- daily walks are important, and so is the right kind of diet.
Many Golden Retrievers excel at different sports such as hunting and water sports, while some work as search and rescue dogs or guide dogs. They are an active and intelligent dog breed, that’s for sure! In this article, we have a list of 12 best foods for your Golden Retrievers.
- Top 12 Best dog food for Golden Retrievers
- 1. ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever Adult dry dog food
- 2. BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
- 3. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food
- 4. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature’s Variety
- 5. ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever Puppy dry dog food
- 6. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Adult 7+ Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Senior Dry Dog Food – (1) 6 lb. Bag
- 7. Blue Buffalo BLUE Senior Dog Chicken & Brown Rice
- 8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 6+ Large Breed Chicken Meal Rice & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
- 9. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Adult Dry Food
- 10. AvoDerm Natural Dog Food
- 11. PS For Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
- 12. BLUE Wilderness Adult Grain Free Salmon Dry Dog Food 4.5-lb
- FAQs Golden Retriever Foods
Top 12 Best dog food for Golden Retrievers
1. ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever Adult dry dog food
Royal Canin Golden Retriever dog food is specially made for Golden Retrievers aged over 15 months old.
The kibble’s size, shape, and texture have been specially formulated to suit the dog’s muzzle and teeth, making it easy for them to grab the food and chew it.
Royal Canin knows that Golden Retrievers can often suffer from skin conditions and that the breed is known for its coat and skin. The Royal Canin Golden Retriever dog food contains a complex of nutrients (EPA and DHA) that helps maintain healthy skin and coat.
These nutrients, combined with taurine, also help Golden Retrievers that are prone to heart sensitivity.
The first five ingredients listed are a chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, rice, and corn gluten meal.
- Great food and a popular choice with dog owners
- Comes in a large bag that can last a month or two
- Contains nutrients to help with skin, coat and heart health
- Contains soy and gluten- not suitable for Golden Retrievers with allergies
- Expensive, but you get what you pay for!
2. BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
I’ve chosen Blue Life Protection Formula adult dry dog food for large breed dogs such as the Golden Retriever because it’s a dog food brand that contains the best quality, natural ingredients without any nasty additives or preservatives.
The dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin which helps support the health needs of the Golden Retriever. The formula is made with protein-rich, deboned chicken, whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruit.
There’s a two-part system to the dog food- one part is the kibble, while the other is known as LifeSource Bits, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, and rich antioxidants. LifeSource Bits are processed at a lower temperature to preserve their potency.
The food does NOT contain chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Blue Life is owned by the United States-based Blue Buffalo company.
- LifeSource Bits, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Doesn’t contain chicken by-products
- Doesn’t contain artificial ingredients
- Contains grains- not suitable for some dogs with allergies
3. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Recommended for adult dogs weighing more than 55 pounds, Hill’s Science Diet large breed dry dog food provides sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility.
It contains high-quality protein to help build lean muscles in your Golden Retriever, while also maintaining a healthy weight.
The food has an exclusive blend of vitamins, Omega-6 fatty acids and nutrients to nourish your dog’s skin and keep its coat shiny.
To support your Golden Retriever’s immune system, Hill’s Science Diet food has a clinically proven blend of vitamins C and E and antioxidants.
- Contains high-quality protein
- Clinically proven blend of vitamins and antioxidants
- Some ingredients are imported
4. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature’s Variety
I’ve chosen the Instinct Raw Boost large breed puppy dry dog food because it’s a natural product that’s raw and contains healthy ingredients to give your puppy Golden Retriever the best start to life!
The food contains cage-free chicken, which is a great source of quality protein to support your puppy’s growth and needs for play. I like that cage-free chicken is used, making this an ethical product.
The food is freeze-dried raw and minimally processed, in order to preserve the nutrients of the ingredients.
I like that it has a balanced mix of chicken, fish, and meat for great exposure to proteins and natural DHA from chicken eggs, which is great for your puppy’s brain and eye development.
Another reason I like Instinct Raw Boost for your Golden Retriever puppy is that it DOESN’T contain grains, wheat, corn, potato, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives. These are often ingredients that irritate many dogs, especially puppies with immune systems that aren’t yet fully developed.
- Contains high-quality protein
- Uses cage-free chickens
- Freeze-dried raw to preserve nutrients
- Uses imported ingredients
- Is expensive
5. ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever Puppy dry dog food
As with the Royal Canin Golden Retriever adult dog food, the Royal Canin Golden Retriever puppy dry food has an exclusive kibble that’s made specifically for Golden Retrievers. Its size, shape, and texture make it easier for your Golden Retriever puppy to eat the kibble.
contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids so your puppy has a healthy and shiny skin and coat.
The puppy food is suitable for Golden Retrievers aged between 8 weeks and 15 months old.
To help support your dog’s heart and help grow its muscles, there is L-carnitine in the formula, and the antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals and support brain function.
Since a puppy’s immune and digestive systems are still developing, Royal Canin has formulated a food that is easier for your puppy to digest and maintain balanced intestinal flora. The dog food contains Vitamins E and C as well as Lutein and Taurine.
- Contains nutrients to help support your puppy’s developing immune and digestive systems
- Made especially for Golden Retriever puppies
- Contains wheat and gluten, so it isn’t suitable for puppies with allergies
- Contains chicken by-products
6. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Adult 7+ Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Senior Dry Dog Food – (1) 6 lb. Bag
For senior dogs aged 7 years or older, Purina Pro Plan Savor is a great dog food option.
The food is made with high-quality chicken and contains rice which is a carbohydrate that’s easy to digest. This is important because as dogs get older, their digestive systems can get weaker and so it’s difficult to digest certain foods.
Purina Pro Plan Savor also contains wheat bran, which is a natural prebiotic fiber that helps with digestion.
To promote healthy skin and a shiny coat for your Golden Retriever, Vitamin A and the Omega-6 fatty acid known as linoleic acid, is included.
- The rice is easy for older dogs to digest
- The food has been specially formulated for senior dogs
- Not suitable for older dogs with allergies
- Contains chicken by-product meal
7. Blue Buffalo BLUE Senior Dog Chicken & Brown Rice
I’ve included a few different Blue dog food options throughout this review post, simply because Blue Buffalo is a very popular brand of dog food.
The Blue Buffalo Senior Dog Chicken and Brown Rice is a great choice for older dogs that have digestive issues and need a healthier diet.
It is a dog food that’s protein-rich with deboned chicken. It also includes whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruit.
I like that the food doesn’t contain chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy.
Blue Buffalo also contains the exclusive LifeSource Bits that contain extra nutrients and antioxidants that are important for your older dog’s health and wellbeing.
- Exclusive LifeSource Bits
- Doesn’t contain wheat, soy, corn or chicken by-product meals
8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 6+ Large Breed Chicken Meal Rice & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
One of the best selling dog food brands on the market, Hill’s Science Diet Adult 6+ Large Breed is the perfect dog food choice for large breed dogs aged over 6 years.
Chicken is the number one ingredient in this dog food, and it doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It has a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are important for healthy joints and cartilage. It also contains vitamins C and E to help support your Golden Retriever’s immune system.
The food doesn’t contain artificial colors, additives or preservatives and doesn’t have any chicken by-product meal.
I also like that the company donates food to animal shelters across the U.S., which is great if you prefer to support companies that are socially responsible.
- Doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or chicken by-product meal
- Contains essential vitamins
- Company donates food to animal shelters
9. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Adult Dry Food
I’ve chosen the Purina Pro Plan Focus, because it doesn’t contain the typical ingredients that aggravate skin allergies, such as wheat, corn, soy and artificial ingredients.
The food’s main ingredient is real salmon, which is a fantastic source of nutrient-rich protein. Oatmeal is also an ingredient because it’s a source of carbohydrates that’s easy to digest.
To support your Golden Retrievers overall digestive health, prebiotic fiber is also included in the formula. I think this is important for any dog that has an allergy, especially a skin allergy. Other important nutrients include glucosamine, fish oil, vitamins E and A, and folic acid.
I’ve also chosen Purina because it’s a very well-known, trusted and award-winning brand. Its dog food has been formulated by scientists, nutritionists, and vets.
- Award-winning, formulated by scientists, vets and nutritionists
- Free from wheat, soy and artificial ingredients
- Salmon is the main ingredient, and is an excellent source of quality protein
- Contains grains, which are not suitable for all dogs
- Some dog owners don’t like the strong fish smell of the food
10. AvoDerm Natural Dog Food
One of the unique things about AvoDerm natural dog food is that it contains Californian avocados. Avocados are known as a “superfood” and are a great source of healthy fats that help your Golden Retriever’s skin and coat health. It helps add that extra shine to your dog’s coat!
The dog food is suitable for adult Golden Retrievers, and it contains only premium, natural ingredients. There aren’t any by-product meals, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
I like that it doesn’t contain corn, wheat or soy, which are usually the culprits when it comes to skin allergies in dogs.
The proteins used in AvoDerm are premium proteins, while the food also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant nutrients to help your Golden Retriever’s immune system and function.
- Contains avocado and avocado oil for improved skin and coat health
- Doesn’t contain by-product meals
- Doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy or artificial ingredients
- Not suitable for puppies
- When switching from other food to AvoDerm, you need to do it gradually to help your dog’s stomach adjust to the new diet
11. PS For Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
If your Golden Retriever has allergies and you’re not sure what to feed your dog to help with the problem, PS For Dogs might be a good choice.
The food is hypoallergenic, meaning that it doesn’t contain any allergens and is completely natural. It has a low glycaemic index and prevents the growth of yeast on your dog’s paws, which is what causes your dog to lick and bite its paws. This can be a real problem for Golden Retrievers.
PS For Dogs contains high-quality New Zealand lamb which is an excellent source of high-quality protein. The food is grain-free, as this is what often aggravates allergies in dogs. The recipe means that you’re Golden Retriever won’t suffer from skin itching, bumps, redness, and foul odor.
I like that the company has a very generous refund policy if you aren’t happy with the food and its results.
- Has high quality New Zealand lamb
- Grain-free and free from other allergens
- Small U.S. based company with excellent customer service
- The quantity in the pack is small- some people mix this food with other allergen-free dog food, while others use it as a treat.
12. BLUE Wilderness Adult Grain Free Salmon Dry Dog Food 4.5-lb
Blue Wilderness has created a grain-free dog food that’s great for Golden Retrievers that suffer from allergies.
The Blue Wilderness Adult Grain Free Salmon Dry Dog Food contains real salmon, which is a very good source of high-quality protein. The food is grain-free and doesn’t contain other allergens such as chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy.
What I also like about this brand of dog food is that it contains Blue’s exclusive LifeSource Bits in addition to the regular kibble. These bits are a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Exclusive LifeSource Bits
- Contains real salmon, a source of high protein
FAQs Golden Retriever Foods
Golden Retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, and are between 21.5 and 24 inches tall, with male Golden Retrievers usually larger than female Golden Retrievers.
Being a large dog, it’s important that you feed your dog enough food for energy and optimal growth and health. Large dogs such as Golden Retrievers have specific dietary requirements.
How much food should you give to your Golden Retriever?
This is a common question, and the answer really depends on a number of things. You need to consider how active your dog is and his/her metabolism, as well as your dog’s weight and age. A dog that is very active needs more food than a dog that’s not as active.
A senior Golden Retriever wouldn’t be as active as an adult Golden Retriever, and so would generally need less food. A Golden Retriever puppy will need to have its diet adjusted regularly as it grows bigger.
Puppies and young adult dogs consume more calories than older adult dogs. Your vet can give you a better idea of how much to feed your Golden Retriever- ask the next time you take your dog to the vet for a check-up!
How much fat to feed your Golden Retriever?
The most important nutrients for dogs is quality protein and fat. For puppies, the Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends at least 22 percent protein for growing puppies and 18 percent protein for adult dogs. These are minimum recommendations – you’ll find that most good quality dog food exceeds these recommendations.
Fat should comprise at least 8 percent of a Golden Retriever puppy’s diet while only 5% of an adult’s diet. Fat is important because it provides your dog with energy as well as adding a pleasant flavor to dog food. It also improves your dog’s skin, coat, heart and brain function, especially fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Golden Retrievers are a beautiful breed of dog- they have a lovely rich coat that ranges in color from light gold to a darker gold, hence their name. Their coat is dense and water-repellent, and their legs, tail, and chest are covered in feathering. Feeding your pooch quality food will help maintain their lustrous coat.
Special Health Issues
These days, we know more about the special health requirements for different dog breeds and some of their health issues. There are different types of dog food to help with different health requirements and issues- if your Golden Retriever has allergies, stomach or health problems, you can find dog food suitable to help with these conditions.
Common health problems for a Golden Retriever include hip and elbow dysplasia (which can lead to arthritis), as well as cancer and heart problems. Some Golden Retrievers also have vision problems as they get older. The average lifespan for a Golden Retriever is 11 years.
One of the most important things you can do for your Golden Retriever puppy is fed it a diet specifically for large breed puppies. Rapid growth can be very dangerous and lead to bone and joint problems, and dysplasia, later in life.
You also don’t want your Golden Retriever to carry excess weight, because this can put extra pressure on your dog’s bones. This can also lead to problems with dysplasia. You need to monitor how much food you feed your dog, and also how much exercise he/she is getting.
As your Golden Retriever ages, it’s a good idea to feed your dog added supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin.
For cancer, which is common in Golden Retrievers, it’s difficult to prevent the disease but many vet and animal health experts recommend staying away from dog food that contains preservatives and artificial ingredients and sweeteners.
Some Golden Retrievers may have allergies and issues with hypothyroidism. In such dogs, it’s a good idea to stay away from dog food that contains soy products, which often interfere with thyroid medication.
Food intolerances and allergies mean that you should look for a natural dog food that’s specifically made to help dogs that suffer from allergies. The fewer ingredients in dog food, the better for your dog. A simple and natural recipe is best!
Ingredients To Look For
When you’re looking at buying a certain dog food brand, it’s important to look at the ingredient listing. Pay attention to the first few ingredients listed, as this will tell you what the majority of the dog food is made up of.
The most important ingredient is a great quality protein because it will help your dog use the protein efficiently to build muscle. Poor quality protein is useless. Most protein sources for dogs are meat such as beef, lamb, and chicken but can also include protein from fish. Stay away from food that contains by-products as these aren’t good quality proteins.
As for fat sources, these are important because they provide your dog with energy. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are also important for good skin and coat health and vitality.
Avoid dog food that contains artificial additives, colors, and preservatives.
There are many different choices, and within most of the brands I’ve selected to review, you can often choose different flavors and meats.
It’s important to select a brand of dog food that’s been specially formulated to suit Golden Retrievers or large dog breeds. This way, you know you’re giving your pet the best chance at optimal health and wellbeing, and long and happy life!