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12 best dog food for golden retrievers [2023]

What is the best dog food for Golden Retrievers? The size of your dogs is important when it comes to dog food. You cannot simply buy any kind of dog food without checking if the formula is meant for large or small dogs. For your Golden Retriever, there are certain nutritional requirements they need that you won’t find in all dog food formulas.

best dog food for golden retrievers

Golden Retrievers would require more nutrients as they have a bigger build so you need to be very careful when choosing dog foods. Here is some of the key information that you need to know about the dog food of large dogs and we will give you a list of the best dog foods for large breeds.

The Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

Here are the top products that made the cut as the best dog food for Golden Retrievers. You can click on the links to go directly to products. If you want to read more about the pros and cons of each, scroll down and dig in.

  1. Solid Gold Wolf King with Real Natural Bison & Brown Rice
  2. Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken
  3. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult Dog Food
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
  5. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  6. Orijen Dog Food
  7. Fromm Dog Food
  8. Taste Of the Wild Dog Food
  9. Hill Science Diet Dog Food
  10. Blue Buffalo Dog Food
  11. Purina Pro Plan
  12. Wellness Complete Health Dog Food

golden retriever smiling

What is the Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers?

After owning a Golden Retriever, it’s always your responsibility to ensure you have fulfilled its dietary requirements. As you know, diet is a crucial area that one has to trend on well when it comes to dogs. When choosing the best dog food for golden retrievers, you have to factor in many parameters. As you know, the move you decide to make will determine whether you will be spending most of the time with your Golden Retriever in the veterinary clinic or playing the game of fetch with it around the yard.

So it’s a decision you should never make in a rush.

With that said, you can decide to use wet or dry food for your Golden Retriever. Either diet should provide enough calories for your adult or puppy Golden Retriever. All you need to know is the pros and cons of each diet. For example, wet food is the best dog food for Golden Retriever puppies as it is palatable, moisture-rich, and easy to chew compared to kibble.

However, the more they grow, they will need dry kibble as it has a rough texture that helps clean their teeth, it’s durable, and contains more calories.

However, the best wet or dry food for Golden Retriever puppies should not contain many calories that might promote uncontrollable growth, leading to skeleton issues like misaligned limbs.

With that, Golden Retriever puppies need a minimum of 18% of proteins in their diet necessary for their muscle growth, and also, it should have enough micro and macronutrients.

If you have an adult or senior Golden Retriever, they will thrive on a diet that can maintain their skeletons and still fight off any diseases.

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 dog food 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 breed 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 dog’s 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 Retriever eat a small number of carbohydrates, but you should limit it. The carbohydrates should come from digestible sources.

go0lden retriever lying on the chair

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

The Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

Since you already know what to look for and what to avoid, the next thing to do is to start looking for top-rated dog foods. The dog foods mentioned below are already tried and tested and a lot of dog owners are buying them for their large dogs. Here is some of the best dog food for Golden Retrievers that you can consider.

1. Solid Gold Wolf King with Real Natural Bison & Brown Rice

solid gold wolf king bison brown rice recipe with sweet potatoes large breed adult dry dog foodWhen it comes to dog foods, real meat is the most important ingredient. You can have smaller amounts of other ingredients, but real meat should always be the first ingredient.

The Solid Gold Wolf King with Real Natural Bison & Brown Rice is known as one of the best dog foods for Golden Retrievers as it contains real bison meat. It also contains a wide range of healthy fats and grains.

Well, it does have grains, but not too much and it has the right amount to make sure that your dogs would at least have a source of carbohydrates. The 20 Superfoods featured on this dog food can also help maintain and rebuild the muscles of your dogs and it can help with their digestion.

What to like About It

The best thing about this dog food is the 100% satisfaction guarantee, which means that the company is confident in the ingredients of the dog food. You will also get your money back if the dog food is not the same as advertised.

2. Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken

eukanuba adult large breed lamb 1st ingredient adult dry dog foodThe Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken is a perfect choice if you want to make sure that your dogs would have lean muscles. Chicken is known to have lean meat among the other types of meat so it is definitely a good source of protein.

This dog food is also the best when it comes to healthy digestion. It provides specialized fiber that contains prebiotics and beet pulp.

There are also other benefits that you can get from and chicken fat like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that would promote good skin health and vibrant coat to your dogs. This dry food can also reduce the build-up of tartar within 28 days.

What to like About It

One of the reasons why dog owners love this is that it doesn’t have any preservatives and no additional food coloring. The lean meat recipe is also a big plus as it is meant to provide high-quality protein.

3. Pro Plan BRIGHT MIND Adult Dog Food

purina pro plan adultlarge breed chicken rice formula dry dog foodUnlike the other dog foods on the list, this is a dog food formula made for senior dogs aged 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 won’t have to worry about protein deficiency issues.

This dog food is a combination of chicken meal as the first ingredient along with chicken fat and 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.

4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

hills science diet adult large breed chicken barley recipe dry dog foodHill’s 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.

5. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

nutro ultra large breed adult dry dog food

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food contains about 3 types of proteins that would provide the best muscle support for your dogs. If you are looking for dog food that is packed with high-protein sources, this is the best option for you.

It contains protein from lamb, chicken, and salmon meals. Through this combination, your dogs will have omega 3 fatty acids from the salmon meal and improve their skin and coat. The other two sources can provide lean muscles for your dogs.

What to Like About It

The fact that this dog food is packed with protein is already a good reason for you to buy it. This dog food contains high-quality protein sources that would help provide the required protein for large dogs to grow healthy and strong.

6.Orijen Dog Food

orijen original grain free dry dog food

Orijen dog food is one of the healthiest dog recipes that use non-GMO or filler ingredients. All formulas in this dog food brand are made from high-quality protein sources, ensuring they mimic a dog’s natural diet.

Key Benefits

  • Packed with protein from ingredients your dog is meant to eat.
  • Contains 85% meat ingredients, which are naturally rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The first 5 ingredients are fresh or raw protein.
  • Coated with freeze-dried liver for the whisker-licking flavor your dog naturally craves.
  • Made in the USA with some of the world’s finest ingredients.

7. Fromm Dog Food

fromm family foods gold small breed adult dry dog foodFromm dog food has human-grade, high-quality ingredients in every recipe, ensuring your dog’s health is prioritized. This dog food recipe undergoes strict quality control measures and has not seen any recalls in recent years.

Key Benefits

  • Produced at Fromm’s family-owned-and-operated facility
  • High nutrient digestibility and utilization
  • Third-party pathogenic bacteria testing on all production batches
  • Fromm’s specially developed blend of probiotics

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8. Taste Of the Wild Dog Food

taste of the wild high prairie grain free dry dog foodTaste 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 (32%) 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.

9. Hill Science Diet Dog Food

hills science diet adult perfect weight chicken recipe dry dog food

Hill science is a high-protein and healthy dog food suitable for your Golden Retriever. Besides being healthy and nutritious, all ingredients incorporated in this recipe are easily digestible.

Key Benefits

  • Formulated to help your pup maintain a healthy weight.
  • This kibble also supports muscle maintenance.
  • Crafted with natural ingredients, plus vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Made in the USA with quality global ingredients.
  • Formulated by Hill’s—a veterinarian-recommended brand in the pet food industry.

10. Blue Buffalo Dog Food

blue buffalo life protection formula puppy chicken brown rice recipe dry dog foodBlue buffalo is a reputable and premium dog food with no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial ingredients that may be unhealthy for your dog.

This dog food has healthy protein sources, fats, and multivitamins that fulfill your dog’s dietary needs, limiting your veterinary visits.

Also, blue buffalo has one of the best dry dog food for Golden Retrievers as it has a minimum of 34 % of proteins sourced from deboned duck and chicken meal. Again it’s fortified with 5 strains of prebiotics good for your dog’s gut health.

Key Benefits

  • Calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins for strong bones and teeth and special “puppy-sized” kibble for smaller jaws that promote tartar removal
  • DHA and ARA for healthy brain and eye development and high-quality protein for healthy muscle growth
  • Chicken fat, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Vitamins, chelated minerals, and antioxidants for immune system health
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or chicken (or poultry) by-product meals in this puppy food

What Brand Of Dog Food Do Vets Recommend?

It’s always the intention of every pet parent to wish the best for his furry friend. With that, veterinaries have lined up for you some of the dog foods. You will never go wrong when you offer them to your lovely pet.

So which are the brands most vets recommended as the best dog food for Golden Retrievers? Let’s have a look.

11. Purina Pro Plan

purina pro plan adult shredded blend chicken rice formula dry dog foodPurina pro plan is one of the dog food that vets recommend. This dog food promotes mental health and helps dogs get a shiny coat because of the carefully selected sources of omega fatty acids included. Again, it’s one of the best dog food Golden Retrievers as it uses quality and digestible ingredients. And most importantly, it’s not an expensive food brand compared to other food brands.

Key Benefits

  • A high protein formula featuring real chicken meal as the first ingredient.
  • Combines hard kibble and tender, shredded pieces for a flavor and texture your pal will adore.
  • Natural prebiotic fiber helps promote ideal intestinal flora and live probiotics to support immune and digestive system health.
  • Fortified with vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids to help nourish your pooch’s coat and skin.
  • Contains optimal levels of protein and fat to help dogs maintain an ideal body condition.

12. Wellness Complete Health Dog Food

wellness complete health chicken sweet potato formula canned dog foodIf you are on a budget, the wellness complete dog food is one of the best dog food that vets recommend as it’s gluten and grain-free, nutrition-packed, and still inexpensive. Again this dog food is rich in omega and antioxidants needed by your dog.

Key Benefits

  • Features a meaty, mouth-watering texture.
  • Crafted with high-quality chicken meal and antioxidant-rich veggies.
  • Does not contain any meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives.
  • Designed to promote whole-body health with added vitamins and minerals.
  • Helps support a strong immune system, optimal energy levels, digestive function, and a healthy coat and skin.

What Regular Foods Can Golden Retrievers Eat?

Chicken. Besides being one of the best dog food for Golden Retrievers, Chicken is a key ingredient in most dog recipes. Chicken is often a key source of proteins and other macronutrients.

Eggs. Cooked eggs are nutritious and still provide your dog with lots of proteins.  Remember to avoid raw or uncooked eggs as they may have lots of salmonella and E coli.

Carrots. Carrot is one key vegetable that you find in most dog foods. Carrots are safe for Golden Retriever and still provide vital vitamins.

Salmon. Salmon is the best source of protein for Golden Retriever. However, ensure you don’t give your dog uncooked and boned salmon.

Pineapple. Pineapple has an array of macronutrients that work to boost your dog’s immune system.

Green Peas. Green peas are safe for Golden Retrievers. You will find green peas included in dog foods as they contain lots of calories and are still tasty.

Oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of the best dog food for Golden Retrievers who have loose stools because of its high fiber content.

Apple. Golden Retrievers can eat apples as they are not only tasty but also full of nutrients. However, avoid giving your dog apple seeds as they contain cyanide, which is poisonous.

Blueberries. Golden Retrievers will be safe if they consume blueberries as these fruits are not toxic. Blueberries have enough concentration of vitamin c, which is a good antioxidant.

two golden retriever puppies playing

What Foods Are Bad For Golden Retrievers?

Not all food will be good for your Golden Retriever. You know some of these foods that we humans consume can be toxic to your dog. So which foods are bad for Golden Retrievers?

Chocolate and Cocoa. Chocolate has theobromine that’s hard to metabolize for Golden Retriever. After ingesting chocolate, your Golden Retriever can start displaying poisoning symptoms like vomiting, muscle tremors, and diarrhea.

Garlic. Garlic is one of the dog food bad for Golden Retrievers. The reason is, garlic predisposes your dog to hemolytic anemia.

Grapes and Raisins. Grapes and raisins are toxic for many dogs as they can cause kidney failure.

Wild Mushrooms. Many wild mushrooms are toxic for dogs like Golden Retrievers. Symptoms of toxicity include loss of vision, muscle tremors, drooling, and loss of limb function.

Avocado. Even though avocado looks appealing, it’s not one of the best dog food for Golden Retrievers.  Avocado has persin, which causes fluid build-up inside your dog’s chest.

Cherries. Golden Retrievers who eat lots of cherries are likely to get cyanide poisoning characterized by upset stomach and lethargy.

Alcohol. Alcohol is not good for your dog’s heart, liver, and brain.

Macadamia Nuts. Macadamia nuts are toxic for most dogs, the Golden Retriever included. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and bloat.

golden retriever reaching the lap of a person

Now you can get the best dog food for golden retrievers

Orijen is the best dog food for Golden Retrievers as it adheres to strict manufacturing protocols. This dog food ensures enough proteins for your dog and keeps a balance of fats and multivitamins.

You have to be meticulous when buying dog foods for Golden Retrievers as they have a completely different set of requirements when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Since they are bigger, they would need more so you have to choose wisely so you won’t make a mistake.

You can use the same types of food you feed Golden Retriever for Goldendoodles.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Khloe

    For the past two years we’ve switched between Hill’s and Taste of the Wild, Zoe never felt or looked better. Her vet advised us to switch it up until we find the right brand for our dog. It took us some time but now everyone’s happy.

  2. Jackson

    Eukanuba fan here. It has the right amount of protein & carb, it just works for us.

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