5 Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers

In this review, we’ll be looking at the 5 best dog foods for Golden Retrievers. Having thoroughly searched the market, I have compiled an in depth comparison of each product. Most notably – the quality of their ingredients, the nutritional values, and also providing a rating for it’s affordability.

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Comparing The Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

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  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Chicken
      2. Duck
      3. Chicken Liver
      4. Sweet Potatoes
      5. Whole Peas
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestageAll life stages
    • Calories359 kcal/100g
    • Protein
      23.5%

      23.5%

    • Fat
      12%

      12%

    • Fiber
      3.5%

      3.5%

    • 5
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Chicken
      2. Dried Ground Chicken
      3. Sweet Potato
      4. Peas
      5. Chicken Fat
    • TypeAdult
    • LifestageAll life stages
    • CaloriesNot listed
    • Protein
      26%

      26%

    • Fat
      12%

      12%

    • Fiber
      4.9%

      4.9%

    • 4.9
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Lamb Meal
      2. Rice
      3. Maize
      4. Barley
      5. Poultry Fat
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestageAdult
    • Calories360 Kcal/100g
    • Protein
      21%

      21%

    • Fat
      10%

      10%

    • Fiber
      3%

      3%

    • 4.6
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Chicken
      2. Chicken Meal
      3. Turkey Meal
      4. Red Lentils
      5. Chicken Fat
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestageAdult
    • Calories372.5 Kcal/100g
    • Protein
      35%

      35%

    • Fat
      22%

      22%

    • Fiber
      5%

      5%

    • 4.6
    • Buy now
    • Top 5 Ingredients
      1. Turkey
      2. Sweet Potato
      3. Dried Turkey
      4. Turkey Oil
      5. Turkey Gravy
    • TypeDry Food
    • LifestageAdult
    • Calories358.0 Kcal/100g
    • Protein
      24%

      24%

    • Fat
      12%

      12%

    • Fiber
      3.5%

      3.5%

    • 4.5
    • Buy now

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In-Depth Golden Retriever Dog Food Reviews

Lily’s Kitchen Adult Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Duck
    3. Chicken Liver
    4. Sweet Potatoes
    5. Whole Peas

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: 359 kcal/100g
  • Protein: 23.5%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Lily’s Kitchen Grain-Free Adult is a popular diet that is consistently rated among the best dog foods for Golden Retrievers on the market today. This diet bases its carbohydrate content on antioxidant and fibre-rich fruits and vegetables to ensure ample support for good digestion and a healthy immune system.

This high performance food is free from preservatives, derivatives, and fillers. Its formula prioritizes the use of the highest quality foods included in their most natural form. The main ingredients in this exceptional quality diet are chicken and duck, whole meats that are lean and easy for the Golden Retriever to digest well.

Lily’s Kitchen Grain-Free Adult includes both glucosamine and chondroitin in its recipe, providing a vital help for the Golden Retriever’s joint functionality. Prebiotics have been supplemented in this diet to promote fluid digestive processing. The inclusion of salmon oil ensures ample servings of the essential fatty acids required for optimal coat and skin health.

Pros:

  • Two powerhouse meat proteins lay the foundation of this diet, ensuring ample support for a healthy body.
  • The absence of grains makes this diet well-suited to Goldens with sensitivities to whole grains.
  • Ample support for joint, eye, and gut health are provided through the inclusion of prebiotics, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and glucosamine and chondroitin.

Cons:

  • This diet is quite expensive.
  • The heavy emphasis on peas/pea proteins and lentils can be problematic for breeding dogs as these ingredients have been linked to lowered fertility.
  • The high protein formulation may be too rich for some Goldens to properly process and utilize effectively.

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Forthglade Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Dried Ground Chicken
    3. Sweet Potato
    4. Peas
    5. Chicken Fat

  • Type: Adult
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: Not listed
  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 4.9%

For an exceptional quality diet to well meet the nutritional needs of the Golden Retriever, it’s hard to go wrong with Forthglade Natural Grain-Free Adult. This premium shelf food formulation, considered to be one of the best dog foods for Golden Retrievers, utilizes a unique cold press process to ensure no nutritional value is lost when manufacturing the kibble pieces. Each piece of food has been crafted for ease of digestion, providing a vital help in preventing bloat in the Golden Retriever.

A grain-free diet, this high performance food is the ideal choice for dogs that suffer from food-related allergies. The main ingredient in this recipe is whole duck, a lean meat that is rich in amino acids to support strong muscle development.

Pros:

  • The cold press procedure utilized to craft this food ensures the kibble breaks down easily in the Golden’s system, helping to prevent bloat.
  • Duck, the main ingredient in this food, is an exceptional quality protein that is rich in nutrients to support a healthy body.
  • The addition of both salmon and flaxseed oils promotes optimal joint functionality.

Cons:

  • This recipe includes dried peas, an ingredient that has been connected to lowered fertility rates in dogs.
  • Prebiotics and probiotics have not been included in this recipe; however, there is ample high quality dietary fibre provided in such ingredients as dried beet pulp and sweet potatoes.
  • There is no added taurine in this diet, a vital nutrient that supports optimal cardiac health in the Golden Retriever who is predisposed to heart-related problems.

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Harringtons Complete Dry Dog food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Lamb Meal
    2. Rice
    3. Maize
    4. Barley
    5. Poultry Fat

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 360 Kcal/100g
  • Protein: 21%
  • Fat: 10%
  • Fiber: 3%

For Golden Retrievers able to enjoy a grain-inclusive diet, Harringtons Complete Adult is well worth a try. A diet that is often recommended as one of the best dog foods for Golden Retrievers, this top quality diet bases its recipe on lamb meal, a lean and concentrated meat protein that offers a powerhouse punch of the nutrients required for optimal health and wellness in active breeds.

Whole grains form the basis of this diet’s carbohydrate profile with each ingredient selected for its abundance of dietary fibre to support good digestion.  Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are present in sufficient qualities to promote excellent coat and skin health.

Pros:

  • Lamb meal included as the primary ingredient in this diet ensures ample support for a healthy body.
  • High fibre whole grains promote fluid digestion in the Golden Retriever.
  • The addition of yucca extract assists with reducing excess gas.

Cons:

  • Maize is a plant-based protein that can be difficult for dogs to digest and is a common allergen for many dogs.
  • There are no added supplements included in this diet, meaning there is no additional support for vital body systems including joint, eye, and skin health.
  • This recipe contains very few fruits and vegetables, and as a result, the antioxidant content is lower than in other foods that prioritize the use of these ingredients.

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Acana Sport and Agility Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Turkey Meal
    4. Red Lentils
    5. Chicken Fat

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 372.5 Kcal/100g
  • Protein: 35%
  • Fat: 22%
  • Fiber: 5%

Acana Sport and Agility Food is an amazing food formulation that well meets the Golden Retriever’s nutritional needs. A diet designed specifically to address the requirements of active sporting dogs, this recipe is protein-rich, including free range chicken, eggs, and flounder as the basis of its formula. These meats are lean, easy for dogs to digest, and full of the nutrients required for optimal coat and skin health, strong reserves of energy, and healthy muscle development.

One of the best dog foods for Golden Retrievers available for purchase today, Acana Sport and Agility Dog Food is a grain-free diet, making use of such ingredients as lentils, pumpkin, squash, and kale in its carbohydrate profile. The fruits and vegetables in this diet boost the overall antioxidant content to encourage good digestion and a thriving immune system.

Pros:

  • Acana’s recipe is protein-rich and based on lean meats of exceptional quality.
  • Locally sourced fruits and vegetables form the basis of the carbohydrate content in this food, providing the nutrients required for good digestion and a healthy immune system.
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids have been included in sufficient quantities to encourage excellent skin and coat quality.

Cons:

  • This Acana formulation places a high emphasis on lentils and peas, meaning its protein content is comprised of a number of plants in addition to meat.
  • The amount of protein found in this diet may make this formulation too rich for some dogs.
  • Some dogs may benefit from a diet that includes some grains to promote fluid digestion, making a grain-based Acana recipe a better choice.

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Pooch & Mutt Complete Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Turkey
    2. Sweet Potato
    3. Dried Turkey
    4. Turkey Oil
    5. Turkey Gravy

  • Type: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 358.0 Kcal/100g
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Often recommended as one of the best dog foods for Golden Retrievers available for purchase today, Pooch & Mutt Calm and Relaxed offers the premium tier nutrition active dogs need to thrive. This diet places a high emphasis on ingredients that help to promote a state of relaxation in dogs with excessively high energy levels and/or anxiety. Turkey is the foundation of this food, a meat that offers powerhouse servings of l-tryptophan to promote feelings of calmness and low stress.

The dietary fibre found in this diet comes from antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Sweet potato plays a starring role in this recipe, a nutrient dense and flavourful ingredient with many health benefits to offer the Golden Retriever. A powerful supplement blend known as Nutra-Bionic features prominently in this recipe, contributing glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

The addition of both chamomile and brewers yeast promotes feelings of relaxation in dogs feeling stressed. This diet contains no grains, cereal, gluten, GM produce, artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives. Pooch & Mutt Calm and Relaxed is proudly produced in Great Britain.

Pros:

  • The turkey included as the foundation ingredient in this food imbues this food with l-tryptophan, a nutrient associated with calming and stress-relief in dogs.
  • The inclusion of Nutra-Bionic ensures support for joint, coat, and skin health.
  • This diet is free from the most common allergens, making it an excellent choice for Golden Retrievers with allergies.

Cons:

  • Pooch & Mutt Calm and Relaxed is only available at an expensive price point.
  • Potatoes, peas, and pea proteins are less optimal carbohydrate sources, increasing blood sugar levels and potentially lowering fertility rates in breeding dogs.
  • The calming effects of chamomile and brewers yeast are only anecdotal at this time.

 

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How to Select the Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

The happy Golden Retriever is beloved family companion that is considered to be one of the most popular breeds today. The breed is highly sociable, taking great delight in every opportunity to enjoy an adventure with its family and friends. With its friendly and gentle demeanour, the Golden Retriever is a dog that has never met a stranger, loving people of all ages and other animals with equal fervour.

A member of the sporting group, the Golden Retriever is a working dog. Though its original purpose was to function as a gundog; today, Golden Retrievers are equally as at home participating in many different activities including scent detection, tracking, and therapy work. A natural born athlete with a love of learning new skills, the Golden Retriever excels at a wide variety of dog performance events such as obedience, agility, and conformation.

The amiable Golden Retriever has a calm and even temperament, making this dog breed a great addition to any home. The breed loves children and treats them with tenderness and affection. Among the Golden’s most prized attributes are loyalty, intelligence, and sweetness.

The Golden Retriever enjoys a long puppyhood, maturing at a much slower rate than other dog breeds of its size. This dog type retains its playful nature well until the dog reaches three to four years old. Some Goldens remain puppy-like well into their senior years.

As a pup, the Golden Retriever is very spirited. This hardy pooch can get up to a lot of mischief if left to its own devices. A dog that requires regular daily exercise, the Golden Retriever does best in a home that enjoys an active lifestyle.

If sufficiently exercised and not overfed, the Golden Retriever should remain in excellent body condition. However, this athletic dog breed does love to eat and will overindulge if allowed to free feed. With this in mind, it is recommended that all food for the Golden Retriever be measured and all intake carefully monitored.

Sadly, there are a number of genetic health problems that can befall the sweet and friendly Golden Retriever. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, subvalvular aortic stenosis, osteochondrosis dissecans, allergies, epilepsy, bloat, and cancer. Diet alone cannot prevent disease from occurring in the Golden Retriever, but it does lay an excellent foundation for health and wellness. The best dog foods for Golden Retrievers contain supplements to support joint, eye, skin, and cardiac health.

The ideal diet for the Golden Retriever is well-balanced nutritionally and contains approximately 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Golden Retrievers

Because the Golden Retriever is an active sporting breed, it is very important that this dog type receives sufficient calories to support its busy lifestyle. The best dog foods for Golden Retrievers base their recipe on a lean meat to help promote a strong and healthy body. Trying to determine how much of a food to feed a Golden Retriever can seem like a difficult task. Thankfully, most commercial dog foods list suggested serving sizes on their packaging.

The Golden Retriever loves to eat and will happily eat itself into a stupor if permitted to do so. Since the breed can be predisposed to both hip and elbow dysplasia and excess weight can be very harmful to overall health, the Golden Retriever should never be allowed to free feed. To achieve and maintain a good body condition, the Golden’s meals should be measured and all intake carefully monitored, including not only meals but also treats.

The Golden Retriever is one of many breeds that can be prone to developing the life threatening condition known as bloat. At this time, doctors do not know what factors must be present for a dog to develop this problem. It is believed that eating too much and too rapidly may both play contributing roles. To help prevent these issues in the Golden Retriever, it is recommended that the breed be fed a large breed food formulation as these types of diets contain kibble pieces of sufficient size to encourage slow and thoughtful chewing and swallowing.

Dog Food Dietary Requirements for Golden Retrievers

The lively, sociable Golden Retriever is a busy dog with places to go and people to see on its travels every day. Because this dog is both active and athletic, it requires a high performance diet that is rich in lean, meat-based proteins to attain optimal health and wellness. The best dog foods for the Golden Retriever include a whole meat or meat meal as the basis of their recipe. These meat proteins ensure there are sufficient quantities of the amino acids the Golden Retriever requires for a strong and healthy body.

Many commercial dog foods include by-products as the foundation of their formula. These ingredients are often selected because they are an inexpensive source of protein. However, by-products are typically taken from cuts of meat that are not considered to be popular selections for human beings. They can be also be difficult for dogs to digest.

The plant proteins soy, corn, and wheat have been linked to allergies in many dogs. Since the Golden Retriever can suffer from skin and stomach sensitivities, these meat alternatives are best avoided. Other ingredients that offer no nutritional benefit to the Golden and that can trigger recurring allergies are chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives.

From carbohydrates, the Golden Retriever gains the fuel it needs to enjoy good digestion and a healthy immune system. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains make an excellent foundation for any diet’s carbohydrate content, contributing ample servings of antioxidants and dietary fibre. Golden Retrievers with sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free diet.

Healthy fats are a critical part of any diet for the Golden Retriever. These fats provide the omega 3 and 6 fatty acids needed for coat and skin health and strong energy levels. The ideal sources for these essential fatty acids are typically animal-based with chicken fat and oily fish being among the best foods to contribute these vital nutrients. Many plant-based oils also offer an excellent alternative, providing sufficient quantities of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support the Golden’s health needs.

All diets can benefit from the addition of supplements to provide further health benefits to the Golden Retriever. The ideal supplements for this sweet and friendly breed are glucosamine, chondroitin, taurine, and prebiotics, and probiotics.

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers

In selecting the best dog food for the Golden Retriever, here are some guiding principles to keep in mind:

  • Meets APHA nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Free from chemicals, flavours, colours, or other difficult to identify ingredients
  • Fortified with beneficial supplements
  • Based on lean meat proteins

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