Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers – (2017’s Top 5 Picks)

5 Of The Best Brands To Feed Your Golden Retriever

Those of us who have dogs for pets know that the little ones need as much care as human beings. Different pets call for their particular kind attention, and especially so when it comes to meals. In our search for the best dog food for golden retrievers, we came across these unbeatable brands.

Quick Picks: Top 5 Choices for Goldens

**Below, you'll find our expert's science-backed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on

Golden Retriever Diet & Nutrition Needs

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Older Dogs
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Typical Adults
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Active/Working Dogs

Why Fuss on Breed-specific Food?

While some people call it a marketing gimmick, feeding your pup food specified for its breed will benefit it now and in the future. A golden retriever, for example, would develop a joint disease as it grows if overfed on calories and a diet high in calcium. A breed-specific meal makes it all easy for you as a parent, as you do not have to worry whether your dog’s meal has these nutrients in excess. It also ensures that you are not leaving out the essential nutrients that your dog needs during development.

Size Matters​


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Large breed puppies (golden retrievers fall into this category) differ from their smaller counterparts in obvious ways, but more so in their makeup. Their meals need to strike a specific balance for phosphorus and calcium, as they are prone to developmental orthopedic diseases such as hip dysplasia. This is one of the reasons why only the best dog food for golden retrievers is good enough for your pup for them to develop into a happy and healthy dog.

Do You Have To Follow Through To Adulthood?

Yes, because calorie and nutrient requirement continue into adulthood. Small dog breeds require a calorie dense meal, as their metabolism is quite high. They will quickly burn the calories consumed in a matter of hours. This starts in childhood and does not change in adulthood. For the large dog breed, they do not need as many calories in a day as their smaller counterparts, which is why a breed specified meal works best.

Every prepared meal takes this into consideration, and so each specified quantity meets the daily energy and nutrient requirements. At the end of the day, what a breed-specific does for you is make your work easier. It takes the guesswork out of meal times, and the constant worry of whether your pet is getting all the necessary nutrients.

What Are The Calorie Requirement For A Golden Retriever?​

What Are The Calorie Requirement For A Golden Retriever

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As you know, golden retrievers are large and active dogs with insatiable appetites. They can eat throughout the day of you let them. For you to prevent them from gaining too much weight and developing joint problems as they grow, it would be best to limit their feeding times to three in their pup days and two in adulthood. Train them to eat only during designated meal times so that they remain active, athletic, and healthy.

The calorie requirement differs on the stage of life that your golden retriever is in. Typically, adults will weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. According to NRCNA, National Research Council of the National Academies, an active dog should consume between 1,353 and 1,740 calories a day, while a daily intake of 989 and 1,272 calories will do for a less active dog. As they age, they utilize less energy, and hence their daily requirements reduce just like human beings.​

What Should You Avoid In A Dog Meal?

Well, it mostly depends on the allergies that your god may have, but most manufacturers avoid gluten, soy, and grains. Grains spike allergic reactions in most dogs, which is why it is wise just to avoid them. Luckily, you will notice that they are hardly included in products.

The ideal dog meal should consist balanced amounts of proteins and vegetables, so as to provide your dog with all nutrients they need.​

Any Additional Nutrients that Should Matter?​

Probiotics work wonders for your gut. They do the same for a dog’s. If you notice inconsistent stool, then you need to include these supplements in their meals. If you can choose a product that contains them, the better off your pet would be.

Dry or Wet Dog Food?​


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This is entirely up to you. If you choose dry kibble, you can always add some warm water to make it ideal for your dog. However, if the aroma of the meal is inviting, your dog will devour it without much fuss. Besides, it does not need refrigeration.

Any Other Benefit?

That lustrous, golden coat does not just happen. It is a direct result of feeding your pup the best dog food for golden retrievers. The only way to have an energetic dog who will keep you on your toes, as pets are wont to do is by feeding yours a well-balanced meal. Regular checkups with your vet as required would also let you know whether your golden retriever is doing as they should for their age.

Brief Review of Top 5 Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers 2017

1. Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Chicken Meal with Sweet Potato and Duck Meal


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This could easily be the best meal for your golden retriever if your little one (or not so little) is allergic to grains. It provides an ideal combination of proteins and carbs to give your dog its required nutrients each day without overwhelming him.

The Ingredients List​

The ingredient list, apart from chicken, pork, duck, and sweet potatoes, contains minerals such as Riboflavin, a good source of vitamin B2, Thiamine Mononitrate, which provides Vitamin B5, and Pyridoxine Hydrochloride for vitamin B6. It also contains Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 supplements, and many other nutrients that lead to a healthy golden retriever.

Reasonable Chunks

​The pieces are not too large for a puppy to eat; they are round and roughly 1cm. The aroma from the ingredients will prompt any dog to rise from sleep to eat. As you can note, the ingredients are rich in protein, and hence they keep your dog fuller for longer. 2.5 cups of this meal are enough to keep a senior dog satiated for the day. This meal is ideal for an active dog as they need the energy to run around and the protein will help with muscle formation. However, older dogs that spend most of their day's lounging would gain too much weight from this combination.

  • Nutritious ingredients.
  • Satiating.
  • Great aroma.
  • You see results within a month of feeding a dog with severe malnutrition.
  • Manufactured in audited and approved facilities.
  • It is too expensive.
  • Not ideal for aging golden retrievers.

2. Wilderness Blue Buffalo High-Protein Dry Adult Dog Food


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Grains are a common allergen in dogs, which is why most dog meals skip them. This brand is not different, with this meal containing high levels of protein and no grains.

This dry dog meal contains 31% protein, 36% carbs, and 33% fats. The fat is mostly derived from vegetable sources such as flaxseeds, while the rest is from chicken.​

Ingredients In This Meal

You have salmon, which is rich in omega 3-fatty acids, chicken meals, which is a meat concentrate with nearly 300% more protein content than fresh chicken, and peas, which are both carbohydrates and proteins.

For more starch content, tapioca cassava is included. The manufacturers have added tomato pomace, which is praised for its high fiber content. It comes with directions on how much to feed your dog depending on their weight and age. It is ideal for adult dogs.​

  • The protein content is ideal for an active dog.
  • It is grain-free, so no allergens.
  • The price is quite good.
  • Easy to prepare.
  • The ingredients include 45% yeast, which some dogs might be allergic to.
  • The protein amount is quite high for sedentary dogs.

3. EVANGER’S Grain-Free Meat Lovers' Medley with Rabbit Dry Dog Food


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I am yet to meet a dog that hates meat and especially if the meat is fresh. This meal is a combination of three types of meat, pork, rabbit, and beef. It is the ideal combo for a meat lover.

The initial target of the manufacturer is to give you puppy a healthy meal, but in the middle of that comes aroma and taste, as you would imagine. It contains no artificial additives, soy, or other allergens that should concern you.

One of the things that make this meal the best for your golden retriever is that fact that it contains high levels of protein. Your friendly and highly active dog will benefit from the muscle-building food that will keep them safe from future joint concerns.

Proteins aside, this meal contains flaxseeds, omega 3 and 6, and vitamins for the health of your dog. It also contains probiotics for a healthy gut.​

  • The aroma is inviting.
  • Easy to prepare.
  • The nutrients are great for a healthy dog.
  • The meal is ideal for dogs at all stages of growth.
  • Probiotics are great for the digestive system.
  • Expensive.
  • Get depleted fast.

4. Merrick Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food


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This meal certainly regarded the best dog food for golden retrievers by thousands of reviewers. It is grain-free, a factor that weighs heavily on most dog owners. The protein used is derived from lean sources, and so you do not have to worry about excess weight gain.

It is 70% meat, which gives it the distinctive aroma that invites tour four-legged to dinner hours before its time. You have deboned buffalo, chicken, salmon, and turkey. The vegetables include alfalfa, blueberries, and sweet potatoes.

Other ingredients apart from the deboned buffalo meat include omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a great coat. You also have vitamins and minerals to provide all the antioxidants your dog may need, all from fresh produce.​

Golden retrievers are known to develop joint problems if they become overweight, which is why consists of glucosamine and chondroitin join other ingredients to strengthen your dog’s joints. The lean meat also develops the dog’s muscles to make them strong during development and in adulthood. These ingredients also ensure a healthy metabolism.​

  • All ingredients are USDA-inspected and approved.
  • Gluten free.
  • Ingredients ensure healthy joints.
  • No artificial additives.
  • Stool consistency.
  • Pricey.
  • Cold use a few more veggies and fruits.

5. Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-Free Dry Dog Food


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Your dog will love the aroma of this dry meal. It consists of carefully selected proteins and vegetables to ensure that your dog gets the best nutrients for both development and even as they age.

This meal is prepared and packed in USDA-approved facilities, and it contains no artificial additives. It is gluten and soy free.

The main ingredients include beef, chicken, and fish, all which are responsible for the healthy coat and lean muscle formation. Thanks to these lean proteins, your golden retriever will be free from joint issues, as they grow older.

Tapioca, butternut squash, and chicken eggs make up the rest of the ingredients list, together with several minerals. This meal has a unique addition: apple cider vinegar, to balance the acidic content in the food. To top all these up, this meal contains Probiotics for a healthy gut.

  • Probiotics ensure stool consistency.
  • Lean proteins for muscle formation.
  • The kibble is easy to prepare.
  • The package contains directions for use.
  • Ideal for all ages.
  • The kibble is small-sized.
  • Quite pricey.

And the Winner is..

It is always hard to choose a winner, especially when all the products reviewed are clearly the best in their categories. But since it Is necessary, we prefer Merrick Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food as the best dog food for golden retrievers.

This product has a balanced consistent of both proteins and vegetables. It also contains probiotics for a healthy gut. Although the price is slightly sticky, the product is worth every penny. We also took into consideration the fact that it is ideal for all stages of your dog’s life. If they love it, all you would have to change as they grow is the quantity.

​Oh, and hey... If you liked this article, check out this one on Yorkies. And here's a pretty good one on the best dog food for boxers.

**Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.

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