Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

When you buy through our links, Dogfoodspecialist may earn an affiliate commission

Share the post:


This is our review of the best dog food for golden retrievers.

Known as a “happy-go-lucky” breed, the Golden Retriever is America’s sweetheart.

Fluffy and friendly, millions of families share their homes with Golden Retrievers globally.

However, just because they have an easygoing personality, doesn’t
necessarily mean their diets are straightforward.

In fact, choosing the best dog food for Golden Retrievers is anything but easy!

For example, have you thought about:
• How much to feed a Golden Retriever puppy?
• Is raw food good for Golden Retrievers?
• Which dog treats for Golden Retrievers are healthy and safe?
• What to do if your Golden Retriever is not eating?
• What are the pros and cons of Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult?

VIDEO: 10 Golden Retriever Fun Facts!

Selecting the best Golden Retriever dog food is no small task. Luckily, Dog Food Specialist is here to clear up any misunderstandings about what should (and shouldn’t) go into your Golden Retriever’s bowl.

I’m a former veterinary technician who studied the top dog foods for Golden Retrievers to assist you in selecting the best food for your pet.

I determined that Wellness Large Breed Adult Complete Health Dog Food is the finest overall dog food available for Goldens.

Wellness Large Breed Adult Complete Health Dog Food is a formula especially formulated for large breed Goldens to promote healthy joints and muscles; it’s also made with glucosamine for further joint support.

Every dog is unique though, therefore I’ve compiled reviews on the greatest brands in each category of dog food so that you can make the best choice.

In this article we will look at:

The best dog food for Golden Retrievers
• A guide to buying dog food for Retrievers
• The nutritional needs of a Retriever
• How much & how often should I feed my Golden?
• Health issues & how diet can help
• Are grain free diets good for Goldens?
• 5 Cool facts about Goldens!

Let’s get started.

golden retrievers head poking out of leaves
Goldies are loyal and full of mischief!

Table of Contents

11 Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers Reviewed

Whether you go dry or wet food, one of the easiest ways for you to determine good dog food is by reading the label and looking out for the AAFCO Statement. Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.

All of the dog foods on this list are in accordance with the AAFCO nutrient profile[1] recommendations for dogs.

Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers


Your Golden Retriever sure does love to eat! Being a large and athletic dog, these pooches will consume between 1,300 to 1,700 calories per day. Are Golden Retrievers picky eaters? Certainly not.

However, we want to make sure the food they gobble down (sometimes in less than two minutes!) is nutritious, healthy, and best-suited to their unique requirements. That’s why I recommend:

Wellness Large Breed Adult Complete Health Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Peas
    Key Feature: Comprehensive formula meets the specific needs of large breeds
    Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
    Caloric Content: 340 kcal/cup
    Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
    Life Stage: Adult
    Best For Overall

The complete health formula features a 26% crude protein content from four animal sources. This helps build lean muscle in athletic dogs like Golden Retrievers. [2] Chicken is the first ingredient, and this recipe does not contain any byproducts…making it an excellent choice of dog food for Golden Retrievers.

Mixed tocopherols help prevent eye problems in predisposed breeds by protecting eye tissues. [3] Plus, this dog food also contains additional glucosamine to help ease joint discomfort in Goldens.

Added omega-3 fatty acids help promote a shiny coat, brain function, and cardiac health. [4] Healthy fats and taurine are essential for limiting the risk of heart problems in Golden Retrievers.

Whole food ingredients include sweet potatoes and barley as sources of complex carbohydrates. The formula does not contain any common allergens or fillers that may cause reactions in sensitive dogs.

Dog owners notice improved digestion and appreciate the bonus of less-stinky stools. Therefore, it also makes the list of best dog food for less poop smelliness.  Phew! Check out our link on the 8 best dog foods for sensitive stomachs!


Next, you have probably heard of Royal Canin before. But have you read the Royal Canin Golden Retriever reviews?

If not, don’t scroll past this next suggestion!

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food is tailormade nutrition created just for your Golden Retriever pure breed.

This exclusive breed-specific diet is uniquely formulated for your large breed with specific nutrients to help him thrive. The specialized kibble shape and texture are designed for your large dog’s straight muzzle and scissor bite, encouraging him to chew.

Exclusive nutrients help reinforce the skin barrier to provide skin support and coat care. Essential nutrients like taurine, EPA, and DHA help support heart health.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Brown Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Oat Groats, Brewers Rice, Wheat,
    • Key Feature: Comprehensive formula meets the specific needs of Golden Retrievers
    Guaranteed Analysis:
    23 % Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 5.7% Crude Fiber, Moisture 10%
    Caloric Content: 276 kcal/cup
    Type of Product: With Grains
    Life Stage: Adult
    Best For Golden Retrievers

Also available as puppy food

This Golden Retriever dog food contains a precise amount of calories and fat to help maintain your Golden at an ideal weight. Mix in or complement dry food with Royal Canin Golden Retriever Wet Dog Food for a meal that’s sure to please your pedigree.

• Specialized kibble is designed specifically for a Golden Retriever’s
straight muzzle and scissor bite to encourage chewing.
• Reinforces the skin barrier with essential nutrients to support healthy
skin and coat.
• Promotes heart health with taurine, EPA, and DHA for healthy cardiac
• Supports weight management with precise calorie and fat content
designed for big dogs.

For these reasons, Royal Canin Golden Retriever adult dry dog food is a wonderful choice for full-grown Goldens.

Have a young pup?

For the best puppy dog food for Golden Retrievers, Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food is tailor-made nutrition created just for your Golden Retriever pure breed puppy, designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Golden Retrievers 8 weeks to 15 months old.

Golden owners agree; this is “paws down” one of the best dog foods for a Golden Retriever puppy or a Golden Retriever 2 months of age and up.

Best Dog Food for Skin & Coat for Golden Retrievers

The first quality most people notice when they spot a Golden Retriever is their luxurious long and silky fur. However, for an American Golden Retriever puppy to keep their coats and skin healthy well into adulthood, they need to be eating a food with OMEGA 3 and 6 fatty acids, such as:

Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Adult Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Oat Groats, Pearled Barley
    Key Feature: Comprehensive formula meets the specific needs of large breeds
    Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
    Caloric Content: 340 kcal/cup
    Type of Product: free of artificial ingredients
    Life Stage: Adult
    Best For: Skin and Coat

WHOLE MEAT from cage-free chickens and non-GMO fruits and vegetables. – never any of that rendered “meat meal,” like “chicken meal” or “fish meal”

SUSTAINABLY SOURCED INGREDIENTS include cage-free chicken, non-GMO produce, and nothing from factory farms.

HIGHLY DIGESTIBLE WITH HEALTHY GRAINS – Our healthy and holistic dry dog food is highly digestible since there are no rendered meat meals, artificial ingredients, or preservatives We also use healthy, wholesome grains as a source of energy, fiber, and digestive health.

OMEGA 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, plus whole meat to help adult dogs maintain their strength and energy levels.

Best Grain Free Dry Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

Nowadays, more and more dog owners are switching to grain free food. The topic of Golden Retrievers and grain free dog food is one you’re bound to see being discussed on breed-specific forums and in the Golden Retriever community.

If grain free and gluten free are both on your mind, check out this insightful article on the Best Grain Free Dog Food.

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Another Golden Retriever dog food loaded with health benefits comes from Taste of the Wild.

  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, peas, Garbanzo beans, Lamb Meal, Canola Oil
    Key Feature: High Protein, Probiotics, antioxidants, and prebiotics to help support healthy digestion, immune system health
    Guaranteed Analysis: 29% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 5.% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
    Caloric Content: 360 kcal/cup
    Type of Product: Breed-Specific
    • Life Stage: All Life Stages
    Best For Adult

Formulated with novel proteins including wild boar, this grain-free recipe includes nutrient-rich legumes like peas and garbanzo beans that deliver the highly digestible energy your active pup needs, along with natural antioxidant support from real fruits and vegetables and dried chicory root for prebiotic support and healthy digestion.

Essential minerals are chelated with amino acids to optimize their absorption and ensure maximum benefit, for complete and balanced nutrition.

• This wild boar dry dog food is crafted with real meat as the #1 ingredient and is high in protein (29%) 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 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.

Best senior Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

A Golden Retriever is considered a senior when they reach the age of eight. Duringthe time, their muzzles go grey, they slow down, their joints might become stiffer, and they lose most of that puppy energy…finally!

As far as feeding goes, Golden Retriever Senior dogs have different nutritional needs than say, a Golden puppy. So, to keep these “oldie goldies” healthy and happy, consider looking into the best senior dog food.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Senior Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Meal
    Key Feature: Advanced nutritional support for large breed seniors
    Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
    Caloric Content: 344 kcal/cup
    Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
    Life Stage: Senior
    Best For Golden Seniors

A 20% crude protein content from real chicken meets the reduced protein needs of senior dogs. But, a higher 7% fiber content helps regulate sensitive digestive tracts in older Goldens.

Golden Retriever seniors often stay active throughout their later years. Added L-Carnitine helps maintain muscle mass. And whole-grain ingredients provide digestible carbohydrates for energy.

This formula also includes advanced therapeutic nutrition to help keep mature pups comfortable. A precise blend of vitamins and minerals ensures that senior Goldens have adequate calcium to keep their bones healthy. [5]

Added glucosamine improves overall mobility while omega-3 fatty acids preserve brain and heart health. Most dog owners find that their senior dogs like the taste of this dog food.

Keeping weight on old dogs can be difficult, so a tasty formula is vital. The exclusion of corn, wheat, and soy in this formula limits the potential for digestive upset.

Best Budget Food for Golden Retrievers

Let’s face it…dog food costs can add up.

An adult Golden Retriever will eat between 2 – 3 ½ cups of food each day, depending on their age and sex. So, when pondering how much to feed Golden Retrievers, think about finding a balance between quality and cost.

This next suggestion is an excellent budget-friendly choice

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice
  • Key Feature: Affordable formula with high-quality ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 327 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For Budget Golden Food

Diamond Naturals offers the same superfood ingredients and natural proteins of premium dog food at an affordable price. Examples of nutrient-dense ingredients include kale, pumpkin, and chia seeds.

This food’s 23% crude protein content comes from real chicken. Other budget products often rely on meat by-products as their first ingredient.
Nutritious vegetables and fruits provide a natural source of vitamins and antioxidants.

These compounds help protect your dog’s tissue from free radicals. This formula includes 80 billion CFUs of a proprietary probiotic blend. The blend features Lactobacillus Acidophilus, a probiotic strain proven to improve digestive health in dogs. [6]

Golden owners who feed this formula see improvements in their pup’s bowel movements thanks to insoluble fiber provided by pumpkin and coconut.

Food for Golden Retrievers

Solid Gold Hund-n Flocken Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal
  • Key Feature: Premium protein sources and whole-grain ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 335 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For Premium Golden Food

This holistic formula features pasture-raised lamb as the first ingredient and 22% crude protein content. Whole grains like brown rice and pearled barley provide fiber, B vitamins, and digestible energy.

Most Goldens do well on diets that include high-quality grain ingredients. Wheat and corn can cause adverse reactions. But the whole grains included in this recipe help boost health.

Live probiotics support digestive health and help your dog absorb nutrients from his diet. And additional superfoods like flaxseed and salmon oil provide healthy fats and antioxidants to help reduce inflammation.

Reviews of this dog food claim that the formula positively impacted their Golden’s coat health, mental acuity, and energy levels.

Best wet Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

Golden Retriever wet food comes in all shapes and sizes. From prepackaged tins to DIY homemade recipes, Retriever high protein dog food is often oftentimes classified as “wet.”

Made using real chicken as beef, this is a paw-some choice for Goldens who are a little harder to please at dinnertime.

Pedigree Cuts in Gravy Canned Wet Dog Food, Adult & Small Breed, (Pack of 12)

  • First 5 Ingredients: Water for Processing, Chicken, Meat By-Products, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten
  • Key Feature: Delicious and highly digestible formula
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 3% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 326 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Wet Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Wet Food for Goldens

Some Goldens are picky, and wet food is the best option for encouraging fussy eaters to finish their dinner. A deceptively low 8% crude protein content still provides adequate support for healthy muscles from real chicken and beef.

The high moisture content of wet foods makes the macronutrient percentages smaller than those of dry food alternatives.

Golden Retriever wet food often includes organ meats like pork liver to provide a dense nutrient source of Vitamin A. [7] Rich animal proteins are also essential for healthy muscles in athletic dogs.

Extra oils and minerals help promote a healthy and luxurious coat for Goldens.

Golden owners with fussy dogs recommend this formula. But some dogs can experience mild diarrhea when switching to wet food. Be sure to transition your dog slowly to avoid digestive upset.

Best Grain free Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

Canidae Pure Grain-Free Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key Feature: Limited Ingredient diet based on Salmon and Sweet Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 496 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For Goldens with Allergies


Goldens can have a predisposition to allergies. [8] Limited-ingredient diets like this one feature formulas designed for dogs who suffer from allergies or sensitive stomachs.

Limited ingredient diets try to limit allergen exposure to prevent allergic reactions. This 24% crude protein food depends on salmon as the sole animal protein source.

A single protein source limits the potential for developing new allergies, as most allergens are proteins. [9] Salmon is also an excellent source of healthy fats necessary for coat health in Golden Retrievers.

Only eight ingredients make up this recipe. The recipe also eliminates common allergens such as grains, soy, wheat, and corn. Goldens often do well on a grain-inclusive diet due to their predisposition for heart disease. But this grain-free option can be a suitable choice for the breed.

Added taurine in this recipe helps promote cardiovascular health. This food is not ideal for overweight Goldens due to its high caloric content. Still, many owners have had success managing their pup’s allergies with this dog food.

Best Dog Food for Joints for Golden Retrievers

Aging is a natural process for dogs. Yet just because they get older, doesn’t mean they don’t still want to walk, run, swim, and play!

Help your pet’s joints stay limber with this next dog food for Golden Retrievers. It was specifically developed with mobility in mind.

Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Large Breed Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Key Feature: Specialty diet to support joint health in large dogs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 367 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Mobility Diet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For Goldens with Joint Problems

Chicken meal provides 28% protein content for this formula. It is not grain-free and includes several whole grain sources to limit the risks of taurine deficiencies.

This dog feed includes high levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil to help reduce joint inflammation. [10] This can drastically improve comfort in Goldens suffering from joint pain.

Higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin support the regeneration of healthy cartilage. These ingredients frequently appear on food labels and help manage joint pain by limiting cartilage breakdown. [11]

A specialized recipe also includes extra vitamins E and C. These antioxidants help protect joints from free radical damage. [12] This food is a scientifically backed mobility formula.

Most owners report improvements in their dog’s comfort within the first 30 days of use. This makes it a great pick for a Golden Retriever senior.
While some people have concerns about the large kibble size, Goldens are less likely to bolt their food and choke.

Did you know that there is an all-natural method to relieve inflammation, pain, and discomfort in dogs that works better than pharmaceuticals? Check out our page on Canine Cush for Dogs.

Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

Itchy skin bothering your Golden Retriever?

They are not alone. Actually, Goldens are prone to skin problems. Those fluffy, think, water-resistant coats trap in heat and moisture. This can lead to itchiness.

Some foods also trigger allergies – uh oh! If skin issues are making your pup uncomfortable, transitioning to a hypoallergenic food for Golden Retriever dogs could be your next step.

Here is the best dog food for an itchy Golden Retriever, plus some extra hypoallergenic dry dog food info.

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas
  • Key Feature: All breed formula for skin and coat support
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 337 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For Golden Coat Health

Golden Retrievers have beautiful coats with unique needs. This formula offers 25% protein content from Salmon. Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for coat health.

This kibble is hypoallergenic and grain-free to minimize the risk of adverse skin reactions.

A proprietary blend of probiotics supports digestive and immune health. A robust immune system is critical for preventing skin infections.

Dog owners who feed this formula notice an intense, healthy shine in their Golden coats. But, it does not provide itch relief for every dog with skin issues

Nutritional Needs of Golden Retrievers

You must first provide your golden retriever with balanced proportions of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in any diet you prescribe for it.


The ideal dog food for Golden Retrievers should be high in protein content.

Because Golden Retrievers are big and active dogs, they require more protein to keep their muscular bodies in comparison to other breeds of dogs.

golden retriever running through a meadow with a blue sky
Goldies require high protein for their active lifestyle!


The perfect amount of fat for a Golden Retriever is 12-18%. Fat is not the enemy; it’s essential to the body’s performance.

In reality, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids found in your dog’s diet help to decrease shedding and give shine and luster to his fur – making your canine companion appear younger.


Carbohydrates should be modified depending on the dog’s level of activity and age.

A decent dog food must contain at least 30% carbohydrates. The more active your dog is, the more carbohydrates he needs. Choose a dog food that includes complex carbohydrates from potatoes and starchy foods.

However, to minimize heart health risks, include added taurine in every meal. Taurine is an amino acid that can be naturally found in animal tissues including the heart, liver and brain.

Another hint: Providing your dog with omega-rich meals will keep her coat glossy and healthy

Vitamins and Minerals

Large dogs, like Golden Retrievers, require significant amounts of calcium and phosphorus to grow.

Mineral deficiencies in Golden Retriever puppies can lead to skeletal abnormalities such as hip dysplasia.

You should look for dog food that follows the nutritional profile specifications set by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

Look for foods that have natural vitamins in them. Vitamins B6 and B12 are important to your golden’s metabolism.

Vitamins C and E act as antioxidants by protecting tissues from free radicals.

Golden Retriever looking at vitamins held out in palm of hand

Check out our expert review on the best multivitamins for your Goldie!

DHA and Taurine

DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s are important for promoting the overall health of Golden Retrievers, in addition to maintaining their coat oils, brain function, and heart health. Omega-3s can also help reduce inflammation.

Taurine is an essential amino acid required for good heart health in Golden Retrievers. Taurine lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the chances of heart failure.

The heart issues that plague golden retrievers are a result of a genetic propensity. Taurine deficiencies can have severe health consequences.

A good supplement containing Taurine and Green mussels is: EverRoot Heart Health + Taurine & Green Lipped Mussels

How often and how much should i feed my Golden Retriever

Learning how much to feed Golden Retrievers has a steep learning curve.

On one hand, too little…and you have a hungry dog missing out on essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins, etc. On the other side, too much food…and suddenly, your veterinarian is sternly informing you that your pup has gotten obese!

Understanding the ins and outs of Golden Retriever dog food is tricky indeed. Luckily, the following Golden Retriever feeding chart will help.

To begin, the average weight of a Golden Retriever is about 55 to 75 pounds as an adult. They reach their full size between 12 and 18 months old.  Every dog may grow at different rates, though.

Are you stuck worrying, “How much food should I feed my puppy Golden Retriever?” Finding the best puppy dog food doesn’t have to be hard. Simply put, your Golden retriever puppy should be fed food specially developed for huge dogs.

Split his daily amount into three meals until he is six months old. For the remainder of his life, split his diet into two meals each day. See the food chart for a Golden Retriever puppy

Here are some general feeding guidelines for Golden puppies.

Puppy AgeDaily Amount
Two Months1 ½ Cups
Three Months2 Cups
Four Months2 ½ Cups
Five to Six Months3 Cups
Six to Seven Months (Males Only)3 ½ Cups

Adult Golden Retrievers should consume between 1300 and 1700 calories each day. Smaller, less active dogs may require fewer calories. Larger sporting dogs, on the other hand, may need more nutrients. Here are some rough guidelines for feeding your adult Golden Retriever.

Gender and LifestyleDaily Amount
Females2 to 2 ½ Cups
Males3 to 3 ½ Cups
Active Males4 Cups
Nursing Females5 to 6 Cups

Goldens require fewer calories as they get older. Golden oldies need around 900 calories each day between two equally spaced meals.

When determining how much to feed your dog, always keep in mind to consult with your veterinarian. Likewise, you can also talk to your vet about the correct amount of food for a Golden Retriever puppy, based on their individual habits and needs.

Health issues and how diet can help your Goldie!

The Golden Retriever is a ‘Category Two’ breed, as defined by the Kennel Club.

These are dogs that have been labeled as having “points of concern,” which might be exacerbated and cause health and welfare issues if exaggerated.

This is because they may have short legs in relation to their body size and an inclination to become overweight, making any extra weight more impacting on their locomotion but thankfully, proper nutrition can help reduce their risks.

Some of the conditions Golden Retrievers are more prone to developing include:

  • Hip and Elbow dysplasia – where hip or elbow joint that doesn’t fit together perfectly, which will eventually lead to arthritis. Poor nutrition and rapid growth of a puppy can increase the risks of this disease. Make sure they receive a diet with adequate phosphorus and calcium as these minerals play an essential part in bone development.Before breeding, dogs should be screened by x-rays through the BVA/Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia Scheme.
  • Eye problems – screening tests are available and dogs should be screened on a yearly basis, especially if intended for breeding. These conditions include:
    • Cataracts – where the lens of a dog’s eye goes ‘cloudy’.
    • Multifocal retinal dysplasia – abnormal development and growth of the back of the eye (retina) which can lead to blindness.
    • Generalised progressive retinal atrophy (GPRA) – slowly leads to progressive blindness over months or years.
    • Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy (RPED, or central progressive retinal atrophy) – a genetic problem which causes issues in the back of the eye (retina) and loss of vision.
    • Glaucoma – high pressure within the eye causing pain and loss of vision.
    • Feeding a diet rich in antioxidants like vitamin E can help protect eye tissue from damage. Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids also help enhance your dog’s eye health.
  • Ichthyosis – a skin disease that causes thickening of the footpads and makes other areas of skin rough and covered with thick, greasy flakes that stick to the hair.

If your Golden Retriever suffers from arthritis, added glucosamine can help ease joint discomfort.

The best probiotic for Golden Retrievers

Probiotics are becoming another buzzword.

Advertisements flood cable television expounding on the benefits of probiotics for use in humans.

But did  you know that a dog’s gut health has a significant influence on its overall health?

A recent scientific study reports that 70% to 80% of all illness begins in the gastrointestinal tract! 

So, let’s now take a look at the 5 signs your dog needs probiotics!

Full Bucket's Canine Caily Dog

tub of daily dog probiotic powder

Other health issues of Golden Retrievers may include


Dogs can have allergic reactions, just like humans.

Skin allergies, environmental allergies, and food allergies may severely limit your dog’s quality of life.

These adverse effects are more common in certain breeds of dogs, including the Golden Retriever, and a dog’s diet is critical to managing allergies.

Choose a limited-ingredient dog food if your Golden has allergies. These options include easy recipes with a single protein source to reduce the chance of reactions to allergens. Check out our expert review on Limited ingredient diet & hypoallergenic diets for dogs

Formula options that are soy-free, corn-free, or wheat-free are also fantastic alternatives for sensitive pups. Still not seeing results?

Adding the best fish oil for Golden Retrievers to your dog’s diet may help with itching, licking, redness, hair loss, etc

Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis is a hereditary illness that affects Goldens, the aorta is narrowing in this condition.

Blood from the heart exits through this valve and travels throughout the body.

Aortic valve stenosis leads to blood shortage in body tissues and acongested heart. [13]

Omega fatty acids aid in the reduction of harmful lipids in the

Feeding your Golden Retriever a diet low in crude fat but high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the development of this disease.

Golden retriever being examined by vet
Diets high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help Goldies with heart conditions


Goldens often gain weight quickly, but unusual weight gain without any changes to their diet or exercise may indicate hypothyroidism. The inactive Thyroid gland causes this weight increase.

These dogs can’t reduce their calorie consumption because of a sluggish Thryoid gland. but high quantities of DHA, antioxidants, fiber, and
probiotics in your Golden’s diet are effective ways to regulate your Golden’s weight[14]


Although the majority of Golden Retrievers in the United States are overweight, your dog’s propensity to gain weight may raise his risk of other health problems.

Extra weight puts additional pressure on joints, which leads to arthritis. Overweight dogs have an elevated chance of diabetes, cancer, and liver disease, among other things.

Food is a wonderful thing, it can make you feel energetic and full for hours. However, in certain circumstances, more food may be harmful to your health.

Excess calories can cause weight gain, So don’t overfeed your Golden. Feed the right amount of nutritious dog food.  This includes lean protein sources and a low-fat content.


Too many treats can result in a chunky Golden. Keep in mind, the best dog treats for Golden Retrievers will be high-quality and human-grade.

For ideas, read about Top Everyday Treats For Dogs.

Never feed your pooch bones they could accidently choke on. Instead, the best dog bones for Golden Retrievers will be natural antlers and storebought chews.

For wiggly little puppies, here are the best Golden Retriever puppy treats!

Golden Retriever being weighed at vets
Overweight dogs have an elevated chance of diabetes, cancer, and liver disease

The Best Probiotic for Puppies

Puppies are born with low immunity and are susceptible to diseases early in life.

There are two types of immunity: innate and adaptive. A proper vaccination schedule can help develop your puppy’s adaptive immune  system. 

FullBucket’s Puppy Probiotic can help kick-start your puppy’s innate immunity by  developing a good microbial population in the gut and can help develop  adaptive immunity to parvovirus before they can be vaccinated. Read our expert review on the best probiotic for puppies.

Are Grain-Free Diets Safe for Golden Retrievers?

Golden retriever foods to avoid include the obvious culprits:

• Chocolate
• Grapes
• Onion
• Garlic
• Anything with Xylitol

But what about grain?

The FDA has recently investigated a possible link between grain-free diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy. [15] This condition causes your dog’s heart to get enlarged, resulting in congestive heart failure frequently.

A number of dog foods on the market today are made with grain-free recipes. These foods typically include a lot of potatoes or legumes as their main ingredients.

According to certain research, dogs that ate these meals on a daily basis had an increased heart disease risk. The precise relationship between taurine and heart disease is unknown, but most dogs with a heart condition have low blood taurine levels.

Owners should consider the potential health problems before feeding a grain-free diet since Golden Retrievers are prone to heart issues. If you pick a grain-free diet, make sure the formula has enough taurine to protect your heart.

Before you begin feeding grain-free dog food to your Golden, speak with your veterinarian.

5 cool facts about Golden Retrievers

1. Presidential Pets

Presidents Ford and Reagan both had Golden Retrievers as pets while in office.

2. Golden Retrievers consistently rank among the top 3 most popular dogs in the U.S.

Goldens are among the most popular dogs in the United States, owing to their sociable disposition, love of people, loyalty, and trainability.

Just be sure to budget accordingly if your heart is set on a Golden Retriever. When asked, “How much do Golden Retrievers Cost?” the answer from breeders varies.

Expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,500 for a purebred puppy.

3. Golden Retrievers get Lonely!

Are Golden Retrievers smart?

Yes indeed. Goldens are intelligent and eager to please. Consequently, they need mental stimulation to stay happy.

When left alone for extended periods of time, Golden Retrievers have been known to get lonely and even down.

It is recommended that they not be left alone for more than seven hours.

4. World Breaking Goldie

With 5 tennis balls, Auguste, a Golden Retriever from Dallas, holds the world record for “Most Tennis Balls Held in the Mouth by a Dog.”

President Ford and Raegan both had Goldies while in office

5. They make wonderful therapy dogs.

The golden retriever has been observed to provide great emotional therapy to the sick and elderly, as well as motivate patients in ways that humans cannot.

They give patients who are otherwise lonely and lack bodily contact a sense of comfort and wellbeing.

The Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers -The Verdict

Understanding how nutrition affects your Golden Retriever’s health is critical in developing the best diet for him. The ideal Golden Retriever dog food formulations include significant amounts of lean protein and good omega-3 fatty acids.

Wellness Large Breed Adult Complete Health Dog Food, which provides comprehensive nutritional support, can aid in the management of typical health issues.

There you have it, pet parents!

A concise list covering the very best dog food for Golden Retrievers.


Share the post: