The Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers in 2022

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best dog food for golden retrievers

This is our review of the best dog food for Golden Retrievers in 2022.

Golden Retrievers are one of the best dog breeds, they are smart, friendly, playful, and really good around kids.

However, as strong and powerful as they are, they are prone to some health problems, such as crippling that develops from hip disease. This health problem is often caused by feeding the goldens too much calcium as puppies.

However, you can prevent these health issues and all the headaches that come with them by feeding your Golden a proper diet.

As a qualified vet, I reviewed over 100 dog food in the market, and I chose 8 that meet the olden Retrievers’ nutritional needs and meet my veterinary standards.

I always recommend Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult as the best dog food for Golden Retrievers.

But I know that every dog’s condition is different, that’s why I’ve included 7 more dog food that I know are a good pick for Golden Retrievers.

Let’s get into it.

What Is The Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers?

The 8 Best Dog Food Brands for Golden Retrievers Reviewed

Before we dive in, I want to tell you that all the dog food I included in this list meets the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs.

Also, we always recommend that you consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your Golden Retriever’s diet.


1. Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Peas
  • Nutrient Content: 26% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, With Grain
  • Best for: Adult Golden Retrievers

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult is the best dog food for Golden Retrievers, it is specially crafted to provide your canine with whole-body nutritional support.

It features deboned chicken and chicken meal as the main ingredients which provide your furry friend with a high quality of protein to build lean and strong muscles.

It also includes healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids that support coat and skin health. Along with probiotics and taurine that support the immune system, heart health, and brain function.

The barley and peas that are included in this formula are great sources of fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals which promote a complete and balanced diet.

And, it’s made completely free of GMOs, meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives so rest assured your dog will get safe and clean dog food.


2. Halo Holistic Chicken Recipe Large-Breed Dry Food

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley
  • Nutrient Content: 25% Protein, 15% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: With Grain, High-Protein
  • Best for: Adult Golden Retrievers

Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe dog food features real, cage-free, whole chicken as the main ingredient which doesn’t only provide a strong source of protein for your dog to build lean and strong muscles, but also acts as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin which supports your Golden Retriever’s joints health.

This formula includes omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health. And it’s completely free of GMO ingredients, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors which guarantees that your Golden will get high-quality dog food that will provide her with maximum nutrition and high digestibility.

Plus, this formula is made in the USA with high-quality ingredients, so rest assured that your dog will get nutritional, clean, and safe dog food.


3. Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Dog Food

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Nutrient Content: 22.5% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, With Grain
  • Best for: Adult Golden Retrievers

Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Dog Food features real farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient which provides a great source of protein that helps your Golden Retriever develop and maintain strong muscles.

The chicken is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin that supports bones and joint health which is very important for active dogs such as Golden Retrievers.

This formula is specially formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of large breeds dogs like Goldens, and it features a tailored blend of fiber and prebiotics that provides healthy digestion and provides great support for the immune system.


4. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Wheat Gluten, Chicken Fat, Wheat
  • Nutrient Content: 27% Protein, 14% Fat, 5.9% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: With Grain
  • Best for: Golden Retriever puppies

As I mentioned earlier, Golden Retriever puppies can are prone to crippling that develops from hip disease if they were fed too much calcium.

This means that choosing a dog food that meets the nutritional requirements of your Golden puppy is critical for her development.

I recommend Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy as the best dog food for Golden Retrievers puppies, it contains the right nutrients in the right amounts that Golden puppies need.

It features 27% protein and 338 kcal/cup to meet your growing puppy’s higher requirement for protein which helps develop lean and strong muscles without causing rapid growth, a common health problem that often causes hip dysplasia.

Lots of Golden Retrievers’ parents love the kibble’s shape which is specially formulated for the Golden’s straight muzzle and scissor bite to encourage them to chew.

This formula also includes an exclusive complex of antioxidants including vitamin E along with prebiotics to help your puppy develop her natural defense mechanisms and strengthen her digestive and immune systems.


5. Holistic Select Senior Health

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Lentils, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Nutrient Content: 27% Protein, 12% Fat, 5.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten Free
  • Best for: Golden Retriever seniors

Holistic Select Senior Health offers a healthy and nutritious recipe that meets the nutritional requirements of your senior pal.

Featuring 27% protein content from chicken meal, this recipe is high in protein which is exactly what your Golden needs to maintain their muscle mass.

This formula is fortified with natural fibers, digestive enzymes, and probiotics to ensure healthy and regular digestion.

It also includes omega-3 fatty acids that help your dog maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Plus, the added antioxidants, probiotics, glucosamine, and taurine help support the healthy functioning of the heart which is very important for aging Goldens.


6. Pedigree Choice Country Stew Canned Food

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Sufficient Water For Processing, Chicken, Meat By-Products, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten
  • Nutrient Content: 8% Protein, 3% Fat, 1% Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Wet food
  • Best for: Adult Golden Retrievers

Pedigree Choice Country Stew Canned Food is the best wet food for Golden Retrievers, it features hearty cuts of real meat which delivers high-quality protein that helps your four-legged friend develop strong muscles.

Golden retrievers have a unique coat that needs constant maintenance and a proper diet, This recipe includes high levels of oil and minerals to support skin and coat health.

This recipe promotes a healthy, complete, and balanced diet that is highly digestible and friendly to your Golden’s stomach.

One thing to look out for with this wet food or any other wet food is teeth hygiene, keep an eye out on your dog’s teeth and brush whenever you think it’s needed.

What I like most about this wet food is the fact that even the pickiest eaters will eat it, it has a flavor that most dogs can relate to. You can always serve it on its own, but I usually recommend that you blend it with dry dog food for optimal nutrition for your dog.

Plus, it is made in the USA, ensuring that your dog will get high-quality, clean, and nutritious dog food.


7. Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Nutrient Content: 35% Protein, 12% Fat, 6% Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Type of Product: Weight Control, Grain-Free, Gluten Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Raw, Natural
  • Best for: Adult Golden Retrievers

If your Golden has problems managing weight, Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe is the right dog food for her. It features high-quality protein that’s sourced from real chicken as the main ingredient offering your four-legged friend the protein she needs to build lean and strong muscles.

Also, the high protein and reduced fat combination help your dog build lean muscles while losing fat at the same time. And even though this dog food is low in calories which forces your dog to burn extra fat, it has enough energy from peas and tapioca to keep your dog stay active all day long.

This recipe also includes a considerable amount of fiber so that your dog feels full after each meal, and it has freeze-dried chicken kibble, which gives the food an extra boost of protein while also making it more appetizing for your dog.

And it is made in the USA, ensuring that your dog will get high-quality dog food.


8. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient

  • 5 Key Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Peas
  • Nutrient Content: 26% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Type of Product: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, With Grain
  • Best for: Adult Golden Retrievers

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient is the best option for Golden Retrievers with sensitive stomachs, irritable skin, and allergies. It is formulated with a very simple formula of high-quality ingredients,- a single source of animal protein and no grains, soy, gluten, artificial colors, or flavors.

This formula features salmon as the first ingredient which provides your Golden with the necessary protein and amino acids that he needs to develop and main strong muscles.

Salmon also is a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids that helps Goldens maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat.

And, the added sweet potatoes and flaxseed offer a great source of fiber that supports healthy digestion and help your dog feel full after each meal.


How to Choose The Best Dog Food for Your Golden Retriever?

best dog food for golden retrievers

Choosing the best dog food for your Golden shouldn’t be that difficult or overwhelming, that’s why I will share with you what you should keep in mind when shopping for your dog’s food.

Nutritional Requirements of Golden Retrievers

If you have a Golden Retriever, then you know that these amazing creatures need a special diet that includes the right nutrients in the right amounts so that they can thrive and live a long happy life.

In the section below, I’ll break down all you need to know about Golden’s macronutrient needs. Let’s get into it.

High to Moderate Protein

Adult Golden Retrievers require at least 18% protein in their diet, while puppies require at least 22%, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual.

The added protein in the puppies’ diet helps them build strong muscles, while it helps adults to maintain their muscle mass.

Generally speaking, when it comes to protein, the more the merrier, just make sure not to go under the portion I just mentioned.

Low to Moderate Fat

Fats have a bad reputation among us, but they are very important for dogs. They provide your pal with considerable amounts of energy to keep up with their activity levels and support their proper growth as they get older.

However, large breeds such as Golden Retrievers have a slower metabolism, meaning that they are more prone to gain weight than other breeds, so picking a dog food with the right amount of fat is critical to your dog.

In general, I always recommend that you stay between 10 to 15% of fat content, any more than that won’t be good for your Golden.

One more thing I want to mention is that it’s better if the fat comes from an animal source.

Digestible Carbs

Golden Retrievers are active dogs, thus they need carbs to thrive. They provide dogs with the energy to stay active.

The carbs should come from a natural high-quality ingredient, for instance, potatoes and other tubers are great sources of digestible carbs, they also contain considerable amounts of minerals and vitamins that are very important for healthy bones and teeth.

The only thing to look out for is sugar, stay away from food that contains too much of it because it can cause obesity.

Can Golden Retrievers Eat Vegetables and Fruits?

Yes they can. Vegetables and fruits are the main source of vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants that help dogs get a balanced and complete diet. However, I don’t recommend that you give your dog a diet that’s completely vegan, a protein source should be the main ingredient in the dog food.

Which Dog Food is Best for Golden Retrievers, Wet or Dry?

Both wet and dry dog food have their advantages and disadvantages. Wet dog food is more appealing to dogs, and even the pickiest ones eat it, plus, it helps them stay hydrated all day long and is good for dog with allergies and stomach sensitivities. However, it’s more expensive especially for large breed dog owners because these creatures can eat a lot.

On the other hand, dry dog food provide more texture and it doesn’t need any refrigeration so it can last longer, and it’s good for the wallet.

One thing to keep in mind is that both dog food have the same nutritional value, just make sure to pick a dog food that have high quality ingredients.

What Should I look For In A Dog Food for My Golden Retrievers?

The main thing you want to keep in mind when picking a dog food for your Golden is that it must have be high in protein, low to moderate in fat, and have a blend of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to provide your dog with a complete diet.
All the dog food I mentioned above fall into this category, but feel free to do your own research and make the decisions that that best suits you and your Golden pal.

Our Verdict

A diet that’s high in protein and low to moderate in fats is ideal for most Golden Retrievers, and both the protein and fat should come from animal sources.

Out of all the dog food I reviewed, I found that Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult is the best dog food for Golden Retrievers as it has the perfect combination between quality and price.

However, your dog’s condition might be different so make your choice accordingly.

And before you make any changes in your dog’s diet, please consult your veterinarian.

John Alexander
John Alexander

John is a qualified vet and an expert in dog nutrition. He has been documenting his journey with dogs and writing about their nutrition for over two years now. He is the go-to person when it comes to dogs nutrition.

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