Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers In 2020

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If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers is, then I’d recommend the Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets as the best one.

One dog breed that has gained popularity, especially in the United States is the Golden Retriever. They are friendly, loyal, devoted, intelligent, observant and so gentle. This dog breed is also very good guide dogs and great for search and rescue work.

With such a stellar reputation, the Golden Retriever is no doubt a great addition to any home and family. One of the best things you can do for them is by providing the best dog food for Golden Retriever.

Top 5 Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

Our Top Choice
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Sweet Potato & Fish Formula, 26 Pounds, Grain Free
Customer Rating
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Duck 24-lb, Adult Duck
Product Name (Link Jumps To Our Review)
Customer Rating
Price not available
Merrick Grain Free  Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Recipes, Healthy Weight Real Beef, 25 Pound
Product Name (Link Jumps To Our Review)
Customer Rating
Price not available
NUTRO MAX Large Breed Puppy Recipe With Farm Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food, (1) 25-lb. bag; Rich in Nutrients and Full of Flavor for Growing Large Breed Puppies
Product Name (Link Jumps To Our Review)
Customer Rating
Price not available
Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food, 30 lb. bag
Customer Rating


Nutritional Requirements of Golden Retrievers

If you have ever been on a diet, then, you must know that it’s not counting the calories that really matters, but the source that does. If you eat more junk food on a diet, chances are that you won’t lose weight or feel well even if you’ve just had 1200 kcal per day.

This notion is also for your beloved Golden Retriever. Essentially, calories gotten from food come from the three vital macronutrients – carbs, proteins, and fats. In order for your body to thrive, it needs them all in adequate quantities. Again, this applies to your golden retriever, as well as other dog breeds.

But, bearing in mind their unique muscular nature, you will need to pay attention to the following nutrient requirement and adjust accordingly.

1. Protein

One very important nutrient you want to look out for in your dog’s food is protein as it keeps their muscles strong, providing them with energy, and strengthening their immune system.

As an active, large, and muscular breed, it is recommended that food contains at least 25% protein. It can be stepped up to about 30 – 35% for active Goldens. Any more addition might be too much, and it could lead to weight gain. It is ideal that the first two ingredients in your dog’s food be sources of protein, and not a carbohydrate.

Anything different implies that while your food may be high-carb, its low-quality food. You want to go for whole meats such as beef, chicken, and fish; and as much as possible avoid foods containing by-products of meats. This is because, they are not easily digestible and, thus, are much less nutritious for your dog.

2. Carbohydrates

As much as protein is good for golden dogs, it is important that a good amount of effort be focused on the carbohydrate content of their food. But, this food does not need a large amount – a maximum of 25% or less is recommended.

Particularly when it comes to Golden Retrievers, it is recommended to go for a grain-free dog food that contains an alternative source of carbohydrates, like chickpeas or sweet potatoes.

But, carbs need to be adjusted according to the dog’s level of activity and age. The more active your dog, the higher their need for carbohydrates.

3. Fats

A lot of people usually think that fat is the enemy, but, the body does need it to perform optimally. For instance, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in your dog’s diet help reduce shedding and adds shine and gloss to your dog’s fur – making them look healthier.

Their recommended fat intake is about 15 % fat. As much as this fat component is essential for a dog’s skin and coat health, it also helps with energy for their active lifestyle. The recommended sources of these are fish oils and flaxseed oil.

4. Vitamins and Minerals

One component of the best food for your Golden Retriever that improves and allows for an ultra-healthy dog is the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Dogs like golden need these to support their immune system, fight off illness like cancer, and also support their eye function. These nutrients can be found in dog food that contains a variety of veggies and fruits. While some dog foods use supplements instead, whole foods are a better choice.

The reason for this is because they contain a variety of nutrients rather than one that has been isolated into supplement form. For instance, calcium and phosphorus are important for improving and developing their bones. Vitamins such as B are necessary to improve metabolism. Other vitamins to look out for are A and E.


Ingredients to Avoid in the Golden Retriever Dog Food

As a general rule, it is advised to stay clear of preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors. If possible, you also want to avoid unnecessary fillers like corn. As much as corn is not harmful to dogs, their bodies are not able to digest it.

Thus while it helps to temporarily fill them up, it provides them with little to no nutrients. As a rule of thumb, a high amount of corn is a sign that the food does not have a very high nutritional value. Other ingredients you may want to avoid are:


One of the common health concerns of Golden Retrievers is cancer. Reports have it that WHO identifies both Butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole as carcinogenic. This implies that they contribute a great deal to the development of cancer.

The presence of this substance in your dog food is no doubt detrimental to their health.


This substance has been linked with problems with the liver and blood. It has presently been banned in some parts of the world. With the presence of this substance in your dog food, it predisposes your dog to conditions such as von Willebrand’s disease and aortic stenosis and you don’t want that implication for your dog.

Propyl gallate

According to human studies, propyl gallate contains xenoestrogen and this, in turn, has been linked to the occurrence of breast cancer in humans. While this is inconclusive, it is however suspected that this carcinogenic characteristic may likely extend to Golden Retrievers. It is best to avoid it.


Health Concerns to Watch For

Golden Retrievers are known to have certain health risks. These risks include cancers of the blood and lymphatic system. Another risk is the narrowing of the aortic valve restricting blood flow and causing congestion of the heart with blood.

With good nutrition, the likelihood of this disease can be reduced. For instance, fiber and omega fatty acids are beneficial for the prevention of the latter.

Furthermore, an underactive thyroid problem is likely to cause an unaccountable weight gain. Reducing your golden retriever’s calorie intake may not be enough to improve the condition. While you may need to get veterinary advice, more EPA, DHA, fiber, ALA, and probiotics can go a long way to help.

Golden Retrievers are also commonly associated with Hip and elbow joints problems. For this reason, the presence of components such as phosphorus, calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin in dog food is very essential for promoting healthy joints.

Not to forget eye complaints such as cataracts and central progressive retinal atrophy, as they are not uncommon. The best dog food for a Golden should include a good amount source of vitamin A and DHA.


Best Foods for Golden Retriever Reviews

Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers


Editor Review 1

1. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Grain-Free
3,080 Reviews
1. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Grain-Free
  • Contains 1 - 26 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
  • Limited ingredient diet may help avoid certain food sensitivities
  • Salmon is a high-quality protein that helps maintain strong muscles
  • Natural fiber promotes healthy digestion
  • Grain free recipe with no artificial flavors or colors

Are you looking for the right food for your Golden that does not trigger any allergies? One formula you may want to consider is the Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food.

This is one formula that features a limited list of ingredients thereby minimizing the chances of intolerance and allergy. With fish and sweet potatoes being the main constituent of this recipe, they are doubtless the least allergic foods for your furry companion.

This implies that there is a good chance that even the most sensitive Goldens will be able to tolerate this formula. Another reason that makes it a healthy choice for sensitive canines, is that it is free from preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

Additionally, it is grain-free and as such supports the digestive function of dogs that are sensitive to grains. It features only premium sources of your canine’s nutritional needs such as protein, carbohydrate, and fat.

This formula contains essential amino acids sourced from salmon and this helps to support the immune system, develop lean muscle mass and maintain a thick and lustrous coat.

Sweet potatoes are a very nutritious source of carbohydrates and are excellent for digestive health. They also feature good amounts of potassium and antioxidants making it great for high energy levels.

It is grain-freeIt gives your dog a fishy breath
It uses only a limited number of ingredientsIt needs strict storage
It is perfect for food-sensitive dogsThe taste and smell may not be friendly with dogs
It doesn't contain artificial colors, preservatives or flavoring
It contains fiber for easy digestion
It strengthens the dog’s muscle tone
It helps keep the skin and coat healthy

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Editor Review 2

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free
3,409 Reviews
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free
  • PACKED WITH REAL DUCK: A recipe made to satisfy your dog’s natural love for meat, this high protein dog food features real duck to help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
  • GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD: BLUE Wilderness grain free adult dog food is made with healthy carbohydrates including sweet potatoes and peas to help fuel your adult dog’s active lifestyle. Plus, it contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to support skin and coat health.
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits – a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.
  • NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog food is formulated for the health and well-being of your dog and features the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals. It never contains chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Contains one (1) 24-lb bag of BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Duck

If you’re looking for a formula that is designed for very playful and active Goldie’s, look no further. You have found it in the Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food.

This is one recipe enhanced with ingredients aimed at targeting the health needs of dogs at different stages of their life. For instance, your little canine’s brain development is supported by DHA while the joint health of senior dogs is improved by chondroitin and glucosamine. It also features a nutrition profile developed by animal nutritionists and holistic veterinarians all aimed at fortifying your Golden’s meal with optimum levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

It is high in protein sourced from real salmon, duck, chicken and other high-quality sources which all dogs love to eat; and grain-free as well. This makes it a close match to the diet of the ancestors of modern-day dogs.

This premium quality kibble is called LifeSource Bits. This implies that they help dogs maintain a healthy oxidative balance, help support a dog’s immune system, help support a dog-specific life stage requirements.

They are manufactured separately at a lower temperature from the rest of other kibbles to preserve and maintain freshness and greater potency of the vitamins and antioxidants. This way, your pet can gain as many benefits as possible from these valuable nutrients.

It contains exclusive LifeSource BitsThe smell of the product is not liked by some dogs and owners
All ingredients are naturalThe product may not be suitable for all dogs
It is made with fresh meat
It contains high protein content
It is grain-free
It comes with deboned duck and chicken meal as its primary ingredients
It contains glucosamine to promote better bone and joint health
It does not contain any chicken by-products, wheat or soy

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Editor Review 3

3. Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Recipes
305 Reviews
3. Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food Recipes
  • Nutritionally superior weight loss and weight management formula that tastes great!
  • Deboned beef is the #1 ingredient, a low fat protein source that delivers high protein levels
  • 32% protein
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas and Sweet Potatoes
  • Made in the USA

One brand that prides itself on featuring high-protein, popular among dog owners as high-quality dog food is the Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes.

This recipe is doubtless high in protein (above 34%), with a low-fat content (about 14%). The protein content is all sourced from fish, and thus makes a good option for a Golden that is allergic to beef and chicken. The good thing is that the meat has been de-boned, and thus, very safe for your dog.

Also, its fat content is sourced from salmon oil and flaxseed oil; and provides omega fatty acids, thus nourishing the skin and coat of your furry companion.

You can as well expect to find lots of antioxidants (although not as much as is to be expected) sources from a few fruit and vegetables, including blueberries, thus helping them ward off eye diseases as well as cancer.

The Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes, in my opinion, is a great choice for Golden Retrievers having joint troubles, with its very high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin. Added to the preparation also are minerals and vitamins to make it even healthier for your golden retriever.

It is also worth mentioning that they are grain-free and as such a good solution for controlling gluten intolerance and digestive problems in dogs.

It is a grain-free recipeIt likely makes some dogs gassy
It uses all-natural ingredients It may not be suitable for dogs with allergies
It does not contain artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy
Its top five ingredients are high quality
It is rich in proteins
It comes in an informative packaging
It kibble size is excellent
Contains ingredients that promote eye health
A great choice for Golden Retrievers with joint problems


Editor Review 4

4. NUTRO MAX Puppy Dry Dog Food
330 Reviews
4. NUTRO MAX Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Contains One (1) 25 Lb. Bag Of Nutro Max Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food With Farm Raised Chicken
  • Nutro Max Large Breed Puppy Food Supports The Healthy Development Of Growing Puppies Ages 1 To 12 Months
  • Our Great-Tasting, Quality Food For Large Breed Puppies Is Made With Farm-Raised Chicken, Plus Whole Grains As A Nutritious Source Of Fiber
  • Our All Natural, Affordable Dog Food Contains No Artificial Flavors Or Preservatives
  • Nutro Max Dog Food Is Responsibly Made In The U.S.A. In Our Own Facilities

One dog food that has quickly become one of the more popular boutique dog food brands on the market, is the Nutro Max Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food. It is formulated to support the development of growing puppies using only the finest ingredients that can be traced back to their sources — like real chicken protein from farm-raised chickens and whole grains.

This is one product that only makes use of the best ingredients, and as such, you’ll never find any chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat or soy protein. They provide great-tasting and natural nutrition tailored for your dog at any age, from puppy to adult to senior, so he/she will live a long, healthy life.

Judging by its ingredients alone, such as chicken meal, whole grain sorghum, brewers rice, chicken fat, dehydrated alfalfa meal, chicken, peas, flaxseed, natural flavor, whole brown rice and so on, Nutro Max Dog Food is doubtless a dry dog food product to reckon with.

They are certified by the Safe Food Certification program and thus meets safety issues that have been linked to the manufacture of canine foods. With their formulations including patented combinations of linoleic acid, a great source of omega-6 fatty acid, and zinc and B vitamins, they are perfect for dogs with sensitive skin.

Additionally, they are naturally preserved with vitamin E, keeping their formulas completely natural and chemical-free. They do not contain any unnecessary fillers, artificial flavors, preservatives or animal by-product meals.

It comes in a delicious recipeIt is not ideal for grain-sensitive or allergic dogs
It is free from artificial ingredientsIt is likely to cause diarrhea
It contains high-quality, natural ingredients Its protein content may not be high enough for some dogs
It helps in quickening healing from rashes
It is easy on the stomach for senior dogs
It comes with no artificial additives or low-quality fillers
It is a highly digestible recipe with whole grains

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Editor Review 5

5. Delta Faucet Leland
259 Reviews
5. Delta Faucet Leland
  • Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult dry dog food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Golden Retrievers 15 months and older
  • Exclusive kibble shape 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 help promote a shiny coat
  • Promotes heart health with taurine, EPA, and DHA for healthy cardiac function
  • Maintains ideal weight with precise calorie and fat content designed for Golden Retrievers

If you’re looking for a higher quality kibble, and tailored nutrition, formulated for your large breed dog, you want to consider the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food.

This is one of the best food choices formulated for golden retriever dogs. This is because the formula has been developed bearing in mind the specific health issues that golden retrievers may face.

Contained is an exclusive mix of nutrients formulated to maintain the health of the coat and skin of your golden retriever and essential fatty acids and taurine designed to address concerns such as heart problems and irritation with the skin.

This food product is formulated with DHA, EPA, and other essential fatty acids to improve the health of your golden retriever. With the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, they help in improving the health and function of lungs, heart, skin, brain, intestines, and bones.

This is one formula that is suitable for golden retrievers, particularly those that are older than 15 months. This dog food is soft and delicious; it is a complete and balanced breed-specific, made to fit the nutritional needs of the Golden Retriever.

It kibble comes in a unique shapeIt is not suitable for puppies
It promotes healthy cardiac function
It promotes digestive health
It contains all the nutrients a Goldie needs
It promotes coat's health

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Final Words On Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are one breed of large dogs associated with a few hereditary diseases to look out for, and as such, it is important to provide them with healthy dog food.

Finding the best dog food for Golden Retrievers can be an overwhelming experience, hence the above list of products. While all products in the list are recommended for your furry canine, in my opinion, Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets is the top choice.

To start with, it has the best balance and limited list of macronutrients for Golden Retrievers. This way, it can be taken by any dog without worrying about any form of allergic reactions. The product offers your dog a grain-free, antioxidants rich and premium source of protein and carbohydrates.

With the Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets, you can be sure that your Golden is in safe hands.

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Last update on 2020-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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