Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers

The gentle golden retriever is a popular breed in most homes. These pets are known for their playful personalities, and it makes them a good addition to any dog-loving family. Why should you get the best food for golden retrievers?

Golden retrievers, like all other large dogs, are prone to elbow, and hip dysplasia. They need more exercise than the average breed and good diet to prevent excess weight gain. Their nutrition plays a large role in their overall health. To keep your pet healthy and happy, read our golden retriever puppy food recommendations

How to Choose the best dog food for golden retriever

Picking out a nutritious dog food for your pet can be stressful. Some dogs are picky while others can easily be affected by allergies. So you need to be careful when choosing a formula. We have come up with some tips to help you to know what to look out for when searching for a high-quality product.

  • Ensure that you read the label on the pack or can. This should contain the ingredients used in making the product. Always look out for the first five ingredients in the product, it is the most important information.
  • Check the dog food’s source of protein. It should normally come from an animal instead of vegetable.
  • Ensure that the food you opt for doesn’t contain by-products. This ingredient is difficult to digest and won’t make your pet happy.
  • Food with color, artificial flavors and preservatives must be avoided altogether. These compounds can cause cancer, so it is safer to avoid them entirely.
  • Check the label for the source of fat used in the dog food. Some fats are far better than others since they are easy to digest. An example of this is animal fat and vegetable fat. The later isn’t easy to digest.
  • Don’t buy dog food that doesn’t specify the source of the fat and meat. This could mean that the ingredients are derived from low-quality sources.
  • Once in a while, change brands to ensure that your pet enjoys different varieties and flavors.
  • Don’t buy dog food that contains pheasant, rabbit or venison unless you have spoken with a vet. Such ingredients are not necessary for any dog’s diet.
  • You shouldn’t feed your pet raisins, grapes, or onions. You should also ensure that they are not contained in the preferred brand. No matter how convincing they look, they are poisonous to your dog.
  • Don’t buy more than your dog needs at a time. Only buy what your pet needs for a month at most.
  • Lastly, ensure that the food is stored properly in an airtight container.

Below is a list of the best food for golden retriever puppy to help you during your search.

7 best Foods for Golden Retriever reviews

1. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick dog food is one of the best dog food for senior golden retriever. It is a good choice for all breeds, and it is also a favorite for golden retrievers. The main ingredient is deboned chicken while other ingredients are meat meals from turkey and chicken.

This formula’s protein content is derived from fish, and this makes it a healthier alternative for dogs that are allergic to chicken and beef. This fish, salmon, is nutritious as it helps promote better eyesight.

The dry food for golden retriever puppy also contains omega-3 as well as omega-6 fatty acids. This ingredient is needed to maintain the beautiful blonde coat of golden retrievers.

These ingredients are accompanied by vegetables and fruits which provide antioxidants. The antioxidants ward off illnesses such as cancer and eye disease. The product is also quite rich in flaxseed oil. This ingredient is a bonus for pet owners who want to be certain that their dog is getting only high-quality fat.

What we liked

  • Protein comes from mainly fish, and this is good if your pet has allergies to chicken and beef.
  • Suitable for active Golden Retrievers
  • Contains a few fruit and veggies
  • Contains ingredients that promote eye health

What we didn’t like

  • Quite expensive

2. Royal Canin golden retriever puppy food

This food is a decent diet dog food for golden retriever. It is formulated specifically for the breed, and it promotes a healthy coat and skin for your pet. This formula also helps your dog maintain the ideal weight to prevent health issues in future.

It contains omega-3 as well as omega-6 fatty acids as well as L-carnitine. These ingredients help prevent heart diseases from developing later in their lives. It also helps them develop stronger muscles. This dog food is formulated for golden retrievers of over 15 months of age. It is also designed with a kibble shape that encourages your golden retriever to chew. This may help prevent any future jaw related issues that could arise because of inadequate jaw movements.

The formula also recognizes the need for a good diet dog food for golden retriever to promote better digestive health. It is made with a formula that maintains a balanced intestinal flora for your dog. It also contains vitamin C and E to strengthen your pet’s immune system and ward off infections.

What we liked

  • Good for retrievers with sensitive stomach
  • Helps maintain optimal weight
  • Helps keep coat shiny

What we didn’t like

  • It contains meat by-product

3. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core dry dog food comes in different formulas. Some are made for small breeds while others are for large breeds. There are also low-fat formulas with other options to suit the needs of your gold retriever.

The ingredient list of this grain-free food contains rich protein sources like turkey, chicken, and salmon. Dog owners can pick one that is suited to their pet. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may also benefit from this product, as it is high in quality protein.

It also contains complex, high-quality carbs like omega-3, six fatty acids, and peas. These ingredients are responsible for maintaining the golden retriever’s coat and skin.

What we liked

  • Prevents frequent gas
  • Great for elderly dogs who are allergic to grain
  • Good protein content
  • Prevents unnecessary weight gain

What we didn’t like

  • Some dogs with sensitive stomach react to this food

4. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food

Many golden retriever puppy food reviews have recommended the Blue Wilderness dog food. It contains lots of protein needed by dogs to maintain a healthy weight. Its protein is derived from real chicken, and this makes it a suitable choice for golden retrievers.

Also, this formula doesn’t contain wheat, corn, soy or meat by-products. However, it has LifeSource bits that are designed to provide key vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to help your pet stay strong and fit. Pet owners have the option of choosing between the variations of Blue Wilderness dog food on the market.

It is also a natural alternative for pet owners who want to give their dogs a close-to-natural diet. The formula is free from fillers such as wheat, soy, or chicken by-product. This helps make it a good option for picky dogs.

What we liked

  • Great for picky dogs
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Made with quality ingredients

What we didn’t like

  • Could upset some dog’s stomach

5. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

A good golden retriever food diet must be made with high-quality proteins. Wellness Core dog food contains a healthy blend of different protein sources such as chicken and turkey. It also contains salmon oil with a blend of vegetables and fruits.

This formula is free of meat by-products or fillers.  It is also free of artificial ingredients. The dog food is made especially for adult dogs to help them maintain a healthy weight and coat. It comes in different sizes to make it more affordable. You can get bags of 4 to 26 pounds according to the size of your dog.

Its ingredient list contains lots of nutrient sources, and this makes it a healthy option for your golden retriever.

 What we liked

  • Great for dogs with skin allergies
  • Suitable for elderly dogs
  • Grain-free formula

What we didn’t like

  • May cause vomiting in some dogs

6. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Dry Puppy Food

This Diamond Naturals dog food for large breed is affordable and tasty. It is a golden retriever favorite as it contains a blend of protein from lamb. The protein content makes it suitable for different breeds of dogs.

In addition, the formula comes with lots of important nutrients for the proper development of a dog. It contains chondroitin and glucosamine that are key ingredients in any good dog food. The formula also contains fatty acids from omega 3 and omega 6. These ingredients are essential for optimal health.

The dog food is enhanced with superfoods and probiotics without having to resort to corn, wheat or soy. It contains ground rice as well as eggs, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat, and flaxseed. These ingredients help create a well-balanced formula.

What we liked

  • Provides energy for lively dogs
  • Dogs digest it well
  • Helps create easy-to-pass stools

What we didn’t like

  • Some dogs could experience vomiting

7. Fromm Family Foods 33 lb Gold Nutritionals Dog Food

Fromm dog food is a high-quality formula, and it is suitable for golden retrievers. This food comes in different versions to suit your puppy or adult dog. The brand also has a weight management version to maintain optimal weight.

Generally, the large breed version is the leading choice, and it contains high-quality protein from sources such as chicken, lamb, and duck. It also contains cartilage that can help support the dog’s joint in the long term.

In addition, this premium formula was made with real Wisconsin cheese. This makes it a perfect source of probiotics and prebiotics. These ingredients help maintain a healthy digestive system. It also contains fatty acids from omega 3 and omega 6. Fortunately, it doesn’t contain meat by-product, wheat, corn or any low-grade ingredient.

What we liked

  • Good for large breeds
  • Promotes a shiny coat and healthy skin
  • Soothing for dogs with skin allergies

What we didn’t like

  • It is costly

Important Ingredients To Look For

Like every dog, golden retrievers need high-quality protein in their meals. However, you should note that fat and proteins come from different sources and not all are good for dogs. If you don’t search for dog food with high-quality protein, it won’t have any positive effect on the dog’s body.

Usually, high-quality dog food has meat proteins as the key ingredients. The main ingredients in any good dog food shouldn’t be grain or any other carb. Meat meals and whole meats are good protein sources. The whole meats include beef, chicken, lamb and fish and they also contain a lot of water. When the water is removed, they will lose their spot in the top ingredient list.

This is mainly because the law requires dog food makers to list all the ingredients by weight just before cooking and processing. When water is added to whole meats, they begin to weigh more. Some dog owners prefer whole meats to meat meals. Meat meals are meat as well, but in this case, the water has already been drained out of it. This ingredient, when used as the key ingredients in dog food, represents premium quality. Lots of good dog food contain meat meals. The less desirable meat products are meat digests and by-products.

Fat is also essential for any good dog food. Dogs need to eat food with fat from good sources. However, fat such as protein differs in quality and this depends on the source of the fat. Look out for dog food that has fat sources like chicken fat. Other popular fats such as fish oil are important because they provide omega-3 fatty acid. This acid helps keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy.

Lastly, avoid dog food with an artificial preservative like BHT, BHA or ethoxyquin. Also, dog food with sweeteners, artificial colorings, and artificial flavors should be avoided entirely. This is because such ingredients are not needed by your dog, and you should avoid any ingredient that doesn’t provide any sort of nutritional value to your dog. Be sure to read the label to avoid buying food with them. It may be difficult to spot them especially when they are not labeled properly.

What to feed a golden retriever puppy

Golden retriever puppy food amount isn’t much different from feeding your adult golden retriever. You should search for dog food with high-quality ingredients like named fats and meat protein. A good quality dog food contains DHA or docosahexaenoic acid. This compound has been proven to be helpful in brain development in both puppies and children alike.

It is crucial for puppy food to contain a decent ratio of phosphorous to calcium. Many nutritionists recommend these nutrients in various ratios for puppies. The calcium to phosphorous ratio should be 1.2 to 1.2:1 respectively. It is vital for growing puppies.

To find the phosphorous to calcium ratio on any product, visit the website of the food company as it is rarely placed on the label. Remember that adding certain supplements to the puppy’s diet such as cheese, milk, yogurt and other dairy products can disrupt this ratio. Disruption of this ratio can cause several health problems for the puppy in the future and even now. When a puppy is taking good quality foods, he won’t need any supplements during the first year. Note that adding more meat to the puppy food will also upset the calcium to phosphorus levels as it adds more phosphorus.

Dietary Needs of a Golden Retriever

This article has highlighted the importance of a good diet for your golden retriever. Now let us consider the dietary needs of your golden retriever.

How many calories do they need?

Report from the National Research Council of the National Academies shows that a golden retriever should be given food with about 989 to 1,272 calories per day. This figure applies to dogs that aren’t active. Active dogs need 1,353 to 1,740 calories per day. Make sure that you check the number of calories your golden retriever takes daily.

How many proteins and fat do they need?

Just like any other pet, a golden retriever needs a high-quality supply of protein. The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that a puppy is given at least 22 percent protein. For adult golden retrievers, they require 18 percent protein.

As for fat, it is an important part of any dog’s diet. This compound should be found in dog food for an adult dog and should be at least 5 percent in quantity. Fat serves as an energy source and also makes the puppy food better tasting and smelling. It will make your pet’s skin healthier and shiner.


Your beautiful golden retriever needs a protein-rich meal to maintain a healthy weight and skin. Be sure to pay attention to the ingredients in any dog food to ensure that your pet gets the best dog food for golden retrievers.

Our best pick of this review is Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food. This dog food’s protein content is gotten from a salmon, and it contains high-quality ingredients as well as fatty acids. It is also a suitable option for picky golden retrievers.

When searching for the best dog food for golden retrievers, remember to buy a product that is suited to your dog. It’ll make your pet very happy and healthy.

How to Stop Golden Retriever from Biting

Golden Retriever dogs are considered as caring and devoted dogs. They are a great family pet. But, Golden Retriever biting is a great issue due to a combination of their personality traits and environmental factors. They can chase small children, other animals, and bit at them. That’s why you need to find the way to handle this. Check out this post to learn how to stop your golden retriever from biting.

puppy golden retriever biting

Why Do Golden Retrievers Bite?

All dogs start with the change to bite. But, Golden Retrievers are very sensitive to people. That’s why you need to give them the proper kind of supportive home environment. One of the common behaviors in Golden Retrievers is biting. These dogs also tend to nip. These behaviors should be discouraged at your home.

Fear is also a reason why your Golden Retriever bites. This occurs when he grows so fearful as well as anxious about his position in a situation. He purposes to protect himself from a strange dog or person.

In addition, fear can occur when your dog doesn’t have a strong and stable home environment. So, many pet owners give their dogs everything they want and need. As a dog owner, you also need to avoid any potential fear based behaviors.

The stage your Golden Retriever start biting is between 8 and 14 weeks of age. In this stage, your dog normally fears of anything that is otherwise irrational.

The thing a dog need is a strong and powerful leadership. Then, he won’t worry about protection because he has you. Don’t coddle your dog or reassure him once he shows fear. This even makes it worse. Instead, your dog may want to play and nip. Thus, you should teach him when it is too hard a bite. So, how can you do to control Golden Retriever biting?

So How to Stop Golden Retriever Dog from Biting ?

Basically, you need to pretend to be his mother dog. Then, you can teach him when he is really hard in his bites. But, how you can teach your dog? Yep, you can yell at him. Remember to yell loudly whenever he bites. You can tell NO, STOP, or DON’T BITE. And then, your dog will realize that it’s not good to bite. Of course, he will gradually stop doing that. In addition, it’s also important to assert on your Golden retriever you are his teacher. And, he will obey you.

golden retriever with toyIn fact, your dog may playfully bite your toes or your fingers. Once you watch your dog with smiling eyes, he surely thinks that you approve of that he bites anything such as rugs and clothes. And, this is a bad habit. The best thing you can do to stop it is preventing such bad habit from forming. In fact, you shouldn’t allow your dog to do something that he shouldn’t repeat again.

In order to prevent biting behavior in your Golden retrievers, it’s essential to care for one very important aspect. Especially, it’s wrong when you pull back as he bites you. Instead, you need to move forward towards him as though you are intimidating him. As a result, your dog won’t repeat that. Believe me!

You can also prevent your dog from biting by giving him a loud yelp and leave him as he starts to nip at your fingers or your toes. A form of punishment is essential. This aims to help him realize that he has done a wrong thing.

To prevent your Golden retriever puppy from assuming that it’s wrong to play, you can return with a toy. It’s a great idea to teach him to play with the toy. Another effective measure is glaring. But, it’s important to be patient and persistent in the meantime. In fact, there are some certain games to avoid when stopping your Golden retriever puppy from biting. They include chasing and tackling, tug-of-war, as well as any others inciting him to bite a person.

In addition, you can also apply several tried and tested methods such as a slight rebuke, a loud yell, a firm No, or a distraction to something else. They are all great. But, you need to be patient and rational.

Once he still continues biting and he offers an alarming growling and aggression, it’s time to contact a behaviorist. She will help to understand exactly the cause of this dangerous display. Plus, don’t forget to give your puppy an exam with your vet. In fact, if your dog feels not good, he may show the biting.

The last important thing is educating your children about the way to treat the puppy well. In fact, a dog will bite when he scares. That’s why you don’t let your children hurt or tease your puppy. And, your children shouldn’t startle any puppy or dog.


10 Fun Facts about Golden Retrievers

Golden retrievers are an interesting breed. They are mostly used by hunters to retrieve fowl and game, hence getting their name. They are known to be very easy to train and are very good around water. They are some of the most popular breeds for a family dog and are a great starter for anyone who is looking into taking care of dogs.

Are you interested in keeping a golden retriever at home? Do you want to know more about them? Well then, here are some interesting facts and information for kids about golden retrievers and their puppies:

#1: Golden retrievers are good swimmers.

If you want your Fido to go swimming then you’d better have a golden retriever – they’re one of the best breeds out there when it comes down to crossing rivers and most bodies of water. This is due to the fact that they have been associated with fowl and game retrieving (as mentioned above). Golden retrievers will be very natural around water.

This is a plus factor if you’re a family who lives near the lake and often goes for a swim. As most dog breeds can swim, the golden retriever actually does it better. So the next time your golden retriever is begging you to take him to your beach outing – don’t hesitate! If your golden retriever is still a puppy, you can take them along and swimming will be a good physical activity for them.

#2: Golden retrievers are awesome therapy dogs.

Therapy dogs are special dogs that help those who were mentally troubled and those who have gone through trauma or shock. They can also help those in the hospital who are sick and need love and care or relief. Therapy dogs can also help senior citizens who are in a home and feel alone most of the time.

Given that fact, if your grandma lives in a home and often feels lonely, you should get her a golden retriever – even just a puppy can help put a smile to her face. Depression is something that happens to anyone and can be lessened if you’re around pets such as the golden retriever. They have excellent training skills and are very attentive, making them good for spreading some TLC.

#3: In 1925, golden retrievers were first officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Being one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, the golden retriever truly deserves to be recognized first, and today, they are still one of the most popular dog breeds not just in the United States (see below), but also around the world.

#4: Golden retrievers can also be very good with cats and other pets in your house.

If you have more than one kind of pet at home, such as if you have cats, you can definitely get a golden retriever to work well with your feline friend. Just as golden retrievers make excellent therapy dogs, they can also take care of other pets around your house as if they’re family.

#5: Most TV shows and movies will feature a golden retriever due to its ease of training.

There are a number of dog superstars out there that are golden retrievers. It’s no surprise because of the ease of training that you can give for this kind of dog breed. Hence, most Hollywood sets will definitely look for a golden retriever to star on their next movie or show.

#6: There are three sub-breeds of golden retrievers: the English, the American and the Canadian.

The American golden retriever lives mostly in the United States and are characterized by medium length coats. The English sub-breed has thicker coats and a leaner body, perhaps due to the nature of where they live – Europe. Canadian golden retrievers, on the other hand, tend to have shorter coats.

#7: They shed a lot, but their double coats can repel water instantly.

If you don’t really have a lot of time to groom your dog then the golden retriever may not be the best for you – they shed nearly the whole year. This is why you need to groom them as much as possible in order to keep them neat and to maintain an allergy-free space at home. With this fact, their double coat can also be water-repellent, which adds to their swimming capability.

#8: According to the AKC, they place third in all of the United States when it comes to dog breed popularity.

It is no surprise that the golden retriever is one of America’s most preferred dog breed – they are super easy to train and are very friendly to others while being loyal to their owner. Even in the rest of the world, this kind of dog breed continues to dominate others due to its ease of training.

#9: They rank fourth in terms of intelligence when it comes down to dog breeds.

This amazing feat puts them near the genius quality of German Shepherds, Poodles and Border Collies.  Intelligence is the very key that makes these dog breeds very trainable and easy to give instructions to. This is also important because training a dog requires a lot of patience but for beginners who want to keep a dog, the intelligence of a golden retriever is by far the one of the easiest to cope with.

#10: You will mostly see them with the cops because of their search and rescue capabilities.

Do you ever see those policemen and military people use canine units or dogs to sniff out bombs in high security areas and event? That is where the golden retriever also excels at – keeping you secure by finding out if there are bad stuff near your neighborhood due to their keen sense of smell. Therefore, they also make great police dogs that can help out people in situations where bad guys such as terrorists may cause panic in a town or city.

How long do golden retrievers live? Average Labrador Lifespan?

Most people wonder about the life expectancy of a golden retriever or how old do golden retrievers live. We are all aware that most dogs and other pets have a different lifespan compared to humans, and this is why we want to know for how long they will most likely live. This is so that we can cherish moments with them much earlier and give them all the pleasures in life they deserve.

A man’s best friend is usually around the average lifespan of only 10 to 15 years, compared to human lifespan, so we need to make sure they get the most out of their life. This applies to most pets because of their nature and genetics. In this article, we explore the lifespan of golden retrievers as well as the lifespan of other sub-breeds.

Different Sub-Breeds

Golden retrievers can have different sub-breeds that make them different from each other. Here are the various sub-breeds of golden retrievers out there and their respective lifespan:

English or British Golden Retrievers

The English golden retrievers can live up to 12 years on the average. These English golden retrievers are usually found in Australia and in Europe and are characterized by a balanced muzzle and a more muscle built compared to American golden retrievers (see below). They also tend to be heavier and their coats are usually thicker, so they can be harder to manage, but they are less susceptible to the cold weather.

American Golden Retrievers

Compared to English retrievers, the American golden retrievers can live up to 10 years on the average. The American sub-breed usually spans from 23 to 24 inches in males and 21 to 22 inches in females and are known to have a darker color of coat compared to that of an English golden retriever. They also tend to have a shorter coat, since the climates in America isn’t too cold compared to that of Europe.

Canadian Golden Retrievers

Like most average golden retrievers, the Canadian sub-breed can live around 11 years or so. While not a popular sub-breed, these golden retrievers are usually taller compared to the rest and tend to have a thinner coat, that’s why they are very easy to tell apart from the rest.

The oldest golden retriever

Did you know that the oldest living golden retriever lived up to 20 years? That’s amazing – surely, he achieved the highest golden retriever lifespan record. It was possible that this golden retriever received a lot of care from the owner.

What can affect a golden retriever’s lifespan?

There are many factors that can alter a golden retriever’s lifespan, such as the following:

Health issues

This pertains to whether you take your dog to the vet regularly or not, even for just a check-up. There are some dogs that still carry genetics of their parents, which might have diseases or health issues such as the following:

Hip and elbow dysplasia – a common disease that is known among most dogs and dog breeds. Not to worry though – this only affects less often compared to other dogs of a large breed, so if you do take care of your dog’s bone strength, they are less likely to have this kind of health issue.

Cancer – like people, dogs also get cancer, but they can be treated if they were diagnosed earlier as much as possible. After your dog has turned 10 years old, they may be more susceptible to cancer, as that is the equivalent of our senior years in human life. The sad news is that cancer in canines occurs more to golden retrievers than it does to other dog breeds.

Eye problems – eye health issues can also affect dogs. But the good news is that when it comes down to golden retrievers, they are less likely to occur. Some of the most common eye problems that dogs can potentially have include cataracts, uveitis and progressive retinal atrophy – similar to how our old aged grandparents may also get eye problems.

Skin problems – this can occur on most dogs and can also happen to most golden retrievers. This is why it is important that you take care of their skin and coat by giving baths regularly and using pet-friendly shampoos, conditioners and other bath time products. In addition to that, since golden retrievers can shed a lot, they should be groomed and brushed properly and regularly – it may also help to get them to a dog salon or vet for that.

Ear problems – this can occur in most golden retrievers, but they can also be easily treated, much like with skin problems. Ensuring that your pet is away from ear problems can help them live longer and be more attentive to danger and to other things going on around them.

Hypothyroidism – this may happen to golden retrievers as well, especially during their old age of about 10 years or more, but like with ear problems, it is also easy to treat it and give medical attention to it – just ask your vet about it.

A Healthy Lifestyle Equals a Longer Life

A poor lifestyle can also contribute to shortening the lifespan of your canine friend, therefore it’s important to live a healthier lifestyle by giving them quality food, bathing them regularly, giving them plenty of exercise and adding more TLC to them. Your dog needs to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit to stay healthy through the years.


Compromise in safety can also shorten a dog’s lifespan, and the golden retriever is no exception to that rule. Ensure that your canine friend lives in a comfortable area of the house or lawn, and the doghouse, if you have one, should be built in a sturdy way so as not to get intruded by others.

So How Long Do Golden Retriever Live?

The life expectancy of an average golden retriever is estimated at 11 to 12 years, like most dog breeds. This can vary depending on the genetic disorders that your pet may have and the lifestyle that your dog maintains. Therefore, taking your pet to the vet is a highly crucial task.