5 Of The Best Food For Golden Retriever Puppies & Adults

While popular among pet owners and easy to look after, golden retriever dogs do not differ from other breeds. They come with a few recommendations in terms of dry food, and some restrictions for dieting and care. From this point of view, choosing the best diet for a golden retriever can be a bit of a challenge, but not impossible.

Dry food for dogs is hugely diversified these days. You find all kinds of brands in various pet shops, and everyone swears by certain types. Dogs are like people–what works for some dogs will not work for all of them. From this point of view, a little research on the best food is mandatory. So, what should you know before making a final decision?

Top 5 Food For Golden Retriever Puppies

#1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Puppies – Chicken and Brown Rice – 30 lb. Bag CHECK FOR PRICE

Blue Buffalo’s best food for your puppy is available in two sizes – 15 and 30 pound bags. Ideally, you should start with the smaller variety, only to ensure your dog accepts it. In terms of nutrients, it only comes with 386 calories per cup and represents a top choice based on golden retriever puppy food reviews.

Blue Buffalo has a good reputation among dog food brands, mostly because it always relies on real meat first. This product makes no exception either. You have real protein from actual chicken, which your puppy will need to gain strength and muscle. Other than that, dry food is rich in veggies, grains, and fruits.

The recipe is designed for large breed puppies – rich in ARA and DHA, some primary fatty acids found in lactating dog milk. It also includes the manufacturer’s proprietary Life Source Bits–a recipe mix of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

Last but not least, all ingredients in Blue Buffalo’s best dog food for golden retriever puppy are 100% natural. There are no byproduct ingredients, wheat, preservatives, artificial ingredients, soy, or corn in the composition of this dry food – ideal for your dog.


  • 100% natural ingredients in its composition
  • Rich in fatty acids only found in mother’s milk
  • A recipe mix of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins
  • Based on real meat only
  • Suitable for more large breed puppies


  • Some golden retriever puppies might take a while to get used to it

#2. Health Extension Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe

Health Extension Grain-Free Dry Dog Food - Chicken & Turkey Recipe CHECK FOR PRICE

Health Extension is one of the few dog dry food brands out there that have never had a product recall. It has always provided quality results, while they widely use its products are widely all over the world–this recipe makes no exception. It’s best food for a golden retriever is excellent for large breed puppies and comes in more sizes–one, four, 10, and 23.5-pound bags.

The recipe is based on real meat, and whole-food ingredients. Its main components include a chicken meal, turkey, and real beef, which every dog out there will love. Every single ingredient comes from sustainable and traceable sources.

In terms of safety, there are no artificial colors or flavors among the ingredients, not to mention chemicals, preservatives, wheat, fillers, or corn. Health Extension has also designed an exclusive recipe mix of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but it also contains pure coconut oil, organic apple cider vinegar, and turmeric.

While not always crucial for everyone, it is essential to know that Health Extension’s best food for golden retrievers is made in the USA. In other words, it has to bypass strict local regulations and laws. It makes dry dog food in small batches, only to preserve quality.


  • Available in more sizes
  • 100% natural ingredients from traceable sources
  • Exclusive recipe mix of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and protein
  • Made in small batches to preserve the quality
  • No corn, preservatives, artificial chemicals, fillers or wheat in the composition


  • Not suitable for all breeds, but definitely good for larger breeds

#3. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food

Wellness Natural Pet Food 89113 Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Rice, 30-Pound Bag CHECK FOR PRICE

Wellness Complete Pet Food might have created the ideal golden retriever dog food. It is available in two sizes only – 15 and 30-pound bags. Also, it is recommended to dogs older than a year only. It does not have the right recipe for puppies, yet they might love the taste.

The dry food is based on natural ingredients and includes different meats that dogs love. For example, you have chicken meat and whitefish. It boosts a solid protein intake for dogs to develop muscle and strength.

This type of dry food only comes with 340 calories per cup, so it promotes a healthy and lean body, rather than obesity. It is also rich in chondroitin and glucosamine–two elements that older dogs might need to deal with weak joints and hips.

There is not much to worry about the other ingredients, as Wellness Complete Pet Food does not use any preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors in its products. There are no by-products or wheat in the composition.


  • Based on more types of natural meats
  • No by-products or artificial ingredients
  • No wheat in its composition
  • Excellent for both adult and old dogs due to its protein value
  • Can prevent obesity due to a relatively low-calorie intake


  • Not a good choice for dogs younger than a year

#4. Now Fresh Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Petcurean Now Fresh Large Breed Adult Dog Food (25 lb)_LQ CHECK FOR PRICE

The best dog food from Petcurean ensures your furry friend gets all the nutrients it requires for its wellbeing. It comes in different sizes, based on how many dogs you have – a higher quantity will definitely be more cost-efficient, so it is worth some consideration.

It provides fresh salmon, duck, and turkey – three of your dog’s favorite dry food, as well as canola and coconuts, which are rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Other healthy fruits and veggies for minerals and vegetables are not to be overlooked either – peas, cranberries, blackberries, berries, carrots, lentils, and so on.

On another positive note, the foods for golden retrievers have no artificial ingredients, chemicals, byproducts, rendered meats, corn, wheat, soy, grains, beef, or gluten. No matter what your dog suffers from, this dry food should be alright for your furry friend.

The dry food is specially formulated for adult dogs. In other words, if your dog is between 15 months and five years old, it will get lots of nutrients from it. Apart from the nutrients mentioned above, dogs will benefit from probiotics and prebiotics, too – ideal for the digestive process.


  • No artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, and other harmful elements
  • Rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Three different sources of protein
  • Rich in omega 3 and 6 acids
  • Enriched with prebiotics and probiotics


  • Not the best dog foods for puppies or old dogs

#5. Nutro Ultra Large-Breed Puppy Recipe

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food With A Trio Of Proteins From Chicken, Lamb And Salmon, 30 Lb. Bag CHECK FOR PRICE

Nutro Ultra Dry Dog’s best food package is available in two varieties and a couple sizes. First, you can choose between puppy food or large breed puppy food. As for the actual size, you can opt for 15 or 30-pound bags. Obviously, the larger size is more cost-efficient.

The dry food comes with three significant sources of protein, which is essential during the growing phase of a puppy – salmon, chicken, and lamb. Chicken is actually the main ingredient in its composition, as well as the best source of nutrients.

All ingredients in this bag are 100% natural. They are carefully selected to provide balance and nutrients. Not only does the recipe affect muscle growth, but it also boosts brain development in puppies. As you can probably guess already, these foods for golden retrievers do not make the right choice for adult dogs.

Apart from the primary sources of protein, the blend also includes a recipe mix of 15 different superfoods – each of them rich in minerals and vitamins to boost your puppy’s growth. Some of them include blueberries, kale, coconut, and chia.


  • Three reliable sources of protein
  • A mix of 15 different superfoods
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Available in more sizes
  • More varieties of different breeds of dogs


  • Some picky dogs will reject this food, so you need to mix it with their favorite wet food

What Does Golden Retriever Need?

Adorable golden retriever lying near bowl and brick wall at home

Most golden retriever owners have no clue what to look for in the best food for their pets. Small things often make the difference, though. For instance, most people count calories to ensure their pets stay healthy and in good physical condition. But then, this is not always the case.

Instead, there is something else you must pay attention to–macronutrients.

Protein, protein, protein–this is what every vet recommends. Protein is the most essential macronutrient out there. In fact, quality dog food should have at least 30% protein. Slightly more is better. However, if you can find food with less than that, you should simply move on.

Keep in mind that golden retrievers are large and active, so they require lots of energy, and support for their muscles.

For fat, lots of dog owners try to get as little as possible, but this is a severe mistake. Just like people, golden retrievers require fat to survive. The ideal amount is somewhere around 15%. Fat is not the enemy of your pet, but a primary necessity for the body to perform by the book.

Look at Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, for example. Fatty acids will reduce the amount of hair your pet sheds, but they also add a bit of gloss to the fur.

Last but not least, do not overlook the carbohydrates either. In fact, carbs are some main things to pay attention to because the required amount depends on multiple factors, and your puppy’s level of activity is the most important one. Age will also dictate the optimal amount of carbs in its diet.

As a general rule of thumb, quality dog food should have over 30% carbohydrates, but not over 35%. If your dog is active and energetic, it will need more carbs. An older or lazier dog will require less.

Typical Problems Associated With Golden Retriever

The necessity of good food for your golden retriever is evident given the affections your pet is prone to developing. Skin problems, for example, are common in 50% of all golden retrievers. They are not always severe or dangerous, but they will occur every now and then – mostly allergies. Other than that, some dogs will develop issues like seborrhea or lick granuloma.

Noncancerous tumors are also common – mostly lipomas and sebaceous cysts. The snow nose – losing color pigment on the nose during the wintertime – is famous too, but it is not dangerous. You may want to know that golden retrievers go white around the muzzle while still young – quite common.

Golden Retrievers suffer from high rates of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. The breed has fragile cruciate ligaments, meaning a rupture is a common injury that should never be overlooked. Fixing it involves surgery and can be quite expensive.

Eye diseases may occur when least expected too. They occur at any age – whether you have a puppy or an old dog. From all the possible issues, cataract is the most common one, followed by eyelid abnormalities. More serious affections like glaucoma can occur in older dogs.

Other issues golden retrievers are exposed to include:

  • Heart-related problems
  • Various types of cancer
  • Hormonal diseases
  • Epilepsy

While not always preventable, most of these issues can be at least delayed with a sensible, healthy, and diet for your puppy, hence the necessity of carefully choosing food for your golden pet.

What To Look For In Golden Retriever Food

Top view of adorable golden retriever near bowl at home on wooden

To make sure your puppy’s nutritional needs are properly handled, buy plentiful breed dog food. The food must be formulated for your pet’s age – puppies, adults, older dogs, or of certain ages. Now, what do you need to look for in golden retriever food?

Ideally, you should always check the list of ingredients before purchasing dog food. The first 5 ingredients deboned make the core. Ingredients should be wholesome. You want 100% natural ingredients, rather than random chemicals that can keep the food “fresh” for years.

From this point of view, stay away from fillers, artificial flavors, colors or additives, by-products or chemicals. If you see an ingredient whose name you can barely read, chances are it is a compound – look it up online to make sure. The first 5 ingredients deboned also represent the primary source of protein in most foods.

Other than that, protein is essential. All dogs require it. Just make sure it comes from reliable sources. Quality is critical. To make sure your dog gets the best, look for meat, poultry, and fish among the primary sources–some first ingredients.

While fat and calories are essential in a dog’s diet, they require a bit of moderation. A bit of each will ensure healthy growth in puppies and will keep adults lean and energetic.

Consider the levels of calcium and phosphorus. While healthy in small amounts, they can be harmful in massive numbers. Calcium and phosphorus bind one to another and cause kidney or bladder stones. If your dog has joint-related problems, you need glucosamine and chondroitin. Ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin are more common in joint supplements – even better if you can get them naturally.

Now, remember your golden retriever is considered being a large breed. If you can, it might be wise to get big kibble food. Even if you find the perfect diet, try to find out if the same brand does the more enormous kibble variety. Golden retrievers–like other large breeds – are greedy, and too much food eaten over a short amount of time will cause bloating.

Bigger kibble ensures the same nutrition for large breeds, but in a smaller serving size. The food for large breed adult derives from the same ingredients used for puppies, only the concentration of various ingredients is different.

A good reputation, high online ratings, and a few recommendations from American Feed Control officials will lead you in the right direction.

Frequently asked questions

Can Golden Retriever Drink Milk?

Generally speaking, most dogs can drink milk. While it makes a tasty treat every now and then, it is not really recommended. Some may think milk represents the best food for a golden retriever puppy, but this is wrong. Given its composition, fluid can cause stomach upset and lead to diarrhea. Other gastrointestinal issues may also arise.

Furthermore, milk is rich in fat, which can cause weight-related problems if fed in abundance. Besides, just like people, some dogs can be lactose intolerant. They should never touch milk.

Can Golden Retriever Eat Chicken?

The Association of American Feed does not recommend the raw chicken. Bacterial infections are only one step away. Cooked chicken is alright, though, but occasionally – the treat might be best for a golden retriever. It should not be seasoned. As for the cooking mode, it can be poached, grilled, baked, or roasted. You can even mix it with your dog’s favorite food.

Remember, chicken is one of the most prevalent allergens in dogs, along with beef, wheat, lamb, rabbit, dairy, egg, soy, pork, and fish. If you notice any allergic reactions, go to a vet and stop feeding your dog chicken.

Make sure the meat is taken off bones. Cooked bones are not too strong, and your dog’s healthy teeth can splinter them. If your puppy ingests bones, they can lead to gastrointestinal punctures or choking – better to be safe than sorry.

What Vegetables Are Good For Golden Retriever?

Some vegetables can be fed raw – high if your dog likes them and best for a golden retriever. You can also mix them with another treat, such as cooked chicken. You might as well cook veggies – just avoid seasoning them. Not all vegetables are suitable for golden retrievers.

From a long list of accepted fruits, some of them stand out in the crowd. Brussels sprouts, carrots, green beans, pumpkin, spinach, and sweet potatoes are great for dogs. Not all golden retrievers will like them, so you will have to try them out first. It might be wise to bring vegetables in at a younger age – the older your pet is, the pickier it becomes.

When it comes to sweet potatoes, most dogs will appreciate the taste. Luckily, sweet potatoes are also high in nutrients.

Can Golden Retriever Eat Carrots?

Carrots are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, and fiber. They are low in calories and fat, though – it sounds perfect for your pet. They can be given raw or cooked – you can also chop them and throw them in the food bowl. Just mix them up with your dog’s food for a different flavor. For these reasons, they count among the best dog food for golden retrievers.

Is Rich Good For Golden Retriever?

Rich – both white and brown – is alright for dogs, but not always recommended in massive amounts. Make sure your dog is not allergic to it, though. Other than that, keep in mind that while rich in protein and lots of nutrients, rice also has high amounts of carbs, which may add to your pet’s weight gain.

Do Golden Retriever Need Grain In Their Diet?

The grain is not always included in dog food, but seeing it among the main ingredients will not harm your dog. You may find whole barley, oats, or rice. They are rich in dietary fiber, as well as a bit of fat and oil for energy. Such nutrients also help maintain your pet’s fur. The grain is a good source of protein. After all, protein is mandatory for muscles.

What Do Golden Retriever Eat?

Apart from specially planned dog food, golden retrievers can also share most of the foods you eat. Human food should be given in moderation and mostly as a treat, though, yet vegetables are accepted daily.

How Much Should A Golden Retriever Eat Daily?

It usually depends on the food you choose, as well as the recommended amounts of protein and other macronutrients. Find the best dog food for golden retrievers, and it should come with instructions. On average, an adult female should get just over two cups a day. A male will have up to three or four cups. Of course, the size is also essential, as some larger dogs may have up to five cups a day. It clearly depends on the level of activity as well.


So, what is the best dog food for golden retrievers?

As a short final conclusion, it can be quite challenging to choose the best dry dog food golden retriever. Things are even more complicated when looking for the best dog food for golden retriever puppies., golden retriever puppies have different nutritional needs and demands – protein comes first.

You may think asking your vet for advice will work. Different vets will recommend different foods – most commonly, the foods you can find in their clinic shops. Sure, those foods will get the job done, but you still have to double-check the ingredients and online reputation when choosing the best dog food for golden retrievers.

The products mentioned above have been chosen based on their popularity all over the world. They have high ratings and were proven to work for most golden retrievers. They come from reliable brands with a good reputation in this field.

Remember, choosing the best puppy food for golden retrievers or adult food is not all about you. Your dog will have to make the final decision. If it does not like it, you cannot really force it to eat it.

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