Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

December 21, 2020 4 min read

Young and healthy golden retriever

Golden Retrievers are unique breeds that are adorable, smart, playful and gorgeous. And what's more, they deserve not only the best kind of care but also the best nutrition to remain that way for as long as possible. Golden Retrievers are generally not picky eaters; all you need to do is provide the right food based on their age, lifestyle and nutritional needs. So let's dive in and find out about the best dog food for Golden Retrievers. 

The Age of Your Golden Retriever

The way to go when feeding your Golden Retriever is age-based feeding. This strategy is characterized by the planning of their mealsbased on their size and weight. Golden Retrievers are classified into three groups – puppy, adult, and senior, with each one demanding a change in diet. 

1. Puppies

For puppies (2-7 months old), stick to high-quality puppy food. You can begin with 1.5 cups of food a day at two months and make ½ cup additions as each month goes by. 

The precise amount you give your dog will depend on the quality of the dog food you buy, the puppy's weight, and energy level. Note that Golden Retriever pups should be fed three times a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner; preferably until they are six months).

Dog parents should avoid skipping meals to prevent hindered growth and overfeeding to prevent accelerated growth and obesity, which leads to joint and bone problems. Consult your veterinarian immediately if you feel or notice you are either underfeeding or overfeeding your pup, or if you’re unsure you’re feeding them the best food.

2. Adults

Adult Goldens require between 1000 to 1700 calories a day (2000+ calories for nursing mothers and more active pooches), split into two equally spaced feeding times (morning and evening). 

Male adults can take 3 to 3½ cups daily, with more active dogs needing up to 4 cups. Females can have 2 to 2½ cups, and those nursing their young 5 to 6 cups per day. 

Once again, keep in mind that the right amount will depend on the particular habits of your canine, his/her weight, energy level, and the quality of dog food consumed.

3. Senior Golden Retrievers

As your Goldie gets to the senior age category, they tend to become less active and need fewer calories to stay healthy on the right weight. 

Seniors (eight years and above) require around 900 calories split into two equally spaced servings daily. You may need to switch the regular diet depending on the needs of your senior dog. Please consult your veterinarian for advice on feeding your Golden Retriever once he/she becomes a senior to avoid complications.

Nutritional Needs Of Golden Retrievers

The best dog food for your Golden Retriever is one filled up with all the essential nutrients your furry friend needs to grow and stay as healthy and vibrant as possible. A Golden Retriever lifetime study found that dogs that are well cared for as members of the family have an extended lifespan. So, what type of nutrition does your Golden Retriever need?

  • Protein: Golden Retrievers are energetic dogs right from a young age, and they grow up to become large and active. So they need that protein. Sufficient protein, especially during the puppy age, will help strengthen and thicken the bones and muscles of your Goldie as he/she grows. Natural sources like meat, fish (cod), and eggs supply the best form of protein for Goldens. Therefore, you may want to stick to natural feeding over dry feeding. As your pooch grows into full adulthood and becomes a senior, you can slowly reduce the protein intake, as recommended by your vet.
  • Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and 6): Fatty acids are essential nutrients for any Golden Retriever, especially if you want to stabilize or increase their energy levels. Omegas are particularly useful in helping your Golden canine friend maintain healthy skin and a coat that keeps shining. So please do not hold back on the animal fat; keep it coming.
  • Carbohydrates and Fiber: These nutrients give your Goldie the required daily energy dose, but you need to add a small portion of fiber into their diet. Fiber helps keep your furry friend's gastrointestinal system functioning properly. 2 to 4% of carbohydrates and fiber as part of your Golden Retriever's diet is all you need per day.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and Minerals are nutrients you do not want out of your dog's diet. These nutrients will help keep your Golden Retriever healthy and ensure that their immune system is working perfectly. They help you rest assured that your pup is capable of naturally resisting viruses and infections, and there’s a handy resource here on the best onesto give your Golden Retriever
Senior Golden retriever at the beach

Final thoughts

For maximum supply of the above nutrients, the best option for Golden Retrievers is natural fresh diets. You can make things better if you follow a life stage-specific raw diet available from Cali raw

If you are new to the raw dog diet, you can check out an online beginner's guide on it. You can also find out the benefits of going with a raw meat diet.


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