How To Opt For The Ideal Dog Food for Your Golden Retriever?

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It must be that you fancy your golden retriever and want the best thing for him. But there are a thousand options.

The pet food industry has boomed in recent times.

It is quite perplexing when you visit the pet store or look online to opt for a specific food for your special pup.

Certainly, there’s more than one food that will help your dog grow in the right way, be healthy, and prosper.

This article highlights some of the most crucial factors that must be kept in mind when opting for great food.

I will also suggest some food items that have been highly rated for large-breed dogs.

Remember though that, if you intend to switch your dog to a new diet, do so over the course of seven to 10 days to help dodge intestinal upsets or diarrhea.

Varieties of Food Items

The primary types of commercial food items are dry, moist, dehydrated, and fresh.

I will discuss some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a great food.

I will also suggest some edibles that have been highly rated for large-breed dogs.

Bear in mind that, if you intend to provide your dog with a new diet, do so over the course of seven to 10 days to help evade intestinal upsets or diarrhea.

I will share the various types of dry food items as they are the most popular and cheap when it comes to price. If your dog is a large-breed one, it would take a huge amount of moist food to properly feed the golden.

Dry kibble can aid in keeping your golden’s teeth cleaner than usual because of its abrasive nature.

Why Do the Food Ingredients Matter?

Of course, your golden is an extremely intelligent and sociable dog. He is very adorable and he is friends with everyone.

However, it is quite hapless that goldens have a higher-than-average incidence of cancer. Many factors, comprising  genetics and nutrition, represent a dog’s health.

All dog food items are operated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They must also fulfil the Association of American Feed Control Official (AAFCO) nutrient standards for the correct life stage.

Nonetheless, AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles comprise only minimum values for all the nutrients needed by dogs and maximum values for merely a few nutrients that can be toxic if taken in excessive amounts.

As long as a food fulfils the minimum nutrient values manifested in the profiles, and does not surpass the maximum values, it can be tagged as complete and balanced.  

But, even with such regulation, not all food items are created equal.

Feeding a food with low-quality ingredients may lead to chronic inflammation and obesity. Ultimately, chronic inflammation can lead to arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and infection.

Food items should be prepared from wholesome, natural ingredients that will have zero fillers, by-products, or artificial additives.

It is preferable for them to be rich in high-quality animal sources like poultry, meat, and fish. They should also name the specific protein sources like chicken, duck, pork, beef, lamb, not a generic “meat” label.

Our beloved goldens are one of the breeds that has the probability to become obese. One must take into account the fact that, the quality and amount of food fed as well as the amount of exercise your golden gets are all factors that determine whether he will become obese or not.

If your dog becomes obese, you can seek your vet about prescription weight-loss diets

There are certain needs that the food items should fulfil. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that adult dogs need at least 18 percent of protein in their diets, whereas puppies need at least 22 percent protein.

A healthy food should possess healthy meats and fats. They should also have fruits and vegetables. And, not to forget, the proper amalgamation of vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

Natural preservatives like tocopherols (vitamin E), vitamin C, or rosemary extract should be used instead of artificial ones.

Also, ensure your dog’s food is tagged as being “complete,” not “complimentary.” A food that has the tag of complementary needs has things like a protein added to it to be nutritionally complete. 

What Do Large-Breed Dogs Like Goldens Need?

There is a difference between the nutritional requirements of  large breed dogs and small breed dogs.  

They evolve more quickly than breeds which are small or medium-sized as adults.

Golden retriever puppies have a huge risk of developing a crippling form of hip disease if fed a diet that has excessive calcium.

It is necessary that, as puppies, they are given a diet specifically for large-breed puppies.

Golden retriever puppies grow till they are 12 to 24 months old. So it is mandatory not to switch to an adult formula in a hasty way.

Adult goldens can be given any high-quality kibble or a kibble oriented for large breed dogs.

As per the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), large-breed dogs have shorter lifespans than their smaller counterparts and can be thought seniors when five or six years old.

In 2018, the FDA declared an investigation into reports that eating certain pet food items- primarily those coming under the tag of “grain free”–may lead to dogs contaminating a disease termed canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

The veterinary community is also compiling and analyzing data on diet-related DCM in dogs.

Grain-free items do not  have corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley, or other grains.

Goldens are not one of the breeds genetically inclined to DCM but veterinarians have been researching it in them more often than they had previously.

DCM is nothing but a disease in which the heart muscle becomes weak, contributing to the loss of the ability to contract normally and pump blood through the body. Symptoms of DCM can comprise weakness, lethargy, shortness of breath, fainting, and the inability of exercise. It can often be life-threatening.

The connection between grain-free foods and DCM is still under investigation, as there are many variables to be taken into account. 

Keep in mind that some dogs are allergic to certain grains and may need to dodge them. 

Diseases which affect goldens, like inflammatory bowel disease or atopic skin diseases and allergies, have a strong connection to the items they consume. 

Your golden’s age, lifestyle, daily activity level, health, and medical conditions are pertinent regarding the food they intake and the quantity.

You can always regulate the amount of food he intakes based on his weight and health.

In addition to doing your own diagnosis, you can seek the advice of  your vet or a veterinary nutritionist to understand which food and amount would be best for your golden.

But keep in mind: there is no perfect food for any dog. You’ll have many options from where you opt for the one that will make your pet dog healthy and happy. 

While choosing a food packet for your little friend, always  check the expiry date to be sure that the food is fresh.


Meat is the skeletal muscle of animals and also the tissue from the heart. It can be beef, chicken, pork, lamb, or salmon.

It is basically the animal flesh sans any water extracted.

Meat Meal

It can comprise only actual meat, skin, and bone, which can be nutritious. But it can legitimately possess animals who were on the verge of death, or diseased, or deformed, or had passed away before slaughtering.

Unfortunately, companies do not reveal all these to the consumer.

Meat meals are the product after the excess moisture has been cut off from the meat.

Meat By-Products or Poultry By-Products

It is the non-meat part of the animal. By-products are the leftovers of a slaughtered animal after the parts intended for human consumption have been eradicated.

These comprise lungs, kidneys, brains, bone, blood, heads, spleens, stomachs, beaks, feet, feathers, and intestines.

But they should not comprise hair, horns, teeth, or hooves.

Unfortunately, like meat meal, it can have animals who were very sick or dead before slaughtering which need not be revealed to the consumer.

Fish Meal

It is the clean ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, with or without the oil extracted.

Ground Corn

Ground corn is the whole corn kernel ground or chopped.

Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten meal is the by-product after the manufacture of corn syrup or starch, and is the dried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch.

Brewers Rice

Brewers rice is the little fragments of rice kernels that have been distinguished from larger kernels of milled rice.

Brown Rice

It is the unpolished rice left over post the removal of kernels.

Soybean Meal 

It is a by-product of the production of soybean oil.

Holistic or Natural 

These are keywords that some companies use. But they are meaningless according to the FDA.

So beware that such foods may not be what we think of as being holistic or natural.

Albeit a food’s cost may be a guide when it comes to a food’s quality, it’s not the only thing to keep in mind. Undoubtedly, higher-quality ingredients cost more.


There are so many options when opting for your  beloved golden retriever’s food. It can actually  be challenging to seek the right food.

But keep in mind that because there are so many options, there is nothing called “right food” for your pup. 

However, dog food ratings can help make a decision. 

How did you select the food you’re providing your dog? Are you planning to switch food items?

Wendy Hendriks

Wendy Hendriks

This is Wendy Hendriks From iClean Internationals Ltd. Life-long learner, committed to working hard at self directed learning environment.

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