One of the most common dog breeds out there is the Golden Retriever. As the third most popular breed in America, a lot of people own this breed.
While they aren’t a particularly difficult breed to deal with, especially when compared to really rambunctious breeds like Huskies and German Shepherds, you do have to play close attention to their nutritional needs.
Goldens actually have a number of health and nutritional problems that you want to address, and one of the best ways to address said problems is by giving them the right food.
If you want your life to be as easy as possible then you have come to the right place, as in this article, we will be going over various different dog foods that we think are great for this breed. If you want our personal recommendation, it would be the Royal Canin Golden Retriever Dry Dog Food.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Dog Food for Golden Retriever 2022:
Royal Canin Golden Retriever Dry Dog Food
Given that the main purpose of this list is to look for the best dog food for golden retrievers, we figure that there is no better way to start it off then by looking at a food that, as you can see from the name, is custom built for golden retrievers.
Royal Canin is a brand that does this a lot, they make dog food that has been custom built for a specific breed, which in turn makes it easier for an owner of said breed to know what to get. This is an overall good food that is worth a closer look, so let’s go over the reasons why you might want to give it a shot.
One of the biggest reasons why you want to give this food a try is because it has been designed from the ground up to respond to the unique health needs and nutritional needs of golden retrievers.
For example, a big issue that this breed has is that they start to suffer from hip problems, almost right from the start of their lives. One of the ways that you deal with this is by ensuring that they get good nutrition.
To help with this, the food is full of important nutrients, but it is especially good when it comes to calcium, which is obviously extremely important for strengthening joint health. It also has a bunch of other vitamins, nutrients, and proteins, all of which help to strengthen your Golden Retriever’s joints and muscles.
Of course, not everything about this food is great, and there are some issues that we want to mention. The first issue is that, because this is such a highly specialized food, it is quite expensive. The second issue is that this food can only be found in specialty stores, so shopping for it can be a bit trickier than it should be.
- Helps with joint health.
- Full of a tremendous amount of nutrients.
- Has a nice, moderate taste that doesn’t cause stomach issues.
- Meant for Golden Retrievers.
- Only found in specialty stores or direct from manufacturer.
- Not a cheap food.
Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics
Sometimes when it comes to dog food, you prefer to go for a very popular brand, not the least because it is usually much easier to find these popular brands and they also tend to be quite cheaper overall.
Well, when it comes to popular, easy to find brands, there are none that fit the bill quite so well as Purina. So, for this next review on our best dog food for Golden Retrievers list, we are going to be taking a look at the Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics.
This isn’t a bad food by any stretch of the imagination. Purina has managed to put a pretty impressive number of vitamins and other crucial nutrients into their food. If you give your Golden this food, they certainly won’t be lacking when it comes to nutrition that is for sure.
Some of the most important nutrients that you will find in the Purina Pro Plan with Probiotics include vitamins B, C, D, and calcium (the food is also loaded with digestive helping probiotics).
Now, aside from all of the things that we mentioned above, we do want to also point out two things that work in this food’s favor.
First off, you will be able to find it in just about any regular store, so you can always pick up a bag when doing your routine shopping, in addition to getting it online, which is helpful. Secondly, it is pretty inexpensive as far as dog food brands go.
This Purina Pro Plan food has a lot going for it, and we do mean a lot. As we said in our review, this food is cheap, very easy to find, has some good nutrients, and is very easy for dogs to digest. At the same time, we have to acknowledge that this food does have some flaws that are worth discussing. The first issue is also something of a positive.
See, while the very basic flavors that this food uses are good for not causing stomach problems, they are bad for when it comes to getting some picky dogs to eat. Now, as we are going to discuss later on when we do our buying guide, golden retrievers aren’t too picky all things considered, but there are some out there who seem to refuse whatever it is that you put in front of them; this food is not likely to get those types of dogs to eat.
The second issue is that Purina doesn’t place much of an emphasis on ingredient purity, which means that they use a lot of filler ingredients like corn, chicken meal, etc. These ingredients aren’t harmful, but they are nutritionally worthless.
- High probiotic content.
- Great vitamin and nutrient mix.
- Inexpensive and found just about everywhere.
- Almost always in stock online.
- Very basic flavoring doesn’t appeal to some dogs.
- Uses corn and other filler items.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dog Food
If your main goal is to give your Golden Retriever the best nutrition possible, then you don’t need to look much further than the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula.
As far as dog food brands go, there are few options that are as well-known and well-respected as Blue Buffalo, and for good reason. They consistently produce some of the best dog food on the market. This particular options is notable for including their signature “life protection formula.”
What makes the life protection formula so good is that it is an amazing mixture of vitamins and nutrients. Really, if you can think of a single nutrient or vitamin that Golden Retrievers need, then the chances are good that it is found in this food.
Every type of vitamin from A to E is included in the mixture, as well as several other important nutrients like probiotics, antioxidants, and much more. While the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula isn’t made specifically for this breed, the food ends up being a really great option for them because of how nutritious it is.
Another good aspect of Blue Buffalo foods like this one is how high-quality the ingredients are. Your Golden Retriever is a loyal friend, and you want to give them the best, which is why this food is full of real meat pieces and vegetables, with the addition of no added filler ingredients.
Given the quality of this food and the very good reputation that Blue Buffalo has, it probably isn’t a big surprise for you to hear that this food is usually not cheap.
Obviously, the exact price can vary from bag to bag, as well as depending on things like sales and where you actually buy the food. But barring an incredibly lucky find, you should expect to be paying quite a bit more for this food than you would for say a food from Purina or IAMS.
- Great blend of vitamins.
- Packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and probiotics.
- Uses real pieces of meat and vegetables.
- No filler ingredients like corn.
- Expect to be paying a lot for this food.
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food With Roasted Lamb
If something that you value in dog food is ingredient purity, then the brand that is for you is Taste of the Wild. While it isn’t quite as famous as some other dog food brands out there, this one definitely has its own unique niche.
Taste of the Wild’s name kind of gives away the main purpose of the food, which is to give dog’s a food that is as close to all-natural as possible. They use amazing cuts of meat and they also use quite unique ingredients that you don’t find in most standard dog foods. For example, this food uses lamb (they also have bison and salmon flavors) as opposed to the more usual chicken.
We will say, that while this is a very good dog food, it can be a bit too heavy and rich for some Golden Retrievers. This can lead to issues like bloating and gas. This won’t impact the majority of dogs, but it is something to consider.
- Appealing lamb flavor.
- Full of protein and other nutrients.
- Heavy, rich food that can cause bloating.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
For the final review on our best dog food for Golden Retrievers list, we want to do a review of a very useful, but also quite pricey dry dog food, the Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food.
Hill’s Science is similar to another brand that has already appeared on our list before, Royal Canin, in the sense that both produce highly targeted dog food options that aim to address specific problems. We feel that this particular food from Hill’s Science helps to target some issues that Golden Retrievers are specifically prone to, which is why we decided to round out our list with it.
Now, you may be curious why we are choosing to feature a “diet” food on our review list, after all, what if your Golden Retriever isn’t actually overweight?
Well, you may have noticed that throughout this list we talked about the joint issues that a lot of Golden Retrievers face. Well, weight management is an extremely important thing for owners to engage in.
Goldens, because of their predisposition to hip and joint issues, are extremely sensitive to any sort of weight gain. Many dogs of this breed will feel the weight gain a lot more than many other types of dogs. As such, it can be useful to invest in a food like the Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food to help prevent any weight gain.
How does the food achieve what it promises to do? Simple, it focuses on basic nutrients and protein. The nutrients are important for your dog’s health, while the protein gives your Golden energy without also loading it up with calories and fat.
- High in protein.
- Low in fat.
- Great for preventing dangerous weight gain.
- This is another one of those pricey brands.
Buying The Right Dog Food For Your Golden: A Buying Guide
In this next section of our article, we are going to be doing a buying guide to help go along with the many product reviews that we did above.
Like we have said many times during the course of our best dog food for Golden Retrievers list, these aren’t known for being a particularly difficult dog breed, but they do have some notable issues that owners need to be aware of.
While veteran Golden owners may not need to be informed of these particular issues, we are willing to bet that because of how popular this breed is, a lot of newer owners don’t know what to be looking out for when it comes to their Golden Retriever’s nutrition. That is something that we hope to change with this buying guide, and it is them that the guide is primarily aimed at.
The Main Issues Facing Golden Retrievers
There are a variety of issues that owners should know about when it comes to this breed. Probably the most serious is their persistent joint issues.
Any informed Golden Retriever owner knows that they have to be on the lookout for dysplasia issues in their Golden, especially in the hips (although it can manifest just about anywhere). For those of you who have never heard of this issue before, we would recommend Googling it to learn more, but we will tell you that it is a very serious joint related issue that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in your dog.
There are a lot of ways to help your Golden Retriever to avoid developing this issue in the first place, as well as to help them cope in the event that they do develop it.
You can try things like supplements and joint exercises, but probably the best method is through proper nutrition. Lots of good dog foods for Goldens include important nutrients that help with potential joint problems.
In particular, those of you shopping for Golden Retriever food will want to lookout for two different nutrients, calcium and glucosamine. The first one is self-explanatory (we all know why calcium is important). The second nutrient requires a bit more explaining.
See glucosamine is an important nutrient for dog owners to know about. This nutrient helps to strengthen joints and cartilage. Golden Retrievers with dysplasia issues are usually given supplements with glucosamine in it, but also finding a food with a high glucosamine content is extremely helpful.
What To Look For In A Golden Retriever Food
Next up we want to go over some tips to help you pick out a really good food for your Golden Retriever. There isn’t going to be anything too specific in this section as buying good food for your Golden is the same as buying it for any other dog, so if you know how to do that already, then you can probably go ahead and skip this section.
Ingredient Quality And Nutrition
When buying a dog food, you want to focus on two things, ingredient quality and nutritional content.
By ingredient purity, we mean buying foods that use real pieces of meat and real vegetables. This may not sound too important on its own, but if a food uses high-quality ingredients, then you can generally trust that it is a good food overall.
Nutritional content is a bit more obvious. You want to look for foods that have the right nutrients for your Golden. In particular, keep an eye out for foods that are rich in protein, glucosamine, and calcium.
We would love to hear from any Golden owners out there who read through our list and found it to be useful. Please leave any comments below with either questions or feedback about our best dog food for Golden Retrievers list.