How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
The friendly Golden Retriever is one of America’s most beloved breeds. A dog renowned for its loyal, loving, and affectionate ways, the Golden Retriever is an active family companion that requires a high-quality diet to thrive.
Golden Retrievers can be prone to developing bloat, a condition that primarily affects large-chested breeds. Though the causes of this problem aren’t fully understood, experts recommend feeding a kibble that is comprised of large enough pieces to require the Golden to chew rather than gulp its food since bloat is associated with eating too quickly or too large a quantity.
Golden Retrievers love to eat and can be prone to weight gain. To prevent this from occurring, the best dog food for Golden Retrievers should be carefully measured and the dog’s body condition monitored to achieve and maintain an appropriate weight.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Golden Retrievers
The average adult Golden Retriever will require approximately 1300-1600 calories per day. Highly active dogs usually require a slightly higher calorie count and those that are less active a decreased amount. Spayed or neutered dogs also tend to require a lower calorie count that those that are entire or intact. The Pet Nutrition Alliance calorie calculator is an excellent guide but remember to consult your veterinarian for more detailed nutritional information. The dog’s weight and appetite will also serve as helpful guides in determining correct portion sizes.
The best dog foods for Golden Retrievers are nutritionally balanced to support optimal canine wellness.
Dietary Requirements for Golden Retriever Dog Foods
Golden Retrievers are an active, athletic breed, and thus, require a diet to help fuel their daily energy levels. The recommended amount of protein for the Golden Retriever is at least 18 percent with healthy fat levels comprising at least 5 percent of the diet.
Protein in the Golden Retriever’s diet should come from animal origins. Lean meats in whole form are best; however, meat meals also provide an excellent quality concentrated protein that dogs can easily digest.
Healthy fats also form a critical part of the ideal diet for the Golden Retriever. Animal-based fats such as chicken fat and oils from fish such as salmon and mackerel provide the most benefits. Some vegetable oils can also contribute important omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
There is no evidence to suggest that a grain-free or grain-inclusive diet is preferable for the Golden Retriever. Owners should focus on selecting the best dog food for Golden Retrievers that provides easily digestible carbohydrates, whether they find their basis in fruits and vegetables or whole grains.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best food for a Golden Retriever:
Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
Proteins, preferably in the form of whole lean meats or meat meals, should be one of the first ingredients in any high-quality food suitable for the needs of the active Golden Retriever.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
All foods can benefit from the addition of supplements and probiotics to help provide support for the Golden’s development and overall health. Prebiotics and probiotics may assist with optimal digestion.
Chondroitin and glucosamine may also assist with sustaining joint health, which is beneficial for active, athletic breeds such as the Golden Retriever.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Golden Retriever should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.