Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers: Complete Nutrition

What is the best dog food for golden retrievers? Well, the critical factor to bear in mind is your furry friend’s age. 

Why, you ask? 

It’s all about understanding the unique needs of large breed dogs like goldens. While adult goldens can thrive on top-notch food brands, selecting the proper nourishment for your puppy is crucial. 

Why so? 

Golden retriever puppies face a heightened risk of developing hip issues if their diet contains excessive calcium, so opting for a diet specifically formulated for large-breed puppies is imperative. 

And here’s the kicker: golden retriever pups continue to grow until they’re 12 to 24 months old. So, to mitigate the risk of diet-related hip problems, resist the urge to prematurely switch to an adult formula.

Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers 

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult

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Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult dog food provides tailored nutrition with high-quality ingredients and a balanced formulation. Free from artificial preservatives, it supports joint health and receives positive reviews from customers and veterinarians, making it a trusted choice for large-breed adult dogs.

Pros

Balanced nutrition with chicken and chicken meal

Grain-inclusive formula, no synthetic preservatives

Cons

Not suitable for poultry-allergic dogs

Higher price point for some owners

Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult stands out among the 13 dry options we reviewed in the Wellness Complete Health line.

With chicken and chicken meal as primary protein sources, it boasts 29% protein, 13% fat, and around 50% estimated carbs, maintaining a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

This grain-inclusive formula contains no meat by-products or cancer-causing preservatives, making it a top choice for adult golden retrievers.

For a detailed review of the entire Wellness Complete Health Dog Food (Dry) range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, barley, peas
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Protein Percentage: 29%
  • AAFCO Standards: Maintenance
  • Ideal For: Adult golden retrievers

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“After switching from a red meat-heavy brand due to digestive issues, Wellness Complete has been a game-changer for our golden. She loves it, and for the first time, she’ll take it as a treat from our hands. The nutritional balance and inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin have made a noticeable difference, especially for a dog her size at 80+ pounds.”

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

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Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon offers premium nutrition for golden retrievers with high-quality protein sources like beef and lamb. Balanced for optimal health, it includes salmon oil for joint support and a shiny coat. Grain-free and suitable for all life stages, it’s trusted by many pet owners for its quality ingredients and noticeable results.

Pros

Premium protein sources: fresh beef and lamb meal

Balanced nutrition with ideal protein, fat, and carbs

Added salmon oil for joint health and coat shine

Grain-free, suitable for all life stages of golden retrievers

Cons

Potential for ingredient sensitivities in some dogs

Higher price point 

Southwest Canyon stands out among the 9 dry recipes we reviewed in the Taste of the Wild product line.

Featuring fresh beef and lamb meal as primary protein sources, it boasts 32% protein, 17% fat, and approximately 43% estimated carbs, maintaining a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Additionally, it includes salmon oil, which is rich in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids and is known for promoting joint health and a glossy coat in dogs. This grain-free formula is highly recommended for both adult and puppy golden retrievers.

For a comprehensive review of Taste of the Wild Dog Food range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Protein Percentage: 32%
  • AAFCO Standards: All Life Stages
  • Best For: Golden Retriever adults and puppies

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“I and my dogs love Taste of the Wild. It keeps them happy and healthy with beautiful coats; for me, it’s cost-efficient and odor-free compared to other options. I’d recommend it to all my friends.”

Nom Nom Fresh

Nom Nom Fresh

Nom Nom Fresh

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Nom Nom Fresh offers premium nutrition with high-quality, human-grade ingredients like fresh diced chicken, perfect for golden retrievers. Formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, it ensures optimal health with its grain-free, high-protein recipe. Suitable for all life stages and trusted by many pet owners, Nom Nom Fresh provides convenience and quality for your furry friend.

Pros

High-quality, human-grade ingredients

Formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist

Grain-free with balanced fat-to-protein ratio

Suitable for all life stages, including larger breeds

Cons

Relatively higher cost

Requires refrigeration due to freshness

Chicken Cuisine is among the 4 fresh recipes we reviewed in the Nom Nom dog food line.

With fresh diced chicken as its primary protein source, Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine offers a remarkable 37% protein, 26% fat, and approximately 29% estimated carbs, resulting in a high % fat-to-protein ratio of about 71%.

All Nom Nom fresh recipes are human-grade and formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist (DACVN), a rare quality in the market.

Meeting AAFCO nutrient profiles for adults and puppies, including larger breeds, Nom Nom presents an outstanding grain-free option for those seeking a science-based, homemade-like diet without the hassle.

Affordable yet premium, Nom Nom comes enthusiastically recommended.

For a comprehensive Nom Nom Dog Food (Fresh) range review, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Diced chicken, sweet potatoes, squash, water, spinach, sunflower oil
  • Type: Grain-free, fresh
  • Protein Percentage: 37%
  • AAFCO Standards: All Life Stages
  • Best For: Golden Retriever adults and puppies

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“Jones, a rescue with a susceptible stomach, has thrived on Nom Nom. His stomach is doing well, and his fur has never been softer.”

Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Dog Food

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Iams ProActive Health Large Breed Dog Food offers trusted nutrition with a grain-inclusive, chicken-based formula free of BHA. Ideal for adult golden retrievers, it’s a reliable choice for pet owners seeking quality nutrition.

Pros

Trusted by professional breeders

Grain-inclusive formula with chicken protein

Free of BHA and other chemical preservatives

Suitable for adult golden retrievers

Cons

Contains chicken by-product meal

Moderate protein content

ProActive Health Large Breed is among the 12 dry recipes we’ve covered in our review of the Iams ProActive Health line.

With chicken as its primary protein source, Iams ProActive Health Large Breed offers 25% protein, 14% fat, and approximately 53% estimated carbs, resulting in a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Professional breeders have trusted this classic, grain-inclusive formula for many years. Notably, it’s 100% free of BHA and other high-risk chemical preservatives, making it a highly recommended option.

For a comprehensive review of the entire Iams ProActive Health Dog Food (Dry) range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Protein Percentage: 25%
  • AAFCO Standards: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult golden retrievers

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“All the pets in the household love Iam’s. My puppies switched to adult food, which has been quick and easy. Would recommend Iam’s to anyone.”

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Chicken offers premium nutrition with a high protein content sourced from chicken, which is ideal for adult golden retrievers. Trusted for its quality and effectiveness, it’s a top choice among pet owners seeking superior nutrition for their furry friends.

Pros

High protein content from chicken

Includes zinc amino acid complex

Suitable for adult golden retrievers

Cons

May contain ingredients some dogs are sensitive to

Higher price compared to other options

Wilderness Adult Chicken is among the 12 dry recipes examined in our review of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line.

With chicken as its primary protein source, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Chicken provides 38% protein, 17% fat, and approximately 38% estimated carbs, resulting in a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

This recipe also features zinc amino acid complex and other chelated minerals, ensuring superior nutrition tailored for larger breeds. It is highly recommended.

For a detailed review of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food (Dry) range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, chicken meal, dried chicken, oatmeal, barley
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Protein Percentage: 38%
  • AAFCO Standards: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult golden retrievers

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“I rotate a few different flavors, but my dogs adore Blue Buffalo Wilderness and have no digestive or dental issues. Their coats shine like they’ve been oiled. It’s been a favorite with us for a long time.”

American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato

American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato

American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato

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American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato provides high-quality nutrition at an affordable price. With poultry as the primary protein source and added prebiotics for digestive health, it’s ideal for golden retrievers of all ages. Trusted and effective, it’s a top choice for budget-conscious pet owners seeking quality nutrition.

Pros

Main protein sourced from poultry

Includes prebiotics for healthy digestion

Budget-friendly option

Suitable for golden retriever adults and puppies

Cons

May contain ingredients that some dogs are sensitive to

Moderate fat content.

Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato is one of the 17 dry recipes assessed in our review of the American Journey product line.

American Journey Large Breed Chicken derives its main protein from poultry. Dry matter label analysis shows 33% protein, 13% fat, and approximately 45% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

This formula also includes prebiotics to support healthy digestion. It is a remarkable, budget-friendly choice that comes highly recommended.

For a detailed review of the entire American Journey Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), turkey meal, peas, chickpeas
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Protein Percentage: 33%
  • AAFCO Standards: All Life Stages
  • Best For: Golden retriever adults and puppies

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“I have four furry children from small to extra large, all picky in their way. All four of them loved this brand! They’ve been on it for only a week, and I can already tell how healthier their coats look and a bit of needed weight loss.”

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy

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Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy is specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of golden retriever puppies. With chicken-based protein, added taurine for heart health, and safe calcium levels, it supports optimal growth and development. Trusted by many, it’s an ideal choice for giving your puppy the best start in life.

Pros

Chicken-based protein promotes optimal growth

Includes taurine for heart health

Formulated with safe calcium levels for puppies

Cons

Contains chicken by-product meal, may not appeal to all

Grain-inclusive formula may not suit dogs with grain sensitivities

Golden Retriever Puppy is among the 11 dry recipes assessed in our Royal Canin product line review.

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy primarily derives its animal protein from chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals 30% protein, 16% fat, and approximately 46% estimated carbs, resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

We also appreciate the inclusion of taurine, which is believed to aid in preventing dilated cardiomyopathy in large-breed dogs. This formula contains a safe amount of calcium for golden retriever puppies and is recommended with confidence.

For a detailed review of the Royal Canin Dog Food range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat gluten, chicken fat, wheat
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Protein Percentage: 30%
  • AAFCO Standards: Growth
  • Best For: Golden Retriever puppies

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“My golden retriever loves this food. The first time I opened the bag, he got excited just by the smell. Great food! I will buy the adult food when he grows!”

Eagle Pack Adult Large and Giant Breed Dog Food

Eagle Pack Adult Large and Giant Breed Dog Food

Eagle Pack Adult Large and Giant Breed Dog Food

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Eagle Pack Adult Large and Giant Breed Dog Food are tailored for golden retrievers, with protein from chicken and pork meals. Probiotics aid digestion and flaxseed boosts joint health. Trusted by many, it’s an ideal choice for your dog’s well-being.

Pros

Protein from chicken meal and pork meal

Includes probiotics for digestion

Flaxseed boosts omega fatty acids

Cons

Contains rice, potential sensitivity

Not suitable for grain-sensitive dogs

Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed is one of 7 dry recipes reviewed in our Eagle Pack product line evaluation.

Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Adult derives its animal protein primarily from chicken and pork meals. Dry matter label analysis reveals 28% protein, 13% fat, and approximately 51% estimated carbs, resulting in a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

We appreciate the inclusion of multiple probiotics for digestive health and flaxseed for enhanced omega fatty acid content, promoting better joint health. It is highly recommended.

For a comprehensive review of the entire Eagle Pack Dog Food (Dry) range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken meal, pork meal, ground brown rice, oatmeal, rice
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Protein Percentage: 28%
  • AAFCO Standards: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult golden retrievers

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“Our Lab has been thriving on Eagle Pack since she was 4. Despite her active lifestyle, she maintains a shiny coat and enjoys the Taste. We appreciate its affordability and performance compared to pricier brands.”

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult

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Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult is tailored for golden retrievers, with protein from fresh chicken and chicken meals for muscle development. It includes zinc proteinate and chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption. Affordable and high-quality, it’s a top choice for golden retriever owners seeking balanced nutrition.

Pros

Protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal

Includes zinc proteinate and chelated minerals

Budget-friendly without sacrificing quality

Cons

Contains grains like brown rice and barley

Moderate fat content

This Large Breed Adult formula is among the 13 dry recipes examined in our review of the Diamond Naturals line.

Diamond Naturals Large Breed derives its primary meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals 26% protein, 14% fat, and approximately 52% estimated carbs, resulting in a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

We appreciate the inclusion of zinc proteinate and three other chelated minerals, typically costly items rarely found in such a budget-friendly, high-quality option. A top choice for adult golden retrievers, it is easy to recommend.

For a comprehensive review of the Diamond Naturals Dog Food (Dry) range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, ground white rice.
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Protein Percentage: 26%
  • AAFCO Standards: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult golden retrievers

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“Our dogs have thrived on Diamond food. Our aging beagle regained vitality, our male Great Pyrenees’ digestive issues resolved, and our female’s skin improved, thanks to Diamond.”

Holistic Select Senior Health

Holistic Select Senior Health

Holistic Select Senior Health

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Holistic Select Senior Health is specially crafted for senior golden retrievers, with chicken fat as the primary protein source. It’s free from by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives, providing high-quality nutrition. Adding chondroitin and glucosamine promotes joint health, making it a trusted choice for senior dog care.

Pros

Chicken fat as main protein source

Free from by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives

Contains chondroitin and glucosamine

Cons

May not suit all dietary needs

Grain-free may not appeal to all owners

Senior Health is among the 11 dry recipes examined in our review of the Holistic Select line.

Holistic Select Senior Health primarily derives its meat protein from chicken fat. Dry matter label analysis reveals 31% protein, 13% fat, and approximately 48% estimated carbs, resulting in a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

We appreciate that this dog food contains no generic animal by-products, artificial colors, or chemical preservatives. Adding chondroitin and glucosamine makes it an ideal option for senior goldens and is highly recommended.

For more options, check out our full Holistic Select Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) range review here.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken meal, chickpeas, peas, lentils, dried ground potatoes
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Protein Percentage: 31%
  • AAFCO Standards: Maintenance
  • Best For: Senior Goldens

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“Good quality food. Good quality ingredients. The right balance of protein and fat for my senior dog, plus extra joint and digestive support. Most importantly, my senior loves it! I would recommend this brand and formula!”

Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Adult Dog Food

Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Adult Dog Food

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Adult Dog Food is tailored for golden retrievers, featuring high-quality protein from poultry and added antioxidants for overall health. Trusted by many, it’s an excellent choice for keeping your furry friend happy and healthy.

Pros

Main protein from poultry

Balanced fat-to-protein ratio

Antioxidants support immunity

Cons

None Specified

Chicken Soup for the Soul is one of 11 recipes featured in our review of their product line.

Large Breed Adult derives its primary protein from poultry. Dry matter label analysis shows 26% protein, 13% fat, and approximately 53% estimated carbs, yielding a balanced fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

This formula also boasts antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, promoting healthy immunity for excellent disease resistance. A top choice for golden retrievers and other breeds over 50 pounds.

For a comprehensive review of the full Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food (Dry) range, click here.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, cracked pearled barley
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Protein Percentage: 26%
  • AAFCO Standards: Maintenance
  • Best For: Adult goldens

Here’s a satisfied buyer’s review:

“My Giant Breed dog transitioned smoothly to Chicken Soup’s Adult Large Breed formula, unlike other top brands. He loves it, and I appreciate the quality ingredients at the right price.”

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Conclusion

In conclusion, finding the best dog food for Golden Retrievers involves considering their unique nutritional needs and preferences. Whether opting for high-protein kibble, human-grade wet food, gently cooked meals, or raw, freeze-dried options, prioritizing quality sustainable ingredients is paramount. 

The right food enhances their overall well-being, from supporting muscle growth to maintaining healthy skin and coat. With careful selection and attention to individual dietary requirements, Golden Retrievers can enjoy a diet that keeps them happy, healthy, and thriving for years.

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