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  • Sara Redding Ochoa DVM
  • Certified content. This article has been fact-checked and verified by our veterinary advisor.

    Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Families who share their homes with a Golden Retriever can consider themselves lucky since the Golden Retriever is one of the most pure-hearted beings currently living on this planet. They are loyal to the people they love, and there is nothing they wouldn’t do for you.

A Golden Retriever is there when you need a friend; to help you get through difficult situations, to share moments of joy and to be a companion on outings and for cozy nights in front of the TV. They are up for everything, and they always have the most adorable Retriever smile on their faces, and who can resist that?

When a dog is so willing to do everything for you, you owe it to that dog to return the favor. A nutritious Golden Retriever diet is one way to show your unconditional love – but what is the best dog food for Golden Retrievers?

View The Best Dog Food For Golden Retriever Dogs Below


1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever dog food

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This dog food for Golden Retrievers is a soft and delicious mix made for adult dogs over the age of 15 months. It is a complete and balanced breed-specific Golden Retriever food, made to fit the nutritional needs of the breed.

Golden Retrievers are large dogs with a few hereditary diseases to look out for, and it is important to provide a healthy diet that can prevent and protect your dog from falling ill. This product is made with the Golden Retriever’s individual needs in mind, it is great for cardiac health and promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat.


+ Breed-specific formula

+ Rich and meaty flavor

+ Promotes digestive health

+ For a shinier coat

Why We Liked It – One of the best Golden Retriever food products thanks to being made specifically for the breed. It is also a wet food, which often appeals even to the fussiest eaters (even though Golden Retrievers are usually pretty good at gulping down anything they can get their paws on).

2. Royal Canin BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever

Royal Canin BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever kibble

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For the kibble lover – this recommended dog food for Golden Retrievers might become an instant favorite! It is possibly the best dog food for Golden Retrievers, since Royal Canin has sat down with their experts to create a formula that caters to your dog’s specific needs, and that can help him or she lives a long and healthy life.

This product contains taurine, which has been discussed a lot in the media lately since research points to it are essential for cardiac health. It also has EPA, DHA, and the fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6. It can feel reassuring to pick a product that knows the breed well enough to provide what is needed, and Royal Canin has years of experience in the dog food business, and they have managed to come up with a recipe that Golden Retrievers love, and that targets them as a breed by providing them with exactly what they need to stay healthy and happy.


+ Made for Golden Retrievers

+ Taurine for heart health

+ Helps keep a healthy weight

+ With Omega 3 and Omega 6

Why We Liked It – This breed-specific dog food for Golden Retriever family members is full of the nutrients the breed needs to thrive, and it is reinforced with taurine to help prevent hereditary heart problems.

3. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food

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This Royal Canin breed specific Golden Retriever puppy food that sees to all his or her needs, and that tastes delicious at the same time. It is essentially the same as #1 and #2 on this list, only made specifically for growing puppies with properly adapted nutrient levels.

It is so important to find the right dog food for Golden Retriever puppy friends that share our homes with us since we want them to grow up strong and healthy, and to get a good start in life.


+ Designed specifically for Golden Retriever puppies

+ Small puppy kibble

+ Adapted nutrient levels

Why We Liked It – What is the best puppy food for Golden Retrievers? The answer is simple. It is a food that helps the puppy reach his or her full potential, and the Royal Canin breed specific puppy kibble will do just that.

4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free dog food for Golden Retrievers
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Blue Buffalo sets the stakes high with this Retriever high protein dog food, which is full of real meat from chicken; such as deboned chicken, chicken meal and fish meal. Protein is essential in high-quality dog food, and in this product, there is also a cleverly composed mix of wholesome fruits and vegetables – making it a complete, nutritional and natural kibble option for your Golden Retriever.

The carbohydrates give them the energy to last the whole day so that they can tag along on any family adventure, and the Omega 3 and Omega 6 are there to improve skin health and coat quality (to make that Golden coat even prettier than it already is). As an additional plus, there are the Blue Buffalo LifeSource bits – packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


+ Exclusive LifeSource Bits

+ Natural ingredients

+ Made with fresh meat

+ High protein content

Why We Liked It – When looking for the best dog food for retrievers, this is what you want to find. A kibble with natural ingredients and high protein content, and an appealing flavor that your Golden Retriever will love.

5. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Formula

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Formula dog food for Golden Retrievers

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This lamb and rice formula from Purina is an adult dry Golden Retriever dog food with vitamins and minerals, it gives shine to the coat and promotes healthy digestion, while also having an irresistible flavor that not even the fussiest of eaters can resist.

The dual-defense antioxidant mix aids the immune system, and a natural Glucosamine source for bone and joint health makes this kibble an option when looking for the best dog food for senior Golden Retrievers. This food comes at an accessible price and the first ingredient is real lamb. Looking for cheaper options? Try this cheaper dog food.


+ Accessible and economic

+ Real meat as the first ingredient

+ With Glucosamine for healthy joints

+ For dogs all ages

Why We Liked It – Sometimes we just need a dog food that we can find in a grocery store close by or one that doesn’t cost half our weekly salary, and when that happens – this is a kibble to turn to.

6. Purina Beyond Grain Free Natural Recipe

Purina Beyond Grain Free Natural Recipe dog food

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A tasty and crunchy Golden Retriever feeding option that your dog is likely to love. It has vitamins and minerals for a healthy body and mind, it is grain-free (and free from soy, corn, and wheat, as well as from artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors) and made in factories that are 100% owned by the company – which guarantees full control and top quality.

The natural ingredients in this retriever dog food can be easily read and understood from the ingredients’ list on the packaging, and it is a good fit for adult Golden Retrievers.


+ Three different flavor varieties

+ No grain, corn, soy or wheat

+ Meat listed as the first ingredient

+ No poultry or animal by-products

Why We Liked It – Not all Golden Retrievers like the same type of food, and this product comes in different flavor varieties so that you can either test to see what your pup likes best or switch it up and feed different foods to a dog that tends to get bored when always being fed the same.

7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diets

Natural Balance Dog Food for Limited Ingredients Diets

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While it is always important to find the best food for Golden Retriever, it becomes even more important if that Golden Retriever has allergies. Skin allergies are common in the breed, and they are often caused by food ingredients that the dog might be sensitive to.

A limited ingredient formula, such as this Natural Balance formula, makes it a lot easier to exclude whatever it is that your dog is allergic, which can help relieve skin rashes and itchiness in less than a day. Our dogs need us to make good choices for them, and one of those choices we need to make is what type of food to put in the bowl at breakfast and dinner. This is a complete and balanced dog food Golden Retrievers will love. It supports healthy digestion and strong and lean muscles, and it is grain-free with no fillers or artificial preservatives.


+ Allergy-friendly limited ingredient formula

+ Real fish as the first ingredient

+ With healthy fatty acids

+ Fiber for healthy digestion

Why We Liked It – We all want to find the best dog food brands for Golden Retrievers; one that will keep them happy, healthy and strong! This is a great alternative and one that often places high in Retriever dog food reviews, which is understandable due to the highly nutritional content.

8. Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH Large Breeds

Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH Large Breed dog food

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Golden Retriever food recommendations from veterinarians are worth taking into consideration, and this kibble is a complete and appropriate Golden food option for dog owners that want to keep their pup healthy and strong.

Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH has chicken listed first on the ingredients’ list, and the formula helps promote soft skin, a shiny coat, and functional metabolism. It has Glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint health, along with vitamins and minerals to support your Golden Retriever through all his or her life stages.


+ Fresh meat (Chicken) listed first

+ Promotes strong bones and healthy joints

+ For Retrievers and other large breed dogs

+ Highly digestible formula

Why We Liked It – This is a good Golden dog food which qualifies both as the best food for Golden Retriever puppies, and for the best dry dog food Golden Retriever fur friends will love, since it is suitable for all life stages. Also, satisfying levels of vitamins and minerals.

9. Nulo Adult Grain Free

Nulo Adult Grain Free Golden Retriever dog food
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Your fur friend deserves the best dog food for Golden Retrievers that there is, and this all-natural product provides them with enough protein and carbohydrates to get energy for a whole day so that they can tag along for adventures and outing with the whole family. This Nulo dog food is free from wheat, grains, corn, soy, artificial flavors or colors, and it is even free from eggs and chicken, which makes it perhaps the best dog food for Golden Retrievers with allergies.

Food allergies are common in the breed, and many dogs have egg- or chicken allergies, making this kibble an excellent option for those with allergic dogs or where a food allergy is suspected. This probiotic kibble helps the dog stay at a healthy weight, it boosts the immune system and the ingredients’ list is made up of recognizable ingredients.


+ Delicious lamb and chickpea recipe

+ No chicken or egg

+ Free from artificial ingredients

+ 81% animal protein

Why We Liked It – If you have been hoping to find the best dog food for Golden Retrievers with skin allergies, this product is one to take into consideration. It is free from many of the ingredients that are known to cause allergies, and suitable for all adult dogs, regardless of size.

Bonus Buy: POINTPET Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement

POINTPET Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement for Golden Retrievers

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Golden Retrievers are large dogs and they are prone to bone disease and joint problems, and the smartest thing to do is to start preventing these issues from early on. Good puppy food for Golden Retrievers is the first step, followed by a quality food for Golden Retriever adults, but it can also be beneficial to provide extra supplements for your dog.

This Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Yucca soft chew supplement is an organic product that helps the bones and joints to develop properly, and that later cares for those during the dog’s life. It is corn, wheat and gluten-free, and it tastes yummy enough for your dog to think they are being given a treat.

Dog Food for Golden Retrievers Buying Guide

What to Look for When Buying Dog Food for Golden Retrievers:

The Golden Retriever is a popular dog breed all over the world, and they are the most incredible family dogs that have what it takes to brighten the lives of their human family members, every day. Golden Retrievers are large dogs, and unfortunately, they have some heredity health problems, which can sometimes be prevented with the right food and nutrition! It is crucial to feed your Golden Retriever right; both as puppies, adults, and seniors, to set them up for long and healthy life. To do this, you need to know what to look for in dog food, what to avoid and what food is most likely to suit your dog.

A benefit when feeding a Golden Retriever is that they don’t tend to be fussy about food, and they will often eat whatever is served to them. This, however, is no excuse not to do proper research, or to fail to provide an adequate and nutritional diet. Your Golden Retriever can’t tell you what he or she needs, and they probably don’t even know it themselves, so it is up to us – as responsible dog owners – to make sure they get the nutrients their fluffy bodies crave.

Nutritional Needs of the Golden Retriever

Like all dogs, the Golden Retriever needs protein. Protein should come from quality meat sources, so it is important to look at the first 3 ingredients on the list of content, to check that at least one or two is an identified meat source. You want to see for example deboned chicken or turkey, beef, fish or lamb, but you can also check for different types of meat meal (chicken meal, fish meal, etc. etc.) since these are very protein-rich ingredients as well. A quality dog food product will always specify what meat they use to make their kibble or wet food, and any product that just lists “meat” should probably be avoided or investigated further. Remember that a dog food manufacturer that uses quality ingredients will most likely be very proud of that and eager to share, so there is the reason for suspicion if the meat source isn’t named.

Due to being big dogs, a Golden Retriever also needs additives to protect their bones and sensitive joints. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two things you want to see in a dog food for a Golden Retriever since they help promote strong bones and healthy and painless joints. Vitamins, minerals and the fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 contribute to that golden coat of theirs looking shiny and perfect – dog show-ready at all times!

Golden Retriever Health Problems & How Food Helps

As dipped into above, the right food can help prevent some of the health issues that the Golden Retriever is prone to. A source of taurine strengthens and heals the heart, and it appears to be a key ingredient when it comes to general cardiac health. Glucosamine and Chondroitin work to prevent joint pain, and since the Golden Retriever is prone to both Hip dysplasia and Elbow dysplasia – it is never too soon to start caring for the joints. A high and balanced protein content gives enough energy to engage in play and exercise, which are other fundamentals in keeping a Golden Retriever healthy and content.

Ingredients to avoid

Stay clear of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and if possible, you also want to avoid unnecessary fillers like corn. Corn is not harmful to a dog, but their bodies are unable to digest it, so while it might help fill them up temporarily – it provides them with little to no nutrients. If corn places high on the ingredients’ list, it indicates that the food does not have a very high nutritional value, especially if there is no named meat source listed before it. Want to go meatless? Try these vegan-friendly dog treats.

You also want to stay away from animal by-products (chicken by-products and by-products from other animals), since these are low-quality animal products, and not necessarily meat at all, but rather left-over parts from butcheries that were deemed unfit for human consumption. If you are looking for great dog food for your Golden Retriever – then this is not something you want to find listed among the ingredients.


Best Dog Food for Golden Retriever puppy?

When picking out the best food for Golden Retriever puppies, you need a kibble or wet food that has just the right levels of protein, fibers, and carbohydrates to help the pup grow at a healthy speed. Royal Canin has a breed-specific Golden Retriever puppy food that sees to all his or her needs, and that tastes delicious at the same time.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food

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How Much Should I Feed My Golden Retriever?

How much to feed a Golden Retriever depends entirely on the product you are feeding, as the energy levels and the content might vary, which decides how big of a quantity your dog needs to eat. Products usually have a guide on the side or on the back, that gives clear instructions for how much a dog should eat depending on his or her weight. All you need to do is to weigh your Golden Retriever and compare that to the feeding instructions that come with the product. Keep a close eye on that Golden Retriever Feeding Chart, since overweight or underweight dog is not a healthy dog, and it could end up shortening their lifespan.

Remember that all dogs are different and that these feeding guides are more like suggestions, rather than actual rules. If you notice that your dog has gained weight despite sticking to the amounts listed on the kibble bag – cut back a bit and feed a little less. Same goes for if your dog seems to be losing weight! Just add a bit more and see what happens. Just like with humans – Golden Retrievers don’t all have the exact same metabolism, and how much exercise they get also plays its part.

Best Wet Dog Food for Golden Retrievers?

The ‘Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever’ wet dog food is a great option for anyone who is looking for a quality wet for their pup. Not only is it made especially for Golden Retrievers, but it is also full of nutrients and has a delicious taste that no dog will be able to resist. It can be used on its own or mixed in with kibble to make the kibble meal more appealing. While Golden Retrievers aren’t known for this, some are picky eaters and wet food can be a simple way to encourage eating, as well as these dog foods for picky eaters.

Best Dry Dog Food for Golden Retrievers?

Give the dry variety of the ‘Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever’ a try, as it is a high-quality breed specific formula that has the Golden Retriever’s best interest at heart. If you are looking for the best food for Golden Retriever puppy friends – there is also a puppy version of this dry food, which means you can start out with the best dog food for Golden Retriever puppies (often seen in Golden Retriever puppy food reviews), then switch it to the adult version so that your gold-coated pup can receive the nutrition he or she needs throughout both puppyhood and adulthood.

Royal Canin BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Golden Retriever kibble

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Best Dog Food Brands for Golden Retrievers?

When looking for the best puppy food Golden Retrievers will actually enjoy eating, or when aiming to find the best dog food for Golden Retriever puppyhood survivors (adults) – there are a couple of brands to check out. Royal Canin is a popular brand among Golden Retriever owners since they make breed-specific products targeting the breed and its unique nutritional needs. Many retriever high protein dog food reviews have come to the conclusion that Royal Canin has the best puppy food for Golden Retriever dogs, as well as the best adult food, and since they offer a selection of both wet and dry breed-specific food – they are definitely a dog food brand worth checking out.

Blue Buffalo is another brand that is known for its high-quality dog food, and their natural ingredients and grain-free recipes speak for themselves in terms of how great they are for Golden Retrievers and other breeds. They could easily claim to have the best Golden Retriever puppy food

Best Dog Food for Golden Retriever Seniors?

Time flies, and one second you are looking for food for Golden Retriever puppy dogs, and the next second you are shopping for senior dog kibble. Dogs are perfect in many ways, but they don’t live nearly as long as we wish they would. With that in mind, it is important to care for them properly throughout their lives and to make sure they get the nutrients they need for their bodies to function properly. Senior dogs have other needs than young dogs, and there comes a time when it might be crucial to switch your beloved pup over to a senior dog formula, or dog food that has what a senior dog needs to thrive. A tiny and fat Golden Retriever puppy is adorable, but nothing compares to an older dog that we have gotten to have in our lives and in our families for years.

Consider a high-quality kibble specially made for seniors, or a product like ‘Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free’ that is suitable for Golden Retrievers all ages. It is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants packed into something referred to as LifeSource bits, and it is mild enough to be gentle to dog stomachs. Watching a dog grow old does not have to be hard, as long as we give them the nutrition they need to continue being healthy.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free dog food for Golden Retrievers

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Sharing your life with a Golden Retriever is a luxury – a concept which might be hard to grasp unless you have shared your home with one. It is a dog with a heart so big you sometimes find yourself wondering how it fits into their bodies, and that never loses faith in you no matter what you do. A Golden Retriever will always look up at you with that look in their eyes; a look that shows they think the world of you. Caring for a Golden Retriever means to provide them with good and nutritious food and doing so is a small sacrifice to make to get to have that perfect friend by your side for what will hopefully be at least 10-14 years.

Expert Tip

Be careful not to overfeed your dog, especially if you are only just switching over to a quality dog food since quality can often mean a need for a smaller quantity. Read the feeding charts on the product and pay attention to any changes in your dog’s weight.

Did You Know?

A Texas-based Golden Retriever holds the world record in “Most Tennis Balls Held in the Mouth by a Dog.” The Dallas pup is called Augie, and he managed to hold 5 tennis balls at a time.

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