17 Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers Adults & Puppies
When it comes to your Golden Retriever, you always want what’s best for them. After all, your goldens are members of the family, right? So you want them to be happy and healthy at all times. That is why it’s so important to feed them good quality food that gives them everything they need. The only question is, how do you know which food that is?
What Are the Top Dog Foods to Feed a Golden Retriever?
Whether they’re in their golden years or you just brought a new puppy into the family, you want your Golden Retriever to be as healthy as possible to ensure a long, happy life. Part of this is making sure they are eating well and that their food meets their nutritional needs.
So how do you know which food that is? The best dog food to give your Golden Retriever (whether an adult or a puppy) depends on several factors including your pet’s age, activity level, underlying health issues, and more.
Which Food Is Best for My Golden Retriever?
When it comes to feeding your Golden, the ideal diet will ultimately depend on your dog’s individual needs. Whether you have a growing puppy or an aging senior, there are plenty of great foods on the market that will help your Golden stay happy and healthy for as long as possible!
If you’re still unsure what food you should choose for your pup, you can always consult with a reputable breeder or veterinarian for their recommendations on what food is best for your puppy.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers and Puppies
Before we dive in to the best dog foods for your Goldens, here are some of the most common questions that arise for new puppy owners:
How Can I Make Sure the Food is Appropriate for My Puppy’s Level Of Development?
As you’ve compared different kinds of dog food, you may have noticed that some of them are marketed as being for puppies or senior dogs. Because a pup’s dietary tract grows and matures over time, your dog may have different needs at different times in its life.
In general, your dog will benefit from puppy food from about 8 weeks of age until they are six months to a year old. Check with your vet to determine the right time to switch from a puppy food to one for adult dogs, as recommendations vary based on the size of your dog.
How Should I Transition My Puppy or Adult Dog from One Food Brand to Another?
Whether you’re switching brands or moving from a puppy chow to an adult dog food, it’s a good idea to make the transition slowly. Start by replacing a quarter of the dog’s current food with the new food for a few meals. A few days later, you can begin making it a half-and-half blend.
Make sure to watch for loose stool from your pup as you transition — if you notice that your Golden is struggling with the new diet, wait for a few days before increasing the blend. When in doubt, check with your vet!
What is the Right Amount to Feed My Dog?
Most dog foods come with specific volumes listed on the side. Check the food that you’re using to find out how often you should be feeding your pup at different ages and stages of their life, too.
Overfeeding your pet can lead to a variety of health concerns. When you first begin using a new dog food, it’s a good idea to check in with your vet to determine whether your dog could benefit from a customized feeding plan.
What is the Best Food for My Golden Retriever?
To determine what food will suit your dog the best, check out 17 of the top dog foods on the market for Golden Retrievers, no matter their age.
Check with your vet to determine whether your Golden will need any special dietary considerations. Chances are that you’ll find at least a few great options to meet their needs on this list!
Our Picks For The Best Dog Foods for Golden Retrievers & Puppies
- Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Chicken
- American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato
- IAMS Proactive Health Large Breed
- Holistic Select Senior Health
- Halo Holistic Chicken Recipe Large Breed
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb and Rice
- Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural
- Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
- Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult
- Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Puppy Blend with Probiotics
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed
- Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice
- Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult
- Eagle Pack Chicken and Pork Adult Large and Giant Breed
- The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic
- Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Raw Infused
- What can Golden Retrievers not eat?
1. Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy
Primary Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Wheat Gluten, Chicken Fat, Wheat, Brewers Rice, Brown Rice
Supporting the needs of a growing Golden Retriever puppy is of utmost importance and will shape their health for the rest of their life. Royal Canin makes dry food tailored explicitly to particular breeds. Its Golden food variation uses chicken and brown rice ingredients to support digestive health, strong bones, and a healthy coat.
Customer Review: “As a breeder of English Golden Retrievers, I am always looking for the ideal puppy kibble, and I have finally found it! Gorgeous coats, healthy body conditions, great activity levels- perfect puppies!” (Chewy)
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Chicken
Primary Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal
Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular dog food brands on the market, thanks to its high-quality ingredients and remarkable results. With a combination of healthy proteins, fruits, vegetables, and more, this dry dog food will encourage healthy muscle development in your Golden Retriever as well as strong teeth, a healthy heart, and improved skin and coat texture.
Customer Review: “Bought this for my dog, Wilbur, and he loves it. Looking at the ingredients makes me feel that I have purchased a quality product for my guy.” (Chewy)
3. American Journey Large Breed Chicken and Sweet Potato
Primary Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes
The American Journey brand is an excellent choice for Golden Retrievers at all stages of life as they offer puppy, adult, and senior varieties. With ingredients like real protein, fruits, and vegetables, this dry food increases energy, strengthens bones, improves immune strength, and neutralizes free radicals.
Customer Review: “My dog seems to love it! Her coat is healthier and shiny. She even trimmed down a little as her old dog food was making her fat.” (Chewy)
4. IAMS Proactive Health Large Breed
Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn
IAMS has been a leading brand in the dog food industry for years—and for a good reason. They produce high-quality dog food for your Golden Retriever at an affordable price. Veterinarians recommend IAMS Proactive Health because it uses ingredients like animal protein and antioxidant-rich veggies to nourish your dog and meet their complete health needs.
Customer Review: “I have two larger breeds, and this has been really good for them and cheaper than what I have fed before. Highly recommend it. Good for maintaining a decent weight too.” (Chewy)
5. Holistic Select Senior Health
Primary Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Lentils, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Dried Molasses Beet Pulp
Caring for a senior Golden Retriever requires a special diet tailored more to an aging dog’s needs. This dry kibble from Holistic Select uses a blend of essential nutrients to support your older dog’s joint health, bone strength, digestive system, immune system, skin, and coat.
Customer Review: “My finicky Golden Retriever likes this food, and it is made from healthy ingredients.” (Chewy)
6. Halo Holistic Chicken Recipe Large Breed
Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Dried Peas
This dry food by Halo Holistic uses a blend of chicken and liver to promote optimal bone strength and immune support in your Golden Retriever, among many other health benefits. It’s an excellent option for owners who prefer holistic food options with no artificial flavors.
Customer Review: “She loves her food, and I noticed her coat is very soft now. Gobbles it down!” (Chewy)
7. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb and Rice Recipe
Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal
Nutro creates both dry and wet food with real chicken and whole grains for dogs at all life stages. Its Wholesome Essentials Large Breed formula is perfect for your Golden Retriever’s complete health, as it contains non-GMO ingredients and natural proteins.
Customer Review: “My 15-month-old golden retriever tried so many dog foods, and this is the only one he loves to eat!” (Chewy)
8. Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural
Primary Ingredients: Herring Meal, Peas, Dried Eggs, Canola Oil, Tapioca, Pea Starch, Flaxseed, Pea Protein
This dry food from Earthborn Holistic is an excellent option for Golden Retrievers with food allergies. With fish as the main protein, this kibble promotes a gorgeous coat and healthy skin and improves digestive issues.
Customer Review: “Both my dogs have sensitive skin and sensitive stomachs; they used to have lots of runny poop and dry skin. After switching to earthborn holistic, they’ve had nothing but solid poops!” (Chewy)
9. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
Primary Ingredients: Beef, Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Lamb Meal, Canola Oil, Egg Product, Wild Boar
The unique ingredients in Taste of the Wild promote ideal immunity for your Golden Retriever. They also work together with a blend of minerals and marine-sourced omega-6 fatty acids to improve your dog’s skin and coat health as well as increase their nutrient absorption.
Customer Review: “My dog loves this food! He eats it enthusiastically, and it has really helped him thrive! He is energetic, has a gorgeous coat, and devours his meals!” (Chewy)
Overall Rating: 4.6/5
10. Royal Canin Golden Retriever Adult
Primary Ingredients: Brown Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Oat Groats, Brewers Rice, Wheat
Royal Canin specially formulated its dry food for the unique needs of Golden Retrievers. With a blend of natural flavors, it works to improve your Golden’s coat, digestion, skin, and bone health. It’s also highly recommended by many veterinarians!
Customer Review: “[…] Our current 9-year-old Golden is flourishing on the Golden Royal Canin: her nose has returned to coal black, her gas is greatly reduced. She is a much happier dog.” (Chewy)
11. Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Puppy Blend with Probiotics
Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Beef Fat, Soybean Meal
Purina Pro Plan is a leader in the industry, thanks to products like this puppy chow. The Save Shredded Puppy Blend includes probiotics to help ease the digestion in growing Golden Retriever puppies with sensitive stomachs.
Customer Review: “My puppy with a sensitive stomach loves this food. I mix it with wet food, and he loves it. He loves the chunks of shredded chicken!” (Chewy)
12. Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed
Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Brown Rice
Made with real chicken and turkey, the large breed dry food from Chicken Soup for the Soul is an excellent choice for your Golden Retriever. It contains the perfect combination of natural ingredients to enhance your pet’s coat and skin, as well as improve their immune system and boost their digestive health.
Customer Review: “Always been an excellent food for my dogs. […] The food is a great holistic diet, produces a shiny coat, good digestion, and a healthy dog. I highly recommend it.” (Chewy)
13. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice
Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice
Diamond Naturals is one of the leading brands of holistic dog foods, producing kibble with high-quality ingredients like real meat and whole grains. This large-breed dry food can help your Golden Retriever maintain a healthy coat and great skin as well as smooth digestion.
Customer Review: “I have six dogs ranging in weight from ~50 lbs to ~120 lbs. All of them love this food! Their coats are shiny and soft, and their poops are small!” (Chewy)
14. Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Adult
Primary Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Peas, Oats
Wellness Complete Health prepares its food to support all the needs of a large breed dog like a Golden Retriever. With high-quality proteins, essential vitamins and minerals, and wholesome grains, it can boost your dog’s immunity, improve their coat, promote digestive health, and even protect their skin.
Customer Review: “We highly recommend the Wellness dog food […] Our Golden Retrievers have healthy energy and coats.” (Chewy)
15. Eagle Pack Chicken and Pork Adult Large and Giant Breed
Primary Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Pork Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Rice, Dehulled Barley
Eagle Pack’s dry food is exclusively for large to giant breed dogs, made with a blend of chicken and pork. Its combination of proteins and whole grains support your Golden Retriever’s bone health and improve their digestion. The exclusive formula also increases energy levels!
Customer Review: “[…] It has everything they need and nothing they don’t. We tried another brand, and it caused all kinds of allergic reactions. We went back to Eagle Pack, and all is right again. Great product!” (Chewy)
16. The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Whole Grain Chicken
Primary Ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats, Dehydrated Peas
The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food is an excellent option for owners who like to avoid dry kibble. That may be because they have a senior Golden Retriever who is struggling with dental issues or feel that dehydrated food options are healthier. This particular food contains real protein and essential nutrients that can benefit dogs of all ages.
Customer Review: “This is real food! When we first got our puppy, she wouldn’t eat anything, even human food. Once we got this, she became a food-crazed puppy!“ (Chewy)
17. Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe
Primary Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas
The Backcountry Raw Infused line from Merrick is a great choice for growing Golden Retrievers as it contains many high-quality proteins. This food includes a combination of freeze-dried raw-coated kibble with real pieces of freeze-dried raw meat!
Customer Review: “Merrick has a good reputation. This variety has lots of meat sources plus several strains of probiotics. High protein/fat content (38/17) works for my active dogs.” (Chewy)
What can Golden Retrievers not eat?
Foods considered toxic to Golden Retrievers are macadamia nuts, chocolate, onions, garlic cloves, grapes, raisins, walnuts, alcohol, and any foods sweetened with xylitol. Try to avoid feeding your Golden food containing any of these ingredients.
Do Golden Retrievers need grain in their diet?
Grain is an essential component to the diet of Golden Retrievers. The absence of grain has been known to lead to a deficiency in taurine, which can potentially cause heart problems for your golden.