How To Select The Right Dog Food Formula For Your Golden Retriever
Image Credit: Pixaby
All dog food formulas are regulated by the FDA and the U.S. This provides protection to pet parents and pooch. A high-quality dog food depends on the ingredients within the dog food.
Today, dog food formulas are always changing so as to update current formulas with new research. There are also numerous high-quality dog food formulas to choose from, which makes it all the more difficult for pet parents.
There are also many alternative meat options for protein-focused nutrition that offer duck, alligator, venison, rabbit and boar supplemented with chickpeas, sweet potatoes or lentils.
How To Store Reheat And Freeze
This homemade dog food will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. We usually make a weeks worth of food at a time and store it in the refrigerator. We store all of the meals in simple Tupperware containers and we ALWAYS save our plastic take-out containers and re-use them for Rascals Dog Food.
When eating time rolls around, simply nuke it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and cool slightly before serving.
For freezing, I recommend freezer-safe containers or freezer zip-top bags. Thaw overnight in the fridge before feeding and reheat as directed.
Now Let’s Break Down The Recipe For My Easy Homemade Dog Food Shall We
The recipe box below contains a printable version of my go-to recipe for homemade dog food, which consist of lean ground sirloin, brown rice, carrots, hard boiled eggs, parsley, and a few tablespoons of oil that is high in Omega’s. But sometimes, especially since social distancing, I’ve found that it is helpful to have a list of easy substitutes for when ingredients run low. Plug in or swap out any of the items below based on what foods your pup likes/needs and what you have on hand to create your pup’s ideal dog food flavor profile.
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Blue Buffalo Large Breed Senior
- Real meat is the first ingredient.
- Glucosamine for joint support.
This recipe offers nutrients that are much needed in his later life stages, thanks to the LifeSource Bits, which are full of antioxidants and superfoods. Not only are they minimally processed but they add texture to his bowl, which is important for those seniors who are maybe finding food uninteresting.
Chicken is the first ingredient to ensure he receives protein and glucosamine to maintain his muscles and bones, as well as dried kelp for extra calcium. Amino acids and fish oil will also protect his gorgeous coat.
We love that this has the highest fiber content which is ideal for those Goldens with a sensitive stomach who rely on a highly fibrous diet.
So How Do You Choose The Best Food For Your Golden Retriever
In a recent 2019 FDA dog food update about grain-free dog food that contained legume seeds, lentils, potatoes or peas as main ingredients, dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs was linked to grain-free dog food formulas.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is becoming more common in dogs on grain-free diets that as a breed are not predisposed to DCM. This includes the Golden Retriever!
In grain-free formulas there is often a high level of potato. FDA medical records indicate that dogs with DCM had low levels of taurine which may result in DCM. Dogs fed diets that included exotic proteins, and that were grain-free resulted in higher rates of DCM.
Heres what the FDA had to say. To better characterize diets reported in DCM cases, product labels were examined to determine whether the product was grain-free , and whether the products contained peas, other lentils including chickpeas and beans, or potatoes . Because so many products contained peas and/or lentils, a category was created for peas and/or lentils. More than 90 percent of products were grain-free, and 93 percent of reported products had peas and/or lentils. A far smaller proportion contained potatoes, via FDA
Animal protein sources in the reported diets varied widely, and many diets contained more than one protein source. The most common proteins in the reported diets were chicken lamb and fish however, some diets contain atypical protein sources such as kangaroo, bison or duck. No one animal protein source was predominant.
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Is My Golden Retrieveroverweight Fat Or Obese
Like humans, dogs also need to be weighed regularly to determine if they are within the correct weight limits. To ensure that your Golden Retrievers weight is correct, it needs to be compared to the optimal weight of his breed.
It is not always possible to visually judge whether a Golden Retriever is overweight, fat, or obese the simplest solution is to compare the weight ranges of the animals breed. Values above the upper limit may indicate that the dog is overweight, fat, or obese.
It will always be your veterinarian during the check-ups to assess the health of your friend by weighing him and examining him accurately.
Quality Animal Protein Sources
The phrase “meat by-product” refers to a meat substance made from internal organs, hooves, and other parts of the body that your dog really doesn’t need to ingest. Try to avoid these, and opt for real meat or meat meal instead. There are foods made with chicken and chicken meal, fish and fish meal, beef and beef meal… the list goes on.
Watch out for the phrase “by-product meal,” which you might see on some dog food packaging. This is still a meat by-product. Even though the word “meal” is in it its not the same thing as meat meals like high-protein chicken or fish meal.
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Why Is Pet Nutrition So Important
Dogs have specific nutritional needs, like any animal. They need precise amounts of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy. A balanced diet is, to put it simply, key for a healthy life.
Golden Retrievers need good food to:
- Grow properly: Nutrition is essential for proper growth, particularly during puppyhood but throughout life. Protein, in particular, builds your dog’s muscles and tissues to help your dog grow healthy and strong.
- Maintain a healthy immune system: Your dog’s immune system uses nutrients to fight off diseases and purge the body of toxins and free radicals .
- Provide energy: Protein and carbs provide your dog’s body with the energy necessary for daily life. Whether you have a Golden Retriever puppy with a high activity level or an older Golden who prefers to lounge most of the day, their sole energy source comes from their food.
- Keep the coat healthy: Food that contains the proper amounts of antioxidants and nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids makes for healthy skin and fur. A good diet keeps your dog’s coat shiny and the skin properly moisturized.
- Maintain healthy weight: Quality dog food keeps your dog at a healthy weight by giving them the right amounts of nutrients without excess calories or unhealthy fat. Since obesity can result in everything from heart trouble and breathing problems to poor joint health and diabetes, it’s wise to avoid it before it takes hold.
How To Feed A Golden Retriever
Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Puppy Golden Retrievers
Large-breed puppies like Golden retrievers are more susceptible to malnutrition and developmental orthopedic disease compared to small-breed pups. Many Golden owners have heard of these diseases- hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis , panosteitis, and hypertrophic osteodystrophy .
While there is a genetic component to these diseases, there are significant nutritional risk factors that play a part during puppyhood. These risk factors are rapid growth and excess dietary calcium intake.
The best dog food for Golden Retrievers provides just enough of the right balance of nutrients. Large-breed specific puppy foods are a great safeguard to help prevent these issues. My top recommendation for Golden puppies is Royal Canin Golden Retriever Breed Health Nutrition Puppy.
Royal Canin has done all the legwork for us in creating their Golden retriever-specific puppy food. Goldens are a more slowly maturing breed and it is recommended to feed this puppy food until 15 months of age.
The calorie content and mineral balance are optimal for preventing developmental orthopedic diseases. Goldens have teeth that meet in a scissors bite and a long mouth and snout. Royal Canin has designed square, thin kibble for optimal chewing and digestion by Goldens.
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How Do You Make Homemade Dog Food
- Food Processor: Before I start cooking a batch of homemade dog food, I blend up all the vegetables in my food processor. This Cuisinart food processor is my go-to. Its a bit smaller than traditional food processors but works just as well as a larger model. Blending up the veggies nice and fine will speed up the cooking process.
- Dutch Oven: I make the entire batch in my large Le Creuset round Dutch oven. I love using a Dutch oven because I can ground the meat first, and then finish off the batch right in the same pot. The process is very similar to making chili except for dogs. Ya knowDog Chili. .
- Measuring Cups: Rascal has his own set of measuring cups now because it makes measuring out food ingredients and the finished batch WAY easier.
- Meal Prep Containers: This is basically meal prepping for your dog, so you will need some great Tupperware.
What Kind Of Dog Food Should My Golden Retriever Eat
As an active dog breed, golden retrievers should be fed dog food with plenty of protein. Most vets recommend that this protein comes primarily from animal sources, which contain essential amino acids and other nutrients that will help support your golden retrievers muscles, skin and coat, digestive system, and overall wellbeing.
Some dog food manufacturers promote breed-specific formulas for golden retrievers. While this is helpful in identifying some types of food that are beneficial to the breed, keep in mind that these labels are primarily a marketing tool. You dont necessarily need to choose a recipe labeled for golden retrievers to give your dog the nutrients he needs.
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Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
The growth rate of dog puppies is extremely high, especially in large dog breeds. They grow to their 90% adult size within a year to 1.5 years. This demands extremely high nutritional value food with additional supplements to support the growth of brain, muscle mass, and bones. This is not needed and hence is not included in adult dog foods by design. Therefore, it is not recommended for puppies.
Quick Comparison Of Our Favorites:
Here comes the most favorite dog food among dog lovers and loved by their dogs, blue buffalo made up of real chicken, that gives high-quality protein to your dog at a reasonable price.
The reason most people choose this product for their dogs is that it contains high protein, garden veggies, and fruits, rich in antioxidants, omega 3, omega 6, vitamins, and minerals which are carefully selected by holistic veterinarians.
The presence of glucosamine, carbohydrates, supports joint function and overall mobility of your dogs and keeps them energetic all day.
It also helps to build strong muscles and the immune system.
This dog food is also available in flavors like fish, lamb, weight chicken, small bite chicken.
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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 pets 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.
How Much Should A Golden Retriever Eat Daily
On average, an adult golden will eat between 2 and 3 ½ cups of food per day. However, the exact amount of food varies from one dog to the next and depends on age, activity level, weight, health problems, and quality of food.
Furthermore, neutered golden Retrievers need fewer calories compared to their unaltered counterparts, and nursing females will have to eat more to maintain their weight and produce milk for the puppies.
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Natural Balance Lid Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
- Adult formula
- No artificial colors or flavors
The Best Food with Limited Ingredients Natural Balance is widely respected when it comes to limited ingredient diets. If your Golden Retriever has a food allergy or food sensitivity and needs to avoid certain common dog food ingredients such as chicken, beef, or other things, Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food is a great choice. Lamb is the only source of meat protein in the food, making it easier for your dog to avoid meat proteins that could be a problem. Rice, in several forms, provides most of the carbohydrates. Brown rice is also a good source of fiber.
In addition, this limited ingredient formula is noteworthy for what it doesnt contain. It has no corn wheat, or soy. And, it is pea-free. It has no fillers and no artificial colors or flavors. Its a good choice for dogs with sensitive digestion.
If you think your Golden Retriever has an allergy or food sensitivity, its always recommended to see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can test your dog to find out definitely and find out what, if any, ingredients might be bothering your dog. That makes it much easier to know which ingredients to avoid.
This Natural Balance food is available in 4.5-lb, 14-lb, and 28-lb bags.
- Made for large breed puppies
- Contains DHA for good brain and eye development
- Precise calcium and phosphorus levels for proper bone development
Purina Pro Plan Large
The top five ingredients are chicken, rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, and poultry by-product meal. The dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32 percent protein.
It also contains 15 percent fat and 45 percent estimated carbs. This yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47 percent.
Itâs listed as a âtime-proven field-tested formula with balanced calcium levels ideal for large and giant breed puppies.â
This is a budget-friendly food that many people recommend. This formula is highly-ranked and has been a favorite with consumers.
Purina Pro Plan is what we are currently feeding our guide dog puppies.
But, as is true of the adult Pro Plan food listed above, please note that it contains poultry by-product and soybean meal, both of which are often considered to be inferior ingredients.
But apparently many consumers have found that their dogs are doing well on this food.
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Hills Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food
Image courtesy Hills Science Diet
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed dry dog food is tailored to support your puppy’s skeletal & joint development. This premium pet food features an ideal blend of ingredients for large breed puppies, including DHA from fish oil for healthy brain & eye development.
This recipe includes natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support your pup’s joints as he grows, calcium for strong bones, and a clinically proven antioxidant blend for a healthy immune system.
Plus, it’s made with no artificial flavors or preservatives.
Best Food For Adult Golden Retrievers
Between the ages of 12 to 15 months, the Golden Retriever should be slowly transitioned to an adult food thats formulated to match their life stage. Keeping your Golden Retriever on puppy food for too long could have weight impacts as Golden Retrievers are known to eat excessively as they age.
Youll want to match your Golden Retriever with a Large Breed dog food as they turn the right age, and youll want to introduce the new food slowly so you dont deal with an upset stomach. Its also not a bad idea to consider a food that contains glucosamine as Golden Retrievers are also known for having hip and joint issues as they age. Golden Retrievers are not usually fussy eaters, so any of the brands below should be a great fit for your pup.
This recipe is fulfilling thanks to the wholesome, human-grade ingredients. Whatever flavor you choose, the first ingredient is always meat, providing your pooch with protein thats full of rich nutrients for his skin, coat, and cognitive function.
Fresh vegetables provide his immune system with antioxidants while the protein keeps his bones and teeth strong. While this food is grain-free, mixing in some freshly cooked rice is a great way to add in some additional carbs and fiber while supporting a healthy balance for your dogs diet and your wallet! For the adult stage, this is one of the best dog foods for a Golden Retriever.
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Can Golden Retrievers Eat Ice Cream
The high levels of sugar in ice cream are also no good for your dog. Even sugarless ice cream is dangerous because xylitol is toxic to dogs. In fact, ice cream with any sort of artificial sweetener is probably a no-go for your pup. Many flavors of ice cream are also potentially dangerous for dogs.
How Much To Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy General Guidelines
Please note that these are only general guidelines and that its extremely difficult to know how much to feed a golden retriever puppy. The exact amount will depend on the quality of food you buy, your puppys weight, and their energy levels. For example, cheaper foods use fillers and have a smaller amount of calories, thus you will have to feed more than you would when using premium large breed puppy foods.
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