How to Select the Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
There’s a good reason why Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America. These beloved dogs are devoted, loyal, and affectionate, which is why so many people are happy to have them in their homes. Combine those qualities with their classic look and compatibility with people and you have a dog that will make for a great furry friend.
Of course, every dog is different. If you have one of these adorable dogs in your family, you may have asked yourself a very simple question: “What is the best dog food for Golden Retrievers?” While it’s not necessary to feed dogs a breed-specific dog food, you do want to cater your kibble to your best friend.
What Factors Impact My Golden Retriever’s Diet?
Like any other breed, it’s important to figure out which type of food is best-suited for your particular pooch. As such, you’ll want to base your choice around the following factors:
- Health issues
Golden Retrievers are fairly large dogs, weighing around 55 to 75 pounds on average at adulthood. This weight range means that Golden Retrievers are classified as large breed dogs and need a formula catered to support a breed of their size.
Simply put, large breed dogs have different nutritional needs than their less sizable cousins. It’s common for dog food brands to slightly lower the levels of protein and fat per cup of large breed kibble. This adjustment helps to more closely match the calories large breeds need to stay healthy and to help avoid weight gain.
Of course, high-quality protein is still a critical ingredient for your Golden Retriever’s diet. You’ll want to make sure that your choice of dry dog food uses a real meat, like chicken, as the primary ingredient. Make sure to check the ingredients to avoid any brands that use fillers to bring down calorie levels at the expense of proper nutrition.
Quality protein is essential because dogs break it down into a group of 10 different amino acids that our furry friends can’t produce or store on their own. Feeding your Golden Retriever a large breed dog food with high-quality protein helps ensure that your best friend receives a healthy amount of amino acids every day to support a variety of important functions:
- Supporting muscle development and activity
- Building and repairing body tissue
- Maintaining skin and coat health
- Transporting oxygen throughout the body
- Strengthening a properly functioning immune system
- Transporting other key nutrients
The age of your dog is less specific to the breed, but it’s still an important factor in picking out the perfect kibble for your dog. The best dog food for a Golden Retriever puppy is going to be different than a food formulated for adults or seniors. Using an age-appropriate dry dog food will help ensure that your Golden Retriever receives the proper nutrition whether they're a large breed puppy, adult, or senior.
You’ll also want to pay attention to when to expect your Golden Retriever will need a new kibble. There are different points when you’ll need to transition your dog to adult or senior food. Large breed puppies like Golden Retrievers can typically transition to adult food anywhere from 1 year to 18 months. Adult Golden Retrievers also tend to mature quicker than smaller breeds. This means that you’ll want to consider transitioning your Golden Retriever to a senior dog food like Bil-Jac Senior Select Formula around 7 years old.
While we don’t ever want to think of our furry friends dealing with any issues, it’s important to address potential health concerns that are common for Golden Retrievers. One more common issue is that Golden Retrievers can deal with hip and elbow dysplasia, so you’ll want to find a feeding solution that supports your best friend’s joints.
There are a couple of ways you can use your Golden Retriever’s diet to address joint health. To start, it’s important to ensure that your best friend maintains a healthy weight. Large breed dogs are more prone to joint issues due to their size, so additional weight will only add more stress. When feeding your Golden, start with the recommended amount on the bag for your dog’s weight. Monitor your dog’s weight and adjust the amount up if your dog is more active or down if your dog is more of a couch potato. If you need additional help, check out our post on how to identify if your dog is overweight (and what you can do to help).
While maintaining a healthy weight certainly helps, it’s still important to address joint health in other ways. Even the fittest Golden Retrievers may deal with hip and elbow issues as they get older. If you notice that your Golden Retriever is moving more slowly, running less, and avoiding jumps or stairs, it may be time give your dog’s diet a boost.
A product like Bil-Jac BreakThru® Joint Health Formula can provide your Golden Retriever with beneficial ingredients like calcium, vitamin D, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. This added nutrition can give your Golden Retriever’s hip and joints some extra support over the years.
Support Your Golden Retriever with the Right Dog Food
Mealtime is extremely important for you and your best friend. With the right dry dog food, you can give your Golden Retriever all the love and nutrition needed for a long, healthy life. That's why Bil-Jac strives to deliver the high-quality nutrition your dog needs to thrive.
At Bil-Jac we start with fresh, never frozen, chicken as the main ingredient in your best friend’s bowl. We use 25 pounds of fresh chicken ot make a 30 pound bag of Bil-Jac Large Breed Puppy and Adult. We combine this fresh chicken with the right blend of vitamins and minerals to provide your Golden Retriever with a complete and balanced meal. We then slow cook those ingredients in small batches to help preserve key nutrients and lock in that delicious flavor before your furry friend's kibble is gently dried into easy-to-chew pieces.
Ready to feed your Golden Retriever a dry dog food that's both delicious and nutritious? Use our Where to Buy tool to find Bil-Jac at a store near you or online! If you want to learn more about how you can support your favorite furry friend, sign up for the Best Friends Club to receive our exclusive monthly email newsletter for more dog care advice, nutritional info, and special members-only discounts on Bil-Jac Dog Food, Treats, and other products.