Golden Retrievers and Food: All You Need to Know About Feeding Your Golden Retriever

Roberto Manzotti

Do you want your Golden Retriever to live a long and happy life?

Then you better start by feeding your fluffy friend only the best dog food for Golden Retrievers! The quality of the dog food you give to your furry friend plays a fundamental role in his overall health and well-being.

Golden Retrievers are extremely active and playful large dogs.

So, you need feed them according to their unique dietary needs, activity level, weight, etc.

Your Golden Retriever needs just the right combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to thrive and live a healthy and happy life.

So, let’s get started, shall we? 


What the Golden Retriever Owners Suggest

Counting the Macros for Your Golden Retrievers




What Vets Say

The 80-20 Rule

Final Words: All You Need to Know About Feeding Your Golden Retriever


What the Golden Retriever Owners Suggest

I’m sure you’ve come across a lot of Golden Retriever parents.

And, I’m also certain that each and every one of them recommended different diets and dog foods that worked for their fluffy ball of fur. Some people suggest you to buy dog foods meant for other large breeds.

That’s one thing you should never try.

The problem is that each and every breed is different in many ways so, obviously, each breed has different nutritional requirements. Golden Retrievers are intelligent, energetic, playful and have a long and beautiful coat, they need special nutrition for their needs.

So, the first thing you should do is to tune out all advice you get from fellow dog parents and stick to what your vet recommends.

There are three important things that you should consider when you’re buying dog food.

These include the following:

  • Stay as far away as possible from filler ingredients which includes as soy, corn, rice, etc.
  • Always choose a dog food with high meat content---not just high protein as it comes from vegetable sources as well
  • Macros matter more than total calories per meal do

That being said.

One of the most important things you need to know before making any changes to your dog’s diet is to always consult the vet because he is a highly trained professional who knows more about your dog’s body and nutritional needs.

After all, we all want our Golden Retrievers to be happy and healthy, right?

golden retriever feeding

Counting the Macros for Your Golden Retrievers

Have you ever been on a diet?


If you have, then, you must be know that it's not counting the calories that matter---it is the source that does. If you eat more junk food on a diet, chances are that you won’t lose weight or feel well even if you’ve just had 1200 kcal per day.

Same is the case for your Golden Retriever.

This essentially means that calories you get from your food come from the three vital macronutrients---carbs, proteins, and fats. Your body needs them all in adequate quantities to thrive.

And so does your Golden Retriever’s.

However, macros need to be adjusted keeping in mind the dog’s height, age, level of activity, etc.


The best dog food for Golden Retrievers needs to have at least 30% amount of protein. Anything less is just unacceptable. Golden retrievers are large and active dogs. So, they need more protein to maintain their muscular bodies as compared to other dog breeds.


12-18% is the ideal amount of fat that should be in Golden Retriever’s diet. You may think that fat is the enemy but, it is needed by the body to perform optimally. In fact, the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in your dog’s diet help reduce shedding and add shine and gloss to your dog’s fur---making your furry friend look healthier.


Carbs need to be adjusted according to the dog’s level of activity and age. A good dog food must contain a minimum of 30-35% carbs. The more active your dog, the higher the carbohydrates he needs. golden retriever eating

Another tip: Feeding your dog foods that are rich in omega fatty acids help keep your Goldy’s coat shiny and healthy.

What Vets Say

It is extremely important that you adhere to the instructions that your vet give you when it comes to feeding your dog.

The macronutrients that I have recommended above are just estimates based on generalized data. Keep in mind that each and every dog is unique and has different health concerns, activity levels, weight ranges, age groups etc.

So, what may be suitable for one Golden Retriever may be inadequate for the other.

This is where your vet comes in. He will carefully take all variables into consideration and will recommend a daily caloric intake for your dog. You job is to make sure your dog sticks to it.

The 80-20 Rule

What most people don’t realize is that you shouldn’t freely give away treats to your furry friend without worrying about calories.

Usually, a dog’s diet doesn’t cause obesity on its own; it’s the treats, the extra food you give to him under the table, etc. You may think that you’ve made your furry friend happy in the short run but, you’ll make him sick in the long term.

So, in this case, you have to put your foot down.


According to the 80-20 rule, 80% of your dog’s daily calories should come from the kibble or dog food. The rest 20% can be allotted to treats.

This means that if your dog is allowed to have 1500 kcals per day, 1200 kcals should be allotted to the kibble and the rest 300 kcals to treats.

This will help you keep your furry friend’s weight and health in check.

Final Words: All You Need to Know About Feeding Your Golden Retriever

Each and every dog has unique nutritional needs---even if they belong to the same breed.

I hope that I helped you figure out the best dog food for Golden Retrievers.

But, always keep in mind that you should never make tweaks or adjustments to your doggy’s diet without consulting the vet. The thing is that the vet is a trained professional who knows more about your dog’s dietary needs.

Over-feeding your dog may not feel like a big thing right now, but it can have severe health consequences later in life.

Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions or concerns. I’ll help you right out!

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