What to feed your dog?



An adult golden will normally eat about two to three cups of premium food per day.( 1.5 to 2 cups for a spayed girls and 2 to 3 for adult neutered boys.) It can be adjusted a little more or less based on activity level and metabolism. Goldens are prone to skin problems, and a poor quality diet will cause skin problems which translates into costly veterinarian bills. You will need to go to the pet store to purchase your food. Grocery store brands do not offer the nutrition goldens need for good health. Do not assume that just because a pet food is available from your veterinarian's office that it is okay; read the ingredients and decide for yourself. Do not be persuaded by fancy advertising Purina has proven that the contents of Blue Buffalo are not what has been advertised. - many commonly hyped foods are not high quality. For puppy guidelines please click here:

1. First ingredient on the list is a meat or poultry meal (not fresh which generally gets to be first on the list because of its 70% water weight). Always store dog food in a tight airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you only have one dog, consider buying 20 pound bags instead of 40 pounds bags so the food is fresher.

2. At least two meat or poultry meals in the first four ingredients. For a 20 - 26% protein food, this will be 2 within the first 5 or 6 ingredients.

3. At least three different animal proteins in the food, not counting the eggs (for example lamb, chicken and fish).

4. Don't buy food that contains animal digest. These are the intestines of the animal including what is in the intestines!! Most by-products are not desirable. By-products normally contain beaks, feet, feathers, heads and other slaughterhouse wastes - not the most nutritious part of the animal. For example, "poultry by products" can include chicken heads, feathers, feet and viscera. (exception: Bil-Jac as they only use "good" by-products that they render themselves, like livers and kidneys, no hooves, horns, heads, etc.)

5. Minimal wheat, corm or soy. Brown rice is acceptable.

6. Minimal duplication of cereals, ie. brewer's rice, rice gluten, rice flour. Many, many premium foods use this little deception. When you see it, it's a sure sign that it's a cereal based food with a little animal protein added. Add up all those rice variations (or corn, or wheat, etc.) and you have a rice-based food.

7. No peanut hulls or cellulose.One of the most popular "light" prescription foods found in vet's offices is almost 30% peanut hulls - and people pay top dollar for this food.

8. Food must include probiotics

9. Preferably preserved with C and E, although this is very difficult with the high protein/fat foods. The issue of preservatives is the most likely area you'll have to compromise in, in order to get the other good qualities of a food. It always amazes me how many people pass up an excellent but synthetically preserved food in favor of grain-based junk simply because it uses C and E. They then spend a fortune at the vet's trying to figure out their dogs' "allergies" with little success. (By the way, allergies are not due to a lack of prednisone in the body.)

10. No added ethoxyquin BHA, BHT, propylene glycol, or sodium nitrate/nitrite. Some of these additives are suspected of causing cancer.

11. Vitamins and minerals that are sequestered or chelated for better absorption.

12. A list of actual food ingredients that is as long as possible. This is a sign that the company is formulating their products so that the bulk of nutrients come from real food, not just synthentic and crude vitamins and minerals.

13. No sugar in any form (sucrose, fructose, etc.) Treats - beware of many dog treats out there. They are filled with sugars, preservatives and artificial colors. Try buying biscuits at your local dog bakery or making some yourself. The dog food companies listed below have high quality treats available for your dog. Letting your golden get too fat is like chopping years off of its life. We also see lots of hip problems with goldens, and keeping weight in check will give your dog better mobility. Fat goldens are an epidemic from our experience. We routinely get Goldens for sitting that are 50 to 60lb over their normal weight. Females should be between 55lb to 70lb (tall girls. 23" at the shoulder only) Large males will be from 70lb to 85lb for 24" to 25" anything above that weight is too fat for itsstructure.

The bottom line is read the ingredients: Do they sound like something YOU would like to eat?

Best choice (available from chain pet supply stores such as PetsMart or Pet Supermarket): Nutro Natural Choice: Chicken Meal & Rice Adult, Nutro Ultra Adult, or Lamb and Rice Adult. Do not get the "large dog" variety, which contains corn and wheat, common allergens to goldens. We tried Eagle Brand Holistic (Summer to winter 08) and the goldens (pups and adults) had very dry skin in the winter so we do not recommend it for every dog. We found the best growth food for Golden Puppies was TLC Puppy..food (home delivered for free) but we do not feed it past 6 months (and add Glucosamine 750mg a day, by Nuvet supplements see on our first page of our website,) by 6 months the major growth is over and growth must be slowed down males might get Pano (growing pains) so a lower fat and protein such as adult food is suggested. Switch to adult food. If you’ve decided to neuter your male please do so after 3 years old.

Here are some of the top brands available: (NB -We have not tried all these foods)

HealthyPetNet - makers of premium dog food and other natural pet products!
Golden Retriever 25- Golden Retriever puppy (lamb, rice, barley); check web site for distributor near you. Order direct from First Choice Pet Supply out of Miami, call 1-800-994-7387; great service.
Natura Pet Food Company - Innova and California Natural Brands; (Innova has multiple proteins - turkey, chicken, fish; California Natural is Lamb and Rice) See their web site for a distributor near you.
Canidae Dog Food - Contains multiple proteins including chicken, turkey, lamb and fish.
Wellness brand made by Old Mother Hubbard. Have three varieties including a fish and sweet potato that is good for dogs with allergies.

There are other good foods available besides those listed above - just check any food carefully to make sure you are feeding your golden a high quality food to enhance his or her health! And don't be hesitant to ask us questions; we're here to help.