The Ultimate Guide to What a Golden Retriever Can and Cannot Eat

by Jennifer Nelson

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Feeding your Golden Retriever the right types of food can be important. 

This will promote their growth and good health, ensuring that they are able to enjoy a healthy life along the way. 

But what foods should your Golden Retriever have and which ones should you avoid?

What To Feed And Not To Feed Your Golden Retriever

Exclusively feeding your Golden Retriever a high-quality commercial dog food supplemented by a small number of high-quality treats is the best way to keep them healthy. Homemade diets are an option as well but be very careful to ensure they are getting the right balance of nutrients and avoid any harmful ingredients.

Your Golden Retriever needs to have a well-balanced diet. 

Many times this breed will have a sensitive stomach, so avoid giving them any human food. 

This may make them sick. 

Commercial dog food is a good option because it will provide the protein and other nutrients that the Golden Retriever needs and will prevent any issues to the stomach.

A high-quality snack can work too. If there are any issues with the dog food, discuss possible options with your vet. 

Many dog owners choose between purchasing commercial dog food or making some of their own.

Commercial dog food is often the easiest one to help the dog get the good nutrients without a lot of work for the pet owner.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the foods a Golden Retriever should eat, and some they should avoid. 

What Can a Golden Retriever Eat?

There are several types of food that the Golden Retriever is able to eat in their diet to stay healthy. Some of the options that you should consider include:

Commercial Dog Food

This is the option that most pet owners will choose. 

It allows them to provide a great diet to their dog without having to put in as much work by making the food themselves. 

There are many different diets that you can provide to the Golden Retriever based on what works the best for them. 

The most important thing to consider is the ingredients on the dog food brand. 

You want to make sure that some type of protein is listed as the first ingredient. 

For most Golden Retrievers, dry dog food is one of the best. 

It is easy to feed and will store for longer without going bad. 

The hardness of the food is going to help keep the teeth healthy. 

When the dog chews on the harder kibble, they are able to knock some of the bad tartar off of the teeth, giving them a healthier smile too. 

Homemade Diet

Another option that pet owners can go with is a homemade diet. 

If you are worried about the commercial dog food or your dog has a specific allergy that makes it hard for them to eat some of the traditional foods you give them, then a homemade diet may be one of the best options. 

You can create some of the meals on your own, but you need to be careful and choose foods that will meet the dietary needs of the dog and will not hurt them. 

There are a lot of great recipes for you to choose for a Golden Retriever. 

You can find tools that will help you pick a recipe based on some of the foods that are already in your home and will still help the dog get their dietary needs met. 

This can make meal planning a little bit easier too. 

Some of the foods that you can provide to your Golden Retriever to keep them healthy include:

  1. Proteins: The main ingredient in the food needs to be protein. This will keep the muscles of your dog nice and strong and can help them grow. Pick options like lamb, beef, and chicken along with other white meats. 
  2. Vegetables: Once you have the protein source done, it is time to add in some vegetables to the mix as well. Some good options that your dog is sure to love include cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, bell peppers, and asparagus. 
  3. Fruits: Adding a bit of fruit to the food will make it a little sweeter while giving your dog more nutrition. Apples are a good option when your Golden Retriever gets older to make sure the metabolism stays strong. Just make sure that the seeds are removed. Other fruits like cantaloupe, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, and apricots are favorites for most dogs. 

There are many fruits and vegetables that your dog can enjoy so take a look through the fridge to see what you will have available to give to your dog. 

A good variety will be helpful because it allows the dog to get a ton of nutrition to help them grow. 

What Foods Does My Golden Retriever Need to Avoid?

There are a lot of foods that the Golden Retriever can eat, but you need to be careful about certain foods. 

There are certain foods that need to be off-limits for all types of dogs. 

If your dog does get into some of these items, then you need to see their vet. 

In some cases, it will just give them an upset stomach more than anything serious. 

But some of these foods are going to be more toxic to the dog and can cause damage to the kidneys and liver for that dog. 

So, which foods should you avoid with your dog? Some of the foods that your Golden Retriever should never use include:

  1. Raisins or grapes
  2. Prunes
  3. Dairy in large amounts. A little bit can be fine for some dogs, but it is hard on the digestive system because they were not supposed to process the dairy. It is usually best to avoid this in the first place. 
  4. Cherries are toxic to cats and dogs
  5. Citrus fruits because they are often going to make their stomach upset
  6. Raw eggs or any type of meat that is not cooked all the way through. These are more likely to contain salmonella. 
  7. Soda. The carbonation is not going to be good for the dog. 
  8. Chocolate. All types of chocolate are dangerous for the dog so keep it far away from the dog. 
  9. Coffee
  10. Avocado
  11. Onions
  12. Garlic
  13. Macadamia nuts
  14. Salty foods
  15. Foods that have a lot of sugar in them. 

These are foods that are hard on the body of your dog so it is best to avoid them as much as possible. 

Keep them up high so that the pet is not able to get ahold of them. 

How Much Should the Golden Retriever Eat?

When your dog is a puppy, you will need to feed them two to three times a day. 

When the dog gets a bit older, they will need to eat at least once a day, though most like to eat two times a day. Just divide up their food intake in two. 

When you take the time to feed the dog two times a day, they are going to be able to stay fuller for longer, even though they are eating the same amount of food. 

And you will not have to worry about food aggression or the dog destroying the home while they try to get more food. 

Most of the time, the amount of food that you will need to feed to the dog will be on the back of the food bag.

But you may need to consider changing that based on the activity level of the dog. 

A good rule of thumb to follow for this dog and other breeds is to give them a cup of food for every 15 pounds they weigh. 

If the dog is 60 pounds, for example, then you should give them a total of 4 cups a day, usually split into two cups twice a day. 

You can monitor your dog to see whether you are feeding them enough food. If they are active, you may need to increase this a bit. 

What Treats Can I Give My Golden Retriever?

There are a lot of great treats that a pet owner will be able to give to their Golden Retriever. 

Some of these treats will also have some added supplements and nutrients that will be good for the dog. 

If your Golden Retriever does have a skin or joint issue, or another health condition, you can look specifically for help with some of these problems. 

The main thing to remember is that these treats, while a favorite with your dog, can have extra calories.

Be careful with how many you provide to the dog and watch their other caloric intake to make sure that they do not take in too many calories during the day. 

These treats should never take up more than 10% of the calories that your dog eats. 

Feeding Your Golden Retriever the Right Foods for Good Health

There are many types of foods that you are able to feed to the Golden Retriever to help them stay healthy. 

Picking foods that have high-quality ingredients will be one of the most important things that you can do for their health and well-being. 

Check out some of the rules above to make sure you feed your Golden Retriever the right foods while avoiding all of the bad foods. 

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