It’s easy to take one look at your golden retriever’s sweet face and give them all the treats! Though this seems innocent, this can cause your dog to gain weight and possibly have health problems later on. To avoid this, here are some guidelines for food for your Golden Retriever.

Many dogs can “free-feed,” while others cannot. Free feeding means that you can keep a bowl of dog food out at all times and allow your dog to eat whenever he or she feels like doing so.

Prevention is always the best rule of thumb to ensure your Golden doesn’t become overweight in the first place. If your dog is always at the food bowl or begging for scraps, do not let them free feed.

Do’s and Don’t for Food…


  • Dry food is best for your Golden, and will be beneficial in keeping their teeth clean.
  • Meat, whether it is raw or cooked, is also a healthy snack for them.  Some people think that raw meat is bad for dogs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Before they were domesticated, that’s what they would eat, after all!  Sometimes giving them raw meat can actuall help with health problems. You can even mix the raw meat with dry or wet food. It could be a very tasty and healthy treat for your golden retriever.


  • Milk is not a good choice to give to your Golden Retriever, as this can also upset their stomachs.
  • Do not give them meat with bones still in it, due to the risk of the bones splintering and causing internal injuries.

pup eatsCredit: Getty Images

There are many varieties of dog food on the market, but that does not mean they are all good for your dog.

With all the choices, it is important to educate yourself with the ingredients in your dog’s food.


Carefully read and understand the food label when buying items. While reading the label, ask the following questions:

  • Does the food contain high quality ingredients?
  • Is a quality meat source one of the first two ingredients?
  • Is the bag dated for freshness?

According to, many nutritionists recommend switching brands and flavors of dog food every two to four months to assure the dog is eating a wide variety of nutrients. Avoid food with “exotic” proteins such as rabbit, pheasant, emu or venison unless prescribed by your vet. These meats are not needed for healthy dogs.  And it’s a good safety net, if the dog needs them down the road as these types of meat are used to treat some medical conditions.  It is important that there is no prior exposure to these meats in that case.

Feed your dog vegetables and fruits as snacks.

Choose foods of all colors such as carrots, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, squash, apples, melon, etc. Do not feed your dog raisins or grapes which are poisonous to them.  And be sure to research any other fruits or vegetables not on this list to ensure they are safe or dogs to eat (prior to feeding!).


Dog foods can often be recalled due to problems happening when they are made. Please be on the lookout on the news and online, so this doesn’t happen to your dog.

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