Is Grain-Free Food Bad for Golden Retrievers?

Is Grain-Free Food Bad for Golden Retrievers?

We all want the best for our golden retrievers. Whether you've gained a new family member or want to improve your golden's meals, you must do your research. Brands and companies use different ingredients to create dog food that will give your pup vitamins and nutrients. While most dog food companies have the best intentions, every dog food you buy should earn your and even your vet's approval first. Is grain-free dog food good for golden retrievers? Do they need it? Let's discuss the pros and cons of grain-free dog food for golden retrievers and how to find the right blend for your beautiful pup.

Can You Give Your Golden Retriever Grain-Free Food?

If you think of wolves, you think of gorgeous, healthy dogs that hunt prey to feed the pack. Your mental image probably doesn't include wolves grazing on plants in a field of grasses and wildflowers. Many dog food companies have acknowledged this reality of the wilderness and changed their recipes to accommodate breeds like the golden retriever. Instead of oats, wheat, barley and rice, dog companies have created grain-free foods solely containing meat and vegetables. While this development makes sense and sounds delicious, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has some concerns about the ingredients in grain-free food for golden retrievers. Manufacturers add certain vegetables, like potatoes and legumes, to grain-free foods to satisfy your dog's hunger, improve the taste and increase the nutritional content. However, a 2018 study tailored to golden retriever health has found that some grain replacements may have a connection to dilated cardiomyopathy and a taurine deficit.  Dilated cardiomyopathy can cause irregular heart beating and even heart failure. The above study showed that a taurine deficiency could cause heart, digestive system and vision problems. The study's results encouraged the FDA to act. The FDA is currently investigating grain-free foods and if there is a correlation to heart disease.

What Should You Look for in a Premium Dog Food?

When you are standing in the dog food aisle, the range of brands and flavors can feel overwhelming. You want your golden retriever healthy and happy. What ingredients support your golden's health while keeping them satiated? Here are some guidelines you can use to find a great dog food for your golden:
  • Meat goes first: Make sure meat is the first item listed in your food's ingredients. Companies organize ingredients from most- to least-used. If meat is first, your golden will get a healthy serving of protein.
  • All ingredients are familiar: Your golden's diet must include many of the vitamins and nutrients you need, too. Read through dog food ingredients and make sure you recognize most of the ingredients. Look out for ingredients like animal digest or any animal by-product.
  • Look for chemical-free foods: Chemicals have no place in dog food. Do not purchase dog food with components like BHA, sodium nitrite/nitrate or ethoxyquin.

Let Golden Meadows Retrievers Recommend High-Quality Dog Food

At Golden Meadows Retrievers, we feed our parents and puppies the best food available. When you fall in love with one of our puppies, we'll recommend dog food and vitamins to promote health and happiness.  If you're looking for the perfect dog to complete your family, contact Golden Meadows Retrievers for puppy information today!

Is Grain-Free Food Bad for Golden Retrievers?