Here is a quick glance at our top picks of quality dog food in order:
- Using only proteins found in the wild-meats
- Made in the USA
- Using wholesome grains (no corn, wheat or soy fillers)
- No added colors, flavors or preservatives
- 70/30 split between identified meat proteins and fresh produce
- Adding Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids
- The ingredients and the manufacturing is done in the USA
- Contains 80% more meat than other brands
- Has a wet and chunky food available
First and foremost, dogs need a loving environment with a safe place to grow, play and sleep. Most pet parents already have this covered, but they may not know what ingredients dog food needs to contain to keep their canine companions in optimal health.
Here is a list of the top ingredients that should be listed (in order) in a quality dog food (according to Dr. Karen Becker DVM).
A good quality meat source should be the first ingredient in your pet's food. These can include:
Meat is vitally important for your pet's muscle development and for the essential amino acids your dog's body cannot produce on its own.
AVOID: Meat by-products as these can come from anything such as beaks, feathers, bones, feet, hair and even tumors that have been pulverized in the process.
Meat meal found in dog foods are what is left over from cooking down the meat source. This provides a highly concentrated form of protein that is good for your canine.
However, not all "meals" in pet food are created equally. High quality "meals" will be listed as an identified meat source such as chicken or beef-meal.
AVOID: Meals that contain the words "by-products" or an unidentified meal source. These examples include "chicken by-product meals" and "meat meals."
These wholesome ingredients such as blackberries and carrots provide your pet with added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for overall health.
Carbs get a bad rap in both the human and pet's diet. However, carbohydrates are essential for providing our pets with energy.
Pet food manufacturers use a number of poor quality ingredients to keep the cost of making their pet food down. Avoid these ingredients:
The debate over dry dog food versus wet dog food as been going on for ages. There are both advantages and disadvantages of both these products. To help you decide which form of dog food is best for a Golden Retriever, we've put together a list of the pros and cons of each type.
Dry Dog Food
Wet Dog Food
Some pet parents opt for both a dry and wet combination by mixing the wet food into their dog's dry kibble. This not only adds all the benefits of both forms of food, but it gives your dog a higher taste-profile.
There's a lot of talk about grains being bad for dogs. However, just like protein, not all "grains" are the same. Healthy grains for dogs include whole brown or wild rice, whole millet, quinoa (actually a seed) and whole oats.
These ingredients will give your dog a healthy boost of carbohydrates for energy and some other added vitamins and minerals. Common poor quality grains used in many dog foods include corn and wheat.
Although, these can be used in its whole-grain nature, they are less healthy and can put extra weight on your dog. Too much grain in your pet's food can also lead to:
Although, these five foods are top-notch, you can see why we've chosen the Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dog Food. The many benefits and low cons make this dog food a healthy quality choice for a Golden Retriever and other canine breeds.
However, not all dog foods may be right for all canines. Choosing the best dog food for your Golden Retriever may take some time, research and trial-and-error.
Don't be fooled by the packaging or commercials on any brand of dog food. Read the labels to know exactly what you're feeding your dog. It will be well worth the effort when your dog is happy and healthy.
What good is a healthy food if your puppy won't eat? This YouTube video gives us some helpful hints to get your pooch back to the bowl.