Retriever Dog Food Brands

Did you know that retriever breeds require special nutrition? It’s true! The retriever breeds are very large, active dogs, and they have hefty appetites. If you don’t feed them the right type of Retriver dog food, it could lead to serious health risks, including obesity. The truth is, first time retriever owners don’t always know about these special needs, nor do they know how to choose the best retriever dog food. Let’s learn more about the nutritional requirements of retrievers, and a few of the best foods available on the market.

The Caloric Needs of Retrievers

Retrievers, when fully grown, usually weigh anywhere between 55 – 75 pounds. For a dog this size, the necessary caloric intake is around 1000-1300 calories for sedentary pups and 1350 – 1750 calories for active pups. This is usually the case for healthy adult dogs, but older dogs may not require as many calories, especially if they have a decrease in joint function and don’t expend too much energy. You know your dog’s activity level, so you will be able to determine what will work best for them when it comes to calorie intake.

Ingredients to Look for In Retriever Dog Food

As you are shopping for Retriever dog food for your pup, you will want to look for the following ingredients:

  • meat and/or meat meal – provides protein for energy, and should be listed as the top ingredient
  • healthy grains – barley, whole oats, brown rice
  • fruits and veggies – provides much needed fiber
  • healthy fats – keep the coat shiny and healthy
  • natural preservatives – many provide Vitamin E
  • vitamins & minerals – ensures complete nutrition

When you are looking at the ingredients list on the package of food, they will be listed in order of their weight. The top ingredient will be the predominant ingredient in the food, and so on. Just remember to look out for potential food allergies if you switch your dog to a new food.

Golden Retriever Dog Food

Choosing the Best Retriever Dog Food

So, now that you know more about the needs of your retriever, you may still be wondering how you go about choosing the best food. Some retriever owners feel that trial and error is the best way to go, but that can get expensive. It is recommended that you learn more about the best foods on the market, and get reviews from actual consumers that have used it before. The good news is that we have compiled a list of the top 10 foods for retrievers, along with reviews of each. Take a look, and see which food best suits the needs of your furry friend!

Reviews of the Top 10 Retriever Dog Foods

4.8 out of 5 stars

#1 Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin is best known for their line of breed specific dog foods. One of the best ways to ensure that your retriever gets proper nutrition is to feed them a food that is specifically formulated for them. Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food is available in both adult and puppy formulas, and it will definitely offer your pet Retriever what they need in terms of nutrition. It comes in bag sizes from 5.5 pounds to 30 pounds for your convenience. With this formula, you will notice healthier joint function, improved mobility, and a healthy skin and coat. If you have a Labrador retriever, then this may be just the right food for them. You will even notice that the kibble texture is adapted to be perfect for this breed. This is a great choice.

Min. Crude Protein: 30.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 11.5%
Max. Crude Fiber: 5.0%
Max. Moisture: 10.0%
Min. Eicosapentaenoic Acid: 0.24%
Min. Docosahexaenoic Acid: 0.1%
4.6 out of 5 stars

#2 Royal Canin Golden Retriever Dry Dog Food

This is another Royal Canin favorite. This food is specifically formulated for Golden retrievers. Much like the formula for Labs, this formula comes in both adult and puppy varieties. It has added Omega 3 and 6 to ensure a healthy skin and coat, and it also supports joint function and mobility. It also has specific nutrients – DHA, EPA and Taurine – that help to improve healthy cardiac function. Since retrievers are prone to having heart sensitivities, this is a great added benefit of this food. Royal Canin really knows what they are doing when it comes to their breed specific line. You can get it in 5.5 pound bags, up to 30 pound bags, but remember you get the best bang for your buck with the larger bag size. Give this food a try today for your golden retriever. They are sure to reap the benefits.

Min. Crude Protein: 23.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 11.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 5.3%
Max. Moisture: 10.0%
Min. Eicosapentaenoic Acid: 0.24%
Min. Docosahexaenoic Acid: 0.1%

#3 Eukanuba Labrador Retriever Formula

Royal Canin isn’t the only company to develop a breed specific line of dog food. In fact, Eukanuba also has breed specific formulas for the Labrador retriever. Eukanuba Labrador Retriever formula is made up of high protein content, which chicken as it’s number one ingredient. It also offers joint care, 100% nutrition with no fillers, L-carnitine to help burn fat and build lean muscle, and taurine to support heart health. The good news is that Eukanuba offers a 110% money back guarantee on their foods, which is great news for those that are thinking about making the switch. It comes in a 30 pound bag, and if you use portion control for your pet like it is recommended, it should last for a while. Give this retriever dog food a try for your labrador, and see if it makes a difference in their health.
Min. Crude Protein: 23.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 13.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 5.0%
Max. Moisture: 10.0%
Min. Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 1.9%
Min. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 0.3%
3.5 out of 5 stars

#4 Intimidator Dry Dog Food

While this product doesn’t specify any specific breed, Intimidator Dry Dog Good offers complete and balanced nutrition for active dogs. This is a food that is packed with healthy calories, and it gives your retriever pup the energy that they need to live their active lifestyle. It is made from American ingredients, and with the highest quality standards. It is made up of 25% protein, and 14% healthy fats, which is a great ratio for dogs that get a lot of exercise. If your dog isn’t too active, then this may not be the right choice for them. This food is really designed for working dogs, but since retrievers are really active, it makes a great choice for them as well. It comes in a 20 pound bag, and is actually quite affordable. Give it a try and see how your pup likes it.
Min. Crude Protein: 31.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 21.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 4.0%
Max. Moisture: 10.0%
Min. Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 3.4%
Min. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 0.3%
4.5 out of 5 stars

#5 Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance Dry Adult Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Adult Performance is suitable for all life stages, including puppies. It is even available in small bites. It offers a 30% protein, 20% healthy fat formula, giving your pet optimal energy. The number one ingredient is a meat based protein source – chicken – which is always a great sign. Among the ingredients, you will also find Omega 3 fatty acids that help to boost the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Other nutritional extras include amino acids, glucosamine, and antioxidants, which all lead to total health and wellness. It comes in small 6 pound bags, or you can splurge for a larger 37.5 pound bag and save more in the long run! It will offer your retriever complete and balanced nutrition, so could it be right for your pup? Give it a try and see!
Min. Crude Protein: 30.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 20.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 3.0%
Max. Moisture: 12.0%
Min. Eicosapentaenoic Acid: 0.12%
Min. Docosahexaenoic Acid: 0.12%
5 out of 5 stars

#6 Victor Dog Food Select Hi-Pro Plus Formula for Active Dogs & Puppies

This is a super premium dog food made by Victor. It is a gluten free formula, and it includes beef, chicken and pork meals, which provide for high levels of protein. Among the ingredients, you will find guaranteed levels of Vitamin E, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It also contains prebiotics, which are helpful when it comes to healthy digestion. There are a slew of other vitamins and minerals found in this formula as well. It has an all natural flavor that dogs really enjoy. It comes in a 40 pounds bag, and is actually quite affordable when you compare it to other brands of super premium dog food. This is definitely one to consider for your retriever, especially if you are looking to feed them a gluten free diet!
Min. Crude Protein: 30.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 20.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 3.8%
Max. Moisture: 9.0%
Min. Calcium: 1.4%
Min. Phosphorus: 1.0%
4.7 out of 5 stars

#7 Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Large Breed Dry Dog Food

If you have a retriever that has joint issues of decreased mobility, then Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility may be perfect for them. It is made up of healthy meat protein, in the form of chicken. It also contains whole grains and multivitamins. It has been tested and proven to help improve mobility and flexibility within the first 30 days. It also has ingredients that help to encourage a healthy immune system, lean muscle and an ideal body weight. Best of all, your dog will find that it tastes great and is easy to digest. It offers optimal nutrition for your dog, and you are sure to notice that they have an increase in energy, and that their overall quality of life is increased. Give this food a try, and see how it measures up.
Min. Crude Protein: 21.4%
Min. Crude Fat: 14.9%
Max. Crude Fiber: 2.5%
Carbohydrate: 54.8%
Calcium: 1.16%
Min. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 1.41%
4.7 out of 5 stars

#8 Wellness Limited Ingredients Diet for Dogs with Food Sensitivities

Like we said earlier, some retrievers have sensitivities to certain foods, or may even develop them over time. This is a food that is great for dogs that have allergies to certain foods. It is a part of the Wellness Limited Ingredient Diet line, and it is easily digestible and formulated specifically for dogs with food sensitivities. It offers all natural ingredients, including a protein, canola oil, vitamins, minerals and tomato pomace. While it does have limited ingredients, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer complete and balanced nutrition for your pet. What you won’t find in this food are meat by-products, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. These are all additives that can have a negative impact on your pet’s digestive system if they have food sensitivities. Choose from salmon, duck or lamb flavors.
Min. Crude Protein: 25.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 12.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 5.0%
Max. Moisture: 11.0%
Min. Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 1.75%
Min. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 1.00%
4.5 out of 5 stars

#9 Taste of the Wild Hi Prairie Canine Formula

Here is another grain free choice that offers your retriever a diet that is as close to their instinctive diet as possible. Taste of the Wild takes a different approach to their pet foods. They formulate foods that offer your pet the flavor and the nutrients that they need. The meat is actually roasted, which helps to lock in the flavor. Their foods help to boost your pet’s immune system, and offers them valuable antioxidants that help them to fight free radicals. It is made with real meat, fruits and veggies. This is considered a premium dog food formula, and is great for large breed, active dogs – like the retriever. While you can get it in smaller bag sizes, most people opt for the 30 pound bag. It is definitely the most economical, in terms of value for cost.
Min. Crude Protein: 32.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 18.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 3.0%
Max. Moisture: 10.0%
Min. Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 2.8%
Min. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 0.3%
4.7 out of 5 stars

#10 Wellness Core Grain Free Original Formula Dry Dog Food

Last, but not least, we will look at Wellness Core Grain Free Original Formula. This is a high protein, grain free formula that helps to boost your pet’s health and wellness. It doesn’t contain any of the dreaded animal by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Some of the ingredients that make up this nutritious blend include broccoli, kale, parsley and spinach, which is unique for dog food. This great retriever dog food also contains antioxidants, omega fatty acids, probiotics and glucosamine. It is definitely very nutrient dense, which will help to ensure that your pet doesn’t eat too much. You can buy their food in small 4 pound bags, or you can choose a large 52 pound bag so that you don’t run out for a while. All in all, it is a great choice for your retriever, so order a bag today.
Min. Crude Protein: 34.0%
Min. Crude Fat: 16.0%
Max. Crude Fiber: 4.0%
Max. Moisture: 10.0%
Min. Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 3.25%
Min. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 0.5%

Your Feeding Options

There are a few different options when it comes to quality dog food for your retriever. Some prefer to choose dry kibble, because of the convenience, but there are other reasons why kibble is important for retrievers. It actually scrapes the surface of their teeth, and gets rid of tartar that has built up. This helps them to keep healthy teeth and gums. Canned food is another option, and while it is sometimes more appetizing, it shouldn’t take the place of dry kibble. It should only be used as a supplement to the regular diet. Just remember, when you use both, you need to consider the calories of both to ensure that you aren’t overfeeding.  Aside from dry kibble and canned food, some people choose to feed their pet a homemade diet. The issue with this is that they require such specialized nutrition, and it is often impossible to do this without using some sort of supplement. This is why most pet owners look for foods that are labeled 100% complete and balanced.

The Benefits of Feeding a Premium High Quality Diet

Retriever breeds have specific nutritional needs that go along with their abundant appetites. If you aren’t careful to feed them the right type of food, they could actually start to overeat, which would make them overweight and unhealthy. Here are a few of the other benefits that come along with feeding your dog a proper diet:

  • full, lustrous coat
  • balanced health
  • improved joint function
  • boosted metabolism
  • more active

What You Need to Know About Dog Food Allergies

Some retrievers may have sensitive stomachs, which is often a sign of a dog food allergy. They can develop allergies to foods found in any Retriever dog food, including meat proteins, grains or soy. If your pet has loose stools, flatulence or other stomach related issues, then it may be time to switch their food. There are several hypoallergenic formulas on the market that are suitable for dogs with food allergies. It is recommended that you go through an ‘elimination phase’, where you transition your dog over to the new food. If you do it abruptly, it could do more harm than good. Hypoallergenic formulas are usually made up of the following ingredients:

  • an unusual protein source, like fish or venison
  • a grain-free starch, like potatoes
  • veggies and other hearty ingredients

Once you make the switch, you should notice that these conditions start to clear up. If they don’t, then there could be an underlying issue. It is something worth discussing with your veterinarian.

Are there any Retriever dog foods we didn’t mention?
Tell us in the comments below!

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5 Responses

  1. Hills is my usual go to brand of dog food. I haven’t heard of some of these dog foods, but I wouldn’t mind getting some of these brands for my dog. I don’t think I purchased that Hills dog food before, though I have purchased hills brand before. My dog loves it.

  2. Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Dry Dog Food is #1 for a reason. My dog loves it like crazy. Whenever I put a bull out, he jumps right at it and eats it up super fast. I’m afraid to have him try others on this list, because he loves Royal Canin so much, but if it means adding more/different types of foods I think it might be worth it.

  3. Our dog just loves the Purina Pro Plan for all life stages. We started her on it when she was only 12 weeks old, and the taste and kibble size are excellent! She is pretty picky about foods, but this one seems to agree with her. It is also easily digested, which is an added perk! She is now 63 pounds, healthy and active!

  4. It seems that Eukanuba and Royal Canin are the only brands that have true ‘breed specific’ formulas. We have not ever tried Royal Canin formulas, but the Eukanuba Labrador Retriever formula is always our top pick! Our labs love it, and it is easy for them to digest! We highly recommend this brand!

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