Going to the pet store to pick a brand and type of dog food can seem particularly overwhelming when you walk down the aisle and see the dozens upon dozens of varieties of foods available.
If you take the time to read the labels and understand the basic needs of your dog, you will find that there are only a few feeds that meet your dog’s needs.
During a Golden Retriever’s lifetime, the feeding requirements will change.
A puppy should be fed at least three times a day until it is four months old.
A young puppy must be fed more often, because it has a smaller stomach and is growing at a very fast pace.
After four months of age it is recommended to decrease feeding to twice a day. Some adult dogs only require feeding once a day, or may be given free choice food if they are outdoors or are not over-eaters.
Any changes in feeding should be closely monitored to determine the effect that they are having on the overall health of the dog. Fresh water should always be available for all dogs and puppies.
Regularly scheduled feeding will help with housetraining as well. A schedule of feeding means a schedule for toileting.
Wet vs. dry
The first decision that you have to make is whether you are going to feed wet, dry or a combination of wet and dry foods. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of food.
Wet food is often more palatable for dogs of all ages, and can be particularly important to feed when your puppy is very young or your Golden Retriever is very old.
Dogs with dental or intestinal problems may need to be fed wet food at least for a short period of time on recommendation by a veterinarian.
Most breeders and vets do not recommend a diet of only wet food, as it does not have the same fiber and consistency as the dry food. Dogs that are fed only wet food often have issues with producing excessive amounts of gas and needing to go outside often to defecate.
Dry food is often rather unpalatable to a dog, particularly if they have previously been fed a diet of wet food.
Weaning Them On To Dry Food
Increasing the amount of exercise and mixing a small amount of wet food in with the dry will gradually allow them to switch over. If a dog is on a diet of dry food, the food acts to clean the teeth and promote healthy digestion.
When feeding dry food, it is important to make sure the dog has free access to clean water at all times.
Make sure that the major ingredient in the dry food is not corn, corn meal or wheat, as this is largely filler that will swell up in the dog’s stomach when the food is consumed.
Check that veterinarians or breeders approve the food that you are using. This is usually indicated on the dog food bag. Your local veterinarians will be able to provide a list of premium dog food brands available in your location.
In addition in both wet and dry foods, check to make sure that the food contains the balanced nutrients your dog needs. It will need to have carbohydrates, proteins, essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.
By feeding this food based on the recommended serving size for your Golden Retriever Dog you can be assured that your dog is getting their basic dietary needs met.
If your dog seems to be hungry or is not eating all the recommended amounts of food, always check with your veterinarian and adjust the amounts if necessary, based on the vet’s advice.