Golden Retrievers are great dogs to have as part as your family, but most Golden Retrievers seem to have several health issues as well. I currently have my fourth Golden, and I am learning with each one how to help keep them more healthy than the last one.
If you have or have had a Golden Retriever, you have probably run into a variety of health issues that your buddy has had, from ear infections, allergies or food intolerances, hip dysplasia, bad joints or cancer.
My past Goldens have experienced all of these problems, but that did not stop me from getting another Golden Retriever a few months ago. Instead, what I did, was a lot of research on why they have these problems and how I could reduce the number of health issues that they have.
From my research, I came to realize that one of the biggest problems is the food that we feed our dogs. That has lead me to why you should feed a Golden Retriever fresh dog food.
Let me break down many of the health issues that Golden Retrievers have and explain how or why fresh dog food will help eliminate or at least reduce the health issues that they will face.
Allergies Or Food Intolerances For Goldens
There is a bit of a difference from allergies or food intolerances. An allergy is a reaction, generally severe or life threatening where a food intolerance is less serious and often limited to digestive or skin problems. Most times our dog’s have food intolerances that they are experiencing.
Allergies or food intolerances can happen at any age. Signs of intolerances can be itching or biting themselves, usually on feet, ears or face. They can also show up as chronic ear infections, hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, red inflamed skin or hot spots.
Golden Retrievers seem to have many allergies or food intolerances. I have experienced this very severely with one of my Goldens with chronic ear infections and chewing all the fur off his back feet.
Your dog’s diet should be balanced, but with as few ingredients and additives as possible. Additives, chemicals, preservatives, colorants and flavorants can trigger intolerance symptoms.
If your dog has a food intolerance, it can be hard to determine what ingredients are causing the problem. There are so many ingredients in processed dog food.
You can take your dog to an allergist for dogs where they will shave a patch on the belly and test different intolerances. This can get quite costly, as I have done this for one of my Golden Retrievers. We then had to give him injections every few months to help him get less ear infections and to get him to stop chewing on his paws. (It would have been less expensive to put him on a better diet, but I didn’t have that knowledge at the time.)
There is also an At Home Dog Allergy Test that is available. It is a very affordable test that can help you adjust your dog’s diet accordingly.
Fresh dog food has much fewer ingredients than processed dog food, so fewer ingredients that your dog can’t tolerate. The main ingredients are the protein of your choice and vegetables. There are no additives, fillers, preservatives or artificial anything. It is made in small batches in an FDA approved kitchen.
Dry dog needs the preservatives for the long shelf life that it has, many times being the exact thing that affects your dog’s intolerances.
Dry dog food lacks the full range of minerals and vitamins that your Golden Retriever needs. When you feed your dog a fresh wholesome diet, they are less likely to have allergic reactions to food and it will help them build a stronger immune system.
Even if you figure out what your dog’s intolerances are, if you are still feeding them processed dry dog food, there are no guarantees that there isn’t cross-contamination with their food. Even though something isn’t listed on the ingredient label, doesn’t mean that it didn’t get in their food. Dog food products are not regulated for purity, meaning there can be contamination from other ingredients.
Goldens And Cancer
Over 60% of Golden Retrievers get cancer. It is one of the highest of all dog breeds. Over half of Golden Retrievers are diagnosed with cancer over the age of 10. I have experienced this, since 2 of my Goldens were lost to cancer.
It is so bad, that in 2012, Colorado State University has started a study of 3000 Golden Retrievers in hopes of identifying some factors that put Goldens at such a high risk. They are collecting data from these Goldens on what they eat, drink, chemical exposure and much more to help discover the reasoning of such a high cancer rate. The research is still ongoing at this time.
The exact reasons are yet to be determined, but there are some things we can do to help prevent cancer in our dogs. Just like there are certain foods that can contribute to humans getting cancer, there are foods or food additives that can contribute to dogs getting cancer as well.
Look for dog food that uses natural preservatives, which are typically made from Vitamin C or E. The dog food label usually lists them as tocopherol or ascorbate. Natural preservatives are considered safe.
Watch out for ethoxyquin. This is an artificial preservative that is also used as a pesticide.
Also, watch out for Butylated Hydroxyanisole or BHA and Butylated Hydroxytoluene or BHT. These are used as a chemical preservative that is added to oils or fats that is found in pet food and treats. The World Health Organization has named both as suspicious cancer causing compounds and they are found in many commercial dog foods.
In a Purdue University study, it has found that vegetables can help prevent and decelerate cancer cell growth by 70 to 90%. Broccoli and spinach are especially good, but dark leafy greens, carrots, zucchini and green beans are all great ingredients to be included in your dog’s diet.
Most commercial dog food doesn’t include these vegetables, but even when they do, there are small benefits left in these vegetables simply from the process of making the commercial dog food. The extremely high temperatures that dog food is cooked at removes many of the nutrients that were once present.
Fresh dog food’s number one ingredient is the protein, but next is the vegetables that are used. They are included in all of the meal plans, and when they cook the fresh dog food, it is done similar to how we prepare meals for our self. No extreme high temperatures.
The last item I want to cover in this section is corn in your dog food. Corn in its self is not a problem, but how the corn is many times stored is a problem. If the corn is stored in damp humid conditions, it creates Aflatoxin which is a fungus on the corn. This corn is generally not used for human consumption, but it is still used in dog food. This fungus has been reported to cause cancer at a rate of about 36%. You might want to consider staying away from any dog food with corn as an ingredient.
Everything that goes into fresh dog food is something that we ourselves could eat. The ingredients are a better quality, there are no preservatives and it is cooked in a way that the nutrients still have some value left in them.
Hip Dysplasia Or Bad Joints With Golden Retrievers
Unfortunately, many Golden Retrievers either face hip dysplasia or stiff joints especially as they age. They are predisposition for these problems, so there is nothing you can do ahead of time to completely prevent them, but there are things that you can do to reduce their risk and live a comfortable life.
- Keep the weight off. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight removes extra stress on their joints. If you pup is overweight, it is adding to their problem or could actually cause it.
- Feed your dog the proper food. Golden Retrievers are considered a large breed, and you need to feed them large breed puppy food when they are puppies. This will help prevent excessive growth, which can lead to hip dysplasia.
- Improper nutrition. If your dog isn’t getting the proper nutrition in their diet, it can magnify the genetic predisposition for hip dysplasia. Foods that are high in calcium, like yogurt, help to strengthen bones and prevent further damage to joints. Provide iron rich foods like beef or chicken and Vitamin C. Kale and spinach are high in Vitamin C, which is good for rebuilding connective tissues that can be broken down by dysplasia.
- Make sure your dog is getting Omega 3 Fatty Acids in their diet. This has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce inflammation in the hips. Naturally occurs in fish oil or flaxseed oil.
- Joint Supplements. You can start giving your dog joint supplements at any age. They should contain Glucosamine and Chondroitin in the product. Cosequin is a brand that I have used for years with my dogs and seems to work fairly well.
- Anti-inflammatory Drugs. This can help reduce swelling, stiffness and joint pain.
- Provide your dog with an orthopedic dog bed. An orthopedic dog bed will reduce the amount of pressure on their joints. You can look at dog beds for hip dysplasia relief for more information.
The majority of ways that you can help your Golden Retriever with hip dysplasia and joint pain is through their diet.
With fresh dog food, the meals are customized for your breed, their age and their weight. You will be making sure that you don’t overfeed your dog and be providing the nutrients that they need for every stage of their life.
The meal plan will include the important protein of your choice, along with the important vegetables and fish oil to help reduce inflammation in their hips.
Fresh Dog Food For Golden Retrievers
I have done a lot of research in all areas of dog food. It started when my first Golden Retriever got bone cancer and then a few years later, his liter mate also ended up have a large growth that was cancerous.
Before I got my current Golden Retriever, who is only 1 year old, I wanted to make sure that I was providing him with the best opportunity possible to live a healthy life in his later years. I realized that what I was doing for him when he was only 2 months old would help for his later life.
His diet is the number 1 best thing I could do to give him a better life.
Providing your Golden Retriever with a fresh diet is the best you can do for your dog. A fresh diet is more expensive than commercial kibble, but if you have ever gone though any of the health issues I have listed above, you will quickly realize how much you will end up spending on veterinarian bills if your have an unhealthy dog.
I have used an allergy specialist, more ear infections than I can count, 2 dogs lost to cancer, hot spots and pain meds for their joints.
With my current pup, I started giving him broccoli, carrots and spinach right from the start. I made sure he has a diet that doesn’t have preservatives and is appropriate for his age. To this point, no ear infections, no allergies and no vet visits except for wellness checks.
Fresh dog food is going to make sure that you are feeding your dog the appropriate amount, since each meal is individually packaged for each meal. This will be based on what their weight is and what their ideal weight should be. No more guess work on how much to feed your dog. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help them in so many areas with their health and their longevity of life.
Fresh dog food is customized not only for your dog’s weight, but also for their age and breed. It will include the proper vitamins and minerals that your dog will need for each stage of their life. They will automatically be adjusting your dog’s diet as they age, so they are always getting the right vitamins and minerals no matter how old they are.
Giving you dog a fresh dog food diet is almost like them having their own personal chef. The ingredients are based on your dog’s needs, and are prepared specifically for them. Made in small batches in FDA approved kitchens with FDA approved food and shipped directly to your door.
This food is individually packaged for each meal, and will need to be refrigerated of stored in the freezer until needed.
I fully believe that fresh dog food will give your Golden Retriever a much better chance at a healthy lifestyle.
Fresh Dog Food For Golden Retrievers
Through all of my research, I have found what I consider the 3 best fresh dog food companies for providing your dog with the right requirements to help keep them healthy. Check out all 3 of them to see which one provides you with exactly what you need. All of them are very good companies, and I don’t believe you can make a wrong choice with any of them.
NomNomNow – Was started in 2014 when the owners had a dog with a compromised immune system that they couldn’t get under control. They partnered with one of the leading board certified veterinary nutritionist in the country to create a diet for dogs that helps not only their immune system, but so much more. They have locations in San Francisco, Chicago and Nashville.
Take a look at their recipes page to see the fresh ingredients they use in their dog food. You will receive 50% off your first order with the above link. They provide a lot of information on their web page, so look around to see why I consider NomNomNow such a great choice for feeding your Golden Retriever.
Ollie Pet Food – Was established in 2015 and is made in Pennsylvania in USDA certified kitchens. Ollie teamed up with canine nutritionists to develop cooking methods and personalized formulas to provide your dog with the proper nutrition that dogs need.
Take a look around Ollie’s website to see what makes them a great choice and you can receive 50% off your first order with this link.
The Farmer’s Dog – Was created in 2014 when the owner’s young pup had severe digestive issues. They worked with top vet nutritionists to develop a dog food that is made with human ingredients and cooked and packaged for each dog’s needs.
They originally started out delivering locally out of their car, until they have grown to a nationwide company, providing customized fresh dog food. They are located in Brooklyn, NY.
The love that a Golden Retriever gives his family is priceless. Unfortunately, many Golden Retrievers have the potential for many health issues.
By providing your Golden with a diet that helps eliminate or reduce their health issues, you are providing a better quality of life for your Golden, adding more healthy years onto their life, and saving money from less vet visits. That I why I believe you should feed a Golden Retriever fresh dog food.
Starting them on a fresh diet when they are young is best, but you will see improves in your dog’s overall health, their skin and coat and overall energy at any age.
Get your dog on a diet that is customized for them based on their weight, age, breed and how active they are that is made in USDA controlled kitchens with only fresh ingredients.
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Some of the links within this post are affiliate links of which I might receive a small compensation from sales of certain items.