Hi everyone. I just signed up for this site. Looking for suggestions. I have a 65 pound golden retriever. I am feeding him Fromm Heartland Gold grain free. I read all the reports about grain free so I am thinking of switching from grain free. He has a chicken allergy and a sensitive stomach. I feel like I need to go back school to be a scientist to figure out what to feed my dog. lol, this is so confusing. any suggestions? Thank you so much!
Pro Plan Focus Salmon for sensitive skin and stomach
So far we are impressed.
Check Chewy dot com for more info and prices.
Thank you so much!
I know that a lot of people are leery of “Purina”.
All that is changing due to the grain free scare (although the suspect brands have not been recalled).
Veterinarians are now recommending to go with a grain inclusive food made by one of the older companies that have been around a long time. At least until the results of the FDA investigation are in.
They are more likely to do food trials and employ a veterinary nutritionist.
PS: Unless there is a specific reason your pet requires a grain free food, in that case discuss with your vet.
That’s good to know. I am definitely going to look into it. As far as I know, there is no specific reason why he needs grain free. He is one and a half years old. When I first got him the grain free was what his vet and everyone else recommended. So he has been grain free since. Now everyone is saying switch from grain free. All this research and trying to figure out what to switch him to has my brain hurting. Lol.crazy4catsMember
Hi Jill B-
I’m glad you are taking the advice to avoid grain free foods. Golden Retrievers seem to be more prone to heart issues. You don’t have to be a scientist. You just need to trust brands that are formulated by scientists with degrees in veterinary nutrition. Believe it or not, most aren’t. I switched my dogs to a Purina ProPlan large breed recipe. Other brands that fit this category are: Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Iams, and Hills. The cardiologist from UCDavis that is leading a research team feeds his Golden Royal Canin. It’s a bit expensive for me as I have multiple pets. Best wishes!
Once again, the inclusion of grain in a canine diet is not a positive. Nor is using plant-based proteins to replace animal proteins.
Some ingredients used in kibble to replace substandard and non-essential carbohydrates and proteins from grain sources may present bigger risks that feeding grain, but that doesn’t make grain a positive.
The so-called “food trials” that commercial dog foods are subject to are a joke. The “nutritionists” at large dog food companies are not employed to maximize the health and welfare of dogs, but to find the cheapest and most profitable ingredients they can market as dog food. This generally means replacing animal products with plant-based products.
Dogs have no essential needs for grains in their diets.
@ jill b
Don’t be confused by the variety of opinions (homeopathic vs traditional medicine and everything in between) you will get when you ask a question on the internet/forums.
The best thing that you can do is to consult the veterinarian that you trust that you take your dog to for annual exams.
https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/disclaimer-and-disclosure/ (excerpt below)
Please be advised that we are not veterinarians. For this reason, this website was never meant to be used as a substitute for sound professional advice.
Because the health of your dog can be directly affected by what you read here, you should always consult with a licensed veterinary professional before taking any specific action.
anon101 constantly attempts to equate people who follow the scientific evidence with those who support pseudoscience (such as homeopathy). It is an absurd logical fallacy.
The scientific evidence is conclusive: canines have no essential need for carbohydrates in their diets. Dog food manufacturers add carbohydrates only to fatten their bottom lines.
There is nothing positive about feeding dogs grains. Feeding peas may have worse consequences, but that doesn’t improve the downsides of feeding grains.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I’m sure millions of people ask this daily. I just got overwhelmed with all the choices. I appreciate y’all. I’ve also heard royal canin was good for golden retrievers. It was actually between that and Fromm. I choose Fromm last time. Thanks again for the taking the time to reply with the suggestions 🙂 🙂
Yes, Royal Canin has been around a long time. That’s a good sign.
If you like Fromm, have you considered the Adult Classic https://www.gofromm.com/fromm-family-classic-adult-dog-food
I know some people think of Fromm as a “boutique” food. I don’t see it that way since they have been in the dog food business for well over 60 years.
You said you want to avoid chicken….so it may not appeal to you.
Yes, he can’t eat chicken. His belly was doing good on the Fromm without chicken. Oh no, I don’t even know what a boutique food is. 🤷♀️ I’m guessing it’s not good. Lolcrazy4catsMember
There is no comparison between Fromm and Royal Canin. Fromm doesnt even come close to doing the same amount of research and testing that RC does. They also do not employ certified veterinary nutritionists. Yes, they are a feel good family owned type business that does a good job of marketing. They also have had mixed results with their taurine testing on the diet induced DCM FB table.
I’m with you guys, I used to feed it too. This is not an emotional decision. It’s a scientific one! A lot of the professionals in that FB group feed RC. I feed it to my cats. It’s just real expensive for my dogs. My kitties coats are all soft as silk though. The dogs are doing great on Purina ProPlan. Never thought I’d be feeding that either. Not, really sure why? Other than peer pressure, I guess. Lol!
Again, golden retrievers are getting hit hard by this new found issue. Joshua Stern, UCDavis Cardiologist and golden Retriver owner feeds RC. His findings are going to be released in a few weeks.
Have you found either of the FB groups that he supports? One is for mixed breeds and the other for golden retrievers. They provide a lot of info in their “files” section. There are thousands of members now on them, so it’s a bit harder to muddle through all the posts. They are legit groups with professionals as admins and moderators that mostly know their stuff. Good luck!
Thank you! I’m definitely trying royal canin next! 😊
The Royal Canin formula on this website’s review page lists 26% Protein, 11% Fat, and 55% Carbohydrates.
These sort of numbers virtually guarantee a Golden will grow to be obese, have rotten teeth, and will have no stamina. It is simply an atrocious diet.
Dogs thrive on Fat metabolism. They were shaped by evolution to have Fat as the primary energy source, with Protein being secondary. This diet is an extreme low-Fat/high-Carb diet.
It is antithetical to best feeding principles.
“There is no comparison between Fromm and Royal Canin. Fromm doesnt even come close to doing the same amount of research and testing that RC does”.
Not true! Fromm is a good company. The Adult Classic is grain inclusive.
Folks, don’t get caught up in the hysteria. Wait for the results of the FDA investigation.
Consult with your vet.
https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm616279.htm (excerpt below)
13. Should I avoid grain-free diets?
High levels of legumes or potatoes appear to be more common in diets labeled as “grain-free,” but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM. Additionally, legumes and potatoes may appear as ingredients in foods that are not labeled as “grain-free.” Changes in diet, especially for dogs with DCM, should be made in consultation with a licensed veterinarian.
14. Do I need to change my dog’s diet?
At this time, we are not advising dietary changes based solely on the information we have gathered so far. If you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or its diet, we suggest that you consult your veterinarian for individualized advice that takes into account your dog’s specific needs and medical history.
15. What’s the safest diet for my dog?
Different dogs have different nutritional needs based on a number of factors, so nutrition advice is not one-size-fits-all. The FDA recommends consulting your veterinarian for personalized advice about what to feed your dog.
Fromm Adult Classic has only 23% Protein. This is woefully deficient. This very low Protein content puts dogs of serious risks for tearing muscles and not repairing well. 26% is the absolute minimum one should consider to avoid high-risks of muscle injuries (with higher amounts being more optimal).
In addition to being very-low protein, this Fromm’s formula is also very low fat (15%).
This is an atrocious option for feeding a sporting dog.
Feeding high-Carb, low-Protein, low-Fat food is a sure-fire path to bad health in a Golden Retriever.
Who feeds only kibble? Noone I know. LOL
Kibble is the base, other foods/protein/water/broth are added.
Who feeds only kibble?
I’d say millions upon millions of dog owners do just that.
If one wants to build something to last, one should start with a solid foundation. Building on a “base” of high-Carbohydrates (and low Protein/Fat) is like building on sand. It is unwise to build on a bad foundation.
Your proposal that “kibble” is only a starting point to be supplemented with DIY items flies in the face of your posts about how big dog food companies hire nutritionists and engage in food trials to maximize their product offerings. LOL.
A 23/15 formula is dismal. Junk-food formulas should not be the base of a dog’s meals.
Well, I am not here in a professional capacity and neither are you.
Therefore your opinions are no more valid than mine.
Thanks for your input.
The veterinary literature shows that a protein content below 26% greatly increases the risks of dog’s developing muscle tears and the odds of those injuries repairing poorly. A 23% protein ration is abysmal. Adding water doesn’t change that.
High carbohydrate percentages have their own well-demonstrated problems as does an insufficiency of fat in the diet.
That’s not “opinion” but what is demonstrated in the veterinary literature.
Positioning oneself against the preponderance of scientific evidence doesn’t make one’s “opinion” equally valid. LOL.
A 23/15 diet is a very poor formula that will cause a dog foreseeable health consequences.
Yeah, we could play Dr Google all day long. I can find data to support my opinions and you can find data to support your opinions.
Not the real deal. Gobbledygook.
Please folks, find a vet that you trust that has examined your dog and listen to him/her.
I, in turn, would encourage dog owners who care about nutrition to delve into the published verterinary medical literature as it is very clear from the evidence just how deleterious a high-carb (low-protein/fat) diet is for dogs.
The scientific evidence is not ambiguous.
Feeding dogs plant-based rations as a cost-cutting (profit promoting) move comes with serious and predictable health consequences. That’s true whether those rations include grain or replace the grain with other starches and plant-proteins.
My vet tells me to mix dry food, wet food, and green beans. I emailed Fromm and they have a food that is not grain free and does not contain chicken.
Please provide a full text reference link for the study you are citing. If this was a sled dog study really all you can say is that dogs under intense work did better on the higher protein test diet of the levels tested. Doesn’t mean a dog in mild or average work would need the same level. Be careful not to overstate the conclusion.
I’m a Lab person and would have no concerns feeding RC Golden formula. To maintain good weight and muscling I feed Pro Plan weight management which I consider a low fat, mod protein diet similar to the RC formula. All healthy active dogs with great stamina in the field, no injuries and great teeth!
With due respect, Aimee, a Golden Retriever is a sporting dog and thereby bred for very intense levels of physical activity.
Unfortunately, we see too many Goldens who are de-tuned, obese, and/or crippled due to muscle or tendon tears as a result of high-carb low-protein/fat diets.
All these problems are tied to an inadequate diet.
Feeding a dog carbs is a way to literally cut the dog’s stamina.
A Golden should be vital and active and be fed a diet with sufficient protein to reduce the odds of muscle tears and enough fat to be the primary energy source.
Far too many Goldens are overweight, out-of-condition, and crippled. They do poorly on cereal-based food.
And that’s an understatement.
Hey, you guys.
WBZ talk radio. (look it up, you can listen online).
Tonight. 9 pm. A real vet will answer questions. 1-617- 254-1030
A toll free number is available too. 1-888-929-1030
They may have a podcast available in a day or two if you miss this
NightSide Pet Vet in Studio! Dr. Jim McKiernan, owner of the Great Bay Animal Hospital and the official NightSide Pet Vet, sits down with Dan to take your calls and answer your questions. With the holidays coming up, along with the cold winter weather, Dr. Jim will talk about how to keep your pets happy and healthy throughout the season.
What are cereal based food? My vet told me the same thing. He is very concerned about oversight goldens. He has had me make mine loose 5 pounds. He said they are extremely prone to needing surgery with any extra weight on them. But he has been okay with Fromm and Rohan canin . I don’t know
Not royal canin. Sorry I didn’t mean to put that there. I have not talked to him about that yet
Cereals are grains, wheat, oats, rice bran, ingredients you find in breakfast cereals..
With all the testing Royal Canine does their food has come into Australia all moldy & making dogs ill & sick…
Royal Canin offered Nina $1000 and some free product if she agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement…
In Australia 2 big pet food companies within the last year have killed dogs & left a heap of dogs sick with Mega Esophagus you see daily posts of these suffering dogs finally being put to sleep as their poor owners can cope watching their dogs suffer & the other big Pet Food company R/C has made dog’s very ill & tried to buy customers off to shut their mouths so they wouldnt post photos of their moldy kibble…
There would be a few quality kibbles or a dehydrated raw dog foods in the US that are very good & are high in meat proteins & aren’t high in carbs…
Instead of adding beans, add some peeled de seed cut up apple pieces, excellent to give for snacks/treats also celery, broccoli, rock melon, cooked sweet potato, mussels, sardines, tin salmon drain water & add 1-2 spoons to 1 of the meals take out some of his kibbles when adding fresh foods…
add healthy fresh whole foods, also add daily 1 x fish oil/Krill oil capsule to 1 of the meals.. Omega 3 fatty acid to diet helps the heart…
I seen on TV news Australian scientist did a study on heart patients 1/2 took fish oil capsules ended up healing & having a healthy heart where the other 1/2 of the human heart patients in the study who never took any fish oil their heart problem stayed the same no changes..
I appreciate that information Susan! Thank you so much
@ jill b
You’re welcome. I saw your post. Glad that you found the podcast helpful.
Keep an eye on that site, Dan Rea is an animal lover and often covers pet related topics.
Check it out, there is a way you can sign up via e-mail to get the nightly lineup.
Discuss what you read with your vet.
Hi Spy Car,
Your post you posted today at 4.55 for Jill hasn’t been posted but I got the email of your post, I also got email for another persons post not for Jills & the same thing has happened, I got the email but her post hasn’t been posted.
Do you want me to copy & paste the email (your post) as it’s long & alot to re write, re-word the same way, (it’s a very good post for people who want to listen & learn), this has happened with a few of my post, so now when I post a post I check the “Latest Replies” on my left to see if my post has been posted…
This was the first sentence to your post, a pretty good post.
@jillb, all kibbles are essentially cereal-based foods. This type of dog food did not exist prior to WWII. In the aftermath of the war, dog food manufacturers discovered they could use the same extrusion machinery they used to produce human breakfast cereals to make nuggets for dog food. But to make the product shelf-stable and extrudable required using high percentages of starches.
OK…. so you have no references to cite or share to support your bold statements.
I think you’ll agree that while both Goldens and Labs are sporting breeds most are not engaged in “very intense levels of physical activity”. While you can feed a high protein/no carb/ high fat diet to a dog not engaged in intense physical activity you have yet to provide any references that it confers a benefit to do so.
Sure dogs do not require carbohydrates, people don’t either…..
Simplistically speaking fats are important for endurance, and carbohydrates for intensity. A sled dog’s intended purpose is endurance. A racing greyhound… intensity. If you want to win don’t feed a racing greyhound as you would a sled dog nor a sled dog as a racing greyhound. Working Goldens and Labs need both endurance and intensity.
I don’t disagree that protein and fat levels significantly above AAFCO’s baseline maintenance level are advantageous for dogs engaged in intense physical activity but for a typical companion Golden or Lab they just are not necessary.
Most Golden Retrievers are not in peak physical condition because they’ve been de-tuned via a high-carb diet, which they are particularly vulnerable to along with Labs.
Any sporting dog should be capable of expending sustained energy. Carb-burning is not sustainable. Fat-metabolism provides sustainable energy.
Mushers are actually mixing sporting dogs into their gene pools (and sometimes directly into their teams) because sporting dogs have even more endurance that Northern dogs.
I think t borderlines on cruelty to take strong athletic breeds and feed them on rations that rob them of their vitality and endurance. Anyone who is around dogs can see the devastating consequences of feeding Goldens (and Labs) on high-carb diets. Almost all are grossly over-weight, out of condition, and are often limping. It is a shame.
One would think a short race like Greyhounds might be the one instance where a high-carb diet would not be disadvantageous, but I recall that a study found the opposite: that high-fat fed dogs were faster. There is no advantage to feeding Goldens any amount of carbohydrates. Doing so crashed energy and drastically cuts stamina (as measured by VO2 max scores.
People and canines have evolved very differently. Two conflate our nutrition needs is an error.
I think it is quite a euphemism to refer to Goldens and Labs who’ve had their natures as high athletic breed taken from them due to a diet that de-conditions them and promotes obesity, muscle and joint issues, and lethargy as “companion animals.”
No. These are dogs who have been de-tuned by bad diets. A Golden raised on a high-protein/high-fat diet is a very different beast.
Yes, I’d be very grateful if you could re-port my response. I have no idea what went wrong, but I don’t have a copy and put a fair amount of time into my response.
A thousand thanks for asking!
And once again no references.. it seems you just make this stuff up as you go.
Funny how all those Labs that are “de tuned” and “crippled” from eating a carb laden diet keep winning National field trial championships. You probably should go to National field trial and “educate” all the handlers on how crippled and obese all their dogs are. I’m sure it will go over real well : )
Sometimes posts can get hung up if you had links in them.. At least that has happened to me and now when i want to post a link i will replace the (.) with the word dot and then they seem to go through.
Aimme, you have great Goggle skills. Do the searches. All verifiable studies. Please don’t cast aspersions that are unsubstantiated.
There was a study sponsored by Iams (IMS) where dogs who were fed a high-carb diet (and were thus de-conditioned) were put on treadmills with masks and devices that would test their VO2 Max scores. As expected, these couch-potatoes scored very (very) poorly.
Then the same dogs were put on a diet that was relatively high-protein and high-fat. Nothing about their rearing or keeping changed otherwise. After a time they were retested. The increases in VO2 Max score were dramatic. These formerly de-conditioned out-of-shape couch potatoes had VO2 Max scores that were very close to those of elite canine athletes.
This was due to diet alone.
This is wholly in keeping with my own long experience training and raising canine athletes.
Field trial dogs are almost always fed a diet that is at least 30/20 (protein/fat). Not 23/15. And smart field trailers supplement kibble diets with additional animal proteins and fats.
Field-trialers tend to be very quiet about the supplementation because the sport is completely dominated by Purina which sponsors field-trialers with free food, and plays for prize money and the cost of running competitions. Bad mouthing Purina in any way is not a way to win friends in that sport.
30/20 is not “optimal,” to be sure, but it is above the minimums that most seriously de-tune dogs. You are making my point for me.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Spy Car.
Again with the grandstanding and no citations. You made the statement you should provide the citation. When something in published in a peer reviewed journal the reader isn’t told to use Google to find article to support what they are saying. You are the author of your statements and you need to provide the citations. Besides I need to know I’m reading what you are reading.
After the field trials go checkout all those obese crippled greyhounds eating a 42% energy from carb diet 😉
“These studies concluded that a dry food based diet, which contained 42% of the energy from carbohydrates, 33% from fat and 24% from protein, provided the best dietary
balance to optimise speed and performance over a standard 500 metre race distance. However, greyhounds on this diet were slightly heavier in body weight compared to greyhounds fed a diet containing higher protein and fat, with a lower content of carbohydrate. This difference in body weight was attributed to a greater muscle bulk in greyhounds fed on the medium protein diet.9”.
replace the word dot with a (.)
http://www.greyhound-data dot com/dir/806/Feeding_a_Racing_Greyhound.pdf
Spy Car wrote:
all kibbles are essentially cereal-based foods. This type of dog food did not exist prior to WWII. In the aftermath of the war, dog food manufacturers discovered they could use the same extrusion machinery they used to produce human breakfast cereals to make nuggets for dog food. But to make the product shelf-stable and extrudable required using high percentages of starches.
Your vet is quite correct on the negative effects of extra weight on Goldens. No dog does well with extra weight, but Goldens are particularly likely to become obese and to suffer with muscular and joint issues as a result. Goldens ought to be lean. I see many Goldens in my life and to see one carrying the optimal weight is extraordinarily rare. The results of this obesity is clear when one sees the large number of Goldens that are crippled by ACL tears, bad hips, muscle tears, and other dehabilitating issues.
It is very sad to see. And unnecessary.
Most of the problem stems from high-carb low-protein low-fat diets.
Feeding a dog carbs as a primary energy source will do two very bad things. One, it will almost certainly lead to obesity. Two, carb-metabolism actively undermines a dog’s stamina. Carb-heavy diets turn normally active breeds (like Goldens) into couch potatoes, as carbohydrate burning does not provide a steady and sustained release of energy to the dog, rather it is a boon-and-bust.
When dogs are fed a high fat (high-protein) diet, fat-metabolism proves a dog with almost unlimited energy supplies. Aerobic capacity soars.
A Golden Retriever should be an athletic and vital beast. Not a couch potato that sleeps all day with a perhaps 20-minute window of activity. Such a lifestyle will seriously harm a Golden and all one needs to do is look around at the condition of most Goldens in this country.
I have a Vizsla, another sporting breed. Over the past 4.5 years (since 8 weeks) I’ve fed him a balance PMR style raw diet to eliminate carbohydrates from his diet. The results have been stellar. He’s very lean, highly energetic (while calm), has muscles on top of muscles, clean teeth, and is the picture of health. Last year I met a raw-fed Golden. I was amazed (but not entirely surprised) to see an ultra-fit, lean, muscular Golden Retriever who was tireless and free of the almost universal warning signs of impending injuries.
I know many people are not up to feeding a raw diet. If that’s the case look for food with the highest possible percentages of protein and fat and the least amount of carbohydrates. With high-calorie rations one needs to feed far less food (a positive on many levels).
Since dogs metabolize fats brilliantly they are more active and tend to drop body fat (so long as they are not overfed). Activity and sufficient protein will keep the dog’s muscular development strong which reduces stress on joints and tendons.
Goldens, like Labs, are particularly vulnerable to the negative consequences of high-carb kibble diets. Your vet is spot on here. Taking off weight is extraordinarily difficult when one feeds a high percentage of non-essential carbohydrates. Restricting amounts when the rations are already low in protein and fat means that essential items are reduced in the diet to maintain a place for empty calories that undermine vitality.
Some of the formulas discussed here would virtually guarantee major health consequences in your dogs future. That’s the unvarnished truth.
I hope this is helpful to you.
Hi jill b,
Spycar makes some bold statements without any references. Here is what the science says
Dogs eating 62% carb calories had body fat levels of 21+/-2.1% (25% protein calories, 13% calories from fat and 62% calories from carbohydrate) The dogs eating 0-1% carb had 27.1 +/-1.8% body fat ( 24% protein 76% fat calories and 0 carb calories), 27.5 +/-2.7% body fat f ( 48%protein calories, 52% fat calories and 0 carb calories) and 29.5 +/-1.6% body fat (44% protein calories, 55% fat calories and 0 % carb calories)
replace the word dot with a . after the word amazonnaws
All studies have limitations but from this you can see that dogs eating a high carb diet had less body fat than those eating very low to no carb diet calling into question Spy Cars fears that feeding your dog carbohydrate would result in obesity. All dogs are individuals and what macronutrient profile they do best on may be inherent to that individual. For my Labs feeding the Pro Plan weight management formula worked best.
Hope you find what works for your dog!
I agree. However, it is impossible to access the link you have provided.
It is not the posting of multiple links (although sometimes it is) that gets a post removed.
If people go back and forth to edit too many times within a short period of time, the post will disappear. If you wait 10 minutes and go back in, reword the first sentence of your post often it will go through.
Also, if some folks don’t like your post they will press the “report abuse” button a few times and depending on who the moderator is, the post may be removed.
So, if you provide the direct link, it should not be a problem.
PS: My friend asked her vet what food he recommends (regarding the grain free scare)
The clinic she goes to recommends Fromm and Blue Buffalo, both have grain inclusive foods.
I’ve had posts get hung up.. they appear but just delayed I always figured it was because of the links. I’ve never edited a post.. never found the way to do that.
See if this works, I
Yes. That works. Thanks, I will take my time and read them.
Just wanted to say that I am also impressed with Pro Plan, my little allergy girl is doing well on Focus Salmon for sensitive skin and stomach as a base.
PS: Just click on Edit, I have done so to correct grammatical errors, I think there is a time limit (30 minutes) on how long you can do that.
Glad Pro Plan is working out for you. It can be a bit unnerving to try something so different from what you’ve previously fed. My Labs have always done well on that brand. My girl was in the ribbons every time I showed her.
I’ve never seen an edit option button on the forum side only “report abuse” where is it?
Ok Now I see it next to reply once I posted… disappears after a time frame has passed.
I decided to try Fromm salmon al a veggie it is not grain free and it does not have any chicken in it. So far, he is doing pretty good on it.
Interesting. For some reason I thought that was grain free. I may give it another look at some point.
So far the Fromm Classic Adult and the Pro Plan Focus Salmon are working out well.
I sent them an email asking what they had that was not grain free and did not contain chicken. They only had two kinds. The salmon ala veggie and I think another kind of whitefish maybe. :). His belly is doing really good on it and he gobbles it up.
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