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More and more dog owners are opting for raw food diets these days, and it comes as no surprise. Traditional dog food can be very bad for your dog’s health, and for a golden retriever, this is even more exacerbated because of health problems unique to their breed. As a result, brands like We Feed Raw are seeing a lot of success because so many pet parents are finding the health benefits of raw food very attractive.
However, dog food subscriptions are often the best way to get raw meals, and they can be quite expensive. Fortunately, you can make your own raw dog food, provided you can source your raw meat correctly. You just have to get quality meat from a trusted supplier (not your local grocery store). Read on to find out my top picks of raw dog food recipes for golden retrievers.
How do Golden Retrievers’ dietary needs differ from other dogs?
The main thing about goldies is that they tend to be fairly huge. They’re usually about as big as German shepherds, and although they were originally bred for hunting, they aren’t quite as well-built as GSDs. As a result, these squishy orange furbabies can often come down with skeletal issues. However, note that aside from raw diets, fresh pet food with natural ingredients can also offer good nutritional value.
This is par for the course for dogs their size, even German shepherds, but golden retrievers tend to be more prone than other dog breeds to experience joint problems, such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. This is true even for adult dogs in their prime, and much more so for aging golden retrievers. Hence, the best raw food diet for them is one rich in calcium. But remember to balance their calcium and phosphorus. Too much calcium can be just as bad for their bones as too little.
Not only that, however, but it’s also important to manage their weight. Being overweight is one of the leading causes of bone problems due to the added stress on the skeletal system. And golden retrievers are one of the dog breeds most prone to becoming obese.
So aside from making sure your dog’s diet is full of calcium, you’ll also have to see to it that their caloric intake doesn’t exceed their daily requirement. The veterinary medical center at Ohio State University estimates that the correct amount of calories for a dog in need of weight loss is approximately equal to their resting energy requirements or RER . For a 70-pound dog, that’s about 942 calories per day.
Raw Dog Food Recipes for Golden Retrievers
Here are some homemade dog food recipes that are compatible with a Golden Retriever’s nutritional requirements. If the recipe ingredients seem too pricey, see you options through our fresh dog food price comparison.
Chicken with Ground Beef
Dogs usually prefer red meat to white meat, and beef is a common favorite. But beef is very fattening. Fortunately, you can still use a bit of it to enhance the taste of white meat like chicken.
- Lean ground beef: 1 lb
- Ground beef organs (heart, kidney, liver): 1 lb
- Meaty, bony chicken parts (necks, tails, wings, and feet): 3 lbs
- Broccoli: 10 oz
- Kale: 1 lb
- Farm-fresh eggs, no shells: 4 pcs
- Mixed berries: 1 cup
Chop up chicken and veggies, and mix evenly. Then, add egg to the mixture and lay on the ground beef. Finally, sprinkle on the berries, spreading evenly as well. Or you can also mash or puree the berries to let you spread it better. Another alternative is to throw all the veggies and berries into a food processor and chop finely or puree, depending on your dog’s preferred texture.
Remember to remove the skin from the chicken, as this part tends to be the most likely to harbor pathogens. If your dog is too young or too old to chew up chicken necks, you can also grind them up and mix them in with the ground meat. If you have a particularly picky dog, you can also add some low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt to improve the flavor. Makes about 3-4 days’ worth of food for the average golden retriever.
Fish and Turkey Feast
You’re probably very familiar with the fact that fish and poultry are the best ways to get protein if you’re watching your calories. This is much the same in dog food. The great thing about turkey is that they’re much less likely to be contaminated with salmonella than chicken, making them the better choice for raw dog food recipes. And fish is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, making it a no-brainer to include provided that your dog isn’t allergic to it.
But being lower in calories doesn’t mean that any meals you make out of these foods have to be lackluster. With the right recipe, you can make homemade food made out of fish and turkey into a veritable feast.
- Meaty, oily fish (Mackerel, trout, tuna, etc.): 4 lbs
- Turkey necks and other bony parts: 1 lb
- Turkey giblets (Do not replace with chicken giblets like chicken livers): 1 lb
- Lettuce: 1/2 lb
- Green beans: 1 cup
- Flaxseed or hempseed oil: 2 tbsp
- Berries (cranberries preferred), can be mixed: 1 cup
Chop fish into steaks, removing the bones, and chop up the turkey as well. Mix together in a bowl. Then, sprinkle green beans and berries whole and apply the oil, or puree/chop them together with the oil.
Alternatively, you can simply put everything in a food processor and chop until mixed thoroughly. Just remember to cut down the size of the turkey parts to make it easier on the processor, and remove the fish bones. Makes a 3- to 4-day supply on average.
Low-fat Salisbury Steak
Dogs picky enough to turn down a good old-fashioned meat patty are few and far between. But most beef patty recipes are high in both fat and calories. Not this one, however. Plus, this dog food recipe is fairly cheap to make too, especially if you buy your ground meat in bulk.
- Lean ground beef: 3 lbs
- Beef organ meats (offal, kidney, heart, liver): 1 lb
- Ground chicken or ground turkey necks: 2 lbs
- Bone meal (if no chicken necks): 3 tbsp
- Cod fish oil: 2 tbsp
- Squash: 1 lb
- Carrots: 1 lb
- Eggs: 2 to 3 pcs
Grind up chicken/turkey and beef organ meats and mix with the lean ground beef. If not using chicken or turkey, simply mix bone meal with the ground beef.
Chop or puree vegetables in a food processor and put in meat mixture. Afterwards, apply cod liver oil, crack open eggs over the mixture, and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Portion into patties. Serve with gravy if preferred. Makes 4-5 days’ worth of food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is raw food good for Golden Retrievers?
As long as you source your raw meat from trusted providers and it agrees with your dog’s digestive system, raw food can be just as good for a golden retriever as any other dog.
What raw foods can Golden Retrievers eat?
Golden retrievers can eat any type of raw food as long as it’s not contaminated and they’re not allergic to it.
How much homemade dog food should a Golden Retriever eat?
A golden retriever will need a bit more precise caloric measurement to make sure they don’t become overweight. Golden retrievers are very prone to becoming obese. Fortunately, there are comprehensive calorie calculators online to help you regulate your dog’s consumption.
How do you make homemade Golden Retriever food?
A golden retriever’s homemade dog food diet should have its caloric content regulated and with a high amount of calcium that increases as the goldie ages.
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