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Feeding Your Golden Retriever A Raw Diet: 5 Most Popular Methods

Feeding Your Golden Retriever A Raw Diet: 5 Most Popular Methods
Golden Retriever Raw Diet

There is a considerable rise in the popularity of raw food diets as more and more owners decide to switch their dog’s diet from a commercial diet. However, there is much controversy about the raw feed diet and its benefits. Both sides have their arguments and reasons why their option is the best for your dog. We will not go into this, but you can find all the pros and cons of feeding your Golden Retriever a raw diet HERE.

Raw Diet History

The inventor of the raw food diet is an Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst. In 1993. he proposed a new diet he claimed was healthy for the dogs. Billinghurst believed that domesticated dogs today should have a diet similar to those of their wild ancestors. Their ancestors have thrived on raw meat, bones, and vegetable scraps. Billinghurst claimed that commercial pet food is causing much harm to dogs and that they would benefit greatly from the diet he called BARF. This is an acronym for Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

There are so many styles, methods, and options when considering a raw food diet. Therefore, it can be pretty hard to determine which method of raw food diet you want to apply when feeding your Golden Retriever.

Golden Retriever & Raw Diet: Most Popular Methods


As we said above, BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food. There are two types of BARF feeders, those that add plant matter into the mix and those that stand firmly against such practice.

Generally, the BARF diet consists of 70% meat, 10% plant matter, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other organs. Feeders that don’t add in plant matter, replace this portion with meat. This ratio differs from owner to owner, and you should also experiment with ratios and different fruits until you find the best combination for your Golden Retriever.


Keto diet is more of a short term diet that can help dogs with cancer, autoimmune disease, joint problems, and other chronic health issues. This is very low in carbohydrates and very high in fat diet. The Keto diet consists of 70% fat, 10% bone, 10% meat, and 10% organs. The fat that can be used: raw goat milk, fatty cuts of meat, butter, duck fat, skin, cream, egg yolks.

As we said, the keto diet is not a long-term diet since the lower amount of meat in the diet means that your dog won’t get all the amino acids his body needs. The Keto diet is a therapeutic diet best suited to fight off cancer.

Organ Meat

Feeding your Golden Retriever with organ meat is very important as organs contain essential vitamins and minerals. Most raw food diets have a ratio of 5% liver and 5% other organs.

However, some raw feeders look at the composition of whole wild prey. When we break it down, usually we will see 50% muscle meat, 16% skin, 12% bone, and 22% organ meat. This is a substantial difference from the amount of organ meat specified in most raw food diets. Therefore, some feeders do include more organ meat into the mix.

Your Golden Retriever will do just fine with 10% organ meat in his diet. However, you won’t harm him by adding more organ meat. Some organs responsible for flushing toxins out of the body, like kidneys and liver, can be full of toxins. This is why it is important to feed your Golden with organs from pasture-raised animals.

Fasting And Gorging

The lifestyle and feeding habits of wolves inspired the creation of the fasting and gorging diet. A wolf will eat up to 15lbs (6.8kg) of food from one kill and then look for food for a few days. When a body doesn’t spend too much energy on the digestive tract, it uses that energy to repair and improve other body areas. 

Since dogs have the same digestive tract as wolves, some owners choose this fasting and gorging diet method.

Every Golden Retriever should eat 2-3% of his body mass every day. A healthy, active 60-pound (27kg) Golden requires 1.8 pounds (0.82 kg) of raw food every day. 

When applying the gorging and fasting method, you will, for example, double or triple the recommended portion and let your Golden eat it all. This is the gorging part. After, you won’t feed your dog for two or three days, depends on the amount you fed him. This is the fasting part, and it can be super beneficial for your dog. However, it is not recommended that your dog fast more than 4 days at a time, and you should also manage the amount of energy your Golden spends on the play and walk during these days.

Prey Model Feeding

With this method, you feed your Golden Retriever whole prey, with feathers, skin, fur, all the organs, head, and feet. This is usually whole chicken, rabbit, quail, and other animals. Owners that feed their dogs this way don’t add plant matter to their diet. They consider this the most natural way of feeding, and nothing should be taken or added.