When it comes to feeding your Golden Retriever, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The amount of food your pup needs will depend on a number of factors, including age, activity level, and weight. The general rule is 2-3 cups per day.
That said, there are some general guidelines you can follow to make sure your Golden Retriever is getting enough to eat at every stage of its development. Feeding dogs can be a tricky path if it’s your first time, but don’t worry because we’re here to help.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Much Food Should I Feed A Golden Retriever?
- 2 What Should A Golden Retriever Eat?
- 3 Types Of Dry Dog Food For Your Golden Retriever
- 4 Foods You Should Not Feed A Golden Retriever
- 5 Golden Retriever Feeding Guide By Activity Level:
- 6 How To Transition Your Golden Retriever To New Food
- 7 Common Feeding Problems With Golden Retrievers
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 How much should I feed my Golden Retriever?
- 8.2 What are the best foods for Golden Retrievers?
- 8.3 Can I give my Golden Retriever table scraps?
- 8.4 What are some common feeding problems with Golden Retrievers?
- 8.5 How many times a day should a Golden Retriever eat?
- 8.6 Is 2 cups of food enough for a Golden Retriever?
- 9 Final Thoughts
How Much Food Should I Feed A Golden Retriever?
The recommended daily amount of food for Golden Retriever adults is around 2 to 3 cups per day. However, this amount can vary based on the dog’s activity level, food brand, age, and weight.
As a pet parent, you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs but not see them. If you can see your dog’s ribs, they are likely too thin and need to gain weight.
If you cannot feel your dog’s ribs, they are likely too heavy and need to lose weight.
Some people think that they should be chubby and adorable, while others believe that they should be lankier and more graceful.
So, which is it? Well, the truth is that both extremes are actually considered to be normal for Golden Retriever puppies.
Some will be chubbier, while others will be more slender. And as long as they’re healthy and happy, both types are perfectly fine!
As Golden Retriever puppies grow, they are supposed to look lanky. This is because their bodies are growing faster than their muscles can keep up with. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.
However, if you are feeding your Golden Retriever puppy a balanced diet, it should start to fill out and look more muscular as they reach adulthood. Visit our homepage for more tips on choosing the best food for your pet at all stages of its life.
Assuming your dog is healthy and not overweight, she will need more food during pregnancy than usual.
The first three weeks don’t change her metabolism much, but from weeks four to six, she will eat for two, so her calorie requirements will double.
If you’re unsure how much to feed your pregnant Golden Retriever, ask your vet for advice.
What Should A Golden Retriever Eat?
A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential for any dog; Golden Retrievers are no different. Just like any other breed, there are some specific things to remember when it comes to what a Golden Retriever should eat.
They need a diet that is rich in protein and fat to help them maintain their energy levels and muscle mass.
First and foremost, it’s important to ensure that your Golden Retriever is getting enough protein. This is especially important for growing puppies and active adult dogs. A good rule of thumb is to feed them a diet that contains at least 18% protein.
Raw meat is an excellent source of protein and fat for Golden Retrievers. It is also easy for them to digest and contains all the nutrients they need.
Fish is another good option for protein and fat. It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the skin and coat.
Eggs are a great source of protein and contain all the essential amino acids that Golden Retrievers need.
When it comes to carbohydrates, Goldens do best with complex carbs like those found in vegetables and whole grains. Vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet for Golden Retrievers. They provide essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.
Simple carbs from things like sugar and white flour should be avoided as much as possible. Instead, focus on giving your Golden complex carbs that will help give them sustained energy throughout the day.
Every dog is different, and some may have different dietary needs than others.
If you’re ever unsure about what to feed your Golden Retriever, always consult with your veterinarian for guidance. This Golden Retriever feeding chart is only a guide.
0- 6 weeks
From newborns to one week old, for the first few days after birth, your Golden puppy won’t need any food other than its mother’s milk.
Colostrum, the milk produced by the mother dog, is packed with antibodies and the proper nutrition that help protect puppies from disease and give them a head start on life.
If the mother rejects her pups or can’t produce enough milk to keep up with her hungry litter, then there is the option of puppy formula.
Each meal should consist of 2-4 tablespoons of puppy formula or milk replacer. For the first two weeks, you can mix the formula or milk replacer with a little bit of warm water to make it easier for your puppy to drink.
Once your pup starts to nurse less frequently or not at all, you can begin offering it small amounts of puppy formula or whole milk replacement.
At around 3 and a half weeks to 4 weeks, you can start introducing wet puppy food and 75% water. If your puppy does not take any interest in this, don’t be alarmed, as this is quite normal.
After this point, the puppy’s teeth should be starting to grow. At five weeks old, your puppy will have grown its puppy teeth. By six weeks old, the puppy should eat three to four meals daily.
6 weeks to 12 weeks
Puppies will need more frequent, smaller meals. A Golden puppy should eat about 1 and a half cups of puppy food per day, divided into four meals. Some brands might require you to give your dog more food, so check the label for guidance.
3 to 6 months
The average Golden puppy at this age should eat about 2 to 3 cups of puppy food per day, split into three meals. Again, the exact amount depends on the brand and your pup’s weight, but make sure you feed your dog small, frequent meals.
6 to 12 months
During the 6 to 12 months period, your Golden Retriever will continue to grow and develop. Your puppy’s weight will start to increase as it should.
Their activity levels will also start to increase as they become more playful. As a result, their appetite will also begin to increase.
It is important to continue to feed them a high-quality diet that is rich in nutrients and calories. At 12 months, they can start adult food.
Types Of Dry Dog Food For Your Golden Retriever
There are many types of dry dog food on the market, and it can be hard to decide which one is right for your Golden Retriever.
Here are some of the most popular types of dry dog food for Golden Retrievers. Don’t forget to read the cups per day on the packaging as each food is different.
Merrick Classic Grain-Free dry dog food
This dry dog food from Merrick is made with real deboned chicken and fresh vegetables such as sweet potato. It’s grain-free and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. There is also a beef option.
This formula is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for Golden Retrievers’ skin and coat health.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free dry dog food
This grain-free dry dog food from Blue Buffalo contains deboned chicken, turkey, and duck as its primary ingredients.
It’s also supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your golden retriever’s overall health. This formula is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives as well.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free dry dog food
This grain-free dry dog food from Wellness CORE is made with deboned turkey, chicken meal, and duck meal as its primary ingredients.
It’s rich in protein and omega fatty acids to support your Golden Retriever’s healthy skin and coat.
This formula is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Acana is a premium pet food. If you are someone who wants to feed a Golden Retriever the best dog diet out there, Acana is for you.
Check out their puppy food range, where they supply wet food, dry food, and treats. Everything you need under one brand? Count us in!
Foods You Should Not Feed A Golden Retriever
When buying dog food, ensure that it is free of the following: Ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, propylene glycol, or sodium nitrate/nitrite.
Why should you stay away from these additives? These can cause cancer.
You should also stay clear of food that has animal intestines in it. Semi-moist dog food is also a no-no, as these foods are usually filled with artificial colors and sugars.
Most Golden Retrievers don’t do well on a diet that contains corn or soy. This is because most Goldens are allergic to corn.
Somewhat alarmingly, Petco announced in 2021 that they were no longer going to be selling rawhide treats in their stores. This is because rawhide can cause intestinal blockages (rawhide will not dissolve in the stomach).
Rawhide treats get preserved with chemicals such as chromium salts and formaldehyde. Tests were done on some rawhide treats, and it was found that lead, mercury, and arsenic showed up. So put this on your list of things you don’t want to and should not feed a Golden Retriever!
Golden Retriever Feeding Guide By Activity Level:
The activity level of a Golden Retriever puppy
A Golden Retriever puppy stays a puppy until they are approximately 1 year old. The general rule for their exercise needs is 2 x 5 Minutes for every month they have been alive. So if your pup is 4 months old, they’ll need 2 exercise sessions a day, each lasting around 20 minutes.
What does this mean in terms of feeding?
The amount of Golden Retriever puppy food they’ll need is related to their activity levels. The more active they are, the hungrier they’re going to get and the more you’ll need to feed them!
Okay, so what’s the usual weight of a Golden Retriever puppy?
A 6-month-old male can weigh around 35-45 pounds. A 6-month-old female will usually be a bit lighter, around 30-35 pounds. Knowing their weight will help you know how much to feed them (puppy food can be measured according to the dog’s weight).
The activity level of a Golden Retriever adult
Adult Golden Retrievers are still active and playful. But how much exercise do they really need?
Adult Goldies generally need anything from 30 minutes to two hours of exercise per day, depending on their activity level and health. If your Retriever is particularly active and in good health, you may need to increase their exercise time.
Less active Retrievers may be content with a shorter walk or play session. However, all dogs need some form of daily exercise to stay healthy and fit.
If you’re unsure about how much exercise your dog needs, talk to your veterinarian or a certified animal behaviorist. They can help you create an appropriate exercise plan for your dog based on its unique needs.
Once you’ve got all that figured out, you’ll need to work out how much to feed them.
Of course, active adult dogs will require more food than more sedentary furbabies (just like us). Use the packaging as a guide, but also some common sense. If your dog is getting a little plumper than before, it’s time to start feeding them less!
Activity level of a Golden Retriever senior
The senior stage is when your Goldie hits the age of 8 and above. As a general rule, the activity level of a senior dog should die down. However, this can vary depending on the individual dog’s health. At this point, you should incorporate a diet that has fewer calories; you should reduce the number of calories by 20%-30%.
You should try to buy senior dog food as these food types help with their heart and joints, increasing their chances of having a long and happy life.
If your senior dog is still healthy and active, it may need more food than a less active dog. It’s important to talk to your veterinarian about your individual dog’s needs.
How To Transition Your Golden Retriever To New Food
The first step in transitioning your Golden Retriever to new food is to slowly mix the new food in with its current food. Begin by adding a small amount of the new food to their bowl and gradually increasing it each day.
It’s important to do this slowly so their stomach can adjust to the new food.
Once you’ve been slowly mixing the new food in for a week or so, you can start giving them all of the new food. At this point, you may also want to start decreasing the number of treats they’re getting.
This is because treats can often throw off a dog’s digestive system and make it more difficult for them to adjust to new food.
If you notice your Golden Retriever is having any stomach problems after transitioning to the new food, be sure to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to help you troubleshoot any issues and get your pup back on track.
Common Feeding Problems With Golden Retrievers
There are several common feeding problems that can occur with this breed, whether you have dark Golden Retrievers or an English Cream Goldie. Some of the most common problems include bloat, pancreatitis, and allergies and they can occur in adult dogs as well as in puppies.
Bloat is a condition that can occur when a dog overeats or drinks too much water too quickly.
This can cause the stomach to become bloated and twisted, making it difficult for the dog to breathe. If not treated promptly, bloat can be fatal.
Pancreatitis is another common feeding problem in Golden Retrievers. This is an inflammation of the pancreas that can be caused by eating fatty foods.
Pancreatitis can be very painful and can lead to serious health complications if not treated promptly.
Allergies are also a common problem in Golden Retrievers.
Many dogs are allergic to certain ingredients in their food, such as corn or wheat. Allergies can cause several symptoms, including itchiness, excessive scratching, and hair loss.
How much should I feed my Golden Retriever?
A Golden Retriever should be eating about two and a half cups of food per day. This can be split into two meals or one large meal (although your dog might start begging for more food before its next mealtime!).
If you are feeding your Golden Retriever twice a day, then each meal should be about one and a quarter cups of food. If you are feeding your Golden Retriever once a day, then the meal should be about two and a half cups of food. These amounts can vary depending on the food brand, and the age, activity level, and weight of your Golden Retriever.
What are the best foods for Golden Retrievers?
Goldies need a diet that is rich in protein and fat to help them maintain their energy levels and muscle mass.
Some of the best food options for Golden Retrievers include raw meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
Can I give my Golden Retriever table scraps?
Sure, you can give your Golden Retriever table scraps now and then, but you shouldn’t make a habit of it. Human foods can sometimes be unhealthy for dogs and can even lead to obesity. If you do give your dog table scraps, make sure they’re small and lean, and avoid giving them bones or fatty foods.
What are some common feeding problems with Golden Retrievers?
Golden Retrievers are prone to a few different types of feeding problems. One common issue is that they tend to eat too fast, which can lead to bloating and other digestive issues.
Another common problem is that they often beg for food, which can lead to obesity if they’re not properly monitored. As noted above, feeding table scraps can also become problematic and result in both begging and obesity too.
How many times a day should a Golden Retriever eat?
An adult Golden Retriever should eat twice daily (on average). The amount of food will depend on the size, age, brand of food, and activity level of your dog.
Is 2 cups of food enough for a Golden Retriever?
This will depend on their age, activity level, and weight. It also depends on the food brand and its feeding guidelines. Most adult Goldens will need a bit more than this, around 2.5 cups of food daily. Remember, they’re a pretty large and energetic breed!
As a general rule, Golden Retrievers should be fed twice a day. However, the amount of food they need will vary depending on their age, activity level (active dogs/non-active dogs), and overall health. Do your homework about your dog’s food allergies so you feed your Golden the best dog foods.
This feeding information is a helpful guide to ensure that your Retriever is getting the right amount of food for their individual needs.
Remember a Golden Retriever puppy feeding chart is completely different from adult and senior Golden Retriever feeding charts.
Knowing how to feed your Golden and what dog foods to get is an important step to a happy life for you and your dog.
Golden Retrievers make wonderful family pets, but you must make sure they have a nutritious diet, so they maintain a healthy weight. A Golden Retriever’s diet can consist of a raw diet, a home-cooked diet/homemade food, store-bought food such as dry food, and more.