Golden retrievers are one of the most popular pets to own not just in North America, but around the world. If you are considering adopting one or have recently done so, knowing how much to feed a golden retriever puppy is essential in puppy growth and development.
Knowing the type of food they should eat, how much they should eat, and even how often they should eat are all important factors that you need to take into consideration when it comes to your growing dog. Don’t feel overwhelmed.
Taking care of your puppy can be done well. This is what you need to know.
How Much Should A Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?
The amount of food that you will need to feed your golden retriever puppy will go up and down throughout their puppyhood. In the beginning, your puppy’s stomach will be very small and will not capable of taking in much food at a time.
But, he will grow quickly and need more food to accommodate his needs. A young puppy will only eat about 1.5 cups of food a day, but a larger puppy might need as much as 3 to 4 cups of food a day. It depends on his caloric needs, where he is in the growth cycle, and the size of the dog.
Golden Retriever Puppy Feeding Chart
How Much? An 8 week old golden retriever puppy will only eat about 1.5 cups of food a day. By 4 months, he should be at 3 cups and up to 4 cups around 6 months.
What to Expect: You can expect your puppy’s appetite to gradually increase over time. Puppies will need a lot more food during periods of high growth, but then you will need to decrease the amount you are feeding him to keep him healthy as he reaches adulthood.
Careful: Some puppies will inhale their food as quickly as possible. They often might deceive you by trying to show you that they are hungry when they are not. That’s why it’s important to stick to the Golden Retriever puppy feeding chart.
Our Recommended Dog Food For Golden Retriever Puppies
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula (Editor’s Choice)
2. Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy Food (Runner-Up)
3. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice (Budget Friendly)
How Much To Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy?
2 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
A 2 week old golden retriever puppy is going to just have opened his eyes for the first time to see the world around him. At this age, he will not be able to walk far as he is still uncoordinated with his front and hind legs.
His food source should entirely be his mother, who should have easy access to her puppies, in addition to being well fed herself. Nursing mothers need a high calorie diet. If you notice that there are pups in the litter not gaining weight as quickly as others, talk to your vet about supplementing.
3 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
A 3 week old golden retriever should still be entirely reliant upon his mother’s milk for food. She should still be willingly nursing her pups. Your puppy is not ready for weaning so do not attempt it yet. He is still uncoordinated, but might bramble around a little more as he builds up muscles in his legs.
He should be able to wander from his littermates to urinate, but he won’t get very far. Continue to monitor your puppy’s weight and size. If you have any growth concerns, don’t hesitate to confirm that he is doing ok with the vet.
4 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
When your golden retriever puppy has reached 4 weeks, you should notice an increase in his energy level. He will still need a lot of rest, but should be getting around a little more. A 4 week old Golden Retriever puppy is not going to be weaned yet either, but you can try to see if he would be interested in puppy food.
Start with a mixture that is ¼ food and ¾ water. Put it in front of the puppy to see if he is interested, but he most likely won’t be yet. If he tastes it, it will not be much at all.
5 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
At 5 weeks, you should continue to offer a golden retriever puppy the food mixture that you have made to see if he is interested in taking it. If he is still not interested in it at this point, don’t worry. Even if he tastes it, his stomach is so small that he will not be able to consume much of it.
He should be still reliant on his mother’s milk, though she may be less willing to nurse on demand as the puppies should be getting their milk teeth. She should let him nurse still for several times during the day.
6 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
If your 6 week old Golden Retriever puppy has not been interested in the puppy food up until this point, it should be the 6th week that piques his interest. If your puppy seems excited by the puppy food and manages to eat much of it for several days, you can start to decrease the amount of water that you were putting into the mixture up to the point that he is only eating puppy food.
His mother should still be nursing him as well, but it will be less often and for shorter intervals. Allowing her space from the puppies will help the weaning process.
7 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
By 7 weeks, your golden retriever puppy should be eating puppy food throughout the day. He should also still be receiving some mother’s milk, though some breeders are keener on having the pups wean sooner so they can be rehomed sooner.
If your puppy is still getting some mother’s milk, it will be a kind of drive-by nursing. She will most likely not even lay down for the pups to nurse, instead offering them a quick chance to nurse before she runs off again. If your puppy is struggling with weaning, up the amount of water in the food and try again.
8 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
This is a big week for your pup. An 8 week old golden retriever puppy is ready to be rehomed, leaving his mom and littermates behind. He should have already been switched to puppy food, so this should not be too difficult.
If the breeder was feeding the puppy food that you are not going to give the puppy, try to make any changes slowly so that the puppy has a chance of adapting to the new food without getting sick. He should be getting 3 to 4 meals a day, with the amount divided equally between meals.
9 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
If you are now considering changing the puppy’s food and did not do it the previous week, the easiest way to go about it is to mix the old food with the new food, helping your puppy’s stomach adjust to the change.
At 9 weeks old, your puppy is still getting used to life away from his litter, so be patient with him as he handles a lot of change. Your puppy will not be eating much food at a time, maybe 1.5 cups of food in total throughout the day. Stick with 3 meals if you can.
10 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
Your 10 week old golden retriever puppy will be getting more energy by now. The more energy that he has to burn, the more calories that he needs to take in to help him grow. His body should be getting longer. You might need to increase his food to 2 cups, divided equally throughout the day.
If your puppy does not eat all of his food during a meal, take the dish away after about 15 minutes to help him get on feeding schedule. This will help let him know when he can expect food and keep begging to a minimum.
11 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
If your 11 week old puppy has not shown you all of the trouble that he can get in to, he will soon. At 11 weeks, he should be eating about 2 cups of food throughout the day, but he also might be eating anything that he can get his mouth on.
Make sure to keep your floors clear of items and keep an eye on the puppy anytime he is outside to make sure that he isn’t eating anything that he shouldn’t be eating. If you are concerned that he ate something that might be dangerous, call your vet right away.
12 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
Your 12 week old golden retriever puppy is likely to have a large appetite. You might need to feed him 2.5 cups a day, depending on his needs. If your puppy is eating his food too quickly and getting himself sick, you can put a large clean rock in the middle of his food dish to give him something to work around and slow him down.
Make sure to stay with puppy food as well. A 12 week old puppy needs the high calorie diet that comes with puppy food and cannot get that from adult dog food.
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Our choice for the best dog food for golden retriever puppies is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula. The first ingredient in this food is deboned chicken, followed by chicken meal. This is not a grain-free food, but it does not have any of the most common sources of allergies, including corn, soy, and wheat.
- Contains no common allergens
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help with coat
- DHA and ARA for healthy brain and eye development
- Calcium and other vitamins for bone growth
- High quality protein
- High protein levels can cause stomach upset
2. Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy
Our second choice for golden retriever puppy food is the Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy food. This food has been especially formulated with golden retrievers in mind. You can feed your golden retriever puppies this food from ages 8 weeks up to 15 months. This also is made to support digestive health while helping with intestinal flora to keep everything balanced.
- Made specifically for golden retrievers
- Contains good nutrients for skin health
- Good for digestive health
- Contains antioxidants
- Good size for ease of chewing
- Contains corn and other potential allergens
3. American Journey Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Puppy
If you are looking for a puppy food that is easier on the wallet, we suggest the American Journey Puppy food that is made with chicken and brown rice. This food does not have any of the common allergens and the first ingredient is deboned chicken and the second is chicken meal as well.
- Contains no corn, soy, or wheat
- Contains balanced calcium and phosphorus for bone growth
- The first ingredient is real chicken
- Has both ARA and DHA which are good for brain and eye development
- Uses nutrient-dense ingredients
- Not a grain-free food
2 Month Old Golden Retriever Puppy Weight
When your golden retriever puppy is 2 months old, you can expect him to weigh anywhere from 5 to 17 pounds, with 10 being about average. Some dogs are naturally bulkier than others, but sometimes the difference is simply access to food in the litter.
This is not a good indication of how much your puppy will weigh when he is a full-grown dog. He probably is not eating much in the way of food yet since his stomach is still small.
3 Month Old Golden Retriever Puppy Weight
By 3 months, you can expect your golden retriever puppy to weigh between 16 and 33 pounds. The third month is a huge growth period for goldens, so your pup should have easily doubled his weight during this period.
His appetite should also have increased as his growing body demands more calories. Your puppy should be getting longer and lankier at this age, thinning out a bit.
4 Month Old Golden Retriever Puppy Weight
When your golden retriever puppy is 4 months old, he should weigh somewhere between 22 and 44 pounds. The growth rate should be slowing down a bit, but his appetite surely has increased.
Many golden retrievers will eat as much food as they can get their mouths on, wolfing it down quickly, so do not feed your puppy based on his apparent want for food, but instead based on your feeding schedule.
5 Month Old Golden Retriever Puppy Weight
At the age of 5 months, your golden retriever puppy should weigh between 25 and 57 pounds. You will have noticed a dramatic reduction in the puppy’s growth at this point. He still has a ways to go, but it will happen at a much slower rate, finally reaching his adult size around 18 months.
Keep your golden as slim as possible to prevent pressure on their growing bones and keep them healthy and active.
6 Month Old Golden Retriever Puppy Weight
When your golden retriever puppy has reached 6 months old, you can expect him to weight between 27 and 72 pounds. The reason there is such a dramatic range is based on the type of golden retriever that you have, whether you have a female or a male dog, and the body type of your dog.
Lighter is better when it comes to golden retrievers, so make sure you can clearly see his waist and that you have him on the right food.
Golden Retriever Background
Golden retrievers were created as a breed in the 19th century in Scotland. Lord Tweedmouth, an avid waterfowl hunter, wanted to create a breed that was a good hunter as well as a good companion. Tweedmouth originally used a yellow Labrador retriever and bred him with a Tweed Water Spaniel, which is a breed that no longer exists.
He kept the dogs that had the golden fur and the demeanour that he was looking for. As a result, goldens are wonderful family pets and dedicated bird hunters by nature. It’s no wonder they are such a popular breed.
Creating A Consistent Feeding Schedule
Golden retrievers are one of many breeds that have no qualms about eating until they burst and that’s why you should know how much to feed a Golden Retriever puppy before you adopt one. If they have access to food, often they will just eat endlessly. This is why having a consistent feeding schedule for your golden retriever is so important.
Having a set amount of food given on a set schedule will help train your puppy to know when to eat. Controlling the amount is key in ensuring that your puppy does not put on any excess weight. This will also help keep his digestion regular, reducing the amount of gastric upset he might experience.