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 be 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 supplements.
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 several times during the day.
6 Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy
If your 6 weeks 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 a proper Golden Retriever 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 into, 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.
What Nutrients Does A Golden Retriever Puppy Need
It is a little-known fact that different dog breeds would have different requirements when it comes to their nutrition. This is true because no dog breed is the same, as dogs have different builds, features, and genetics that would require a different diet.
Golden retrievers are no different, as they are playful, energetic, and intelligent. Their beautiful coats make them stand out amongst dogs. Their nutritional requirements are as follows:
Golden retrievers should have a diet that consists of 30% protein at least. You can consider anything less than this to be a diet that is lacking in protein.
This is because they are active dogs, and they need this protein to maintain their muscles, more so than other breeds. They can get this protein from chicken, fish, beef, or any type of animal protein.
It is good for Golden Retrievers to have at least 12 – 18% fat content in their diets. Many people believe that this amount of fat may be unhealthy, but the truth is, a certain amount of fat is needed to perform bodily functions in your dog.
Of course, healthy fats are better like Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which give golden retrievers beautiful healthy coats. This can be found in meats like salmon and chicken.
Carbohydrates are a point of contention since many believe that carbohydrates are not needed by dogs. However, it is good for dog food to have a minimum of 20 – 25% carbohydrates.
If your dog is not that active, this amount should be reduced because you do not want an overweight Golden Retriever. If these carbohydrates have a certain amount of fiber, it would be much better for your golden retriever.
Fiber is needed by your Golden Retriever because it helps with his gut health. Your dog needs soluble and non-soluble fiber in his diet that can be gained from fruits and vegetables.
This would help to regulate his digestive system and can be found in foods like beets, pumpkins, carrots, apples, and broccoli.
You should always do your best to never feed your Golden Retriever foods that have fillers like soy, corn, or wheat.
How Many Calories Does A Golden Retriever Puppy Need
Even though Golden Retrievers are known to be active dogs, they can gain weight quite easily if their diet is not correct. To make the decision about how many calories you should be feeding your golden retriever, you need to look at his weight, age, and level of activity.
- When he is two months old, you should give him 1 ½ cups of food daily
- When he is seven months old, give him 3 to 4 cups of food daily
- Adult Golden Retrievers that are active, require about 1,300 to 1,700 calories daily
- Senior Golden retrievers require about 900 calories daily
Please consider these to be a guide and consult your veterinarian if you are unsure about anything.
Another method you can use to find the right amount of food to feed your golden retriever is the RER method. This is the resting energy requirements of your dog, found by multiplying his weight in kilograms to the power of ¾ by 70.
For instance, if you have a puppy that weighs 10 kg all you need to do is multiply this amount by the power of ¾ by 70. You should get an RER of 70 X 10kgs ¾ = 400 calories per day.
Can You Feed Your Golden Retriever Puppy Raw Food?
Some dog owners prefer to feed they are golden retrievers raw food as opposed to kibble. A diet that is raw means that you only give him raw bones, row organs, raw meats, as well as fruits and vegetables. Many consider this raw diet to be better than kibble.
In all truth, kibble may not be ideal for your Golden because dogs are carnivores who require high amounts of protein. Many of the kibble on the market has approximately 60% carbohydrates.
Dogs need more protein and fats for good nutrition. When dogs consume too much carbohydrates, they tend to have health problems from being overweight.
However, there are downsides to a raw diet because one must be careful about the way the food is prepared and stored.
You would need to think about the bacteria like salmonella and E Coli coming from the uncooked liver, meat, and eggs which can affect your dog and even be fatal if not handled properly. It can also cause issues with the pancreas if introduced too abruptly.
When your dog is on a raw diet, the amount of food you give him would need to be adjusted, as he may actually need to eat less. Many people who give dogs raw food only feed them once or twice per day.
What Human Foods Can A Golden Retriever Puppy Eat
There is a lot of human food that golden retrievers can eat in moderation. Humans consume protein, fats, and fiber. Dogs can eat these foods as well. Proteins like fish, eggs, beef, turkey, chicken, and salmon.
They can also have vegetables that are cooked and carbs in small proportions like pasta. They can even eat some dairy products.
Please keep that in mind that golden retrievers tend to gain weight, so it is always better to feed them more protein.
The vegetables are also good because they provide much-needed fiber for the digestive system, but give them carbohydrates only in small amounts, especially if they do not exercise that much.
Feeding Length Of Your Golden Retriever Puppy
For Golden Retrievers you should monitor the amount of time they take to eat. In general, you should give them about 20 to 30 minutes to complete a meal.
If for some reason he is unable to finish in that amount of time, then remove the remaining food and give him the amount he was able to eat. It is not advised to use the leftover kibble from the last meal to the next meal you give him.
If he’s completing all the kibble in less than a half-hour, you can increase the amount just a bit. It is a good practice to feed your puppy in the same place every day without distractions so that he can focus on his meal.
When And How To Change The Feeding Of Puppy To Adult
When your Golden Retriever is anywhere from 18 months to 24 months old, you should switch to adult dog food. The large breed puppies take a bit more time to attain adult development, and by two years of age, many of them are still growing.
Whenever your puppy reaches six months, you should begin feeding him twice per day, but you should keep him on puppy food until he reaches adult age.
It is always better to do this gradually as an abrupt switch may not be ideal. If you feed your dog twice per day, you can start giving him adult food mixed in with the one he is used to.
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 a 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 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 the brain and eye development
- Uses nutrient-dense ingredients
- Not a grain-free food
Common Problems With Feeding A Golden Retriever Puppy
Dog parents may encounter a number of problems while attempting to feed the puppy. This may include allergic reactions to the foods they are given and puppies not liking their food. It may be that your puppy doesn’t like their kibble.
This may be because you’ve changed their food up too many times or too abruptly. You may also be giving them table scraps.
Remember that cooked bones are not good to give your dog because they may splinter. Whenever your puppy is not eating, it is likely that there is some problem with the food or their health. At this point, you should pay a visit to your vet to ensure that everything is ok.
How Much Water Should A Golden Retriever Puppy Drink
Golden Retrievers are known to be naturally, highly active dogs and because of this, they drink a lot of water. In general, Golden Retriever puppies require approximately one-half cup of water every two hours. You should observe your puppy to ensure that he is drinking the right amount of water.
It is a good thing if your Golden Retriever gets lots of exercise and if he likes to drink a lot of water after getting exercise. They are a breed that is expected to be engaged in physical activity daily, so this is not an issue.
Dangerous Foods For Golden Retriever Puppies
Golden retrievers are special dogs. Some foods that Golden Retrievers should stay away from are:
- Avocado – They contain persin, which is an oil-soluble toxin, They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes death for dogs who are highly sensitive.
- Chocolate – Chocolate, has a substance called theobromine, which can have a detrimental effect on your dog.
- Grapes and raisins – Grapes and raisins can cause serious complications like kidney failure and even death if your dog eats them.
- Xylitol – This can be found in gum, candies, baked good,s or other sugar-substituted items.
Some other foods that you should look out for are Pips, seeds, and stones, Mushrooms, Nuts, Unripe tomatoes, Onions and garlic, Nutmeg, Broccoli, Rhubarb, Potatoes plants, Persimmon seeds.
What If My Golden Retriever Puppy Won’t Eat
There are many things that could cause a puppy to lose interest in their food, such as infections, pain, organ problems, or the way you’re feeding them. Here are a few of the most common reasons why puppies stop eating as much as they should:
- Stress: Your dog could be in a chaotic home, or perhaps he is being “bullied” by other pets in your home like the cat. Children can abuse pets as well.
- Digestive upset or obstruction: They may eat food that they shouldn’t.
- Digestive infections: There are many viruses such as Parvo, intestinal worms, bacteria, etc.
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 weigh 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 demeanor 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.
Golden Retriever Feeding Guide For Seniors
When your Golden Retriever gets older he will engage in less physical activity and will require fewer calories to maintain an ideal weight.
Your dog will be seen as a senior when he is eight years of age. Therefore, you should ensure that you adjust his diet around this age.
Older Golden Retrievers require approximately 900 calories per day, but you should adjust his caloric intake based on his weight and activity level.
There are commercially sold dog foods that are already adjusted for seniors. If you prepare your own dog food, you will need to reduce the calories primarily through carbs. Golden Retrievers require proper nutrition, especially for their bones and joints.