Golden Retriever Food Guide

You have probably observed your Golden retriever’s fondness for food. No matter how much food you put in their food bowl, your Golden still seems to be hungry. Goldens are big and energetic dogs so expect them to have a ravenous appetite. They will be eating a lot. However, overfeeding your Golden is never a good idea and should be avoided at all costs. A golden retriever food guide is helpful, which is discussed in this article. Knowing exactly how much food your Golden needs can be tricky. But it is essential for their health and well-being. Goldens tend to put on extra weight, which results in bone and joint problems. This condition will only be worsened by unhealthy feeding.

Calorie Requirements – Golden Retriever Food Guide

Golden Retriever Food Guide

Golden retrievers can weigh up to 75 pounds at most and 55 pounds at the lower end. Factoring in the Golden’s average weight, experts recommend a range of 989 calories to 1272 calories per day for golden retrievers that are less active. For active Golden retrievers, the suggested calories range from 1352 to 1740 per day.

This amount increases with pregnant and nursing Golden retrievers. They require 2 to 4 times more. The mother has higher energy requirements, especially after delivery and during nursing.

Food amount

It is crucial to know just how much food your Golden retriever should consume. On average, an adult Golden retriever female should be given two cups per day. Male golden retrievers require about 3 ½ cups per day. But extremely large Golden retrievers will require 4 to 5 cups per day, especially if they are extremely active. Smaller golden retrievers who are less physically active will require 12 ½ cups per day. If you leave your Golden at home when you travel, they will be exercising and playing less. Their caloric requirements will drastically decrease and should even be cut by half.

What About Fast-Growing Puppies? – Golden Retriever Food Guide

A majority of dogs in America are overweight, and large breed American puppies tend to grow fast. Because of this, they are prone to skeletal and joint issues. Several of which may not actually show up until the adult stage.

In contrast to human children, a Golden retriever puppy that is overfed will grow extremely fast. Puppies from the same litter with different feeding routines will vary in growth and size. A 10-week-old puppy that is overfed will grow fast than a puppy fed with healthy portions.

Control the Growth of Your Puppy

If you have a puppy that doesn’t have large parents and seems to be growing too fast, you might want to check if you are overfeeding them. The growth of your puppy needs to be managed and controlled, even if they are not fat.

Feel the ribs

It is crucial not to underfeed your dog. A good way to know if they are within a healthy weight is to feel the ribs lightly. A dog must not be extremely thin to the point that you can visibly see their ribs even when they are wet.

Guidelines for Puppies

  • A majority of dog food brands on the market will instruct feeding beyond healthy portions. Consider the following as a golden retriever food guide for feeding your puppy:
  • Puppies that are ten weeks old require ½ cup of food three times a day.
  • Increase the amount to 3 cups per day when they reach five months for male puppies and six months for female puppies.
  • Once the puppies reach six or seven months, you need to increase the daily amount to 3 ½ cups and even 4 cups for male puppies.

Lanky looking puppies

If the ribs of your puppy are not visible, they are not too thin. Goldens at the puppy stage are supposed to be lanky looking, expect your Golden retriever to always seem hungry even if you feed them optimal amounts. If you overfeed them, they will grow too fast. Keep in mind that in the wild, dogs do not have unlimited access to food. Rather they hunt for their food.

Caloric needs of puppies after a year

When puppies reach the age of 12 to 14 months, their calorie requirements decrease. Full-grown female Golden retrievers only eat about 2 to 2 ½ cups per day when they are not pregnant or lactating. Male golden retrievers required 3 to 3 ½ cups daily. Several males will require 4 cups if they are active and are fed with less expensive food. It is crucial to consider the number of additional calories you feed them as treats.

Monitoring Your Dog’s Weight – Golden Retriever Food Guide

Golden Retriever Food Guide

It is crucial to be watchful of your dog’s weight during their entire lifetime. Regularly feel their ribs about once a month. You must be able to feel their ribs under the muscle and fur. However, it shouldn’t be visible. If the ribs are visible, it is crucial to increase their food portions. Cut down food portions if you cannot feel the ribs. If your dog is extremely active, you must give them more calories. It is better to underfeed a dog rather than overfeed, especially when it comes to puppies.

Home-Made Food – Golden Retriever Food Guide

You might want to consider home-made food for your Golden retriever. It is an ideal way to give them optimal nutrition levels so they will be healthy and allergy-free.

As a Golden retriever owner, your top priority is to make sure that all ingredients utilized in home-made food are safe, and it has the full range of nutritional requirements in every meal.

Remember that transitioning your Golden to home-made food from kibble is a slow adjustment and should be done gradually. Please consider factors such as your Golden’s eating history, weight, and overall health before switching them to home-made food.

Golden Retriever Homemade Food Tips

Once you have chosen a recipe for your Golden, it is time to create it. The following is a golden retriever food guide when it comes to prepping home-made food:

Have a feeding routine

The optimal frequency of feeding your Golden’s is twice a day. For puppies, one month to four months, feed them three times a day. But it is crucial to consult with your vet first.

  • Make meal preparations that can last a week or a month.
  • Measure and manage portion sizes. Consider your dog’s particular calorie needs.
  • Freeze meals for two or three months or refrigerate them for up to five days.
  • Create a fresh batch when the food supply is low.
  • Make multiple batches of food if you want to feed your Golden different recipes. Make sure to color code the ingredients and rotate the different meals.
  • Prep food in bulk portions and store them in containers. Having one container per meal makes it effortless for you to give meals daily.
  • Increase food portions as your puppy grows
  • Be watchful of your dog’s weight and make sure you are feeding them optimal amounts of calories.


It is crucial to understand your Golden retriever’s requirements with a vet nutritionist since every dog has different needs.

Why is consulting with a vet important?

Research shows that about 48% of home-made meals for dogs have no specific system to determine ingredients and quantities. A majority of pet owners lack information regarding the optimal amount to feed their dogs.

Although most dog owners want the best for their furry canines, a majority of them don’t have proper know-how when it comes to dog nutrition. Thus, it is crucial to get professional recommendations on getting started on a home-made diet for your dog. It minimizes the risk of leaving your Golden vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies due to an unhealthy diet.

Guidelines to follow when cooking home-made food for your dog

  • Avoid using toxic ingredients as well as unsafe food products for your dog.
  • Make sure to cook all animal products thoroughly to get rid of dangerous bacteria.
  • Cook all grains and starchy vegetables to make them soft and digestible.
  • Before using an ingredient research on its safety and nutritional components.
  • Follow each step of the recipe.
  • You Might want to consider adding supplements to the home-made meal as needed.
  • Know the impact of switching diets.
  • Consult with your vet prior to changing to a home-made food plan.

Home-Made Nutrition for Golden Puppies – Golden Retriever Food Guide

The diet of a golden retriever puppy will be different from an adult.

As Golden retrievers advance in age, they will need fewer calories. According to the AKC, senior dogs will need 20% fewer calories compared to adult dogs. When it comes to puppies, they will require about twice as many calories per pound of bodyweight comparable to adult dogs of the same breed.

Golden retriever puppies should have the optimum balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins in their homemade meal. Make sure to consult with your vet regarding your puppy’s diet. They will provide you with recommendations and advice for the optimum nutrition plan.

Nutritional Guidelines – Golden Retriever Food Guide


To make sure that your home-made dog food nutrition plan will meet the dietary requirements of your Golden, you must take into account their weight, health, size, and level of activity.

The optimum home-made diet for goldens will always include the six essential nutrients.

Protein sources such as chicken, lamb, and beef – helps build and repair muscles and tissue. Protein is needed for new skin cells and hair growth. Critical organs also require protein sources for normal functioning.

Carbohydrates such as oats and potatoes – are good sources of energy for goldens, and they provide glucose needed for optimal brain functioning.

Fat such as vegetable oils and fish oils – fats provide quality energy. It is necessary for optimum development and functioning of cells, nerves, tissues, and muscles.

Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron – minerals are needed for building bone and cartilage. It is required for the optimum functioning of nerves and muscle. It helps with fluid balance and regulation as well as oxygen transport in the bloodstream and hormone regulation.

Water – water is the optimal hydration for dogs. It should be noted that dogs who lose too much water can become unhealthy and even get sick and die. Make sure that your dog has access to fresh water daily.

Vitamins – vitamins are crucial for keeping skin and coat healthy and smooth. It strengthens the bones and teeth as well as provides optimum energy for proper functioning.


  • Keep in mind that even the best recipes will not include certain nutrients and vitamins. It is crucial to provide your dog with supplements or multivitamins to ensure that they are getting the required vitamins and minerals.
  • Follow a recipe and do not improvise when cooking home-made food for your dog.
  • It might be a challenge for some dog owners to come up with a completely balanced diet without expert help. It is recommended to consult with your vet nutritionist for you to plan the best diet for your Golden retriever.

How to Avoid Health Issues of Goldens With the Proper Nutrition – Golden Retriever Food Guide

If your Golden retriever suffers from the following health problems, giving them home-made food following the recommendations below can get these health issues under control.

Color change on the coat – increase the levels of amino acids obtained from protein sources. Make sure to provide 75 g of protein per 1000 cal.

Gastrointestinal issues– steer clear from foods that contain tryptamine and histamine. These are commonly found in dairy and fermented vegetables as well is as some meats such as bacon.

Itching and dermatitis– enhance their diet with vitamin E and B vitamins. Provide them optimal amounts of omega six and omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish oil. You may want to add a probiotic.

Scaling and dull coat– make sure they have balanced amounts of EPA and DHA levels in their nutrition. You can do this by adding fish oil and zinc.

Dandruff and crusty skin – provide them high levels of zinc and vitamin A.

Final Thoughts

It is crucial to follow a golden retriever food guide to know the best nutrition for your dog. It would be best if you had a food guide for every life stage of your Golden since their nutritional requirements will need to be adjusted as they age. For a home-made diet plan, it is crucial to follow a vet recommended recipe and knowledge of each nutrient and mineral your dog requires.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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