How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?

A golden retriever puppy requires three meals a day until they reach adult age. At this time, you can feed them a couple of times each day. How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? The meal size can differ from puppy to puppy, but the average for a three-month-old golden retriever puppy is 2 cups of food daily. At this point, you should divide the food for three meals and serve it during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Facts About Feeding a Golden Retriever Puppy- How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?

How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat

Built-in timer

You will find that your Golden retriever puppy just knows when they’re about to be served a meal. They know the schedule as if they have a built-in timer. It is crucial to give them three meals per day during puppyhood, reducing the amount to two meals a day for the rest of their adult life. A majority of breeders and professional trainers choose to feed a couple of times each day. Sure, there are lots of dogs who will eat only once per day but giving smaller portions is more satisfying. It also promotes optimum weight control and prevents bloat. Additionally, your dog will be excited to get that food bowl filled twice a day.

Free feeding

Some dog owners will suggest that free feeding, otherwise known as free choice, is best. They consider it more convenient, and it surely is. However, it is more challenging to housebreak a puppy used to free choice. Without a proper meal schedule, what goes in will come out at unexpected times. Additionally, free-feeding makes it more challenging to control the amount your puppy eats. It is crucial to monitor the calorie intake of fast-growing breeds such as the Golden retriever. Eventually, your dog might have health issues that will require enforcing a disciplined feeding program.

Feeding time

You may want to feed your puppy early at 7 am and once again by noon. At dinnertime, serve them their meals no later than 6 pm. Please don’t feed them beyond 6 pm for better house training and do not give them water after the clock hits 7 pm. You might want to offer them an ice cube for them to lick in case they get thirsty.

Three meals a day

Your golden retriever will require three meals for several weeks. Begin feeding them daily when they are 11 or 12 weeks old. Meal portions will differ with each puppy, but typically golden puppies of seven weeks can finish off 1/3 to ½ cup of dry food every meal. Feed your Golden pup dry food. Make sure water is available. Feeding them dry food will help mitigate plaque and tartar forming on the teeth. It is especially crucial to maintain their dental health when the adult teeth have set in.

Some puppies will sniff their food as if it were their last on earth. To make sure that they slow down in the process of eating and follow a healthier pace, you can put a large rock right at the center of their food bowl. It will force them to slow down and eat around it.

Feed your puppy in the same area with little distraction, such as kids, so that they can focus on eating. Allot up to 30 minutes for eating. Offer the same amount of food every meal. Never add leftover kibble from the earlier meal to the next one.

Increasing food portions

How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat

When is it time to increase the food portions of your Golden retriever? When they have gobbled every kibble make sure to increase their portions just a tad. One example is to transition from a leveled 1/3 cup of kibble to a heaping 1/3 cup. Keep adding to this amount as your dog grows and their appetite increases.

Voracious eaters

Some will be voracious eaters, and they will chow down on their food as if it were their last meal on earth. In contrast, some will be very picky and will only nibble at a few pieces. Some puppies will also have varying moods and might be more vigorous eaters at certain times. It shouldn’t be a cause of worry. You should only be alarmed with a puppy that is becoming overweight. Make sure to keep your puppy lean.

What to Feed a Golden Retriever Puppy – How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?

Even before deciding on a food brand to feed your puppy, you must decide what type of food to feed them. Although kibble is the typical choice for large breed puppies, it may not be the best choice. The following are some information about the main types of food you can give your puppy.


Kibble type is ultra-convenient and ensures your golden retriever puppy gets the optimum nutrition they require. Every food that meets the standards of the AAFCO gives optimal nutritional requirements.

Not every kibble brand is equal, however. Most of the cheap kibbles utilize fillers, which is the equivalent of junk food for dogs.

It is crucial to examine ingredients on the package of your puppy food.

Combination of kibble and wet food

Although kibble is a hassle-free food, it doesn’t give your dog enough moisture, which is crucial to a proper diet. A majority of owners choose to give their golden retriever puppy, a combination of kibble and wet food.

Wet food by itself does not give complete and balanced nutrition. It is best utilized as an addition to kibble. It can be the optimal way to give additional moisture to your Golden retriever puppies’ meal. It also has the added benefit of making kibble tastier.

However, the complicated aspect of feeding kibble and wet food is making sure your puppy gets the optimum number of calories.

You might end up giving too much food to your golden retriever puppy, and they will end up growing too fast. It can result in bone and joint issues.

How Much to Feed a Golden Retriever Puppy – How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?


Raw diet

Some dog owners opt to feed their puppies, the BARF diet. BARF is raw food or a combination of bone and raw food. This type of diet has become increasingly popular as well as controversial. Vets cannot agree whether you should feed your dog a raw diet.

Some of the benefits of a raw diet include the following:

  • Better skin health
  • Increased energy levels
  • Shiny coat
  • Clean teeth
  • Small and firm poop

Risks of a raw diet include the following:

  • Tough bones can break teeth and cause choking. It can puncture the digestive system.
  • Raw diets do not provide balanced nutrition.
  • Bacteria present in raw meat can cause sickness in both humans and dogs.
  • Raw diets can be good for adult dogs but never feed your puppy a raw diet!


The amount of calcium and phosphorus is crucial to the development of your puppy. It’s almost impossible to get optimum ratios with a raw food diet. One way to minimize the risks of feeding a raw diet is to give dehydrated raw foods.

Homemade food

A majority of people like cooking for the dogs. When you cook dog food, you know exactly what ingredients are used. You are also not exposing your dog to bacteria and hard bones, which are risks in a raw diet.

The toughest problem with feeding a homemade diet is that it may be difficult to quantify if it is nutritionally complete. You should follow a recipe created by a veterinarian or pet nutritionist.

You also have the option of giving your Golden retriever supplements to ensure that your dog gets all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Dangerous Foods for a Golden Retriever Puppies – How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?

You’re probably aware that some human foods such as chocolates are dangerous to dogs.

Several foods that are harmful to dogs are surprising, however. Make sure to steer clear from giving your golden retriever puppy foods in this list:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Large amounts of citrus fruits
  • Coffee
  • Foods high in fat
  • Garlic, onions, or chives
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Salty foods
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast dough

Ideal Puppy Weight- How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?

Make sure your golden retriever is within a normal weight range. You may be worried about your puppy getting a bit too skinny.

But the top worry is that your puppy might grow too fast if you overfeed them.

How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? It is crucial to be vigilant about your puppy’s weight and make adjustments in their diet as needed. You should be able to feel the ribs of your puppy.

If it is getting difficult to feel your puppy’s ribs, it may be time to cut back on their food portions. In the case your puppy’s ribs have become prominent, make sure to increase the amount of food you feed them.

It is also crucial to monitor the amount of calcium and phosphorus in their diet. High levels of calcium and phosphorus can result in your puppy growing too fast.

Ensure that the puppy food you are giving them contains no more than 1.5% calcium and phosphorus should be no more than .9%.

FAQs – How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?

What if my golden retrievers still hungry?

How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? Overall, golden retrievers are mean eating machines. They will joyfully eat their way to an obese 100 pounds if you give them free rein.

One method to slow down your puppy from eating too fast is to place a huge rock on their food bowl. They will be forced to get their food unstuck from the areas around the rock. This prevents them from scarfing their food speedily.

How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? Utilizing puzzle bowls are another great option to slow down the pace of their eating.

You may also want to give them vegetables as treats. It will help your puppy feel they have eaten a full meal so it will minimize the risk of growing too fast or gaining weight.

What if my Golden Retriever Puppy Won’t Eat?

How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? Dogs that are stressed won’t have much of an appetite. If you just brought home your puppy from the breeder, give them a day to get settled before you start worrying about this issue.

How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? But if your Golden retriever has ceased eating for more than a day or exhibit disturbing symptoms, take them to the vet promptly. Puppies are vulnerable to getting extremely sick very fast.

If you’re in doubt, call your veterinarian and ask them whether you should bring your puppy for a checkup.

Decrease calories after one year

How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? Once your golden retriever puppy reaches the age of one, their growth will have reached a plateau. Meaning it is time to transition to adult dog food that has fewer calories than puppy food.

It should be noted that overfeeding your puppy can result in joint and bone problems. However, overfeeding an adult golden retriever can cause even more severe problems. Obesity is just one damaging consequence of overfeeding.

Some health problems that can result from obesity include the following:

  • Intolerance to heat
  • Breathing issues
  • Arthritis
  • Inefficient immune system function
  • Less physical activity
  • Reduced immune system function
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Liver diseases or dysfunction

Transitioning to a New Food – How Much Should a Golden Retriever Puppy Eat?

How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? Whether you’re changing your puppy’s diet from what the breeder gave them to something you’ve chosen or switching your puppy food to adult food, you must introduce changes gradually. Abrupt changes in their nutrition can cause stomach issues.

You can start by adding tiny pieces of new food to regular food. Gradually get them started on the new food and less of the regular food for a week.

It is typical for stressed dogs to have diarrhea, so it is crucial not to make abrupt changes to your puppy’s nutrition during a stressful time. You may want to continue giving the food they had from the breeder if you just brought them home.

Final thoughts

You are excited to have a brand-new puppy. Of course, it is even more exciting since you are bringing home a golden retriever. It is crucial that on day one, you start giving your puppy a proper diet. How much should a golden retriever puppy eat? Make sure to follow the recommendations of ideal portion sizes. Similar to humans, food can either be a friend or a foe. Overfeeding will result in a host of health problems, so make sure you give your puppy adequate portion sizes.

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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