How Often and How Much To Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy?

Golden Retriever puppies


Getting a new furry friend means new responsibilities. From puppyhood itself, you should be feeding the right food so that your canine gets complete & balanced nutrition.

Golden retriever puppy would eat anything and everything you offer. So, be concerned about what you feed and what nutrients your pup will get from the food.

Before feeding anything, make sure the food contains adequate proteins, fats, and other nutrients. Note that you cannot feed adult dog food to a puppy, because puppies have different nutrition requirements.

Cute golden retriever puppy

How much to feed a Golden Retriever puppy depends on factors like age, activeness, health conditions, nutrients in the food, etc.

On average, a 2-month-old Golden puppy may need 2¼ cups of food a day. Between 3-4 months of age, it may need 2¾ “ 3 cups of food per day. At 5-6 months, 3 cups. At 7-8 months, 3“ 3½ cups. And between 9-12 months, 3-4 cups.

However, as each doggy is different, it’s advisable to talk to the vet before making any changes in the diet.

Besides purchasing high-quality food for your Golden Retriever puppy, it is essential to feed the right amounts as overfeeding or underfeeding can create troubles.

Before talking about how often and how much you should be feeding your Golden pup, let’s first talk about the weaning period.

Golden Retriever Puppy Weaning

For the first few weeks, a newborn Golden puppy should get the mothers milk (known as colostrum) only. Mother’s milk includes all the essential nutrients and antibodies to keep the puppy healthy.

If it is an orphaned puppy or the mother’s milk is not available for some reason, you can feed the puppy milk replacer.

Once your Golden pup ages 3-4 weeks, it is time to start weaning. You can start feeding some solid food and make your pup rely less on maternal milk.

The puppy should be fully weaned at about 8-12 weeks of age.

How Often Should I Feed My Golden Retriever Puppy?

When your furry friend is 2-3 months old and fully weaned, you can start feeding protein-rich, high-quality puppy food.

Age No. of meals per day
2-6 months 3
6-12 months 2

Between 2 to 6 months of age, feed 3 meals per day: morning, midday, and evening. After six months, you can feed 2 times a day. Puppies need more feedings than adult dogs to support their health and overall growth.


How Much Should I Feed My Golden Retriever Puppy?


Golden Retriever puppies

Feeding the right amount of food is critical for the puppy’s growth. Puppies eat more than adult dogs as they grow. Now that doesn’t mean you should feed a lot when they are young. Overfeeding can result in health issues like obesity, joint problems, etc.

On the other hand, underfeeding will lead to problems like illness, weak immune system, skin & coat issues, etc. In short, you want to maintain the right balance.


Golden Retriever Puppy Feeding Chart


Puppy Age Amount of Food
Two Months Old 1 ½ Cups Per Day
Three Months Old 2 Cups Per Day
Four Months Old 2 ½ Cups Per Day
Five to Six Months Old 3 Cups Per Day
Six to Seven Months Old (males only) 3 ½ to 4 Cups Per Day (Females stay on 3 cups)

After 12 to 16 months of age, you can switch from puppy food to Golden Retriever adult food.

The above table is a rough estimate of the quantity of food you should be feeding. Depending on the food product you select, the advisable food quantity per day may vary. So, discussing this with the vet before changing your puppy’s diet is best.


What To Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy?

When buying food for your Golden Retriever puppy, make sure it has essential nutrients like protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and water.

There are many puppy food brands in the market, each with different nutrients and ingredients.

To support a growing Goldie, you need to feed nutritious (rich in protein and healthy fats) food. I recommend Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food. It is formulated especially for Golden Retriever puppies based on their nutritional needs.

Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy Food – Feeding Chart

Age Royal Canin Puppy food (cups per day)
2 months 2 +  cups
3 months 3 cups
4 months 3 + 3¼ cups
5 months 3 + cups
6 months 3 +  cups
8 months 3 +cups
10 months 3 + ½ cups
12 months 3 + ½ cups

Royal Canin Puppy Food contains 27% protein, 14% fat, 5.9% fiber, and 10% moisture. Kibble size not being too large or too small, it is designed to promote chewing.

How To Slow Down A Golden Puppy That is Eating Too Fast?

Golden Retrievers have a great obsession with food. Food is the major motivation factor for them. Most Golden Retrievers are fast eaters.

You must have noticed how excited the doggy gets when you are about to feed. The love and excitement toward food are okay, but the problem is their habit of eating so quickly.

If your Golden Retriever puppy doesn’t chew the food properly and eats too fast, its a cconcern. It increases the chances of health issues like choking, vomiting and bloating (GDV or gastric dilatation-volvulus). Fortunately, there are some ways you can slow your Golden puppy eating down.

Slow feeder bowls

Instead of serving the food in a normal bowl, start using a slow feeder. With a slow feeder bowl, your Goldie would enjoy every bite of the kibble. It would make your canine each meal interactive.

Food puzzles

A food puzzle toy is a nice way to make feeding interactive and fun. Like a slow feeder, a food puzzle toy also slows down fast eating. Food puzzle toys are different in the way that the pup has to use its intelligence to unlock the puzzle to get the food. Besides correcting fast eating habits, puzzle toys promote physical and mental stimulation.

Snuffle Mat

The use of a snuffle mat wont just slow down your puppys eating speed, it will also burn excess energy. The puppy has to use its nose and brain to find the hidden kibbles inside the mat, which also makes it great for mental stimulation.


Hand feed

Hand feeding is also a great way to slow down a quick eater doggy. When you serve the food in a normal bowl, the pup wants to eat everything immediately, as quickly as possible. You can teach your puppy to be patient and make him enjoy every piece of kibble by hand feeding. Apart from this, it also helps to build a strong bond with your puppy and prevent the pup’s shyness & fear.

Human Foods Your Golden Retriever Pup Can & Cannot Eat

Many dog owners often feed human foods to their dogs, thinking it would benefit their health. Any food healthy for humans doesn’t mean it is healthy for dogs as well.

Golden retriever puppy in grass

Some human foods can be really toxic to dogs that they can even cause serious health issues. Does that mean you should stop feeding all human foods? No. Dogs arent toxic to all human foods. Here is the list of human foods Golden Retrievers can and cannot eat:

People Food Golden Retrievers Can Eat

  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Fish
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Quinoa
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Wheat/grains
  • Ham
  • Honey
  • Cashews
  • Corn
  • Coconut
  • Popcorn

People Food Golden Retrievers Cant Eat

  • Alcohol
  • Almonds
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ice cream
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes (Raw or Green)
  • Tomato (Green)
  • Hops
  • Salt
  • Tea & Coffee
  • Avocado
  • Black walnuts
  • Blue cheese
  • Yeast dough
  • Horse chestnuts (Conkers)
  • Mushrooms (Wild)
  • Xylitol (Toothpaste)

Related Questions


When To Stop Feeding Golden Retriever puppy food?


Between 12 to 18 months of age, you can stop feeding puppy food to your Golden Retriever and switch to adult food.


How much should I feed my 8-week-old Golden Retriever puppy?


The 8-week-old Golden Retriever puppy should get 2¼ cups of puppy food a day. Divide it into three meals: morning, midday, and evening.


Is a 1-year-old Golden Retriever still a puppy?


Yes, a 1-year-old Golden Retriever can be called a puppy. The Goldie might have almost reached its final height by 1 year of age, but mentally it has not grown yet. Golden Retrievers are physically matured at 18-24 months and mentally at three years of age.


Why is my Golden Retriever always hungry?

If you notice your Golden Retriever starving even after feeding food, there might be an issue. Possible reasons are lack of enough nutrients in the diet, illness, boredom, separation anxiety, cut on treats, or it could natural instinct. It is advisable to talk to the vet regarding this issue.


Final Thoughts


Feeding the right food and in the right quantity supports the puppy’s health and growth. Puppies tend to have higher nutritional requirements than adult dogs. As a responsible dog owner, make sure whichever food product you select contains the right amount of essential nutrients like protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc. And, never feed human foods that are toxic to dogs. These include chocolate, almonds, garlic, alcohol, ice cream, avocado, and many more.


Also Read: When Do Golden Retrievers Stop Teething?


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Brandon Dickinson

Brandon Dickinson

I love playing and spending time with pups. On RetrieverPaws, I share tips, guides, and my experiences with retriever dogs (Labrador and Golden Retrievers mainly).

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