Updated: October 14th, 2020
You have probably noticed that no matter how much food you put in his bowl, your Goldie wants to eat more and acts like he is on brink of starvation! Being a large and energetic dog, your Golden Retriever has a ravenous appetite and can eat a lot. However, overfeeding is never good and could be avoided with the help of a Golden Retriever feeding chart.
Knowing how much to feed your Golden Retriever is always tricky but essential for his well-being and health. Goldens are prone to obesity and joint problems, which can only be exacerbated with an inadequate feeding plan.
Naturally, a Golden Retriever puppy and an older dog don’t have the same nutritional needs, and you will have to base your feeding plan according to your dog’s age, activity level, weight, and overall health.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about feeding your Golden Retriever, whether he is a puppy, adult, or senior. So, stay with me to find the right feeding plan and meal schedule for your Goldie.
Once you bring your Goldie puppy home, it’s crucial that you feed him the right amount of high-quality puppy food. Skipping meals can slow your puppy’s growth and development, but overfeeding can cause your pup to grow too quickly, which can lead to bone and joint problems.
Most first-time owners think that their puppies should be chubby. In truth, Golden Retriever puppies are supposed to look lanky and act like they are always hungry when fed the correct amount of food.
To encourage proper growth and development without making your pup obese, you will have to know how much to feed a Golden retriever puppy.
Here are some general feeding guidelines for puppies:
- Two Months Old: 1 ½ cups a day
- Three Months Old: 2 cups a day
- Four Months Old: 2 ½ cups a day
- Five To Six Months Old: 3 cups a day
- Six To Seven Months Old (male pups only): 3 ½ to 4 cups a day (females should stay on 3 cups/day)
Please note that these are only general guidelines and that it’s extremely difficult to say how much food you should feed to your Golden Retriever puppy. The exact amount will depend on the quality of food you buy, your puppy’s weight, and energy levels. For example, cheaper foods use fillers and have fewer calories, thus you will have to feed more than you would when using premium large breed puppy foods.
Since puppies have higher calorie needs but small stomachs, you will have to follow a Golden Retriever puppy feeding schedule. With the right feeding schedule, your pup will grow and develop properly without being hungry at any point during the day.
You should feed your Golden Retriever puppy three times a day at scheduled intervals until he is six months old. Your pup should have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you can create a feeding plan based on your daily schedule and work commitments.
Once your puppy turns six months, you can start feeding him two times a day, but you should keep him on puppy food until he reaches adulthood.
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How Much To Feed A Golden Retriever?
Golden Retrievers usually weigh from 55 to 75 pounds and reach their full height and weight when they are 12 to 18 months old. Keep in mind that every dog is an individual and that it can take more or less time for your Golden puppy to reach his adult size. However, your Golden’s caloric needs will greatly decrease when he reaches 12 to 14 months and he will no longer need the same amount of food as before.
An adult and active Golden will need to eat between 1,300 to 1,700 calories per day. However, keep in mind that age, weight, activity level, health problems, and overall lifestyle will determine how many calories your Golden needs per day.
For example, nursing mothers and dogs that perform heavy work will need more than 2,000 calories per day in order to maintain their weight and stay healthy. On the other hand, if your pooch is more of a couch potato type than an athlete he will probably need around 1,000 calories a day in order to maintain a healthy weight.
During adulthood, your Golden Retriever feeding schedule should consist of two equally spaced meals – ideally, you should feed your dog in the morning and evening. If you opt for feeding high-quality large breed dog food, an optimal Golden Retriever food amount will be:
- Females: 2 to 2 ½ cups a day
- Males: 3 to 3 ½ cups a day
- Active Males: 4 cups a day
- Nursing Females: 5 to 6 cups a day
Keep in mind that these guidelines work only for high-quality dog foods that contain the right amount of proteins, fats, carbs, and all other essential nutrients. Most cheaper foods contain fewer calories and fillers that don’t have any real nutritional value, so you will have to feed more.
Knowing how much food your Golden Retriever needs can be a tricky task, so whenever in doubt, talk with your vet. He will be able to tell you exactly how much food your Goldie should eat based on his individual dietary needs.
Golden Retriever Feeding Guide For Seniors
As your Goldie gets older he will become less active and will need fewer calories to stay on his ideal weight. Your pooch will be considered a senior when he is eight years old, so make sure to tweak his diet around this age.
An older Golden Retriever will need around 900 calories per day served in two equally spaced meals. However, if your senior dog needs to lose some weight, you will have to put him on a diet and lower his calorie intake.
You should talk with your vet and see if there is a need to transition your pooch to senior dog food at this point or not. Food for older dogs has fewer calories and is supplemented with glucosamine and vitamins that are beneficial for older dogs. However, many seniors continue to eat regular food without any side effects, but you should check just in case you need to change his diet.
How Much Should A Golden Retriever Eat Daily?
On average, an adult Golden Retriever will eat between 2 and 3 ½ cups of food per day. However, the exact amount of food varies from one dog to the next and depends on age, activity level, weight, health problems, and quality of food.
Furthermore, neutered golden Retrievers need fewer calories compared to their unaltered counterparts, and nursing females will have to eat more to maintain their weight and produce milk for the puppies.
How Much Should I Feed My Golden Retriever Puppy?
A Golden Retriever puppy will have to be fed three meals a day until he is six months old, at which time you can feed him twice a day. Meal size can vary from one puppy to the next, but the average three-month-old Golden puppy will eat two cups of food a day. At this time, you should divide the food into three meals and serve it in the morning, noon, and evening.
How Much Should A 6-Month Golden Retriever Eat?
Meal size will vary for each Golden Retriever pup, but on average, a six-month-old puppy will eat three cups of food a day. Male Golden Retriever puppies usually need more calories and can eat up to four cups of food per day. Once a puppy is six months old, you should start feeding him two meals a day – one in the morning and one in the evening.
Golden Retrievers are large, active dogs that can pack on the pounds easily if not fed properly. However, every dog is an individual and knowing how much food your Golden Retriever needs to eat every day is tricky to predict. It is best that you consider your dog’s age, weight, and activity level, and use a Golden Retriever feeding chart for reference. To sum things up:
- Two-month-old puppies need 1 ½ cup of food per day
- A seven-month-old Goldie needs 3 to 4 cups of food per day
- Active adult Golden Retrievers need from 1,300 to 1,700 calories per day
- Senior Goldens need around 900 calories per day
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and that you should consult your vet regarding your dog’s individual nutritional needs.