How Much To Feed a Golden Retriever Daily (Puppy, Adult, Senior)

If you have a golden retriever, you know just how lovable these dogs can be. They’re sweet, friendly, and the quintessential family dog. Of course, you want to take good care of him, and part of that is making sure that he’s eating the right amount for his age. So, how much should you feed a Golden Retriever daily?

In the first 7 months you will want to feed your Golden Retriever between 1.5 – 4 cups of food a day. Once he is fully grown you should reduce the amount you feed him to 3 – 3.5 cups of food a day, while a senior dog should switch to a specialty senior food and have the amount reduced slightly to around 3 cups per day.

If you want to know more about how much to feed a golden retriever daily, read on. You will likely learn useful information to help both you and your furry friend by giving him the happiest, healthiest life possible.

Here's how much you should feed your Golden Retriever.

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How Much to Feed a Golden Retriever Puppy

Many people think that puppies are supposed to be chubby. However, the truth is that golden retriever puppies should be fairly lean. They are also supposed to always act as if they’re hungry, even when you’re feeding them the right amount of food.

You definitely do not want to make your puppy obese since this could interfere with his growth and development and cause long-term health implications.

The following amounts listed below are some general guidelines for feeding your golden retriever puppy at different ages:

  • Two months: 1 and a half cups per day
  • Three months: 2 cups per day
  • Four months: 2 and a half cups per day
  • Five and six months: 3 cups per day
  • Six to seven months: 3 and a half to 4 cups per day for males, 3 cups per day for females

Of course, you should keep in mind that these guidelines might not apply to every single puppy. These amounts can vary quite a bit, depending on your puppy’s weight and energy levels as well as the type of food you’re buying.

If you are buying cheaper food, for example, these generally contain fewer calories and a lot of fillers, so you will have to give them more to fulfill their nutritional requirements.

Most of the time, you should be giving your dog a high quality puppy food (like this one from Amazon) instead of regular dog food. If you have any doubts, you should consult with your veterinarian about how much your puppy should be eating.

You will also need to feed your puppy more frequently than you would need to feed an adult dog. This is because a puppy has a smaller stomach but needs a higher amount of calories than an adult. You should give him food three times every day until he is seven months old. You can give him breakfast, lunch, and dinner at scheduled intervals.

When your puppy reaches seven months of age, you can continue feeding him the same amount, only you can reduce the feedings to twice a day. However, you should continue to feed him puppy food until he is an adult (about 12 to 18 months of age).

How Much to Feed an Adult Golden Retriever

When golden retrievers reach adulthood, they’re typically between 55 and 75 pounds. They usually reach adulthood somewhere between 12 to 18 months old, but it can vary based on the individual dog. Typically, he will not need the same amount of food once he is 12 to 14 months old.

The amount of food that an adult golden retriever should be eating every day can vary considerably. A less active dog will need about 1,000 calories daily, while a very active dog or a nursing mother can need 2,000 or more. 

Once your golden retriever is an adult, here are the general feeding amount guidelines:

  • For females: 2 to 2 and a half cups per day
  • For males: 3 to 3 and a half cups per day
  • For nursing females: 5 to 6 cups per day 
  • For active males: 4 cups per day

These amounts are applicable if you are feeding your dog a high-quality food like Taste of the Wild’s Grain-Free Salmon (Amazon) with the right amounts of all the essential nutrients, as well as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Once again, if you’re feeding your dog cheaper food, you will need to give him more because of the higher amount of fillers and fewer calories.

Your dog should be fed twice every day, with the meals being equally spaced. Whatever amount he should be eating per day should be divided into two for each meal. Usually, you will want to feed your dog once in the morning and once in the evening.

Since the amount can vary so much based on the individual dog, it would be a good idea to talk to your vet and verify how much food your dog should be eating every day.

How to feed a Golden Retriever

How Much to Feed a Senior Golden Retriever

A golden retriever will be considered a senior dog when he is about 7.5 to 10 years old, with the average lifespan being 10 to 12 years.

A senior golden retriever will need fewer calories than a younger adult, as he is generally going to be less active than he was in his younger years. Typically, he’s going to need approximately 900 calories per day. If he’s overweight, you’ll need to feed him less.

In some cases, you’ll want to start feeding your senior dog a specialty senior dog food (like this Blue Buffalo Senior Blend from Amazon), rather than a typical adult formula. Food made specifically for older dogs is often lower in calories, and it can contain nutrition that is good for older dogs, such as glucosamine and vitamins.

Many senior dogs continue to eat regular adult dog food, but it would be a good idea to consult with your vet and see if a diet change would be a good idea.

In most cases, you should still be giving him two meals per day, equally spaced and at consistent times.

Why Is It Important to Give Your Golden Retriever the Right Amount of Food?

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is very important. It can minimize your dog’s risk of health problems, ultimately increasing his lifespan. Golden retrievers are one of the dog breeds who are most likely to suffer from obesity, so it’s even more important to be vigilant about their diets.

In recent years, the lifespan of golden retrievers has gone down significantly. They used to live for an average of 16 or 17 years, and now their average lifespan is 10 to 12 years. This is because golden retrievers are more susceptible than other dogs to different types of cancer, and a factor that plays a role is the type of food and how much you give them.

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Generally, you’ll want to feed your golden retriever the correct amount of food for his age. Feeding your golden retriever the right amount of food will help increase his lifespan and overall health, which not only makes for a happy dog, but will also tend to reduce your vet bills as well.

While the above guidelines are useful, they cannot necessarily be applied to every single golden retriever. As with any decision you’re making regarding your dog’s health, you should consult with your veterinarian who will take into consideration the specific need of your Golden.

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Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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