Any new puppy owner naturally wants to get their pup off to a good start, and the curiosity and discovery of food for a new pup can lead them to gobble down whatever is put in front of them.
Eating the right foods and in the right portions is essential to help your Golden Retriever puppy grow healthy and thrive. So, how much should you feed your tiny pup?
A puppy must be fed three times a day until 6 months old. Golden Retriever puppies should be fed large-breed, high-quality puppy food until they are at least a year old.
How Much Should I Feed My Golden Retriever Puppy Daily?
Golden Retriever puppies require more calories until they are 6 months old. They should eat three to four times a day at scheduled intervals. The amount of food depends on its age and the puppy’s preferences. Always consult your veterinarian to advise you on the best diet for your dog.
For the first few weeks of your puppy’s life, they should rely only on their mother’s milk, nursing every 2 hours for the first week; after that, the hours can be stretched. Colostrum is the most important and will be the first nutrition they receive. It is packed with antibodies and perfectly designed for your pup.
At 3–4 weeks, puppies can start weaning and eat puppy food. You can introduce a small mixture of puppy food with water, wet puppy food, or kibble soaked in water. It is likely your puppy won’t be interested if it is still getting milk, so don’t be too worried.
At 6 weeks, your puppy should start showing more interest in food and developing teeth. You can begin to mix the food with less water if it seems to tolerate it well.
At 7 weeks, you can start to give your pup kibble without soaking it; about 1/3 cup of kibble should be enough.
At 2 months, your pup should be weaned completely. Your dog will need 1–2 cups a day, split into three or four smaller meals. As your puppy grows older, the portions can increase slowly.
This chart is just a helpful guideline to get a general understanding of how much you should feed your Golden Retriever puppy daily according to its age based on a golden retriever puppy food.
|Age||Cups per day|
|0 – 2months||Mothers milk, 1/3 cup|
|3 months||3 cups|
|4 months||3 and 1/4 cups|
|5 – 6 months||3 – 4 cups|
|6 – 7 months||3 – 4 cups|
What Should I Feed My Golden Retriever Puppy?
Puppy food is specifically formulated to meet the growing needs of a pup, which is twice the daily nutritional requirements for an older dog. A puppy should ideally be fed puppy food until it reaches 80% of its expected adult size, which for most dogs is around a year old.
There are three types of dog food: moist, semi-moist, and kibble. Kibble is dry food and is typically considered the best because it contains more meat protein.
Other benefits of kibble are that it is cheaper, more practical, helpful in cleaning teeth and more choice available. Moist foods contain more water which means the nutrients will be more diluted. They can also spoil very quickly if they’re not stored properly.
Another option is to feed your puppy with a mixture of moist food with kibble. You can do this by mixing them or alternating them from meal to meal.
When choosing which brand of food to feed your puppy, it should be based on the ingredients and how they compare to the Association of American Feed Control Officials guidelines (AAFCO).
Many generic brands meet the bare minimum of requirements and may be deficient in some of the nutrients your puppy requires, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the more expensive brands are the better choice.
Puppy food prepared at home is also an option but is difficult to get right. Grains should be cooked well, so they are easy to digest, and vegetables can be cooked or raw but should ideally be run through a food processor if they are raw.
When using a homemade diet, the recipe must be balanced and ideally by a board certified veterinary nutritionist. An unbalanced homemade diet can lead to skeletal abnormalities amongst other problems. Your puppy will also need plenty of water.
You can also help yourself with our best tool for measuring food here:
The exact amount of calories an individual animal needs to maintain a healthy weight is variable and influenced by many factors including genetics, age, breed, and activity level. This tool is meant to be used only as a guideline for healthy individuals and does not substitute veterinary advice
Feeding Guidelines for Your Puppy
- Meals should be given at the same time every day.
- Try not to feed your puppy after 7 pm as it may make house training more difficult.
- Feed your pup in an area where it won’t be disturbed.
- Canned food can be alternated with dry.
- It is okay to skip an occasional meal if your pup’s energy levels are normal. If your dog does not want to eat, don’t force it, but make sure it doesn’t skip more than one meal.
- If your pup seems hungry but only takes a few bites or cannot hold food in its mouth, there may be a more serious issue, and you should consult your vet.
- Try not to feed your pup too many people snacks since some of them can make them sick and will increase the risk of obesity.
How much food you serve your Golden Retriever puppy and when you feed it are important aspects of meeting its nutritional needs so your pet can get off to a good start. Consuming mothers’ milk in the first few weeks is also crucial for your pup’s health. From around three months old, your dog will need to be fed three to four times a day, and portions will depend on the animal’s age, weight and the brand of food you buy. Stick to well-balanced high-quality puppy food throughout your pup’s life, and anytime you are unsure, consult your vet for the best guidance.