How Much Should I Feed My Golden Retriever? Here’s What You Need to Know

By Coty Perry

An adult Golden Retriever should eat between 4-5 cups of dog food a day. Each dog is different and this will take some experimentation and tweaking over time. A Golden Retriever puppy will eat around 1-3 cups per day depending on their age, current weight, and gender. You want to make sure not to overfeed them.

How much should I feed my Golden Retriever? How do I know when they’re full? Why do they keep eating even after they’ve finished their portion? These are all honest questions that a lot of Golden Retriever owners have to ask. 

The truth is, the only way to know the true answer to the question is to experiment. If you’re struggling to figure out if your Golden Retriever is eating enough, continue reading below to learn more. 

Golden Retriever Feeding Chart by Age

AgeWeightCups per DayNumber of Meals
2-6 Months10-20 lbs1-33-4
6-12 Months20-50 lbs3-42-3
1-6 Years50-75 lbs4-52-3
6 Years +50-75 lbs4-5 (varies)2-3

How Often Should a Golden Retriever Eat?

A Golden Retriever puppy should eat between 3-4 times per day until they reach the age of six months. At this time, you can choose to keep them on the same schedule or decrease the frequency of meals they have in a day. 

Keep in mind that just because you’re decreasing the frequency, doesn’t mean you have to decrease the amount of food you give them each time. You’ll want to make sure they’re still eating enough but they will overeat if you feed them too much. 

Another important factor to keep in mind is that you want to feed them at scheduled times each day. Having a regular schedule is not only good for their mental health but it helps them stay consistent with their energy levels as well. Golden Retrievers without regular feeding schedules can be more likely to show aggression.

You don’t have to pick specific times for feeding and you can do whatever works best for you. Just make sure to stay as consistent as possible and once you get your pup on that schedule, they’ll be sure to let you know when it’s feeding time. 

What’s a Good Golden Retriever Feeding Schedule? 

For a puppy, since you’re feeding them more often you have a lot more control over when you choose to feed them. A good example of a schedule would be morning, afternoon, and evening. 

If you work a somewhat regular schedule, you could feed them before you leave for work, right when you get home, and then sometime in the evening as you’re winding down. 

Planning meal times around yours will also help you because if you feed them too late in the evening, they’ll end up having to go to the bathroom when you’re trying to sleep which will prevent them from sleeping through the night. 

How Much Should I Be Feeding My Golden Retriever Puppy?

At three months old a golden retriever puppy will eat around 1.5 cups of food per day. You’ll want to space this quantity out throughout the day into frequent meals as previously mentioned. 

Once your Golden Retriever reaches four months old you’ll increase their food to 2.5 cups per day. As your dog ages, eventually reaching six or seven months, this is when they’ll consume as much as 4-5 cups of food per day. 

The most important thing to remember is that every dog is different and there is even a pretty noticeable difference between male and female Golden Retrievers. A female dog will not eat as much as a male and may eat as little as 3 cups of food per day throughout her entire life. 

Due to these discrepancies you’ll want to make sure to cater to your dog’s specific needs and only feed them what you believe they will eat. 

How Much to Feed Golden Retriever Puppy 8 Weeks

At 8 weeks, your Goldie will only eat around 1-1.5 cups of food daily split between three meals. This will vary dramatically from dog to dog. Some might be larger than others at the same age while others may be smaller, it will depend a lot on your specific pup. 

Always keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer and you should adjust accordingly to the habits and behaviors of your specific dog. 

How Much to Feed a 3 Month Old Golden Retriever

At 3 months old they will eat between 1.5-2 cups of food daily split between three meals. The increase during the first six months of life isn’t as much as you would think and while they’re growing rapidly, you want to make sure you’re not overfeeding them. 

It’s also important to consider the fact that puppy food contains a lot more calories in many cases than adult food to compensate for a growing dog. So, as a result you want to make sure you’re giving them the healthiest food possible while also ensuring you’re spacing out their meal times and staying consistent the whole way through. 

How and When Should I Transition My Golden Retriever from Puppy Food to Adult Dog Food?

Beyond the question of “how much should I feed my Golden Retriever,” you might wonder when they’re ready to graduate into adult food. 

Around the age of 6-12 months is when you’ll want to start weaning them off their puppy food. By the time they reach 12 months of age is when they’re reaching their adult height and weight and this is also when spaying and neutering happens. 

Puppy food typically has higher amounts of protein than adult dog food. When switching your Golden Retriever from a puppy food to adult food, it’s not as important whether the dog food is grain free, raw, plant based etc. Just be sure to check with your vet make sure the new food has the nutritional profile your dog needs.

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Golden Retriever Enough?

Some dogs are hungry while others are bored. Golden Retrievers are a breed that will eat almost anything you put in front of them and they’ll continue to eat past the point of feeling full. This puts a little more pressure on you and requires you to control your urges to continue feeding them even once their portion is done. 

Your Golden Retriever should have a somewhat lenky appearance with long legs. When they sit down, they should have very little overhang of their stomach from the back. 

Why Are Golden Retrievers Always Hungry?

The reality is, this is unknown and can have many different causes. Many dogs eat because they’re nervous, stressed, or bored and Golden Retrievers are not exempt from that. This breed is motivated by food and will continue to eat as long as you continue to feed them. 

Final Thoughts

How much should I feed my Golden Retriever? The answer depends on so many factors including age, current weight, gender, and lifestyle. The only way to know the answer is to follow general guidelines and adjust or tweak them as necessary. 

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.