Golden Retriever puppies and adults have different nutritional needs. That’s not rocket science but a general understanding backed by science.
You know how energetic puppies are. To keep up with that, they sure need high-energy food. With time, that dwindles to moderate levels, but you surely can’t take your chances with a puppy.
I’ve seen weak and underfed ones and it’s not a good sight. They are lethargic, prone to diseases, and always on the go for pooping.
In fact, you can literally tell that something’s wrong with them by looking at their loose poop.
But we’re not letting our puppies fall into that, right? I’m so glad you’re here. I’m not gonna go on and blabber for another thousand words about my Milo, a Labradoodle, and get straight to the point.
So, here’s how often you should feed a golden retriever puppy.
How Often Should You Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy?
I take a balanced approach by combining the two recommendations. I recommend feeding a puppy 4 times a day for up to 4 months.
That could dwindle to 3 times a day from 5 to 7 months, and two times beyond until 10 to 12 months. When the dog gets bigger than 12 months, feed it once.
I’m going to share a detailed chart in this article in the latter sections. But first, I need to get you some knowledge for understanding that chart better.
How Much Is Too Much or How Less Is Too Less?
I’ve met owners that start feeding their pups cerelac or farex in hopes of weaning them off. That’s a good idea only when you know that you’re doing it right.
Feeding the dog those foods 4 times a day is seriously going to hurt it.
What happens is that your pup starts losing muscle mass and bone density because they’re not getting enough nutrition even though you think you’re feeding it the recommended times of meals.
I’m not saying that either of the human baby food isn’t good for pups. They both do well, only if you supplement them with proper dog food and multivitamins.
Also, feeding them too much could cause sugar and milk poisoning.
So, you’ve got to follow a balanced diet to save the poor from all sorts of evils of dietary imbalances.
I could finish everything here but I have a way of taking things slowly and into definite categories, so you don’t get confused and reconsider your decision to own a pup.
What Happens When A Dog Eats Baby Food?
Sugar and milk toxicity are two of the main things that may happen if you increase the human baby food per meal.
You also have to check whether the food doesn’t have toxic ingredients that make dogs extremely sick. I’ll share the whole list of things that are toxic to both adults and pups.
But to give you a heads up, look for avocado, grapes, or anything solanine (not that the food brands will include this, but just to be sure), and so on.
The idea is to check the ingredients thoroughly and research every one of them before dishing it out for the pup.
About the common ones such as cerelac and forex, they are not toxic, but they need to be supplemented with extra things to keep your pup’s health optimal.
I’ll say that a hundred times to make sure you understand that well.
Sugar and Milk Wreak Havoc With The Dog’s Tummy
These two ingredients in abundance daily could cause upsets in your pup’s tummy.
Sugar is notorious for causing inflammation in the body. That’s too much sugar that I’m talking about as a result of feeding baby formulas and cereals almost all the meal times per day.
Milk, on the other hand, in large amounts could cause loose stool. Many pups are lactose intolerant, which is the main ingredient of milk.
So, do me a favor and don’t treat your pooch as if it’s a cat. Give milk only in moderation. That means, cut down on the number of times you feed it cerelac or forex.
How Do You Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy? General Feeding Chart!
To summarize, a puppy from 1 to 4 months should eat 4 times a day. Two times cerelac and two times dry kibble mixed with enough water.
Top it off with multivitamins and of course, fruits and certain protein sources like boiled egg whites.
But to figure out how much all of these things the pup should eat, we need to look into its weight.
That’s where the chart comes in.
|Puppy Age (months)||Weight Regardless of Age (lbs)||Cups of Dry Kibble (Based On A Single Brand)||Meals Per day||Grams of Cerelac||Multivitamins Needed||Complementary Foods|
|M.V||Quantity||Foods To Be Included After 2 Months||Quantity|
|1 to 4||3 lbs||1 cups||4 times (Morning, Noon, After Noon, and Night||50||Omega 3 and 6||1 ml once a day||Boiled Egg Whites||1|
|Multivitamins after 45 days onwards as per the recommendation of vet.||Chopped Apple||1|
|5 to 8 Months||7 to 10 lbs||1 and ⅓ cups||3 times (Morning, Afternoon, Night)||No baby food needed||Boiled Egg Whites||2|
|Chopped Apples||1 to 1.5|
|Mashed Bananas||1 to 2|
|Boiled Potatoes||1 to 1.5|
|8 to 12||15 lbs||2 and a ½ cups||2 Times (Morning and Night)||No Baby Food Needed||Boiled Egg Whites||3|
|Chopped Apples||1 to 2|
This is all that you need to get started.
But do not start following it right now. First, educate yourself about all the different brands.
Also, the weight of the puppy given above is regardless of age. The brands that produce starters and adult dog food have recommended cups of food as per the weight of the dog.
I want you to check those tables or charts at the end of the packaging. You should guess now that’s the reason why I added: “based on a single brand” for dry kibble.
Each brand has its own chart.
That could be confusing for a new owner.
Whenever I encounter one of them, I suggest that they take the food to their favorite vet and consult them about the number of cups given on the pack as per the weight of the pup.
It’s always the best practice to do that. You should also ask them about the multivitamins, fruits, and veggies that the dog may need.
Chubby pups may not need as much food as I have recommended.
How Do You Give A Puppy Kibble?
Most vets recommend that you grind the dry starter kibble before feeding it to your pup. That actually works.
I, too, own a pup named Milo. He’s a labradoodle and a fussy eater. I first grind the kibble and then add water just enough to bring about the food’s aroma.
Water also softens the food for him to chew easily. However, do not forget to fill a second bowl with water. Puppies do need a lot of that.
But make sure that the water is at room temperature. You don’t want to hurt its mouth or esophagus – the food tract.
When the pup gets about one and a half months, you could start giving it kibble as it is. There’s no need to grind it at all. Adding water may still be useful, especially, if it’s not munching on dry kibble.
The transition may take some weeks. Here’s how to do it.
Transitioning From Wet to Dry Food After 1 and a Half Months
When the pup’s old enough to be able to chew on dry food, you may start transitioning him from water-mixed kibble or any sort of wet food to completely dry food.
The idea is to reduce water addition to the kibble per week until it’s all food pellets.
For the first week of changing food, reduce the water by 1/4th, then by ⅓ for the second week. The third week, you should reduce it by ½, and the fourth and final week, completely dry.
These are just my recommendations. You should look at your puppy’s mood. If he still wants it wet, why not?
Should Golden Retrievers Eat Wet Canned Food?
Yes, they could. Wet canned foods are godsent for fussy eaters. You could use them if your pooch doesn’t like nibbling on dry kibble.
You shouldn’t be mistaken, though, that my number one recommendation will always be dry food to feed your Golden Retriever pup.
The thing with wet canned food is that it’s less nutritious as compared to the same portion of dry food.
In the long run, that would become heavier on your pocket because you’d have to dole out at least half a can of food to meet the daily nutritional requirements of the dog.
Obviously, the portions differ according to brands but you get the idea.
You’ll have to use more wet canned food than you would use dry kibble.
The number one reason for that is added fillers. Wheat, straw, by-products of cereals, pulps, and other things are added to increase the amount of fiber.
And then there’s 65% to 75% of water content per chunk. Now that’s a lot, to be honest.
However, at the same time, this composition helps puppies with stomach issues or other digestive problems.
Whenever Milo’s tummy gets haywire, I shift to canned wet food to help him get over dehydration.
And I’m no one to contradict its fresh meaty aroma. Dogs big and small love it to an insane level.
What about mixing dry and wet foods?
Dry and wet foods could be mixed in appropriate amounts. You should take care of the portion or size of the meal that these two would make up together.
If your dog does not eat well, it’s unwell, or you just want to play around the idea of becoming a gourmet dog chef, then do it by all means.
The texture, smell, nutrition, and everything a dog loves about its food gets a rework.
I often mix the two foods for my dog, Milo.
However, as I said, too much of anything would not weigh well on your dog’s health. So, ask your wet about the right portions to be mixed so that nothing gets under or overfed.
What Human Foods Can Golden Retriever Puppies Eat?
I’ve already mentioned apples, bananas, boiled eggs, and potatoes. You could also feed your puppy human protein sources such as salmon, beef, lamb, turkey, and so on.
In veggies, carrots are my number one choice because they’re easily available. But you could also go with broccoli, peas, green beans, plain rice, and so on.
Fruits such as oranges, peaches, pears, mango, cranberries, blueberries, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, and cantaloupe are my favorite choices to feed a dog.
These are just a few recommendations. You could also try other foods.
However, I strictly prohibit you from feeding the pup anything from the table.
That could be dangerous on so many levels. For example, the food could contain too much salt.
When a puppy ingests that much, it could lead to severe seizures, muscle spasms, vomiting, stomach upsets, and fever.
That’s just an example of what could go wrong.
I’ve listed both vegetables and fruits that Golden Retriever can/can’t eat.
What Should I Not Feed My Golden Retriever Puppy?
Some foods are toxic for a Golden Retriever puppy. Heck, they don’t do well with any breed of any size or age.
Therefore, avoid onions, raw potatoes, chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa, caffeine, garlic, dough that contains yeast or otherwise, grapes, avocado, raisins, nuts, fruit seeds or unripe fruits, veggies, unripe tomatoes, mushrooms, and spoiled food.
In liquids, you shouldn’t feed it alcohol, soda drinks, sports drinks that tout an increase in energy, milk (especially cow milk), sugary drinks, salty drinks, or caffeinated drinks.
These aren’t complete lists.
As I said, always look up whatever you’re going to feed the dog that’s not in the lists that I shared. That will save you and your pup from a lot of serious conditions.
For example, onions have a compound that leads to anemia. The same could be found in garlic.
Or, raw potatoes have solanine that causes digestive problems or symptoms associated with solanine poisoning, which may also include increased heartbeat, throat burning sensation, eczema, headaches, and so on that could lead to potential hospitalization. The same is present in green tomatoes.
How Much Water Should A Puppy Drink?
I’ve seen many owners leave a bowl of water always full for their puppies. I wouldn’t want you to do that.
Although puppies aren’t much tempted to see a filled water bowl, they could still drink more than they need.
Excessive urination, as a result, could cause canine dehydration.
But how much water is enough?
According to the American Kennel Club, give your pup an ounce of water for a pound of its weight.
So, if the pooch is 25 lbs, ideally it should consume 20 to 25 ounces of water daily.
You could either put this much water in a separate bowl or mix it well with kibble.
I’m against force-feeding but if your dog isn’t getting enough, you may have to take things into your own hands.
To know that it’s dehydrated because it’s not drinking enough or for some other reason, press its gums lightly until it turns white.
Note the time it takes for the blood to return to that spot. If it’s exceeding 2 seconds, the golden retriever puppy is dehydrated.
You could also note it from how fast the skin of its scruff returns to its original place when you put it down after picking it up from there.
When you figure out that it’s dehydrated, give it water only. Any other liquid may not be well suited to its health. I’m talking about milk, alcohol, sodas, etc.
What Kind of Juice Can Golden Retriever Puppies Drink?
Say a big NO to processed fruit juices. They have artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and other ingredients that may cause the puppy’s stomach to lose its mind.
However, you can still feed whole fruit juices. My Milo loves fresh apple juice. But I do take care in not overfeeding him that every day.
Although there aren’t any kinds of sugar added, the natural ones from the fruit may cause the same problems in the long run as common sugar at a time causes.
For example, too much orange juice has the same effect on the puppy as drinking soda. The extra sugars would cause havoc.
When fed moderately, whole fruit juices are a great source of nutrition and hydration. I either choose apple juice or coconut water.
Still, I prefer fruits instead of drinks for my labradoodle pup, Milo. Can’t take any chances with his health!
Is Raw Meat Good For The Puppy?
The simple answer to that is “no”. Raw meat is never a good choice, especially if the meat source isn’t human-grade.
It could contain Salmonella – a bacteria that are notorious for causing food poisoning.
Diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, and lethargy is some of the symptoms that may arise. If they stay for long, dehydration could ensue.
Boil the meat a little no matter where you buy it in case you’re like me, stubborn, and always trying new things, and you still want to feed the dog some raw-ish meat.
Are Raw Eggs Good For Your Golden Retriever?
Raw eggs are another risk factor for Salmonella infection. Besides that, the rawness may upset the puppy’s stomach as well.
I do not recommend that you include raw eggs in your puppy’s diet. That’s the sole reason why I included boiled eggs in the chart above.
Some vets recommend only feeding egg whites as a rich source of nutrition. The yolks aren’t all lost cause. They have vitamins and fatty acids. But they also have cholesterol.
Cholesterol has a bad name for contributing to heart diseases. At the same time, there isn’t a huge amount of research found on it. Still, according to PetMD, it could cause diabetes.
That was a bit too much for me when I was deciding whether I should feed Milo full eggs. To remove even a thread of confusion, I completely removed the yolks. As I said earlier, this mommy cannot take any chances with her baby’s health.
I’m sure that neither can you.
So, whether it is good or bad, it’s still controversial. It’s best that you use egg whites only.
That, too, only moderately. Remember that increasing anything beyond the puppy’s thresholds would put it under stress.
What To Feed A Puppy When His Stomach Is Upset?
An Imbalanced diet causes stomach upsets in puppies as well as adult dogs. Whenever you see them suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, or loose stool, you need to discard what you’re feeding it and choose among the following things.
I used shredded chicken most of the time, as even suggested by the American Kennel Club. But you could also use:
- Meshed boiled potatoes,
- Boiled eggs,
- Probiotics, and
- Chicken and plain rice.
These things help rejuvenate the gut ecosystem of the puppy. I usually make sure that my dog is eating a small amount of curd each day just so it stays away from these conditions.
But as you know, things could get worse with a dog. Not just food, but its types, toxicity levels, and even stress and anxiety cause diarrhea in dogs.
Stomach upsets could also lead to dehydration. I’ve talked about it above and the foods you could feed the type to treat it.
Can A Dog Eat Bread?
Bread is something all vets agree on when it comes to feeding to your dog in puppyhood. Plain white, as well as wheat bread, do not cause any sort of stomach issues.
However, dogs very much behave individually as humans. Some may have developed an intolerance for them naturally or as a result of trying them first-hand.
In this case, you’ll have to look into the behavior of your puppy after feeding it bread for the first time.
I did that to my Milo when he was 4 months old. He didn’t develop any tummy-related distress symptoms.
That’s when I knew that he was going to be okay with it.
Whenever his food would run out and I would (because of some unexplained procrastination) “forget” his food (horrible, I know), I’d bridge the gap between the finished pack and the new one with bread.
Can My Golden Retriever Puppy Eat Cheese?
Cheese has benefits for puppies, especially when it comes to hiding pills in it.
Unfortunately, though, Milo is lactose intolerant. He develops gas when he eats even a bit of it. So, I make sure that it’s somewhere he can’t reach.
You, too, would have to look if your puppy is cheese intolerant. Normally, lactose-intolerant pups are also cheese intolerant because that’s what it contains.
Also, I should sound bells of warning because cheese can add those extra pounds that we dog owners dread so much.
Before you know it, your chubby pooch will start taking up most of the space on your favorite loveseat.
Yes, fat-free cheese is available. You could use cottage cheese in its entirety. No harm in that.
As a concerned and over-protective mommy (minus the few times I “forgot” to buy Milo’s food), I only use cheese when I’m to give the pup tablets.
Can My Golden Retriever Puppy Eat Tuna?
AKC says that Tuna is a long-living fish. Such fish have more mercury in their bodies than any other type. Their sizes also mean that they have more space for that harmful element.
Therefore, feeding tuna to an adult dog, let alone a puppy, could be potentially fatal.
If you’ve fed it before and the pup has signs of baldness, poor muscle coordination, kidney complications, seizures, and tremors, etc, then you must visit your nearest vet and cease feeding him that thing again.
When Should I Switch From Puppy Food To Regular Food, You Ask?
The clear sign of your puppy turning into an adult is its height, as noted by Blue Buffalo, which is also my favorite dog food brand. Anyways, that height is different for different breeds.
The following chart would guide you well.
|Dog Breed Size||Maturing Ages|
|Toy Dogs||7 to 9 months|
|Miniature Dogs (30 lbs)||10 to 12 months|
|Medium Dogs (80 lbs)||12 to 16 months|
|Large Dogs (80 to 90 lbs)||12 to 16 months|
|Giant Dogs (over 90 lbs)||Up to 2 years|
The Golden Retriever puppies usually mature at the age of 10 to 12 months. That’s the age when you should start transitioning from puppy food to adult food.
Many owners neuter their dogs at around this age. Also, because of increased tolerance and reduced growth rate, adults don’t need as many calories per day as puppies do.
Vets cite this as a reason for switching to adult food. It has low calories but more fiber. Perfect for an adult dog.
When you’re switching the food, know that there will be instances of stomach upsets, mood swings, and a decreased appetite.
So, you’ve to do it quite carefully, as it seems.
Blue Buffalo suggests that you should gradually decrease the quantity of puppy food and increase that of the adult kibble for a week. That way, the chances of the dog running into gut issues may reduce.
There still will be something wrong. A little looseness in the stool and all. To counter that, add curd to the meals.
Or, better yet, buy a vet-recommended probiotic product and use that to keep the pup’s gut ecosystem healthy.
This is exactly how you change from one brand to another also.
How Often Should You Feed A Golden Retriever Puppy? Conclusion
That was all about feeding your Golden Retriever puppy. I’ve tried not to leave out anything because it’s the question of your dog’s health.
As a mom to one, I feel your struggles. Start feeding it ground dog food 4 times a day at room temperature with multivitamins and 50 g of cerelac or forex. Two times should be dog food and two times cereal.
To spice things up, top off the meals with chopped apples, mashed bananas, and boiled potatoes. Avoid giving the puppy some foods that I mentioned, especially raw meat.
You can, however, feed it certain veggies and fruits. When the pup’s tummy gets a little disturbed, feed it curd or probiotics. And when it reaches its adult height, slowly transitions from puppy food to adult food.
I hope I’ve helped you.