Golden Retriever Feeding Guide – Australia
It’s no wonder that Golden Retrievers are so loved by so many Aussies – in fact, they often snag the top spot for the most popular dog breed in the country, year after year. They are famously loving and playful family pets, always eager to jump in the pool or snuggle up with you on the lounge. They are patient and energetic dogs who are easy to train, making them excellent service animals as well as loyal companions.
If you are bringing a Goldie into your family, you might also be aware of their reputation as food lovers. Your Goldie might want to eat anything and everything you put in their bowl – and maybe even anything left on an unattended plate. You’ll need to find the right balance of nutritional content, amount, and quality pet food when it comes to creating a feeding schedule for your Golden Retriever.
In this Golden Retriever feeding guide, Hypro Premium will take you through everything you need to know when it comes to food options for your pup.
We’ll take you through what to feed a Golden Retriever, and how much to feed your Golden Retriever, as well as covering all the questions you might have about Golden Retriever puppy care and feeding.
How Much Should You Feed a Golden Retriever Puppy?
The best food for most young puppies is milk. In most cases, milk feeding is done by your dog’s breeder, as it is recommended that Golden Retrievers be adopted out to families no younger than eight weeks old.
However, if you need to wean your Golden Retriever puppy, you can begin the process as early as 3 weeks with your vet’s approval. If you are weaning a puppy, you can start to mix in a little dry kibble with their puppy milk to create a paste.
You can feed this mix to your puppy up to four times a day, slowly reducing the amount of milk you mix in. Over time, your Goldie puppy will get more comfortable with solid foods, until you no longer need to include any milk in their diet.
The exact amount of food you’ll give your puppy depends on the food you’re giving – different foods have different caloric values, so you must consult with the brand-specific feeding guide to ensure adequate nutrition.
While chubby little puppies are cute, your Goldie should not build up too much excess fat once you start feeding them solids.
4 Months – 10 Months
Golden retrievers are a large breed, which means they will grow a lot before their first birthday. Goldies go from a small 4kg puppy at 7 weeks old to an almost 30 kg adult dog in the space of only 10 months. At six months old your puppy will still be growing, but more slowly as they reach most of their body development milestones. This is why appropriate feeding in the first year of their life is vital to the overall health of your Goldie for years to come.
10 Months – 12 Months
A one-year-old Golden Retriever will weigh around 30 kgs. While they may have some growing left to do, it depends on your dog. Some Goldies will continue to experience growth spurts before their second birthday, while others will stay the same size.
As a Goldie owner, you’ll need to monitor your dog and adjust their diet to accommodate any extra growth that may occur.
During this time, it’s especially important to avoid overfeeding. Large breeds can be at risk of growing too fast, which can make them more vulnerable to skeletal and weight problems when they get older. Golden retrievers are especially prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which can be avoided through diet control.
What Should You Feed Golden Retriever Puppies?
Adult dogs and puppies have different nutritional needs. This is important to take into consideration as you are establishing a feeding schedule for a Golden Retriever puppy.
Puppies require more calories to support their rapid growth than adult dogs, but they also have much smaller stomachs, which means they get fuller faster. Because of this, puppies can easily overeat, especially Golden Retrievers. You can help your puppy avoid overeating by allowing them a short amount of time to eat, and then removing their bowl.
All puppies grow a lot during their first year, but large breed puppies are more likely to suffer from negative health consequences as a result. In order to provide your Golden Retriever puppy with the most appropriate food to support their rapid growth, consider choosing a large breed puppy food. Goldie puppies need lots of protein, fibre, and fatty acids to support the development of their bodies and provide them with energy. These foods also take into account the difference in nutrient digestion between small and large breeds. For example, while all dogs benefit from nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, imbalances of these nutrients can increase risk of abnormal skeletal development in the larger breed pup.
How Much Should You Feed a Golden Retriever Adult Dog?
So how much do you feed a Golden Retriever? Your adult Goldie could need anywhere between 1400-1500 calories per day.
The amount of food you feed your dog will be determined by a few important factors.
On average, your male Golden Retriever will need slightly more food than a female dog based on weight. The reproductive status of your Golden, i.e., whether it’s been spayed or neutered, will also play a role in caloric needs.
Some senior dogs are less active and so will perhaps need less calories. Goldies in particular can have a lot of variation in the amount of food they need on a daily basis. You should consult your vet if you’re not sure how much food your Goldie needs.
No matter how much you feed your dog, it is ideal that you feed your adult Golden Retriever two meals a day. Feeding your dog twice, once in the morning and again in the evening, can be useful for establishing a routine and avoiding overfeeding. This routine can also include exercise, and is useful for encouraging healthy behaviour around food and toilet training.
Your Golden Retriever could be predisposed to several health conditions that are important to consider when you make decisions about their diet. Firstly, Golden Retrievers are known for their beautiful coats, but their skin can often become infected. Goldies love swimming, but this can cause problems if they swim in water that contains parasites. They can also be susceptible to atopic dermatitis, which causes extreme itchiness, resulting in licking and biting behaviours in dogs that can cause even more damage. For dogs prone to skin and coat issues, a fish based diet may be helpful as it contains plenty of fatty acids, which support coat and skin health.
Remember to always consult your vet before making any major change in your dog’s diet.
Best Food to Feed Golden Retrievers
There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing what to feed your Golden Retriever. These are the benefits and drawbacks of the three most popular options – wet food, a raw food diet, and dry food.
Wet food can be a great option for dogs that need plenty of protein and fat, like working dogs or dogs with certain health conditions. It also hydrates your dog while they eat, which can be useful for dogs suffering from any illness. However, it doesn’t keep very well once opened. It will need to be used within one to two days of opening.
For dogs with highly restrictive diets, raw food prepared by you can be a great way to be involved in the preparation of your dog’s food. You can have complete control over a raw diet, which does require a lot more work on your part, but can have great results. For instance, a Golden Retriever with heart issues should eat a low salt diet, which can be easier to achieve if you are preparing their meals from scratch.
Dry dog kibble is often the easiest option for you as a dog owner, as it keeps well and doesn’t create a big mess. It can also be great for your Goldie’s teeth.
Whatever option you choose for your Goldie, make sure it is suitable for large breeds and contains high quality ingredients. Try to include grains in your Goldie’s diet for an all round nutrition and energy boost.
How To Make Sure Your Golden Retriever Stays Healthy and Fit
Your Golden Retriever needs the right balance of exercise and diet to stay fit and healthy throughout their life.
The first step is to ensure that your dog’s food contains the nutrients they need at each phase of their life, from puppyhood all the way into their senior years. This may help prevent degenerative health disorders in the long run. Your Goldie’s dietary needs will change as they age and become more sedentary.
By monitoring your dog’s eating habits, you’ll be able to recognise when you need to make a change to their diet. Paying attention to your dog’s behaviour around foods can also help you spot the early signs of illness or stress. Your Golden Retriever will probably love food, and will probably try to eat anything you put in front of them, which means you need to help them avoid the negative consequences of overeating. You should also ensure that your Goldie doesn’t eat any foods that can be dangerous for their health.
Golden retrievers, like other large and active breeds, need plenty of exercise. Not only is this vital to their physical health, but it also ensures they grow up well socialised and mentally stimulated.
How Often Should I Feed My Golden Retriever?
The best way to keep track of your Golden Retriever’s feeding amount and timing is to keep to a consistent schedule. As your Goldie grows from a puppy to an adult dog, the amount of meals they need a day will reduce as their digestive systems become more developed. Your dog will need two meals a day, once in the evening and once in the morning, from the age of 6 months.
|Under 8 weeks||3 – 4 times a day|
|8 weeks – 11 months||3 times a day|
|Over 11 months||2 times a day|
A consistent feeding schedule means you’ll be able to keep an eye on your dog’s behaviours around food. Golden retrievers love to eat, but this appetite can come with less sociable food habits, like guarding and aggression. A feeding schedule means you and your dog can work on avoiding these reactions through training. You can also create an exercise and toileting schedule around meal times.
You can easily build your dog’s feeding schedule around yours. If you feed your dog before their morning or evening walk, make sure you give them time to properly digest. You should also make sure they have enough time after evening meal to burn off all that energy before bedtime.
How Many Treats Should I Feed My Golden Retriever?
One of the best things about your Golden Retriever’s love of food is how easy it is to train them! A food motivated dog will respond very well to treat-based, positive reinforcement training. Golden retrievers are frequently used as seeing-eye and therapy dogs, as they are incredibly intelligent and eager to please their owners. You can use this natural instinct to teach your dog to not only perform tricks, but also to be a responsible pet who is sociable and well mannered.
Of course, treating your pup can get out of hand. While owners love showing their affection through treats, and Golden Retrievers obviously love eating them, treats should only make up a total of 10% of your dogs daily caloric intake. Make sure whatever treats you give your dog are not only tasty, but appropriate for their diet, like veggie chunks or pieces of chicken or liver.
Hypro Premium for Adult Dogs
When deciding what is the best food to feed your Golden Retrievers, consider Hypro Premium’s Wholesome Grain range. These delicious dry foods are packed with natural, high quality ingredients that your Golden Retriever will love. Goldies need plenty of grain-based fibre in their diets to stay fit and healthy throughout their lives, and with different protein options to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect kibble for your pup with Hypro Premium.
Goldies that suffer from skin and coat issues will love the taste of Wholesome Grains Fish and Potato, which is full of essential amino and fatty acids and beneficial fibres. This tasty, fish-based dry food also contains sunflower, flaxseed, fish & emu oils to support joint health, as well as veggies like tomato, peas, and carrots that are essential for healthy digestion.
For high energy Goldies who need plenty of energy, try Hypro Premium’s Wholesome Grains Lamb & Brown Rice for a boost of protein and probiotic goodness. This delicious kibble is formulated with active dogs in mind, packed full of real lamb to build muscles and chicory root for digestive health. Rice and oats will provide your dog with plenty of easy to digest fibre that will help your Goldie avoid digestive issues later in life.