Skip to main content

Golden retriever puppy foods that will help them grow into those big paws

Bringing home a golden retriever puppy can be just as stressful as it is exciting and adorable, but we’re here to make one factor easier. With this guide to golden retriever food for puppies, you’ll have access to everything you’ll want to know about selecting the best kibble for your pup. We’ll also teach you how much and how often to feed your dog, though of course trial-and-error will be the best way to find out if these strategies are the ones for you. No two pups are the same, but what works for others may also work with your puppy.

So, before you get shopping, let’s take a minute to find out exactly what makes a golden retriever puppy food nutritious. We’ll show you some of our favorite brands of puppy food so you’ll have somewhere to start your search, too. Happy shopping!

A young woman bends down to feed a Golden Retriever puppy
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What food is best for a golden retriever puppy?

When feeding any puppy, make sure you’re giving them puppy food! Kibble formulated for young dogs will have higher levels of protein, fat, and omega fatty acids to support their growing bodies and developing minds, which cannot be overlooked (via Purina).

Ashley Gallagher, DVM, also reminds pet parents to look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) seal of nutritional adequacy when browsing puppy food labels. This proves that the product you’re looking at has undergone significant trials and testing to ensure balanced, complete nutrition for your puppy. After all, they deserve nothing less. Gallagher also suggests buying puppy food meant for large breeds if you’re raising a golden, as their larger bodies need extra sustenance to grow.

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oat Recipe Dry Dog Food

For a scientifically-formulated puppy food that has exactly what your fur baby needs, look no further. Hill’s Science Diet for large breeds contains a specific combination of vitamins and nutrients that supports joint and muscle health while controlling bone growth in dogs up to one year old. Antioxidants will boost your golden’s immune system so they can discover the world while staying healthy, though they’re only a supplement — not a replacement — for your puppy’s veterinary shots.

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Golden Retriever Puppy Dry Dog Food

If you’re interested in a veterinarian-approved puppy food that’s tailor-made for golden retrievers, try out Royal Canin’s Breed Health Nutrition. This pup-friendly kibble provides specialized culinary support for your dog’s immune system, digestive system, skin, and coat, though the shapes of the pieces may be its best feature. Each breed-specific formula from Royal Canin has its very own shape that was designed specifically for the anatomy of each breed’s mouth, so you won’t have to worry about your pup finding this food hard to eat.

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula with Probiotics Dry Dog Food

Whether you want to give your golden some extra digestive support or you’re already dealing with stomach upset, the guaranteed live probiotics in Purina Pro Plan’s puppy formula can be a lifesaver. Your dog will go crazy for the delicious chicken and rice flavors in this kibble, and you’ll love the health-conscious ingredients like antioxidants and omega-rich fish oil. What’s not to love?

A Golden Retriever puppy eats crumbs off the wooden floor
Michal / Adobe Stock

How much should you feed a golden retriever puppy?

Once you find the best golden retriever puppy food for your furry bundle of joy, it’s time to start implementing a regular, consistent feeding schedule.

Puppies need to be fed more frequently than their adult relatives, so you can expect three mealtimes per day. How much you feed will depend on age and gender, though sex won’t matter until about 5 or 6 months of age. At that time, male golden retriever puppies will start eating more than females to keep up with their larger size.

When pups are sent home with their families at around 10 weeks of age, according to Summer Brook Goldens, they get half a cup of dry puppy food three times per day — that’s a total of 1 1/2 cups. When they reach 12 weeks or 3 months of age, you can increase their daily total to 2 cups, still split over three meals throughout the day. Their daily total should reach 2 1/2 cups by 4 months old, though the next change will depend on your dog’s gender.

For males, you can increase their daily food total to 3 cups when they reach five months of age. For females, you’ll make this switch at six months. By the time your male dog reaches 6 or 7 months, they could need anywhere from 3 1/2 to 4 total cups of food per day.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
These 4 diabetic dog treats are healthy, tasty, & can be made in 30 minutes
Diabetic dog treats that are both healthy and delicious
a dog with his back to the camera reaches for a treat that a woman holds out

A diagnosis of canine diabetes can throw any dog owner for a loop, but with the right dietary management, these pups can live just as long and happily as any other. They don’t have to miss out on anything — even treats for diabetic dogs are becoming simpler to find... and to make! Homemade diabetic dog treats are a great option that gives pet parents more control over their furry friend’s diet, even just for treats. Every owner of a diabetic dog should consider them!
These treats are not only safe for diabetic dogs, but they’re also easy to make. Some take as little as five minutes! With diverse ingredients from veggies to protein and even a little fruit, you’ll have plenty of options to give your health-conscious pup something yummy. Who said healthy had to be boring?

What to look for in a healthy treat for diabetic dogs
When your dog has been recently diagnosed with diabetes, you may feel pressure to change every little thing about their diet. The good news is that many ingredients you have at home are perfectly suitable for your diabetic dog, and if you already make dog treats at home, you may not have to make as many changes as you thought.

Read more
Can dogs eat seafood? Yes, if you follow these tips
If your pup likes it, then why not make it a snack for them?
A brown French bulldog lies on the floor next to their black food dish

Dog food isn’t just chicken and rice. As healthy as these staples may be, variety is just as important when it comes to creating a balanced meal for your fur baby. There are many safe and nutritious protein alternatives to chicken or your regular dog food, including turkey, beef, eggs, and even fish. Yep — fish.
Many people foods are known to be safe for dogs, but seafood doesn’t usually make the list. Fish certainly isn't the most popular food for dogs, which might have left you wondering: Can dog eat seafood? Is seafood bad for dogs?

Can dogs eat seafood?
Absolutely! Dogs can eat seafood, but only when it’s prepared correctly. The meat of many fish species contains healthy fats and nutrients such as omega-3s that are great for a dog’s coat, but you must be extremely careful not to feed your dog certain parts of the fish, including bones — or shells, in the case of shellfish. Any seafood your pup gets also needs to be completely cooked, or you run the risk of bacterial or parasitic infection.

Read more
Can dogs eat Christmas foods? Here’s what to share and what to skip this holiday season
Most common Christmas foods you can and can't share with your dog
A border collie wearing reindeer antlers looks over the dinner table

It’s the most wonderful time of the year -- for festivities and for food! From peppermint everything to Mom's famous roast turkey, there’s no shortage of delicious Christmas delicacies for to enjoy. Here’s where it gets complicated, though: These recipes aren’t necessarily safe for everyone in your family. Only some human foods are safe for dogs. Since canines have their own dietary needs and preferences, there are many festive treats they should stay away from.

Many of these are known no-nos for dogs -- chocolate, grapes, alcohol, etc. -- but a few may surprise you. We’ll cover popular holiday snacks, main courses, and even a few sweet treats, though a quick online search will help you learn about any ingredients we might have missed. When in doubt, you'll never go wrong buying your dog their own holiday treats!

Read more