Feeding your golden retriever puppy the right amount of food keeps him happy and healthy. Avoid the temptation to load him up with treats or too much food as this breed is prone to packing on pounds, which creates health problems later in life. Moderation is key. Adhere to a rigid schedule in puppyhood and you will promote a balanced metabolism that sets the foundation for a healthy dog for the rest of his life.
Once you bring your puppy home, you should always make sure that you use the same food that he has become accustomed to. The breeder will start training the puppy with food, and it’s up to you to ensure that he gets the food he has come to know. Golden Retriever puppies have very delicate stomachs, and they can be very receptive to any changes in their food.
When you first bring your new Golden Retriever puppy home, he or she may not be too interested in eating for the first few days. Being in a new home can be stressful for the puppy, which is why you shouldn’t force him to eat. The puppy will also realize that he doesn’t have competition at the food bowl, because he is away from his litter. You shouldn’t worry if he doesn’t immediately eat, as it will take him some time.
Schedule Regular Feedings
Puppies should eat three times daily to support a balanced metabolism. Feed in the morning, midday and in the evening. The final feeding should be approximately 90 minutes before bedtime to allow a few potty breaks before everyone retires for the night. Schedule morning feedings after you’ve taken your puppy outside to eliminate and take him out within 10 minutes following breakfast. Arrange a midday meal about halfway between your puppy’s breakfast and dinner.
How Much to Feed
Serve your puppy between 3/4 to 1 cup of dry food softened with warm water at each meal. Keep the food available for 20 minutes and remove it if your puppy hasn’t eaten it. Don’t be alarmed. Many puppies don’t have hearty appetites when they first arrive at a new home. Give it a few days. Your puppy should regain his interest in food within a day or two, once he settles in.
Increase the Food Portion Gradually
Once your puppy consistently eats everything in his bowl, increase the food portion by 1/4 of a cup at a time. Just be careful not to overfeed,” the breeders warn. “It is important that golden retrievers not become overweight. You should be able to feel its ribs quite readily when s/he is standing, by running your hands along its sides. You should not have to ‘poke in’ with your fingers.”
Switch to Twice a Day Feeding
Eliminate the midday meal when your puppy reaches between 12 and 20 weeks old. Rebelcreek breeders say if your puppy regularly shows a disinterest in a meal, usually the midday feeding, take the same amount of food you’ve been feeding daily, divide it into two portions and serve in the morning and at night. Maintain two meals a day to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract, unless otherwise advised by your veterinarian.
Keep in mind that the last feeding of the day doesn’t necessarily need to be set in stone. You should always aim to feed your puppy at least a half an hour before you head to bed, so that you can take him outside after eating.
If you time it just right every night, you can feed your Golden, take him out to use the bathroom, At night, when you sleep, you should have puppy pads or newspapers in an area that your Golden is familiar with so he can use the bathroom if he can’t get you to take him out.