What do Golden Retrievers eat? [Best Natural Foods]

Golden retrievers are definitely one of the larger bred dogs that need a lot of food in order to grow healthily.

Feeding options can be a little confusing sometimes and it can be very difficult to find out exactly what the best foods are.

This post will clear up all the cloudiness around this topic and break down some basic foods that you can feed your pup. 

dog training treat feeding

What’s more interesting is the fact that I will also go through some of the best home foods that your golden retriever can eat too.

Keep reading to find out exactly what golden retrievers eat and if you stay till the end, then I will share a great human food recipe with you that you can make at home for your pup.

What do golden retrievers eat for a healthy diet?

Just like most other breeds, golden retrievers love to eat dry kibble, canned foods and a mixture of meat and vegetables to ensure a balanced diet. Mixing your dog’s canned foods with their dry foods can be a great way to help them to eat if you are having eating difficulties. By mixing the 2 you are ensuring there is more of a contrast to their diet, which in turn will appear more appealing for your pup to eat. In the next section, we will discuss how much you should be feeding your golden.

Do golden retrievers eat a lot?

The short answer to this is yes, but it all depends on how active your dog is and sometimes what gender they are too. For an adult dog, you can expect to be feeding them anywhere between 2½ – 4½ cups per day depending on whether male or female.

You might find that a lot of dog blogs will average this out to around 3 cups per day which falls right in the middle. This will cost around $2 to $2.50 per day which can average out to $65 per month. To save you the time with finding the right foods, I have listed out a few in the table below for you to check out now.

3 Best Dog foods for golden retrievers

[amazon box=”B0033XQF8C,B001VIWHMY,B007X5H5CQ” template=”table” link_id=”17989″][/amazon]

So if you are looking to buy a golden or you have recently got hold of a new pup, then this is the kind of pricing you’ll be looking at when it comes to feeding. You should always try to give goldens a good healthy quality food to ensure that they get the best growth into their adult life.

For some goldens you may find that they eat a lot more than the recommended daily diet, so, for this reason, you will need to watch how much you feed them per day. It’s far to easy for a golden to get overweight especially if they are not regularly exercising.

If on the other hand, you have a very energetic dog, then you may be able to bend the rules a little to make sure he/she is well fed. NNext well dig into what you should be a feeding a puppy retriever.

How much should golden retriever puppies eat?

Puppies are usually fed from their mothers’ milk up until 4 to 6 weeks of age. From there you will be able to start feeding your puppy water and hard foods like kibble. The average amount to start feeding your puppy would be around would be the following:

Age Of Puppy (months)Weight Of Puppy (lbs)Grams (per day)Cups(s)* (per day)
Weaning – 32 – 6.580 – 195⅔ – 1 ⅔
Weaning – 36.5 – 11195 – 2801 ⅔ – 2 ⅔
Weaning – 311 – 22280 – 4702 ⅓ – 4
2 – 124.5 – 11120 – 2151 – 1 ¾
2 – 1211 – 15215 – 2801 ¾ – 2 ⅓
2 – 1215 – 26280 – 4302 ⅓ – 3 ⅔
2 – 1226 – 33430 – 5053 ⅔ – 4 ⅓
6 – 129 – 22120 – 2351 – 2
6 – 1222 – 33235 – 3152 – 2 ⅔
6 – 1233 – 44315 – 3152 ⅔ – 3 ⅓
6 – 1244 – 55395 – 4553 ⅓ – 3 ¾
6 – 1255 – 65455 – 5353 ¾ – 4 ½
* 1 Cup (250 ml, 8oz) = approximately 116 grams 

When starting out you should be feeding your puppy around 3 times per day from around 3 months all the way up to 6 months of age.

Puppies need a lot of calories for growing, so it is super important that you make sure to give them high-quality dog foods in the earlier stages of their life. If you are a little worried about how much you should be feeding your puppy then it’s good to just take a look at a chart to see what is classed as underweight or overweight.

This will help you to gather an idea as to whether your dog is healthy or needs a little more or less food and feeding time. Of course, this can also change from dog to dog as different breeds will have different average weights too.

Here is an image to give you a little guidance on what your pup should look like here:


As I’ve mentioned a few times throughout this post, it is important that feed your dog high-quality foods. But what exactly are high-quality foods and where can you get them from too.

Keep reading, as in the following section I will be going through that all important information.

What kind of food is best for a golden retriever?

When I talk about the topic of high-quality foods I am talking foods that have the nutritional value that is needed for your puppy to grow healthy. Golden retrievers are highly likely to develop problems such as hip dysplasia and cancer. So to ensure that you give your dog the best chance at preventing these type of problems, you will need to make sure that they have a good healthy diet.

Some of the most common foods that are good for a golden retriever are foods that include omega 3 and high volumes of fiber. Be very careful when buying cheap foods as they are usually mixed with other ingredients that can be dangerous to your dog’s long term health.

A few of the best foods for golden that are currently listed on the market include:

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food

[amazon box=”B00FBT7XAK” template=”horizontal” link_id=”17990″][/amazon]

This is the all-new Rachael Ray nutritional packed dog food. Whilst this product has not been around as long as the others, it is definitely making its stance through quality and reputation in the market. If you are looking for new food for your golden then this will always be a great option to go get started with. 

Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe

[amazon box=”B07WF9SLF1″ template=”horizontal” link_id=”17991″][/amazon]

Merrick is currently one of the best dog foods on the market and comes in multiple different flavors with different ingredients such as chicken, beef, sweet potato, vegetables, and much more. Whether you have a puppy or adult dog then this will be a great option for healthy dog food. 

Fromm Family Foods Gold Large Breed Puppy Dry Food

[amazon box=”B000WFKTZ4″ template=”horizontal” link_id=”17992″][/amazon]

From dog food has been around for quite some time now and there is a reason for that. They never fail to deliver on the best food in the market that is made with natural ingredients and jam-packed with nutrients for your dog.

its the very reason this product was in my top 3 best dog foods review because they are the veterans in the market and continue to dominate when it comes to quality. 

What Should You Consider In golden retriever treats?

Treats are also a great way to get some nutrients into your dog that allows them to enjoy it too. Not only that, but it is also great for training your puppy as giving him/her treats when they do something good, will ensure that they can make a positive connection with the activity in the future.

Another great way to use treats is to use them for taking care of your dog’s dental care. When t comes to treats, there are a few benefits to using natural treats over reproduced foods that include:

Wholesome nutrition

With good quality treats and food, you will find that they are packaged with ingredients that include chicken, beef and other meats, etc. however with lower quality foods, you will notice that they just say ‘animal derivatives’ or something along those lines.

Now whilst you may save yourself some cash on those treats, my advice would be to stay away from them. They are more bad than good and can cause some serious problems for your dog in the future.


Hormones are what is pumped into animals to force their growth or abnormal growth so that farmers and suppliers get more bang for their buck. On the flip side, this is a very unnatural ingredient to have in meat and so this can be very bad to feed to anyone on this planet and your dog too.

It’s kind of the same problems we have with our own foods too, so I’m sure you can understand where I’m going with this. There are also potential health problems that can develop from your dog eating this type of low-quality food too.

Dental health

This is something that is heavily overlooked by parents when it comes to a dog’s diet. Far too often you may feel that your dog’s dental care is not as important as it really is. By giving your dog a good diet, you will ensure that their teeth and gums stay in the best possible condition over the longest period of time.

Weight management

Managing your dog’s weight has to be one of the most important factors in their life. If you are using high-quality treats then you can be sure that the weight of your dog will be under control for the most part. By using a good treat you are ensuring that your dog gets a good source of proteins and healthy fats throughout the day when chomping on a treat.

Treats to be careful with

Treats are great to use but make sure to be careful with things like rawhide etc. There are many mixed stories out there about whether rawhide is actually good for your dog or not. Not because of the nutritional value but because of the number of stories with it breaking up into small chunks and getting stuck in dogs throats.

What are the best dog treats for golden retrievers?

As I mentioned earlier in this post, when you are looking out for good or high-quality treats, then you are looking for treats with natural ingredients. This is especially important when feeding a new puppy as natural foods will make a difference in how healthy they grow into an adult dog.

To save you some time and hassle of looking around trying to find the best foods for your golden retriever, I have completed a list of the top 3 dog foods below. Each has its benefits depending on what requirements you are in need of, so be sure to read them carefully.

Zuke’s Hip Action with added Glucosamine and Chondroitin

[amazon box=”B0016COTUS” template=”horizontal” link_id=”17993″][/amazon]

Zukes steaks have recently changed their packaging so many of you may not recognize this product on the first look. But there is no denying that whilst it may look different the food is still just as good inside.

This treat is made with real grass-fed New Zealand beef and fresh carrots & apples. There are 3 different flavors that you can get your hands on as it comes in beef, chicken & beef and beef, lamb, and turkey. No matter what your dog likes there’s guaranteed to be a flavor that they’ll love.

Youll sees on a majority of Amazon reviews that people are having some great results and experiences with these treats. 

Read Also: >> What are the best foods for Golden Retrievers with skin allergies?

Sawmill Creek Smokehouse Pig Ears

[amazon box=”B00VAXNF62″ template=”horizontal” link_id=”17994″][/amazon]

You can never go wrong with pig ears. Firstly because you can always be sure that this is a completely natural ingredient and secondly because Sawmill Creek has human-grade foods. This product is sourced and made right here in the USA and comes 100% natural. You can currently get these treats in a pack of 45 on Amazon.

*A quick tip

Just like our foods, it is good to avoid any artificial foods or preservatives in dog food too. So that means no ‘meat by’ products and no soy, corn, or wheat too. Of course, some foods will be better than others but that’s why resources like this can help you to make a better choice.

The best thing to do is then test to see which one works best for you but just make sure that it falls within the list of good products to feed your dog.

Newman’s Own Dog Biscuits

[amazon box=”B001PMDYT6″ template=”horizontal” link_id=”17995″][/amazon]

This company is American based and also takes part in donating a part of their portions to better causes. This Turkey flavored treat is made with all organic products and is free of wheat, corn 7 soy. There are different biscuits that are suited for different sized dogs, so you can be sure that no matter what breed you have there will be a treat that meets your needs.

neamns dog treats biscuits

There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in this product, and all biscuits inside are made with organic barley flour.

If you have a pup that is a picky eater then this will be a great choice as you can break the biscuits up into pieces and feed it to them slowly. Hands down this is a great treat for your pup, which is why its on the list of my top 3 treats.

What home foods can golden retrievers eat?

Below is a video containing some homemade dog foods you can make for your Golden Retriever in a crockpot. On the flip side, I also have 20 simple recipes that you can check out on another post on this site.

Well because of this it is also easy to simply do it yourself too. Now for those of you who are looking to do this, I have included a video that shows you how to make a delicious recipe below:

Here a list of commonly used human foods that your golden retriever can eat:

Healthy Foods Harmful Foods
Acai berriesAlcohol
AlfalfaApple seeds
Apples (not the seedelBaking powder & soda
BeefChocolate lesp. dark)
BlueberriesFat Trimmings
Bran loereal, wheat)Fruit Pits
Bread (whole grain)Garlic
Broth chicken, beef)Hops
Brussel sproutslee Cream
CabbageMedicine for Humans
CarrotsMoldy Foods
CheeseMustard seeds
CinnamonNuts lesp. Macadamial
Coconut oil, meatsOnions
waterPotato leaves, peelings,
Olive oilTomato leaves & stems)
OrangesVitamins for Humans lesp.
Organ meat (Liveriron!
plzzard, heartXylitol (in qum)
PapayaYeast dough
Peaches (not the pitsi)Eggs
Peanut butterFlax oil
Isalt/ugar free)Fish oil
PearsHoneydew melon
PineappleLeafy greens
Potato (not peelings!)
Sweet potatoes
Yogurt plain)


By reading this you should now know exactly what makes a good dog treat and a low-quality bad treat. The video was a great resource to show you how to make natural treats yourself at home and I’m sure you now have an idea of what products are best to buy if you choose to.

So, what do Golden Retrievers eat? well, you will have to read this post to find out!

Picture of Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

About Dig Doggy

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