Adult golden retrievers should eat 2 to 3 cups of premium dog food per day. Look for brands high in animal proteins with the primary source of fats coming from animal fats and low or minimal amounts of grains. Avoid dog food that contains animal byproducts and artificial additives. Apples, carrots and broccoli can be fed as snacks.

The exact amount of food a golden retriever needs each day is dependent on age, metabolism, health and activity level. When puppies are between 4 to 7 months old, they grow rapidly. To avoid developing bone disorders, they should eat high-quality and low-calorie foods to prevent them from growing too quickly. Determine how much puppies should eat by feeling their ribs; they should be easily found by running hands along their sides.

Golden retrievers should always have access to cool, fresh water. Avoid letting them free feed, and train them to eat on a schedule. Puppies generally eat three times per day, while adults are often limited to twice per day. The transition from eating puppy food to adult dog food usually occurs between 12 to 20 weeks, which is when puppies typically start to lose interest in puppy food or stop finishing their meals.