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How to choose best dog food for Golden Retriever puppies between 2-4 months of age?

A good dry dog food is vital to golden retriever puppy’s well being when between 2- 4 months of age. Generally, these months in the life of a Labrador or Golden Retriever puppies is when the little canine has been weaned from the immense goodness of its mother’s milk and is introduced to solid food. It becomes very important to find the right dry dog food so that a healthy growth and robust adulthood can be secured.
pups Size-based categorization of dog breeds (small, medium, large, giant) is the most common way of grouping the dogs. In each size-defined breed, the dogs share certain unique features, which have a substantial impact on their overall health and play a big role in determining their ideal diet. Let’s find out which breed a Labrador and Golden Retriever belongs to.
Retriever Family and its origin
Arguably most modern retriever dog breeds like Chesapeake Bay retriever, Labrador retriever, Flat Coated Retriever and Golden Retriever owe their DNA to a breed of dog called St. John’s Water Dog. Labrador retriever dogs originated in Newfoundland, Canada and Golden Retriever comes from Scotland. Both of the retrievers are bred as gun dogs; it is the type of hunting dogs which are trained to retrieve shot waterfowls as well as upland game birds.

Labrador Puppies

Labrador Retrievers are most prevalent in chocolate brown, golden and black color coat.

Golden Retrievers are intelligent and gentle, perfect for families with kids. Labradors too are superb family dogs; they are friendly and athletic and again require vigorous exercise. As a working dog it enjoys outdoor sports. These highly trainable dogs need ample exercise and work wonders as sniffers and guide dogs and for hunting and rescue operations.
Labrador retriever and Golden Retriever puppies belong to the large (also, Maxi) breed. Large breed dogs are categorised as the ones which gain over 25 kg of weight at full adult growth, which is usually accomplished between 12 to 24 months. Both Lab and Golden Retriever assume an adult weight of over 25 kg.
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Common health issues of large dog breeds :
Prone to Developmental Orthopaedic Diseases: Large dogs are naturally predisposed to grow at a fast rate, and keep growing for longer periods as compared to smaller breeds. A high-calorie, growth-boosting food is only going to have adverse effects on the overall health, especially the developing and delicate skeleton of the dog. Most common disorders of bones and joints in large dogs are hip dysplasia, hypertrophic osteodystrophy and osteochondrosis.

Digestive problems: In large dogs, intestines weigh only 3% of their total body weight, whereas in small breeds it makes up about 7% of their body weight. So there is smaller area for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Food stays longer in the colon of the large breed canines that means longer fermentation which further translates into more watery and frequent stools.
(Source: Pet MD)
Right food for Labrador and Golden Retriever puppy aging 2 to 4 months
Both commercially prepared and home-made dog food can be fed to support the health of your pup. Homemade food is better than commercial foods, the only problem being the effort it requires to prepare nutritionally balanced food at home every day. If you are ready to make that extra effort, do consult a certified veterinary nutritionist and get accurate details of ingredients, recipes, methods of cooking, etc. for preparing food of a retriever puppy.
A good commercial puppy food assures the supply of essential nutrients, in the precise proportions to meet the distinct health needs of a specific breed and/or life stage. Commercially made large breed puppy food presents wholesome nutrition in the form of correctly sized, textured and highly palatable kibbles. You can go through the food labels of good quality foods and choose the best large breed puppy food keeping in mind the requirements of your pup, the advice of your vet and your own judgement.
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Useful Tips on selecting dog food in India:
The skeletal development of a dog usually depends on genetics, nutrition and exercise. As a pet parent you have complete control over nutrition. Exercise is also important, but should come second to nutrition in the list of relevance.

  1. Do consult a vet about the right commercial food products or homemade food items before fixing a diet of the large breed puppy.Do observe your puppy’s health regularly to note the aptness of a particular food to its overall health and happiness.
  2. Choose a diet containing a good amount of dietary protein as it does not lead to skeletal problems, as wrongly believed earlier; its deficiency can definitely add to skeletal issues of the canine.
  3. Aim for balanced and optimum growth, not fast growth of retriever puppies.
  4. Prefer foods for puppy which have whole animal protein as the first ingredient. Meat-by product, meat meals should be avoided as the primary ingredient.
  5. Ensure that highly digestible protein and fibre (with less fermentable fibre and fermentable starch) is there to support healthy digestion and improve stool quality.
  6. Look for low calcium food. It should be just sufficient to fill the basic need of the mineral without causing deficiency. A general and safe range for calcium can be close to 1.5% of the food composition.
  1. Don’t feed a high calorie food as that would lead to weight gain and increased pressure on developing bones and joints.
  2. Don’t pursue ‘free feeding’ with your dog as that mostly leads to overfeeding. The continuous availability of food to the pup is an unhealthy feeding practice.
  3. Avoid nutritional supplements if you are feeding a good complete and balanced commercial food, unless specified by a vet for a medical issue.
  4. Don’t give excess calcium. Normally, for the first 6 months of their age, puppies are unable to control intestinal absorption of calcium and some other minerals. Absorption of excess calcium can cause the bones and joints to grow abnormally.
  5. After it is weaned from mother’s milk, puppies don’t really need milk. Also, most of the dogs display varying degrees of lactose intolerance, and then there is a long list of dos and don’ts for milk making it more convenient to completely drop it from the puppy’s diet or give it in moderation.
    We hope we are able to help you in deciphering the code for the right food for your puppy. Just remember, beside fulfilment of all nutritional needs of the body, diets which support a slow and balanced growth would be ideal for the proper and healthy development of a Labrador or Golden Retriever puppies.

Have questions about your pet’s health? Contact us at to get expert veterinary advice in India.


With over 15 years of experience in dealing with pets, the PetsWorld Team is now a constant guide for thousands of pet owners in India. Their passion for improving the lives of pets can be seen in their featured blog posts dedicated to pet care.

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