Why Is My Golden Retriever Puppy Skinny? [7 Reasons]

Why Is Your Golden Retriever Puppy Skinny [6 Reasons]

Owning a small Golden Retriever puppy makes your house lively and happy. Besides this, these puppies can become the best companion for your kids to play, cuddle and share secrets. Thus, as an owner, your main motive is to give your pal a qualitative life. But have you ever thought that your Golden Retriever puppy might not be growing ideally and seems skinny?

So, why is your Golden Retriever puppy skinny. Usually, there are many reasons why your Golden Retriever puppy is skinny such as lack of nutrition, genetic factors, sickness or injuries, too much or too little physical activities, and picky eaters.

Since Golden Retrievers are outrageously popular nowadays, every family wants to own them. But parenting these high-maintenance dogs is a great responsibility. In addition, if you want a puppy, you must prepare yourself for lots of hard work.

However, I will explain why your Golden Retriever is skinny and some easy ways to manage its weight further in this article. I hope this article helps you in parenting your cute little friend.

What Is The Healthy Weight For Your Golden Retriever Puppy?

In the initial first year, the weight of these dogs fluctuates a lot. Thus, if you have a puppy Golden Retriever, you will experience drastic weight change in the first eight months.

Besides this, these puppies are more likely to weigh a little more during their period. And as they reach maturity, they lose their puppy fat. But skinny puppy Golden Retriever is very uncommon and can a fatal problem.

However, the ideal weight of a Golden Retriever at different stages of the growing phase are:

Age of Golden Retriever Smallest weight (pounds) Largest weight (pounds) Average weight (pounds)
7 weeks 5 17 9
8 weeks 5 17 10
9 weeks 8 17 12
10 weeks 10 22 15
11 weeks 12 25 17
3 months 16 33 22
4 months 22 44 30
5 months 25 52 40
6 months 27 61 43
7 months 35 75 59
8 months 40 77 61
9 months 45 77 61
10 months 50 77 63
11 months 55 77 66
1 year 65 77 68
2 years 65 80 73

Further, a puppy Golden Retriever becomes matured after two years of age. And after that, they stop growing.

Does your puppy weight according to this chart?

When your puppy weighs more, it might be overweight. But, if it weighs lesser than the above value, it might be skinny.

But how to know whether your Golden Retriever puppy is getting skinny or not?

Is Your Golden Retriever Puppy Skinny?

Sometimes, the owners fail to notice subtle signs that their puppies are getting skinny. Thus, it seems like they are ignoring their pals. However, if you are parenting a Golden Retriever puppy, neglecting its health can be dangerous.

Therefore, look for these signs in your Golden Retriever puppy to know whether it is skinny or not:

  • Are the ribs of your puppy visible? Does it feel like they have ribs just beneath the skin without a layer of fat?
  • Can you feel the hip bones, shoulder bones, and spinal cord of your Golden Retriever with ease like they lie just beneath the skin?
  • Are the bones in the tail of your Golden Retriever puppy protruding?
  • Are the ribs of your puppy too clear?
  • Can you get a clear view of ribs and hips from the top? And does it feel like your pal is hollow without tummy?

Further, if your answer to all these questions is yes then, your puppy Golden Retriever is for sure skinny.

However, don’t you want to know why your puppy is skinny? Read further to get your answer.

Why Is Your Golden Retriever Puppy Skinny? [7 Reasons]

As Golden Retrievers love eating and are always hungry, it is very unusual of them to be skinny. But since these dogs are prone to various medical conditions, health hazards aren’t so uncommon.

However, there are many reasons why your Golden Retriever puppy might be skinny. And, those influencing factors are:


Some Golden Retriever puppies are naturally skinny. Further, these dogs have a higher metabolism. And thus, they are less likely to gain fat.

Besides this, when the parents are skinny, the puppies born inherit their genes. Hence, they become lean and thin. Thus, you can’t assume a puppy to go beyond and against its parents’ hereditary traits. Can you?

However, when your Golden Retriever is active and happy despite being skinny. Then, it is natural. So, you don’t need to worry about your pal being skinny.

Picky Eaters

Most Golden Retrievers can eat any and everything. But still, you will find a few dogs nagging about their food. Further, since puppies are new to the environment, they need time to get familiar with the surrounding. So, picky eating is more common in puppies.

After eight weeks, when you bring a puppy Golden Retriever home, their diet suddenly changes from mother’s milk to solid foods. So, these puppies avoid their food and become skinny.

Stress And Anxiety

Usually, Golden Retrievers are calm and gentle dog breeds. Thus, they prefer peaceful and quieter surroundings. Besides this, when puppies are new to the surrounding, it needs time to settle down. But if their new environment is noisy and disturbing, they may be anxious, uncomfortable, and nervous.

So, instead of accepting the surrounding, they suspect everything as a threat. Hence, puppies stop eating, playing, and interacting with people. As a result, a puppy Golden Retriever will be skinny.

In addition, extreme environmental conditions like too much hot and too cold might also make a puppy Golden Retriever aggressive and destructive. Thus, it avoids its meal.

Sickness Or Injury

Owing to the complex genetic makeup, Golden Retrievers are more susceptible to several health issues like cancer, hip dysplasia, joint problems, eye disease, ear infections, allergies, etc. As a consequence of these diseases, the dogs lose their appetite and become skinny.

Besides this, puppy Golden Retriever is very playful and active. So, they like to run, play, and jump here and there. Thus, they are prone to injuries. Therefore, due to the immense pain of injures, the puppy loses its appetite.

Poor Breeding

When your puppy Golden Retriever comes from an abusive breeding environment, it is less likely to have an interest in eating and playing. Since those puppies lost trust in people, they resent everything. Thus, these dogs avoid eating food served to them, assuming it is a threat.

Further, these puppies are vulnerable and emotionally unstable. So, they have a lesser urge to eat and are skinny.

Too Much Or Too Little Activity

Generally, for proper development of bones and joints of a Golden Retriever puppy, it needs at least an hour of exercise daily. So, when your puppy lacks adequate physical training, it might be lazy, inactive, and moody. As a result, it stops eating its food.

Besides this, the bones and joints of a puppy Golden Retriever won’t develop before eight months. Thus, intense physical activities might degrade their bones and results in strain and tearing of ligaments. Therefore, your pal will experience immense pain and loses interest in eating.

In addition, limping, grunting, frequent barking, and biting are the most common signs that indicate your pal has health issues.


Since puppies are in a growing phase, they require more nutrients in their diet. But some owners fail to understand this fact. So, they end up underfeeding their pal.

As a result, a Golden Retriever puppy becomes skinny. Besides this, the quality of food also affects a lot in your dog’s health. Thus, low-quality dog food can make your puppy underweight.

Furthermore, you cannot use human foods for your puppy. Since your pal cannot digest those foods, it suffers from health issues like constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and skin rashes.

Along with this, adult dog foods are low in carbohydrates and proteins. Thus, adult dog foods cannot provide adequate nutrition to your puppy Golden Retriever and make it skin.

Now, after you know the cause of your pal skinniness, don’t you want to know what to do to help your pal gain weight?

What To Do When Your Golden Retriever Puppy Is Skinny?

As humans, it is essential to manage the weight of Golden Retriever. Further, if you want to increase your pal’s lifespan, maintaining an ideal weight is vital.

Moreover, a study also says that a healthy Golden Retriever can live more. So, after you find that your puppy Golden Retriever is skinny, you might want to increase its weight. Don’t you?

Therefore, here are some ideas to help you manage your pal’s weight:

Seek Advice From Professional

Since your Golden Retriever puppy might be eating less due to health issues like joint problems, heart diseases, ear infections, injuries, etc., you must consult with the Vet to know the reason for skinniness. Further, after the Vet diagnosis the root cause for your pal’s low weight, he will prescribe medicines with supplements to increase its weight.

In addition, the Vet also suggests the best diet plan and exercise to maintain your dog’s weight. So, consulting with the Vet as soon as you notice abnormality or skinniness can be helpful to promote your Golden Retriever’s lifespan.

Schedule The Daily Activities

When you schedule all the daily activities, you ensure your pal is living a qualitative lifestyle. Further, you can feed, train, and play with your pal at an appropriate time. Thus, it keeps your pal happy and active.

Besides this, you can also manage the essential foods and time for serving your pal through the schedule. As a result, your pal will get an adequate amount of nutritious food to gain healthy weight. Hence, your Golden Retriever puppy will get its ideal weight.

Frequently Weight Your Pal

If you want your puppy Golden Retriever to gain weight, frequent weighing is necessary. Further, regularly measuring your pal’s weight helps to know the effectiveness and success of the diet plan you are using. Thus, you can change your schedule accordingly to help your puppy get an ideal weight.

Moreover, I suggest you change the diet and exercise routine every week and measure your pal’s weight at the end of each week so that you can find the perfect diet plan and exercise to manage your pal’s weight.

Invest In High-Quality Dog Food

The quality of food matters a lot in your pal’s health. Although, low-quality food might be cost-effective. But those food isn’t good for your pal’s health.

Besides this, Golden Retriever is an expensive and sophisticated dog. So, you must invest in qualitative dog foods to maintain your pal’s weight. Moreover, qualitative dog foods are high in nutrition and contain the exact number of calories that will help your puppy gain weight.

Feed Frequent Small Meals

If your Golden Retriever puppy has a small appetite, feeding it frequent small meals can be a good idea. Further, ensure the small meals contain all the essential nutrients for your pal so that it can gain weight.

Generally, if you manage the meals properly, your pal tends to eat more through frequent small meals than a single meal. Hence, it is helpful for your skinny Golden Retriever puppy to get some extra pounds.

Incorporate More Exercises

Exercise and physical activities burn the calories of your dog and make them calorie deficient. Thus, your pal tends to eat more after exercise and training.

Besides this, exercise helps in the proper development of the bones and joints of your pal. So, it gives a healthier life to your furry friend.

Furthermore, adequate training helps to discipline your pal. Hence, a trained Golden Retriever puppy follows your every command and eats what you offer. As a result, your puppy can gain weight.

However, be careful about the intensity of exercise. Since puppies have weaker bones, avoid intense physical workouts. But you can give behavioral training like potty training, bite inhibition training, barking control training, and training to control aggression to your puppy.

Use Weight Gain Snacks

Since some Golden Retrievers might not find meals appealing, you can entice those dogs to eat using special high-calorie treats. Further, as per professional suggestion, you might even give your pal higher protein and fat-rich food that helps to gain extra pounds.

Besides this, some supplements can also help your puppy to get the missing nutrition in its diet. So, try food supplements.

Along with this, you can even include healthy natural foods as snacks. Since these foods are high in fibers, it helps to improve your pal’s digestion. Thus, you pal might eat more and gain weight.

How are you helping your pal to gain weight?

What Are The Best Foods To Fatten Skinny Golden Retriever Puppy?

If you think your puppy Golden Retriever isn’t growing as per its age and getting skinny, it is time to change its diet.

Further, while choosing dog food, make sure that your puppy likes it and is high in nutrition.

However, if you are struggling to find the right food for your pal, I will try to narrow down and include the best options below:

Natural Foods To Fatten Skinny Golden Retriever Puppy

Since Golden Retrievers love their owners, they always search for ways to get closer to their owners. And thus, every pet loves a bite of their owners’ food. So, the food options that are healthy and easily available in the kitchen are:

  • Lean meats: To increase the calories in your puppy, you can steam, boil, and roast food high in proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef.
  • Sweet potatoes: As cooked skinless sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, they can promote strong nerves, bones, and muscles. Thus, they can be a superfood for your Golden Retriever puppy to gain weight.
  • Peanut butter: Besides being tasty, peanut butter is higher in fats and proteins. Thus, it can help your pal gain extra pounds. However, be careful that peanut butter doesn’t contain xylitol.
  • Pumpkin: Although pumpkins are cheaper, they are rich in Vitamin A, zinc, and fiber. Besides this, they hydrate your pal. Therefore, pumpkins can be the best food for the health of your puppy.

Best Weight Gain Food For Skinny Golden Retriever Puppy

Besides kitchen foods, there are some healthier weight gain foods available in the market for your pal. Thus, you can include these foods in your pal’s diet.

Thus, they are:

What Is The Diet Plan For Skinny Golden Retriever Puppy?

Like humans, every puppy has a significant preference for food. So, don’t force your pal to eat. However, a diet plan that can help your puppy gain weight is as follows:

Age of Golden Retriever Weight of a puppy (pounds) Quantity per day Meals per day Quantity per meal
Less than two months 5-17 Liquid diet roughly 100 ml 2 2 ounces

(50 grams)

2-4 months 15-26 7-9 ounces

(200-250 grams)

4 2 ounces

(50-55 grams)

4-6 months 20-50 9-11 ounces

(250-300 grams)

3 3-3.5 ounce

(80-100 grams)

6-8 months 55-65 10-13 ounces

(300-350 grams)

3 4-6 ounce

(100-150 grams)

8 -12 months 60-70 12-16 ounces

(350-450 grams)

2 6-8 ounce

(175-220 grams)

More than 12 months Above 70 15-17 ounces

(Above 400 grams)

2 7-9 ounce

(200-250 grams)

Moreover, I hope this diet plan helps your pal to gain weight. But most puppies are picky eaters. So, don’t you want to know what to do in such a case?

How Can You Get Your Puppy Golden Retriever To Eat Weight Gaining Food?

Usually, puppies are picky eaters. And after getting familiar with the taste of their food, they don’t want to change their diet. As a result, they avoid eating a new diet and weight gaining food.

Thus, for this, you can use the following tip:

Day Old food New food
First two days 90% 10%
3rd and 4th day 70% 30%
5th and 6th day 50% 50%
7th – 9th day 20% 80%
After 10th day 0% 100%

Therefore, you can change your pal’s taste buds within ten days.

Furthermore, you can use this article- How Can You Help Manage The Weight Of Your Golden Retriever, to help your pal gain weight.

Do you think this plan will be effective?

Summing up, a puppy Golden Retriever can be a great companion for the family. And if you manage the weight of your puppy, you can live a happy and peaceful life with them. Besides this, being an owner, you are responsible for your pal’s healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, be careful while deciding the diet plan, exercise routine, and training for your pal. Moreover, if everything goes well and you maintained your pal’s weight, you can make beautiful memories. Don’t forget to capture the moments and your Golden Retriever’s contagious smile.

I hope this article helped you to give your puppy a qualitative life.

Do you have suggestions for improvement of this article?

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