Battling the bulge isn’t something your golden retriever should be dealing with!

Being overweight can cause your dog to suffer from health conditions and not be able to move around as much, so you want to avoid it. 

How can you tell if your golden retriever is overweight?

Stand over your dog and look down at him. There should be an inward curve at his or her waist. If you can’t see this from above or from the side, it’s a sign your golden retriever is overweight. 

You should also try to feel your golden retriever’s ribs. Now, if you can’t feel them, that’s another sign your dog is overweight.  

How Much Does A Healthy Golden Retriever Weigh?

Your golden retriever is a large dog, but how large is too large?

A healthy male should weigh 65 to 75 pounds, while a healthy female retriever should weigh 55 and 65 pounds. 

You should get into the habit of weighing your golden retriever on a regular basis to check that he or she hasn’t put on too much weight. 

Why Is Your Golden Retriever Overweight? 

Have you been giving your golden retriever tons of treats on a daily basis? Are you giving your pet lots of table scraps every night? 

You could be the reason why he or she is overweight. But there are other reasons for the increased weight. 

Various health conditions could be causing your golden retriever to gain weight. These include Cushing’s disease, which affects the adrenal glands.

When treated for this condition, dogs are usually prescribed steroids, but the drawback is that this stimulates their appetite and makes them gain weight. Other health conditions that could be affecting your pet’s weight include canine diabetes, thyroid problems, and anxiety

If you suspect a health condition is the reason why your golden retriever is putting on weight, you should consult with your vet as soon as possible.  

Are Golden Retrievers Prone To Becoming Overweight?

Are Golden Retrievers Prone To Becoming Overweight?

Almost 63 percent of golden retrievers are overweight or obese (via Fierce Pharma). Golden retrievers, as well as other dog breeds such as black Labradors, tend to be more susceptible to weight gain and becoming obese.

This is because they are highly motivated by food! 

How To Help Your Golden Retriever Lose Weight 

If your golden retriever is overweight, there are some things you should do right away to encourage a healthier, slimmer waistline.

  • Tweak your golden retriever’s diet. While you should never make drastic changes to your dog’s diet as this can be difficult for them to adjust to, you should stop feeding them unhealthy snacks, such as fatty food scraps. Replace them with healthier snacks, such as apples and bananas, but only in moderation as you want to avoid feeding your dog too much sugar.
  • Choose dog food that’s labelled “complete and balanced” as this ensures that it meets the nutritional requirements your dog needs to be healthy. 
  • Follow the 90-10 diet rule. This is the golden rule to bear in mind: treats you give your golden retriever shouldn’t be more than 10 percent of their daily calories. The rest needs to come from their nutritionally balanced food. 
  • Don’t allow free grazing. Do you leave your dog’s kibble bowl full every hour of every day? Your pooch might be a little too used to having food available all the time and he might not be eating when he’s hungry but when he’s bored. Let your dog eat at mealtimes and then remove the food about half an hour afterwards. It’s a good idea to take your dog’s entire daily intake of food and spread it out into three to six portions over the course of the day. 
  • Get into a healthy exercise routine. If your golden retriever hasn’t been exercising, you can’t expect to take him or her along for your morning jogs. You have to start slowly to get them used to exercise. This could involve walking around the block a few times or getting into the pool and doing some gentle swimming for 10 minutes. Work up to 20-minute, twice-daily exercise sessions as that’s what your adult golden retriever requires. 

When To Talk To Your Vet

If your golden retriever is following healthy lifestyle tips but still not losing weight, it’s worth chatting to your vet about it.

Perhaps there’s an underlying condition that needs to be explored. In addition, if you find that your pet just doesn’t seem happy or healthy after you’ve tweaked their diet, you should also check in with your vet. Perhaps your pet isn’t getting enough of the nutrients or calories they need to thrive! 

Why is feeding your dog smaller meals throughout the day healthier?

This maintains healthy insulin levels, which prevents appetite spikes and gives your dog the energy he or she needs to be active all day. 

How many calories does your golden retriever need every day? 

A 50-pound golden retriever will need approximately 700 to 900 calories per day, so use that as a guide to ensure you don’t overfeed or underfeed your pet. Check this calorie guide by Pet Obesity Prevention for useful information. 


If you’re dealing with the problem of an overweight golden retriever, you’re no doubt worried about your pet’s health. In this article, we’ve looked at some reasons why your golden retriever could be battling the bulge and what you can do to help your pet lose weight.

Now you know the tips you need to follow to ensure that your golden retriever stays within a healthy weight range and avoids health problems down the line.