If your Golden Retriever has been eating everything you might want to know why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be eating everything and what you can do to stop it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever eat everything? Possible reasons are that it is not being fed enough, it’s not getting the right nutrients in its diet, it’s ill, it’s stressed or it has separation anxiety.

Your Golden Retriever might be doing it for a number of reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things you can do about it.

Why your Golden Retriever eats everything

Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and what would make them more likely.

It’s not being fed enough

The reason why it is doing it could be that it needs to be fed more. Generally, a sedentary Golden Retriever should eat between 989 and 1,272 calories daily and an active Golden Retriever should eat between 1,353 and 1,740 calories daily (source). If you’re not sure if your Golden Retriever is eating enough, it would help to discuss its diet with your vet.

It’s not getting the right nutrients in its diet

It could be the case that you are feeding it enough but it is not getting the right nutrients in its diet so it tries to get them from other sources. This would be more likely if it suddenly started eating more when you changed its diet. You can read more about what you should and shouldn’t feed your Golden Retriever here.

It’s ill

The cause could be that it is ill. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill such as vomiting. If it seems like it might be ill, it would be best to take it to a vet.

It’s bored

It could be the case that it is bored and it is trying to stimulate itself by doing things such as eat things that it should be. Golden Retrievers are meant to get daily exercise and they can behave abnormally when they don’t get enough. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults.

It’s stressed

Stress can also cause Golden Retrievers to start to eat more than they should be. This would be more likely to be the reason why your Golden Retriever has been doing it if it started to do it suddenly or if it does it when things might cause it to become stressed. An example might be if it eats everything when a certain person is around.

It has separation anxiety

The cause could also be due to things such as separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when you are not at home.

In this case, it would help to avoid leaving it for extended periods and to periodically check up on it if possible.

Also, it would help to train it to be less anxious when you are leaving and when you are away.

To do this you could do as follows:

  • Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
  • Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
  • Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
  • Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
  • Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your Golden Retriever
  • Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer

Nature

The cause could also be that it does it naturally since it is not unusual for Golden Retrievers to be opportunists.

If your Golden Retriever tends to eat things such as your food when you are not looking or whenever it gets the opportunity to, it would not be unusual behavior. This would especially be the case if it has not been acting unusually and if your vet has not found anything wrong with it when inspecting it.

Things to consider

When it first started doing it

If your Golden Retriever did not always eat everything, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.

If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a change in its diet, becoming stressed or getting ill. It would help to consider what else changed when it started doing it.

Whereas, if it has always eaten everything, it would make it more likely to be because it does it naturally. However, it could also be that it hasn’t been getting fed enough, a lack of exercise or not being fed the right foods.

When it eats things that it shouldn’t

It would also help to consider the timing of when it eats things it shouldn’t since it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

If you notice that your Golden Retriever only seems to eat things that it shouldn’t when you are away it would make it more likely that it does it due to separation anxiety. Whereas, if it does it when it has not gotten any exercise then it might be due to boredom.

How to get your Golden Retriever to stop eating everything

Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop doing it.

Make sure that its diet is right

It would help to make sure that it is getting the right diet. You can do this by consulting with your vet about its diet, making sure that no one else has been feeding it and you can read more about what you should and shouldn’t feed your Golden Retriever here.

Take it to a vet

If it has started doing it suddenly, it has been showing signs of illness or you can’t figure out why it has been doing it then the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you will be able to get expert advice tailored toward your particular Golden Retriever and hopefully to rule out illness as the cause.

Give it exercise

If your Golden Retriever is healthy, it would also help to make sure that it is able to get daily exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults.

Give it distractions

In addition to the above, another option would be to give it things to be distracted by so that it is less likely to get tempted to eat things that it shouldn’t be. Things that you could give it would include toys, puzzles and bones.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.