If you hate having your furniture and clothing covered in dog hair, a Golden Retriever may not be the best choice for your lifestyle. In addition to their unique brand of glitter on every surface in your home, you should also like having muddy pawprints on your carpet and kitchen floor. If you own a Golden Retriever, you’ll get that and more from them.
Golden Retrievers have a thick double-coat that is made to repel water. Since they were originally bred as waterfowl retrieving gun dogs, a huge majority of them love playing in the water and won’t pass up romping through a muddy puddle if given the chance. You’ll need to stay on top of bathing if your Golden is attracted to puddles.
Shedding can also be a very common thing. In fact, a Golden will shed some of its coat year-round, with the heaviest shedding happening in the spring and fall. Daily brushing will be needed to help keep this shed hair minimized, but no amount of brushing will prevent the occasional hair from showing up on your furniture or clothing.
When brushing your Goldens, pay close attention to the back of the ears and the feathering on the hind legs. Both of these areas are prone to matting which, if left unmaintained, can lead to skin infections and permanent hair loss.
Most breed registries recommend bathing your Golden once a month, or as needed if they happen to get into mud puddles or other messes. Additionally, if your Golden swims in a stagnant pond or another water source often, rinsing them off can help prevent skin infections from the bacteria in the water. Leaving the undercoat moist can lead to skin infections, rashes, and mange-like symptoms.
Bathing also helps to free up dead hairs in the undercoat and topcoat. It’s a great first step before a monthly grooming session. Just make sure your Golden is fully dry all throughout their coat before you start brushing or you can increase the occurrence of mats forming in the coat.
As with all breeds, Goldens should have their teeth maintained on a regular basis. While daily brushing is great, two times a week is usually recommended. By using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste, you can help reduce the amount of tartar and bacteria growing in the mouth. This helps reduce the likelihood of tooth decay and improves your dog’s breath.
The cute fold-over ears of your Golden can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. Moisture trapped in the ear combined with the warmth of that area can lead to bacterial blooms and yeast infections. Using a pH balanced dog-specific ear cleaner and a cotton ball can help remove this bacteria and prevent the growth of yeast or fungus.
Giving your Golden a pedicure is important at least once a month. Toenails continue to grow throughout your dog’s lifetime, and if not worn down naturally on sidewalks or other hard surfaces, they can continue to grow and make walking uncomfortable.
Toenail trimming is a quick and simple procedure, especially if your dog has been trained from an early age to tolerate his feet being touched. But if this task worries you, due to the blood vessels contained within the toenail, your vet or groomer can help you out.