Don’t you love the ever-so cheerful and playful golden retriever? The way they snuggle with their owner and obey their every command makes everyone fall in love with them. There is no secret that golden retrievers are happy and loving dogs, which is why they make for an ideal family pet. Another widely known fact is that this dog breed is always eager to please its owner. And that’s one of the reasons why golden retrievers are willing to obey their owner’s commands. However, it’s important to give them nice treats as a reward so that they continue obeying their master.
All of these basic reasons may encourage you to adopt a golden retriever pup or dog for yourself or for your family. But if you live in a colder region or an area that experiences cold weather most of the year, you may wonder – “do golden retrievers get cold?” If that’s not the case, then is it apt to consider whether they are able to survive harsh winter conditions. This article aims to tackle these frequently asked questions, so read on.
Can Golden Retrievers Thrive in a Cold Climate?
A direct answer to this is yes, they can. In fact, all types of dog breeds can survive in cold areas if they are provided with proper care and grooming. That being said, some breeds are able to survive better in harsh weather conditions than others. And it is fair to say that golden retrievers are one of them.
Take your golden retriever outside in the cold; there’s a good chance that your pet will enjoy every minute of it. Whether it is snowing outside or just very chilly, your dearest pet will make the most of its time in the cold. Despite the cold temperature, golden retrievers tend to resume activities that they generally indulge in, i.e., playing outdoors, running around, catching treats, etc.
You may feel too cold to take your pet out for a walk on a snowy side road. However, the chilly weather condition won’t be bothersome for your golden retriever. In fact, your furry companion will be more than delighted to go out and perform their usual outdoor activities.
Although golden retrievers can bear the frosty weather, there are times when it gets “too cold” for them. Just like human beings, golden retrievers can suffer from frostbite and pain when they stay out in the freezing cold for a long time. Here are some signs and symptoms that can help you indicate whether or not your dog is feeling cold.
Signs that Your Golden Retriever Is too Cold
It is natural for pets to feel cold, especially when they have been out and about for a prolonged period of time. Pay careful attention to your pet and listen to what they are trying to tell you in their own way. If your golden retriever is showing some of these signs, it’s probably too cold for them to be outside.
- Shivering and shaking
- Excessively barking and whining
- Running around to seek shelter
- Displaying negative emotions like anxiety or discomfort
- Reluctant to move, walk, or run
- Constantly lifting their paws off the ground
- A hunched posture and tucked tail
Signs that Your Golden Retriever Has Gotten Hypothermia
Hypothermia occurs when you are exposed to cold water, air, wind, and rain. Your pet needn’t have to be outside in the cold to get hypothermia. Studies show that both humans and animals can suffer from this medical emergency in an indoor environment, too.
Your golden retriever can easily lose body heat if the inside of your home is chilly for days. If your pet lies on a cold floor for a good amount of time, an increase in their body’s rate of cooling is very likely. Some of the signs and symptoms of hypothermia to look for in your pet are:
- Lethargic behavior
- Excessive weakness
- Lack of attention/alertness
- Loss of consciousness
- Dilated or fixed pupils
- Stiff muscles
- Respiratory issues – difficulty in breathing
How to Keep Your Golden Retriever Warm and Safe in Cold Weather
If you live in a region that is susceptible to snowy winters and freezing temperatures, there are a few precautions for you to consider.
1. Clean Your Dog Before It Comes Inside
If golden retrievers have been out in wet, snowy conditions, don’t allow them to enter into the house until they are thoroughly cleaned.
Using a clean towel, give a thorough rub-down to your pets. This will remove any unwanted salts and chemicals from their coats. Dogs are prone to ingest salt, antifreeze, and other chemicals as they tend to lick them off of their paws. Salt and chemicals can also be a skin-irritant if left on the body for long.
2. Don’t Let Your Pet Stay Out Alone
If your dog is going to play outside or stay outside, don’t let them be on their own. You need to be with your dog to assess their condition. If your golden retriever is showing signs of getting too cold, bring the pet inside right away.
3. Never Shave Your Pet’s Hair in Winters
Keep in mind that the long, thick fur of golden retrievers helps them stay warm in winters. Shaving it off will expose them to the icy wind and cold. Therefore, it is advised to avoid trimming your pet’s hair in the winter season.
4. Ensure that Your Pet Is Completely Dry Before Going Out
Before you allow golden retrievers to go out and play, make sure that they are not wet. At times, pet owners give their dogs a bath just before their outdoor walk or play. As a result, wet golden retrievers will start to feel cold since they have not been dried down properly.
5. Don’t Leave Your Pet in a Car in Winters
In winters, a car acts just like a refrigerator. The closed environment of a vehicle usually amplifies the outside temperature. Thus, leaving golden retrievers behind in a car in cold weather won’t be good for their health. The chances are that they may even freeze to death.
6. Give Special Attention to Golden Retriever Puppies and Older Dogs
Golden retrievers at these extreme ages are at very sensitive stages in their lives. They may not be strong enough to tolerate chilly weather conditions and may get cold. Also, avoid training golden retriever puppies during this time. Instead, opt for paper training until spring comes around.
7. Make Sure that Your Pet Has a Warm Place to Rest
A cozy bed and warm blanket are all it takes to shoo away winter chills. Make sure that you provide these comforts to your pets after they come inside.
Also, make sure that you keep the bed and blanket away from an open window or drafts. Keep the house warm and cozy so that the indoor temperature doesn’t drop too much.
How to Dress Your Golden Retriever for the Snow
1. Make Them Wear Booties
It is natural for snow and salt to damage your dog’s pads, especially if they have walked on icy or snowy grounds. Therefore, it is best to get good-quality booties from a dog’s clothing shop and make your pets wear them every time they go out.
2. Get Your Pet a Warm Sweater or Jacket
This is ideal for older golden retrievers that can’t bear frosty winters. Although most golden retrievers have thick layers of fur on their body that protect them during the winter, older ones need an extra layer of protection.
It is likely for them to have thin fur due to their age or weak immune systems; in such cases, a warm sweater or jacket is the best option. Make sure that you pick a garment in a sturdy material such as fleece or nylon.
If you follow the information mentioned above, it will help you provide keep your loving pet warm and healthy, while also allowing it to enjoy itself in a not-so-pleasant environment.