Few dog breeds are as friendly, magnificent, and charming as Golden Retrievers. For first-time pet owners, it’s an absolute joy to have a Retriever pup in their life. In general, Golden Retrievers are easy to manage. Unlike many other breeds, they don’t require exhaustive toilet training. People also don’t need to train their Retrievers to not bark and growl at strangers since they are friendly to everyone.
However, there is one thing that Retriever owners must take care of i.e. shedding in their pups. The fluffy and glossy blond fur of Golden Retrievers comes with this side effect. With proper care, however, one can minimize and control the shedding in their Golden Retrievers. Also, it is important to adopt some measures to protect your household from the effects of shedding.
In this piece, we are going to thoroughly discuss all the preventive and management measures for controlling the shedding in Golden Retrievers.
Why Golden Retrievers Shed More than Other Dog Breeds?
This is the question that bothers many Retriever owners. Some owners even start mulling over switching the pet breed due to excessive shedding of Retrievers. Knowing the underlying reason behind the excessive shedding in Golden Retrievers can help you in rationalizing it as a normal phenomenon among them.
Double Coat: The Main Reason
The Golden Retriever’s double coat is the primary reason why they shed more than other breeds. It is important to mention here that there are really few canine breeds that have a natural double coat. The two layers of luxurious Golden Retriever fur are:
- A silky undercoat with high hair density
- An oily outer coat with relatively lesser hair volume
Besides providing a stunning drape to Golden Retrievers, this double coat is actually a natural mechanism of this breed to regulate their body temperature. From the start of fall till the end of winter, the undercoat of Golden Retrievers grows at a rapid pace in order to protect its body from extremely low temperatures.
As the spring starts and the additional fur is not required anymore, the undercoat starts wearing down resulting in excessive shedding during this time. Excessive fur keeps shedding during winter.
Allergies resulting in the skin irritation can also lead to excessive shedding among Retrievers. The irritation and the subsequent scratching by the dog weaken the follicles in the affected region, which eventually results in hair breakaway.
Ticks and Fleas
Tick and Flea infestation is another reason behind excessive shedding in Golden Retrievers. These parasitic pests are buried deep in their skin to cause extreme irritation, inflammation and in some cases eventual hair fall.
Get your Retriever to the vet if it has allergies or an infestation that is not going away through home remedies. Otherwise, the health of your pup will deteriorate with continuing shedding.
Stress and Anxiety
Yes, dogs particularly Golden Retrievers can also be affected by stress and anxiety just like humans due to events such as owner/home change or separation from family. They can shed more hair under the effect of mental strain.
All these instances are the ones where Golden Retrievers shed more than usual. Even if it’s not spring and they are not suffering from any disease and medical condition either, Golden Retrievers can still shed in considerable amount because of their special extra-fluffy fur.
Tips to Keep Golden Retriever Shedding Under Control
One thing should be made clear at the onset of this section i.e. there is no way to keep a Golden Retriever from shedding in an absolute manner. That’s how nature functions with them. Nevertheless, pet owners can employ certain measures and activities to keep the shedding under control. We are going to discuss three things here that can help you in controlling the shedding in Golden Retrievers to a substantial level.
1) Brushing Every Day Can Keep the Shedding Away
The most basic, harmless, and effective measure to prevent and minimize shedding is to brush your Retriever every day. At any given time, a Golden Retriever has many loose hairs that eventually become part of shedding. By combing your pup every day, you can have all those loose hairs collected at one place instead of a litter all over the place.
If you are not able to do it every day, make sure you are doing it at least two times a week. It’s easy to understand that a Golden Retriever with fewer loose hairs will shed less.
What Brush Should Be Used for Controlling the Shedding in Golden Retrievers?
This is another question that many people ask when they have to comb their Golden Retriever to control its shedding. You can use both slicker and pin brushes for this purpose. However, we would recommend you slickers due to following reasons.
They Are Made to Untangle Knots
Slicker brushes are made of thin penetrative bristles that can help in getting rid of all the knots and mats from the Golden Retriever fur. The untangling of knots results in shedding. By doing untangling by yourself, you can control and manage the subsequent shedding.
Their Sleek Bristles Are Made for Double Coats
The sharp bristles of slicker brushes are designed in a way so that they reach the dog skin after penetrating through the double coat found in many breeds. As mentioned earlier, the Golden Retriever is also a double coat breed. So, slicker brushes work really well on their fur and help with “preventive shedding”.
Apart from shedding, slicker brushes are also good for Golden Retriever combing because they can be used for massaging. Massaging Retrievers through combing improve their blood circulation and increases the production of essential oils within the skin that adds to their shiny fur.
2) Regular Bathing Can Also Minimize Shedding in Golden Retrievers
Give your Golden Retriever a regular bath as a measure against excessive shedding. We would recommend you to use oatmeal shampoos for this purpose. Oatmeal shampoos ensure the wellbeing of the dog’s skin and get rid of its dryness. The fur on the dry skin is more vulnerable to shedding, so keep an eye for this condition in your Retriever.
We are going to review some of the best oatmeal shampoos on the block. This will help you in picking the right product for shedding prevention bath of your Golden Retriever.
Earthbath Hypo Allergenic Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
This shampoo is developed to reduce the chronic itching among the dogs particularly developed due to skin dryness. The mixture ensures that enough moisture reaches the dog skin to prevent any dryness. This shampoo is a great bathing accessory for your Golden Retriever if it is suffering from excessive shedding.
Besides its effective moisturizing characteristics, Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Dog shampoo is also good for these reasons:
- It naturally deodorizes the dog skin and kills all the odors.
- The scent of the shampoo makes your Retriever smell clean.
The shampoo is 100% biodegradable. So, you don’t have to worry about its side effects for your Golden Retriever.
Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour & Honey for Dogs
This is a more effective formula and produces good results for fully adult Retrievers. Like other EarthBath products, it is also primarily made of oatmeal and its extracts. However, there are few things that are different in its composition.
Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo contains colloidal oat floor, which has the ability to deeply condition the dry skin. This oat floor treatment is really effective against shedding that originates from eczema and other such skin conditions.
The formula of this shampoo takes care of the natural pH level of the dog skin. Dog skin is usually less acidic than humans. Therefore, regular shampoo products can make their skin super dry resulting in itching, flaking, and subsequent shedding. The canine-suitable pH of Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo ensures that the dog skin doesn’t lose its natural moisture to cause any excessive shedding. Honey in the shampoo ensures that the Retriever fur continues to gloss and shine.
3) Take Care of the Diet of Your Golden Retriever
For controlling the shedding in a Golden Retriever, you should also focus on its diet. Like humans, the internal physiological actions and reactions also impose their impact on the dog’s skin. So, what can be termed as a good diet for controlling the shedding in Golden Retrievers? Our experts have identified two major constituents in the diet that can keep your Golden Retriever from shedding i. e. fatty acids and digestible proteins.
Add fatty acid and digestible protein-rich foods to their diet. These macronutrients actually act from within the body to strengthen hair follicles. As a result, your dog develops a strong and healthy fur that doesn’t shed more often.
Here’s the list of some of the foods with these micronutrients that you can introduce in your Retriever’s diet to keep it from excessive shedding.
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food: The package is filled with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Some antioxidants are also part of the mix.
Free Form Fatty Acid Liquid for Dogs: In case of excessive shedding, you can introduce this product to your dog’s diet. It is purely made of omega-3 fatty acids with no sugars and preservatives. It would be better if you give it to your dog after prior consultation with the vet.
SmartBones Skin & Coat Care Chicken Chews Dog Treats: It is a staple dog diet but rich in fatty acids. Add this in your Retriever’s diet for a long-lasting solution against excessive shedding.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Dry Dog Food: You can fulfill the protein needs of your Retriever through this product. Besides minimizing the shedding, this dietary item also entails many other health benefits for your Retriever.
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Bison Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food: This product is the combination of both omega-3 fatty acids and digestible proteins. Introducing this food in your diet can result in the long-term solution against the shedding.
Read more about the best dog food for Golden Retrievers in our detailed buyers guide.
Protecting Your Household from Golden Retriever Shedding
Shedding can cause a lot of nuisance in the house. Therefore, it is important that you also take some measures to protect your household from dander while controlling the shedding in your Retriever. Let’s see what you can do to minimize the shedding imprint of Golden Retriever in the house.
If you want to get rid of Golden Retriever shedding from the house, you’ll likely need to vacuum your house every other day. Vacuum your upholstery, carpets, rugs, and all those places to where your golden pup takes a stroll. Because you’ll be using it often, you’re going to want a good vacuum.
It might also make sense to get a handheld vacuum. They make it much easier to vacuum those hard to get corners against the wall, and furniture.
Cover the Furniture
If you don’t want dog hairs on your valuable furniture, then cover them with washable couch covers. Otherwise, you have to commence an exhaustive cleaning activity just to fumigate your furniture from dander.
Why Is This Important?
All the dog hairs shedding across the house can cause respiratory allergies among the family. Some people can also develop skin itchiness due to dog hair. Excessive Golden Retriever shedding can also aggravate the condition of people suffering from asthma.
Our Final Thoughts
The above discussion has made it quite clear that it is entirely possible to control the shedding in Golden Retrievers. The proper diet, regular bathing, and daily brushing can collectively produce good results against shedding.
Unnoticed allergies and insect infestation can also exacerbate the shedding while taking a toll on your Retriever’s health, so, make sure you are taking your golden pup to the vet after regular intervals. It is also important to protect your family from this Golden Retriever phenomenon.
Lastly, don’t go for any option that offers ‘permanent shedding prevention’. All such products are not vet-approved and can harm your dog.