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Golden retrievers are such great family dogs.
They’re handsome, intelligent, sociable, and loyal. And their beautiful coats are legendary.
Our family has had golden’s my entire life. So, when asked do golden retrievers shed? I kindly laugh and reply: “Yes, golden’s shed. A lot. Year-round.”
Even the American Kennel Club in its description of golden retrievers notes that they shed a lot.
Of course all dogs shed. But goldens shed more than many other dogs.
You may find their hair everywhere. Golden hair tumbleweeds are not unheard of.
But don’t despair. There are measures you can take to help manage the problem.
When Do Golden Retrievers Shed the Most?
Although goldens shed year-round, there are periods when they shed more than others.
Golden retrievers have a double coat.
Their long, smooth outer coat is oily and waterproof and protects them from the elements, dirt, and other debris.
Their undercoat is thick, soft, and fluffy and helps regulate their temperature and protect them from the heat and cold.
They “blow their coats” and shed excessively in the spring and in the fall for about a period of three weeks each time. They’re getting ready for their thinner summer coat and heavier winter coat.
How To Manage a Golden Retriever’s Shedding
You love your golden. But you’re tired of all the hair: on your clothes, on the furniture, and on the floor.
Don’t throw in the towel. There are measures you can take to help manage the amount of excess hair clinging to and floating in your world.
And you should take into consideration whether there are medical reasons or other causes why your golden may be shedding excessively. If there are, a vet visit and treating any medical conditions may help get the excessive shedding under control.
Brushing your golden’s coat has many benefits. It stimulates his skin. It also removes excess hair. So there’s less to come off in your environment.
Experts recommend brushing him at least three times per week. Or daily if you can–especially during shedding season.
You want to make sure to use the proper grooming tools. If you’re not sure, it’s best to check with a groomer who has experience grooming golden retrievers.
Some people recommend using the Furminator to help remove excessive undercoat. It’s cautioned not to over-use this tool because it may be abrasive to your dog’s skin.
Massaging your golden after brushing can help remove loose hair that was removed by brushing. Run your fingers down their coats in the same direction as their fur grows to help remove excess hair.
Hair that you remove by grooming won’t wind up on you or in your environment.
But be sure not to shave a golden’s glorious coat. His coat is meant to regulate his body temperature and protect him from the elements.
It’s important for his overall health to keep your golden clean. Some golden experts say to bathe him every one to two months. And, of course, when he’s dirty.
Just don’t over-bathe or you may dry out his skin and remove the oli that naturally protects his outer coat.
When he’s being bathed, treat him to a gentle massage to help separate and remove dead hairs.
Not to have even more clean-up or clogged pipes, use a hair strainer in your tub to catch any hair that’s removed.
After he’s bathed, make sure to thoroughly dry your golden. They tend to get hot spots, and wet areas under his coat could make him more susceptible.
Make sure to use a high-quality shampoo. Don’t use one with too many chemicals that can be detrimental to his health and dry his skin.
I’ve had success with a few shampoo brands that have natural ingredients. My goldens have smelled fresh after their baths, had excess hair removed, and haven’t had an adverse reaction to them.
You can also purchase lint-type rollers to remove hair from your clothing and your furniture.
Spaying or Neutering
Goldens may shed more often when their hormonal balance changes after spaying or neutering.
High-quality food is important for your golden’s overall health. And a diet with fillers and low-quality ingredients can adversely affect his health, potentially leading to dry, unhealthy skin and a poor coat.
Some goldens benefit from the addition of Omega 3 fatty acids to their diet. These can lead to better skin and coats that aren’t too dry.
Of course, check with your vet before making nutritional changes to your dog’s diet.
I’ve added vet-approved salmon oil to my dogs’ diets for years. And they’ve never had dry skin or coats.
Watch out for any allergies your golden may have, whether they’re food-related or environmental.
Allergies can cause skin irritations, rashes, and excessive shedding.
Fleas and ticks can cause skin problems and excessive shedding. So check your dog regularly to ensure that he doesn’t have them. And follow a prevention plan that your vet recommends.
Keep your golden’s stress level low. Just like us, stress affects the body and can even lead to excessive hair loss.
So do all you can to help him not be too stressed.
Maintain a regular schedule for him as much as possible.
Feed him at regular times each day.
Make sure he has a sufficient amount of regular exercise for his age and health.
And meet his need for play and attention. Goldens are attention magnets and wither if not given enough contact with their beloved family.
He cherishes your bond as much–if not more than–you do!
Goldens are so attuned to us, they’ll also feel our stress. if we’re stressed, they’re likely to be too. So keeping our stress levels low can benefit you and your dog.
And make sure that he has enough rest and sleep each day.
Of course, regular vacuuming won’t totally eliminate your golden’s hair in your house, but it will greatly help. And you won’t have the golden hair-tumbleweeds you’d otherwise have.
There are some vacuums that claim they are exceptional at picking up pet hair. One is Dyson’s appropriately-name “The Animal.” We have this one and it’s held up to what multiple double-coated dogs can throw at it.
Some goldens LOVE water. After all, they’re retrievers!
If yours loves to swim, it can help remove excess hair.
And he’ll need a rinse or bath to remove any chlorine, salt, or other materials that accumulate on him after his adventure.
If your Golden Retriever swims in the pool on a regular basis you’ll likely have to clean out the filter much more often.
Beds and Throws
Provide a comfy dog bed for your golden. It will help keep your furniture hair-free.
They even make orthopedic ones that your dog will love. Get one with a removable, washable cover to keep him and your house clean.
If you let your canine family member on your furniture, you can have it covered by washable throws made for that purpose.
My dogs are allowed on the family-room furniture. I just have washable throw covers that are made to cover the sofa and the recliner on them. After all-it is called “FUR-niture!”
If your golden suddenly starts shedding more than usual, there may be a medical reason. These include: thyroid problems, Cushing’s disease, infections, allergies, or cancer.
A vet visit is in order to determine what’s going on.
What NOT To Do
There are two things people may try when dealing with a dog’s shedding that can actually be harmful or, at the least, not effective.
Don’t shave off your golden’s coat. It’s not only there for beauty. It also helps him regulate his temperature in both hot and cold weather.And it helps protect him from getting sunburned.
Don’t use pills or sprays that promise to greatly reduce or stop your dog from shedding. At best, they probably won’t work. At worst, they may have chemicals that can be harmful to your beloved golden.
Goldens are such lovable, intelligent, beautiful companions that we’re lucky to have in our lives. But there’s no denying that they shed year-round.
And two times a year they have an excessive amount of shedding when they blow their coats in spring and fall.
Fortunately, there are many ways we can manage and deal with their shedding. It’s a small price to pay for such loyal companionship.
What have you done to manage your golden’s shedding?
Please tell us about it in the comment section below.
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