Golden Retrievers are loyal, intelligent and friendly dogs that stand out because of their beautiful manes. They get their name from their lustrous and golden coats. But with such beautiful and luscious locks that turn heads also comes the problem of shedding.
Golden Retrievers shed hair continuously throughout the year, and they are heavy seasonal shedders. Cleaning up trails of hair every day might not be the most fun activity, so let’s figure out how to tackle this problem head on!
Type of Coat
The Golden Retriever is a dog breed that has a double coat. They have a thick downy undercoat and an oily waterproof overcoat. These coats offer natural insulation and protection against seasonal weather changes.
The undercoat is mainly for insulation and protection against hot and cold temperatures. The outer coat keeps away dirt and debris.
How to Groom
Dogs with longer coats need to be groomed much more frequently. Dogs like Golden Retrievers that have thick and long coats need to be groomed daily.
If you don’t have time to brush your dog every day, you need to do it at least thrice a week. This will keep the mane in good condition and prevent it from developing painful tangles.
How Much Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
All dogs shed some hair, it’s a normal part of their hair growth cycle. The density and length of the coat can also affect the amount of hair that is being shed.
Since Golden Retrievers are a hairy breed, they shed moderate amounts of hair regularly.
They also shed heavily at least twice a year. This heavy shedding is seasonal and predictable, so you can prepare yourselves and your homes to deal with all the excess hair.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Golden Retrievers have attractive and beautiful coats. But these coats are not just for show, they help the dog survive in different weather conditions. The undercoat adapting to changing weather is the main reason why Golden Retrievers shed so much.
Golden Retrievers shed the most in the spring and fall. In springtime, they are shedding off the heavy coats that protected them during the cold winter months.
In fall, they are shedding their lighter coats that helped them get through the summer heat and growing a denser coat to brave the cooler months ahead.
If you live in an area with a hotter climate your Golden Retriever will shed more. This is because they don’t really need a lot of hair to keep warm.
Related: Do Golden Retrievers Smile?
Causes of Abnormal Shedding
While Golden Retrievers are dogs that shed hair continuously, if the hair loss is more than normal, it is a cause for concern.
Heavy shedding during off seasons can be caused by a lot of different triggers. Let’s look at some of the reasons for abnormal shedding in Golden Retrievers.
Allergic reactions can be triggered by changes in season, food items and even grooming products. Some allergies can also result in hair.
Allergies can be triggered by ingredients like beef, chicken, eggs, corn, wheat, soy or milk. Sensitivity to such ingredients can cause stomach as well as skin problems.
Allergic reactions can cause a lot of discomfort to your dog including vomiting, diarrhea, itchiness and shedding.
Switching grooming products or using cheap shampoos and cleansers on your dog might also cause skin problems. An allergy to shampoo or grooming products can also lead to abnormal shedding in Golden Retrievers.
Inflamed or shrunken thyroid glands can affect the production of the hormones. A hormonal imbalance can have a lot of negative impacts on your dog, one of them being excessive shedding.
Thyroid is quite common among medium breed dogs like Golden Retrievers. Thinning of hair and a dull coat are common symptoms that provide telltale signs of a hormonal imbalance.
So if your Golden Retriever’s coat lacks its usual golden sheen, displaying fatigue and is shedding a lot more hair than usual, you should get a blood test done.
Fleas thrive in warm and moist environments and can pose a risk to your dog all year round especially if you live in a tropical state.
Once the fleas settle down on your dog’s coat they breed and multiply quickly. An adult female flea can lay around 30 eggs a day.
Fleas and ticks can cause excessive itching and make your Golden Retriever shed more hair than usual.
Just like humans are affected by stress at home and in the workplace, dogs can also be affected by stress.
Old age, a change in environment or separation from owners can all be possible stressors for your dog. If the owners are stressed and tensed all the time the dog can also start mirroring its owner’s behavior.
A lot of people experience hair loss when going through stressful periods, the same is true for dogs.
If your dog starts shedding excessively after moving homes, or because there is a change in family dynamics, it is probably caused by stress.
Related: Can Golden Retrievers Be Aggressive?
Tips to Reduce Shedding
It is impossible to prevent Golden Retrievers from shedding, however, you can keep the following tips in mind to make cleaning up easier for you.
One of the simplest and easiest tips to reduce shedding is to brush our Golden Retriever regularly. Golden Retrievers are active dogs, so combining their activity levels and their flowing tresses might result in a tangled and matted up coat.
Ideally, you should brush your dog’s coat every day. However, if you cannot spend time grooming your dog daily you need to make sure that you are doing it at least three times a week.
This will prevent dead and loose hair from building up and shedding all over your house. Regular brushing will also keep those long locks matt-free and get rid of painful tangles.
Use Coat Rakes or Shedding Tools
Golden Retrievers shed the most in spring and fall. During this shedding season brushing alone might not be enough to tackle the problem of loose hairs all over the place.
Since Golden Retrievers have double coats you might need to make use of coat rakes to get rid of all the loose hair that your dog will shed in these months. These dogs shed off their undercoats to prepare for the heat of the summer month or to grow thicker coats to survive the cold winter months.
A coat rake is a tool with small teeth that help you rake out the loose hair from the undercoat. The teeth are long enough to reach through the topcoat and tug out the dead hair from underneath.
Ensure Your Dog Is on a Healthy Diet
Providing your dog with high-quality nutritious food is essential for a healthy coat. A balanced diet can do wonders for your dog’s coat health.
Ensure that the dog food is made of high-quality ingredients and doesn’t contain unnecessary fillers. Also, avoid foods that trigger allergic reactions.
Incorporating protein and Omega-3 supplements in your dog food will also help reduce shedding.
Protein is great for hair health—it increases hair strength and puts a stop to allergy-related hair loss. Omega-3 keeps the golden coat shiny and lustrous.
Don’t Give Them Too Many Baths
Overbathing can strip the skin’s natural oils, this will dry out follicles and increase shedding.
Golden Retrievers only need occasional baths to keep their coats clean. While their high activity levels can cause the coat to tangle up, regular brushing will help keep the coat in good condition.
Use Good Shampoos
Shampoos that dry out your dog’s skin should be avoided. If the shampoo has too many chemicals it will leech out all the natural oils from your dog’s coat.
Always check the ingredient list to make sure that your dog is not allergic to any of the ingredients in the shampoo. If your dog starts displaying allergic symptoms after you’ve switched to a new grooming product, you should not use it again.
Hypoallergenic shampoos with high-quality ingredients work best to reduce shedding.
Do Not Shave
You might think shaving off all the hair on your dog will help you solve the problem of shedding. No hair means no shedding, right? However, this is a very bad idea.
While your Golden Retriever’s coat is definitely beautiful, making your dog look pretty is not its only purpose. The double coat ensures that your dog is protected from changing weather conditions. The waterproof topcoat also keeps out dirt and debris.
If you shave your dog’s hair completely, it can cause allergic reactions and skin problems. Without this protective layer your Golden is exposed to all kinds of contaminants.
The thick undercoat protects your dog from extreme temperatures, shaving it off can cause your dog to freeze or develop sunburns or experience heat strokes.
Get Rid of Parasites
Parasites, like fleas and termites, are a big nuisance. They multiply fast and can cause a lot of health problems in your dog. Getting regular parasitic treatments can help get rid of parasites.
If you let the infestation get out of hand, it can increase itching and irritation leading to excessive hair loss. Catching an infestation early is the key to minimizing damage.
Create a Stress-Free Environment
The first and most basic thing that you can do to keep your dog calm and stress-free are not to bring them into stressful situations. If your dog dislikes meeting new people or loud noises and music avoid bringing your dog along in such situations.
The mental well-being of the dog and its owner are closely related. Taking care of your mental health can also reflect well on your dog, so try managing your own stress first before trying to tackle your dog’s stress.
Just like exercise pumps you full of happy hormones, providing ample exercise and lots of movement will help reduce your dog’s anxiety and stress.
Related: Do Golden Retrievers Drool a Lot?
Handy Tools to Own If You Have a Golden Retriever
Invest in a good-quality brush as you will need to use it quite a bit. Your Golden Retriever needs its daily brushing down to prevent excess shedding and matting. A quality brush will make the process more enjoyable for the dog, it will also make the process quicker and more efficient.
Golden Retrievers will always shed some hair no matter how many tips you follow to prevent shedding. So investing in a lint roller is a smart idea. This will make cleaning dog hair off clothes and sofas way more easier.
Sweeping up loose dog hair is not always the most efficient way to clean up. Sweeping can disturb the collected hair and transfer it to areas that you have already cleaned.
Vacuuming dog hair is the most efficient way to make sure that you’ve gotten rid of all the loose hair around the house.
A furminator is a coat rake or shedding tool that helps you get rid of all the loose hair from both the topcoat as well as the undercoat.
These tools have small pointed teeth that help rake up all the dead and loose hair. They can be especially handy during the shedding season. However, they should be used with caution.
The pointed teeth can cause scratches on your dog’s skin. So don’t use the coat rake every day and be careful not to be too rough when you are using it.
Related: Do Golden Retrievers Bark a Lot?
The Last Word
A Golden Retriever is a friendly, loyal and gorgeous pet to own. However, these furry friends require a lot of tender loving grooming.
All Golden Retrievers will shed moderately throughout the year, this is how they adapt to seasonal changes in temperature. Abnormal shedding, however, needs to be tackled immediately.
Excessive shedding can be caused by lifestyle changes or external factors. Whichever the case, there are ways to make life comfortable for your dog without having to spend too much time cleaning up loose hair.
While you cannot escape loose hair if you are living with a Golden, you can definitely get a grip on the amount of hair you will have to clean up.