Golden Retrievers are a beautiful breed of dog, and they are loving and kind and lots of fun to have around. One thing that is not as ideal about this breed is that they shed a lot. If you have been struggling to handle your Golden Retriever’s shedding and you feel like your home is turning into one big hairy mess, don’t panic! There are some easy ways to manage your Golden Retriever’s shedding problem and to keep your house clean and comfortable.
Golden Retrievers do shed a lot because their hair is so long and silky. Keeping your dog brushed and groomed will help to manage this problem, but you will need to commit to this process regularly for it to be successful. You cannot hope to keep your house and your dog from becoming a big hairy mess without a regular grooming plan in place.
Golden Retrievers require regular grooming to stay healthy and shiny, and mat-free, and there is an added benefit to this process that helps manage shedding. You should always consider regular grooming to be part of your job as a Golden Retriever owner, and you will have much better luck with this part of your dog’s care if you have a plan. Caring for your Golden Retriever requires attention to exercise and diet, but also to the needs of their coat.
If you are ready to learn some more about the tips that you need to manage your Golden Retriever’s shedding, you need to keep reading.
Why do Golden Retrievers Shed A Lot?
Golden Retrievers shed like any other dog when the weather changes or when they go through changes in their environment. All dogs shed, but a long-coated dog like the Golden Retriever has a much more obvious shedding season than other dogs due to the length of their hair. You will find that double-coated dogs like the Golden Retriever are prone to shedding year-round with a few major coat-blowing seasons mixed into the year.
The outer layer of a Golden Retriever’s coat is the long and silky hair that they are known for. This hair is warm, insulates their bodies, and provides a waterproof layer. The soft undercoat that Golden Retrievers are known for is the part of the coat that sheds during the change of seasons. You might find twice as much short, downy hair as you do long hair when you are cleaning up after your Golden Retriever.
The thickness of your dog’s undercoat is what gives them the insulation and warmth that they need to be comfortable in the cold parts of the year. This same downy, short hair will be a nuisance to them when it gets warm, and that is why your dog sheds this hair out when the seasons change. The undercoat is what does most of the shedding in a double-coated dog, so you will need to attend to the needs of your Golden Retriever’s coat regularly to prevent mats and issues with uneven shedding.
Dogs can shed their hair excessively when they are sick, after surgery, or in response to stress or changes in dies as well. You will need to keep track of shedding behavior to identify times when your dog seems to be shedding more than usual. A dog that does not appear to be feeling well and that is shedding might need to see the vet. Sometimes issues with the coat are the first symptom of major illnesses, and you will want to make certain that you are not accidentally ignoring a major health concern.
If stress is the reason for your dog’s excessive shedding, your vet can also prescribe some medications that will help your dog to feel less anxious and to stop shedding so much. This can be a big relief for you as an owner, and your dog will thank you for helping them to feel better and less worried. Even if your dog is not worried about their excessive shedding, the source of their stress might be something that needs to be changed in their environment. Knowing that your dog is anxious about a new pet, a change of residence, or another point of concern can help you to make them feel better.
When is Golden Retriever Shedding Season?
Golden Retrievers shed the most during the spring and then again in the last days of fall. This is a natural response to the changing of the seasons, and these are the two periods where your dog will shed out their undercoat and then replace it when the weather gets cold again.
Despite the two seasons when your dog will shed more than average, Golden Retrievers do shed all year long. This is a thick-coated dog that has a lot of hair, and this necessitates a heavy shedding frequency to keep this kind of coat healthy. Your dog might also shed more if they are changed to a new food, experience stress that causes their coat to shed, or if they are exposed to a sudden weather change like a hot period or cold period.
Other Reasons That Your Golden Retriever Might be Shedding
There are some other reasons that your Golden Retriever might be shedding when it is not shedding season. Some health conditions can cause your dog to shed excessively, and if you have just spayed or neutered your pet, this might also cause an unexpected round of shedding as your dog adjusts to its new hormonal balance. Age and changes in living situation can also cause changes to your dog’s coat. This might not be manageable, but very often, your dog will adjust to alterations in their environment and stop shedding due to anxiety and stress.
When your dog is shedding and seems like they don’t feel good, you will want to take your dog to the vet. Having your dog looked at for issues like fleas, skin infections, kidney or liver disease, and other conditions that can cause damage to the coat is important. You will want to know about these possible health risks before they can become a major problem for your pet.
If your dog is shedding excessively and their coat appears dull, you might also need to make a change to their diet. Sometimes food allergies or a lack of nutrition in the diet can lead to problems that show up in the coat first. This might be another reason to get the expert advice of a vet. You might need to find out what your dog is allergic to so that you can change their food to a type that does not contain allergens that are making them shed.
There are many health-related reasons that your Golden Retriever might be shedding, and if you have any doubts that your dog is healthy and happy, you will want to make sure to visit the vet right away. While it is normal for your Golden Retriever to shed all year long, excessive shedding that is accompanied by losing weight, lethargy, or other behaviors that are not normal requires a trip to the vet.
Tips to Reduce Golden Retriever Shedding
Reducing Golden Retriever shedding can be a little bit difficult, but you can manage some of the shedding processes by using these tips. Your house will be much cleaner because of your efforts, and your dog will be more comfortable than normal due to your hard work. Make sure that you pay attention to the seasons and don’t lose track of the shedding season. Sometimes just being ahead of the curve can make a big difference in managing your dog’s shedding process.
When it comes time for your dog to shed their winter coat or to grow its undercoat back, you will need to schedule a visit to the groomer. This visit will help your dog to remove its undercoat, and it will help with mats, bad smells, and if your dog is itchy and uncomfortable. A professional groomer will have the bathing and drying tools to make sure that your dog’s coat is in the best condition for the change of seasons.
Taking your dog to a groomer will help get the worst of the shedding process over within one easy step, and your home will be much cleaner due to your advanced planning. You can also start the process of removing your dog’s undercoat for them by brushing them outside on a daily basis as soon as you start to notice a change in your dog’s shedding behavior.
Golden Retrievers need to be brushed on a daily basis for the best management of their long and silky coats, but this might not always be realistic for every dog owner. The more often you can brush your dog, the easier it is to manage their shedding. Make sure that you also invest in an undercoat rake and a slicker brush to help you to get access to both layers of your dog’s coat. Just brushing the top layer of a Golden Retriever’s hair will not accomplish much.
If you are having trouble getting access to the full depth of your dog’s undercoat, you can wash your dog and let them air dry someplace warm. Then, massage the coat vigorously with your hands to loosen matted hair that is trapped under the top layer of your dog’s coat. Get out your brushes and go to work after you have massaged the coat by hand. You will find that there is a lot more hair that is loose than you thought, and you can remove most of it on your own if you have washed and massaged your dog first.
Never shave your Golden Retriever, as this can do major damage to their coat and can cause them to have trouble regulating their temperature. The same goes for over-bathing your dog. Don’t wash a Golden Retriever too often, or you can dry out their skin and open them up to issues like hot spots and other skin irritations.
How to Manage Golden Retriever Hair in Your Home
Consider a lint roller as your best friend when you own a Golden Retriever. You will need to have a couple of these little devices on hand to make sure that you can get pet hair off of your clothes before you leave the house. You might also want to invest in an animal-specific vacuum cleaner to be sure that you are able to pick up your dog’s long hair and remove it from your rugs and furniture. Robot vacuums can be a big help to your clean-up efforts as well, and you might want to invest in one of these handy devices if your dog’s hair just seems to be impossible to keep in check.
Always brush your dog outside where the hair that you are working out of their coat cannot stick to your furniture and floors. During the worst parts of the year for shedding, you will probably want to be sure that you take your dog outside and massage them and brush them at least once a day to prevent a build-up of hair inside your home.
Carpet rakes and other tools are sold that are made for use in picking up long or fluffy dog hair. This can be a big help to your clean-up efforts, and these tools are often very helpful when you have to get Golden Retriever hair out of your car. Some people will also use a shop vacuum to clean up after their dog at least once a week since this kind of vacuum offers more powerful suction than regular residential vacuum cleaners.
If your dog is scared of the vacuum, put them in another room or outside while you clean up. Dogs that are scared can shed their hair out of stress, and this can lead to further shedding while you are trying to clean up. Sometimes it is a lot easier to have your dog out of the way while you are trying to clean up after them anyway. Dogs can be pretty scared by the vacuum and think that they are helping you by getting underfoot.
How to Groom Your Golden Retriever Step by Step
This simple grooming process can help you to manage your Golden Retriever’s coat in between visits from the groomer. If you do not feel up for doing this process on a regular basis, you can always have the groomer take care of your dog year-round.
1. Brush Your Golden Retriever
The first step of the grooming process is to brush your dog all over. Make sure that you are not brushing against the hair or pulling hard on mats or other parts of the coat that are more sensitive. Do this until you feel like you have touched almost every part of the body. You do not need to brush the feet or the muzzle while you are completing this step.
2. Remove Matted Hair
If you can brush out mats carefully, take the time to do so. If you have to use scissors to trim out matted hair, do so very carefully and do not use long or very sharp scissors. You can also use clippers to trim out mats if you are worried about cutting your dog.
3. Bathe Your Dog
Use a Golden Retriever shampoo to wash your dog thoroughly. You will want to avoid getting water in the eyes or the ears. Make sure that you rub the shampoo vigorously as you wash your dog. You will need to create some friction to get the soap into the undercoat. You might also have to get the undercoat wet by pulling back the topcoat and soaking it by hand.
4. Rinse Out the Soap
Take your time and rinse out all the soap. Make sure that you have not missed any spots that could turn into irritation or hot spots. Make sure also that there is no soap in your dog’s tail, in their eyes, or ears. You will want to be sure that the water is running clear before you stop rinsing.
5. Dry Your Dog
Start out drying your dog with soft and fluffy towels. Be sure that you rub vigorously as you dry your dog. This will help to loosen undercoat mats and hair that has gotten trapped beneath the top layer of the coat. You can also use a hairdryer if your dog is comfortable with this process. This can help to get your dog dry before they start to smell, and it can also loosen up hair that needs to be removed from the coat.
6. Brush Your Dog Again
Now that your dog is dry, you will want to brush them again. You can rub your hands over the coat as needed to loosen trapped hair that has not come totally loose. Make sure that you try to brush out any mats that you find rather than immediately starting to cut out hair that has gotten clumped together.
7. Wipe the Ears and Face
Using a damp towel or a small, damp sponge, you will want to wipe off any loose hair that has collected on your dog’s face or in their ears. Make sure that there are no small bits of hair that are leftover anywhere from trimming as well.
You will want to bathe your dog about once a month, but you should not give them baths more often than every other week. Drying out your dog’s coat by washing them too much can actually lead to more shedding, and you might run into issues with itchy skin and allergic reactions as well. Always make sure to use a dog-safe shampoo when you wash your dog and do not use perfumes and other products on them that might irritate their skin.
If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with trimming out mats and tangled hair, you can easily leave this to a groomer. There is no sense in accidentally hurting your dog while trying to cut a mat out of their hair, and you will be glad that you gave this job to someone skilled if you were feeling scared about taking it on by yourself. Always have someone hold your dog for you if you are having trouble washing them or brushing them.
Having some help when you are grooming your dog can make a big impact on the overall process for both you and your dog. Being free of the need to struggle to brush your dog can make the process less stressful, and your dog might also realize that there is no need to fuss if there is someone holding them still while you work.
Managing Golden Retriever Shedding Can Be Easier Than You Think
At the end of the day, part of owning a Golden Retriever is managing the care of their coat. This means that cleaning up some dog hair each day is just part of owning your beloved Golden Retriever. If you are prepared for the process of weekly grooming and care of this kind of coat and you own a sturdy vacuum cleaner, you will probably have no trouble taking care of your dog’s long coat and cleaning up after them.
Golden Retrievers are so sweet and beautiful that a little bit of extra grooming is not really a very big hardship. Most people manage the grooming of their Golden Retriever by making sure that they have a professional do most of the work each year. You can take your dog to the groomer each month if you wish to avoid cleaning up after them and grooming them yourself. No matter what kind of dog you get, there will be dog hair to clean up, and proper grooming can go a long way toward making your Golden Retriever’s hair coat manageable.
- Why do Golden Retrievers Shed A Lot?
- When is Golden Retriever Shedding Season?
- Other Reasons That Your Golden Retriever Might be Shedding
- Tips to Reduce Golden Retriever Shedding
- How to Manage Golden Retriever Hair in Your Home
- How to Groom Your Golden Retriever Step by Step
- Managing Golden Retriever Shedding Can Be Easier Than You Think