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There are many reasons that make Golden Retrievers so popular over other breeds across the world. But before adopting one, you may be wondering ‘do golden retrievers shed a lot?’
If you own a Goldie, you are definitely familiar with how frustrating it can be to find their fuzzy fur on your clothes, couch, and other surfaces.
These lovely dogs are known for their good-looking double coats which come with the weight of shedding all year round.
Join us in this post as we explore everything you need to know about Golden Retriever shedding and provide you with practical tips on how to manage it.
When do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Golden Retrievers will typically shed their fur throughout the year, but noticeable falling will be observed during two periods.
The first shedding occurs in Spring when they will blow out their dense winter coat to make room for the thinner summer coats.
The second shedding phase occurs in Fall when they will let go of their lighter summer coats to make way for the thicker winter coats.
These two hair loss periods will typically last for about 3 weeks during which the Goldie will lose a noticeable amount of hair.
You should however note that shedding in Golden Retrievers can be influenced by other factors such as nutrition, allergies, and underlying medical conditions.
If your dog is shedding excessive fur outside the two expected periods, this could be a sign of stress and you should be in touch with your vet for further consultation.
Understanding Golden Retrievers’ Coat
One of the most stand-out physical features of the Golden Retrievers has to be their coats. It is a double layer made of an undercoat and a topcoat that provides natural protection against harsh weather conditions.
The undercoat is a soft, fuzzy, and dense layer of fur that sits just above the dog’s skin. While the outer coat is longer, smoother, and coarse.
You should know that Golden Retrievers are not hypoallergenic dogs and their fur might trigger allergies in susceptible individuals.
During the cold seasons, the double coat traps the dog’s body heat to maintain warmth and protect the pup from the cruel winter winds.
The outer coat also prevents frostbite by keeping off the snow and ice from contacting the skin.
During the summer heat, the undercoat keeps the Golden Retriever cool by trapping air and keeping it close to the skin. The top coat guards the dog from the dangerous effects of UV exposure from the sun.
The coat of a healthy Golden Retriever should be soft, shiny, and free from mats and tangles.
What Should A Golden Retrievers’ Coat Should Look Like?
A Golden Retriever undercoat should be thick and dense, the outer coat should be long, straight,/wavy, and water-repellant.
The color should range from shades of rich golden to some shades of yellow color. The fur on the dog’s chest, tail, thighs, and neck would typically appear to be longer and likely to form a fringe.
The legs, face, and ears are covered with shorter fur. Make sure to groom the Goldie regularly to maintain its stunning coat color and shiny appearance.
At What Age Do Golden Retrievers Start Shedding?
Golden Retrievers will typically start shedding when they are around 6 months old. Their shedding becomes intense as they age.
Senior Goldens will shed lots of hair compared to younger ones because the lifecycle of their fur is shortened. The dog’s skin also gets old and the fur stems become more fragile.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed So Much?
The major cause for too much hair loss in Golden Retrievers is the thick undercoat and the furry topcoat layer of fur.
Shedding is a natural process in dogs that gets rid of damaged hair and replaces them with new ones. It is also a natural defense mechanism in Goldens that helps them from the distress of extreme weather conditions.
Other factors can also increase shedding in Golden Retrievers. One of the other culprits is poor nutrition. Dog food that lacks the essential nutrients and minerals can give rise to dull and brittle fur on your dog’s skin. This weakened hair is likely to come off on its own.
On top of that, some dogs have allergic reactions to certain foods and other environmental factors that burn and irritate their skin. The dog would periodically scratch and bite into the skin to relieve the pain and in the process, chop off a little fur.
Underlying medical problems could also play a role in Golden Retriever shedding. Such conditions as thyroid diseases, kidney diseases, and canine dermatitis can lead to excessive falling of hair.
Emotional conditions like stress and anxiety can also play a role in the blowing of fur by Golden retrievers.
How To Control Shedding in Golden Retrievers
Shedding in Golden Retrievers is part of them and we can only learn how to manage it. Having proper control of this defensive process will improve the look of your dog and keep their coats healthy.
Here are some of the things you can do:
1. Frequent brushing
Living with your Goldie requires that you set aside some time for brushing their coats. This is one of the best ways you can control shedding and reduce the spread of fur all over your house.
The frequency of brushing your dog will depend on other factors including their coat’s density, but make sure to run that brush at least once a week.
Look for a high-quality dog brush for double-coated dogs that can detangle your Goldie’s fur and give them smooth fur.
Such brushes will also help in massaging your pup and distributing the natural oils on their fur for a shiny look.
Always be gentle when brushing your dog’s coat and watch out for any skin conditions during the session.
Bathing your dog in warm water and using a pet-friendly shampoo helps in removing dirt and maintaining hygiene. What it also does is get rid of dead hair that could have otherwise been left on your clothes or furniture.
Bathing also helps to detach those weak furs hence preventing shedding that would have happened in due time.
You should, however, do the bathing sparingly. Excessive bathing can wash away the dog’s natural oils leading to dry and itchy skin with weakened fur.
The frequency of bathing your dog should depend on their activity level and general lifestyle. Doing it once every month is enough to keep your pooch hygienic and looking sharp.
3. Professional grooming
Taking your Goldie to a professional pet groomer will not only keep their fur soft but will also control shedding.
Expert groomers have all the essential grooming aids to deep clean your furry friend and remove some of the weak hair.
Regular grooming will also keep away the lice, mites, fleas, and ticks from your dog’s coat hence preventing the likelihood of infections.
A female Golden Retriever may shed a lot when in heat. Spaying them may help to cut down the everyday shedding by decreasing hormone production.
We however recommend that you only spay your dog for medical reasons or when controlling their reproduction. This should be done in close consultation with your vet.
5. Nutrition and hydration
A well-balanced diet with all the major nutrients and minerals will help to preserve your dog’s coat health and make the fur stronger hence reducing excessive shedding.
Animal proteins such as salmon, krill, and fish are known to improve the coat health of dogs due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids.
Make sure to provide timely food portions for your dog every day and monitor their nutritional needs and shortfalls.
Dehydration can contribute to excessive shedding in dogs due to drying skin and weakening hair. Therefore, giving your Goldie clean water to drink will go a long way in preserving their coat health and forming stronger fur.
6. Control Allergens and Parasites
Allergens and parasites such as ticks, & fleas can irritate your Goldie’s skin and itch them. This can cause your dog to bite the skin to cool the irritation hence breaking off the fur which leads to shedding.
You, therefore, need to control the parasites by checking your dog regularly for tick infestation and providing periodical treatment. Talk to your vet about the potential allergic triggers for your dog.
Don’t forget to clean your carpet, couch, furniture, and your dog’s bed. Do not use harsh chemicals that may linger on the fabric and irritate your dog’s skin.
7. Reduce stress
Stress and anxiety in Golden Retrievers have adverse effects on their health including promoting shedding.
You can play a part in improving or worsening your dog’s emotional health. You should always provide a safe environment for your dog to live stress-free. Mark out a convenient sleeping area for your Goldie, away from the hustle and bustle of your home.
Give them regular physical and mental stimulation to expend their energies on and make sure to have a clear-cut routine for their day.
Dogs become better when they know what is expected of them at specific times. Have a regular mealtime schedule and some time for bonding with them.
Don’t keep them guessing because uncertainty can cause your dog to get stressed. Always remember to stay happy when around your dog because they can read our moods and they will get worried when we are.
Golden Retrievers were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl from the lakes and they are therefore excellent at swimming.
You should not be afraid of jumping into the swimming pool with your Goldie, it’s in their genes to play around with water.
The action of passing through water helps to sweep away dead hair and pet dander from their coats so it can control shedding.
Swimming also provides an excellent way to exercise your Goldie and in keeping them active. It exercises their joints and it is therefore ideal for senior dogs.
Despite being good swimmers, you must supervise your Goldie every time they enter the pool. You can add to their safety by strapping them with a reflective life jacket.
Rub your dog with a clean towel once they are done swimming to dry the moisture. Leaving them with dampened coats might lead to irritation and itching which is uncomfortable.
9. Health conditions
Golden Retrievers can acquire specific medical problems that make their shedding get worse. Canine dermatitis can make your dog nibble on their skin hence breaking off fur and leading to more hair fall.
Other health problems that may exacerbate hair loss in dogs include hypothyroidism (a thyroid disease), and kidney failure.
If you notice irregular shedding on your Goldie outside their normal hair loss periods, you need to visit your vet immediately for diagnosis.
You can certainly control and prevent further hair fall when you address your dog’s medical needs early in the day. Don’t wait until your dog loses substantial fur before taking them to the vet.
Supplements such as Omega-3, Omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E have many benefits for dogs including cutting down on shedding.
They smoothen and make the dog’s coat appear shiny with stronger fur. These supplements are extracted from fish oil, sardines, and krill.
When scouting around for the best supplements for your Goldie, you need to look for the top-quality ones that have been specially formulated for dogs.
We recommend that you consult your vet before adding any supplement to your dog’s diet and make sure never to go beyond the recommended dosage.
Why Is My Golden Retriever Shedding More Than Usual
If your Golden Retriever is shedding more than usual, especially outside the expected period, it could be due to other factors that we have covered:
- Poor diet
- Hormonal imbalance
- Skin infections
- Inflammatory conditions
If you notice a massive hair fall accompanied by signs of illness, you should speak with your vet for a medical examination and possible treatment.
Coping with Golden Retriever shedding
Controlling shedding in Golden Retrievers will only minimize massive hair loss. You need to find a way of coping with your dog since you may still encounter a few threads of fur on your cloth after petting them.
Do this to cope with your dog’s hair loss:
1. Use a lint roller
Have several lint rollers in your home to sweep off the accumulated fur on your cloth and furniture. By doing this, you can reduce the pet hair on your clothes and it will get much easier when cleaning them.
It is also a good way to keep your home tidy and free from pet hair.
2. Vacuum your home
Invest in a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter that can effectively pick up pet hair and dander from your surfaces.
Vacuum clean your house frequently, especially in areas your dog loves to lounge, to prevent the buildup of fur.
Massive pet hair and dander may cause allergies in some people, so you should keep it minimal.
3. Cover your furniture
Get suitable machine-washable covers and dress up your furniture to protect them from the sticking fur. Too much pet hair may get lodged in the fabric and this might be difficult to clean.
You don’t necessarily need to cover all your household items, get those seats that your pet loves and install a fitting cover.
These ideal covers will not only keep your seats clean; they will also offer your Goldie a comfortable place to nestle and rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I shave my Golden Retriever?
You should NEVER shave or cut off your Golden Retriever’s hair even when the summer heat is at its peak.
We have talked about how the double coat in these dogs is important in insulating their bodies and protecting them from harsh weather.
If you shave your dog’s hair, you will be exposing their naked skin to sunburn which can be dangerous and may lead to skin infections.
2. How often do Golden Retrievers need to be brushed?
You should brush your Golden Retriever’s coat at least once a week or once every two weeks outside the shedding period.
During the shedding period, you can increase the frequency of brushing to three times a week or more depending on the extent of shedding.
In addition to at-home brushing, you can schedule quarterly visits to a professional pet groomer for a deeper cleaning session.
Be careful about over brushing your dog since it could lead to irritation and weakening of the hair.
3. How do I keep my Golden Retriever coat healthy?
You can keep your Golden Retriever’s coat healthy by incorporating a plan that gives them smooth and shiny fur.
Regular brushing should be your first approach to remove dead hair and prevent matting and tangling of the hair.
Have a proper meal plan for your dog that offers them a balanced diet of all the nutrients and minerals.
You then need to create a workable routine for your dog and have specific times for their meals, sleep, exercise, petting, and grooming. This will make your Goldie mentally stable hence reducing the possibility of excessive shedding.
Last but not least, make sure to take your dog for veterinary check ups regularly to monitor their health needs.
Do golden retrievers shed a lot? Yes, they do. It’s a natural process for them that happens throughout the year but more especially during springtime and fall.
While it is not possible to completely prevent shedding in Goldens, you can adopt a few measures to cope with your furry friend.
Have lint rollers spread across your house and be ready to vacuum clean your furniture every so often. You can also cover some of the furniture to prevent the pet fur from lodging deep into the fabric.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.