If you choose to buy a golden retriever, then you’ll soon realise that they shed a lot. And while it can be a real pain, there are definitely so many ways you can manage it! In this article not only will you learn how to deal with your golden retriever shedding, but you’ll also learn how much they shed, when shedding is bad, and when you should worry about them shedding!
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know about your golden retriever shedding!
How Much Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
To be honest, there’s no sugar-coating it. Golden retrievers shed, and they shed a lot. If you don’t have a golden retriever, then it’s important to know that once one becomes a part of your family, you’ll be pulling their hair out of everything. (But don’t let this put you off! Here are all the reasons golden retrievers make great pets!)
While there’s always going to be a level of shedding inherent with golden retrievers, there’s also going to be two times in the year where they shed even more. This is during fall and summer where they shed their coat for something more suitable.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed So Much?
There’s one big reason that your golden retriever will shed so much, and a few smaller reasons that can contribute to this. And the big reason that your golden retriever will shed so much is because they have a double coat.
The two parts of the coat are the undercoat and the overcoat. The undercoat is what keeps your golden retriever warm. It’s made up of thick fur that provides perfect insulation from the elements.
The overcoat is the coat that your stroke. It’s naturally oily and waterproof so even when your golden retriever looks wet, their undercoat remains dry.
Remember, both of these are necessary for keeping your golden retriever’s temperature perfect. Not only do they effectively keep your pup warm, but they also help to keep them cool in the summer months! (It’s evolved this way over 100’s of years, and it’s one of the reasons you should never shave a golden retriever.)
What Can Cause Your Golden Retriever To Shed More?
There are also a number of reasons that your golden retriever might end up shedding more than usual. Here’s when you’ll notice excess shedding.
When They Lose Their Puppy Coat
This is the only time you can expect your golden retrievers coat to blow out three times in one year. Up until the 6 month mark (generally) your puppy is going to have an extra thick coat to protect them from the elements as they’re growing.
This is the same coat which makes them look so cute and fluffy when they’re young. However, by about the 6 month mark, they’ll no longer need it, so it will begin to be shed out.
If They’ve Been Neutered Or Spayed
When you neuter or spay your dog, it’s often the case that they’ll shed a lot more excessively for a few months afterwards. Part of the reason for this, especially in males is because their hormones are also affected.
While the body is adjusting their hormones are all over the place, this can often result in the hair falling out. However, after a few months their shedding should go back to normal. (If you notice any bald patches or their hair is thin in places, then you should take them to the vets.)
Fall And Summer
Lastly, there are two times throughout the year when your retriever is going to shed a lot more than normal. During summer, they’ll shed their winter undercoat in favour of something lighter which allows a lot more air to breeze through keeping them cool. And in fall, they’ll lose their lighter coat in favour of something denser to trap more air in and better insulate them.
In both cases, you can expect an increase in shedding, but this should only last for a few weeks.
When Is Shedding In Your Retriever A Sign Of A Problem?
While shedding is completely normal for a golden retriever, there are times when it could also be a sign of a problem. If you notice excess shedding or their shedding is abnormal, it could be being caused by any of the following.
Allergies are known to affect your golden retriever in a number of ways, and one of the ways they can be affected is excess shedding.
The allergy may be caused by something in their environment that’s aggravating their skin such as grass, pollen, or airborne contaminants. It may also be something to do with you such as the shampoo you’re using on them, or the laundry detergent in your clothes. And lastly, it may also be caused by certain foods that they’re eating particularly certain meats.
Whatever, the case, if you think that your golden retriever is suffering from allergies, you should take them to a vet to help you figure it out.
Another cause of shedding which you should keep an eye on is parasites. Fleas and ticks in particular are known to irritate your golden retriever. This irritation can cause them to scratch more which can increase shedding.
Because of this you should be using an effective flea and tick preventative on your pup, as well as checking them over as well!
A bad diet is going to have a number of ill effects on your dog, and one of them can be excess shedding. Poor diet will not only affect your dogs weight, but it also affect the skin and how strong their fur is. Both of which can result in excess shedding in your pup!
If your golden retriever is pregnant or lactating, then shedding is also extremely common. Just like a human mothers hair will often thin once they’ve given birth, your retriever fur will thin and shed more as well. This is often because all the nutrients in their food is getting passed to their baby.
However, with a healthy diet, you can help your new mother overcome this!
When your golden retriever is stressed they’re going to shed a lot more too. Sometimes it will just fall out on it’s own, however, sometimes they may lick or bite themselves excessively causing more to come out.
There are a lot of things that can cause stress in your golden retriever including moving house, constant loud noises, arguing, and having a new dog or baby in the house.
If you’ve recently started giving your golden retriever medication, then this may be the cause for their shedding. You should ask your vet about any of the side effects associated with the medication you give your golden retriever so you know what to expect.
The good news is, in most cases, once your golden retriever stops taking the medication, it’s likely that their coat will return to normal.
How Can You Deal With Golden Retriever Shedding
Fortunately, there are so many ways you can deal with your golden retriever shedding. So even if they are shedding, it can still be extremely manageable.
Here are some of the best methods for dealing with your golden retriever’s shedding!
Brush, Brush, Brush
One of the best and most effective ways to deal with a golden retrievers shedding is too brush them. In fact, while they’re having their fall and summer blowout, you may even need to brush them every day.
Brushing them every day will remove all of the loose fur and help keep your house a little more pristine.
When you do brush them, you may be better off brushing them outside and letting the wind carry their fur away. It will make your house a lot less messy, and it can also provide birds material for their nest!
Take Them To A Groomer
Second, you can also try taking your golden retriever to a groomer. When you take them to a groomer, they’ll be able to brush their fur a lot more effectively. They’ll be able to use grooming equipment that can reach fur you may miss and they’ll remove much more, much easier.
You don’t have to visit a groomer constantly, in fact, even visiting them during a blowout can help reduce the amount of fur they shed in your home considerably.
And the best part is, not only will they remove most of the fur, it’s also likely your dog will come back with a full manicure as well!
Make Sure They’re Staying Hydrated
When your dog is dehydrated their skin can often dry out. Once their skin dries out, the chances of their hair falling out is going to increase. This is due to a combination of the follicles becoming damaged and the fact they’ll probably end up itching and scratching a lot more.
Make Sure You’re Using An Effective Parasite Preventative
You also need to make sure you’re using an effective parasite preventative to stop your golden from catching fleas, ticks and other parasites. If their skin is constantly being irritated then of course they’re going to keep scratching removing more fur and causing them to shed more.
As well as this, checking your golden retriever over every once in a while to make sure they don’t have fleas or ticks is a necessity as well.
Only Wash Them Every 2-3 Months
You should avoid washing your golden retriever too much or too little. Doing either can cause them to begin scratching more and removing excess fur. Every 2-3 months seems to be the sweet spots for golden retrievers, although you should consult with your vet to see what they think.
This doesn’t mean you can’t ever get them wet. It just means you should avoid using shampoo on them too often as it will strip their skin and fur of their natural oils.
You should also make sure that you’re rinsing the shampoo of them thoroughly to make sure they don’t get irritated by it. And lastly, dry them thoroughly. If they aren’t dried properly then they may end up getting a hot spot which is extremely painful.
Take Them Swimming
Most golden retrievers absolutely LOVE swimming, and it can be a good way to remove excess fur. Simply take them to the beach a pond or river and let them go nuts. This is also great for keeping them cool in the summer, providing them with some exercise and of course, it’s also a lot of fun!
Reduce Their Stress
If your golden retriever is stressed, then they may begin to lose fur, so it’s important to keep their stress levels as low as possible. One of the best ways you can do this is by giving them the same routine every day.
When they have routine, they’ll never worry about what’s coming next, because they’ll already have some idea. To do this you should make sure you’re feeding them at the same time, exercising them at the same time, and letting them go to bed at the same time.
As well as this you should spend lots of time playing with them and making sure they have safe place they can go.
Try Supplementing Their Diet With Fish Oil
It’s amazing what wonders fish oil can have on your golden retrievers skin and fur. The benefits of omega-3 aren’t just going to potentially decrease your golden retrievers shedding either. As well as this, it will also help their joints, eyesight and most other things in their bodies too!
If you’re not sure whether fish oil is suitable then speak to your vet, who will be able to recommend whether it’s worth supplementing or not.
Give Them A Good Rub Down After Brushing Them
After you’re done brushing your dogs fur, you should rub them down with your hands. Start at the top of their body and pull your hands down all the way to their belly. This is a great way to remove all the loose fur that could get stuck in their coat.
Use Shampoo Made For Dogs
The natural oils you have on your skin are not the same as your dogs. So the shampoo that caters to you, won’t work for your dog. If you’re going to wash your dog, make sure you’re using a dog shampoo.
If you don’t you’ll dry out their skin, increase shedding, and in more severe cases you may even open them up infection from parasites, bacteria and viruses.
Try To Use Natural Products In Your House
The products you use in your house might also cause your golden retriever to shed more. If they’re allergic to anything you’re using such as detergent or air freshener then they may begin to shed.
Where possible try to stick to natural cleaning products, and in extreme circumstances they may even need to be unscented. Failing this you should also try to minimize your golden retrievers chemicals.
Use The Best Dog Food Possible!
A dogs food is their health, so you need to make sure you’re feeding them the highest quality dog food. Not only will this reduce the chances of shedding, but it’s also going to help keep their skin healthy and their coat looking shiny and full of life.
When their skin and fur is unhealthy it’s a lot more likely they’ll begin to shed more. So it’s definitely worth paying a little bit extra for high quality food.
Lint Rollers Are Your Best Friend
Once you own a golden retriever, shedding is just going to become part of your daily life. Keep a lint roller near your front door or in your car. That way when there is fur on you, it’s going to be a lot easier to remove it!
Be Prepared During Fall And Summer
You should also be prepared for excess shedding during fall and summer. As you know, these are the times when your retriever will shed their old coat ready for a new one!
Vacuum The House
You’ll probably need to end up vacuuming your house every day, and sometimes even twice a day. This way you can remove as much of the fur as possible and you won’t need to worry about it ending up on all your clothes before you go out.
If you hate the idea of vacuuming constantly, you can also try using an electronic vacuum to take a lot of the effort out of it!
Lastly, you should accept that this is a part of your life now. And it’s definitely a small price to pay compared to all the fantastic benefits of living with a golden retriever is going to bring you!
What Should You Avoid Doing?
Here are a couple of things you’ll definitely want to avoid doing. In fact, these can be damaging to your golden retriever, so they’re definitely best missed!
NEVER Shave Your Golden Retriever
You should never shave your golden retriever. It can permanently damage their fur, and cause them to have trouble insulating during the summer and winter months. Rarely do golden retrievers need to be shaven, but if they do, it should only be once it’s recommended by your vet.
(Find out more about why you shouldn’t shave your golden retriever.)
Avoid Pills, Sprays, And Anything That Claims To Stop Your Pup Shedding
There are pills and sprays on the market that claim they can stop your golden retriever shedding so much. However, in most cases, this probably isn’t true. And even if it is, you don’t want it for your pup!
Shedding is natural and healthy for your golden retriever. If you try stopping it, it’s likely they’ll suffer from health problems later down the line.
Instead of using pills and sprays, just accept that your golden retriever sheds a lot!
Now you know all the best ways you can stop your golden retriever shedding, and the different reasons they’re shedding in the first place. If for any reason your golden retrievers shedding seems unnatural, you need to make sure that you take them to a vet ASAP!
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