Shedding is one of the most common concerns people have when selecting a breed like the Golden Retriever. Fur all over the house is certainly not the most exciting part of having a dog, but it’s something that can’t be avoided. With the right knowledge and tools, you should be able to manage your Golden Retriever’s shedding, so it’s important to never ignore this part of their care.
How Much Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Golden Retrievers shed a lot! Despite being such a popular breed, their beautiful coats require a lot more maintenance than you’d expect. They shed pretty consistently throughout the year, and their fur often comes off in clumps. So, if you have a Golden Retriever, it’s normal to find thick hair scattered throughout the house.
Golden Retriever shedding will have you brushing your dog almost daily and vacuuming more than once throughout the week. This breed also requires consistent grooming needs that can’t be ignored. So, Golden Retrievers can be quite the handful when it comes to keeping them clean and healthy. However, if you’re a dedicated dog parent, you won’t let a lot of fur steer you away from caring for one of these sweet dogs.
What Affects Golden Retriever Shedding?
While Golden Retrievers shed throughout the year, there are actually a lot of factors that can affect the amount of shedding. The following things could cause your dog to shed more or less throughout the year.
The main reason dogs shed is because they naturally adjust to the changing seasons. So, in the fall, you’ll likely notice your Golden Retriever’s coat get thicker. Then, in the spring, they’ll likely shed more than usual to prepare for the heat of summer. The climate can greatly affect your dog too, so if you live in a warmer area, they will likely shed more often to adjust to the constant heat. However, if you live in a place where the seasons change, your dog’s coat will follow the seasons more closely, especially if they spend a lot of time outside.
You’ve probably noticed that Golden Retriever puppies have much fluffier coats than adult Golden Retrievers. That’s because they have a thicker, more padded coat during their first 4 to 6 months in order to keep them extra protected. At 6 months old, this puppy coat usually sheds away completely. So, if you get your Golden Retriever as a puppy, you should expect them to shed a lot more during their first 6 months as they lose their puppy coat.
Allergies or Sensitivities
A common reaction for allergies and sensitivities for dogs is fur loss. Allergic reactions are often extremely uncomfortable for dogs, so your Golden Retriever will likely bite and scratch at themselves to the point where they’ll shed more than usual. If this happens to your dog and you’re unsure of what they are allergic to, consult your vet right away because this type of shedding could result in bald spots after a while.
Your Golden Retriever could also shed more when they’re under a lot of stress. If something in their routine changes or if they’re scared of a particular sound, their fur could naturally shed more due to stress. Golden Retrievers can adjust well to your home and lifestyle but once drastic changes occur, it can easily worry them.
Spaying or Neutering
After your Golden Retriever gets spayed or neutered, you might also notice them shed more. Even for a few months after they’re fixed, your Golden Retriever might shed more than usual, especially if they’re a male. This is because the changes in their hormones and testosterone can actually affect their coat, but don’t worry, shedding will become more normal again after a while.
If your Golden Retriever doesn’t have a healthy diet for their breed, this could negatively affect their coat. Make sure the food you choose has high-quality ingredients in it instead of cheap fillers. Specifically, look for omega fatty acids in the ingredients because those can help your dog have healthier skin and a shinier coat. Also, if you suspect your Golden Retriever might have allergies, you should try limited ingredient formulas to avoid allergic reactions.
How to Control Golden Retriever Shedding
Even though Golden Retrievers will always shed on a regular basis, there are still ways to reduce the amount of shedding to make it more manageable. Here are some tips on how to maintain your Golden Retriever’s fluffy coat and prevent fur from getting all over the place.
It’s not a surprise that lots of shedding also means lots of brushing. If you brush your dog frequently with the ideal tools, you can take control of the fur situation. Ideally, you should brush your Golden Retriever every day, but at least 3 times a week is also acceptable. Most dog parents recommend a Slicker Brush because it can easily detangle and deshed your dog’s coat without irritating their skin. The goal is just to get rid of all their loose hair, not to harm any of the hair that’s still attached to their body.
Bathing and Deshedding
Golden Retrievers don’t need their fur cut at all, but they do need regular grooming to keep their coats soft and silky. It’s recommended that they should be bathed about every 6 to 8 weeks. However, if they get dirty or greasy really easily, you might want to bathe them even more than that. Just avoid bathing them more than once in the same week because it could actually harm the natural oils on their skin, causing irritation.
Many dog parents prefer to take their Golden Retrievers to a professional groomer for a bathing and deshedding treatment. They can usually get your dog extra clean, and they’ll be able to blow out your dog’s coat with a high velocity dryer, getting rid of all the loose fur. This can reduce the amount of shedding for the next few weeks. At home, if you brush your dog after bathing them while they’re still a little damp, this can also help reduce shedding.
If you want to groom your Golden Retriever at home, please avoid using any “deshedding” tools like the FURminator. These tools can work well for some breeds, but it will actually cut your Golden Retriever’s coat instead of just getting rid of the loose fur, which could permanently damage your dog’s coat. It’s much better just to stick with tools like a pin brush, slicker brush, and undercoat rake.
Do NOT Shave Them
An important thing to note about Golden Retrievers is that they have a double coat. This means that they have a surface coat and then a thicker undercoat beneath that. It might look like a lot of fur, but those two coats actually work together to protect your dog from extreme weather. It helps them cool off in the summer and stay warm in the winter.
Many people think shaving a Golden Retriever’s coat will cause them to shed less and help keep them cool in the summer, but this is false. Shaving a dog with a double coat actually does more harm than good. It makes them less protected from the weather, and it could permanently ruin their coat. Groomers can trim the tip of your dog’s top coat a bit, but there is no reason to shave a Golden Retriever completely. Just stick to daily brushing instead.
Clean Your Home Often
Any dog parent knows that dogs often make your home a mess. This is especially true for dogs that shed a lot like the Golden Retriever. Before you bring a Golden Retriever home, you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped with a high-quality vacuum that can easily vacuum up clumps of fur. You’ll likely need to vacuum more than once each week to get rid of all the hair, but it’s worth it to have a loving dog by your side. You should also have a lint roller handy often to keep your clothes as free of fur as possible.
Dealing with Golden Retriever shedding is no easy task. You’ll need to be prepared to give your dog’s coat constant attention in order to keep your dog healthy and your home clean. If you’re unsure if you can handle the extra work, then a Golden Retriever probably isn’t the right dog for you. Always make sure you do your research before you get a dog that’s too difficult for you to handle.