Category Archives: golden retriever care

Care tips for golden retrievers such as hair care and health tips.

Feeding Your Golden Retriever Dog

We all love our dogs, and want to show them how much we care, but giving table scraps is not the best way to do it – especially as that in itself is a major cause of many dogs being overweight. Generally what is bad for people (like being overweight, salt, fatty foods, coffee, chocolate, chemicals etc.) is also not good for your golden retriever – but for your golden the consequences of a bad diet can have a more impactful and instantaneous effect.

The Golden Retriever is an athlete, and should have a lean, muscular body. The ribs should be easily felt through a layer of muscle and there should be no roll of fat over the withers or rump. Obesity predisposes dogs to joint injuries and heart problems and makes many preexisting problems worse. It is in your Golden Retrievers nature to scavenge for food, but many of our ‘human’ foods can be dangerous to your goldens health.

One of the most dangerous foods to give a golden is chocolate .  The reason why it is so dangerous is because it contains chemicals called Methylxanthine alkaloids. In small amounts, it will constrict the arteries and your golden retrievers heart rate will increase. In large quantaties chocolate can be lethal. It only takes a pound of chocolate to kill a 16-pound dog.

Chocolate is one of the better known toxic foods to dogs, but did you know that raisins and grapes can also be dangerous? How about Macadamia nuts? There are many foods which can produce harmful side effects for your golden retriever. Mushrooms, for instance, can cause abdominal pain, liver damage, and kidney damage. Garlic will cause your golden to vomit and have stomach problems like diarrhoea.

Your Golden Retriever should really only eat dog food. When looking at the ingredients of a dog food, a good rule of thumb to follow is that three or four of the first six ingredients should be animal-derived. These tend to be tastier and more highly digestible than plant-based ingredients. Foods that are more digestible generally mean less stool volume and fewer gas problems (no more blaming the dog!).

It’s rarely a good idea to let a golden  retriever self-feed by leaving food available at all times. Food that is wet can spoil, and many Goldens overindulge. By limiting your Golden Retrievers food to dog food, reading the ingredients labels, and sticking to a feeding schedule  you will be able to give your golden retriever the right nutrition to help live a happy and active life 🙂

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Hair Care

One of the Golden’s best assets is its golden coat. The best way to get a good coat is to grow it from the inside, and that means proper nutrition. You can help that coat stay healthy on the outside by brushing and washing.

Brushing a dry coat can result in hair breakage so mist it ever so slightly with water before you start. Your Golden Retriever should be brushed  at least one to three times a week.

Never shave your Golden Retriever. You can use any pair of scissors to trim straggling hairs, but the main rule when trimming a Golden is that less is best.

It is normal for a Golden Retriever to shed their hair. If there seems a lot  putting 1 teaspoon of olive oil in you dogs food per day may help reduce shedding a little. If  you do find your Golden is shedding a lot then try to brush them every now and then and remove the extra hair before it gets on your furniture! If your Golden is not scared of the vacumn you can even vacumn your dog! Many dogs love to be vacumned (use a soft brush attachment).

golden retriever playing on bed

It is usual to have some shedding with goldens all year round (in addition to replacing seasonal coats), but if it is excessive there may be some other underlying cause such as nutritional, stress or some other kind of imbalance so it would probably be best to double check with your vet if you are worried about excessive shedding.

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Exercising With Your Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers generally have tons of energy and love to exercise with you, but it should ideally be on soft ground and probably best to limit it to a couple of miles – especially if your golden is less than 18 months old (unless your vet recommends different). There can be some concerns in the breed with joint issues (elbow and hips dysplasia are common hereditary problems) which is why especially at a young age when the bones are not fully developed it is good to be careful with your golden and make sure that he /she is not displaying any signs of joint pain (it is probably something your vet will also keep an eye out for aswell at your checkups anyway).

Golden Retriever Running With Owner

Key points when jogging or cycling with your golden include:

  • In the summer especially, avoid asphalt and concrete; it gets really hot and is hard on the paws.  Instead, choose a grass or dirt-covered route.
  • Keep an eye on your dog and slow down if you see that he is lagging.
  • Always bring enough water for the both of you.
  • Exercise when it’s coolest – either in the morning or at night.  Because dogs don’t have the same cooling mechanisms as humans, avoid situations where your golden can become overheated quickly.
  • When exercising at night, attach reflective or illuminated strips to your golden retrievers collar.

Goldens are not prone to obesity, but as with any dog their weight should be watched closely. This is especially true for elderly or less active dogs.

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Homemade Ear Cleaning Mixture

A homemade mixture of one part alcohol to two parts white vinegar can be used as a simple ear cleaning solution to remove ear debris.*

* Please note: Cleaning solutions will flush out debris, but will not kill mites or cure infections. If your Golden Retriever is showing signs of discomfort or the ear is red, swollen, or painful, please consult your Vet, do not attempt to clean it yourself.

close up of golden retriever nose and face

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Golden Retriever Puppy Training

Golden Retriever Puppy Training

(excerpt from bonus training audio included with Golden Retrievers : Everything You Need to Know)

Golden Retriever puppy training – Careful What You Teach Them. A trained Golden Retriever puppy is an absolute pleasure. There are a few tricks and commands however that, although they seem a good idea in theory, may be something you will regret as time goes on.