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Do Golden Retrievers Shed? Golden Coat Care Tips 101

How much do golden retrievers shed, and what makes their shedding worse? Here’s how to maintain your golden’s coat and manage their loose fur.

Do Golden Retrievers shed: Golden Retriever lying on the grass

How much do golden retrievers shed, and what makes their shedding worse? Here’s how to maintain your golden’s coat and manage their loose fur.

The golden retriever consistently tops the list as one of America’s favorite dog breeds, and there’s good reason for that. These lovable dogs are active, loyal, friendly animals that make wonderful pets for most families, including those with children.

For all of the golden’s great qualities, though, they do have one drawback. If you’re wondering, “Do golden retrievers shed?”, the answer is an emphatic yes.

The golden retriever is considered a heavy shedder, and it’s definitely not a hypoallergenic breed — if you or someone in your family is allergic to pet dander, the golden might not be the best choice for you.

But even if you don’t have allergies, all that shedding makes for a lot of cleaning. So why do these dogs shed so much, and how can you manage all that fur?

Why Do Golden Retrievers Shed So Much?

Do Golden Retrievers shed: Golden Retriever sitting on a couch

The main reason the golden retriever sheds so much is because of their coat type. Goldens have what is called a double coat, meaning it consists of two layers: a soft, downy undercoat and a thicker waterproof topcoat. Having both of these layers helps the golden to regulate their body temperature to remain cooler in summer and warmer in winter — but twice the fur means a lot more shedding.

Like most double-coated dogs, golden retrievers shed year-round, but you should expect extra shedding during certain seasons. In the springtime, their winter coat thins out to adapt to warmer weather; in the fall, their summer coat thickens to prepare for the coming cold. This cycle is perfectly normal, but you can expect to see even more loose hair around your home during these shedding seasons.

What Could Cause Excessive Shedding?

Do Golden Retrievers shed: Golden Retriever sitting outside

Do golden retrievers shed as a normal part of life? Yes, but that doesn’t mean certain factors can’t contribute to excess shedding. Golden retriever owners should know that several factors could lead to their dogs shedding more than usual:

Stress

That’s right — stress can quite literally make your dog’s hair fall out. Dogs can get anxious because of lifestyle changes like a new person in the house or a change in routine, or because of loud noises from thunderstorms or construction. You might notice your dog sheds more than normal under these circumstances.

Do your best to keep your golden’s stress levels low by maintaining a consistent routine and keeping things calm at home. You can also try giving your pooch Native Pet’s Calm Chicken Chews before a stressful event happens (a storm, for example). Our air-dried calming chews can help reduce general anxiety, relax the muscles, and even improve sleep.

Allergies

Allergic reactions are another leading cause of excessive shedding in golden retrievers. Pooches can react to ingredients in their dog food, pollen, dust, dirt, mold, or even materials like plastic that they might come into contact with. Allergic reactions can result in severe itchiness, possibly leading to extra hair loss, bald patches, hot spots, and more.

Talk to your vet if you suspect your dog is suffering from an allergic reaction. Allergy testing and medication might be necessary. You can also try Native Pet’s Allergy Chicken Chews, which provide an all-natural antihistamine that can help target itchy skin and build a defense against allergies.

Parasites

When a golden comes down with an infestation of fleas, ticks, mites, lice, or other external parasites, it will make them very itchy. And intense scratching leads to a greater amount of shedding. Of course, pests can also introduce dangerous diseases to your pet’s system and cause a host of health problems, so it’s best to avoid the issue entirely. Keep your golden retriever on the proper preventative medications to ward away common pests.

Poor Nutrition

Do golden retrievers shed a lot more if they’re not well-fed? Absolutely. When a dog doesn’t receive the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients in their food, they’ll shed hair more frequently and in greater quantities because their skin health suffers.

How Can You Keep Your Dog’s Coat Healthy and Minimize Shedding?

Two dogs lying on the ground beside 4 bottles of Native Pet products

Yes, golden retrievers do shed quite a bit, even if they’re not suffering from one of the issues described above. Expect to see plenty of golden retriever fur on your carpets, floors, and furniture if you own one of these beloved dogs.

With that said, there are some things you can do to minimize their shedding:

1. Feed Your Dog Well

Remember: Poor nutrition can lead to dry skin and more shedding. The first step to maintain your golden’s coat is to feed them properly. The easiest way to make sure you’re giving your pet a high-quality food that’s nutritionally complete is to check with your veterinarian.

Ask your vet what the best dog food is for your dog’s overall wellness and their healthy coat. You can also add high-quality supplements to the diet to promote healthy skin and fur. Native Pet’s Omega Oil is a great choice — it’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce itchiness and can also alleviate joint pain.

🐶 For more retriever diet tips, see our guide on what to feed your golden.

2. Brush Them Frequently

Regular brushing — even daily brushing — is a good idea when you have a heavy shedder like the golden retriever. This will help you catch a good amount of loose fur before it travels through your home. Plus, it helps to smooth out the golden retriever’s coat, spread moisturizing oils through their fur, and prevent long hair from getting into tangles.

There are all sorts of brushes for dogs, but most golden retrievers will do fine with a regular slicker brush. If you really want to keep shedding down, though, browse Amazon or your local pet store for an undercoat rake or a de-shedding tool. Some dog owners even use lint rollers to pick up loose fur from the outer coat.

3. Bathe Them Regularly

Bathing your golden occasionally is another good way to keep shedding under control, because you’ll be washing away a lot of the loose and dead hair. Make sure to use a dog shampoo so it doesn’t irritate your dog’s sensitive skin. Ask your vet how often you should bathe your dog; most golden retrievers do fine with a bath every few months or so.

Don’t feel like bathing your dog yourself? You can always visit a professional groomer to bathe your pooch and trim any long hair. Groomers can also apply finishing sprays and other products to keep your golden retriever’s coat extra smooth and silky.

🐶 If you want to learn more, we have full details on how to groom your golden.

4. Make Changes at Home

Making a few simple changes around your home can go a long way toward keeping the hair under control, and it has nothing to do with your dog’s skin or fur.

First, train your dog to stay off the furniture and bedding if you don’t want fur all over these surfaces. Set up a few HEPA air filters around your home, which are designed to catch microscopic particles including dander flakes. Try covering your vents with cheesecloth to prevent golden retriever hair from entering and blowing into other rooms. Last but not least, vacuum and dust regularly.

Do Golden Retrievers Shed? Yes, But It’s Manageable

Golden Retriever lying on a bed

Golden retrievers are some of the best family dogs you’ll find. But yes, golden retrievers do shed a significant amount. These heavy-shedding breeds are double-coated, so you can expect to see plenty of hair when you own this breed.

Bear in mind that golden retrievers can shed more if they’re stressed, lack a well-balanced diet, or suffer from allergies or a parasitic infestation. Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog might be shedding more than usual.

Living with a golden doesn’t have to be such a hairy business. Keep your dog’s shedding under control by feeding them right, brushing them every day, bathing them regularly, and making a few simple lifestyle changes.

For further insights into your dog’s health and wellness, check out the Native Pet blog.

Further Reading on Golden Retrievers:

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