How To Control Shedding in Golden Retrievers
Jun 1, 2023
Golden Retrievers are lovely family dogs, known for their charismatic temperament and lustrous looks.
Ask any Golden parent if they can recommend this breed to prospective pet owners, and they will say a big YES!
These long-furred canines are fun-loving and they find lots of pleasure in making their human caregivers happy.
But, just like all dog breeds, Golden Retrievers come with their fair share of challenges that can be handled by proper techniques.
Goldens Retrievers shed fur moderately throughout the year, and profusely during two periods in the year, thanks to their double coat.
In this article, we will look at how to control shedding in Golden Retrievers to help you manage the scattered fur situation at home. Coping with your Golden pal’s shedding helps to keep their coat healthy and frees your house from various pet allergens.
When Do Golden Retrievers Shed?
Heavy hair fall in Golden Retrievers will typically occur during spring and fall. This is known as seasonal shedding and it happens in response to temperature changes.
Profuse shedding occurs during the closing months of fall and lasts for about 2 – 3 weeks. During this period, dogs will ‘blow out’ their lighter summer coats to grow heavier winter coats for keeping warm.
The opposite is witnessed in the last weeks of spring when the weather gets cooler. Golden Retrievers will blow out their heavier winter coat to grow a lighter coat for the summer heat.
If your dog is experiencing massive hair loss (alopecia) outside the normal high-shedding period, it may be a sign of health issues or stress.
Canine skin diseases, cancer, spider bites, and lack of essential vitamins can contribute to massive hair fall in dogs. Make sure to speak to your vet if you notice any unusual shedding pattern in your Goldie.
How To Control Shedding in Golden Retrievers
It is not possible to completely stop your Golden Retriever from shedding, but there’s something you can do to contain pet hair in your house.
The following are some of our helpful tips on managing shedding in Golden Retrievers:
Regular brushing your Golden Retriever is one of the most effective ways of coping with their shedding cycle.
Brushing helps to remove weak hair which could have otherwise ended up on your clothes, couch, bed, or carpet.
During the heavy shedding months, you can use de-shedding tools specially made to deal with double coats at least twice a week.
These grooming tools can dig into your Goldens undercoat and pick up loose fur and other debris materials.
During the normal shedding cycle in summer and winter, you can use a regular slicker brush to tidy up your dog’s coat.
Brushing the coat about three times a week or less is enough to control hair fall, spread natural oils, and untangle knots to restore the shiny appearance.
Bathing your Golden Retriever once every 6 or 8 weeks will help in digging out loose fur from the undercoat and keep them looking shiny and fluffy.
We recommend using natural dog shampoo – specially formulated for sensitive skin, and warm water to bathe the dog.
Always check the ingredients in your preferred shampoo before purchasing to ensure that you are not using harsh chemicals on your dog’s skin. Artificial chemicals will irritate the dog’s skin and worsen the shedding situation.
Don’t use human shampoo or any other human-specific detergent to bathe your Golden Retriever.
Human shampoo is made with a slightly higher pH, compatible with humans but dangerous for the dog’s skin.
Rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water after bathing to remove shampoo residue and dry with a clean towel.
You can use a pet hair dryer to blow the dog’s coat with medium velocity and low heat. This will help dry the coat and blow out residual loose fur from the undercoat.
Be careful not to excessively bathe your Golden Retriever, as it may strip off the natural oils from the coat. This will dry the dog’s skin and may lead to further shedding.
3. Visit a professional groomer
In addition to at-home grooming, you can also take your Golden Retriever for professional grooming at least twice a year for intensive clean-up.
A fully stocked pet salon has all the equipment and tools needed for tidying up your furry friend.
You can also get a complete de-shedding treatment package during the high-shedding months to help manage your dog’s hair fall.
4. Provide a well-balanced diet for skin and coat
A healthy diet for your Golden Retriever is crucial in supporting his overall health including skin and coat health.
Cheap dog food formulated with grains and artificial chemicals will not nourish your dog properly including the coat and skin.
A dog’s diet full of grains and fillers will also inflame your dog and might exacerbate shedding.
Go for natural dog foods with high-quality proteins as the main nutrient, and essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) to support the coat and reduce hair breakage.
5. Provide clean drinking water
A well-balanced diet is never complete without sufficient clean drinking water. A dehydrated dog will be malnourished with a brittle coat, dry skin, and weak fur.
Make sure to provide enough drinking water for their overall health and to keep their coat soft and healthy.
You can create water stations and different points in your house to encourage the dog to drink more. Limit the intake to an ounce for every pound weight of your Golden Retriever.
6. Control parasites
External parasites on your dog’s coat such as fleas and ticks can cause skin irritation which encourages shedding.
A dog with itchy skin will scratch and lick the affected areas to relieve pain. But this will weaken the hair around such spots and cause excessive shedding.
You can control external parasites by ensuring your Golden Retriever is up to date with their vaccination schedule.
A vaccinated dog is also safe from some other canine diseases like rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and leptospirosis.
The other way to manage flea infestation in dogs is by using effective parasite-control medication. Always consult your vet before giving your dog any drugs.
7. Vacuum your house
Invest in a high-quality vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter to pick up pet hair and dust particles from your house every day.
Cleaning your home to remove pet hair and pet dander is a good measure to prevent the build-up and scattering of fur. Without this, you may increase your chances of reacting to pet allergens.
Vacuum all the corners and surfaces in your home where you suspect to find pet hair. Dog fur is too small and almost invisible on various surfaces, so don’t rely on your naked eyes when cleaning.
You can also use lint rollers to remove pet hair from your clothing and fabric furniture.
Will Shaving My Golden Retriever Reduce Shedding?
Some people believe they can control shedding in Golden Retrievers by giving them a haircut. But the truth is that shaving does not help manage shedding in dogs.
If anything, shaving has more negative consequences for dogs than benefits. Cutting your dog’s hair exposes their skin to sunlight and this may lead to skin irritation or sunburn in severe cases.
It also invites bacteria and parasites to attack the skin, leading to more infections. Furthermore, shaving destroys the double-coat layout in Goldens, which may affect temperature regulations, and disrupts hair re-growth.
You should never shave your Golden Retriever unless it’s approved by your vet for medical reasons.
Our proactive steps on how to control shedding in Golden Retrievers are simple and easy to follow.
Shedding is a natural process in Goldens, and there’s nothing you can do to completely stop it.
Using the right approach such as regular grooming, parasite control, vacuuming your home, and providing the right diet for your dog will help in managing the shedding cycle.
Managing shedding in Golden Retrievers also helps the dog to be healthy, and look good in a well-kempt lustrous coat.
Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.