Are you considering getting a Golden Retriever, but aren’t sure they can take the heat? Or maybe you already have a golden, but you are worried about moving him to a warmer climate? Keep reading to determine if your golden will be able to live in hot weather!
Golden Retrievers can live in hot climates. Their double coat provides them with heat insulation, helping to protect them from the sun. However, they are susceptible to overheating and dehydration, so giving them access to water and shelter that will keep them cool is important for their health.
Below you will learn whether or not Golden Retrievers can live in hot weather, the signs of overheating and dehydration, and how to keep your golden cool when the weather starts to heat up.
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Can Golden Retrievers Live in Hot Weather?
The VCA (Veterinary Centers of America) gave golden retrievers three out of five stars for being able to handle warm weather. This rating means that goldens can live in warm weather, but you need to take some extra precautions to ensure that they won’t get too hot.
Therefore, you should never leave your golden outside or exercise them during the hottest part of the day. It’s best to keep them somewhere cool, preferably inside, when it is really hot out. If you need to leave your pup outside at any point in time, they need to have lots of shade and fresh water.
But What About Their Hot Coat?
Golden retrievers are double-coated dogs, meaning they have a long outer coat and a soft undercoat. While a double-coat may sound like a terrible thing to be wearing in hot weather, it can help protect your goldens skin from sun, heat, cold, and moisture. So, your golden is actually cooler with his coat on!
Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat from their bodies—your golden “sweats” through the pads on his feet. So, taking off your pup’s coat won’t make him cooler like it would for a human. Instead, it makes him more exposed to the sun, making it harder for him to cool down.
Goldens naturally shed some of their hair during the summer months, providing a light yet effective coat. If you’d like to help your golden shed, brush them daily with a brush like this one on amazon. It removes excess hair and is self-cleaning!
However, just because your golden’s coat helps cool them down does not mean they can’t get too hot.
What Will Happen if My Golden Retriever Gets Too Hot?
Two things typically happen if your retriever gets too hot: they get dehydrated or overheated.
Look Out for Dehydration
Dehydration is the excessive loss of necessary body fluids, including water, electrolytes, and minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and chloride.
Look out for the following symptoms to determine if your dog is dehydrated:
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth, gums, or nose
There are also a couple of tests you can perform on your dog to determine if they may be dehydrated. These tests include:
- Testing their skin elasticity. You can test this by lightly pulling the skin behind your dog’s neck. If it doesn’t quickly return to its normal position, this is a sign that your dog may be dehydrated.
- Check your dog’s capillary refill time. You can do this by pressing one of your fingers against your dog’s gum until that section of their gum turns white. Then let go, and see if the gum regains its pinkish color. If the gum does not immediately become pink again, your dog may be suffering from dehydration.
If you think your golden has become severly dehydrated, seek medical attention immediately. Your vet may give your dog electrolyte products or administer intravenous fluids, depending on how severe his dehydration is.
Pay Attention to Signs of Overheating
If your golden overheats, it can become very serious. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or even death since the heat can make your dog experience cardiac arrhythmias.
Typically, a dog’s body temperature is between 101°F to102°F (38°C to 39 °C). If your dog gets too hot and her temperature rises to 105 °F (40 °C), she will no longer be able to cool herself by panting.
By 108 °F (42 °C), your dog’s body will start to break down at a cellular level, causing damage to her brain, liver, kidneys, intestinal tract, and heart. As you can see, even a few degrees change in your dog’s body temperature can cause some serious damage.
To avoid this, pay attention to your golden so you can see the warning signs of overheating.
These signs include:
- Fast and noisy breathing
- Collapsing or convulsing
- Their gums look bright red or bright blue
If you think your dog is overheated, stop what you’re doing and cool him down with cold water. Then immediately take him to the vet.
How to Keep Your Golden Retriever Cool
Listed below are three ways you can cool down your furry friend when the weather gets hot.
Take Your Golden Retriever for a Swim
If there’s one thing that most goldens love doing, it’s swimming. Goldens love to spend time in the water. Whether you take them to a pool, creek, lake, or the ocean, your golden will love to get wet. Plus, this is a wonderful way to cool them down on a hot day.
If you live in a landlocked area with no lakes or oceans in sight, don’t worry! You can buy a pet pool to get the same cooling benefits. Simply put the pool in your yard and let your golden play in the water. Your pup will be incredibly happy, and they will also stay nice and cool!
If you’d like a nice foldable pet pool, check out the Jasonwell Foldable Pet Pool. To use this pet pool, you simply unfold it and fill it with water. No difficult blow-up required! This pool comes in five sizes from small to extra large, so, no matter how big your golden retriever is, they’ll be able to dip their paws in the water on a warm summer day!
Exercise Your Furry Friend in the Morning or Evening
Goldens need a lot of exercise. In fact, they need at least 20-30 minute walks twice per day to keep them happy and healthy.
Although exercise is important for their health, you need to be conscious of the temperature outside. When the temperature is above 85 °F (29 °C) walks should be kept to a minimum.
To provide your golden with the exercise she needs without putting her in danger, try walking her early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. This will be more comfortable for your furry friend and will help prevent any potential heat-related health issues from arising.
Make Sure Your Pup is Drinking Enough Water
Having access to fresh water will cool your golden retriever down while also preventing dehydration.
Your dog’s weight will help you determine how much water they should be drinking per day. For every pound your golden weighs, they need to drink ½ to 1 ounce of water. If you have a 70 lb (31.8 kg) golden retriever, you would need to give him 4 1/3 to 8 3/4 cups (35 oz -70 oz) of water per day.
Having access to water at all times, even while traveling, is important for your golden’s health. If you want an easy pet water bottle you can use on the go, check out the Lesotc Pet Water Bottle for Dogs. This water bottle is convenient, lightweight, and comes with a removable head that is shaped like a pet bowl, making it easy for you to give your dog water without trying to pour it into his mouth!
Additional Cooling Tips
Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!
If you’d like to learn a few more ways to keep your golden retriever cool in the heat, check out the video above by McCann Dog Training. In it, they tell you about some neat products you can buy, such as a cooling mat and a cooling coat, that will effectively keep your pup cool when the weather gets hot!
Here are some top products on amazon for keeping your pup cool in hot weather:
- Top Collapsible Water Bowl
- Pressure Activated Cooling Mat
- Ruffwear Cooling Coat (Medium)
- Ryobi Battery/Electric Fan
- Aluminet Shade Cloth
- Lasko Misting Fan
Golden Retrievers can live in hot weather without problem, but they are susceptible to overheating and dehydration. Make sure your golden has access to fresh water and shade to prevent them from getting too hot. Walking your golden in the morning and evening, allowing them to go swimming, and traveling with water are great ways to keep your pup cool, happy, and healthy.
More Golden Retriever Articles You’ll Love!
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- How Fast Can a Golden Retriever Run? (Hint: It’s FAST!)
- Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas: About Goldens
- Hills: Best Dog Breeds for Hot Weather
- AKC Canine Health Foundation: Dehydration and Overheating in Dogs
- PetHelpful: How to Keep a Pet Dog Cool on a Hot Summer Day
- The Honest Kitchen: What is a “Double Coat” on a Dog?
- Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue Inc: Heat Stroke
- Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid Florida: Grooming Your Golden
- Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid Florida: Should You Own a Golden?
- VCA: Golden Retriever Traits