10 Things You Need to Know Owning A Golden Retriever.
Golden retrievers are beloved for their intelligence, loyalty, and gentle nature. They make wonderful pets for first-time owners and experienced dog handlers, but there are several things to consider before bringing one home. This guide outlines 10 important points that you need to know when it comes to owning a golden retriever.
1. Golden Retrievers Are full of Energy
Owning a Golden Retriever means you will never be short of energy. As an active breed, they require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy, happy, and content. This is a massive commitment, so it's essential for potential owners to know this before deciding if a Golden Retriever is the right pet for their home.
Exercise needs vary from individual to individual – but generally speaking, Goldens need around two hours of daily exercise. This can include taking them on long walks, playing catch or fetch with a ball or Frisbee, jogging, and agility training classes. If you're a cycling enthusiast, your Golden can be trained to stroll by your side. For those winter months, bring them along on snowshoeing or cross-country skiing trips!
If your lifestyle doesn't allow for trips to the park every day - don't worry. Pet owners can also get their Goldens involved in activities such as running around the backyard, playing hide and seek or tug of war, or even getting them a doggy paddle pool for them to splash around in on hot days.
Interactive pet toys, such as the Kong Wobbler or Ruffwear Gnawt-a-Cone, are great for keeping your Golden busy and entertained. The Active Dog Harness can also be a great addition to your dog’s exercise routine – it will help you control your pup when out on walks or jogs. For more intense activities, consider investing in a sturdy Frisbee like the KONG Extreme Flyer or West Paw Zogoflex Bumi Flight Disc.
To make sure your energetic pup is safe, consider buying them a car seat cover and restraint set so they can travel safely with you. Another way to ensure their safety is by using GPS tracking collars which allow you to track their location at all times.
2. Groomers, Be Warned: Expect to See Plenty Of Shed Fur Too!
Golden Retrievers have a medium-length double coat that sheds year-round. This means regular brushing is essential to maintain their healthy skin and luxurious coat, as well as the overall health of your home.
Brushing several times per week is recommended, with particular attention given during shedding season (usually twice a year). With proper care and grooming, you can keep their coats free of mats and tangles, as well as reduce the amount of hair in your home. Specialty shampoos, such as oatmeal-based dog shampoos, are available for purchase to help soothe itchy skin associated with shedding. Additionally, consider investing in an effective de-shedding tool that's designed explicitly for Golden Retrievers to help reduce shedding.
In addition to brushing, Golden Retrievers need their nails trimmed and ears cleaned regularly. If you’re uncomfortable with these tasks, a professional groomer can help; however, getting your Golden used to the process will make it easier for you and them in the long run.
Overall, with proper care and grooming, Golden Retrievers can remain healthy and happy for many years. Sweet-natured and loving, they are sure to bring joy into anyone's life that owns one!
3. It's Important They Get Plenty of Socialization Training As Well
Socializing your Golden Retriever is essential to ensure that it can interact appropriately with other human, animal, and environmental stimuli. Proper socialization prevents the development of fear-based behaviors, which can lead to aggression if left unchecked. Here are some tips for socializing your Golden:
- Introduce them to new environments often— Taking your Golden on different walks around the neighborhood or introducing them to new people at home or in public will help them become familiar with their surroundings.
- Start young— It's essential to start early when it comes to socializing puppies so they learn how to act appropriately around others. Starting puppy classes as early as possible is ideal since this provides an opportunity for direct contact with other people and animals.
- Utilize playgroups— Playgroups provide a safe, controlled environment for your Golden to socialize and learn how to interact with other dogs and people. It’s also great exercise!
- Make sure they get plenty of attention — Positively reinforcing good behavior is crucial in teaching your Golden appropriate ways to act around others.
- Provide toys— Toys can be used as rewards and distractions in any social setting. They help maintain focus in high-energy situations, or simply give them something else to do when there are too many distractions.
4. Chewing, Water, And Mud: Activities That Bring Unbridled Delight to Them!
Goldens love to chew, and they're not particularly picky about what they chew on. It's best to invest in tough, durable toys like Nylabones that are designed to withstand the wear and tear of your pup's teeth. Additionally, look for chew treats made with natural ingredients, such as Himalayan Yak Chews, which are slowly roasted over an open fire by farmers in Nepal.
If you take your Golden Retriever to a beach for some playtime and swimming on the regular, it's sure to make them very happy. If that isn't an option, pick up a durable plastic pool or even just get them a sprinkler - not only will they be enthralled by the water fun, but they'll also stay cool in the sizzling summer heat!
If a Golden can't find water, mud will do. Just be sure to keep an eye on your pup and give them regular baths to make sure they stay clean and healthy.
5. Don't Forget Their Food Either; Nutrition Is Key For A Golden Retriever's Wellbeing
Owning a Golden Retriever is a beautiful experience, but it is essential to be aware that they love their food. In order to keep your dog healthy, it's vital to provide them with good quality food of the correct quantity and variety. Golden Retrievers need high-protein diets rich in meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains. This should be supplemented with multivitamins and other essential nutrients for optimal health.
Feeding your Golden twice a day is recommended - once in the morning and once in the evening - and make sure to give them just enough to satisfy their appetite without overfilling them. Keep an eye on portion sizes as even just small amounts can add up if given too often!
6. Golden Retriever Have Incredible Sniffing Power
One of the reasons Golden Retrievers are used for tasks such as drug detection and search and rescue is because of their highly-developed sense of smell. It's essential to give them plenty of opportunities to use their noses when playing with toys or out on walks.
You can buy special scented treat puzzles that let your pup use his sniffer to locate treats or try hiding snacks around the house for him to find. Just make sure you keep a close eye on your dog during all activities involving smells, as he has a tendency to follow his nose, even if it leads him into dangerous situations.
7. Common Health Risks Owners to Be Aware Of
When it comes to owning a Golden Retriever, one of the most common health issues is hip and elbow dysplasia. This genetic disorder causes the joints to become misaligned in the hip or elbow, leading to pain and eventually arthritis.
To avoid this condition, always make sure you're buying from a reputable breeder who screens for these conditions. Additionally, provide your pup with plenty of physical activity and exercise that's appropriate for their age and breed size. A balanced diet full of fresh food will help keep their joints healthy as they grow older.
Neutering can also lead to health issues, so alternatives such as a vasectomy or tubal ligation should be considered.
They are also prone to eye disorders such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Regular veterinary check-ups can help diagnose any potential eye issues early on. If left untreated, these can lead to blindness in your dog.
Golden Retrievers are also prone to skin problems like allergies and hot spots. To combat this, make sure you stick with a regular grooming routine and pay close attention to their coat condition. Additionally, pet owners should be aware of the environmental factors that may cause an allergic reaction (dust mites, pollen, etc).
Finally, having pet insurance is always recommended for Golden Retrievers as they tend to have higher medical costs compared to other breeds. This way, you can ensure you have financial protection if any unexpected health problems arise. With comprehensive coverage, you can keep your pup healthy and active for many years to come!
8. Wax Build-up Can Become a Potential Problem in Their Ears
Sadly, Golden Retrievers can be prone to waxy ears as a result of their long ear shape, which restricts air circulation in the ear canal. However, this is not always the cause and instead may signify an underlying bacterial or yeast infection or even mites. If neglected, these issues could become chronic and reduce your pup's quality of life significantly over time.
To reduce the chances of ear infection, take time to dry your dog's ears after swimming or bathing. Additionally, keep their ears clean with products that will also change the pH level and create an environment where yeast won't thrive. There are plenty of effective solutions available for purchase on the market today, like Pet MD Ear Cleaner & Deodorizer, that can provide relief for your pup.
This solution contains antiseptic ingredients that prevent the overgrowth of yeast and bacteria while also providing a pleasant odor. It also has natural moisturizing agents that soothe dry and irritated skin while helping to maintain your pet's ear health. What's more, it's gentle enough for regular use!
9. Not Knowing Their Size: A Giant Heart in a Large Frame
Despite their considerable size, usually ranging between 55-75 lbs., adult Golden Retrievers are often oblivious to the fact that they’re anything but lapdogs! Although this can be a bit overwhelming at times, it's just their way of showing you how much they love and appreciate you. They will do everything in their power to squeeze onto your lap despite not actually being able to fit - so get ready for all those cuddles!
10. Owning A Golden Retriever Is Not Synonymous With Having A Guard Dog
Despite their loyal and protective nature, these playful pooches do not make the best guard dogs. With their friendly and gentle demeanor, Golden Retrievers are more likely to welcome an intruder with a happily wagging tail than deter them from entering your home. They are known to be warm, friendly, and social animals; they would rather curl up beside you on the couch than bark at strangers. As with all breeds, proper training is critical to ensure that your Golden Retriever can learn basic commands and respect boundaries.
Golden Retrievers were bred to be working companions and not guard dogs, so if protection is your primary reason for wanting a dog, you may want to consider a different breed.
Creating a Loving Home for Your Golden Retriever- Final Thought!
When it comes to Goldens, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more loyal, loving companion. They form strong bonds with their owners and crave attention and play, making them ideal family pets. Kids of all ages love being around these dogs – they’re always up for a game and don’t mind rough play.
However, it’s important to remember that Goldens aren’t a good choice for those who work full-time and can’t devote enough attention to their pet. If left alone for extended periods of time, Goldens can suffer from depression and separation anxiety. If this is your situation, consider hiring a pet walker or taking your Golden to doggie daycare during the day to ensure they’re getting enough socialization and exercise.
You should also be aware that Goldens have a reputation for being, shall we say, particularly enthusiastic chewers. To prevent them from getting into trouble and destroying your shoes or furniture, make sure to provide them with high-quality, durable toys specially designed for heavy chewers.
Investing in quality products such as food bowls, dog beds, and dental treats will help ensure your Golden’s health and happiness. With the proper preparation and knowledge, you can provide your Golden Retriever with a life full of love, fun, and adventure. More than anything, Goldens just want to play and be around their humans, so make sure you spend plenty of quality time with your pup!