Golden Retrievers like the cold weather, that’s no surprise, but even golden retrievers have limits when it comes to tolerating the cold. They may like the cold, but they were not built to live in the north pole, after all.
This made me wonder if golden retrievers can get at night when it gets really cold, and whether they need to stay inside and how can I help my own dogs stay warm when the temperature drops. So, I went ahead and did my research, and here is what I found.
Do golden retrievers get cold at night? Yes, golden retrievers get cold at night, golden retrievers will start to feel the cold when the temperature is around 35°F (1.67°C), and they will get really cold if the temperature drops below 20°F (-6.7°C). When it gets this cold, you should never leave your golden retriever outside at night.
There is more to that answer, to know more about how well do golden retrievers tolerate cold weather and how to keep them warm, Keep reading…
How well Do Golden Retrievers Tolerate Cold Weather?
Golden retrievers can tolerate cold weather pretty well. Their long double coats help them to survive the cold.
However, they can get cold if they are exposed to the cold for long periods just like humans.
As a rule of thumb, If the temperature drops below 20°F, bring your golden retriever inside and make sure to keep them warm.
7 factors that determine how cold is too cold for your golden retriever?
How cold your golden retriever feels will depend on more than just the temperature. Different dogs will feel the same temperature differently, and here are the 7 factors that determine how cold your golden retriever is actually feeling;
Let’s go over each of these quickly;
You probably did not expect that one but weight can determine how cold your golden retriever is feeling.
Their body fat can be a great insulator to protect them from the cold, which means that if your golden retriever is slightly overweight, they will tolerate the cold better than golden retrievers that are fitter and have less body fat.
Just like humans, senior golden retrievers can feel the cold easier than adult goldens and it is the same thing with puppies as well.
Vets recommended that you should not leave your puppy or your senior golden outside in the cold because they can’t regulate their body’s temperature. Later in the article, we are going to discuss when and when not to leave your golden retriever outside.
If your golden retriever is sick, they will not be the best to tolerate the cold weather because their body and immune system will be weaker than usual.
Since they are weaker, they can catch diseases easier than healthier golden retrievers.
If you live in a place with high humidity, it can make your dog colder because humidity makes the air feel colder.
If you do live in a humid area, the humidity will also cause many more problems to your golden retriever, and I recommend you take a moment to read my post on how can golden retrievers adapt to Florida here.
You should avoid taking your dog out on a windy day especially at night and not just for them but for you as well, and it’s for a simple reason, let me explain.
The wind will carry away the heat that keeps you warm, forcing your body to keep working on producing more heat and the wind will just keep taking the heat away.
If you decided to give your golden retriever a bath, they decided to swim, or their coat got wet by any way then their coat will be a little damp and it will make them feel cold and uncomfortable until you dry them well.
And drying your golden retriever’s coat quickly is a task that’s much easier said than done, which is why I made a complete post just about it, and you can check out the 11 ways to dry your golden retriever quickly here.
You probably know this one but I am going to explain it anyway, a cloudy sky makes the air feel warmer than a clear sky, and here’s why; The clouds tend to keep more of the sun’s temperature trapped in the atmosphere at night and will even re-emit some of the heat emitted from the earth’s surface towards us.
When is it too cold for golden retrievers (when to bring them inside)?
- You should bring your golden retriever inside once the temperature drops below 45°F (7.2°C)
- If it’s raining, bring your golden retriever inside, it’s probably not the best idea to leave your dog outside wet in the cold.
- The wind is not a friendly environment for your pooch, the normal wind speed is 12 miles per hour (19 kilometers per hour) so if it’s higher than that, you should definitely bring them inside because it’s about to be a dangerous place for them to be in.
- Snow is fun and goldens love playing in the snow, however, they should not stay outside for a long time when there is snow.
- If your dog is already sick then staying outside for long periods is not the smartest thing to do even if they can’t resist playing outside, you should let them rest inside and enjoy the warmth of your home.
- If they had their coat cut for a medical reason or even a personal reason, you should not leave them outside in the cold weather, also, if they are still puppies and their coat is not fully grown, you should not leave them outside as well.
- If there’s thunder and you know what thunder means for dogs so you can imagine how they will react if they are alone outside and there is thunder, they will probably freak out, bark, and may try to run away so just bring them inside, comfort them, and let them know that you will always be there for them.
- If your golden retriever is senior then you should not let them stay outside in the cold.
Speaking of Snow, you can learn more about when do golden retrievers get cold from the snow here.
How to know if your dog is feeling too cold?
Here are some signs to help you notice if your dog is feeling too cold.
- Seeks places for shelter
- They reluct to keep walking
- Lifts paw off the ground
- Change in their behavior
- Hunched posture
- They may seem uncomfortable
- Tucked tail
If you have a Labrador, I have made a complete guide just for them as well, and you can check When do Labradors get cold at night here.
How to keep golden retrievers warm outside?
Here are 10 ways that can help you keep your golden retriever warm while temporarily outside:
- Warm food
- Water access
- Healthy coat = healthy life
- Insulate their house
- Stay inside, stay warm
- Working out
- Dog house heater
- A self-heated blanket
Let’s go over each of them really quickly;
Warm food is perfect for the cold weather so maybe you can try to make some chicken or beef soup for them to keep them healthy and active.
You can also boil their water and serve it to them when it’s warm enough for them.
Keeping them hydrated in the cold is really important, water will keep them healthy and will regulate their body’s temperature.
Make sure that their water is not too cold if you can make it warm for them, they will be so thankful.
Healthy coat = healthy life
Keeping their coat healthy in the cold is a priority because it isolates them from the cold weather and brushing their hair improves their blood circulation which is really important for their body temperature.
That is why you should groom them regularly.
Golden Retrievers should never live outside permanently, but sometimes you will be forced to have them live outside very temporarily and for a short period of time. In this case, they must have a good shelter.
Avoid wooden dog houses as they will do absolutely nothing, just like the plastic ones, they are both just useless when it comes to the cold.
You can get them an insulated kennel cover, it’s great for keeping your pup warm.
If you have not already, you must watch this video of the veterinarian’s experiment in the cold to see how cold it gets in dog houses at night:
Insulate their house
You can also insulate their house yourself to save some money and you can check how to insulate your dog house here for many ways to protect the inside of your dog house from getting too cold.
Stay inside, stay warm
You can just let your dog stay inside when it’s cold and avoid all the troubles, you can let them outside in the morning but for a limited time and bring them back inside.
Keeping them active in the cold weather is very important to keep them warm by keeping the blood flowing, so you should never skip any exercise.
If your golden retriever does not get enough exercise and they are staying inside, they will have so much energy and nothing to do so you can expect your house to turn into a wreck.
Dog house heater
You can try a dog house heater whether you decided to let them stay inside or outside but make sure that the heater is safe for them.
The dog house heater will keep their dog house warm in the winter and you can put it next to their bedding so they can have a warm, peaceful, “cold-free” sleep.
A self-heated blanket
One of the things you can try is a self-heated blanket, it can keep them warm in the freezing cold.
I have several ones, and the ones I love the most are those from Furhaven, and you can check them on Amazon here.
You can get your golden retriever a cute sweater that fits their adorable personality, it will keep them warm outside in their dog house, inside, and they can even wear it when you take them for a walk to make sure that they are warm.
You can learn everything about when golden retrievers need sweaters here and check out my recommendations for the best sweaters for your golden retriever in the post as well.
Why you shouldn’t leave your golden retriever outside for too long
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t leave your golden retriever outside for too long, in cold weather, your golden retriever should not be left in the cold for more than 30 minutes because they may suffer from hypothermia and frostbite.
However, leaving your golden retriever for too long even if it’s not cold because it may lead your dog to separation anxiety, stress, and many behavioral issues.
If one of your family members or a friend was wondering about the same thing, maybe you can share this article with them to help them out a little bit and certainly, I will appreciate it as well, hope you found it useful.
In fact, I don’t think golden retrievers should live outside at all. I highly recommend you read my guide on why golden retrievers shouldn’t be outside dogs here.
Does my golden retriever need a sweater?
Golden retrievers and dogs with thick coats, in general, will not need sweaters but that does not mean that they can’t pull them off.
You can get your golden retriever a sweater just to double-check that if you took them for a walk or they want to play in the snow that nothing bad happens to them.
However, with or without the sweater, make sure that there’s no snow stuck in their coat and clean their paws as soon as you get home because the snow has chemicals in it and it can harm their coat and it can be toxic if they decide to lick it.
What is the normal body temperature of a golden retriever?
The normal body temperature of a golden retriever and dogs, in general, is between 101° F and 102.5° F, and compared to humans it’s 97.6° F to 99.6° F.
If your dog’s temperature dropped below normal, give them something warm to drink and cover them with a blanket if the temperature stays the same then you need to take them to the vet immediately.
Do golden Retrievers love the cold?
Yes, golden retrievers love the cold because of their double-layered coat, your golden retriever can tolerate the cold weather between 45°F (7.222°C) and 90°F (32.222°C), their coat provides the warmth they need but that doesn’t mean they should stay in the cold for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Can golden retrievers swim in cold water?
Yes, they can as long as they are going in on their own, however, if the temperature above 45 °F (7 °C) then it’s safe but if the temperature is below 20 °F (-6 °C), it may lead to hypothermia or frostbite, so if they decide to take a swim in a cold but safe temperature still make sure to dry them off afterward.
Do golden retrievers need a blanket at night?
Yes, golden retrievers can appreciate a nice blanket at night, when you establish a sleeping place for them, you need to check that their kennel or crate is comfortable and a warm and soft blanket is on it and make sure to clean them regularly and do not wash it with a fabric softener because it irritates their skin.