Do Golden Retrievers Get Cold in the Snow?


We are all familiar with how golden retrievers are cold-weather dogs, and they thrive in the colder climates. They also absolutely love playing in the snow, and so do I.

But I get cold in the snow, even with my layers of clothes on, which made me wonder if they also get cold in the snow as well?

So, I did some research, and here is what I found out.

So, do golden retrievers get cold in the snow? Yes, golden retrievers can get cold in the snow and if they spent a long time outside in the cold they can get frostbite (frozen skin and tissues) or hypothermia (low body temperature) just like humans, however, golden retrievers can tolerate cold weather between 45°F and 90°F.

So, yes, they do get cold in the snow, but they can tolerate the cold weather much better than we can. However, this answer really doesn’t cover the most important part; how to keep your golden retriever safe from getting frostbite or hypothermia while also allowing them to have their fun? Keep reading…

Do Golden Retrievers Get Cold in the Snow? 

golden retriever playing in the snow to illustrate the answers to do golden retrievers get cold in the snow

Yes, just like us, golden retrievers can get cold in the snow if they were exposed to it for a long time but they can still enjoy playing in the snow because of how it feels and how much they’re enjoying it, so if your golden retriever likes to play in the snow, you need to make sure that they only play for a minimum amount of time.

You can also try to get them a sweater to make sure that they don’t get frostbite and with or without you need to clean their coat afterward to get rid of the snow.

How Well Can Golden Retrievers Tolerate the cold weather? 

Golden retrievers can tolerate the cold pretty well actually, they can tolerate the weather between 45°F and 90°F.

However, that does not mean that they should be exposed to extreme cold temperatures for more than 30 minutes.

Whenever you take them outside check for any signs of them feeling cold. If they do, you may need to get them a sweater or coat. You can find out if your golden retriever needs a sweater or a coat here.

Do Golden Retrievers like snow? 

Yes, golden retrievers like the snow, I mean golden retrievers like everything they can play in whether it’s snow, water, or even mud.

They just love the cold feeling that the cold leaves on their body so don’t hesitate to take them to build a snowman or make snow angels with them.

How to keep your golden retrievers warm outside in the snow? 

Golden retrievers should not be outside alone in the snow for too long but if it’s time for their daily walk or they want to play outside here a couple of things you can do to keep them warm outside in the snow.

  • Never underestimate boots 
  • It’s sweater weather 
  • Healthy nutrients food
  • Water access 
  • Self-heated blanket 
  • Exercise is important 
  • Cold weather gear 
  • Keeping their coat healthy

Let’s go over each of these really quickly:

Never underestimate boots 

You can get your golden retriever doggy boots, which are not only adorable but also will keep them warm and protect them from the snow. This is very useful if your dog loves licking their paws after playing in the snow, as you really don’t want them to lick any of the salt or dirt that’s in the snow.

The salt and other chemicals that are used to melt the snow on roads can irritate their skin, paws, and it can be toxic if they licked and that is why boots are great. 

If you’re looking for good boots for your dog, I highly recommend checking out the QUMY Dog Boots Waterproof Shoes for Dogs with Reflective Strips on Amazon here. They are anti-slip, weather-proof, affordable, and comfortable for your dog. My dogs love them, and I think yours may too.

It’s sweater weather 

Everyone loves sweater weather so why not get one for your pup to keep them warm and to rock a new look.

Just like the boots, the sweater can protect your pup from snow stuck in their coat. A sweater is a good option for larger dogs in really cold weather (looking at you, Canada), and a necessity for younger dogs. Check out my article on golden retriever sweaters here to find great recommendations there.

Healthy nutrientious food 

Do you know how your mother or grandmother tries to feed you healthy food to keep you warm in winter? Well, they are absolutely right.

It works for humans and will work for your pup as well, feed them healthy nutritious food and give them healthy snacks that will provide them with vitamins and fiber such as raspberries, bananas, carrots, and blueberries. This will play a large role in giving them enough energy to stay active and warm when it gets cold.  

Water access 

If you are going to take them for a walk in the snow then at least take some water for them and give them little breaks to rehydrate.

Needless to say, they should have access to fresh water at all times while at home, also, you can boil some water for them and serve it when it’s warm enough for them.

Self-heated blanket 

You can keep a self-heated blanket with you whenever you are going out with your pup, for emergencies.

So if your pup’s temperature suddenly drops and you are kinda far from home you can wrap them with a blanket to keep them warm enough to get them home or to the vet.

I have several ones, and the ones I love the most are those from Furhaven, and you can check them on Amazon here.

Exercise is important 

Exercising is important because it will keep your pup active and movement creates heat and it will keep them warm.

So if you think that you can’t take them for a walk because it’s cold, just remember that cold weather should be a motivation and not an excuse.

Cold weather gear

You can get them some cold-weather gear that will not only look very cool but will also help them navigate the snow and cold weather better while keeping them warm and fuzzy on the inside.

If your golden retriever has a problem with wearing clothes or boots, you can train them to be comfortable in them while you are still at home before you take them for walks.

Keeping their coat healthy

Grooming them regularly will keep their coat healthy because a damaged coat will not offer the best protection from the cold weather.

Grooming and brushing their coats will improve their blood circulation and distribute their natural oils as well.

How to tell if your dog is too cold in the snow? 

If you decided to take your dog for a walk or just wanted to play with them in the snow, you should keep an eye on them and watch out for the signs that tell you that they’re cold.

Here are the signs that your golden retriever is cold in the snow:

  • Shivering
  • Whining 
  • Slowing down 
  • Change in their behavior
  • Acting anxious 
  • Shaking 
  • Hiding 
  • Searching for a warm place
  • Holding up one or more paws

If you noticed one or a few of these signs you need to take your dog inside and keep them warm.

Possible problems and dangers with walking or playing in the snow

Golden Retrievers can encounter the following problems if they play in the snow for too long;

  • Frostbite 
  • Hypothermia 
  • Eating the snow 
  • Drifting 

Let’s go over each one of them quickly;

Frostbite 

If your dog spent a long time playing or walking in the snow, they can get frostbite (frozen skin and tissues) and that’s why you should limit their time outside in the snow. Dogs that spend a lot of time outside, in general, are also more prone to frostbites, and you can learn about all the reasons why golden retrievers shouldn’t be outside dogs here.

Hypothermia

Just like the frostbite, if they were exposed to the cold for long periods, they can get hypothermia (low body temperature), and not just them you can get it as well and that’s why you should be careful for the both of you. 

Labradors can also get frostbite and hypothermia, and you can learn more about this in my post on how Labradors do in the cold.

Eating the snow

It sounds simple to prevent, but it’s actually not so simple. Some dogs will get so excited about playing in the snow and being outside that it will be literally impossible to follow around all the time and stop them from eating snow.

Another issue is that many dogs will lick their paws immediately after playing in the snow.

Drifting 

Drifting in the snow is fun I admit but it is dangerous even for dogs, especially for older golden retrievers as they could hit something or get hit by someone and end up injuring themselves and other people so maybe keep them on a leash if you are going to take them for a walk or playing.

If this article was useful to you, you can share it with your family and friends, it might be useful for them as well, and I will appreciate it tons.

Related Questions 

Can golden retrievers be in the snow? 

Yes, golden retrievers can be in the snow, most breeds may try to avoid the snow but not the goldens, due to their double-layered coat so that’s why your golden retriever loves rolling in the snow because it feels nice on their body, however, you shouldn’t let them play for too long in the snow.

Do Golden Retrievers Get Cold? 

Yes, golden retrievers do get cold, even though they have a thick coat that protects them from the cold, they still can get cold if they were exposed to a cold-weather for long periods just like us, also, the vets recommend keeping them inside if the temperature drops below 20°F.

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Helpful Resources 

The Challenges of Walking Your Dog in Winter

6 Helpful Safety Tips For Walking Dogs In The Snow

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