Do you ever wonder in the chill of the winter when you are wrapped up like a burrito from the cold? Does your pooch feel it too? Do they need blankets or is just their coat enough to keep them warm? Well let’s find out, shall we?
So, do golden retrievers need blankets? Yes, they do when the temperature drops below 45°F (7°C). Golden retrievers can tolerate the cold weather between 45°F and 90°F, so you should make sure to keep them warm with a cozy blanket or by keeping them near the fireplace when it gets colder than that.
But of course, there is more to it, keep reading to learn how cold is too cold and how to keep your golden retriever warm and cozy in the winter.
Do Golden Retrievers Need Blankets?
It depends on a few things such as
- The temperature
- The place
- Their age
Golden retrievers can tolerate the cold weather between 45°F and 90°F so below that they will need a blanket or maybe more than one and keep them next to the fireplace.
It’s not recommended at all to keep your golden retriever outside if the temperature drops below 20°F or -6 °C as it can hurt them.
It’s the same idea as the temperature but even though they can tolerate the weather when it’s 45°F but they shouldn’t be sleeping in their outdoors house or spending more than 30 minutes outside at all even with blankets.
If you think a dog house could protect them from the cold outside, you are sorely mistaken. Dog houses offer no real protection from the cold.
There is a great experiment that was done recently by a vet to illustrate how useless dog houses could be in protecting dogs from the cold. Watch the video below:
Puppies can not tolerate the weather as well as adult golden retrievers because their coat is not fully grown and they have shorter and thinner hair that can’t insulate them from the cold as well as a fully-grown coat can.
You can learn when do goldens mature (and calm down) here.
Seniors will not handle the cold well either because their bodies are not as capable of regulating their temperatures as they once were. In this case, they will need blankets and make their bedding as cozy as possible.
Do Golden Retrievers Get Cold?
Yes, golden retrievers can get cold just like humans if they are exposed to cold weather for too long. It’s not the same cold, and you can’t catch it from your dog nor can they catch it from you, but yes, goldens can get canine flu.
Symptoms of Cold in Dogs
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
If your golden retriever is experiencing these symptoms, you should take them to the vet to make sure that they are safe, also if you noticed one of the serious symptoms listed below, your dog could be suffering from something more serious than a cold and it requires immediate and right treatment.
More Serious Symptoms (Attention Required Immediately)
- Change in the appetite
- Abnormalities in their behavior
7 Tips to keep your golden warm in the winter?
If you live somewhere where the winter can be particularly cold, or if you have puppies that need some help staying warm when it’s cold, you can follow these 7 tips to keep your golden warm in the winter.
- Insulate the floor
- dry all the time
- Cozy bedding
- Shelter from the wind
- Never shave them down in winter.
When the weather is too cold and your dog can not handle it, a blanket is a good idea to cover them up and keep them warm.
My personal favorite is the PETMAKER Waterproof Pet Blankets because it’s waterproof and fur doesn’t stick to it, which means that cleaning it is super easy. You can check it on Amazon here or by clicking on the image above.
A sweater or coat is one of the most important ways to keep their body warm during winter walks and cold weather in general.
A sweater will be perfect for puppies and senior dogs because most golden retrievers have long and thick fur that offers protection but puppies and senior golden retrievers may need that extra layer of insulation and warmth.
My personal recommendation would be the Gooby Stretch Fleece Dog Vest which you can check on Amazon here or by clicking on the image above. It’s the one that seems to bother my puppies the least and they don’t really mind wearing it for long.
Insulate the floor
An insulated floor mat could be just what your dog needs, you can get one for every place they like to sleep in or in their doghouse because your dog’s body loses a huge amount of heat whenever she is in contact with the floor and the insulated mat will prevent this from happening.
Dry all the time
Of course, there is no need to say that if they are being wet for some time they will catch a cold, so if bathed them in the winter try to dry them quickly and the same thing after playtime, it is better if you keep an old towel with you when they come from playing in the snow.
In the winter keep their bedding as cozy as possible especially if they are seniors or puppies because seniors need cozy bedding to rest their bones, and the puppies need to rest well because they are growing quickly and rebuilding their muscles when they are sleeping, so they are spending between 15 and 20 hours in their bedding.
You can also consider a self-heating pad to keep them warm. A self-heated blanket can keep your dog warm even when it’s freezing cold outside.
I have found the Riogoo heating pad to be particularly good and useful, while something more traditional like the Sheri Blanket can work better for some dogs who like to snuggle inside the bed rather than just lay one it.
Shelter from the wind
Like I’ve said before that golden retrievers can tolerate the cold pretty well, but the wind can make it feel much colder than it is, so shelter from the wind is a must when it gets windy.
Being wet with the wind it is a deadly combination, and can make golden retrievers shiver even when you think it shouldn’t be too cold for them.
Never shave them down in winter
If you think that winter is the time for them to get a haircut you are dead wrong, their long golden fur is what keeps them warm in that cold weather, and because they can not talk they will not be able to let you know when it is too cold for them.
If you are wondering when is a good time to shave them, the answer is simply never. You can learn much more about why you should never shave a golden retriever here.
Exercise is good for them all year long and not just when it is cold because it has so many benefits for them, and just like humans, exercising will help to warm them up.
Beware though that the rock salt used to melt the snow in some areas can be quite harmful to their paws and you might want to have them put on doggy boots to protect from this salt. You should also always wash their paws before they get back in the house.
You can use the Mudbuster to clean their paws in seconds before they get inside the house, and I really found this to be the best way to clean their paws quickly and effectively. Highly recommended to check it out on Amazon here.
Boots will be great for your dog during your daily walk in winter for two reasons; one, you guessed it, it will keep their paws warm while walking on snow or just the wet floor, and two it will protect their paws from the chemicals in the street such as the salt and ice in the snow.
The problem is that most will balk at wearing their boots, so you will need to train them first, make them practice in the house for a few days before they go out while wearing them.
Signs that your dog is too cold
- Shivering or shaking
- Seeks places for shelter
- Whining or barking
- Abnormalities in their behavior
- Tucked tail
- Lifts paw off the ground
- Anxious or uncomfortable
- Lifts their paws off the ground
- Lack of energy ( not wanting to walk or move)
- Hunched posture
Are Golden Retrievers Okay in the Cold?
Yes, they are okay in the cold, golden retrievers can tolerate cold weather between 45°F and 90°F. Because of their double-layered coat that can provide them with the warmth they need, however, they should not be in cold temperatures outdoors for more than 30 minutes if the temperature drops below 20 °F.
Does a Golden Retriever need a coat in Winter?
No, they do not need coats in winters, however, puppies and seniors can use coats because they have shorter and thinner hair, but adult golden retrievers will not need coats or sweaters for walking in the snow, but make sure to check that there’s no snow stuck in their coat.