Golden Retrievers are big balls of love and... hair! Like all dogs, they need regular, appropriate care to keep them healthy and in good shape. Most importantly, you mustn't forget to maintain their coat: their gorgeous, thick mane requires regular maintenance and grooming, especially during moulting periods.  Discover all our tips for safely taking care of your dog.

How to Brush a Golden Retriever

Grooming your Golden Retriever invariably involves brushing. While your dog's beautiful coat is very effective in protecting them from the elements, it can also play tricks on them. Its thickness, in particular, sometimes makes it difficult to spot parasites or skin problems. It's important to brush your Golden Retriever once or twice a week in normal periods, and every day during moulting periods in spring and autumn.

Start by brushing the entire body to get rid of the first layer of dead hair. If necessary, thin out your dog's coat a little with scissors, going from bottom to top. Then move slowly over each part of the body, starting with the chest and head. Brush the undercoat first, up against the direction of growth, then down in the direction of the hair. Be extra careful when trimming the hair around the ears.

Then switch to the topcoat, following the same principle. Brush the tail, limbs, and stomach. Trim any hair protruding from the back of the legs and paws. Also trim the hair underneath the tail, being careful not to cut too short. If you're worried about going wrong, you can always take your pooch to see a dog groomer.

Choosing the Right Tools

Not all brushes are suitable for all dog breeds. The choice of which brush to use depends largely on what type of hair your pet has. For Golden Retrievers, you need a brush suitable for medium-long, dense hair, a comb and/or a detangling brush to remove knots, and a pair of scissors to cut out especially tough knots without hurting your dog. Please note: You should never shear a Golden Retriever unless they have a serious health problem that requires it. In this case, always call a professional dog groomer or your vet.

How to Bathe a Golden Retriever

Baths are also an important feature in the maintenance of your Golden Retriever. However, be careful not to bathe your dog too often, at the risk of damaging their skin. One to two baths per year is normally enough to keep your Golden Retriever clean and healthy. Of course, if your pooch gets their coat particularly dirty or smells bad, don't wait to bathe them. If the smell persists, this may also be because they're suffering from skin problems. Always check with your vet if you suspect a health issue.

Choosing the Right Dog Shampoo

A good dog shampoo respects your dog's hair, but also their skin. Never use human shampoo on your dog. Human products are absolutely not suitable for your Golden Retriever's skin.


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How Do I Get My Golden Retriever's Coat Wet?

You can run a bath, put your dog in the shower, or spray it down with a hose in your garden. Make sure that the water temperature is neither too cold nor too hot: lukewarm water, between 35 and 38°C, is ideal. Lather shampoo all over your dog's body, playing close attention to the space between the toes. Be careful not to get shampoo in your dog's eyes. You can also use ear covers to protect their ears, which are sensitive to ear infections.

Rinse your pooch well to get rid of all traces of shampoo, then rub it with a towel to dry. If desired, you can use a hairdryer, set to medium heat, to go faster. Then, brush your dog's coat again.

Preventive Care for a Golden Retriever

In addition to bathing and brushing, it's also essential to regularly clean your Golden Retriever's eyes and ears. Use cotton pads and saline solution. Avoid using cotton wool or Q-tips which may leave cotton fibres behind. Proceed gently so as not to injure your dog. Take a pad soaked in the saline solution and run it over your dog's eyes to sweep away any impurities. Start from the inside of the eye and move outwards, so as not to allow other dirt to get in. Do the same with the ears, from inside to outside.

Also, remember to trim your Golden Retriever's nails to prevent them from getting in the way when your dog moves. You can use a nail clipper or an electric file. Make sure to carefully locate the quick of the nail before cutting to avoid injuring your pooch. The quick is the live part of the nail which contains blood vessels and nerve endings - it is recognisable by its pink colour. You only want to cut the white part of the nail. If your dog has black claws, it's best not to cut them too short, as a precaution.

Finally, don't forget about preventive medical care. Make sure to take your Golden Retriever for regular anti-parasitic and deworming treatments, especially if you live in the countryside, and keep all their vaccines up to date. It's a good idea to schedule at last one veterinary check-up a year, especially when your dog gets older. All these things play a big role in your Golden Retriever's health and thus help to extend their life expectancy.

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