Do Golden Retrievers Like Hot Weather?

Golden Retrievers like hot weather as long as it isn’t too hot and precautions are taken. Your Golden Retriever can live in hot climates too but they’ll need your help to make sure that they don’t overheat. 

Temperatures over 30 degrees Celcius (86 Fahrenheit) will risk the floor being too hot for them to walk on and will increase the chances of heat stroke and dehydration.

But there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your Golden Retriever cool on hotter days. Like avoiding physical activities (e.g. walks) in the mid-day sun, creating shade, and using ice cubes to cool down their water.

Read on to find out how to avoid heat-related issues, more ways to keep your Golden Retriever cool in the sun, and more.

What if My Golden Retriever Gets Too Hot?

In extreme heat Golden Retrievers can develop hyperthermia – which is when their body temperature exceeds 39.7 degrees Celsius (103.5 Fahrenheit). This is over their normal temperature and is the equivalent of having a fever. If not treated promptly, it can lead to heatstroke, organ failure, or death in the worst cases.

You’ll need to be looking out for signs of hyperthermia, especially when it’s hot outside. If you notice any of these signs, get your Goldie to a vet ASAP. 

Signs of hyperthermia in Golden Retrievers include:

  • Excessive drooling (with thick saliva).
  • Heavy panting.
  • Red or dark coloured gums and tongue.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Decreased or no urination.
  • Dizziness.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat.
  • Black, tar-like poop.
  • Vomiting (perhaps with blood).
  • Seizures.
  • Heart attack.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Organ failure.

Individually these symptoms could be caused by other issues. But if it’s hot outside and their behaviour is unusual, it’s worth erring on the side of caution and taking action to find the cause of their problem.

Similarly, if your Golden seems to be suffering in the heat, try to move them out of direct sunlight and give them plenty of fresh water. Observe them closely and be prepared to take a trip to the vet if their condition worsens.

If your Golden Retriever is overheating, make sure that you don’t give them ice. The sudden temperature change can make them go into shock. 

Are Some Golden Retrievers More at Risk of Heatstroke Than Others?

Yes, some Golden Retrievers will be at more risk from hyperthermia and heatstroke than others.

Higher risk Golden Retrievers are usually:

  • Elderly (they struggle to regulate their temperature and might have additional health conditions that complicate the issue).
  • Puppies (they aren’t used to hot temperatures and won’t yet have the stamina to deal with it).
  • Overweight (extra weight can strain their breathing and heart, but it also lowers their capacity to exercise and cope with heat).
  • Those used to cold (Goldies that live in cooler temperatures will be in for a shock when they experience hot weather).

Any Golden Retriever who is already suffering from dehydration or health conditions will probably be faster to develop issues with overheating. This can be increased if they’re somewhere where there’s poor circulation or high humidity.

How Hot Is Too Hot for Golden Retrievers

A lot of Goldens will happily spend an afternoon snoozing in the sun, but this can rapidly lead to them getting too hot.

A Golden Retriever’s normal body temperature is between 38-39 degrees Celsius (101-102.5 Fahrenheit). It’s when their temperature goes over 39 that problems will occur, such as hyperthermia, heatstroke, or more.

One of the biggest reasons a Golden’s body temperature will increase (outside of medical-related fevers) is when it’s hot outside. Temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius (86 F) are too hot for your Golden Retriever.

Check out this infographic to see about heat stroke in dogs.

How Golden Retrievers Regulate Temperature

There are a few factors that can affect which temperatures a dog can cope with. Their size, shape of their nose and head, as well as the thickness of their coat are all factors here.

Golden Retrievers only have a handful of ways to try and regulate their temperature. 

  1. Sweating through their paws: This is the only way they can sweat, and it isn’t effective to lose heat as the only route is through their paws.
  2. Panting: This increases evaporation in their mouth from the surface of their tongue and moist parts of their mouth.
  3. Conduction: This is when heat is transferred from your Goldie onto a cool surface that they’re lying on. 
  4. Using air: This one is more instinctive, where they’ll find airflow such as putting their head out the window or sitting by a fan to cool down.

When they’re too hot, you can take steps to help them cool down. Keep reading to find out what you can do on hot days to help your Goldie bring their temperature down.

Top Tips to Keep Your Golden Retriever Cool When It’s Hot

On hot days, your Golden Retriever will be feeling the heat even more due to their thick double coat. With overheating, prevention is always better than trying to treat them.

To try and help keep them cool, try any of these tips to see what works best for your Goldie:

  • Brush them regularly: Your Goldie will naturally shred when it gets warmer, but by brushing them you’ll help them get rid of excess fur. Make sure you don’t shave them though, it’ll create far more problems.
  • Provide fresh drinking water: They always need access to clean water, but in hot weather, this is even more important. Try keeping several bowls in various locations and encourage drinking. When you go out, take a water bottle and travel bowl.
  • Avoid asphalt: Try to walk on grass if you have to walk anywhere during the day. Asphalt trails can become burning hot – hurting your dog’s paws and increasing the chance of them overheating. Sand similarly holds heat and can burn them. A quick test is to place the back of your hand on the ground, if it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your Goldie.
  • Stay out of mid-day sun: The hottest time of day is usually in the afternoon when the sun is directly above you and there’s limited shade. Take walks in the evening when it’s cooler and if possible, choose places like forests that are cooler than walking on open pavements.
  • Look after their paws: Some Golden Retrievers will tolerate boots to protect their feet but another option is wax. It creates a barrier that can protect them from burns and injuries and it won’t bother your Goldie in the slightest. 
  • Create shade: When the sun is above and there are hardly any areas to get out of the sunlight, you’ll have to make your own – this can be with umbrellas, blankets, or anything you can secure. Another alternative is to take them inside the house. 
  • Cooling mats: You can pick up dog-safe cooling mats from most pet shops in the summer. They do the job by providing a refreshing cold spot for your Goldie to lie on. 
  • Cooling toys and treats: Like the mats, you can pick up chew toys that go in the freezer and provide much-needed relief for your Goldie when it’s hot. There are a bunch of fruits that you can freeze and safely feed to your dog to cool them down too.
  • Water activities: Golden Retrievers are water babies, they’ll love it if they get the chance to swim to cool off in the summer. You can use paddling pools, sprinklers, and water toys to keep the fun going while your Goldie (and you) cool down.
  • Suncream: Dogs can get sunburnt too, especially in places like their nose or where their fur is thin. You can pick up dog-friendly suncreams from pet shops to put on them in the summer.
  • Don’t leave them in the car: You’ll undoubtedly have seen this in the media, but cars are sun traps, they heat up drastically and many dogs die every year from being left in a car. The lucky ones are rescued from passers-by smashing the windows but you shouldn’t risk it for even a minute. 
  • Avoid heavy exercise: Your Goldie won’t enjoy doing intense exercise when it’s hot, they’ll get hot very quickly and struggle to regulate their temperature. It won’t be enjoyable for them – it’s like us working out in the desert wearing a big fur coat.
  • Always supervise: As always, you should make sure you’re supervising your Golden Retriever at all times. This means you can monitor them for symptoms of over-heating and be on hand to help them cool down.
  • Use a fan: You can direct a fan on your Golden Retriever, as long as it’s safe in case it’s knocked over or damaged. 
  • Ice cubes: These can be added to water or given directly to your Golden Retriever. They can chew or lick the ice cube as a quick way to cool down. 

Not all these tips will work for you and your Golden Retriever, and you might have your own methods of keeping cool but give them a try and see what works if you need help keeping your Goldie cool. 

Related Questions

When It’s Too Hot, How Can My Golden Retriever Get Enough Exercise?

Golden Retrievers require 1-2 hours of exercise per day. But when it’s hot out, you might be limited in your options of exercising. One option here might be to take them for a walk late at night when it’s much cooler. You can also look into swimming – which every Goldie would love.

What if My Golden Retriever Wants to Stay Outside in the Sun?

Some Golden Retrievers won’t want to come inside when they’re sunbathing. If you’re outside, they might want to stay with you or they might just be too comfy. Apart from physically dragging them in, you could let them stay out but take precautions. Create shade around them and put a bowl of water close by. Make sure that you keep a close eye on them throughout the day and be prepared to make them go in if it gets to hot.

Can I Leave My Golden Retriever in the Car With the Air Con on and Windows Down?

No, you can’t ever leave your Golden Retriever in the car no matter if the air conditioning is on full blast, if the windows are down, if you’re parked in the shade, or anything. In less than 30 minutes, the temperature could heat up to a fatal level. They’d be at great risk of developing heat stroke and could die shortly after. 

What Are the Signs of Dehydration in Golden Retrievers?

If your Golden Retriever is dehydrated, look out for signs like a dry, pale nose and mouth, sunken eyes, lack of urination, increased heart rate, and if their skin loses its elasticity. In the short term, give them water to help them get hydrated. In serious cases, you’ll need to get help from a vet.

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