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7 Answers About Golden Retrievers And Cold Weather (2022)

Golden Retrievers Cold Weather

You take a look at your Goldie in awe…

Their coat is so thick and majestic.

So now, it makes you think…

Will such a beautiful coat help your Goldie against the cold weather?

If not, what would?

Continue reading to discover:

  • If Goldies get cold at night.
  • Whether your Goldie can sleep outside in the cold.
  • How long a Golden Retriever can play in the snow.
  • If Golden Retrievers can tolerate cold weather (and by how much).
  • And many more…

#1: Can Golden Retrievers tolerate cold weather?

Golden Retrievers can tolerate cold weather due to their dense topcoat. Then, they also have a thick undercoat. But, they still have a limit set. Vets say that discomfort starts when it hits  7℃ (45℉) and below. Then, it’s crucial at -6℃ (20℉) as Goldies can develop frostbite or hypothermia.


#2: What temperature is too cold for a Golden Retriever?


A Golden Retriever can get too cold once the temperature hits below -6℃ (20℉). And when this happens, your Goldie can experience serious health-related consequences.

Usually, a Goldie does well under cold temperatures. However, they can start being uncomfortable once the temperature becomes 7℃ (45℉). 

And as I said, the danger will occur once the temperature hits -6℃ (20℉). 

How so?

According to PetMD, that’s the point where a dog can get frostbite. 

Now, that’s a condition that leads to skin and tissue damage.

And as stated by VCA Hospitals, frostbite affects most of these areas:

  • Tail.
  • Ears.
  • Paws.

Moreover, your Goldie can also get hypothermia.

What’s that?

AKC says that an extremely low body temperature brings hypothermia. And when it’s untreated, it can lead to the following:

  • Coma.
  • Brain damage,
  • Cardiac failure.
  • Respiratory malfunction.

So, watch out for signs of hypothermia in dogs. Those are:

  • Paleness.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Delayed reflexes.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Abnormal heart rate (Fast then slow).
  • Uneven breathing (rapid, slow, and shallow).

However, the temperature isn’t the only thing to consider…

Other factors contribute to your Goldie’s tolerance.

And they’ll affect your pupper’s reaction to temperature.

Let me talk about them one by one…

Factors that affect temperature-tolerance

All dogs are unique…

You won’t know two with the same traits, capacity, and inner-workings…

No matter how similar some look…

So, even their tolerance depends individually…

Coat type

Coat Type Affects Golden Retrievers' Temperature Tolerance

Golden Retrievers are among the many dogs that have 2 layers of fur.

They have this dense upper coat that’s water-resistant. Then, they also have a thick undercoat.

Now, such highly contributes to their tolerance of cold climate.

Goldies are more tolerant in chilly situations than dogs who have thin coats.

Weight

The more they weigh, the less they can get too cold.

How?

That’s because if they weigh more, that means they have many body fats.

And let me tell you, body fats are a good heat source.

So, your chubby Goldie can stand cold longer. Compare that to thinner dogs who don’t have layers of body fat. 

Coat color

Who would’ve known?

That even their coat color is a factor on their weather tolerance…

But how does it affect the matter?

You see, dark colors absorb more heat. Then, it traps the heat on the fur and keeps the dog warm.

Let’s take a look at this research:

Their data shows that 10.7% of the race dogs have elevated body temperatures.

And among those dogs, many have dark-colored fur.

Now, unfortunately, Goldies have this light yellow coat. 

So instead of absorbing heat, the color deflects it.

With that, they stay breezy as they don’t carry any heat on their fur.

Size

This time something called ‘surface area to volume ratio’ is involved.

The point of that is:

Smaller dogs have more skin.

Now, more skin means more channels to lose heat.

So to say, smaller dogs lose heat fast. With that, they tend to get more cold easily.

And since Goldies are medium-large dogs, they don’t lose heat that quickly.

Whenever they store heat in their body, it’s gonna be there for a while.

Health

Unfortunately, sick dogs can’t properly regulate their body temperature.

With that, ill Goldies won’t do well in cold weather.

Age

Senior Golden Retriever

Old dogs don’t have the same tolerance they have when they’re younger.

So, your senior Goldie won’t appreciate the cold.

Conditioning

Sometimes it also lies in their experiences.

If your Goldie’s used to the cold, then they’d be more tolerant…

However, say that you moved from a sunny place to one with a long cold season…

Then, expect that your pooch is gonna have a rough time adjusting. And while they do, they might have trouble standing the cold.

How cold is too cold for a Golden Retriever Puppy?

A temperature of 0℃ (32℉) is too cold for a Golden Retriever puppy. That’s the point where you should get your puppy warm. If not, they’ll experience frostbite and hypothermia.

As I mentioned earlier, age is a factor in their tolerance.

Moreover, puppies are still small. With that, they lose heat more quickly.

Those factors contribute to a puppy’s endurance in cold weather. And unfortunately, that tolerance isn’t much.


#3: What is the ideal temperature for a Golden Retriever?


The ideal temperature for a Golden Retriever is 15℃ (60℉) to 26℃ (80℉). A temperature that’s too hot for them is 40℃ (104℉). Then, a Goldie can start getting cold when the temperature decreases to 7℃ (45℉). 

According to VCA Hospitals, the average body temperature for dogs is 38.3℃ (101℉) to 39.2℃ (102.5℉). 

However, don’t let that make you complacent…

That’s only their normal body temperature.

But their surroundings should be cooler.

That’s because the air temperature is different from body temperature.

To maintain the proper level in your dog’s body, the air temp should be lower.

So, follow the first range of temperature I’ve given.

Moreover, it’s highly essential to help maintain a normal body temperature in dogs…

Why?

It’s because their body already has trouble doing it for themself…

Temperature regulation in dogs

Unlike humans, dogs can’t use their skin for temperature regulation.

Instead, their skin is used as a natural jacket. It’s what protects them during any weather.

And as I mentioned, the level of protection will vary from dog to dog.

Moreover, AKC says that canines have different sweat glands. However, it barely contributes to regulating their body temp.

So, what do they use?

Dogs perform the panting mechanism.

That’s why when they’re overheating, they’ll suddenly pant more. Such is a sign that they’re trying to cool themself down.

How about when the weather’s cold?

Then your pooch would avoid panting.

Instead, they’ll breathe through their nose. Doing so will help them save body heat.

Reading tip: Why Does My Dog Suddenly Pant? 19 Dangers + 5 Tips


#4: Can Golden Retrievers sleep outside in the cold?


Golden Retrievers can’t sleep outside in the cold. First of all, Goldies normally do well in low temperatures. But that doesn’t mean they can stand being exposed to cold overnight.

If you’re thinking of letting your Goldie sleep outside in the cold…

Wait, you have to consider a few things…

Of course, the most important thing to evaluate is the temperature.

How cold is it? Can your Goldie tolerate it?

Moreover, are there any harsh winds?

You should ask yourself questions like that. Then, see if it’s humane to continue after knowing the answers.

Now, what if you’re really determined to let your pooch sleep outside?

“They have a kennel anyway…”

If that’s the case, then make sure of these crucial things:

#1: Ensure the strength of the kennel.

It should be sturdy and heavy-duty. 

Make sure it can withstand strong winds.

#2: There should be enough space for your pooch to move around.

#3: Use other helpful materials that can keep your dog warm.

I suggest using cedar chips as bedding in the kennel. That’s because wood is also a great insulator that stores heat.


#5: Do Golden Retrievers get cold at night?


Golden Retrievers get cold at night. They’ll start feeling so once the temperature is around 7℃ (45℉).

Moreover, experts say that body temperature is low during sleep.

They say that as bedtime approaches, the body must lose heat. And when it does, a goodnight’s sleep is guaranteed.

However, too low of a temperature can make your Goldie uncomfortable.

And according to AVMA, here’s how to tell that your dog’s cold:

  • Anxiety.
  • Whining.
  • Shivering.
  • Weakness.
  • Slow movements.
  • Burrowing wherever they can.

When these signs show, immediately find ways to keep your dog warm. 


#6: Do Golden Retrievers need jackets in winter?


Golden Retrievers don’t usually need jackets in winter. That’s because their double-coat is enough to keep them warm in the cold. But, you can still opt to put your Goldie in a winter jacket if you like.

As I said, Goldies have thick and dense coats. And that’s what makes them tolerant of the cold weather.

However, there are instances that the temperature is extremely low…

With that, an extra layer of protection won’t do any harm.

Have you decided that you’ll put on a jacket on your pooch? Then try this out: it’s a dog jacket that has a loop for leash attachment.


#7: How long can a Golden Retriever play in the snow?


A Golden Retriever can play in the snow for as long as 30 minutes. After that, they might start showing signs of discomfort. With that, you must bring them inside immediately and start warming them up.

A lot of dogs love to play in the snow…

Take a look at Tucker’s vlog right here. He surely enjoyed his time playing in the snow:

But, while your pooch plays in the snow, you have to keep an eye on them.

Moreover, they might be tempted to taste the snow. But never allow them…

Why?

It’s because there might be some sweet antifreeze that can harm your dog.

Now, antifreeze is extremely toxic to canines.

The Pet Poison Helpline (PPH) warns dog parents about its danger. That’s because delayed treatment won’t be effective.

Plus, a professional can only perform the right response against the poisoning.

So, be mindful of your pooch going about the snow. 

Moreover, as much as you like to let them have so much fun, they can’t stay for long.

After 30 minutes, you should bring your canine inside. Then, you should work on getting them warm again.

Read also: 13 Vital Tips To Protect Your Dog’s Paws In Winter (Snow)