Golden retrievers are one of the most beautiful dog breeds – That is, if you groom them properly. This breed is considered a “high-maintenance” dogs. Because of this, you will need to know how to properly groom your golden retriever. A lack of proper grooming will hurt your dog’s appearance and health, and it can cause you headaches down the road. Waunakee Veterinary Clinic recommends making grooming part of your daily routine. So today, I’ve put together your complete guide to golden retriever grooming!
The Basics of Golden Retriever Grooming
At the end of the day, grooming your golden retriever is very simple. The hardest part of the process is keeping up with your retriever’s grooming needs and not letting them get out of control. If you do not keep up with grooming, it will become a problem for you and your retriever. Remember, it is much easier to prevent a problem than to solve a problem. Below, we’ll discuss all the pillars of golden retriever grooming.
Regularly Brushing Your Retriever
This is the most common example when people think of dog grooming. Of course, this is just one step of the process, but it is an especially important point for golden retrievers. Because of their dense, long coat, they will have a moderate amount of shedding. Weekly brushing is a must! This will vary depending on the season (More often in Summer, less in Winter). However, once a week is the rule of thumb for this breed.
Once again, this one is pretty obvious, but bathing is super important for golden retrievers. Because they are so active and their coat is so long, your retriever will get a lot of sweat and dirt trapped in his coat. Over time, this will cause a lot of skin irritation and other health problems for your dog. Not to mention, your dog will just look dirty.
While the idea of a bath can be daunting, it is relatively easy to bath a golden retriever. Because they love water, the won’t have a problem getting in the bathtub for a rinse. The hardest part of actually bathing them will be trying to keep them from getting too excited and splashing!
After the bath, it’s important to dry your retriever as much as possible. Of course, they will never be fully dry from a towel, but the more water you can soak up, the better. After thoroughly drying, allow your retriever to air dry, which can take 24+ hours.
Applying Dry Shampoo In Between Baths
Because baths are so much work, dry shampoo can be a lifesaver when it comes to caring for your retriever. Dry shampoo does not need to be washed out, and can clean up oil and dirt in your retrievers fur. When applying dry shampoo, you have two options:
- Apply a light amount of shampoo across your retrievers head and back. This is what would be considered a full-body shampooing. This is where the fur is the most dense, and so the most likely to collect dirt and grime. While this is the best option for cleanliness, it is not always practical.
- Apply a moderate amount to particularly dirty patches. If your retriever appears more-or-less clean, but has a dirty patch in his fur, dry shampoo can work wonders! By applying a moderate amount of shampoo to that one patch, you can clean up your dog without a lot of hassle involved.
Golden Retriever Trimming
In between professional hair trimmings, it may be a good idea to trim your retriever yourself. This is especially important in the summer, when your retriever will be outside more often. When trimming your retriever, remember that you are not giving them a hair cut – You should only try to take off about a half inch of fur.
Trimming Your Retriever’s Fur
As mentioned before, a basic golden retriever trimming is not the same as a haircut. Typically, owners will trim the fur around their retriever’s ears, neck, feet, and tails. These are spots that typically collect the most dirt and grime, so trimming here will help keep your golden retriever clean. In addition, these are also the places where fur can become knotted and tangled, which can be a pain for both you and your dog.
Keeping Calm During Trimming
At first, the idea of trying of golden retriever trimming can seem daunting. While the actual trimming is pretty easy, getting your retriever to cooperate is not always easy. Fur trimming will not be painful for your retriever, but the breed can be very excitable and don’t like to stand still for long periods of time. Because of this, you’ll need a way to keep your retriever calm.
To keep your retriever calm, you will also need to be calm yourself. Even if you’re stressed or worried about trimming your retriever, you’ll have to make sure not to show it. Retrievers are great at reading their owners emotions, and whatever you feel, they will also feel. Speaking gently and moving slowly are the best ways to show your retriever that there’s nothing to worry about.
After you are prepared to trim your retriever, you can go one step further and give them something comforting during the process. Many owners will put their retrievers in their favorite bed or give them their favorite toy to keep them relaxed. It is also a good idea to give your retriever some treats as you’re trimming them in order to stop them from getting too restless.
Trimming Your Retriever’s Nails
While trimming fur does not typically annoy golden retrievers, trimming their nails might. Also, there is a greater risk of hurting your retriever when trimming their nails as opposed to trimming their fur. Because of this, you will need to be careful if you decide to trim your retriever’s nails yourself. It will also be particularly important to make sure that your retriever is calm during this process, as mentioned above.
Where To Trim Golden Retriever Nails
As mentioned earlier, you must be careful when trimming your retriever’s nails. While half of the nail is made of keratin, which has no blood vessels or pain nerves, the other half does have them. Just like with your fingers, you must make sure that you don’t cut the nail too short. By looking at your dogs nail, you will be able to see where the blood vessels begin.
As the photo shows, it is best to cut slightly above where the dark red patch starts on your dog’s nail. This way, you will not expose or hit any blood vessels, and your dog will not feel any pain.
Brushing Your Retriever’s Teeth
The last key to golden retriever grooming is brushing your retriever’s teeth. Ideally, you should brush your retriever’s teeth twice daily, just like you do your own. At a minimum, you should brush your retriever’s teeth three times per week to prevent plague build up, infection, and the dreaded doggy breath.
Establish a Routine of Brushing
At first, it may be a hassle to brush your retriever’s teeth. Of course, this will mostly be because your retriever doesn’t know whats going on. After a few rounds of brushing, however, your retriever will start to be more cooperative and will allow your to brush their teeth easily.
The best way to get your retriever to cooperate during brushing is to establish a routine. Basically, have a set time of day or a certain space that you bring your retriever to when brushing their teeth. For example, you may pick 8am and 8pm to brush your retriever’s teeth. If you bring him into the bathroom to do this each time, they will start to understand what the schedule is and how the are supposed to act during it. This will cut down on the confusion and make your job much easier!
So, How Do You Start Your Golden Retriever Grooming?
Now that you know the steps involved in golden retriever grooming, you only have to keep track of how often you’re doing them. Remember:
- Brush your retriever’s fur 1 – 2 times daily
- Bathe your retriever 1 time per month
- Apply dry shampoo as needed in between baths.
- Trim your retriever as often as needed.
- Brush your retriever’s teeth 2 times daily, or 3 times per week minimum
By doing all of these, you can ensure that your retriever will stay happy and healthy. Not only are these groomings important to your retriever’s happiness, it will play a big role in their health and energy levels later in life. By taking a small amount of time out your day to care for your retriever, you can prevent serious long term health issues down the road – It’s worth it!
Did this answer all your questions on golden retriever grooming? If not, please leave a comment below or contact us directly – We are happy to help!