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Can You Shave a Golden Retriever? Risks & Care Tips

Written by: Genevieve Dugal

Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever dog on a couch

Can You Shave a Golden Retriever? Risks & Care Tips

Even the most luscious coat is susceptible to heat and humidity, leaving dog owners with a dilemma: Should they shave their Golden Retriever? Some owners will shave their Goldie in the summer because they think that they’ll suffer less from the heat, among other reasons. But before you go ahead and get rid of that gorgeous coat, read this article, as there are several good reasons why you should not shave your Golden Retriever.

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Why You Shouldn’t Shave Your Golden Retriever

When you shave your dog’s coat, you strip them of their natural protection against the sun and the elements. Indeed, a Goldie’s long, thick coat is a protective barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If you shave your dog in the summer, they’ll be more susceptible to sunburn, skin cancer, and even parasites like fleas and ticks.

Fur also acts as an insulator against both heat and cold. This means dogs with double coats like Goldens can stay cool during the scorching days of summer. Shaving their coat will actually make them more susceptible to heatstroke.

Better Ways to Manage Your Golden Retriever’s Coat

If your dog’s hair just seems too long, you can keep it trimmed. Indeed, long-haired breeds shed hair more frequently than short-haired dogs and can leave clumps of fur all over the house. Trimming your dog’s coat will help prevent this problem.

However, if you decide to have your Golden Retriever’s fur trimmed, be sure to keep it at least 1 inch long. The best way to get them trimmed is to go to a dog groomer about once a month. These professionals have the proper tools and methods to keep your Golden’s coat looking its best.

Bathing your Golden from time to time can also help control shedding, reduce odor, and keep their skin and coat healthy.

man grooming golden retriever dog
Image By: SB Arts Media, Shutterstock

dogster face divider How to Keep Your Golden Retriever Cool

Although keeping your dog’s coat intact in the summer will help them avoid heatstroke, there are other ways to cool them down even more.

  • Provide Your Dog With Unlimited Access to Fresh Water: All year round and especially in the summer, it is important to ensure that your dog gets enough hydration. To do this, renew their water several times a day so it’s always clean and cooler than the ambient temperature.
  • Increase Grooming Sessions: Brushing your Golden Retriever daily will remove dead hair and dirt, prevent tangles, and improve air circulation in their coat. It also stimulates blood flow and can help keep your dog’s fur shiny and healthy.
  • Install a Dog Pool: If you have a fenced-in backyard, you can purchase a small pool that your furry friend will love to dive into. Otherwise, a simple water game with a garden hose will be enough to make your pooch as happy as a clam.
  • Use Damp Cloths: Golden Retrievers are known for their love of water, so you can take your dog for a short swim in a lake or at the beach. But if you don’t live near such areas, you can still cool your pet with wet towels. Be sure to get the areas devoid of hair, particularly the belly, the interior of the thighs, and the paw pads.
  • Exercise in the Early Morning or at the End of the Day: Don’t deprive your energetic Golden of exercise in the summer, but try to avoid going out at times when the sun is strongest. Take morning and evening walks during the coolest hours of the day. Plan short hikes, preferably in the forest or in a shady park.
golden retriever puppy drinking
Image Credit: kathleen collins, Shutterstock

Key Takeaways on Why You Shouldn’t Shave Your Golden Retriever

  • A dog’s coat is their natural defense against the elements.
  • Shaving your dog can make them more susceptible to heatstroke, sunburn, skin cancer, parasites, and bug bites.
  • Fur acts as an insulator against heat during the hottest days of summer.
  • There are better and more effective ways to keep your Goldie cool.


Bottom Line

Although there are a few good reasons that you might want to shave your Golden Retriever, this practice should be avoided. Indeed, the dog’s double coat provides much-needed protection against the sun, the elements, parasites, and insect bites, as well as the harmful effects of heat and cold. Therefore, shaving your dog is likely to do more harm than good. If they need a trim, it’s best to hire the services of a dog groomer to keep their hair clean, odor-free, and healthy.

If you do decide to shave your Golden, keep in mind that not all dogs respond well to the process. It’s best to consult your veterinarian before getting out the scissors.

Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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