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Can Golden Retrievers Tolerate Cold Weather?

Golden retrievers are large dogs with a a lot of fur, as any Golden owner knows – it gets everywhere.

All that hair on your Golden may lead you to believe that they do well in cold temperatures.

But do Golden Retrievers tolerate cold weather? Yes, they do, as long as it’s not colder than 45°F. And you should never leave your Golden outside if the temperature dips below 20°F (-6.7°C).

That being said, you can take your Golden out for a walk in colder temperatures thanks to their double-layered coat, but you should never have him out for long periods in temperatures colder than 45°F.

Keep reading for more info on the ideal temperatures for Golden Retrievers.

What Temperatures Are Ideal For Golden Retrievers?

Generally speaking, you don’t want to have your dog out in any extreme temperatures, neither too hot or too cold.

Golden retrievers have a double layered coat, which is why they do well in colder temperatures (and why they shed so much).

The ideal temperature range that best suits a Golden Retriever is 60°F to 80°F, or 16°C to 27°C.

This is where your Golden will be most comfortable.

Anything below 45°F (7°C) is too cold for a Golden Retriever, anything below 20°F (-6.7°C) is when you should not leave your Golden outside.

And anything warmer than 103°F (39°C) is too hot for a Golden Retriever. Though really, it is a good idea to limit outdoor time when it is 90°F or higher.

You’ll also want to take into account more than just the thermometer reading when deciding if it is too cold for your Golden.

Things like high humidity and wind chill make the temperature feel colder than it is, which can be dangerous for your doggie.

golden retriever puppy in snow

Signs Your Dog Is Too Cold Outside

If you take your Golden Retriever outside when it is too cold for him, then he will let you know.

There are some certain telltale signs to look for that signals that your dog is too cold outside.

  • Shivering
  • Whining
  • Anxiety
  • Limping
  • Lethargy

If you start to notice these signs, then immediately take your Golden inside and get to work warming him up with blankets and maybe a space by the fireplace or heater.

Cleaning Golden Retriever After Being In Cold Weather

After you’ve had your Golden outside in the colder temperatures, it is important to properly clean your pup – especially if he’s managed to get de-icing salt on his feet and coat.

And if he’s gotten wet, then you have the risk of hypothermia, which we’ll cover in a moment.

Be sure to dry off your dog, including the bottom of his feet, after being out in cold weather.

Keep a watchful eye for any behavior changes in your dog after being out in the cold temperatures, as this could signal a problem.

Did Your Golden Retriever Get Hypothermia?

Just like with people, being too cold is a real risk for dogs and your Golden can get hypothermia if you’re not careful.

This risk is highest when your Golden has been exposed to temperatures below 45°F (7°C) for extended periods of time, and getting wet makes this even more of a risk.

Typically older and younger dogs have a higher chance of hypothermia as well.

The signs of hypothermia in a dog are:

  • Appearing sluggish or weak
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slow, shallow breath
  • Lack of mental alertness
  • Dilated and fixed pupils
  • Loss of consciousness

Hypothermia in a dog is when the animals body temperature is under 98°F.

Warming up your dog after coming inside and making sure that he is not wet go a long way in preventing hypothermia.

If you suspect that your dog has hypothermia, then it is important that you immediately take him to an emergency animal hospital.

You should also attempt to warm up the dog by wrapping him in a blanket with a hot water bottle.

Also try to get him to drink some warm, but not hot, water.

Final Word

As you can see, while Golden Retrievers have a double coat that makes them tolerate cold weather well, there are some temperatures that are just too cold for your dog.

Take into account the humidity, wind chill, temperature, age of your dog, and any relevant health conditions to make the smart choice about how cold is too cold for your Golden.

And remember that dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia, so you should never leave your Golden Retriever outside in cold temperatures for extended periods of time.

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National Canine Research Association of America