If you’re a Golden Retriever owner or thinking about finding a Golden Retriever puppies for sale, you need to be prepared to take care of them. Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds, especially in families as they are super friendly and love to be around kids, and they get along well with other pets. They are playful, smart, and easy to train, but you have to be well-acquainted with training techniques or get a professional trainer to show you the ropes. They make great family pets because they are eager to please their owners and not as stubborn as other dog breeds.
You need to know that Golden Retrievers require a lot of your attention because they are more energetic than the average dog and love to goof around. They get bored easily, so you need to give them a healthy outlet by playing with them and giving them mentally stimulating games, especially if you’re going to leave them at home for a long time every day. Bear in mind that they can chew on your favorite shoes or ruin your couch if they were not stimulated enough. They are also susceptible to a few health problems and you’ll need to know how to watch out for them. Here are a few tips to know how to take care of your Golden Retriever.
Establishing a Routine
You need to write down a checklist of all things related to your dog’s health. You can write a schedule on your phone for easy access and set reminders to tell you when it’s time to visit the vet for a regular checkup. Keep in mind that they need to perform exercise daily to promote bone growth, get their circulation going, and have a healthy outlet for their excessive energy.
Ensure that they are well-fed with nutritious food and drink plenty of water daily, especially in hot weather. You’ll need to make sure they take a nice walk every day to get their daily exercise. It’s good practice to check their ears every week for possible redness and swelling, which indicate an ear infection. You should also make a note to check their teeth as you need to brush them at least three times a week to avoid plaque formation.
Your weekly routine should also include overall hygiene like grooming and clipping their nails. When it comes to bathing your Golden Retriever, you can do so every week or a couple of weeks, especially if they get dirty from playing outside most of the time. Make sure to get a gentle shampoo that is suitable for a regular shower to protect their skin and coat. Some dog owners like to keep showers to a minimum, but you should at least bathe them every three months. It’s also a good idea to have a checkup at the vet and dentist at least twice a year to make sure your dog is healthy. The last kind of checkup will already be scheduled by your vet to get your dog vaccinated every year.
Dog-Proofing Your House
Golden Retrievers are smart and curious dogs, and they can end up eating or chewing things that they shouldn’t. Puppies need even extra care and supervision because they are too young to be trained and might not understand your “no” command and might ingest anything harmful. You need to carefully pet-proof your house, garden, and backyard to protect your dog against harm. Remove any plants from your garden that are toxic to them, and you can easily research online to know which ones are safe if they have the urge to chew on them.
If you have a swimming pool, set up a barrier or a fence around it, especially when your dog is younger and hasn’t learned how to swim yet. Think of your dog as a toddler who can stick their hands in electrical sockets or hold sharp objects. Put away any cables and knives, scissors, or any other sharp tools that are lying around the house. You can use baby-proof latches to close your drawers and cupboards to prevent your dog from reaching inside them. Ensure that your trash is well disposed of because Golden Retrievers love nothing but to explore your garbage with their mouths. You should try to put yourself in their shoes and even get down to their eye level to remove any harmful objects they may come across.
Food and Water Requirements
You are responsible for your dog’s diet, and you need to stop giving in to their cravings every time they give you that puppy look that melts your heart. You can let them lick some ice cream as a treat every once in a while, but don’t make it a habit, as they are prone to obesity. Because commercially made dog food is commonly given to them, still make sure to purchase the best dog food for Golden Retrievers as they require a high-quality diet to avoid developing allergies and other skin problems. They are one of the least picky eaters, so you need to control their food intake. It’s best to get them used to eating at certain times and in their bowl and avoid giving them food while you eat because you won’t be able to calculate their daily caloric intake if you keep feeding them in between their meals.
You should learn from your vet the healthy amount of food to give your dog according to their age as active puppies can eat more than senior dogs with a slow metabolic rate. You can weigh your dog every month or so to make sure they stay within a healthy range or else you need to cut back on their food intake, which can be a tough process. Overweight Golden Retrievers are susceptible to joint and bone problems and other diseases that may shorten their lifespan.
Be mindful of their water intake as well; you should always leave a fresh supply of water for them, especially when they are active and running around all day. You need to make sure that they are not drinking too much or too little because both cases can cause problems. They would usually drink an ounce per pound of their weight, but it may differ slightly according to the climate. Remember that your dog can’t tell you how they’re feeling, so you need to notice their daily food and water intake and ensure it’s in the normal range.
Grooming and Nail Care
Golden Retrievers have somewhat thick coats and they are heavy shedders, especially during shedding season. Their hair can be all over your house, on your furniture, and on the floor, so you need to establish a regular grooming routine to minimize the problem. Brush their coat at least once a week or else their hair will easily tangle up and form knots, in which case you’ll have to cut them with scissors. When it comes to cutting their nails, if they walk on rough surfaces, their nails will be naturally filed by just walking on the street or sidewalk. A good rule of thumb is to check their nails regularly for any signs of infection. If their nails are too long, you can easily trim them at home or you can take them to the vet on the regular quarterly checkup to get the procedure done for you.
Regular Exercise and Training
You need to establish a good well-rounded exercise routine for your active Golden Retriever. They need to be stimulated with different games and activities, and you have to give them your attention to supervise their activity. Otherwise, they may just walk around your garden for a bit and then lie down. Apart from their regular walks, they need to be taken out for an extra 45 minutes of miscellaneous exercises like walking and running.
It’s also good practice to get them to exercise for a couple of hours on the weekends, where they can jump and run around as much as they want. This habit of exercise will ensure that your Golden Retriever lets off some steam and avoid their random spurts of energy from doing some serious damage around the house. You need to know how much exercise is suitable for every month of age. They usually need only five minutes per month of age until they are fully grown. This rule applies to scheduled exercise sessions and not their normal playtime.
Training is an important aspect for any dog to prepare them to obey your commands for their safety. Golden Retrievers are no exception as they need a structured training program to get them to focus because they tend to be all over the place. A well-trained Golden Retriever can enjoy going to different places because you’ll easily control their behavior. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to get them to listen to your instructions, but it will be worth it in the end as you can take them anywhere without facing any trouble.
The most important thing is to have fun with this process. Get your dog excited to perform their daily walking routine. Show them lots of love and affection because to them, you are their whole world. Try not to leave them alone too long; you can either hire a dog walker or find a dog daycare near your home where they can play with other dogs while you’re off to work. With the above tips, you now know how to provide proper care for your Golden Retriever.