As a dog species, the golden retrievers are famous for their hunting skills. These dogs are very intelligent and obedient. They listen to their master and follow his order. Many people take these dogs to the wilderness to exploit their hunting skills. Many times on these expeditions the dog may have to face a harsh climate. For this reason, many people wonder how tough the dog is. How comfortable it will be in rain and snow. Is it safe for the dog to go in these expeditions? Let’s take a look deep into this subject and learn the physiological capacity of golden retrievers.
Physiology of Golden Retrievers
Many people think all golden retrievers are the same. They think that the only difference between one from another is their colour. However, it is just a myth and it is completely wrong. There can be three independent breeds of golden retrievers. These are American, Canadian, and English. All of these breeds have subtle differences in-between them. Compared to American and English golden retrievers, the Canadian golden retrievers have a long and thinner coat. This coat is also fluffier than others. Therefore, the Canadian golden retrievers can easily tolerate sub-zero temperatures. Even though the American and English golden retrievers have a light coat, but they can also tolerate a good amount of cold.
How Can Golden Retrievers live in a Cold Climate?
Golden retrievers are pure breed dogs. This dog has originated in Scotland. Compared to other dogs, it has a high level of temperament. The metabolism rate of this dog is very high. Therefore, it can generate lots of energy inside. This energy helps the dog in cold temperatures. As a heat shield, the dog also has a long coat. This long coat works as a blanket and keeps the cold temperature away from its skin. As a result, the dog even stays comfortable in sub-zero temperatures. Golden retrievers also produce a thin layer of oil by melting their body fat. This oil makes the fur water-resistant. For this reason, when the dog gets wet in water it can shake of water easily. The chances of golden retrievers getting cold are much lower than other dogs.
Signs the Golden Retriever is suffering from cold
Even though the Golden Retriever can handle cold temperatures comfortably, but there is a limit to it. The chances of the dog catching cold or hypothermia raise high if the dog plays more than three hours in snow or spend more than 30 minutes in water. Here are some common signs that indicate cold in golden retrievers.
- Shaking and shivering relentlessly
For most golden retrievers it is the first sign of a cold. Shaking and shivering relentlessly is very uncommon is golden retrievers. If the dog does this type of behaviour, then it means the weather is too cold for the dog. It is an indication that the long coat of the dog is not giving it enough warmth and the cold temperature is reaching its skin.
- Runny nose and Sneezing
Dogs do sneeze when foreign particles irritate their nose. In extremely cold weather mucus builds up in its nose. As a result, the dog gets a runny nose. The mucus tries to protect the small veins in the nose from freezing. However, it also irritates the dog a lot and the dog starts sneezing a lot.
- Red Watery eyes
Excessive mucus build-up and sizzling can put a strain on the dog’s eyes. As a result, blood flow increases to the vines of the dog’s eye, and its colour turns into reddish. A red watery eye can also indicate influenza. The H3N8 and H3N2 virus usually cause this type of infection. In such cases, it is very common to have a high fever.
- Excessive barking
Dog barks when they feel discomfort. It is a hint that something is not right. Therefore, the dog expresses its anxiety by barking when it suffers from a cold. It can also indicate an upper respiratory infection. Check the dog’s mouth for a bad smell. In case of a cold, the tongue will be discoloured and it will have reddishness.
- Lethargic behaviour
Any kind of cold or viral infection puts too much strain on the dog’s immune system. In such a condition, the dog’s immune system gets busy fighting the germ. The fighting takes a lot of energy and drains most of the energy from the dog’s body. As a result, the dog feels very weak and behaves lethargically.
- High body temperature
The sudden increase in body temperature is a clear indication of fever. It means that the dog has a cold. In such a condition, check the reasons behind the fever. Take the dog to the veterinary if it is suffering from a high level of fever. In this situation, only proper medical treatment can make the dog well.
How to cure a cold in Golden Retrievers
Many people get upset when they see their golden retriever in trouble. There is no need to worry. Golden Retrievers are a hardy dog breed. These dogs can get recover from the common cold in no time. A little care and love of the owner can help them recover from cold in no time. Here are a few simple steps the owner can take to make the dog better.
- Warm shelter
When the dog is suffering from cold, the first thing the owner needs to do is give the dog a warm place to live. It will help the dog retain most of its body heat and it will fight cold in a better way. Make sure the place is dry. Put thick blankets on and under the dog will help it stay warm.
- Use a humidifier
Just like humans, the humid air also helps the dog recover quickly. It is especially helpful when the dog is suffering from respiratory disorders. The moist air reduces mucus build up in the lungs and lets the dog breathe easily. If possible, use a cold humidifier as it reduces burn risk to the dog.
Golden retrievers rapidly lose weight when they fight with cold. Therefore, give them plenty of carbohydrates and a protein-rich diet. Good food will give them vital energy to fight. Make sure the food is easily digestible and the dog doesn’t have to put much effort into chewing. Even after recovery, carry on a healthy diet for the next couple of days.
The dog loses plenty of body fluid when it fights off with a cold. Therefore, it needs proper hydration. Let the dog drink lots of warm water. To improve hydration, the owner can also feed the dog chicken broth, chicken stew, and chicken soup. These watery items will also give the dog vital energy and refreshment.
Common cough and cold medication like dextromethorphan and guaifenesin can give the dog some relief. However, if the dog doesn’t get recover in two days, then consider visiting a veterinary. Doing self-medication without any medical knowledge can be dangerous. For any clinical advice always ask a medical expert.
How to Dress Your Golden Retrievers for cold weather
The best way to protect Golden Retrievers from cold is to take preventive action in advance. Most golden retrievers catch a cold when they swim in cold water or play a long time on snow. Therefore, don’t let the dog swim in cold water and dress it properly from snowy seasons. Here are some snow gears for golden retrievers.
- Golden Retrievers Winter Jacket
Just like humans, there are also various winter jackets for golden retrievers available in the market. These jackets can be adjusted according to the length and height of the dog. These jackets are quite warm inside and keep the dog warm inside. Most of these jackets are rate to work up to -20 degrees centigrade.
- Golden Retrievers Snow Boots
Even though the Golden Retrievers got a hairy coat on its body, but its legs lack protection from the snow. For this reason, the dog can easily catch a cold, if it stays too long barefoot on snow. The only solution to this problem is Golden Retrievers snow boots. These boots easily fit on the dog’s paws and keep it warm on snowy surfaces.
Golden Retrievers are a very hardy breed; they have originated in a colder climate. Therefore, they can easily withstand and thrive in a cold environment. But it doesn’t mean the dog can stay outside in snow blizzard. Even though, these dogs have a high cold tolerance level. But beyond a certain point, they also catch a cold.
Along with extremely cold temperatures, the seasonal influenza virus can also make these dogs sick. Just like a human, these dogs also need good care from their master when they get sick. At this time feed the dog nutritious food and plenty of weather. The dog owner’s ignorance only complicates the health situation of the dog. Any respiratory disease can put the life of a Golden Retriever in danger. Therefore, take all possible care to protect the dog from cold.