If you've recently made the decision to bring an American Golden Retriever puppy into your life, you're undoubtedly looking forward to spending many happy years with your furry friend. Golden Retrievers are beautiful dogs, with silky, flowing coats in varying shades of gold and red, and you'll be proud to be seen with your pooch in the park and other public places. However, when their coats aren't well cared for, Golden Retrievers simply look ragged and scruffy. Fortunately, they aren't terribly high-maintenance when it comes to grooming, but certain procedures need to be followed in order for your Golden Retriever to look its best. Here's what you need to know:
Brush Your Golden Retriever Daily
Most grooming issues, such as mats and tangled fur, are easily prevented by simply giving your dog a good brushing on a daily basis. This also provides you with the opportunity to check your pet for ticks or skin abnormalities that may require attention from a veterinarian. As an added bonus, regular brushing will help keep shedding at minimal levels, which means you'll spend much less time vacuuming up stray dog hairs. Because Golden Retrievers have a heavy undercoat over their outer fur, they're heavy shedders during spring and early summer.
Use an Undercoat Rake Once Per Week
As mentioned above, Golden Retrievers have substantial undercoats. This is because they were bred for hunting waterfowl — their topcoats are waterproof, and their undercoats feature a dense texture designed to keep them warm in cold and soggy weather. Daily brushing helps keep the topcoat smooth and silky, but the undercoat may become matted and tangled if you don't use an undercoat rake about once per week or so. During shedding season, you might want to use the undercoat brush two or three times per week.
Bathe Your Dog Regularly
How often you bathe your Golden Retriever will depend on whether the animal spends a lot of time outdoors and the type of outdoor activities it engages in. Going for a long, daily walk on a paved path in the park is different from romping in a more wilderness-like environment where water and mud are regular parts of the picture.
Keep in mind that Golden Retrievers are naturally drawn toward water and will find and play in it whenever given the chance, which makes bath time much more pleasant for both dog and owner. As a general rule of thumb, your Golden Retriever should have a good bath every season, but don't hesitate to increase that number if your dog regularly gets dirty from playing outside.