What could be better than a golden retriever? They're friendly and loyal. They love everybody, and they make great companions. It's important to remember, however, that these gentle dogs do need some special care. The following should help you provide the best possible care for your lovable pet:
- Golden retrievers require regular dog grooming. Goldens have beautiful coats of bright, gold fur. Be prepared to find this beautiful hair all around the house. Goldens shed year-round and once or twice a year they do a greater amount of shedding. To keep the hair loss to a minimum, spend some time at least once a week giving your dog a thorough brushing. They will also need to have their nails trimmed about once a month, and an occasional bath.
- Goldens need dog obedience training. Goldens are exuberant and energetic. To keep the exuberance in check and provide some mental stimulation to burn off energy, plan on taking a dog obedience training class and spending some time every day on training. Retrievers love to learn, and if you use positive training methods, your pet will eagerly look forward to the daily training sessions.
- Keep an eye on your golden retriever's weight. Goldens have a tendency to become overweight which, just like in humans, can lead to a variety of dog health problems. Make sure that your golden is getting exercise every day. This means more than simply letting him out in the back yard--play fetch, take a walk, or go for a jog every day. Check with your veterinarian about the best choice for food and treats and the amount your dog should be getting of each. If you notice your golden has gained a few pounds, cut back on the treats and try to fit in a bit more exercise.
- Plan on spending a few hours a day with your golden retriever. Your golden craves your company. These friendly dogs can become depressed and anxious if they don't get to spend quality time with their people. They also don't make great outside dogs for this reason. They are companionable dogs meant to be in the company of people.
- Golden retrievers should get regular veterinary care. Like any dog, a golden needs to see his veterinarian at least once a year for vaccinations and a check-up. In addition, there are several dog health conditions which are prevalent among retrievers, including hip dysplasia, cataracts and heart disease. Your veterinarian should be on the lookout for signs of any of these conditions during your regular exam.
As adorable and popular as goldens are, they do require a commitment to their care from their owners. With good nutrition, exercise, training and lots of love, these dogs make wonderful companions and will fit in well to most families.