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Do Golden Retrievers Get Cold? Hypothermia Signs & Care

Cassandra Kyser

By Cassandra Kyser

Golden retriever dog licks nose in the winter park

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Don’t let your golden retriever’s double coat fool you. Like humans, they can get uncomfortably cold and experience hypothermia. We have the information you need to stay safe and have fun in the cold.

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How Cold Is Too Cold for a Golden Retriever?

There isn’t one standard temperature that’s too cold for all golden retrievers. A good rule of thumb is that if you feel cold, your dog probably does. Most healthy adult golden retrievers will do just fine when it’s 45 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer and dry. However, a harsh wind or exposure to rain or snow can make your dog uncomfortably cold, even at warmer temperatures.

Some golden retrievers enjoy the cold and playing in the snow. You can let them have their outdoor time, just limit it to a few minutes. Older golden retrievers, puppies, and those not used to cold weather may not tolerate temperatures in the 40s and 50s. You’ll need to monitor your dog to see how they react.

Golden Retriever snow
Image credit: Jonathan Meyer, Pexels

What Are the Signs of Canine Hypothermia?

A dog’s normal body is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs whose temperatures drop to 98 degrees or lower are at risk for hypothermia. A dog’s body can’t properly function when hypothermia sets in. If it becomes severe, dogs can collapse and slip into a coma.

The first sign that your dog is too cold is shivering. Being cold is not the same as hypothermia but is a precursor. If you see your pet shivering, bring them indoors and let them warm up.

Signs of moderate hypothermia include continued shivering, cold extremities, difficulty walking, and clumsiness. It’s not a good sign if your dog remains in the cold but stops shivering, as their muscles have run out of energy. Bring your dog indoors and keep them warm (not hot) if they exhibit signs of hypothermia. Go to the nearest animal clinic or call your vet for further instructions.

Do Golden Retrievers Like Snow?

Many golden retrievers like to romp around in the snow. A few inches of snow adds a layer of fun to playing fetch or tracking scents, but remember that dogs are individuals and have their own preferences. There’s nothing wrong with your golden retriever if they don’t like the cold. They may be more likely to curl up in front of the fireplace or on the sofa next to you.

A close-up of a golden retriever dog near its owner in the snow
Image Credit: MVolodymyr, Shutterstock

Do Golden Retrievers Need Snow Boots?

Snow boots protect your dog’s paw pads from ice and sidewalk salt.  Snow boots are a good idea, but whether your golden retriever will tolerate wearing them is another matter.

You can protect your dog’s paws even if they refuse to wear snow boots. Keep a dry towel by the door and wipe their feet off when coming inside. Golden retrievers have furry paws, and snow accumulates between their toes. Take care to separate each toe and remove any ice chunks.

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Final Thoughts

Most healthy adult dogs can tolerate temperatures down to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, but senior dogs and puppies may be less tolerant of colder weather. Signs that your golden retriever is cold include shivering and extremities that feel cold to the touch. If your pup displays signs of hypothermia, call your vet right away.

  • https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/golden-retriever/
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/cardiovascular/dog-hypothermia

Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

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