Top Tips to Keep Your Golden Retriever Cool in Summer

Top Tips to Keep Your Golden Retriever Cool in Summer: Golden Retriever Summer Guide

As a responsible dog owner of a Golden Retriever, it’s important to keep your furry friend cool during the scorching summer months. 

Excessive heat can be harmful to dog health. It leads to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. 

In this Golden Retriever Summer Guide, we will discuss various tips and techniques to keep your dog comfortable all summer long.

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Golden Retrievers’ Heat Tolerance

Golden Retrievers’ unique anatomy impacts their ability to regulate body temperature effectively. 

Their dense double coat, although ideal for colder climates, can make them susceptible to overheating. Additionally, age, weight, and overall health affect their heat tolerance.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion in Golden Retrievers

It’s vital to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion in Golden Retrievers. You should take prompt action if your dog shows any symptoms. Physical symptoms may include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weakness or Lethargy
  • Collapse
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Behavioral changes, such as restlessness, agitation, or confusion, can also indicate heat exhaustion.

If you suspect your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion, it’s essential to take immediate steps to cool them down. Seek veterinary help if necessary

Tips for Keeping Your Golden Retriever Cool at Home and Outdoor Activities

Now, let’s dive into the detailed tips and techniques for keeping your Golden Retriever cool at home. Additionally, we’ll explore ways to ensure their comfort during outdoor activities.

Keeping Your Dog Hydrated

Golden Retriever drinking water

One of the most critical aspects of keeping your Golden Retriever cool is ensuring they stay properly hydrated. Dogs lose water through panting, so it’s crucial to provide them with a constant supply of fresh and clean water. 

  • Avoid leaving water bowls in direct sunlight as the water can become hot, making it unappealing for your dog to drink.
  • If you’re planning a long walk or outdoor excursion, bring enough water for both you and your dog to stay hydrated.
  • Keep an eye out for any changes in your dog’s urination patterns or the color of their urine, as dark or concentrated urine may indicate dehydration.
  • During hot weather, you may need to refill the water bowls more frequently to account for increased water consumption.

Creating a Cool Indoor Environment

To create a cool and comfortable indoor environment for your Golden Retriever, use air conditioning or fans. 

Set the temperature to a level that keeps your dog cool but not too cold. Provide a designated space for your dog that is well-ventilated and away from direct sunlight. You can also use cooling pads or elevated beds, which help regulate your dog’s body temperature.

  • Monitor the temperature inside your home regularly to ensure it remains at a comfortable level for your dog. Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • If you’re using fans, make sure they are safely positioned and do not pose any hazards to your dog. Keep cords and wires out of reach.

Remember that each dog is unique, and you may need to adjust the cooling methods based on your Golden Retriever’s individual preferences and tolerance to temperature changes.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight Exposure

Sunlight exposure significantly contributes to heat buildup and increases the risk of heat-related issues for your Golden Retriever. It’s crucial to provide ample shade in your backyard or outdoor areas where your dog spends time. 

It has been reported that approximately 60% of Golden Retrievers are affected by cancer at some point in their lives. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays increase the risk of certain types of skin cancer in dogs, including squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

  • Avoid walking your Golden Retriever during the hottest times of the day when the sun’s intensity is at its peak. Instead, opt for early morning or evening walks when the temperature is cooler and the sun is less harsh.
  • Consider using dog-safe sunscreen on areas of your Golden Retriever’s body that are exposed to direct sunlight, such as the nose, ears, and belly. Consult with your veterinarian to choose a suitable sunscreen product for your dog.
  • Regularly check your Golden Retriever’s body for signs of sunburn, such as redness or peeling skin. If you notice any signs of sunburn, consult with your veterinarian for appropriate treatment options.

Utilizing Booties or Paw Wax to Shield Paws from Heat

Hot surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete, can burn your dog’s paw pads and lead to discomfort or injury. 

Be mindful of the surfaces your dog walks on during hot weather. Pavement, sand, or concrete can become extremely hot and burn your dog’s paws. Opt for grassy areas or use protective booties to shield their paws from the heat.

  • Use booties specifically designed for dogs to protect their paw pads from hot surfaces like asphalt or concrete. The booties act as a barrier, shielding their paws from the heat and preventing burns.
  • Before outdoor activities, apply paw wax or balm on your Golden Retriever’s paw pads. This creates a protective layer that reduces direct contact with the hot ground and minimizes the risk of burns.

Ensure that the booties or paw wax fit properly and securely on your dog’s paws. Ill-fitting booties may slip off or cause discomfort, while inadequate application of paw wax may not provide sufficient protection.

Observe your Golden Retriever during walks for signs of discomfort, limping, or reluctance to continue walking. These could be indications that the ground is too hot for their paws. If you notice any of these signs, immediately find a cooler and safer area.

After walks, inspect your dog’s paw pads for any signs of burns, blisters, or redness. If you notice any abnormalities, consult with your veterinarian for proper care and treatment.

Checking for Signs of Irritation or Injury After Walks

Remember that prevention is key when it comes to protecting your dog’s paw pads. After walks or outdoor adventures, it’s essential to inspect your Golden Retriever’s paws for any signs of irritation or injury.

  • Take the time to carefully inspect your dog’s paw pads for any signs of irritation, injury, or abnormalities.
  • Look for redness, swelling, cuts, blisters, or any other visible issues on the paw pads.
  • If you notice any abnormalities, gently clean the paws using cool water and a mild antiseptic solution or a veterinarian-approved paw cleanser.
  • Gently pat the paws dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing or applying excessive pressure, as this may cause further discomfort.
  • Pay close attention to any signs of pain or discomfort exhibited by your dog during the inspection or cleaning process.
  • If the condition of the paw pads does not improve or if you notice worsening symptoms, such as persistent redness, swelling, or signs of infection, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly.
  • In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend using a specialized paw balm or ointment to aid in the healing process or provide additional protection to the paw pads.
  • While the paw pads are healing, it’s important to minimize further exposure to hot surfaces and rough terrains to prevent further irritation or injury.

Providing Access to Shady Areas

Creating shaded areas in your backyard or outdoor spaces is crucial to give your Golden Retriever a cool retreat. 

Golden Retriever sitting on shade
  • Identify suitable locations in your backyard or outdoor spaces where shade can be created.
  • Utilize natural shade sources such as trees or shrubs. Position your dog’s favorite resting spots under the shade of these trees.
  • If natural shade is limited, consider installing canopies or umbrellas in areas where your dog spends most of its time.
  • Ensure that the shaded areas are well-ventilated to allow air circulation and prevent the accumulation of heat.
  • Remember to position water bowls or water dispensers near the shaded areas to encourage your dog to stay hydrated while seeking refuge from the heat.
  • Observe your dog’s behavior and body language to ensure they are utilizing the shaded areas and showing signs of comfort.

Using Cooling Mats or Beds

Cooling mats or beds are highly beneficial for keeping your Golden Retriever cool, especially during the hottest summer days. These specially designed mats or beds contain cooling gel or materials that absorb and dissipate heat from your dog’s body. 

  • Introduce the cooling mat or bed to your dog gradually, allowing them to become familiar and comfortable with it.
  • Place these mats or beds in your dog’s favorite resting areas to provide them with a refreshing and comfortable spot to relax.
  • Ensure that the cooling mat or bed is clean and free from any dirt or debris before allowing your dog to use it.
  • If your Golden Retriever is hesitant to use the cooling mat or bed, you can encourage them by placing their favorite toys or treats nearby.
  • Avoid placing the cooling mat or bed on surfaces that retain heat, such as carpets or rugs.

Remember that cooling mats or beds are supplementary measures and should not replace other essential cooling methods such as access to shade and fresh water.

Using Cooling Vests or Bandanas for Heat Dissipation

Cooling vests or bandanas can be a fantastic addition to your Golden Retriever’s summer wardrobe. These innovative accessories are designed to keep your dog cool by utilizing evaporative cooling technology. 

  • Choose a cooling vest or bandana that is specifically designed for dogs and is suitable for your Golden Retriever’s size.
  • Before use, soak the cooling vest or bandana in cool water for a few minutes or as instructed.
  • Gently wring out the excess water from the vest or bandana, ensuring it is damp but not dripping wet.
  • Put the cooling vest or bandana on your Golden Retriever, making sure it fits comfortably and securely.
  • The cooling effect is created as the water evaporates from the vest or bandana, so it’s important to periodically re-soak it to maintain its effectiveness.
  • If using a cooling bandana, tie it loosely around your dog’s neck, allowing for proper airflow and heat dissipation.
  • Regularly clean the cooling vest or bandana to maintain its hygiene and cooling properties.
  • Store the cooling vest or bandana in a cool and dry place when not in use to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Use the cooling vest or bandana during hot outdoor activities, walks, or whenever your dog needs to cool down. Avoid leaving your dog unattended while wearing the cooling vest or bandana to ensure their safety and prevent any entanglement.

If your Golden Retriever shows signs of discomfort or is not benefiting from the cooling vest or bandana, discontinue its use and explore alternative cooling methods.

Letting Them Swim

Golden Retrievers love water. Letting them swim is an excellent way for them to beat the heat. If you have access to a safe and supervised swimming area, let your dog enjoy a refreshing dip. 

  • Not all dogs are natural swimmers, so it’s important to gauge their comfort level in the water. 
  • If your Golden Retriever is not a confident swimmer, consider using a dog life jacket or flotation device. These safety aids provide buoyancy and support, giving your dog added confidence and ensuring their safety in the water.
  • Rinse your Golden Retriever with fresh water after swimming to remove chlorine, salt water, or any other substances that could irritate their skin or coat color.
  • Consider introducing water toys or floating toys to make swimming sessions more enjoyable and engaging for your Golden Retriever.
Golden Retriever in the swimming pool

If you don’t have access to a safe swimming area, you can consider alternative options such as a kiddie pool or a dog-friendly sprinkler system to provide water play and cooling opportunities for your Golden Retriever.

Grooming Your Golden Retriever for Summer

Proper grooming is essential for keeping your Golden Retriever cool and comfortable during the summer months. Let’s explore some grooming techniques and considerations:

Can I Shave My Golden Retriever’s Coat for Summer?

Contrary to popular belief, it is generally not recommended to shave your Golden Retriever’s coat for summer. The double coat of a Golden Retriever serves as insulation, protecting from both heat and cold. 

The outer layer helps to repel water, and the undercoat acts as an insulating layer that keeps them cool in hot weather. 

Shaving their coat can disrupt their natural cooling system and make them more susceptible to sunburn and other skin issues.

So, what should I do?

Instead of shaving Golden Retriever’s coat, regular brushing is a good option to keep your Golden Retriever’s coat in optimal condition during the summer.

Brushing helps to remove loose fur, prevent matting, and improve air circulation through their coat, allowing for better temperature regulation.

Aim to brush your dog at least once a week, if not more frequently, using a slicker brush or a comb with wide-spaced teeth.

Don’t forget to reward your Goldie. After each brushing session, reward them with praise, treats, or playtime to create a positive association with grooming and make it an enjoyable experience for them.

Trimming the Fur for Sun Protection

While shaving the coat is not recommended, you can do a summer cut for Golden Retriever to manage length to help with sun protection. 

The goal of a summer cut is to achieve a balance between sun protection and maintaining the health and functionality of the coat. The groomer will ensure that enough fur is left to provide insulation and protect the skin from UV rays.

It’s important to note that a summer cut is not suitable for all Golden Retrievers, as individual coat types and preferences can vary. Consulting with a professional groomer who understands the breed will help you achieve the best results and ensure the comfort and well-being of your dog during the summer months.

Preventing Mats and Tangles

To prevent mats and tangles in your Golden Retriever’s coat during the summer, follow these tips:

  • Make brushing and combing a part of your routine to prevent mats from forming. Aim to brush your dog’s coat at least once a week, if not more frequently, using a slicker brush or a comb with wide-spaced teeth.
  • Pay extra attention to the areas where mats and tangles are more likely to occur, such as behind the ears, around the tail, and under the armpits. These areas tend to trap moisture and can easily become tangled.
  • Use a gentle touch while brushing to avoid causing discomfort to your dog. Start from the tips of the fur and work your way up, carefully detangling any knots you encounter.
  • If you come across stubborn mats, you can use a detangling spray or conditioner to help loosen them. Apply the product to the affected area and use your fingers or a comb to gently work through the tangles.

By preventing mats and tangles, you also improve air circulation through your dog’s coat. It allows better temperature regulation and keeps them cool during a hot summer day.

Protecting Against Fleas and Ticks

Warmer temperatures also bring an increased risk of fleas and ticks. Ensure that your Golden Retriever is up to date on flea and tick prevention medications.

Regularly check your dog’s coat for any signs of fleas or ticks, particularly after outdoor activities in grassy or wooded areas. Pay close attention to areas such as the ears, armpits, groin, and between the toes, as these are common areas for pests to hide.

checking golden retriever ear, check dog ear

If you find a tick attached to your Golden Retriever, remove it promptly to reduce the risk of tick-borne illnesses. Use tweezers or a tick removal tool to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out with a steady motion. Avoid twisting or squeezing the tick, as this may increase the risk of infection.

After removing a tick, monitor your dog for any signs of tick-borne illnesses, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, or joint stiffness. If you notice any concerning symptoms, consult your veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance.

Tips for Traveling with Your Golden Retriever in Summer

Traveling with your Golden Retriever during the summer requires additional precautions to keep them cool and comfortable. Whether you’re planning a road trip or flying to a vacation destination, consider the following tips:

Plan for Adequate Ventilation

If you’re traveling by car, ensure that the vehicle is properly air-conditioned before embarking on your journey. Make sure the vents are directed toward the backseat area where your dog will be sitting. 

You can also use window shades to block out direct sunlight and keep the interior cooler.

Planning Frequent Breaks

During long road trips, it’s crucial to plan frequent breaks to allow your Golden Retriever to stretch their legs and cool down. 

You should look for rest areas or parks along your route where your dog can safely explore and relieve themselves. 

Keep your Golden Retriever hydrated throughout the journey. Bring along a portable water bowl and offer fresh water regularly. Avoid giving them water directly from unknown sources, as it may be contaminated.

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Choosing Pet-Friendly Accommodations

If you’re staying at hotels or vacation rentals, make sure they are pet-friendly and provide suitable facilities to keep your Golden Retriever comfortable. 

Look for accommodations with air conditioning, access to shaded outdoor areas, and nearby parks or walking trails where your dog can enjoy some exercise.

Keeping Your Dog’s Identification and Records Handy

Ensure your Golden Retriever wears a properly fitted collar with identification tags containing your contact information. Additionally, carry a copy of their vaccination records and any necessary permits or travel documents. 

These precautions will come in handy in case your dog gets lost or requires medical attention while on your summer adventures.

Travel Kit Essentials

Pack a travel kit specifically for your Golden Retriever. Include items such as water bottles, collapsible bowls, a leash, waste bags, a towel for wiping off excess heat, and any necessary medications. 

This ensures that you have everything you need to care for your dog while on the go.

Providing Adequate Shade 

If you’re engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or beach trips, always provide ample shade for your Golden Retriever. Use umbrellas, pop-up tents, or portable canopies to create a shaded retreat where your dog can rest and cool down. 

It’s crucial never to leave your Golden Retriever unattended, especially in unfamiliar environments or high temperatures. Always keep an eye on them and be aware of any signs of distress or discomfort.

The Role of Nutrition in Your Golden Retriever’s Heat Tolerance

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in keeping your Golden Retriever cool and healthy during the summer months. By providing them with the right diet, you can support their heat tolerance and overall well-being. Here are some key factors to consider when it comes to nutrition:

Hydration is Key: Keeping your Golden Retriever well-hydrated is crucial in hot weather. Ensure that fresh water is always available to them, both indoors and outdoors. 

Choose High-Quality Dog Food: Opt for high-quality dog food that is specially formulated for active dogs and suitable for the summer season. 

Look for brands that contain natural, wholesome ingredients and provide a balanced combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Avoid foods with excessive fillers, artificial additives, and preservatives.

Consider Moist Food and Frozen Treats: During hot weather, your Golden Retriever may appreciate moist food or frozen treats. 

Moist food helps to keep them hydrated, while frozen treats provide a refreshing and enjoyable way to cool down. You can make your frozen treats using dog-friendly ingredients like yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.

Monitor Food Portions: Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid overfeeding your Golden Retriever, as excess weight can contribute to heat intolerance. 

Follow the recommended feeding guidelines provided by the dog food manufacturer, taking into account your dog’s age, weight, and activity level. If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or dietary needs, consult with your veterinarian.

Supplement with Electrolytes: Electrolytes play a crucial role in maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance in your dog’s body.

In consultation with your veterinarian, consider providing electrolyte supplements to support your Golden Retriever’s hydration and overall health during hot weather.

Avoid Feeding Certain Foods: Some human foods can be harmful to dogs and should be avoided. During summer gatherings or barbecues, be cautious about offering your Golden Retriever foods that can be toxic, such as chocolate, onions, grapes, and raisins. Also, avoid feeding them spicy or greasy foods, as these can upset their stomach and cause discomfort.

By paying attention to your Golden Retriever’s nutrition and providing them with a balanced diet, you can support their heat tolerance, keep them hydrated, and promote their overall well-being during the summer season. 

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Keeping Golden Retrievers Cool in Summer

When it comes to keeping Golden Retrievers cool in summer, several common myths and misconceptions need to be addressed. Let’s separate fact from fiction to ensure that you have accurate information about caring for your furry friend during the hot months:

Myth: Shaving the coat will keep them cooler

It is a common misconception that shaving a Golden Retriever’s coat will help keep them cool in summer. However, this is not true. The double coat of a Golden Retriever acts as insulation, protecting them from both heat and cold. 

Shaving their coat can disrupt their natural cooling mechanism and expose them to the harmful effects of the sun. Instead of shaving, focus on regular grooming practices to keep their coat clean and mat-free.

Myth: Ice water is the best way to cool them down

While it may seem logical to offer your Golden Retriever a bowl of ice-cold water to cool them down, it can be counterproductive. 

Drinking very cold water can cause their body temperature to drop rapidly, leading to discomfort and potential health issues. Instead, provide cool, fresh water for them to drink and offer access to shaded areas or cooling mats to help regulate their body temperature naturally.

Myth: Leaving them in a parked car with the windows cracked is safe

This is a dangerous misconception that can have fatal consequences. 

Leaving a Golden Retriever (or any dog) in a parked car, even with the windows cracked, can quickly lead to heatstroke and death. 

The temperature inside a parked car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes, even on a mildly warm day. 

Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle.

Myth: All dogs are natural swimmers and can cool off in any body of water

While it is true that Golden Retrievers are generally excellent swimmers, not all bodies of water are safe for them to swim in. 

Avoid letting your dog swim in stagnant or polluted water, as it can contain harmful bacteria and toxins that can cause health issues. Always choose clean, well-maintained bodies of water for your Golden Retriever to enjoy a safe and refreshing swim.

Myth: Dogs don’t need sunscreen

Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from sunburn and skin damage. 

Light-colored Golden Retrievers with thin or short coats are particularly susceptible to sunburn. It is crucial to protect their skin by applying pet-safe sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs. 

Myth: Dogs don’t get dehydrated

Dogs can become dehydrated, especially in hot weather. Dehydration can lead to serious health complications. Always ensure that your Golden Retriever has access to fresh water and encourage them to drink regularly. 

If you notice signs of dehydration such as excessive panting, dry gums, or lethargy, seek veterinary care immediately.

By debunking these myths and misconceptions, you can make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to keep your Golden Retriever safe, cool, and comfortable during the summer months.


In conclusion, keeping your Golden Retriever cool in summer is crucial for their well-being and overall health. Excessive heat can pose serious risks, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke. 

Remember, your Golden Retriever relies on you to ensure their comfort and well-being during the summer season. By implementing these top tips, being mindful of their heat tolerance, and paying attention to their needs, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable summer together.

Wishing you and your furry friend a happy and cool summer!

We have also covered Golden Retriever Winter Guide. Discover essential tips to keep your Golden Retriever happy and healthy all year round. Enjoy the read and embark on unforgettable adventures with your beloved furry friend!

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