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A common question that is asked among new Golden Retriever owners is “Do Golden Retrievers Love Snow?”
It’s a valid question because Golden Retrievers are not typically known as snow dogs, unlike other breeds classed as such like the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute.
You probably already know that Golden Retrievers love the water, but what about snow?
Are they able to tolerate cold weather and snowy conditions?
Find out as we answer this commonly asked question.
Do Golden Retrievers Love Snow?
Yes, absolutely, Golden Retrievers love snow! If you’ve ever witnessed your Golden Retriever experience snow for the first time, you know just how exciting the white fluffy stuff is for them. Snow is new and exciting, it changes your Golden’s sensory characteristics, and it allows them to be energetic without overheating. Golden Retrievers love to dig it up, bury their faces in it, make doggie snow angels, and catch snowballs. They often get the snow zoomies too!
5 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Love Snow
With an easygoing personality and a double-coat to keep them warm, Golden Retrievers love spending time outside in the snow. You may even get the impression that your Golden is actually a Husky!
Let’s take a closer look at why your Golden Retriever loves the snow so much.
1. Golden Retrievers Love Snow Because It’s New And Exciting
Unless your Golden lives in a climate where snow happens year-round, snow is something that your Golden Retriever finds new and exciting.
It’s like a new toy for your Golden to play with. Snowflakes falling from the sky are fun to catch, snow is soft and fluffy and fun to roll around in.
Even if your Golden has experienced snow before, there’s something about the first snowfall that brings out the excitement in your dog.
Dogs that are used to snow all the time just don’t show the same excitement for it, just ask any dog owner living in Alaska. This just shows that the novelty of snow is a factor in your dog’s excitement.
2. Golden Retrievers Don’t See Snow Too Often
Most Golden Retrievers do not get to see or experience snow that often, and when they do, it’s really fun for them.
If you live in an area where snow happens seasonally or occasionally, then the novelty of snow is fascinating to your Golden Retriever.
The first snowfall of the season is something every Golden Retriever owner looks forward to, simply because they know how much fun their Golden will have playing in the snow.
New puppy owners especially, can’t wait for their Golden puppy to experience snow for the first time.
Just watch this Golden Retriever named Cooper, as he has a blast in the snow for the first time!
3. Snow Allows Your Golden Retriever To Be Energetic Without Overheating
Have you ever noticed how your Golden Retriever becomes more energetic when the temperatures drop?
That’s because this breed prefers the cooler temperatures of winter.
Thanks to their double-coat that keeps them warm and insulated, Golden Retrievers can run, jump, and play in the snow longer without getting overheated.
If they do become overheated, a quick roll in the snow helps to cool them off, while indulging in the white stuff keeps them hydrated after they have engaged in a round of snow zoomies.
4. Snow Changes Sensory Characteristics
There’s nothing like the smell and sight of freshly fallen snow. Snow has the ability to change sensory characteristics such as sight, smell, taste, touch and sound.
The cold temperatures and the snow changes the smell in the air, it changes the visual landscape and brings out your dog’s exploratory behaviour.
You’ll probably notice that your daily walks with your Golden tend to take longer after a fresh snowfall. Snow, plus cooler temperatures make scent tracking much more difficult for your dog.
Tracks and urine markings from other animals that are otherwise invisible can now be seen in the snow. This is very engaging for your dog.
Not to mention the cool and soft sensation of snow on your dog’s body while they run through it or roll around in it.
Your dog’s curiosity will have them tasting snow too. (Just be sure the snow your dog is eating is clean and fresh. Antifreeze is common in the winter, and very dangerous to your dog!)
Fresh snow absorbs sound and makes your dog’s environment seem quieter. But, when snow alters and gets hard and icy, the sound is altered again, making everything noisy.
5. It Turns Their Backyard Into A Playground
Snow on the ground changes your dog’s usual backyard into a new and fun playground. It renews your dog’s interest in its familiar surroundings and brings on their play behaviour.
Their once grass and dirt backyard is now covered in a blanket of white fluffy snow.
Golden Retrievers love to play, and what’s more fun than playing in the snow?
Running, jumping, digging, and snowplowing their faces into the snow is super fun.
Not to mention catching snowballs in the air, tackling a snowman, or making doggie snow angels.
5 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Dislike Snow
Generally speaking, most Golden Retrievers love snow, but each dog is individual, and there may be some that just don’t enjoy the snow.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why below:
1. Cold & Sensitive Paws
Thanks to the venous anatomy in their paws, Golden Retrievers can tolerate walking on snow barefoot much better than we can. But, that doesn’t mean their paws are immune to the snow or cold.
Exposure to ice and snow can cause your Golden’s paw pads to become dry and cracked, leading to pain.
Rock salt and chemical ice melt used on roads and sidewalks can wreak havoc on your dog’s paws. These products are not only toxic for your dog when he licks his paws, but they cause a burning sensation that causes your Golden to lift his paws in pain.
Snowballing is another issue that affects Golden Retrievers in the winter. When snow and ice come into contact with their paws, it melts from the body heat, causing tiny snowballs to form and stick to the fur between their paws.
Snowballs sticking to their paws is not only uncomfortable but can be painful. Causing your Golden to limp, lift his paws, or try to chew at them which may cause ripping and tearing of the skin.
To protect your dog’s paws from the harsh effects of snow, ice and salt, dog boots or paw wax are recommended.
RELATED=====> Mushers Secret For Dogs [The Best Invisible Dog Boot].
2. Old Age
If your Golden Retriever used to enjoy the snow but has lost interest, it could be due to old age.
As Golden Retrievers get older, their vision, hearing and sense of smell start to decline.
Snow already makes it harder for most dogs to see, hear and track, but add old age to the equation, and your Golden may feel like his outside world is unfamiliar.
If your Golden suffers from arthritis, the snow and cold temperatures exacerbate the pain and may cause mobility issues.
RELATED=====> Aging Golden Retriever Health Problems.
3. Type Of Snow
Your Golden simply may not like the type of snow that is outside, especially when it’s wet, or icy and crusty.
Dogs seem to prefer snow that is light and fluffy, as it is easier to play in and walk and run through.
4. Snow Is Too Deep
Nobody likes walking through deep snow, or opening their front or back door to a wall of snow!
Now imagine how your Golden Retriever feels, having to go outside in the deep snow to pee or poop.
Sure, a young Golden will probably pounce through the deep snow without hesitation, but an older Golden will have a difficult time, especially if they have mobility issues.
It’s always a good idea to shovel a pathway in the backyard for your Golden to do his business.
5. Snow Sticks To Them
Not only does snow stick between your Golden’s paw pads, but thanks to their long fur, snow tends to stick to them all over.
Heavy wet snow is the type that will stick to your Golden’s fur, causing snowballs to form on their legs, belly, tail, and everywhere else.
Not only are snowballs uncomfortable, but they can be heavy, and make your Golden feel cold.
Many owners use a warm washcloth to remove them, a hairdryer, or a whisk. To prevent snow from sticking in the first place, many owners will put a coat on their dog.
Are Golden Retrievers Warm In The Snow?
Healthy and active Golden Retrievers are able to regulate their body temperature to keep them warm in the snow. Plus, their double coat protects them from the elements.
Their undercoat is soft and fluffy which acts as insulation, while the topcoat is water-repellent to keep them dry.
Puppies and senior Golden Retrievers get chilled and feel cold from the snow much faster.
Puppies do not have their adult coat yet, and they are unable to regulate their body temperatures enough to keep them warm.
Seniors are vulnerable to the snow because their immune systems weaken with age, and they aren’t able to regulate their body temperatures as they used to.
RELATED=====> Do Golden Retrievers Need To Wear A Winter Coat?
How Long Can A Golden Retriever Play In The Snow?
This depends on the age and health of your Golden Retriever. Overall, 30 minutes is a good amount of time for a healthy and active Golden Retriever to play in the snow.
Puppies and seniors should be limited to their time spent in the snow, as they are more vulnerable.
Playing in the snow too long can make any Golden Retriever feel cold, as well as put them at risk for developing frostbite or hypothermia.
Always monitor your dog while they are outside in the snow, so you can recognize the signs that they are cold. Such as:
- Lifting paws off the ground.
- Becoming anxious.
- Hesitating to move/walk any further.
- Seeking shelter.
Chances are, your healthy active Golden Retriever can tolerate playing outside in the snow much longer than you can. I know my Golden would lay out in the snow for hours if she could.
Even though the term snow dog is not associated with this breed, it certainly should be! Golden Retrievers love snow and enjoy spending time outside playing in it!
Snow is just another toy for your Golden to play with that gets them super excited. It adds another element of fun to their already adventurous lives.
Once you get your Golden Retriever outside in the snow, you’ll soon discover that they don’t want to come back inside.
Does your Golden Retriever love snow? Do you have a hard time bringing your Golden Retriever back inside because they want to play in the snow all day?
Share your thoughts and comments below. I would love to hear from you!
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