How Cold is too Cold for Golden Retriever Dogs? — Warm Up!

Living in an area where it snows a lot can be cold for both humans and their furry little friends. Thus, having a Golden Retriever may make you wonder, “How cold is too cold for Golden Retriever dogs?” Knowing how much your Golden Retriever can tolerate cold weather is crucial because you don’t want them to live uncomfortably. You’re in luck, because Golden Retrievers can tolerate cold weather as low as 45°F or 7.2°C.

In this article, I’ll be talking about how much cold a Golden Retriever can handle — and how to keep your pet warm!

How cold is too cold for Golden Retriever dogs?

Did you know that Golden Retrievers were not bred to withstand long periods of time in the cold? Even though they can tolerate cold temperatures as low as 45°F or 7°C, you should not let them stay outside for too long. Otherwise, they will get too cold. 

When winter starts coming around, you might want to consider making your daily walks with your Golden Retriever a lot shorter. Since an adult Golden Retriever needs exercise for around 45 minutes to an hour twice every day, you need to cut those walks shorter. You may find other ways to have your dog exercise indoors like by playing fetch in your living room (assuming you have space).

However, if you prefer to cuddle with your Golden Retriever because of the cold, that’s okay too! In fact, your Golden Retriever would love to lay by your side. If he or she is stressed, it’s a good way to relieve some of that tension.

Cold temperatures may stress out your Golden Retriever. He or she will want to look for a constant source of warmth. What better way to warm themselves than to cuddle up with their favorite people on the planet?

That being said, I’ll talk about the best ways how you can deal with a cold Golden Retriever. That way, you will know what to do when your dog is feeling cold. I’ll be sharing how you can keep them warm, what to do when your Golden Retriever looks like he’s freezing, and if they can tolerate being in cold water or simply walking out in the cold.

The cold may seem harmless, but your dog is at risk of freezing himself if you leave him unattended. It will lead to many health complications. Sometimes it can even result in death.

Does my Golden Retriever get cold during night time?

When you experience cold, it is most likely that your Golden Retriever is cold as well. This is why you should not let your Golden Retriever sleep outside when it is chilly. They can only tolerate temperatures as low as 45°F or 7°C. 

As winter rolls around in your area, you should check the weather conditions and how low the temperature is going to be. Even if it does not snow, people and animals will still experience cold temperature especially if it’s windy. 

That being said, do not let your Golden Retriever outside your home if the temperature is 45°F or lower. If they do need to go out to do their business, don’t let them stay outside for more than 30 minutes. When a Golden Retriever stays outside for more than 30 minutes, they will be at risk of hypothermia.

Hypothermia exists both in humans and in animals. It occurs when there is a prolonged exposure to low temperatures. Since we are warm-blooded creatures, low temperatures can cause problems with our circulatory, respiratory, and immune systems. That also applies to Golden Retrievers.

Hypothermia can be fatal. However, when treated as early as possible there is a very high chance that your Golden Retriever will be able to survive. Later on, I’ll be talking more about hypothermia and what you can do to help your Golden Retriever if he or she is suffering from it.

How can I keep my Golden Retriever warm?

There are many ways that you can keep your dog warm. Experienced pet parents who have Golden Retrievers living with them already know that when you live in colder areas, there are extra steps that are needed in order to keep their dogs warm. Sometimes, you will have to purchase extra things at online stores or at the nearest pet store in your area.

Keep in mind that there are also household items that you can let your Golden Retriever use whenever he or she becomes cold. At other times, a good long cuddle session with your Golden Retriever will already be enough to restore their warmth. However, if your Golden Retriever looks like he or she is displaying symptoms of hypothermia, that is a whole other story.

In case your Golden Retriever is experiencing hypothermia, it is best to bring them to the veterinarian clinic immediately. Hypothermia can be treated many ways, but your veterinarian will first have to see how bad or urgent your Golden Retriever’s case is. Later on, I’ll share what you are supposed to do when your dog was exposed to low temperatures for a long period of time.

The moment that you see that your Golden Retriever looks cold, here are the ways that you can keep him or her warm.

Blankets

Make sure that your Golden Retriever has a lot of warm blankets when he or she is feeling cold. You will usually see that your Golden Retriever is shivering in a corner or inside his or her designated dog bed. This is usually your sign to wrap them in a warm blanket.

There are many kinds of thick blankets that you can use to wrap your Golden Retriever in when they are feeling cold. The kinds of blankets that keep you warm are usually made of cashmere, wool or cotton fleece. They are very warm and fuzzy because of the compact fibers that trap the warmth of your Golden Retriever.

Wrap your Golden Retriever in your thickest blanket if you see them shivering. Alternatively, you can make your blanket even warmer by throwing it in your dryer for a couple of minutes. However before you throw the blanket in your dryer, make sure that the material is dryer-friendly. Otherwise, you might accidentally ruin your blanket.

After throwing it in the dryer, you can place the blanket on your Golden Retriever’s dog bed. You can also wrap the warm blanket around them so that they can achieve maximum warmth!

Warm dog bed

Dog beds should also be made of material that has insulating capabilities. You can also look for dog beds made out of cotton fleece, wool, or have extra fabric layered. That way, your Golden Retriever has a warm place to rest during a chilly night. On their dog beds, you can also put microwavable heating pads for added warmth.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t put anything harmful in your Golden Retriever’s dog bed. This includes anything that they can chew into bite-sized pieces. This will lead to digestive problems in the future.

There are many big dog beds that are perfect for keeping your Golden Retriever warm. You can put a matching blanket on the dog bed as well. Keep in mind that your Golden Retriever may have a favorite stuffed toy to snuggle with. You can be sure that your dog will have a nice, warm sleep while he rests.

Invest in a good heater

When you feel cold, there is a very good chance that your Golden Retriever also feels cold despite his coat. That is why you should invest in a good heater or an effective heating system for your home. 

That way, the residents inside your home won’t feel cold either. Now, that may cost you some extra cash, but I assure you that it is worth it. A good heater means that you won’t have to buy other things that will make you or your Golden Retriever warm.

There are also mini-sized heaters that you can buy for your Golden Retriever. You may situate it near his dog bed. That way, they will be able to soak up a lot of the heat and, as a result, feel less cold. Mini-sized heaters cost as low as $30 to $150.

Technically, you would also be saving some cash if you invest in the right equipment.

Insulated dog house

There are insulated dog houses on the market. These insulated dog houses can be situated outside or inside your home. However, I highly suggest that you do not let your Golden Retriever live outside especially if it’s snowing. There is a high chance that your dog will experience hypothermia that may be detrimental to his or her health.

You can buy an insulated dog house for around $250 to $500. However, insulated dog houses are still meant for dogs who can withstand cold or very low temperatures. The only reason why you should buy an insulated dog house for a Golden Retriever is to provide a place for them to rest during the day if you let your dog out.

The insulated dog house should still be cleaned even if it’s not in use. That way, the quality of the dog house won’t be compromised for when your dog is able to use it again.

Winter dog clothes 

Winter dog clothes are a totally optional luxury for Golden Retrievers. You don’t have to buy your dog winter dog clothes, but some pet parents can’t help it because they’re so cute! Besides aesthetic reasons, your Golden Retriever will feel a lot warmer when they wear it. 

However, keep in mind that some Golden Retrievers may not like the feeling of wearing clothing. This is why if you plan on dressing your Golden Retriever, you should let them get used to it at an early age, like when they are a puppy. Sure, your dog will outgrow the clothes that you buy them but you can always give them away to someone else or re-sell them online as secondhand dog clothes.

Once your Golden Retriever gets used to wearing clothes, they will have an extra layer of protection against the cold. You’ll find that they’ll be a lot warmer than usual!

Hot water in a bottle

Another way to keep your Golden Retriever warm is by putting a bottle of hot water in his bed. The water should not be too hot to the point that it is boiling. Warm to hot water is good enough. Make sure that the bottle that you use is not easy to open. The bottle should not be hard to chew through either. Otherwise, you will be dealing with a very wet and cold Golden Retriever.

You can put this bottle with hot water in it where your dog rests. In case you think that your Golden Retriever has hypothermia, you should have your dog lay down on a thick blanket then place the bottle against his abdomen. This is one of the things you can do to ease your dog’s shivering or coldness. 

However, if you have suspicions that your Golden Retriever is suffering from hypothermia, bring them to the veterinarian immediately.

Warm hugs!

During a cold night, one of the best ways to relieve coldness is through warm hugs. You can allow your dog to sleep in your bed with you. Alternatively, you may also cuddle with them while they are lying down on the couch. It will be good for your and your Golden Retriever’s souls.

Luckily, Golden Retrievers are the kinds of dogs that love being cuddled, praised, and held. They will yearn for your warm hugs especially if they are cold. Golden Retrievers can get rather clingy during the colder seasons like autumn and winter.

A warm hug can keep your Golden Retriever warm, but if they are shivering too much, you should bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible. That way, your Golden Retriever will be able to receive treatment earlier than later. No matter how warm you are, you just can’t treat hypothermia with hugs.

Can my Golden Retriever live outside in the cold? 

As I have mentioned earlier, I do not suggest that you let your Golden Retriever outside in the cold. Perhaps during the warmer seasons like spring, fall, and summer, you can allow them to sleep and live outside. However, if it snows in your area heavily, do not allow them to sleep outside.

This is because Golden Retrievers can only handle being in temperatures as low as 45°F or 7°C for only thirty minutes. If you let them stay outside longer than that, they may start getting too cold. Any more than that, and they might start getting hypothermia. In case that happens, immediately go to the veterinarian for the proper treatment. During the car ride, you can wrap your Golden Retriever in a thick blanket. You can also bring a bottle of hot water and press the bottle against the abdomen of your dog. The hot water will try to bring some warmth back to your dog. Doing that will increase your dog’s chances of surviving from hypothermia.

If you really insist on letting your Golden Retriever live outside in the cold, then make sure to have their dog house insulated very well. This will cost you as high as $500. However, I believe that it is very worth your money. Otherwise, don’t let your Golden Retriever live outside if you have not prepared a suitable place for them to live.

This place should be well-insulated, have a soft and warm bed for them to rest in, and have a bowl of food and water in case they get thirsty.

Can I walk my Golden Retriever while it’s snowing?

The answer is yes. You can walk your Golden Retriever even when it’s snowing. However, you can only take them outside for a total of thirty minutes. Again, Golden Retrievers can only handle temperatures as low as 45°F or 7°C. They can also only handle this for a total of thirty minutes. Any more than that, and they might start getting too cold.

You can also have your Golden Retriever wear doggy booties so that their paws won’t get cold. However, Golden Retrievers (like other dogs) have padded paws that will protect them from things on the ground. Still, clean and dry paws won’t hurt your Golden Retriever, will they? That’s why I suggest that you prepare your Golden Retriever before you start embarking on your walk.

Plan a long walk with your Golden Retriever in the snow. Before that, you should prepare the things that your Golden Retriever may need. You can let them wear warm dog coats and doggy boots that will keep them extra warm. Otherwise, they will become cold.

As soon as you feel cold during the walk, you should go back home. This is because your Golden Retriever most likely also feels cold during your walk. However, the only way that they might be able to communicate with you that they are cold is through showing you signs. These signs include shivering, refusing to move, or whining. Look out for these signs. When you see them, go home immediately so that you can get warm.

When you get home, make sure that both you and your Golden Retriever are both warmed up!

Can Golden Retrievers swim in cold water?

Are you wondering if your Golden Retriever can swim in cold water? The answer is actually yes! Your Golden Retriever is able to swim in cold water. However, I suggest that you should actually teach them how to swim in neutral-temperature water before cold water. If your dog does not know how to swim, he or she will naturally start to doggy paddle. However, that does not mean that they will learn how to stay afloat. What will happen is that they will eventually sink after a while if they don’t know how to keep themselves afloat.

Their experience with suddenly swimming in cold water may not be pleasant, especially if they do not know how to swim in the first place. To remedy this, you can teach your Golden Retriever how to swim before having them dive into a cold pool.

Since your Golden Retriever can swim in cold water, you might be wondering what temperature that they can withstand? As long as the water is not lower than 45°F or 7°C, your Golden Retriever can swim in that body of water. However, do not let them swim for more than 15 to 30 minutes. This is because it’s a lot harder to dry their fur since the water is cold.

Just to avoid hypothermia, you will have to blow-dry him with hot air right after your Golden Retriever swims in cold water. Remember that if you’re planning a swimming session with your Golden Retriever in cold water, you can’t just leave them alone to dry themselves as if it’s just summer. Your Golden Retriever is still prone to shivering and feeling cold.

Prepare the necessary materials to dry your Golden Retriever: blow-dryer, towels, heating pads, and his warm doggy coat.

How do I know that my Golden Retriever is cold?

When your Golden Retriever is exposed to low temperatures for a long time, they will begin to exhibit signs that they are cold. It is quite easy to spot these signs. As long as you are paying attention, you are sure to see these signs. It is very important to pay attention to your Golden Retriever because this is the only method of communication that is possible for dogs.

Luckily, these signs are all noticeable because your Golden Retriever will not be acting the way that he usually does. These signs that your Golden Retriever is cold are physical. You will be able to see and hear what is going on with your dog.

These physical signs start slowly and will gradually get worse the more that your Golden Retriever is exposed to low temperatures. The worst condition that they will end up in is hypothermia, which can only be treated at a veterinary clinic. However, your Golden Retriever’s chances of survival are actually very high as long as they have not been exposed to the cold for a very long time. Since Golden Retrievers can be exposed to cold temperatures as low as 45°F or 7°C for as long as 30 minutes, all you need to do is keep a close eye on them when they go out. When it’s time to go back inside, make sure that you call their attention. It’s also a lot better if they were trained to respond to the commands “come” or “stop.”

Here are the signs that your Golden Retriever is getting cold:

Shivering 

The first thing that you will notice when your Golden Retriever is cold is that he or she will start to shiver.

Shivering is characterized by the slight shaking as a result of being cold. Sometimes, your Golden Retriever will also shiver because they are either frightened by something that is happening in their surroundings or excited about an event that is occurring. 

However, your Golden Retriever may be shivering because of the extremely cold temperatures that they are experiencing. Sometimes, your Golden Retriever may be shivering because it’s a sign that he or she is sick from poisoning or injury. That kind of shivering will usually be coupled with diarrhea, vomiting, and limping. 

You’ll know that your Golden Retriever is shivering from the cold because their bodies will feel cold to the touch. What you want to do is try to warm them up as soon as you can.

Whining and Barking

Whining is another sign that your Golden Retriever is feeling cold. Whining and barking are both the only ways that your Golden Retriever is able to communicate with you using their vocal cords. 

You will notice that your Golden Retriever is cold when you see your dog shivering, whining, and displaying other symptoms of being cold. At this point, you should already try to warm them up. Usually they are whining and barking because they already feel uncomfortable or worse, they could already be in pain.

When this happens, you can try taking your dog’s temperature. If it is dangerously low, you should bring them to the vet immediately. The normal body temperature of a dog is between 101.0 to 102.5°F or 38.3 to 39.2°C.

Restlessness in bed

During bed time, you will know that your Golden Retriever is feeling cold when they seem restless in their beds. They are restless because they are trying to look for a warm spot. You can help your Golden Retriever get warm by wrapping them around a lot of warm blankets. Another way to help them get warmer is using the hot water in a bottle method. 

If you notice that your Golden Retriever is experiencing other symptoms other than restlessness, it may be your signal to take his or her temperature. If it is much lower than normal, then you can take extra measures to warm them up. Take them to the vet as soon as possible. Make sure that they are warm while you are driving to the vet.

Seeks warmth

When your Golden Retriever tries to seek warmth by getting closer to your heater, it means that they are cold. They may try to look for other sources of heat like cuddling next to another warm pet. Another source of heat is you, too. They may also try to lay down beside you or sometimes on top of you because you are also warm. When this happens, you can cuddle with your Golden Retriever under a blanket so that you can share your warmth with them.

If they are shivering too much, whining, or being too restless, they may be colder than you expect. By this time, you should take their temperature to check if it’s too low so that you can taste them on a trip to the vet.

Tries not to touch the ground

Your dog is usually cold if he or she doesn’t look like they want to touch the floor anymore. This usually happens when you’re going out on a walk. Sometimes, they will also resist against the leash while you are both walking. They will also usually go in the direction of your home instead of continuing on your walk.

When it looks like your Golden Retriever is cold, you should already take them home. That way you can start to keep them warm. It’s a lot better to avoid going out altogether when the temperature is too cold. After all, prevention is a lot better than cure.

What do I do when my Golden Retriever has hypothermia?

Your Golden Retriever has hypothermia. What now? It’s important that you bring them to the vet immediately. This is so that your veterinarian can start treatment immediately. If the nearest vet is closed, you can attempt to warm up your Golden Retriever yourself using many different ways we have discussed earlier.

One of the most efficient ways is to wrap them around with thick, warm blankets that have strong capabilities of trapping heat. Prepare a lot of hot water and bottles. Pour the hot water inside the water bottles. Then, wrap the hot bottle so that it’s not too hot to touch. You can put these hot bottles inside the blankets with your Golden Retriever inside. If your Golden Retriever’s temperature falls below 36.7°C or 98.06°F, go to the vet immediately.

Your veterinarian will do their best to make sure that your Golden Retriever’s body temperature will rise back to its normal temperature. They may employ different kinds of treatments. One of these is through thermal insulation. That means that they will wrap your Golden Retriever in things that will make them hotter. These thermal insulation things include blankets, heating pads, and sometimes clothes. 

Other forms of treatments can include hooking your dog to an IV. That way, they will heat up from the inside. Low temperatures may also affect the way your dog breathes. Thus, your Golden Retriever may also need to wear an oxygen mask that will help them breathe.

In no time, your Golden Retriever will go back to normal and you can finally go home. However, I really suggest that you avoid going out when it is cold. No matter how much preparation you do, your dog may not be able to handle colder temperatures.

Final Words

Now, you already have the answer to your question, “How cold is too cold for Golden Retriever dogs?” Again, the answer is 45°F or 7°C. If weather and temperature conditions drop below that, I suggest that you try warming up your Golden Retriever. That way, the condition of your Golden Retriever won’t worsen and turn into hypothermia. After all, prevention is better than cure. With this information under your belt, you can therefore care for your Golden Retriever even better.

Did you find this article useful? If you do, do not forget to share this to your fellow Golden Retriever pet parents as well!

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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