Every species, including dogs, have a temperature range within which it functions normally without having to work for cooling itself down or warming up.
According to some sources, this range for dogs is between 20 and 30 ⁰ C (68 – 86 ⁰ F). Some dogs can withstand cold while others can adapt well to warmer climates; this is dependent on various factors, including the breed of the dog.
Golden Retrievers are usually comfortable between 15 – 27 ⁰ C (about 60 – 80 ⁰ F), as reported by dog breeders and other reputable sources.
Being an adaptable breed, Golden Retrievers can withstand temperatures around 4 – 5⁰ C on the cooler side and around 35 – 37 ⁰ C on the warmer end, that is, temperatures ranging between 40 – 100 ⁰ F.
While this is an indicative figure, actual temperatures that a dog can withstand, without impact on its health, depend on its age, general health, and physical characteristics.
Additional weather conditions like sleet in winter or humidity in the summer also influence these numbers.
Adult Golden Retrievers in good health can comfortably handle moderate snow and heat. Though exact temperatures have not been formally recorded, critical temperatures corresponding to such conditions typically fall in the range of 5 – 35 ⁰ C (about 40 -100 ⁰ F).
Beyond this range, extended exposure to snow or lower temperature can cause hypothermia, and excessive heat and humidity can also lead to hyperthermia.
Both are dangerous conditions and should be strictly avoided as they could be life-threatening.
Golden Retrievers have two coats; natural condition of each of these, like rupture or altered thickness, or instantaneous changes like dampness close to the skin can also cause the dog to be uncomfortable before reaching assumed critical temperature limits.
It is important to pay attention to the dogs’ signs when they are unable to withstand temperature extremes.
Though it is important to know the upper and lower critical temperatures, it is not recommended based on an assumption for ambient temperature. Generic temperature data about the breed may not be safe in individual cases.
Dog experts recommend seasonal preparedness for owners to ensure their pets always stay healthy irrespective of temperature fluctuations due to weather and climatic conditions.
So, if you are wondering whether your sweet little pup can play in the snow with you or if you can leave it in your car while you do grocery shopping, here’s what long time owners and experts have to say.
Golden Retrievers originated from the Scottish Highlands and are suited to cooler climates. Still, young puppies (less than a year old) or older adults can get sick in the extreme cold due to their weaker immunity.
Goldens love to chase fresh flakes falling from above but younger, inexperienced pups can slip and hurt themselves in the snow.
Additionally, their coats can get damp, and the inner coat, closer to the skin when damp for a long time, can make them very sick. Sub-zero temperatures are usually dangerous for the unsuspecting pup.
It is best to observe pets while they are enjoying in the snow, and as soon as they show signs of freezing, they should be promptly brought indoors and treated if necessary.
How do you know if it is too cold for your Golden?
Whenever the Golden Retriever begins to get uncomfortable in the snow, it would show signs:
It might start looking for cover.
Or it would continuously lift its paws due to the cold.
It could start limping or shuddering. It could be unsteady on the ground. It may cry or whimper, not want to walk. At times, it can be a combination of these.
Generally speaking, if you feel it is too cold, probably it is, and even if your pet doesn’t show signs yet, it might be already beginning to get sick.
To avoid hypothermia, wrapping the pet in warm blankets helps. Additionally, an external heat source placed close to the body helps steadies the pet (You may also consider taking the pet’s temperature to be sure about its wellbeing). Vet care might be necessary in extreme cases.
How to tell if your Golden is feeling too hot inside the car?
At the other end of the temperature range, a Golden Retriever might get uncomfortable in the car and get dehydrated quickly on normal days; they need to be observed for heat signs during the summers.
While in motion, keeping the air conditioner turned on is preferable; when parked, windows rolled all the way down helps the circulation of air from the outside.
Note: Many countries have laws that prohibit leaving an unattended pet inside a parked vehicle.
On warm and sunny days, the temperature inside a car, even with windows rolled down, can quickly get warmer than outside, by 15 – 20 degrees, in a matter of minutes. This can dehydrate your pet and sometimes be quite dangerous.
When your pet is panting profusely or appears too exhausted, it is probably dehydrated. Additionally, it may throw up or lay motionless, almost unconscious, momentarily.
Can I take out my pup for a walk in the warm Sun?
Warm summer days may be pleasant for us humans, but warmer temperatures, especially with high humidity, can be very off-putting for the Goldens.
Their double coats may warm them up quickly, and before you realize, the poor pet could be huffing and puffing. Hot pavements can hurt the soft paws of the Golden, and in general, temperatures beyond 30 ⁰ C (about 85 ⁰ F) begin to take a toll on them.
It is best to stay indoors during peak sun, and in warmer climates, it is preferable to have additional cooling provisions.
Experts suggest avoiding mid-day Sun for walks. When it is a little milder towards the afternoon, it might be more pleasant for both you and your lovely Golden to take that walk in the park.
Always be prepared for extreme temperatures.
While it is best to avoid any extreme temperature, there are times when we might unintentionally land up in a situation. If we are well prepared, we can save our loving pets from harm.
Having a water bottle and some cooling food in the summers and a warm jacket during winters is necessary.
Weather appropriate shoes for the soft paws can be an added advantage. If the pet still gets hit by the weather, a timely call to the Vet is your best bet.
Health issues for your pup when the temperature is too hot:
Dehydration- Your Canine gets dehydrated when the temperature is too hot for the pup. It is advisable to avoid extreme temperature conditions.
Signs of dehydration:
As per the American kennel club, the signs you need to look for checking dehydration in dogs are reduced energy level, decreased or loss of appetite, panting, lethargy, sunken eyes, and loss of skin elasticity, and dry nose/ gums.
Hyperthermia- Hyperthermia in dogs leads to Heat stress, Heat Exhaustion, and Heatstroke. It can occur in the spring season when the temperature will be volatile in day and night.
Canines need time to adjust to the temperatures.
Treatment for Hyperthermia:
Cool your Canine’s temperature as soon as possible. Dip your pup’s body in a cool swimming pool.
Cover your Canine’s body with a towel submerged in icy water. Dogs can lose consciousness due to hyperthermia, so move your Canine to shade or place her in a room with a fan or air conditioner.
Fever- when the temperature of a being increases, it is termed as fever. Fever in dogs occurs when it plays in high temperatures or when it does excessive exercise continuously in humid conditions.
Symptoms of fever:
· Loss of appetite
· Energy loss
Health issues for your pup when the temperature is too cold:
When your Canine’s body temperature becomes cool, it can cause “Hypothermia.”
Hypothermia is a condition when the pup’s temperature is abnormal or too cool. Continuous swimming is not as good as it can also cause hypothermia. The types of hypothermia which are seen in dogs are mild, moderate, and severe.
Symptoms of hypothermia:
· Muscle stiffness
· Shallow breathing
· Low blood pressure
Treatment for Hypothermia:
Wrap your pup in warm blankets. Place a cloth that is dipped in hot water on the abdomen of the dog.
Provide hot air for your Canine with the help of a hairdryer. Avoid too much of swimming. Don’t let your pup go out when the temperature is cool outside.
And finally, Consulting a vet is a better option when you feel that your Canine faces difficulties with the temperature.