Golden retrievers are one of the most popular dogs to keep as pets. This may be due to their beauty, sense of fun, loyalty, and gentle nature. As with any pet, careful consideration needs to be taken before getting one, and it helps to know the pros and cons.
The Need Lots of Attention
Golden retrievers aren’t shy, inconspicuous dogs. They are bright, bouncy, and in-your-face! These mutts can weigh up to 75Ibs and grown to a height of 61cm but don’t realise it and will want to jump around or even try to sit on your knee and be cuddled. If you desire a Goldie as a pet, be dog smart and take into consideration how much time you will have to devote to the dog and how much space you have in your home.
If you work full time, you should think twice about getting a golden retriever as a pet – or indeed any dog. A dog, especially a very social and affectionate one like a goldie, does not do well being left alone all day. A lonely, bored dog will start to show signs of stress by chewing furniture, soft furnishings, or anything they can get their teeth into. Golden retrievers love to be the center of attention and receive lots of love and companionship from their owner.
Because retrievers are so full of happiness and love, they don’t make the best watchdogs as they will probably just lick a burglar to death! If your doorbell rings, ensure you clear the decks as your golden will run to the door, thinking every visitor is coming to see him!
They are Full of Energy
Golden retrievers are gun dogs and were bred to retrieve games for their owners. They generally need a lot of exercise and love to play games of fetch or tug-o-war. If they don’t get enough exercise each day, they can become frustrated and bored and may start to display behavioral problems such as chewing things they shouldn’t.
Retrievers will enjoy any form of exercise. They love to swim, so a day at the beach is pure heaven for them as they can swim and dig lots of holes in the sand. Experts recommend that retrievers get 2 hours of exercise per day. This can be taken as one walk or split up into shorter walks over the course of the day. If you cannot devote this amount of exercise time each day to your furry friend, consider sending them to doggy daycare which will quell their pent-up energy and satisfy their craving to socialize with other dogs.
Their Eyes are Bigger Than Their Stomach
Known for their greediness, goldies will eat anything in front of their nose, and because they have no “off switch” when it comes to eating, they can be at risk of becoming obese. It is, therefore, extremely important to feed your retriever a nutritious diet in the correct portion size. When you are walking your dog, be aware of what they pick up from the ground and eat, as they will eat anything – even if it isn’t food. This can be detrimental to their health.
They are Super Furry Animals
Most of a retriever’s beauty is down to their glorious silky coat that shimmers in the sunshine. However, these golden tendrils will fall out – all over your home! Dogs molt during autumn and spring excessively and lightly in the remaining seasons. Brushing and bathing your retriever at least twice a week will reduce the amount of shedding, but nothing will stop it. You will find you need to invest in a powerful vacuum cleaner and plenty of lint removers. Wash your dog’s bedding regularly too.
They Cost Money
Looking after any dog is expensive, what with food and veterinary bills. Golden retrievers can be prone to certain conditions such as skin problems, cancer, eye disorders, hypothyroidism, and hip/elbow dysplasia. Keeping your dogs’ weight at normal levels, exercising them, and taking them for regular checkups at the vet can help reduce their chance of contracting these and other conditions. Taking out a pet insurance policy will help cover any costs incurred from veterinary procedures.
Above all, they are Wonderful!
If you can put up with some stray fur, muddy paws, and chewed shoes, you should welcome a golden retriever into your family with open arms. You will gain a loveable, life-long friend who will show you undying loyalty, support, and affection.