The Golden Retriever’s distinctive golden coat is one of their finest features but because of the density of their fur, they are prone to skin problems.
Their thick, water-resistant undercoat means they store lots of heat and retain a humid environment close to their skin. They are also prone to skin allergies. Both of these factors make them particularly prone to skin irritations and are common reasons that many owners of Golden Retrievers will see their dogs scratching or grooming excessively.
So what’s going on under these beautiful golden coats? Lots of scratching and licking can, in some cases, be a sign of skin ‘hot spots’ – problem patches that can become raw and infected. These problems can present on any part of their body, but usually areas on their sides or back where they can easily scratch or nibble.
Hot spots are very common in this breed and usually present as swollen, inflamed patches on their skin. They are especially frequent when a Golden Retriever’s fur remains wet for a long period of time.
However, just because this breed is more sensitive to developing these skin issues doesn’t mean they have to fall victim to them. You can help reduce the likelihood of your Golden Retriever experiencing itchy, painful rashes by grooming them regularly. It’s also a good idea to give them a bath with a hypoallergenic shampoo once or twice a month to help keep their skin and coat clean.
Of course, you should also ensure they are dried properly after these baths. A wet coat is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and can encourage the formation of hot spots. So after bathing, swimming or getting caught out in the rain, be sure to give your Golden Retriever a good towel dry that gets rid of the moisture right down to their skin.
Grooming and bathing are easy additions to managing your Golden Retriever’s overall skin health. However, if this isn’t enough, it is worth considering introducing a higher quality food into their diet that supports coat health and prevents skin sensitivities. Look for a diet that includes omega 3 fatty acids and borage oil to make sure their coats and skin stay at their healthiest. These nutrients help maintain the skin’s structure, reduce skin inflammation and support a thick and glossy coat.