Many people want a Golden Retriever for their family because they are so friendly, full of love, beautiful, and easy to train. They can live up to 12 years old, reach a height of 24 inches, and don’t weigh more than 75 pounds. But, there are some things to consider before getting a Golden.
1. Lots of Activities; Exercise
Because these dogs are bursting with energy, they must use it. They need at least one to two hours of vigorous exercise or they will find other ways to get it. This can include digging up the yard, destroying furniture or those expensive plants that you shopped recently, and chewing on shoes. They also require an equal amount of mental stimulation. Golden Retrievers need activities that incorporate both their energy and mental capacities.
2. They Love to Chew
When bored, Golden Retrievers will chew on shoes, remotes, kitchen utensils, telephones, small pillows, and other clothing items. You have to keep these away if you hope to keep them intact. Also, puppies have a propensity to chew on wires, cables, and other electrical cords. So, hide these in the outdoor toy storage of your backyard before bringing one home.
3. Depression; Separation Anxiety
Since Golden Retrievers have a strong bond with their families, they suffer from separation anxiety and depression. Never leave a Golden alone for more than five hours because the poor thing will suffer. In some cases, this can result in undesirable, destructive behavior.
Even though having a yard is helpful, their social nature doesn’t like to be alone and prefer human companionship. You have to have enough room in the house for the dog to move around.
4. Health Issues
Golden Retrievers have some serious health issues that are unavoidable as well. They can suffer from eye disorders, skin problems, hypothyroidism, cancer, and joint dysplasia. Healthcare for the dog alone can be quite expensive; expect to spend more than $900 per year. However, that wouldn’t be the case if you decide to choose pet insurance. Thus, you’ll reduce your costs significantly. The best option would be Bivvy, where most diseases are covered by the insurance they provide.
If Goldens don’t get enough exercise or eat table scraps, they can become prone to health problems like obesity, high blood pressure, muscular problems, skeletal disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.
Also, new research suggests that neutering a Golden Retriever can increase their ability to contract cancer and other joint disorders. So, it may be better to do a tubal ligation or vasectomy to control its breeding.
5. Plenty of Grooming
You must groom your Golden Retriever along with vacuuming of sofas and carpeting. This is because the dog will shed all year long. Brush it two to three times a week for 15 minutes. You may have to increase frequency during the spring and fall when they shed the heaviest.
Be Smart About Owning a Golden Retriever
Consider all the benefits and pitfalls of having a Golden Retriever. Take into account its cost and care in relation to your budget. If you can provide what the dog needs to be happy, then go for it. But, if you falter on any aspect of care, it can be detrimental to the dog.