Part of the beauty of the Golden Retriever is his soft, shiny coat. But that beauty requires maintenance. Bathe your Golden every one to two months on average. Most Goldens love to play in mud and water, so deodorizing wipes can be helpful. Goldens do shed. Brush your Golden thoroughly at least once a week, making sure to work through any tiny mats that have formed. Goldens “blow” coat twice a year (in spring and fall) for around a month, so it is especially important to keep up on grooming during this time to ensure you are removing the dead hair from their coats. A flea comb is useful to use behind the ears, in order to check for micro mats. For dead hair removal and even everyday grooming, a dematting/deshedding brush is essential. You should be able to run a comb over your dog’s entire body without hitting any snags or tangles. Thinning scissors are a good tool to use if you cannot brush out a mat. To protect against ear irritations, ask your groomer to shave the inside of the ear and thin out the hair on the portion of the neck that’s beneath the ear. This allows more air flow. Lack of air flow can aid in the growth of yeast, which is why dogs with thick, floppy ears can be more prone to waxy ears and infections than dogs with upright ears. Goldens also have a lot of hair on their feet which can trap debris and moisture, potentially leading to yeasty toes. Ask your groomer to shave the hair on your dog’s pads, shave between his toes, and trim the hair on his feet to significantly decrease your dog’s risk of yeast infections. Please start grooming your puppy immediately. When dogs have been desensitized to grooming procedures, it makes their life far more enjoyable since this is a breed that requires frequent grooming. Getting a puppy adjusted to having their nails, feet, and ears trimmed/shaved is vital, as is creating positive experiences with the bathtub, blow dryer, electric razor, nail clippers/dremel, ear cleanings, etc. Teaching your puppy to accept having their teeth brushed is also very important—in America, about 80% of dogs show signs of periodontal disease by the time they reach three years of age. Regular tooth brushing is the absolute best way to prevent this from happening to your dog. There are other ways to supplement tooth brushing, such as dental chews and food additives like Plaque Off. See our link to the VOHC’s (Veterinary Oral Health Council) website to find a list of items that have been shown in clinical trials to help prevent plaque and tarter build up. Trimming your puppy’s nails on a regular basis is very important. Your dog’s nails should be short enough that they don’t touch the ground. Twice a month, trim or dremel your dog’s nails. It is important to keep nails short because long toenails may impede your dog’s natural movement which can lead to splayed paws, tendon injuries, and even arthritis among other things.