How To Check Your Golden Retriever's Vital Signs At Home


In 2023, The Golden retriever is the third most popular dog breed in the United States and the fourth most popular in the world. They fall under the category of medium-sized dogs, weighing between 25 to 35 Kg and measuring from 50 to 60 cm in height.

A Golden Retriever Lying on Grass with his tongue out

As one of the best pet dogs in the world, Golden retrievers are reliable, friendly, trustworthy, and quite intelligent. They love to play with children and like working for their owners. You can see them guiding their blind or disabled persons in the streets. If you are an owner of a Golden Retriever, you can safely say that your dog holds a special place in your heart.

Caring For Your Golden Retriever Dog

Golden retrievers are the best family companion dogs classified as moderate shedders for most of the year. However, they have a shedding season during which they shed much more. Therefore, brushing and grooming your Golden to get rid of dead hair regularly is important to keep its coat clean and healthy. It is recommended that you bathe your Golden retriever once every four or six weeks.

Bathing your Golden retriever dog too often could inflict major harm on its double coat. You also have to shampoo your Golden and it needs a shampoo that can penetrate to the skin. These recommended shampoos for bernedoodles can also be used on Golden retrievers.

Your adult Golden retriever needs nail trimming once every three weeks. Or, you may keep a close watch on the growth of its nails and trim them using a Dog Nail Clipper whenever you see that they are growing too long. Brushing your Golden retriever's teeth is also recommended at least twice a week. Goldens' ears are prone to the growth of bacteria. So, regularly checking your Golden retriever's ears is recommended.

Furthermore, healthy adult Golden retrievers need a minimum of 120 minutes of good exercise every day while Golden retriever puppies need anywhere from 15-25 minutes of exercise per day. Also, feeding your Golden retriever properly is important.

It is recommended that you feed your Goldie two times per day (two cups of dry food and 1/2 cup of wet food). According to the American Kennel Club, it is important that you watch your Goldie's calorie consumption and weight level, as some Golden retrievers can become overweight. Dog treat dispenser toys help promote slow feeding and healthy digestion in dogs. Notwithstanding all that care, your Golden retriever may sometimes get unwell.

How Do You Know If Your Golden Retriever Is Unwell?

Although Golden retrievers are generally healthy dogs, owners need to pay attention to their body language. This is because your precious Goldie cannot explain its health condition to you. However, certain signs and symptoms will tell you about its health condition. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your dog, you need to know that something is wrong.

  • Sluggish behavior
  • Reduced level of energy
  • Repeated urination
  • Increased intake of water
  • Stiffness in its movements
  • Bad odor coming from its ears or skin
  • Redness or cloudiness of eyes
  • Changed eating habits
  • Digestive system disorder
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Sleeping more than normal
As recommended by The Golden Retriever Club of America, Golden owners should have their dogs undergo screening tests to determine their health status regarding the potentially inherited conditions, including neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), heart disease, hip dysplasia, inherited eye disease, and elbow dysplasia.

Checking Your Golden Retriever’s Vital Signs at Home?

As a dog owner, you will agree with me that owning a dog is more of a responsibility and less of a privilege. If any of the above symptoms appear in your Golden retriever, it means he or she is sick and you need to consult your veterinary doctor for treatment, as working with your dog’s vet is the best way to keep your canine healthy.

However, as a Golden Retriever owner, it’s helpful to be familiar with and periodically check your canine’s vital signs to see if your pet is in distress. Checking and recording your dog's three main vital signs, which include the breathing rate, body temperature, and heart rate, will give you some numbers as a baseline of what is “normal” for your canine.

Heart Rate

A normal dog's heartbeat ranges between 60 to 150 per minute, depending on the size and age of the dog. Smaller dogs' hearts beat faster than large and medium ones. You can count your Golden Retriever's heartbeats by placing your hand over the left side of the dog's chest just behind the elbow.

To determine your Golden Retriever's heart rate, put your hand on its chest, count the number of pulses you feel in fifteen seconds, and then multiply it by four to get the number of beats per minute. When your Goldie's heart rate is below 50 per minute and it is accompanied by clinical signs, it can be evidence of a health condition.

Respiratory Rate 

Next, you want to take your Golden retriever's respiratory or breathing rate when he or she is resting or sleeping. Normally, Golden retrievers breathe around 20 to 30 times per minute. You can count the number of your dog's breaths per minute by just watching the movement of his chest or by resting your hand on his ribs.

Otherwise, you can count the number of times the chest expands for 10 seconds and then multiply it by 6 to calculate your dog's breaths per minute. Your Golden retriever is not well if its breaths per minute are less than 20 or higher than 30. A higher respiratory rate in dogs is an indication of fever or pain.

Body Temperature

The normal body temperature of a healthy Golden Retriever remains between 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. To measure the temperature of your dog, you can use a thermometer. Place the thermometer in his rectum for the specified time and you will get the exact temperature. A higher temperature, say, 107 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit requires immediate veterinary intervention.


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