Why Is My Golden Retrievers Face Turning White? Causes And Solutions

As the years go by, your once full-of-life companion will lose a bit of cheerfulness. Your companion will be less spontaneous and willing to tag along on your adventures. Your companion’s appearance will even become frail. You may notice that your Golden Retriever’s face is turning white, but why?

Well, here’s your answer!

Why Is My Golden Retrievers Face Turning White?

Your Golden Retriever’s face is turning white because they are undergoing the aging process. Your Golden Retriever’s face begins to whiten because of age, between the ages of six or seven years old. Age is the primary and most common reason for the whitening of your Golden Retrievers face, but there are other possibilities. These possibilities include stress, a skin condition such as vitiligo, and general health.

golden retriever white around eyes

There are more possible reasons besides the age factor; let’s dive into all the causes which can lead your Golden’s face with white markings.

What Are The Possible Reasons For Your Golden Retriever’s Face Turning White?

You need to fully understand the various reasons why your Golden Retriever’s face could be turning white! Understanding the different possibilities and assessing your Golden Retriever will enable you to detect any possible threat to your Golden Retriever’s health and spare your dog further suffering. 


By far, age is the most common reason to explain why your Golden Retriever’s face is turning white. This aging process is similar to that of humans, but dogs age much faster than humans, as you may already know. As Golden Retriever’s age, their hair follicles produce less color. As your Golden Retriever sheds fur and their fur regenerates, they grow as gray fur.

The fur that your dog does not shed also turns white. Like human hair, dog fur is composed of keratin. Over the years, the production of melanin in the skin is drastically reduced. This reduction in melanin production results in your Golden Retriever’s face turning white.

Usually, your Golden’s entire fur coat does not turn white. The whitening typically occurs around the dog’s face. The texture of the fur also changes and becomes coarser. 

Suggested Best Dog Brush For Golden Retrievers


You may be asking yourself, “Why is my Golden Retriever’s face turning white when he is still quite young?” This is because of your Golden Retriever’s genetics. Besides the fact that larger dogs tend to age faster than smaller dogs and ultimately undergo the aging process before smaller dogs, your Golden Retriever’s specific genetics can cause them to lose melanin in their fur earlier than expected.

You can even refer to your Golden Retriever’s Growth Chart Timeline to know the average weight and height development.

Do you know that friend who had a few strands of gray hair in grade school? Dogs undergo something similar. Like other breeds, Golden Retrievers are known for developing gray hair even before the typical graying age. 


golden retriever sleeping

Stress is a potential cause of the whitening of your Golden Retrievers fur. While the exact science behind it has yet to be uncovered and disclosed, it is believed that stress prevents the body from functioning as it usually did. One of the processes prevented by stress is the body’s production of hair pigments.

You have probably heard the saying, ‘Stress will make you look older,’ or even, ‘Stress will give you gray hair.’ These sayings are not among the old wives’ tales that people so casually toss about. 

The symptoms of stress are:

This is a cause that you cannot self-diagnose. Your veterinarian can diagnose stress as the reason behind your Golden Retriever’s face whitening. 

Health Issues

There are a few health-related reasons to explain the premature whitening of your Golden Retriever’s face. One of the more common health issues is Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism causes dogs to have thyroid glands that perform below the standard that they should. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism are skin complications and weight gain.

Hypothyroidism is treated with oral administration of thyroid hormone substitution. This medication must be given to your Golden Retriever for the rest of their life. 

Other conditions that may result in the whitening of your dog’s face are liver and kidney disease. The likelihood of your Golden Retriever’s face whitening because of liver or kidney diseases is improbable. 

Your dog’s fur could turn white as a result of kidney and liver failure because of the toxins that accumulate within your Golden Retriever’s body. These toxins cause the fur on your Golden Retriever’s body to turn white.

Once these conditions have been treated and the removal of toxins resumes, your Golden Retriever’s face will stop turning white. Treatments for kidney and liver failure include fluid therapy, antibiotics, and surgery to remove cysts or cancerous liver sections.


Your Golden Retriever’s face could be turning white because of a skin condition called Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes your Golden Retriever’s skin to lose its pigment. The leading causes of Vitiligo are yet to be specified by scientists. However, it is abundantly clear that Vitiligo occurs when there is a disturbance in the melanin-producing cells in your Golden Retriever’s skin.

The extent to which Vitiligo affects different pets is unpredictable. The same is the cause of how Vitiligo affects other humans. Luckily, Vitiligo only affects your Golden Retriever’s appearance and will not cause them any harm.

Although Vitiligo is relatively rare, breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dachshund, are more likely to experience Vitiligo. Vitiligo is also known for being more common in purebreds due to its hereditary nature.

At What Age Do Golden Retriever’s Face Starts Turning White?

Dogs age faster than humans; it is commonly believed that a human year is equivalent to seven dog years. Although each human year is comparable to several dog years, the exact dog years vary based on your dog’s size.

Specifically for a Golden Retriever, a medium-sized dog, the human year is equivalent to fifteen dog years. Their second year is equal to nine years; from there onwards, each human year is equivalent to five dog years. 

Your Golden Retriever’s face will typically start turning white between the ages of five and seven years old. Golden Retrievers usually have a lifespan of ten to twelve years.

Due To Health Or Premature Graying In Golden Retrievers?

If your Golden Retriever starts going gray before the age of six, then you should monitor their health. You should ensure that your dog has a healthy diet and is eating sufficiently. Observe your dog’s behavior, and if anything seems off, likely, your dog is not well. 

A possible cause of premature graying is malnourishment. The discoloring of your Golden Retriever’s fur could be a side effect of not having enough or the correct nutrients. This often occurs when your Golden Retriever does not consume enough proteins.

If you notice that your dog is shedding more than usual and has had a massive decline in appetite, your Golden Retriever likely has parasites. This is a severe health issue; if these parasites are not treated, they could spread to various parts of your dog’s body.

These parasites are painful to your dog and could lead to death in the worst case. These are some symptoms of parasites:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of weight
  • Inactivity
  • Whitening of fur

 If you suspect that your Golden Retriever has parasites, you should visit your veterinarian as soon as you can. 

What Can I Do To Ensure That My Golden Retriever Lives For As Long As Possible?

golden retriever

Below discussed things can help your Golden Retriever live longer, have a look at these pointers: (The First 2 points are also the solution to your main query)

Healthy Diet

Food that you feed your Golden plays an important part in your Golden’s health, so always choose the right dog food for your Golden.

Ensuring that your dog eats enough of the right foods could make a difference in its life span.

Suggested Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers With Skin Allergies

Suggested Best Weight Loss Dog Food For Golden Retrievers

Try To Minimize Stressors

A happy dog is a healthy dog. This statement is especially true because once your dog is overwhelmed with stress and become depressed, their health plummets. Stress can cause the immune system to weaken and expose your dog to many different diseases.

Stress primarily leads to a reluctance to eat. If your Golden Retriever does not eat enough or get enough nutrients, they will become ill. 

You can reduce your Golden Retriever’s stress by spending time with them and ensuring that they do not feel neglected. 

Removing Your Golden Retriever’s Reproductive Organ (Neutering)

This eliminates the possibility of your female Golden Retriever getting testicle or mammy cancer. However, if you disagree with this practice and want your dog to have puppies, this might not be a solution for you.


Why Is My Golden Retrievers Face Turning Gray?

Your Golden Retriever’s face is turning gray because they’re turning old. They are undergoing the utterly normal process of aging. However, if your Golden Retriever is still young, then it is a case of premature graying. There are different causes of premature graying; these causes include health issues, genetics, stress, and skin conditions.

Can Golden Retriever Have White Markings On Their Face?

Yes, it is common for purebred Golden Retrievers to have white markings on their faces. If it occurred over time, it is likely another manifestation of the aging process. However, if your Golden Retriever’s entire face is white, then it could be a result of some genetic mutation. Unless your Golden shows other symptoms, then this is nothing to worry about. If your Golden Retriever has a few unusual symptoms, it would be wise to contact your veterinarian.

When Do Golden Retrievers Muzzles Starts Turning White?

Your Golden Retriever’s Muzzle will begin to turn white at around the age of five years old. The muzzle is typically the most common area where the aging process starts to show on a dog. 

How Do I Prevent My Golden Retriever From Getting Hypothyroidism?

There is no known way to prevent Hypothyroidism. However, you can regularly take your dog to the veterinarian to ensure hypothyroidism’s early diagnosis and treatment. 

How Do I Prevent My Golden Retriever From Having Liver Or Kidney Disease?

There are no definite means to completely prevent your Golden Retriever from having liver or kidney disease. You should take them to the veterinarian regularly. These regular checkups will allow early diagnosis of the disease, and your veterinarian can start treating the disease before it becomes severe. 


The whitening of your Golden Retriever’s face is a side effect of aging. Your dog may experience premature graying, and you should visit the veterinarian to ensure that your dog is indeed healthy.

Your Golden Retriever will age, and as the circle of life has made abundantly clear, everyone’s time will eventually come. You should not be discouraged by your dog’s aging. Instead, you should ensure that your dog has a happy life.

I hope that now I’ve solved your query for what you had landed on this page, that is “Why Is My Golden Retrievers Face Turning White .” Apart from that, I’ve mentioned all the possible causes that can lead to white markings on your Golden Retriever’s Face with solutions. Below I’ve linked a few informative guides; give it a read; you’ll definitely love them!

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