How often can you bathe a Golden Retriever?

bathe a golden Retriever

You got a Golden Retriever because he’s a great family dog who loves kids. But you have studied the other characteristics of the breed and are now surprised how much he loves puddles, mud holes or even cow dung, and you are faced with the question of how often you can bathe a Golden Retriever.

You can bathe a Golden Retriever, if you do not use shampoo, as often as necessary. He should be bathed as little as possible with a dog shampoo. Every 3 months is a good value here. The Goldie is protected by a dirt and wetness repelling layer of grease, which is attacked by the use of shampoo.

Does a Golden Retriever need to be bathed?

No, a Golden Retriever does not usually need to be bathed. They have a protective layer of grease on their skin and coat that repels dirt and moisture.

If your Golden Retriever is just dirty, you can usually just brush the coat out when it is dry.

However, if the coat is wet, you will need to dry it off or let it dry before you can brush it out properly.

How often should you bathe a Golden Retriever?

You should bathe your Golden Retriever with dog shampoo as little as possible. You should bathe him with shampoo only in exceptional cases

Bacteria from cow manure or dead animals on the skin is certainly worse than one too many dog baths.

If it is possible, you should make sure that you do not bathe or wash your Golden Retriever with shampoo more often than every 2 better 3 months to preserve the natural greasy layer on the skin and coat.

A dog, no matter what breed, should definitely not be washed with dog shampoo every week!!!

When does a golden retriever need to be bathed?

When you take your Golden Retriever for a walk in the fall or let him run in a meadow, you may find out that your dog is always the dirtiest of them all. It’s like children. Some, no matter what they do, are always dirty.

The golden retriever loves water. But also any mud hole provides a welcome opportunity to jump in or run through.

So there are often situations with the Goldie where normal brushing out is not enough.

If there is no possibility to swim in a lake or river and wash off all the dirt, your Golden Retriever has to be bathed as well.

However, if possible, you should avoid using dog shampoo to make the coat beautiful.

Dogs are sometimes extremely nasty and roll in a cow dung or an animal carcass.

If this is the case, you also have to bathe and shower a Golden Retriever, with a gentle dog shampoo, because it simply stinks unbelievably.

But also because cow dung or dead animals are not only about stench but also about bacteria and other pathogens that get stuck in the fur and on the skin.

how often can you bathe a golden retriever

Golden Retriever bathe because he stinks?

Many dog owners give as a reason that they often have to bathe him because their golden retriever stinks. After all, the fur is a little longer, etc.

The problem is that your dog usually does not stink because his fur is dirty or wet. The main reason often lies in the diet. There are many reasons why a Golden Retriever smells.

Dogs have their own smell, that’s clear.

But if you give him a cheap food that, simply put, contains a lot of stuff that has no place in a good dog food, chances are your dog will have a strong smell of his own, or rather, he will stink.

We had this problem especially with our Cane Corso . When we got her from the breeder she had a strong inherent smell.

We immediately changed the food, because we were not overjoyed by the food we got anyway.

After a short time the smell was gone. Even today with 1.5 years she smells almost not at all. Even if you press your nose deep into the fur, you smell nothing.

Of course it’s a little more intense when she’s wet, but not unpleasant at all.

The main reason dogs stink is not so much that they are dirty or wet, but that they are either fed a bad food or for some reason can’t tolerate what might even be a good food.

Bathe Golden Retriever Puppies

You have to be careful with a Golden Retriever puppy. The protective layer of fat is not yet fully formed and is sensitive.

Until your Goldie puppy is 3 months old, bathing with dog shampoo is not recommended.

In absolute exceptional cases only with dog shampoo

Now you know that you should bathe or wash your Golden Retriever with dog shampoo in exceptional cases to protect the skin and coat and not to attack its natural grooming properties.

But if only water is not enough, you need a special dog shampoo. In no case should you use your shampoo or shower gel.

Dog skin has a different PH value than humans. For dogs it is about 7.5, for us it is 5.5.

If you use shampoos for humans on your dog, the natural skin flora can be destroyed. It dries, the dog skin quickly.

Baby shampoo is also not recommended – even if it is extra gentle. Dogs are not babies and also the PH value differs.

Recommendation dog shampoo

As a dog shampoo, it is advisable to use an organic shampoo without fragrance.

How to bathe a golden retriever at home

Now the day has come and your Goldie needs to get in the tub to wash off the remains of the dead squirrel. Here are a few points to watch out for:

Get your Dog used to the bathroom

Even as a puppy, you should take your Goldie to the bathroom to get him used to the room as such. If he does not get to know the room until the day he is to be bathed for the first time, the unfamiliar surroundings and situation could make him anxious.

Anti-slip mat

Use an anti-slip mat so your Golden Retriever can’t slip or hurt himself

The right temperature

The water should not be too warm. Lukewarm, so it might be a little too cold for you, is perfect.

Use a collar

Hold your dog by the collar for safety or do it in pairs. In this way, prevent your Goldie from wanting to jump out of the tub and injuring himself.

Conclusion: How often can a Golden Retriever take a bath?

You should bathe your Golden Retriever with dog shampoo as rarely as possible, so as not to attack the natural protection of skin and hair. If it is absolutely necessary, bathe him with a special dog shampoo without fragrances. Try not to do this more often than every 2 to 3 months.

© Anna Auerbach – stock.adobe (Contributing image)


I am Marco and I have the pleasure of living with 3 large Mastiff-type dog breeds. I would like to share my dog-related experiences on this blog

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