In 2019 the American Kennel Club has ranked the Golden Retriever as the 3rd most popular dog in America, which makes him a bit of a big deal! Not only is he friendly with our children and our elders and a fantastic canine balance of energy and gentleness, but he also has one of the most gorgeous canine coats to boot. In return for being one of our greatest four-legged friends, as owners we should return the favor and help him feel and look his best, and this is where this guide comes in.
So, you don’t know where to start or what shampoo to pick, right? Well here at LoveYourDog we have taken the stress out of your hands, and not only have we scaled the market to come up with the very best shampoos for your Golden Retriever, we will also explain exactly why we have chosen them.
We’ve made sure that we have a shampoo for every Golden Retriever too because, just like us humans, they all have their own individual needs when it comes to their skin and coat. Whether that be dry or flaky skin, young or aging, stinky or healthy, and whether you are on a budget or you have some cash to splash, we have something for every owner too.
At A Glance: Our Favorite Shampoos for Golden Retrievers
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Things To Consider
Before you buy just any old shampoo, it is crucial to understand what your Golden Retriever needs. Is he a show dog? You might want to consider a brilliant shine shampoo with conditioner. Does he like to get down and dirty in the local lake or roll around in the mud? You should think about a thick and concentrated formula that if going to give him a thorough cleanse. Sensitive skin? Consider a shampoo that caters to pups with allergies. Let’s look at the most important factors to consider for your Golden’s coat.
Firstly, if your Golden Retriever is a puppy you will need to invest in a shampoo that is specifically designed with puppies in mind. Not only is a puppy’s skin much more delicate than an adult’s, but puppies also have more sensitive eyes. For this reason, it is important to find a gentle shampoo otherwise it will likely cause him skin and eye irritation, as well as also making the bathing process quite stressful and unenjoyable. So, a puppy formula that specifically states that it is tear-free is your best bet here.
Golden Retrievers are known to suffer with skin conditions, particularly Atopic Dermatitis. Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic and inflammatory disease that is triggered by allergens, which can be grass, mites, and chemicals to name just a few. If this is something that you think your Golden Retriever is suffering from, then firstly and most importantly, get him down to your Veterinarian for further investigation. With that being said, if he passes a vet check-up, you’ll likely need to look for a shampoo that contains oatmeal, or one that’s specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
The Golden Retriever is well known for his gorgeous goldilocks, so it is important to maintain his golden shine to keep him feeling and looking healthy. Natural ingredients that help to lock in shine include honey, shea butter, and almond oil. Of course, a shiny and bright coat is achieved by a great overall grooming regime, but conditioning and nourishing shampoo is a great place to start.
Shampoos that also claim to deodorize your pooch are also great at penetrating deep into his double coat and eliminating the cause of his odor, so if you find that he frequently smells funky after his dirty adventurous walks then this is a great label to look out for. If you find that your Golden Retriever finds himself in a few of these categories then have no fear, many high-quality shampoos combine their efforts to tackle many of the above factors at the same time, and most of our top picks do exactly that.
Ingredients To Avoid
Whilst it is important to know what ingredients work well in a shampoo, it is also important to know what ingredients to avoid, and this is particularly important if your Golden Retriever has sensitive skin. Here is a list of ingredients that you should stick clear of, and you will not find any of these ingredients in our recommendations.
This emulsifying agent has been used for generations in cosmetics, for both humans and pets, as it creates foam and is said to clean well. It is formed by mixing the fatty acids of coconut with an unnatural and harsh chemical. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has found that this chemical has been linked to cancer, so it goes without saying that it is best to avoid it at all costs.
Artificial Fragrances And Colors
While many owners prefer fragranced shampoos as it covers the wet dog smell, not only do artificial fragrances tend to fade away after a few hours but they are are also often made with harsh chemicals that irritate skin. Instead, stick to natural smells and essential oils. Artificial colors have also been linked to skin irritation.
Not only does this ingredient significantly dry out skin, but it can be toxic for dogs in large amounts too. It can be rough on their skin and cause skin issues which including irritation. It can also dry out of your pup’s skin, which is what you don’t want.
This ingredient has also been used in shampoos for a long time because it effectively removes the unwanted dirt and grease from your pooch’s coat, but it is a super harsh chemical that also strips his natural oils which damages his skin.
If you are uncertain of anything, or you are wondering if the shampoo is safe to use, then be sure to ask your veterinarian who will be more than happy to advise you. You can be sure that the following recommendations are safe and that the labeling is fully correct and trustworthy.
Our Favorite Golden Retriever Shampoos
After considering all of the above factors, and the ingredients to look out for and to avoid, we have found our favorite shampoos perfect for your Golden Retriever. Some target a certain skin type or age group, and some combine a few of the above factors, but either way, there is something here for every owner and every dog. We will also talk you through the key ingredients and why these shampoos have made it onto our list.
Not only are these products our favorite, but they are also all highly rated by Veterinarians, dog groomers, and other dog owners alike, so you can rest assured that all of the products are tried and tested and work incredibly well. So, stick to one of the following products, and neither you nor your golden pooch will be disappointed.
Rocco & Roxie Shine
- Repairs damaged coats.
- Made with natural ingredients.
- No dyes or drying alcohols.
- Formula is easy to rinse.
- Great for dry skin.
- Works to repair hair follicles & restore shine.
- Made with Argan Oil, Geranium, & Chamomile.
Rocco & Roxie have 3 premium shampoos in their range, and this shampoo offers the best shine and deep conditioning of them all thanks to their naturally selected intense argan oils which restores natural coat luster, chamomile which softens and soothes skin, and geranium extract which strengthens hair follicles. It is full of Vitamin A which contains antioxidants to keep his skin healthy and strong, as well as peppermint oil which naturally compliments his own skin oils. This shampoo smells mildly of honey, and it is a coconut-based cleanser to rid his coat of all the grime and dirt and it is super concentrated which will make it go much further than other shampoos.
You will not find any alcohol, parabens, or sulphates in this shampoo, nor any colors or dyes. Because of its intense moisturization, many reviewers commented that it soothed and alleviated their pet’s sensitive skin. Rocco and Roxie believe in their product so much that they too offer a 100% money-back guarantee if it doesn’t restore your pooches coat back to his pettable puppy days.
We love that this spa-worthy conditioning shampoo is the best option for those show Golden Retrievers who need an irresistibly soft and glossy coat to win those medals.
FURminator Ultra Premium Deshedding
- Helps reduce excess shedding.
- Strengthens and nourishes skin and coat.
- Removes the wet dog smell.
- No parabens or chemical dyes.
- Offers a complete system for deShedding, cleansing, and conditioning.
This shampoo, which is one of many in the Furminator range, promises to control excess shedding through promoting healthy skin and coat, and this shampoo does exactly that. It is enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E which all help to soothe his skin, as well as natural flower oils, aloe vera and chamomile. Cranberry and blueberry can also be found in the ingredients list, which provide a natural and lovely scent for those pooches who are known to get a bit smelly.
This product is made in the USA and it is dye and paraben-free, with no other added nasties. The only issue that we can see with this product is that you may have to use more of it compared to the other shampoos on this list to get a thorough clean, but not only can this easily be solved by purchasing the larger bottles, if it controls a Golden Retriever’s excess shedding it’s a winner in our books! It’s also one of our favorite shampoos for heavy shedders, no matter the breed. This product should be used with the best-selling Furminator deshedding tool.
We love that this shampoo controls excess shedding by promoting healthy skin and coat, which is also great for any Golden Retriever owner and their home.
PET CARE Sciences 5 in 1
- Highest quality professional grade formula dog shampoo and conditioner in one.
- Leaves your dog smelling great.
- Made from coconut oil.
- No Sulfate, Parabens, Phosphate, MEA, or DEA.
- 100% Satisfaction guarantee.
This shampoo goes the extra mile compared to other 2 in 1 shampoos as it boasts an impressive 5 in 1! This shampoo cleans, conditions, deodorizes, moisturizes and detangles. It is gentle enough for most dogs, even those with sensitive skin, and it is advertised as a professional-strength formula, so it thoroughly cleanses him and penetrates deep down into his double coat to eliminate that doggy odor. It is both a shampoo and conditioner so it will leave your Golden Retriever feeling soft and silky too. It also boasts a tropical coconut scent which many reviewers loved.
It is made from naturally derived ingredients such as oatmeal and coconut oil, so it is full of good natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals or fillers. It contains no sulphates, cocamide DEA, phosphates or parabens, and it is made in the USA, which is always a bonus. If you, or your Golden Retriever, aren’t satisfied with this product then the manufacturer offers a 100% money back guarantee.
We love that this shampoo offers everything and is the best all-rounder for any Golden Retriever.
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe
- Colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera help combat skin irritation, promote healing, and re-moisturize sensitive, dry skin.
- Soap-free and pH-balanced to clean and deodorize safely and thoroughly.
- Contains no soap, gluten, DEA, parabens, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or phthalates, and is animal cruelty-free.
- Money-back guarantee.
This puppy formula is perfect for all Golden Retriever puppies, or even older or wriggly ones who hate bath time, simply because it is gentle enough not to overly irritate his eyes. This shampoo is true to the company name, and it is made with honey and beeswax, with the main ingredients being gentle buttermilk and linseed oil which soothes and softens both his skin and fur. Not only does it provide a thorough clean, but it leaves his coat feeling soft and silky thanks to the added conditioner.
This mild shampoo is pH balanced so that it will not interfere with his skin or natural oils and it is Veterinarian recommended. It is free from fragrances, sulphates and harsh chemicals and it will not wash off topical tick or flea treatments. This shampoo is also animal cruelty free, which is important for us animal lovers! This shampoo is effective, natural and safe, so your golden puppy is in good hands with Burt’s Bees.
We love that this naturally gentle shampoo is tear-free which is perfect for puppies sensitive eyes, and it will not discourage them from jumping into the tub at bath time.
Burt’s Bees Tearless
- Tearless formula.
- Cruelty-free formula.
- pH balanced for a puppy’s skin.
- Honey helps retain moisture.
- Will not wash off topical tick meds.
- Helps avoid over-drying.
Earthbath offer a wide range of shampoos for all dogs, and this is one of their most popular formulas. This formula is specifically made with sensitive and itchy skin in mind as it is made from coconut-based cleaners, oatmeal and aloe vera, which will cleanse your Golden Retriever’s skin effectively whilst soothing itchy and dry skin. This shampoo is made with 100% natural ingredients, and it is biodegradable too, so not only is it great for your pooch, but it is also great for the environment, as well as being cruelty free.
This shampoo is slightly scented with natural almond and vanilla fragrances, and reviewers comment that this was one of the best smelling shampoos they had found whilst being the gentlest too. It is soap free, pH balanced for his sensitive skin and it deodorizes thoroughly. It is paraben, DEA and sulphate free and it is made in the USA, and Earthbath also offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their product.
We love that this all-natural shampoo is one of the best shampoos suited to a low budget, that still offers a gentle yet deep clean.
Vet's Best Allergy Itch Relief
- Soothing, natural remedy for dogs with itchy skin due to allergies or sensitivity.
- Washes away allergens, relieves itchy skin, and leaves your dog smelling spa-day fresh.
- A veterinarian-formulated blend of essential oils and key natural ingredients.
- May be used as often as necessary to remove allergens without drying out your dog’s skin.
- Will not affect topical flea and tick control products.
If your Golden Retriever suffers from Atopic Dermatitis or any other skin allergy, then this is a great shampoo to use in conjunction with any medication or treatment that your Veterinarian has suggested. This Veterinary blend is made with a soothing combination of oatmeal, tea tree oil, neem oil, aloe vera, and chamomile. It acts against flea bites, pollen, and other seasonal allergies and irritants. With natural citrus and lavender oils, he will also smell clean and fresh, unlike similar medicated shampoos that can smell chemically overpowering.
It aims to provide fast relief against itchiness by soothing skin, whilst also cleaning your pooches coat to make him look and smell fresh. It can be used as often as possible as it does not dry or alter his natural coat oils, however, the instructions state that it is not to be used more than once in a 24-hour period. It works with other treatments, and it does not interfere with any flea or tick treatments either.
We love that this shampoo is the best option for those who have really sensitive skin or those who suffer from allergies, and who need a bit of extra help to manage dry spots and dermatitis flare-ups.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I wash my Golden Retriever?
On average, a Golden Retriever should be washed every 4 weeks to keep his coat looking healthy and clean. All Golden Retrievers shed, and washing will help manage that. Because his coat is long, and he enjoys plenty of mucky and wet adventures, he needs to be washed more often than the average dog which is 6 to 8 weeks. If you have a golden puppy, then our advice is to wash him in the sink because it will make things a lot easier for you as he will be extra wriggly and excited.
My Golden Retriever still smells even after washing him, what shall I do?
You should try washing him again, as sometimes it takes a few thorough cleanses to get rid of the doggy odor. If this doesn’t work then remember to dry him thoroughly too, otherwise he will often carry that damp dog smell which can also lead to skin irritation. If he is still not smelling pleasant then try changing the shampoo you are using to a deodorizing one such as the 5-in-1 shampoo or the Earthbath, as these both claim to deodorize him thoroughly. If this still does not work, then a trip to the Veterinarian is in order as there may be an underlying issue that needs to be investigated.
Bath Time Tips
Treats and Praise
Teaching a Golden Retriever puppy that bath time is not a bad thing is all about making it a positive experience, and what better way to do this than to give him plenty of treats and praise in the tub? This shouldn’t be an issue because Golden Retrievers tend to love water, but it helps to be on the safe side because if he has an unpleasant experience it is going to be extremely difficult to persuade him to get in the tub again.
Golden Retrievers grow into big pooches with a lot of long flowing hair, so be sure to have several towels to hand during bath time. His long locks will hold onto a lot of water so when he shakes himself off he will undoubtedly shower you in return. Also, just to be on the safe side, be sure to put a towel on the floor to stop him from slipping as he gets out of the tub.
In order to complete his grooming routine and achieve his glowing locks, there is a lot more to the perfect coat than his shampoo, so you need to take care of his coat and invest time into his grooming routine. You’ll want to invest in a good brush and a de-shedding tool for the winter. Daily grooming will not only keep his coat manageable and dander free, but it will also save your furniture from being covered in that golden canine sheen.
The Golden Retriever is one of the nation’s favorite pooches for many reasons, so it is only fair that we treat him with a monthly spa day. His gorgeous golden locks require a lot of daily grooming, and the right shampoo can make his outfit.
We have listed our favorite shampoos that are perfect for Golden Retrievers, and there is something to be found on this list for every owner and every golden. Not only are they our favorites, but they have also been tried and tested across the world and they are all highly rated, so you can be sure that these are the best for your golden boy.