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Golden Retrievers have a beautiful double coat that requires regular grooming to make it soft and shiny.
One of the questions that might be running through your mind as a Golden parent is ‘how often should you bathe a Golden Retriever’.
Is it okay to wash them once a week, biweekly, or just give them a warm shower every month? Keep reading this post to discover how frequently you need to take your Goldie to the bathtub.
Whether you’re a prospective Golden Retriever Owner or you have had this breed for years, this guide will be a good kickstart for your dog’s grooming journey.
How Often Should You Bathe a Golden Retriever?
The frequency of bathing your Golden Retriever will depend on several factors.
Occasional bathing is beneficial for your Golden Retriever because it restores their coat’s appearance, prevents bad odor from building up, and prevents certain dog skin conditions. It is also good if you suffer from allergies.
If your active Golden runs into the dirt frequently, or during the high shedding season, you will need to bathe them more often than average.
On the other hand, if your Goldie is elderly and has sensitive skin, you can tone down the regularity of their baths to around once every 2 months.
How Often Should You Bathe a Golden Retriever Puppy?
You need to be particularly careful when washing a Golden Retriever puppy because their skin and coats are still growing.
On average, you can bathe your Golden Retriever puppy once after every 6 to 8 weeks depending on how often they get into messy situations.
Golden Retriever puppies are fun-loving and playful by nature. It’s not uncommon to find them rolling in mud and running into the kitchen bin every so often.
In such cases, you can rinse the puppy’s coat with dog grooming wipes to remove the visible dirt instead of giving them a full body shower.
How Often Should You Bathe a Golden Retriever Adult?
Adult Golden Retrievers (12 months or older) can be bathed once every 4 to 6 weeks, or as needed. Washing them too frequently may cause more danger than good.
If you have a senior Golden who lives a sedentary lifestyle, then you may take them to the shower on a bimonthly basis.
This will also depend on the season of the year. There is no harm in bathing your dog once every two weeks during the summertime. This is to wash out the sweat and cool their bodies.
But during the winter, you may stay up to 8 weeks before washing your Golden Retriever thoroughly in the bathtub.
The other factors that may affect your dog’s bathing frequency include the following:
- Amount of time spent outdoors
- Health condition
- Urban vs countryside setting
- Weather season
- Playful nature
When Can I Start Bathing My Golden Retriever?
You can start bathing your Golden Retriever puppy once they reach their 8th week.
Unlike their parents, younger puppies cannot regulate their body temperature hence they can get too chilled or too hot when given a body wash.
The burden of cleaning a juvenile puppy of between 0 – 7 weeks lies with their nursing mothers and elderly siblings. Their first shower should be done with extreme care and tenderness.
Make sure to use puppy-specific grooming products such as shampoo and a soft sponge when bathing your young Golden.
How Do I Know When My Golden Retriever Needs a Bath?
Even before looking at your dog’s bathing schedule, certain factors will invite you to rush them to the shower, including:
1. Strong doggy smell
Golden Retrievers, and indeed all dogs, have a natural & healthy ‘doggy odor’. But if your Golden produces a strong smell that irritates you, then it is time to get them to the bathtub.
This unpleasant smell can be caused by secondary yeast and pathogenic infections on the skin, therefore making the bath a lifesaver.
2. Visible dirt and debris
If your mucky Goldie has accumulated dirt, visible stains, and debris on their coat, then this should be the right time to get them to shower.
Some dirt may be cleared by using a doggie brush but others are engrained in the undercoat and need a much deeper cleaning.
3. Greasy coat
If your dog’s skin and coat feel greasy and oily when you touch them, then this is a sign that they need a bath. The coat can become greasy when the dog’s natural oils have accumulated on the skin and hardened.
Dogs do not groom themselves as frequently as cats do. When you notice your Golden Retriever licking their paws, scratching, or biting some part of their skin constantly, this could be a sign of skin irritation.
The dog could have been attacked by a pest or itched by the mucky dirt on the skin, and you should help out by bathing them.
What Is the Best Way to Bathe a Golden Retriever?
Before bathing your Golden Retriever, we recommend that you create a bathing schedule that will guide you through the year.
This will provide you with rough guidelines on how and when you need to take your Goldie to the shower.
Sometimes you may bathe your mucky pup outside their grooming timetable, especially when they roll in the dirt during outdoor adventures.
The other thing you need to consider is getting the right bathing supplies for your Golden Retriever. These items will make it much easier and more effective to clean your dog. They include:
- Lukewarm water
- Brush or comb
- Bathtub/ Dog tub
- Dog shampoo
- Non-slip mat
- Clean towel
Make sure your dog is in a relaxed position before taking them to the bathtub.
How Do You Bathe a Golden Retriever?
Bathing a Golden Retriever should be a straightforward activity especially because these dogs have an inherent love for the water.
Your main task would be to make sure that the dog feels comfortable and safe during the entire process for the best results.
The following is a typical procedure you can try out:
1. Brushing the dog
Start by stroking your Golden with the right brushes for de-matting and removing any tangles.
This helps to prevent the hardening of the existing mats and the formation of new ones during the bath.
Brushing will also help to remove solid dirt and debris that may have been lodged in your dog’s coat after an outing.
2. Wet your dog
While your Goldie is standing in the bathtub, you can moisten their coats using lukewarm water to soak up the fur and moisten the skin.
You should be careful not to allow water to get into the dog’s sensitive parts such as the eyes and ears since this may irritate them.
3. Apply dog shampoo and scrub
Once your dog’s body is wet all over, you can apply some dog shampoo on their fur and gently scrub it down their coat using a soft sponge.
You should be careful to cover all the parts and especially those that tend to get dirty such as the paws and belly.
Be cautious not to apply the shampoo on your dog’s face since you may risk getting it in the dog’s eyes – which is dangerous.
We recommend using dog shampoo that has been formulated specifically for double-coated dogs.
If your Golden Retriever has dry and sensitive skin, you can look for a natural dog shampoo that is free from dyes and fragrances since they may irritate the skin further.
Avoid using human shampoo on your dog’s skin since they have too much acidity that can disrupt the dog’s acid mantle. This will expose your lovely pup to attack by parasites and pathogens.
4. Rinse thoroughly
After rubbing the shampoo all over your dog’s body, you can now proceed to rinse with lukewarm water. Make sure to wash down all the shampoo because any residue will irritate your dog’s skin.
For better results, we recommend using a handheld showerhead to wash down your pup starting from the neck and working downward the entire body.
You can wipe down your dog’s face using a wet towel while paying close attention to the eyes and mouth.
5. Dry with a clean towel
Once your clean Golden is properly rinsed out, you can get them from the tub and use a clean towel to dry their whole body.
You should pay more attention to the paws, and ears since these parts tend to hold back some droplets of water.
We do not recommend using a heated blower to dry your pup since it can be noisy for your dog and the high temperature may irritate the skin.
6. Brush once again
Finally, you can use a slicker brush to brush your dog’s coat to align the fur and remove any fallen hair from the coat.
This will also help to distribute natural oils on your dog’s clean skin and coat to get them started on a clean cycle.
When to visit a professional groomer
If you are not in a position to bathe your Golden Retriever, then you can take them to a professional pet groomer when they need to be washed.
Don’t let your Goldie get tied up in too much dirt and grease just because you don’t have the grooming supplies.
A specialized dog groomer has all the tools, supplies, and expertise needed to give your Goldie a sparkling shower every once in a while.
You can also visit a dog groomer if you have washed your Goldie but they still have a strong doggy smell.
The groomer will examine your pup and determine if they need specialized attention from a qualified vet after they run them through another shower.
6 Golden Retriever bathing tips to keep in mind
- Speak to your dog using a calm tone to keep them relaxed during the bath. You can use positive reinforcement training to get them used to the showerhead water.
- Place a non-slip mat on the bathtub’s floor to prevent sliding during the process
- Always use lukewarm water when washing your Golden Retriever to prevent them from getting too chilled or too heated.
- Be sure to test the water temperature with your bare hands before moistening your dog’s body.
- Find the best dog shampoo for Goldens that will be tough on dirt while being easy on their skin and coat.
- Don’t let water get into your dog’s ears since this may lead to irritation and ear infections.
If you master the bathing procedure, then sponging down your pup can be an enjoyable and memorable moment.
It also presents the opportunity to bond with your furry friend and assess their body for physical injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it okay to bathe a Golden Retriever once a week?
It is not necessary to bathe a Golden Retriever every week unless the washing has been recommended by a vet for medical reasons.
Weekly washes can strip off your dog’s natural oils from the skin hence leading to dryness and irritation.
2. How do you dry a Golden Retriever after a bath?
You can use a highly absorbent clean towel to rub down your Golden Retriever after rinsing them in detail. You just need to parch them softly throughout the body to soak up the moisture.
Vigorous rubbing can cause the fur to intertwine and tangle up which could disrupt the continuous coat.
If your dog is not frightened by loud noise, you can use a blower to dry their skin & fur after a bath.
Make sure to use minimum heat and hold the machine at least one foot away from the dog to prevent irritation.
3. Should I brush a Golden Retriever after a bath?
You can brush your Goldie after washing them to align their coat and to remove any mats and tangles that may have been formed during drying.
4. What is the best shampoo for a Golden Retriever?
The best shampoo for Golden Retrievers should be one that is formulated with natural ingredients designed to be gentle on their skin and fur.
Shampoos that contain harsh chemicals may affect your Goldie’s skin leading to hair breakage and skin irritations.
Conclusion – How Often Should You Bathe a Golden Retriever?
Several factors can determine the frequency of washing your Golden Retriever, but on average, they should be bathed once every 4 to 6 weeks.
You should find the perfect balance between too frequent baths and few baths. Always be ready to wash your mucky dog when needed to remove dirt, stains, and debris from their body.
Scout around for the best bathing supplies for Golden Retrievers including; an all-natural pet shampoo, conditioner, and a clean towel to make the process relaxing for your canine friend.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a pet expert with more than 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.
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