What Is The Best Shampoo For A Golden Retriever? [My 6 Top Picks]

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Golden Retrievers are known for their long flowing coats. Keeping their coat beautiful takes a bit of work, but it is easy to maintain. Using the right shampoo definitely plays a key role in keeping your Golden’s coat healthy and beautiful, and of course clean and smelling good!

What is the best shampoo for a Golden Retriever? The truth is there is no one shampoo that is best for all Golden Retrievers, just like there isn’t a shampoo that is best for all humans!

Each dog is different! Some Golden Retrievers may suffer from dry skin, while others may be allergic to scented products, and some may need a deep cleaning shampoo to get rid of their stink.

The best shampoo for your Golden will be the one that works for your dog’s skin and coat condition right now. If your dog has dry skin, you need a moisturizing shampoo, not a deep cleaning one.

I have come up with a list of the best all-natural, safe to use, and effective shampoos for your Golden Retriever. Whether your Golden needs a gentle clean, odour control, or a moisturizing shampoo, you’ll be able to find one that works for you.

What Shampoo Should I Use For My Golden Retriever?

Shampoo specifically designed for dogs of course! What about human shampoo? We’ve all thought about it, and yes some of us are even guilty of doing it, I’m talking about using any old human shampoo that we have on hand to shampoo our dog with!

I’m guilty of it too. Yes, I have used human shampoo on my Golden Retriever before, because that is all I had at the moment. Human shampoo may work in a pinch, if that’s all you have on hand, however, it is not recommended!

Your dog’s skin has a different pH level than that of a human. Using human shampoo can strip your dog’s skin of any natural oils, and cause dryness, itchiness and flaking.

You should always use dog shampoo on your Golden Retriever, and more specifically a shampoo that addresses your dog’s needs.

What To Look For When Choosing The Best Shampoo For Your Golden Retriever

We all love it when our Golden Retriever is clean and fresh smelling right? The reality is, I don’t think our dogs feel the same way. They seem to seek out the closest mud puddle, dirt pile, dead animal, and yes even poop to roll in. I think they do it on purpose just to get that clean smell off of themselves!

So, while a heavily perfumed shampoo might be what you like, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is what your dog likes or is even good for him.

The following are things you need to look for when choosing the right shampoo for your Golden Retriever:

  • Natural Ingredients: Look for shampoos that contain natural ingredients that are gentle and beneficial to your dog’s skin and coat. Using natural ingredients will lessen the chance of your dog having an allergic reaction or skin irritation.
  • Hypoallergenic: You may see the term “hypoallergenic” floating around on dog shampoo. Well, hypoallergenic shampoos are designed to be gentle and effective on sensitive skin without causing allergic reactions in your dog. They are made with natural ingredients that soothe and moisturize your dog’s coat and skin to relieve itchiness and irritation.
  • Avoid Artificial Perfumes & Dyes: Heavily scented shampoos are usually made with artificial ingredients and synthetic fragrances. These ingredients not only irritate your dog’s skin, but artificial perfumes and dyes are harmful to your dog. Instead, look for natural fragrances such as lavender, chamomile, and peppermint.
  • Oatmeal & Vitamin E: Oatmeal and Vitamin E are good ingredients to look for if your dog suffers from dry skin or itchy skin. These ingredients will help moisturize and soothe the skin and coat.
  • Puppy Shampoo: If you own a Golden Retriever puppy you will want to use a puppy shampoo that is designed to be milder and usually tear-free.
  • Conditioner or 2 in 1 Shampoo: The long hair of a Golden Retriever can easily become tangled, therefore you may wish to use a separate conditioner after. To make the job of bathing even easier and to speed up the process, consider using a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner.
  • Medicated Shampoo: It is quite common for Golden Retrievers to suffer from skin conditions such as allergies, yeast infections, and bacterial infections. A medicated shampoo is designed to treat these infections and is often prescribed by your vet. Medicated shampoos offer antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic benefits.
  • Dry Shampoo: Dry shampoos are all the rage right now, but when it comes to dry shampoo for dogs, I would avoid using them! They are typically in a spray, foam or powder form, and usually contain artificial and toxic ingredients. Dry shampoo is meant to stay on your dog instead of being washed off, hence the convenience factor, but these harmful ingredients will only be ingested by your dog as he tries to lick himself. The only way to get your dog clean is by using shampoo and water!

What Is The Best Shampoo For A Golden Retriever? My 6 Top Picks!

I carefully reviewed all of these shampoos to bring you safe, effective and gentle shampoos for your Golden. The following are my top picks:

1. WashBar Natural Dog Shampoo Bar

[Great For Frequent Use]

WashBar Natural Dog Shampoo Bar.

Shampoo Bars are becoming increasingly popular right now! Not only are they better for the environment (no plastic waste), but they last longer than the average shampoo bottle, plus they cut bath time in half!

The WashBar is made of 100% all-natural ingredients, so you can feel good knowing your dog will not be exposed to any harmful and toxic chemicals.

This bar provides your dog with a gentle clean. It soothes dry sensitive, irritated itchy skin. It is great for frequent use, and is gentle enough to use on all dogs even puppies!

It contains lemon-scented tea tree oil which is naturally calming to dogs, making bath time more relaxing. This shampoo bar helps to repel fleas, ticks and mosquitos with its natural ingredient of Neem oil.

Key Features:

  • Great value, one 3.5 oz bar = over 20 fluid oz of liquid shampoo.
  • All Natural.
  • No sulphates, parabens, alcohol or synthetic fragrance.
  • Biodegradable.
  • Gentle and calming ingredients.
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.

Pros:

  • Has a light citrus scent that makes your dog smell clean, not overpowering.
  • Easy to use, and makes the bath go quicker.
  • Makes your dog’s hair soft without the need for a conditioner.
  • Lathers up great and rinses easily.
  • Lasts a long time.

Cons:

  • The bar falls out of your hands easily, only a minor setback.
  • Hard to store the shampoo bar when not in use. It comes in its own cardboard packaging.

2. 4-Legger Certified Organic Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo

[Best Unscented Shampoo]

4Legger Dog Shampoo.

This all-natural shampoo is unscented which makes it a great choice for any dog that has allergies and is sensitive to scent. It contains organic oils of coconut, jojoba, and olive, and organic aloe vera and rosemary extract, that’s it! Completely safe and natural.

This shampoo lathers up nicely, you only need a small amount to get a good lather. It gently cleans and conditions your dog’s coat and skin, it is a great choice for dogs of all ages including puppies.

You can easily add your own essential oils to this shampoo if you wish to customize your dog’s bath.

Key Features:

  • 100% Natural.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Unscented and fragrance-free.
  • Concentrated, you use less and it saves you money.
  • Safe and non-toxic.
  • Cleans, conditions and moisturizes.
  • Safe for puppies.

Pros:

  • Soothes itchy dry skin.
  • Great for dogs who suffer from skin allergies.
  • Lathers easily and rinses clean.
  • Leaves your dog’s coat soft and shiny.
  • Makes your dog clean and smelling fresh without the use of fragrance.

Cons:

  • It pours out quickly because the consistency is very thin (no added thickeners).

3. Buddy’s Best Natural Dog Shampoo And Conditioner In One

[Best 2 in 1 Shampoo]

Buddy's Best Moisturizing Dog Shampoo and Conditioner.

This 2 in 1 formula is hypoallergenic, 100% natural, and is a great choice for removing unwanted doggie odour.

Buddy’s Best contains soothing and moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, aloe vera, and oatmeal, along with biotin to promote healthy skin and coat.

This 2 in 1 smells amazing and will leave your dog smelling great for a while thanks to the coconut oil and vanilla bean extract.

This formula is great for Golden’s with sensitive, itchy and dry skin.

Key Features:

  • 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Non-toxic ingredients.
  • Cruelty-free vegan formula.
  • Contains oatmeal to soothe itchy skin.
  • Coconut and vanilla bean natural scent.

Pros:

  • Cleans and conditions.
  • Removes foul odours after one use, leaving your dog smelling wonderful, not overpowering.
  • Gives your dog a silky and shiny coat.
  • Easily lathers and rinses clean.
  • Provides soothing relief for itchy and dry skin.
  • Great for detangling your dog’s fur.

Cons:

  • The smell is great out of the bottle, but some reviewers mention that the smell is light and fades easily on their dog. They wish the smell lasted longer.

4. Burt’s Bees 2 in 1 Tearless Shampoo For Puppies

[Best Puppy 2 in 1 Shampoo]

Burt's Bees for Puppies 2 in 1 Tearless Shampoo and Conditioner.

When it comes to bathing your Golden Retriever puppy, you definitely want a shampoo that is mild and gentle and will not sting the eyes. Puppies can be wiggly in the tub and accidentally getting shampoo in their eyes can ruin the whole bath time experience!

This 2 in 1 formula from Burt’s Bees gently cleanses, conditions and moisturizes your puppy’s skin and coat. It is made using natural ingredients, in fact, it is 99.7% natural!

It features buttermilk and linseed oil to soothe and soften your puppy’s coat and skin. This 2 in 1 formula is pH balanced especially for puppies and dogs of all ages.

Key Features:

  • Tearless formula won’t sting the eyes.
  • Mild and gentle.
  • 100% safe, does not contain sulphates, fragrance, dyes or harsh chemicals.
  • Nourishes and strengthens your puppy’s coat.
  • Lightly scented with natural ingredients.
  • pH balanced, suitable for dogs of all ages.

Pros:

  • Shampoo and conditioner in 1, mild and gentle for puppies.
  • Does not contain any harmful ingredients, it is 99.7% natural.
  • Leaves the fur incredibly soft and silky.
  • Great for puppies and dogs with itchy dry skin and allergies.
  • Leaves your puppy smelling naturally clean.

Cons:

  • It has a thin and runny consistency, this is the case with natural shampoos, there are no added thickeners.
  • Many reviewers do not like that there is no scent to it, they wish it had a smell.
  • It doesn’t lather that well as compared to other shampoos.

5. Lavender Oatmeal Pet Shampoo by Honeydew

[Best Odour Control Shampoo]

Lavender Oatmeal Pet Shampoo by Honeydew.

This natural shampoo is great for puppies and dogs, it features a blend of lavender essential oil and colloidal oatmeal. Lavender works to calm your pup and it naturally controls and eliminates odour. The colloidal oatmeal soothes and moisturizes your pup’s skin and coat.

It is mild and gentle and is safe to use on puppies because of its tear free formula. It is hypoallergenic which makes it great for dogs who suffer from allergies.

Key Features:

  • Tear-free formula is great for puppies and dogs.
  • Odour eliminating and deodorizing, with natural ingredients.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Moisturizing.
  • Safe and effective, no harsh chemicals.
  • Sulphate, paraben and cruelty-free.

Pros:

  • Contains jojoba oil to leave your pup’s coat soft and silky.
  • Eliminates odours naturally with lavender oil, your dog smells fresh for days.
  • Lathers nicely and rinses clean.
  • Soothes itchy and dry skin with natural oatmeal.
  • No harsh ingredients, it is gentle and effective.
  • No need for a conditioner, as this leaves your dog’s coat soft and conditioned.

Cons:

  • The shampoo is hard to dispense because the bottle is made of hard plastic, making it hard to squeeze out.
  • The bottle is small.

6. Burt’s Bees Natural Shed Control Shampoo

[Best Fur Strengthening Shampoo]

Burt's Bees Shed Control Shampoo For Dogs.

Golden Retrievers are natural shedding machines, so why not use a shampoo to help control that shedding?

This formula by Burt’s Bees features all-natural ingredients including Omega-3’s and Vitamin E. This shed control shampoo strengthens the fur, reduces breakage, and helps keep stray hairs at bay.

Burt’s Bees shampoo is pH balanced for dogs and is safe for puppies too. There are no harsh ingredients, and this shampoo is free of dyes, fragrance, sulphates and colourants.

Key Features:

  • 99.7% Natural ingredients.
  • Helps control shedding with added Omega-3s and Vitamin E.
  • Softens and strengthens the coat to reduce hair breakage and shedding.
  • Suitable for puppies and dogs.
  • Safe and gentle.
  • pH balanced.
  • No fragrance, dyes, colourants, sulphates or parabens.

Pros:

  • A gentle and effective option for dogs with sensitive skin.
  • Controls shedding by using natural ingredients such as fatty acids and Vitamin E.
  • This shampoo can be rinsed off right away, there is no need to let it sit on the coat.
  • No added fragrance.
  • A little goes a long way, it lasts a long time and lathers well.

Cons:

  • Don’t expect this to be a miracle product, you’ll see a reduction in shedding, however, your dog will still shed.
  • The formula is thin and runny because it is all-natural there are no added thickeners.
  • Some reviewers wish this shampoo had a smell to it.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Golden Retriever?

There is such a thing as bathing too much, and it can have a negative effect on your dog. Over bathing can lead to dry, irritated skin, even if you are using moisturizing products.

A good way to determine if your dog needs a bath is by doing the sniff test. If your dog stinks then the answer is obvious, as well as if your dog just rolled in something nasty.

I usually bathe my Golden Retriever once a month or once every 2 weeks in the summer because she loves to swim and then has that wet dog smell. During the winter months, I rarely bathe her, because she doesn’t stink or get dirty as often.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you to narrow down the choices of the best shampoo to use on your Golden Retriever. I am a strong believer in using all-natural and safe products on my dog, and I believe the health and safety of our dogs should be our number 1 priority.

Golden Retrievers are known to have many skin issues, therefore it is important to use shampoos that are gentle, and free of any irritating ingredients such as heavy perfumes and dyes.

Any of the shampoos listed above would be a great choice for your Golden Retriever.

Do you have a favourite shampoo that you use on your Golden Retriever? Have you tried any of the shampoos listed above?

Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.

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I am the proud owner of a Golden Retriever named Ellie. She keeps me busy, and when she is resting, you can find me working on my blog. She is always close by though. I live in Stirling, ON Canada with my husband, and we both enjoy the never a dull moment life with our Ellie.

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4 thoughts on “What Is The Best Shampoo For A Golden Retriever? [My 6 Top Picks]”

  1. I found this post rather informative.  It seems to me that these products can be used for a lot more than just golden retrievers.  You always want to gravitate to soap that is as natural as possible, smells not at all, or gives a good smell and is good for their skin and coat.  I will look at these products as possible soaps to use for my own dogs.

    Reply
    • Hi Anthony,

      All of these shampoos are gentle and effective, and yes they can be used on all dogs, not just Golden Retrievers.  I hope you are able to find a great shampoo that will work for your dogs.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Jenny.

      Reply
  2. Hello Jenny, thanks for sharing this really simple and nice article. I have been a real lover of dogs and I have a couple of dogs in my house, 3 to be precise and I have always used WashBar Natural Dog Shampoo Bar. Coming here and seeing this product here gives me so much joy to see I’m using the right one.

    Reply
    • Hi Justin,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.  I’m happy to hear that you are using and enjoying the WashBar shampoo bar on your dogs.  I enjoy it too because it is so fast and easy to use, and most importantly it is gentle and gets your dog clean and smelling good.

      Jenny.

      Reply

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