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How Often Should I Bathe My Golden Retriever? Tips & FAQ

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

bathing of the golden labrador retriever

How Often Should I Bathe My Golden Retriever? Tips & FAQ

Golden Retrievers should not be bathed too often. Too much bathing can cause your dog’s skin to dry, leading to itchiness. In extreme cases, this itchiness can lead to infected sores, requiring veterinary attention.

However, at the same time, regular bathing can prevent matting, dandruff, and infections. Bathing can make your dog’s coat look healthier, but it can also support your dog’s overall health. Therefore, it is vital to find somewhere in the middle and bathe your pet moderately.

Usually, a Golden Retriever should be bathed once every 6–8 weeks. If your pet gets dirty before then, they may need an extra bath. However, you should wait about 2 months between baths to prevent excessive bathing and skin irritation.

We recommend beginning baths as soon as you bring your puppy home. The sooner you start regular bathing, the more time your dog will have to adapt to the routine. A puppy bathed regularly is much easier to bathe as an adult. Of course, give lots of treats and praise to make bathing a fun experience.

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How Often Does a Golden Retriever Need to Be Brushed?

Usually, a Golden Retriever only needs to be brushed about once a week to prevent mats. Of course, this is much more often than bathing. Therefore, you’ll brush your dog’s coat out often without bathing them first.

In some cases, you may need to brush your dog more than this. During peak shedding season, you may need to brush your dog every other day to control the amount of loose fur. However, it depends on the dog, your climate, and the dog’s age. Your best option is to start brushing your dog once a week and then adjust that as necessary.

Similar to bathing, we recommend grooming your Golden Retriever from a young age. Puppies won’t need as much brushing as adults as they are smaller. However, you should still brush them regularly to ensure they’re used to the brush before they hit adulthood. Puppyhood is a great time to introduce your dog to everything they need to be comfortable around as adults.

golden retriever having a haircut
Image by: Dina Gomankova, Shutterstock

How Do You Dry a Golden Retriever After a Bath?

There are many different ways you can dry your dog off after a bath. Preferably, you will allow them to air dry somewhere warm. With a wet coat, these dogs will no longer be able to regulate their body temperature. Therefore, they should be kept somewhere comfortable until they dry completely. The undercoat can take 24 hours to dry after it is drenched in the bath. When timing their baths, keep this in mind.

There are other ways you can help with the process. Using a towel to dry your dog can be helpful. However, if you are too energetic about towel drying, you can give your dog split ends and encourage matting. Rubbing wet fur together isn’t usually the best idea.

A super absorbent towel can be dabbed around the dog’s body to soak up some of the water. However, remember not to rub, as this can create matting.

Similarly, you can also use a blow dryer. However, this will still take a while. Plus, many dogs are fearful of blow dryers. However, starting them with one early can help them overcome their fears and get used to the loud noise.

bath foam to a Golden Retriever dog
Image by: 135pixels, Shutterstock

How Do I Stop My Golden Retriever from Smelling?

Dogs can smell for all sorts of reasons. Usually, if your dog is smelly, a bath can help sort out the problem. You don’t want to give your dog too many baths. However, if they are smelly, then it probably means that they need one.

Between baths, you should brush your dog regularly. This removes old oils and debris from their coat, which can lead to smells. Brushing does a lot for keeping your dog clean. It’s more than just removing tangles and is vital for your dog’s health.

You should also keep up with their oral health, as this can be linked to several smells, too. You should brush your dog’s teeth a few times weekly to prevent cavities and dental problems.

If your dog seems to stink more than usual, consider speaking with a professional groomer. Sometimes, it is the things your dog lays on, and not necessarily your dog itself. Therefore, consider washing your dog’s blankets and bedding. Dry baths can help keep your dog smelling nice between full baths, as well.

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Golden Retrievers need baths about every 6–8 weeks. If your dog gets dirty before then, you can provide a bath sooner. However, very frequent bathing can dry out your dog’s skin and lead to skin issues. Therefore, it is best to put off a bath until at least 6 weeks, if possible. Make sure you’re using a high-quality shampoo designed for dogs.

In between baths, be sure to brush your dog at least weekly to help spread out their natural oils and remove debris. Brushing helps remove tangles and keeps your dog clean.

You can do most of a Golden Retriever’s grooming at home. However, you can also pay a professional to bathe them every 2 months or so.

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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