All dogs need baths, it should be part of their grooming routine; but are all dogs the same in how often should they should get a bath?
Do you know the who, what, when, where and whys? For those who have or will be getting a Golden Retriever the answers are important . . .
Not all dogs are alike, and yes, goldens are a special breed who have special needs. Let’s look at a few things before getting to all the important stuff!
The WHO - Golden Retrievers are “water dogs” and are known for their long double coat. They are happy being clean and tidy indoors as well as being wet and dirty outdoors.
WHAT to do? Occasional bathing is going to be necessary to help keep your golden retriever happy and healthy. Bathing your golden should be just another task to check off in the grooming routine you set for your pet.
WHEN to bathe? There are different thoughts on when to bathe your Golden Retriever, but the basis for the different thoughts is this… You 100% CAN bath a golden retriever too often. Be careful you are not doing more harm than good by irritating their skin, washing away important oils, and causing painful skin issues down the road.
It’s also important to mention here that you should start getting your pup use to a bath early on. The more comfortable they are with the routine, the easier it will be when they are older.
WHERE to bathe? Where to bathe your golden retriever is something only you can answer. Location, space, and physical access are all things you will need to take into account.
The most common place would be at home in the shower or tub, maybe a sink for a pup. However, if you are out and about, and your dog gets muddy – I would say the closest hose!
If you are uncomfortable doing this at your home, look for reputable groomers in your area with the proper pet grooming setup to make the job easier.
WHY bathe? Every dog needs a bath, it’s part of a healthy grooming routine and it helps keep them from smelling like a pig pen.
Some dogs need to bathe more often than others depending on their lifestyle and environmental factors.
Now that we briefly touched on the who, what, when, where and why – let’s look at some specifics you should know more closely.
It’s always best to start introducing bath time to your pup as early as possible. More than likely it will be at about six (6) weeks, if it is needed.
Guidelines to Bathing a Golden Retriever Puppy:
For the sake of bathing, we’ll consider a golden retriever a puppy if they are 9 months of age or younger.
Pro Tip: Keep a towel just for your pup! If you don't want to ruin your own family towels, it's a great idea to keep a towel around just for your golden.
You can introduce a “fake” bath, using only water, at around six to eight weeks to get your pup accustomed to the process and get over any fear. You can give your pup a “fake” bath every two to three weeks until you feel they are comfortable with the process. Hopefully by then your pup will either love getting a bath or at least tolerate it pretty well.
Guidelines for Bathing an Older Golden Retriever:
Guidelines for bathing an older golden retriever are very similar to a puppy with a few key differences. Let’s look at the guidelines now...
*/** - Goldens are prone to ear infections, it is best to keep their ear canals free from water
Use an ear cleaning solution to properly clean your golden retrievers ears.
Bathing is part of a healthy grooming routine for you Golden Retriever. Let’s look at what lifestyle or environmental reasons may influence the frequency in which you give your golden a bath.
Amount of time spent outdoors. If your golden loves the outdoors – rain or shine, the amount of dirt and mud, may influence the number of baths.
Water - Lakes, ponds, creeks. Your golden is a “water dog” and more than likely would look forward to swimming in any available pond, lake or stream. Frequent swimming could lead to a dirty and unpleasant smelling coat.
Type of living environment. Those goldens living in the country (rural) will probably need a bath more frequently than a golden living in the city due to all the outdoors activities available.
Parasite issues. This issue can be prevalent in the city or rural areas. It is best to check with your vet or local websites to see if there is a parasite outbreak. Frequent bathing and grooming may be needed to address this issue.
We have shared reasons why there may be an increase in baths for your Golden Retriever. Here are a few reasons why bath time should be limited.
Too many baths can strip your golden of the natural oils or protective coating that gives your golden’s coat its sheen.
It may dry your dog’s skin, causing skin irritations, dandruff and possible infections
Some goldens react to even the mildest dog shampoo, this can cause dryness or skin irritations
Other than the reasons listed above, there is no clear-cut answer on when to give your golden a bath. Some say once a month or every six (6) weeks, others say eight (8) weeks for an older dog and others say two (2) times a month if the weather is really hot, less when it’s colder.
You are the best judge; you know what your Golden Retriever wants and needs and you have to live with them rather they stink or not!
Tips to Remember
Start your bathing routine when your dog is still a pup
Brush your pets coat frequently, this will reduce baths
Limit baths, bathe only when necessary to prevent stripping of natural oils, dry skin, and potential irritations
Do not use human shampoo or dish soap to bathe your dog
Bathe from front to back starting at the head, using warm water
Use a washcloth for the face and protect ears from water and possible ear infections
Wash and dry thoroughly due to your golden’s thick double coat
Be consistent and make sure to include bathing as part of your Golden Retrievers grooming routine
Did we miss anything? Comment below and give us your best bath time tips for your golden retriever!