Updated: March 15th, 2022
This article contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
Golden retrievers make great pets and companions, and owning one is a very fulfilling experience. However, keeping your golden and its luxurious coat clean often requires a lot of work and effort on your part. To help you avoid owning a dirty and smelly dog, I have found the best shampoos for golden retrievers.
With the right product, it is easy to keep your golden retriever’s coat clean and prevent them from spreading dirt and grime all over your home and furniture. The challenge is finding a shampoo that is strong enough to ensure cleanliness without damaging your dog’s skin and coat.
Not every golden retriever is the same. Some are heavier shedders than others, and others have sensitive skin and are prone to allergies. Because of this, there is no “one size fits all” solution.
In this article, we have collected a list of the nine best shampoos for golden retrievers. There are options for sensitive skin, heavier shedders, maintaining golden coats, and pups on a budget. On this list, there’s something suitable for every golden. We’ll also share some top tips on how to bathe your dog for the best results.
The Best Dog Shampoos For Golden Retrievers, Reviewed
Whether you need a shampoo to clean, deodorize, manage shedding, soothe sensitive skin, or condition your goldie’s coat, I’ve got you covered! Below, you will find in-depth reviews of the nine best shampoos for golden retrievers on the market today.
1. HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo With Essential Fatty Acids For Dogs – Best Overall
The HyLyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo is the perfect solution if you are looking for the best shampoo for your golden retrievers with allergies. Formulated to promote hydration, this shampoo should be a regular part of your golden retriever’s grooming routine.
- Promotes skin hydration
- Contains essential fatty acids
This gentle and hypoallergenic shampoo contains emollients that promote skin hydration and proteins that condition and help make your dog’s coat silky and soft. Formulated to be safe for regular use, this pH-balanced dog shampoo is ideal if your golden retriever is suffering from food or skin allergies.
Since it doesn’t contain soap or other harsh chemicals, you can use this shampoo without compromising your dog’s topical flea and tick treatments. Best of all, thanks to its gentle and nourishing formulation, you may use it to bathe your goldie as often as you need.
- Mild and pleasant smell
- Contains essential fatty acids that nourish the skin and prevent flaking
- Soothes and moisturizes dry skin
- Easy to rinse off
- Maybe too gentle for extremely dirty Goldens
Overall, the Hylyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo is the best golden retriever shampoo for allergies and frequent bathing thanks to its gentle formula.
2. TropiClean Medicated Oatmeal & Tea Tree Dog Shampoo – Runner Up
The TropiClean Medicated Oatmeal & Tea Tree Dog Shampoo comes in a 2.5-gallon bottle and is a great option if your goldie gets dirty often and needs frequent baths. It is formulated with natural ingredients and won’t interfere with any topical treatments.
- Cleans and deodorizes
- Made from natural ingredients
Safe for regular and even daily use, this shampoo will clean your dog’s coat and make it smell great thanks to various natural ingredients such as papaya and aloe vera. Formulated with natural salicylic acid that eliminates flaking and dandruff, this shampoo can help heal your pooch’s flaky and dry skin.
Other natural ingredients such as oatmeal, tea tree oil, and vitamin E will moisturize your golden’s coat and skin and make it clean again.
- Leaves the coat soft and smelling great
- Hydrates and nourishes the skin
- Creates a rich lather that removes dirt and grime
- Soap-free so it doesn’t affect topical treatments
- A few customers stated that the scent isn’t as strong as they hoped it would be
Overall, the TropiClean Medicated Oatmeal & Tea Tree Dog Shampoo is a sound choice if your golden retriever has sensitive skin and needs regular baths.
3. Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo – Best Budget
The Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo is the best shampoo for golden retrievers that won’t break the bank but will keep your dog clean and smelling good. This soap-free shampoo is made with natural ingredients and uses coconut-based cleansers to get rid of dirt and odors from your pup’s coat.
- Reduces itching and scratching
- Neutralizes odors
- 100% biodegradable
Formulated with oatmeal and aloe vera, this shampoo is safe even if you have to bathe your golden retriever often. These gentle and natural ingredients help heal and soothe dry, itchy, and scratched skin and, at the same time, clean and deodorize your dog’s coat.
The mild formulation and natural ingredients make this shampoo safe for all dogs that are at least six weeks old or those that have dry or sensitive skin. Additionally, this particular shampoo won’t strip away your pup’s topical flea and tick treatment and leave them defenseless against these blood-sucking pests.
- Completely natural and safe
- Can be used on adult dogs and puppies over six weeks old
- Hydrates, heals, and soothes dry and itchy skin
- Removes dirt and doggy odor
- It’s just a shampoo without a conditioner
The Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo is the best golden retriever shampoo for a tight budget. Mild and made with natural ingredients, this shampoo will clean and deodorize your pup’s coat and soothe dry and itchy skin.
4. PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo – Best For Odor Control
The PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo is an excellent choice if your goldie smells like a wet dog most of the time. The floral scent stays on for up to two weeks after a bath, making your stinky pooch safe for cuddles once more!
- Long-lasting odor-control
- Cleans and conditions
- Plant-derived cleansers
Formulated with soap-free, naturally derived cleansers, this shampoo removes dirt and grime but also conditions the coat and soothes the skin. Vitamin E and aloe leaf juice are added to this shampoo to lock in the moisture and ensure your pup’s coat is 100% tangle-free after every bath.
The long-lasting odor control will get rid of that wet doggy smell, and the nice floral scent will allow you to take a breath of fresh air while staying in the same room as your dog!
- Can be used regularly due to natural formulation
- Removes nasty doggy odors
- Gentle for the skin and coat
- Cleans and conditions at the same time
- A few owners didn’t like the floral scent
If you are looking for the best odor control shampoo for your golden retriever, look no further than the PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo. It is a great choice for smelly and dirty goldens, and the natural and gentle formulation makes it suitable for regular baths.
5. Vetoquinol Vet Solutions For Itchy, Dry Skin Dog Shampoo – Best For Sensitive Skin
The Vetoquinol Vet Solutions for Itchy, Dry Skin Dog Shampoo is formulated to create a rich lather that cleans the coat and soothes irritated skin. Caring for a golden retriever entails caring for their skin too, and this gentle shampoo can help with that.
- Keeps skin moisturized
- Soap-free formulation
- Soothes itchiness immediately
Formulated with emollients, this shampoo moisturizes and nourishes the skin and provides almost instant relief from itching. Thanks to its mild formulation and hydrating properties, this shampoo is an excellent choice for golden retrievers that suffer from allergies.
The thing I like the most about this shampoo is that it creates a rich lather that removes dirt and grime without removing natural skin oils. What’s more, the gentle coconut fragrance will keep your goldie smelling great without overwhelming their superior senses.
- Soothes dry and itchy skin
- Cleans and deodorizes the coat
- Safe to use with topical flea treatments
- Gentle and can be used regularly
- Although the coconut fragrance is very mild, a few owners didn’t like it
If your goldie is itching and scratching, you should give the Vetoquinol Vet Solutions for Itchy, Dry Skin Dog Shampoo a try. Its gentle formulation works wonders for sensitive skin, and it also keeps the coat clean and smelling great.
6. Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo – Best Shampoo & Conditioner
If you are looking for the best shampoo and conditioner for a golden retriever, look no further than the Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo. Formulated with cosmetic-grade ingredients, this product will clean and detangle your goldie’s coat.
- Safe for frequent use
- Made with botanical extracts
- Soap and alcohol-free
Made with ingredients such as aloe, chamomile, sage, and tea tree oil, this shampoo nourishes your dog’s skin, removes all the dirt and grime from their coat, and keeps it tangle-free. It makes a rich lather that is easy to rinse, thus making the bathing experience more enjoyable for you and your golden.
Formulated to work as a shampoo and conditioner, this natural product is ideal for puppies and adult golden retrievers that need frequent baths to stay clean. The Buddy Wash shampoo contains lavender and sage natural extracts that have anti-inflammatory properties that help heal and soothe dry and itchy skin.
- Two-in-one shampoo and conditioner
- Makes a rich lather and is easy to rinse
- Removes doggy odors and deodorizes the coat
- Can be used on puppies and adult dogs
- Some users noted the product’s nice smell doesn’t last very long
Overall, the Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo cleans your dog’s coat and at the same time works as a conditioner. Besides removing all the dirt and grime from your pup’s coat, this product will also ensure your pooch leaves the tub tangle-free.
7. Veterinary Formula Solutions Snow White Whitening Shampoo For Dogs – Best Shampoo For Brightening & Stains
The Veterinary Formula Stains Snow White Whitening Shampoo is designed to lighten, brighten, and remove nasty stains from your dog’s gorgeous golden coat.
- Deodorizes the coat
- Removes dirt and stains
- Gentle formulation
This shampoo cleans and brightens dirty coats without the use of harsh chemicals, bleach, or peroxide. Gentle coconut oil-based cleansers remove stains and dirt from the coat and at the same time hydrate your dog’s skin.
Besides being an extremely effective cleanser, this shampoo also has an exceptionally long-lasting citrus and blue coral fragrance. Specially formulated for dogs and pH balanced for their skin, this shampoo won’t wash away topical treatments or make your dog an easy target for disease-ridden parasites.
- Long-lasting citrus fragrance
- Safe to use with topical flea and tick medication
- Gentle and doesn’t irritate the skin
- Brightens the coat and removes grime and stains
- Whitening results are only visible after a few baths
Overall, the Veterinary Formula Stains Snow White Whitening Shampoo for Dogs is a great choice for all types of golden retrievers, and it will clean and brighten your pup’s coat.
8. FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo For Dogs – Best Shampoo To Reduce Shedding
If you have a hard time controlling your golden retriever’s shedding, try bathing your pooch with the FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo. Specially formulated to reduce shedding in dogs, this shampoo enhances the effectiveness of deshedding tools.
- Made from natural ingredients
- Enriched with omega 3 & 6 fatty acids
- Doesn’t contain parabens, chemical dyes, or artificial colors
Developed to offer an ultimate bathing experience, this shampoo cleans and conditions the coat and also addresses excessive shedding. It is made with natural ingredients that help control excessive shedding by promoting healthy skin and coat.
Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and vitamin E support skin and coat health, which helps control and reduce excessive shedding. Other natural ingredients, including calendula extract, chamomile extract, and papaya leaf extract have soothing properties and help soothe dry and itchy skin.
- Safe for use on all dogs over six weeks old
- Made in the USA using natural ingredients
- Formulated to reduce shedding by supporting skin and coat health
- Cleans the coat and gets rid of bad doggy odors
- Works up a rich lather and has a nice smell
- Although the coat smells nice after the bath, this shampoo doesn’t offer long-lasting odor control
Give the FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo For Dogs a try if you are looking for a natural and effective way to reduce your dog’s shedding.
9. Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo With Buttermilk For Dogs – Best Puppy Shampoo For Golden Retrievers
Made with some of nature’s finest ingredients, the Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo With Buttermilk For Dogs is a perfect choice for golden retriever puppies. Cruelty-free and made without sulfates, colorants, or other harmful ingredients, this gentle shampoo is completely safe for regular use on young puppies or adult dogs.
- Tearless formula won’t irritate your puppy’s eyes
- pH balanced and formulated for dogs
- Free from sulfates, fragrances, and harsh chemicals
Made with 97% natural ingredients, this gentle shampoo contains beeswax and honey, which is a natural humectant that helps keep your pup’s skin soft and moisturized. This mild formula also contains buttermilk and linseed oil to help clean and condition your pup’s skin and coat.
This tearless shampoo is made with the mildest ingredients to make bath time more pleasant for both you and your pup. Being pH balanced for dogs and made without harmful chemicals, this shampoo is safe for regular use and won’t wash off topical flea and tick treatments.
- Made with mild natural ingredients that won’t irritate your puppy’s skin or eyes
- Cleanses and conditions the coat
- Safe to use with topical treatments
- Can be used on puppies and adult dogs who hate bathing
- This shampoo doesn’t make a rich lather, so you might end up using more to wash your pooch thoroughly
- Unlike other shampoos, this one doesn’t have a fragrance, so it won’t mask the doggy odor
Overall, the Burt’s Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo With Buttermilk For Dogs is the best shampoo for a golden retriever puppy. Made with natural ingredients, this tearless formula will clean and condition your puppy’s coat without irritating their eyes or skin.
What To Look For In The Best Dog Shampoos For Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers aren’t generally a high-maintenance breed; however, their thick double coats have to be brushed and washed regularly. Additionally, their active lifestyle means they tend to pick up dirt that hangs onto their coat, and since they are high shedders, you can expect them to leave that dirt around your home!
A good shampoo is a must, since you will need to bathe your golden retriever once every four to six weeks (or more often if they tend to get dirty).
Unless your golden retriever has a specific skin condition for which they need a specific vet-approved product, when choosing the best dog shampoos for goldens, consider the following factors.
- Natural Ingredients: You should always avoid shampoos that contain harsh chemicals such as parabens and phosphates. These ingredients can irritate your dog’s skin, damage their coat, and cause more harm than good in the long run.
- Hypoallergenic: Hypoallergenic shampoos don’t contain ingredients that are likely to trigger an allergic reaction, and they are usually naturally formulated. Since golden retrievers tend to be prone to allergies, their skin and coats can greatly benefit from the use of hypoallergenic dog shampoos.
- Odor Control: Naturally energetic and active, golden retrievers like to play and can get stinky in no time! If you need help keeping your dog smelling fresh, look for a shampoo with deodorizing properties.
- Hydration: Whether or not your golden has skin problems, you should look for a shampoo that will keep their skin properly hydrated. Oatmeal, aloe vera, and almond oil are natural moisturizers that will help keep your pup’s skin hydrated and healthy.
- pH Balance: All dogs, including your golden retriever, have different skin pH levels than you. The pH of a dog’s skin is between 6.5 and 7.5, while human skin is around 5.5 on the standard pH scale. The best dog shampoo for a golden retriever will be specially formulated for a dog’s delicate skin.
Are There Different Types Of Shampoos For Golden Retrievers?
While the above factors are generally the most important elements to consider when choosing the best shampoo for your golden retriever, every dog’s needs are a bit different.
Puppies benefit from different ingredients and formulations than adult dogs, and if your dog has sensitive skin, you may need to fork out money for a more expensive shampoo. Similarly, you can get shampoos to help you manage specific problems such as shedding, fleas and ticks, or dandruff and similar issues.
Below is a list of the different types of shampoos you might want to consider for your dog.
Puppy shampoos are made from natural ingredients and formulated for a puppy’s extra-sensitive skin.
Not only do puppies have more sensitive skin than adult dogs, but they also have sensitive eyes. For this reason, look for mild and tearless puppy shampoos that are formulated to make the bathing process less stressful and more enjoyable for both you and your pooch.
Flea And Tick
This type of shampoo can be natural or chemical and is designed to kill fleas and ticks. For the best results, you will have to work it into the coat and leave it for 10 minutes to sit before rinsing.
Depending on the type you choose, some flea and tick shampoos have repelling properties and will keep these blood-sucking pests at bay for some time.
You can find out more about flea and tick shampoos for dogs here.
Medicated Dog Shampoos
These shampoos are designed to tackle skin conditions and have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic effects. If your golden retriever suffers from allergies, skin mites, seborrhea, or has a yeast infection, your vet might prescribe a medicated dog shampoo.
Since there are several different types of medicated shampoos for dogs, consult with your veterinarian before using one to treat your pup’s skin problems.
A good quality, all-purpose shampoo is essential if you want to keep your dog clean. Look for one that has natural ingredients and is hypoallergenic. This type of shampoo is formulated to clean a dog’s coat, regardless of its type or length, and is able to tackle even the dirtiest canines and make them clean again.
2-In-1 Shampoo And Conditioner
Golden retrievers have long, flowing, double coats that can easily get matted or tangled. To prevent this from happening, you should consider getting a shampoo and conditioner to keep your dog’s skin moisturized and its coat silky and tangle-free.
2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner products conveniently help eliminate the stress and hassle associated with shopping for separate shampoos and conditioners.
4 Tips For Bathing A Golden Retriever
Goldens tend to enjoy the great outdoors, and they love to swim. Chances are, they are going to get dirty often and need regular bathing. Exactly how often you need to bathe your dog depends on their specific coat and activity level, but even dogs that spend most of their time inside need to be bathed at least once a month.
Bathing your dog isn’t that different from giving yourself a shower and washing your hair, except that they aren’t always as cooperative. Here are our top tips for making bathing your golden retriever as easy and effective as possible.
- Brush your dog before bathing them to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris from its coat.
- Make sure to soak the coat all the way to the skin so you can work in the lather properly and remove all dirt and grime.
- When bathing your golden retriever, place a towel or a mat inside the tub. This way, your pooch won’t accidentally slip and injure themselves during the bath.
- Use treats to entice your goldie to get into and stay in the tub during bathing.
Read more about when and how to bathe your golden retriever here.
FAQs About The Best Dog Shampoo For Golden Retrievers
How often should you bathe a golden retriever?
Generally speaking, you should bathe your golden retriever once every four to six weeks to keep their luxurious coat clean. However, if your goldie tends to get dirty quickly, you can bathe them more often. In this case, make sure you are using a mild hypoallergenic dog shampoo that won’t damage your dog’s skin and coat.
What can I use to bathe my golden retriever?
Make sure you are using dog shampoo whenever you bathe your golden retriever. Dogs have a different skin pH than people, and dog shampoos are specially formulated as to not dry or damage their skin.
Can I use human shampoo on my golden retriever?
You should never use human shampoo on your dog! This is because human hair and skin are slightly acidic, and therefore our shampoos are formulated with a slightly acidic pH, of 5.5 to 5.6. Dog skin and hair has a more neutral pH of around 6.2 to 7.4, and as we touched on earlier, dog shampoos are formulated with this in mind.
If you regularly wash your dog with human shampoo, you can disrupt the acidic mantle that protects them, making them vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria.
Can I bathe my dog with baby shampoo?
You technically can bathe your dog with baby shampoo because it is designed with a neutral pH to accommodate the more sensitive skin of babies. However, you are still better off choosing a specialized dog shampoo for your golden rather than relying on baby shampoo as an alternative.
How do I keep my golden retriever’s hair soft and shiny?
As well as investing in a good quality shampoo for your dog, consider what you put in your dog’s bowl to keep their coat soft and shiny. After all, you are what you eat. A diet that is rich in healthy fats, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and fish oils will give your dog the nutrients they need to grow and maintain a healthy coat.
Regular brushing to remove dirt and debris and spread oils throughout the coat can also make a big difference. This can also be a nice bonding experience for you and your dog, and it will help you monitor the condition of your dog’s coat regularly.
How do you bathe a golden retriever at home?
Many first-time owners worry about how they will manage to bathe their golden at home. Fortunately, goldens are actually one of the easier breeds to bathe. They are cooperative, highly trainable, and love water, so they are more likely to tolerate a good soak and scrub than many other breeds.
The key is to be gentle but firm and to teach your dog the behavior that you expect at bathtime through positive reinforcement training.
Another important thing to remember is that bathing is going to be a wet and messy process, so do it outside, in the shower, or somewhere similar, and watch out for slippery floors. Your pup’s paws can become very slippery and unsteady on wet tiles. If they slip, they could hurt themselves or leave a big wet patch on your carpet or couch.
Regular baths are what you signed up for when you welcomed a golden retriever into your home! Make it easier for yourself by getting a shampoo that gets them clean the first time and won’t cause unexpected problems such as allergies or skin irritations.
While all shampoos listed above can do wonders for your goldie, the Hylyt Hypoallergenic Shampoo for Dogs is our choice for best overall.
However, if you are budget conscious, the Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog Shampoo is a good choice for you. If you are looking for something in between, the TropiClean Medicated Oatmeal & Tea Tree Dog Shampoo is an excellent option that will last you a long time. Our other recommendations for the best dog shampoos for goldens are ideal for specific circumstances and needs.
In the end, whichever you choose, you can rest assured that you won’t be overwhelmed by musty odor the next time your pooch comes in for cuddles!
What is your favorite shampoo for bathing your golden, and why? Share your advice with the community in the comments section below.