🦴 Updated on July 7th, 2023
Golden retrievers are lovable dogs that love a good smell. And the more it stinks, the better. Our dog has a penchant for rolling in dead fish, which gives him hours of pleasure but smells dreadful.
Consequently, we’ve become experts in finding the best shampoo for golden retrievers.
We’ve researched the shampoos thoroughly, and have our preferences based on formulas that target shedding, brighten a dull coat, or successfully overpower that dead fish smell our golden loves so much. Of these, our favorite is PetAg Fresh’n Clean. It eliminates odor for weeks at a time, uses natural ingredients, and is gentle on your dog’s skin.
But it doesn’t exist in a void. Here are some of the best shampoos for golden retrievers to help you make your choice.
Best Golden Retriever Shampoos Reviewed
Best Dog Shampoo Overall: PetAg Fresh’n Clean
Of all the golden retriever shampoos we looked at, PetAg’s Fresh’n Clean is our favorite. There are several reasons we like it best, and these include:
- Odor control lasts up to two weeks
- Conditions and detangles dog’s coat
- Gentle formula that allows for frequent washes
One of the first things that struck us about PetAg was how long-lasting the formula is. This golden retriever shampoo is scented, and the scent lingers for up to two weeks.
If you're looking for an inexpensive shampoo that keeps your dog's fur unmatted and smelling fresh, PetAG Fresh 'n Clean Scented Dog Shampoo is your best option.
That makes it ideally suited for a dog predisposed to roll in fish, venture into fetid swamps and generally nose out those other, less-than-pleasant scents so beloved by golden retrievers everywhere.
Another thing that makes this the best dog shampoo for golden retrievers is that it does more than wash your dog’s coat. It also conditions and detangles it. This is crucial given how heavy a golden retriever’s coat can get.
You’ll still want to groom your dog after drying him, but the process will be significantly less painful and time-consuming for both of you.
Finally, PetAg’s formula, while effective, is gentle. That’s another reason we consider it the best shampoo for golden retrievers.
The combination of aloe vera and Vitamin E revitalizes your dog’s coat while ensuring even the most sensitive skin can stand up to repeated washes.
That means that even if your dog needs another bath sooner than anticipated, you won’t have to worry about irritating their skin.
Best Coat Brightening Shampoo: Earthbath
Earthbath coat brightening shampoo uses a gentle, lavender-scented dog shampoo for golden retrievers to add extra luster to your dog’s fur. The lavender ensures your dog smells more like an English garden than a mud bath.
Additionally, Earthbath’s ingredients include:
- Aloe vera
- Coconut-based cleansers
- Vitamins A, B, D, and E
In other words, it’s a mild dog shampoo for golden retrievers that you can feel safe applying even to sensitive skin.
For the most effective outcome, rub Earthbath’s coat brightening shampoo into your golden retriever’s fur and let sit for at least 90 seconds.
Earthbath also advises cordoning off the bath since a dog opposed to baths might make a break for it, and the sweet-smelling suds will give them a decidedly slippery advantage over you if you try to corral them.
Although this is not a conditioning golden retriever shampoo, you can combine it with an Earthbath conditioner for an extra shiny coat. However, the extra bath time might test your dog’s patience, so make that decision based on your personal experience of bath time.
Finally, we like Earthbath coat brightening because it’s an affordable product. This, combined with the fact that a little of this golden retriever shampoo goes a long way, ensuring you get good value for money.
However, some dogs’ fur may dry out after a wash with this golden retriever shampoo. If that’s the case, you may not want to stick to it for long-term use.
Best Conditioner for Goldens: Isle of Dogs
A good dog conditioner should help detangle your dog’s fur and keep it silky smooth. Isle of Dogs Silky Coating conditioner does just that, with a lovely jasmine and vanilla scent. Though it does use perfume, it’s a gentle formula that helps to keep your dog smelling lovely for weeks after their bath.
If your golden retriever has longer hair, this conditioner will help their coat lay smoothly. It also initiates the release of dead undercoats to help reduce shedding. Loose hair will come off in the bath instead of in your living room.
As a moisturizing conditioner, Isle of Dogs Silky Coating penetrates thick coats for a full-body shine. It’s also safe for dogs with sensitive skin and won’t cause rashes or irritate the eyes.
For golden retrievers with shorter hair, the conditioner will help their coats lie flat, and even, so they look sleek and well-groomed.
The detangling feature makes it easier to brush your dog, which can also help reduce their shedding.
You don’t need a lot of this conditioner to clean your dog, as its thick composition goes a long way. Plus, it’s quite inexpensive, so you don’t need to break your wallet to find a good dog conditioner.
Best De-shedding Shampoo: FURminator
If your dog is a heavy shedder, then FURMInator’s de-shedding shampoo and conditioner may be the golden retriever shampoo you’ve been looking for.
FURminator uses calendula, chamomile, and papaya extracts to help reduce itchy or dry skin. And besides, as any good pooch will tell you, they enjoy a strong odor. It’s part of their doggy identity.
A favorite with professional groomers, FURminator’s formula helps reduce shedding, which in turn reduces how much cleaning up you do after your dog. While not an end unto itself, this golden retriever shampoo works with de-shedding tools to:
- Remove excess fur
- Prevent mats
- Improve coat
One of the reasons we consider this the best de-shedding shampoo for golden retrievers is because it integrates omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin E to promote healthier skin and fur for your golden retriever.
It’s also a de-shedding shampoo that lathers well and eliminates odors. However, unlike other dog shampoos for golden retrievers, FURminator doesn’t prioritize odor reduction, so while it smells nice when your dog comes out of the tub, you shouldn’t expect that to last beyond their obligatory post-bath run around the yard.
Best Bulk Dog Shampoo: Buddy Wash
Despite being one of the more expensive dog shampoo and conditioners on this list, Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo and conditioner is one of our favorite shampoos for buying in bulk.
Made in the USA, Buddy Wash uses mint and lavender to keep your dog smelling clean and fresh, while also washing off that accumulated grime.
But the herbs don’t only improve your golden retriever’s hard-won smell. They also keep their skin hydrated, reducing dry skin.
Another thing to love about Buddy Wash is that animals love it as much as humans. It’s gentle on their skin, and while the smell improves on Eau de Golden Retriever it isn’t overpowering. Given how much dogs associate smell with herd identity, this is crucial.
Don’t need a whole gallon of shampoo and conditioner for golden retrievers? Other sizes exist, so you’ll be able to find an amount that’s right for you.
Finally, Buddy Wash is a gentle formula that owners can feel safe using to wash their dogs’ faces, though they should still keep the shampoo and conditioner out of their eyes. Customer feedback praises the way Buddy Wash reduces:
- Skin irritation
The result is a cleaner, happier, and healthier dog.
Best Hypoallergenic Shampoo: Healthy Breeds
Of our dogs, at least one has sensitive skin, and if we’re bathing him, Healthy Breeds Oatmeal and Aloe dog shampoo for golden retrievers is our shampoo of choice.
That’s because oatmeal is ideal for retaining moisture. And bathing your golden retriever in a hypoallergenic dog shampoo that contains oatmeal helps them build up a protective barrier and retain some of that moisture themselves.
By extension, it helps reduce dry skin and itchiness.
So, while your dog may be opposed to baths on canine principle, they’ll step out of this one feeling more comfortable in their skin.
Like some of the other golden retriever shampoos we discussed, the other key ingredient in Healthy Breeds is aloe vera. It’s nature’s coolant, so it helps soothe:
- Dry skin
- Lick granulomas
The combination is ideal for dogs with sensitive skin since their skin perpetually reacts to environmental allergens that cause various symptoms, especially itching.
Another thing we like about this shampoo is its smell. While it’s true you sometimes need a strong-smelling shampoo to overpower the odor your dog accumulates over time; it’s equally true that scented shampoos can be overpowering.
We also appreciate that this shampoo doesn’t flake or cause skin flaking. It lathers well, and if you let it sit after lathering, it produces a sleek, smooth dog coat. Just make sure you rinse thoroughly since even trace amounts of shampoo can irritate dogs with sensitive skin.
Finally, while we wouldn’t want to use this hypoallergenic dog shampoo on newborn puppies, the gentle nature of the formula makes it suitable as a puppy shampoo for golden retrievers from three months old onwards.
Best Shampoo Made in the USA: TropiClean
This golden retriever shampoo is perfect for dogs with flaky skin or dandruff. It’s another of the best shampoos for golden retrievers. It includes natural ingredients like aloe vera and papaya extract to give your dog a clean, fresh smell without soap or harmful chemicals.
Additionally, this dog shampoo for golden retrievers contains tea tree oil and Vitamin E to moisturize and improve your dog’s skin health. Other ingredients, like oatmeal, ensure your dog emerges from the tub not just clean but hydrated.
TropiClean dog shampoo washes off dirt and eliminates odors but doesn’t affect topical treatments your dog might need to keep healthy, like flea and tick prevention.
In addition to being one of the best shampoo and conditioners for a golden retriever, TropiClean is USA-manufactured, so if you opt for this golden retriever shampoo, you can rest assured you’re buying local.
And since the shampoo conditions and washes, you won’t have to worry about knots and tangles in your dog’s fur.
That said, combing out your golden retriever after toweling them dry is never a bad idea. TropiClean makes that part of the grooming process easier.
Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Puppies: Earthbath Ultra Mild
If golden retrievers love a good smell, golden retriever puppies live for them. They’re naturally curious and liable to get into all kinds of things you wish they wouldn’t. When it comes to getting them clean again, the best shampoo for golden retriever puppies is another Earthbath product.
Their ultra-mild shampoo and conditioner bundle is easily the best puppy shampoo for golden retrievers. It uses natural ingredients without dyes, soaps, or sulfates.
The conditioner ensures you won’t have to worry about knots or tangles after the bath, making it essential when dealing with a wriggling, writhing puppy that is at least one-third eel.
The puppy shampoo has an organic, wild cherry scent that overcomes puppy odors and smells sweet. It’s also a tearless shampoo that can safely and effectively help clean muck off your golden retriever puppy’s face.
Because this dog shampoo for golden retrievers caters to puppies, both it and the conditioner are incredibly mild. That means you won’t have to worry about itchy or irritated skin after the bath.
Moreover, when left to lather and sit, the puppy shampoo for golden retrievers helps create a bright, shiny coat that shows off your puppy’s colors to advantage.
Best Shampoo for Sensitive Skin: Pro Pet Works
Yet another of the best shampoos for golden retrievers, Pro Pet Works is a shampoo suitable for a variety of animals, including:
It has a fruity smell guaranteed to help defeat persistent dog odors. We appreciate that while the scent can initially seem overwhelming, especially while lathering your dog, the scent lessens once your golden retriever is toweled dry.
For the best results, we recommend several washes with this shampoo. The first lifts cursory oil and other detritus, and the second wash penetrates deeper into your dog’s coat.
However, you shouldn’t take that to mean the scent isn’t long-lasting. This golden retriever shampoo will keep your dog smelling sweet for days after washing.
Another reason this is one of the best shampoos for golden retrievers is that it helps remove the undercoat while you wash. This significantly reduces shedding and makes your dog more comfortable.
The combination of natural ingredients also helps make this one of the best shampoos for golden retrievers since it contains aloe vera and almond oil. As discussed, aloe helps cool and hydrate skin. But almond oil will treat skin irritation and hot spots.
Ensure your dog has no almond or other nuts allergy before administering this golden retriever shampoo.
Best Shampoo and Conditioner Combo: Burt’s Bees
Last but not least on our list of the best shampoo for golden retrievers is Burt’s Bees Puppy shampoo and conditioner. It’s a tearless formula that won’t irritate your puppy’s eyes.
Since this golden retriever shampoo and conditioner duo target puppies, the ingredients are appropriately mild. They’re also natural, and among them are:
- Linseed oil
Since honey is a natural moisturizer, this dog shampoo for golden retriever puppies keeps your dog’s skin hydrated as well as clean. And while you’ll still need to groom your dog regularly, the conditioner will help detangle their fur.
However, one drawback is that it can be difficult to lather, and you may end up using more puppy shampoo for your golden retriever than anticipated. It also doesn’t have a pronounced smell, unlike other dog shampoos for golden retrievers we discussed.
Despite this, it still effectively combats odor, and we appreciate that the scent it does have isn’t overwhelming.
How to Choose the Best Shampoo for Golden Retrievers
So, how do you choose the best shampoo for golden retrievers? There are several important factors, and we gave these careful considerations while making our choices.
Contains Natural Ingredients
The first thing we looked at while assessing the best shampoo for golden retrievers was the ingredients. A good shampoo should avoid harsh chemicals and parabens. Both can irritate your dog’s skin, and bath time can be turbulent enough without that extra stress.
We prioritized golden retriever shampoos that were paraben-free and emphasized natural ingredients like aloe vera and oatmeal.
Another consideration when searching for the best shampoo for golden retrievers is whether or not the product is hypoallergenic. Simply put, these are shampoos that cater to dogs with sensitive skin.
But even if your golden retriever has the skin of a rhinoceros, it’s worth looking at hypoallergenic options since they reduce things like dry skin.
Crucially, all the best shampoos for golden retrievers must eliminate odor. We weren’t joking about our golden and his predilection for dead fish. And while we love our dogs, we don’t always love the way they smell.
The best golden retriever shampoos understand that and help reduce that overwhelmingly doggy odor golden retrievers enjoy cultivating.
A good shampoo doesn’t necessarily need to be scented to eliminate odor, but it does need to have a long-lasting effect. After all, no one wants to be bathing their dog every couple of days.
Hydrates and Moisturizes Golden Retriever
Another essential factor to consider when looking for the best shampoo for golden retrievers is whether or not it will hydrate your dog’s skin.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but baths can be dehydrating for dogs and humans. Accordingly, you need a shampoo that traps moisture in your golden retriever’s skin to keep it healthy and your dog happy.
We favored products with a conditioner when looking for the best shampoo for golden retrievers. Conditioner is important because it helps detangle damp fur, reduce mats and remove knots.
It also makes it easier to groom your dog’s coat after a bath, which is essential for maintaining a healthy overcoat.
When it comes to choosing the best shampoo for golden retrievers, there are several options. All are good, but our favorite is PetAg Fresh’n Clean.
It has a strong, long-lasting scent that eliminates odor, uses natural ingredients, and is gentle enough that you can safely use it for frequent baths. Your golden retriever might not thank you for getting them clean, but you’ll be glad you did—and they’ll look better for it.
If you're looking for an inexpensive shampoo that keeps your dog's fur unmatted and smelling fresh, PetAG Fresh 'n Clean Scented Dog Shampoo is your best option.