As Golden Retriever owners, the one thing you could ask yourself is, ˝How often should I bathe a Golden Retriever?˝ Golden Retrievers are known for being the dog breed that adores water; hence, the term “water dogs.”.
When you think about it, you can say that this is a winning combination. Playing outside usually means bath time, which isn’t a problem for Golden Retrievers since they love water.
In this article, we will go through everything from the bathing schedule, dog shampoo, a dog’s skin, its natural oil, what to be careful about, etc.
How Often Should You Bathe A Golden Retriever?
When talking about the Golden Retriever’s coat, besides being beautiful, it can get a bit overwhelming. Golden Retrievers have a double coat: an overcoat that gets long and smooth, and an undercoat that is fuzzy and soft.
A bathing schedule can get quite confusing. How often you should bathe a Golden Retriever depends on a lot of factors, which we will go through.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests that regular bathing time for Golden Retrievers shouldn’t be more often than every six weeks. Older dogs that aren’t as active as younger dogs can go without a bath even longer around every eight weeks.
You shouldn’t bathe your Golden Retriever more than two times a month, but of course, if it gets dirty, or wet a lot, a bath in between is necessary.
Lifestyle Factors And Environmental Factors You Should Consider
The lifestyle that the dog owner leads is always important, especially for Golden Retriever owners. If you are an active person and love spending time outside, you are an amazing match for your Golden Retriever.
But outdoor activities come with some consequences, the result being a dirty dog.
Urban Vs. Rural Environments
How often should you bathe a Golden Retriever – rural edition. If you live in a rural area, your Golden Retriever probably spends a lot of time outside. A dog bath or two in a span of 10 days to two weeks is in order.
You need to have in mind possible parasite problems, like ticks, so a bath every two weeks can eliminate the chance of tick occupation. If you have a pond near you, we assume your Golden Retriever spends quite some time in it, so you can end up with a dog that has a strong wet smell.
How often should you bathe a Golden Retriever – urban edition. Well, if you live in the city, your Golden Retriever probably has a bit less outside time. Nevertheless, your dog can also come back looking a tad different than when it left your house.
Every Golden Retriever loves a good mud pond, and if they get their paws in it, you can end up with a chocolate Labrador. Urban dogs probably don’t need a bath as often as rural dogs, but make sure you protect them from parasites as parasite issues can be found in urban environments as well.
How Often Should You Bathe A Golden Retriever: Winter Vs. Summer
Winter baths should be less frequent… once a month, or even less. Baths should be done indoors, and you need to be very careful when it comes to water temperature. If you have previously prepared and made your bathroom warm, you can use lukewarm water – but, if not, you need to use a bit warmer water.
Since it is a more difficult task, some Golden Retriever owners skip the baths all winter, and instead, give their dog a quick shower.
Summers are much easier. Your dog can be washed outside, which is more convenient for you and much more fun for your dog. You should use a bit colder water, so you can help your dog fight off the heat.
Summer baths are more frequent. Not just because they are easier, but your dog loves to play in water, especially in the summer, and he can get the wet smell more often.
Does Coat Length Matter?
Golden Retrievers are famous for their beautiful, long, and thick coat. It is known that a shorter coat needs less bathing time, but we do not recommend it when it comes to Golden Retrievers.
Yes, you can trim their coat to look tidier, but cutting a Golden Retriever can be dangerous. One of the worst things you can do is shave your Golden Retriever. If you live in a warm climate, you might think that is what your dog needs, but it does more damage than good.
By shaving your Golden Retriever, you are messing with its ability to regulate its body temperature. You can also damage its coat. Its skin isn’t protected from the sun, so you could cause your dog to have some skin conditions.
The bathing time is, for sure, easier, but in the long run, it is not worth it at all.
There is such a thing as too many or too few baths.
Too Often Vs. Too Few Baths
The recommendation is to write down every time you bathe your dog, so you don’t forget and give it too many baths when there is no need.
If you treat your dog with too many baths, it can lead to some problems. The natural oils they possess can diminish and cause the skin to become irritated and dry.
Another thing that can happen is some serious damage to his coat.
You may ask yourself what is considered too few baths. We can say that a couple of months without a bath is a rare bathing schedule. The most obvious thing that can happen is a strong, bad smell.
The shedding process can increase and leave your dog with more tangles than usual, which can also cause flea infestation.
How To Successfully Bathe My Golden Retriever
As most dog owners know, when in the puppy stage, doggies love to explore and have fun, especially Golden Retriever puppies. Bathing is just a term that comes along with this beautiful and active breed.
Puppies don’t have to have regular grooming and frequent baths. Yes, they can get into some mud puddles in which case you have to bathe them, but frequent baths should be avoided.
When they are young, about seven weeks of age (when dog owners usually bring the doggy home), you should make them used to the bathing process. You can give them treats and reward them when they behave nicely. Some snuggles and playtime in the bath might be helpful as well.
If you are a bit unsure at the beginning and want to get professional advice, you can always contact your vet or groomer.
We made a short list of bathing processes, which relates to both puppies and grown Golden Retrievers.
Preparation Before The Bath
This comes before your dog even knows that there is a bath coming. We suggest that you collect all the things you need. Towels, shampoo, treats, a brush, and a blow dryer are the main things to prepare before starting a bath.
You need to make sure that the room temperature is right. If the weather is colder, then the room needs to be warm, and the other way around.
Try to move as many things from the floor as possible. A dog tends to get a bit fussy before putting it in a bathtub, so any obstacle can make your life a bit harder.
Brushing Before Bathing
Brushing before bathing is quite important. If there is any matting, make sure to remove it beforehand because when matting comes in contact with water, it can get even harder to remove.
Also, the excess hair that you remove before bathing can make your bath time easier.
Lukewarm water is the best for your dog ( 36.5 to 40 C). As already said, if it’s wintertime, the environment and the water should be a bit warmer, while in the summer, you can bathe your Golden Retriever even with cold water, but not too cold.
The best way to check the temperature is by using your elbow. Using your palms might not give you the right estimation.
Lathering The Shampoo
When it comes to shampoos, make sure you are using the best shampoo depending on the needs of your dog. If your dog has problems with parasites, there are shampoos specially designed for that problem.
You also need to consider the dog’s coat. As we mentioned, Golden Retrievers have a dense double coat, and you need to find the proper shampoo for your Golden Retriever. You can even ask the breeder you bought your puppy from if they have any suggestions concerning what to use.
Don’t use human shampoos. They can cause your Golden Retriever to have dry skin, dandruff, and even cause tangling of the fur. There are many different options for shampoos on Amazon.
When bathing your dog, make sure that shampoo doesn’t get in their eyes and ears. Start from the neck and keep lathering down the back and paws. Make sure to thoroughly rub their belly and paws since those are the areas that are the longest and tend to get pretty dirty.
One recommendation we have when it comes to baths that are between the bathing schedule is to water down the shampoo. Find a bigger bowl in your house, put some shampoo in it, and water it down with some water. This way, your dog will get clean and the skin will be a bit more protected.
A Golden Retrievers’ coat is waterproof. You need to take your time while rinsing the shampoo.
The undercoat can absorb a lot of water, so sometimes a bit of shampoo can get left behind, which can cause your dog to have skin irritation.
This step is very important. If your dog is not dried fully, it can still get the wet smell, so all the effort you put in could be wasted.
It’s easier in the summertime since the hot weather dries it naturally. But, when talking about cold weather, make sure you blow-dry. First, use the towel and dry all the excess water, especially the undercoat.
Then, if your dog feels comfortable, use a blow dryer to thoroughly dry your dog.
Make sure that your dog’s ears are dry. If there is any water left by accident, it can cause ear infections.
Brushing Time After The Bath
This step is optional. It can be the icing on the cake, and also, it can help you see if you dried your dog properly.
The Process Is The Same For Both Boys And Girls
It’s worth noting that the steps above don’t change based on gender. Both male and female Golden Retrievers are similar enough that the process stays the same, barring any behavioral problems.
Helpful Tips For Bathing Time
If your dog struggles when it comes to bathing, we have a couple of tips on how to make them calmer.
Tired Dog – Easy Bath
The best suggestion is to tire your dog before the bath. Take your dog for a long walk or a bit longer playtime at the dog park. You can even treat him with a puddle here and there. Hey, a bath awaits them at home, so let them enjoy their time for a bit.
A happy and tired dog is a lot easier to bathe.
A Friend To The Rescue
If your dog gets a bit troublesome, you may consider an extra hand from anyone that is around you. While you are lathering the shampoo, your helper can distract the dog by petting him, talking to him, or even singing to him if your dog likes that.
Bath time can also be reduced when there are two pairs of hands bathing one dog.
Shut The Door
Dogs sometimes decide to play the chasing game right before taking a bath. This is why it’s important to shut the door, especially if they decide to play in the middle of bathing time. That would be a mess, right?
You can try to teach your dog to associate the clicking sound of the door lock with ˝playtime is over, now we are getting to business˝.
Calm Your Dog By Calming Yourself
It’s very important that you keep calm during bath time. Golden Retrievers are very emotional and smart dogs. They can sense your emotions, so if you feel stressed, they can stress out, too.
Make bath time fun – put some music on and make it enjoyable for you and your dog.
Treats To The Rescue
It’s always a good option to have a couple of treats by your side. You can use them to reward your dog when it calms down and behaves well, and also, if you see that it is getting too stressed, it may help calm them down.
One good trick is to put some peanut butter on the wall. He will be distracted by the delicacy while you bathe him.
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to the question, ˝How often should you bathe a Golden Retriever?˝ It might be a lot to take in, but the reward at the end is one cute and clean Golden Retriever.
The important thing is that this is by no means a professional opinion. No vet nor groomer wrote this article.