7 Best Golden Retriever Shampoos On The Market: Our 2020 Guide

The long golden coats of golden retrievers are perhaps one of the most beautiful kinds of fur in the canine kingdom. They’re stunning dogs that have been one of the most famous and desirable breeds for quite some time now.

However, all those long golden locks require quite a bit of care and attention to keep them in tip-top condition – and choosing the right shampoo and conditioner for a golden retriever is super important (perhaps more so than many other breeds).

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With that in mind today we’re going to be sharing some golden retriever bathing tips along a brief buyer’s guide to make bathing as simple as possible. We’re also going to provide you with 7 product recommendations that are the result of our extensive research into the best shampoos for golden retrievers on the market right now.

Let’s get started.

What To Look For In A Good Golden Retriever Shampoo

There are several things that you should be watching out for if you want to ensure you’re getting a product that’s suitable for a long-haired breed like this.

Conditioner

The most important (and hopefully obvious) thing you should be looking out for in a good shampoo for golden retrievers is a conditioner. The beautiful long coats of our dogs need to be maintained with essential oils and proteins to keep their famous shine at its best. Look for products that help with tangling and matting too, they make life a whole lot easier for both you and your pooch.

Soap

Soap based shampoos have a little bit of a bad reputation for causing skin issues and irritations. However, there are some excellent soap based products out there that are reasonably gentle. If you’ve got a dog that doesn’t suffer from allergies or dermal sensitiveness then there’s no beating the cleaning power of a soap based product. If on the other hand, your dog’s skin is on the sensitive side – you’re going to need to look for a more natural product instead.

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Pesticides

If your pooch has been infested with ticks or fleas (or has a repellent of some kind in their fur) then you should be careful that any shampoo you choose won’t wash away the protection. Natural shampoos are best for this, but they are not all compatible with the pesticides your pooch may have had applied to their coat – check the label to be sure.

Overall Best Golden Retriever Shampoo

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Key Features :

  • 2 in 1 formula
  • Won’t cause irritation
  • Wheat protein for cleaning
  • Soap-free
Why You Should Buy

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Buddy Wash Original Lavender & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner is an excellent 2 in 1 formula that uses a calming and cooling combination of lavender and mint to clean and deodorize your pet’s coat and skin.

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We searched high and low to try and find shampoos that we think are perfect for golden retrievers and we came across quite a few products we wanted to recommend. This excellent 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner from Buddy Wash was the one we decided on being our overall recommendation (but we’ve mentioned the very worthy runners-up later in this article too).

This product is perfect for the long-haired coats of our gorgeous golden retrievers. It’s a completely natural soap-free formula, which means you can wash your pooch as often as you need to without causing irritation and harm. Instead of soap, it uses a variety of natural extracts like green tea and sage to provide its cleaning power.

The wheat protein that’s been included is where the main smell busting power of this product comes from. It’s powerful enough to compete with soap in terms of odor elimination (but it’s still not quite as good in all honesty)

It’s one of the best non-soap based products on the market in terms of lathering – which is something natural golden retriever shampoos can occasionally struggle with. The coconut oil and lavender smells that have been added are specifically designed to help your pooch relax, which is great if you’ve got a dog that doesn’t like to bathe.

The added aloe vera and tea tree oil in this product work wonderfully with one another to protect any skin that’s a little bit red or sore and to help ensure your pooch is as comfortable and as healthy as possible. It’s also an excellent value for money product considering you’re only going to be paying around $7 for a 16oz bottle.

There are very few products we come across that can compete with this kind of performance at this kind of price point, and this is a shampoo that we think should be at the very top of your shortlist.

Best Shampoo For A Golden Retriever With Allergies

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

Key Features :

  • Uses essential oils
  • Good for skin issues/allergies
  • Aloe vera to repair skin
  • Intense cleaning power
Why You Should Buy

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs

Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs is great for your golden retriever who has skin issues or allergies. It uses essential oils to soothe and repair and aloe vera to moisturize.

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If your golden retriever suffers from skin issues or allergies, then you’re going to need to start looking at specialist shampoos that can try and help with the problem (instead of making it worse). There are several products out there that will help solve their skin issues a little bit (like our overall pick) but your pooch is going to be happier and healthier with a dedicated product.

This excellent allergy shampoo from Vet’s Best is easily one of the best products like this on the market right now. It has a range of essential oils (like tea tree oil) inside of it that are designed to soothe and repair your dog’s skin (alongside a healthy dose of aloe vera for the same purpose too).

The cleaning power of this product comes from oatmeal which is one of the best natural sanitizers and odor eliminators that mother nature has provided us – it’s going to leave your dog fresher than ever. As an added bonus, the fragrance this product leaves behind is light, floral, and very enjoyable too.

The only problem we’ve got with this product is that it’s not got any conditioner inside of it, which could be a little bit of an issue considering the long lovely hair our golden retrievers have. However, it’s not a bad shampoo in terms of tangling, and as long as you follow our brushing advice in the tips section above – you’re not going to have any problems.

Because this shampoo doesn’t use soap, you can use it as often as you like to clean dogs that get particularly messy. It’s also perfect for pooches that are currently undergoing flea and tick treatments, as the gentle yet powerful formula will not wash off the protection you may have applied manually previously (or the protection from a collar).

5 More Really Good Shampoos For A Golden Retriever

The two products above were easily the best shampoos for a golden retriever that we came across – but they were by no means the only products we were impressed by. The 5 shampoos below are all excellent runners-up that we think you should consider if you don’t like the look of our top 2 recommendations for some reason.

PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo, Classic Fresh Scent

Key Features :

  • Fresh scent
  • Strong cleaning power
  • Soap-based
  • pH neutral
Why You Should Buy

PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo, Classic Fresh Scent

PetAg Fresh ‘N Clean Scented Dog Shampoo, Classic Fresh Scent is a soap-based shampoo that has great cleaning power and a fresh scent.

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We generally like to try and recommend natural based soap-free products wherever possible, as they are much gentler on your dog’s skin. However, there’s no beating the power of soap based dog shampoos, and if your dog doesn’t suffer from skin sensitivities – this could be the product for you. It will get your dog cleaner and fresher than almost any other product on this page – while being pH neutral at the same time (to limit any irritation).

Burt’s Bees Care Plus+ Hydrating Coconut Oil Dog Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Cruelty free
  • 98.2% natural
  • Coconut oil for moisturizing
  • Soap-free
Why You Should Buy

Burt’s Bees Care Plus+ Hydrating Coconut Oil Dog Shampoo

Burt’s Bees Care Plus+ Hydrating Coconut Oil Dog Shampoo uses coconut oil and is soap-free. It is really gentle and 98.2% natural.

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This is a great coconut oil infused shampoo from the well-known brand Burt’s Bees. It’s an excellent soap-free shampoo that can be used as often as you like – because it’s super gentle (yet super effective). It’s got great deodorizing capabilities despite being 98.2% natural – and it’s entirely cruelty-free too.

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Sanitizes and deodorizes
  • Fresh scent
  • Uses lemongrass and aloe
  • Moisturizing
Why You Should Buy

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo uses lemongrass and aloe to clean and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. It has a fresh scent and great sanitizing capabilities.

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We love to recommend this product from 4-legger in these articles, it’s one of the best shampoos on the market right now. The combination of aloe vera and lemongrass give this product moisturizing and sanitizing capabilities that put it right at the top of the table in terms of performance. The only reason it’s not our overall pick is that it’s a little bit more expensive than other products (around $15). But if you decide to splash the cash on this shampoo, you’re going to immediately understand where the extra money went.

Earthbath 2-in-1 Mango Tango Conditioning Dog & Cat Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Cleans and sanitizes
  • 2 in 1 formula
  • Multi-species
  • Great scent
Why You Should Buy

Earthbath 2-in-1 Mango Tango Conditioning Dog & Cat Shampoo

Earthbath 2-in-1 Mango Tango Conditioning Dog & Cat Shampoo is a multi-species, 2 in 1 formula that not only smells great but cleans and sanitizes your pet’s coat and skin, too.

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This is easily one of the best smelling dog shampoos on the market right now. The stunning mango infusion that this product benefits from will make you think about drinking it instead of bathing with it (but don’t do this). It’s gentle on the skin, but it focuses on cleaning more than it focuses on soothing irritations and rashes (it has no aloe vera in it).

Paws & Pals Pet Wash Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

Key Features :

  • Moisturizes with aloe and shea butter
  • Uses oatmeal to clean
  • Helps protect against rashes
  • Sanitizes
Why You Should Buy

Paws & Pals Pet Wash Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

Paws & Pals Pet Wash Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo uses the natural sanitizing power of oatmeal to get your dog clean. It moisturizes, too, through the use of aloe vera and shea butter.

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The final product we’re recommending today is another shampoo that uses the natural sanitizing power of oatmeal to get your pooch super clean without needing to use soap. The aloe vera infusion ensures that your pooch’s skin is moisturized and free from rashes, and the Shea butter works to give your golden retriever a super healthy and glossy coat too.

How Often Should I Bathe A Golden Retriever?

With soap based shampoos you shouldn’t really be bathing your pooch more often than once a month. Even the gentlest soap shampoos can cause irritation and issues if used more frequently than this.

If you know you’ve got a mucky pup that needs regular bathing, then you should look at some natural shampoos that use soap alternatives. These products can often be used as regularly as you like without causing irritation, and they provide surprisingly good cleaning power despite their lack of soapy goodness.

4 Golden Retriever Bathing Tips

By following these 4 simple tips you’re going to make bathing your golden retriever a quicker and more pleasant procedure for both you and your pooch.

  1. Use Wire Wool – The long golden fur of our dogs is beautiful, but it’s also extremely damaging to pipes and plumbing. By putting some wire wool in the plug you’re going to catch most of the hair that’s removed during bathing before it gets into your drainage system and causes blockages.
  2. Brush Before Bathing – Give your pooch a good brush before you get them in the bath. This will remove any matting or knots that may be present before they get wet (which makes them much harder to remove). You don’t need to go crazy with the brushing, but just give them a quick good once over to make life much easier.
  3. Put A Towel Down – Putting a towel down in your bath (or getting a non-slip mat) is going to make things much more comfortable and safer for your pooch. The slippery ceramic or plastic of your tub combined with a layer of soap is difficult for your pooch to stand and move around on.
  4. Get Ready – This is a tip that you’re only going to forget once, trust us. Make sure you’ve got everything you need close to hand when you start the bathing process. Leaving your pooch unattended in the bath is going to result in a soaking wet dog (with lots of thick fur) running around your home and shaking dog water all over the place. It’s not a lot of fun – especially when they think you trying to catch them is all part of some new and elaborate game (and they try and avoid you).

Conclusion

So there you have it, that’s a little bit of information that we hope you’re going to be able to use to give you and your golden retriever a happier, less stressful, and more efficient bathing routine.

The golden glossy coats that our dogs are well known for take more than just a good shampoo and conditioner to maintain – but choosing the right product is still going to help massively.

Any of the golden retriever shampoos on this page are going to provide you with the cleaning and conditioning power you need (without causing skin issues) and they are all more than worthy of your consideration.

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Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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