How often do you bathe a dog?

I totally remember when I first got Bella that she was smelly and dirty from the breeder. I got her washed as soon as I could and ask him why the stench was so bad.

The reply was simple but unhelpful because he could not tell me the exact reason. So how often do you bathe a dog is what I then asked and followed back with no answer.


Now I know that he was no Einstein when it came to computers but I thought how lazy he must have been to not check on google. Well when I looked, to my surprise I couldn’t find any info that was specifically for golden retrievers.

Which is why I decided to write this blog post and answer a few questions that you may have around this topic.

First thing is first…

The difference between a Golden Retriever and other dogs when we’re talking about bathing can be quite significant. Whilst you would bathe most other breeds around every 3 months?

You would, in fact, have to bathe a Golden retriever around once every 2 weeks depending on how active they are. Goldens should go no longer than a maximum of 6 weeks before having a bath.

Read Also: >> how to take the best care for your Golden retriever

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How about puppies? Does the same rule apply?

The same would go for puppies in general. However, if you find that your puppy is not quite fond of the bathtub. Then you could maybe extend the time to a bit more frequent until they become accustomed to it. When I first got Bella she was always kicking up a fight when it came to bath time. It was quite funny as you can imagine but also cute too.

I decided that I needed to implement the few tactics in order to get over the fact that she didn’t want to take a bath any given time. I found a few useful tips that I still use up to today.  And I also managed to come across some great products over time that can be quite useful for retriever  Parents.

Do dogs need baths? A few things to consider

There are a few things to consider though when you’re specifically talking about puppies. I found a great video online that actually runs through a few tips you can implement from today. But just in case you’re more of a reader that someone who likes video. I’ve actually listed out a bit of information just below that may be of interest to you.

What about younger pups

So if your puppy is really young, then you might want to hold off bathing them in the first 7 to 8 weeks. I actually pushed it all the way to 10 but I’m not sure you would have to go all that way. Really consider whether they would be ok in the cold after a warm bath. You just want the water to be kind of lukewarm when bathing them so not too hot and not too cold.

Every dog is different along with how often you should be both of them at a young age. I would probably say about once per month to start out. Now bearing in mind this can get quite difficult with a new puppy as they are completely unfamiliar with it.

If you would have seen me when I first got Bella,  it would have been almost like a comedy sketch on TV back in the 80s.

Image result for chasing my dog clipart

The chase, Literally!

I would literally be chasing her up and down around and around to try and get her into the bath. The funniest part was the fact that she always knew when it was last time. And that would be the exact time she would start playing up.

When you’re deciding on where you should be bathing your dog then pick a spot and stick to it. In the early stages is really important that you stay consistent in order to get your puppy familiar with bathing time.

But that’s all focused around puppies but how about older dogs. Keep reading to find out how I got about basing Bella in the more recent of times.

Bathing your dog – Where is best to wash my dog?

Had a quick simple answer I can give you to that question is,  anywhere where there is water. And that’s about it really,  there are no specific locations as to where you should bathe your dog. But if you’re anything like me in which I mean a little to OCD.

Then it is probably better to keep it somewhere separate from where you pay yourself. Now,  don’t get me wrong,  I absolutely adore my puppy, Bella. But when it comes to sharing my bathtub,  I tend to draw the line.

Image result for golden retriever bath

The funniest place I found…

So for me, I actually keep a nice place out the backyard for where Bella can take her bath time. We literally brought a second-hand bath talk to which we leave outside specifically for that purpose.

Kinda funny to watch as the neighbors think we’re crazy. But I don’t blame them, because I think we’re crazy too.  now although this is not any traditional way of doing things. I would highly recommend you try and get hold of a second-hand bathtub but you can make me feel up and use.

The great part about if you have a puppy is the fact that you don’t even have to have a bathtub. A small basin or tub will do the trick and sure enough, help with bathing your dog.

How often should you wash a dog – The difficulties I’ve faced

It always gets a bit difficult when we’re thinking about the best products to use. You never know exactly what’s going to work. I end up just buying lots of them and seeing what ones are better than others.

Then I make a review on it each time on this website. You can check out some of the products  I am currently using in the next section. It is specifically for Golden Retrievers, but I’m sure if you have another breed then you can find some useful information there too.

Keep reading to see exactly what those products are.


What shampoo should I be using?

There definitely a few small questions that you have to ask yourself when it comes to the part of bathing a Golden Retriever. I mean I definitely had to ask myself if you.  and the real too things to consider are…

The fact that they have a big thick coat as well as skin that releases natural oils. So you don’t want to dry this skin out too much. And you really have to also be careful to not get something so soapy that you can’t wash it out.

Because of that, I decided to save you some of the hassles and create a product review posts on some of the best shampoos out there. Each one I tested over a period of two weeks and left my honest opinion on each.

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The most important 2 elements you need

The best part for Golden Retrievers is you only really need to look out for two main elements. Noo, I’m not trying to get all sciencey on you, no way!

I’m just Talkin About 2 simple things to maybe check on the back of the bottle before you buy it. And that is just simply the following:

  • Vitamin E
  • Oatmeal

Both f these 2 things are great for promoting healthy skin in your golden retriever. That can also lead to them having great skin as well.

It’s really important because you don’t want your golden retriever to start getting tangled hair. Boy oh boy, can that be a big problem with golden retrievers.

If you do find yourself getting stuck in that situation.  then it probably bests that you get yourself the right brushes to help you untangle their coats. You need to be very careful in this type of situation because you can cause more damage than good.

If you’re one of the smart ones though and you managed to avoid this problem. Then here are a few tips and how to wash your Retriever the right way to avoid this happening.


How to wash you’re golden, the right way

So there are a few steps that have managed to put together from all the knowledge of gathered over the years of washing Bella. There are many different things that you might have to do differently with other breeds.

But for you golden retrievers parents, I have put together something nice, simple & step by step. So once you have your tearless shampoo.

All you need is some cotton balls and another shampoo that is specifically for your dog’s coat & skin.

Read also: >> Can you use human shampoo on dogs?

cotton balls in dogs ears

This is used to prevent any water from getting into your dog’s ears whilst you’re washing them down. I was so scared to do this the first time around, but you kind of get used to it after a few runs.

The first splash

You can’t just start spraying down your dog immediately. It’s best for you to actually kept the temperature beforehand to make sure you don’t burn them or make them too cold.

I simply just from the water before actually putting them in which tends to work just fine. So you want to till your dog’s head up and then start watching there face first. Make sure to not get anything into their nose as that can be quiet and comfortable and hard for them to breathe.

Careful there!

Make sure that you are careful around the ears as that can be quite a difficult part to wash. Always make sure your dog’s ears are flopped down and even though it is blocked with cotton wool.

You still want to avoid over soaking their ears on the inside. Next when you shower down their coat, then make sure it is wet all the way through to their skin.

tearless shampoo

First Shampoo to use

Then you’re gonna want to use some tearless shampoo. That will do it says that its tearless on the tub. That does not mean that you should use it on your pup’s eyes. So, in other words, you should still make sure to avoid their eyes even when using this shampoo.

Make sure to rub it in the direction you want their hair to grow in as it can cause ingrown hairs if you don’t. Only on the face whilst using the tearless shampoo

washing a dogs face

For the next part, you want to use the shampoo that has been specifically recommended for your breed. To apply it all you have to do is squirt some on the neck and the back of your dog and start rubbing from the neck down first.

Last but not least you want to apply some of the recommended shampoos to your dog’s legs. In this part, there is no definite way of Direction you need to rub them as it can be here there and everywhere.

The main purpose of that is just to purely get it as clean as possible. And that’s it for the shampoo in part….

The final rinse 

Lastly, you want to wash them down starting from their head first and then moving down the back of the body before washing their legs. Make sure that you have washed all of the shampoos out of their coat.

I highly recommend you rinse them down at least twice with water to make sure that all the shampoo has gone.

Drying down your golden 

Next, dry them off using a towel to the best that you can. After that, you can use a blow dryer to get the last bits or just let me air dry.

NOTE: I only know of air drying for goldens but if you have a different breed then make sure to check the correct information for this. Once they are dry you will want to brush them down.

In the following section, you can find the recommended brushes to do so…

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The best brushes to use after the wash

I’ve actually written a whole article on the best brushes you can use for a Golden Retriever. You need to be really careful when picking brushes because the wrong one can cause a lot of damage.

And you also get a lot of these so-called best brushes that simply don’t work. Because of that, I ran a 6-month test on all the best brushes that you can find online.

Are these the brushes you need for after a wash?

Now although I do not specifically highlight the fact that these brushes are used after a wash. I still believe they’re the best suitable brushes to use at any given time on your golden retriever. Even if you don’t have a Golden Retriever then I’m sure you would love to see this review. As I cover using it on my dog for over a period of a month or so each brush.

So you can get that in-house information on what ones would be best suited for you. If you don’t find anything on the list then make sure to just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. And that’s it….

Your puppy should be now ready to go all fresh and smelling like roses. There isn’t too much to it when it comes to washing your dog. But depending on your breath you need to be aware of a few different things. If your specific dog hasn’t been covered on this post. then simply leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Or seek out relevant information from a professional online.


No matter whether you have a large dog or a young puppy. It is very important to keep this skin in good tact at all times.  If you do not know the best shampoos to use or the best brushes to use.

Then it is best to seek out the relevant information in order to get the best results. Find a place that your dog can be washed and stick to that place so they get familiar with it. Make sure to wash them down thoroughly after you shampoo their coat. And then brush them down after drying, just to add the final touch. 

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

About Dig Doggy

DigDoggy® is a free resource for dog owners, with everything from expert product reviews to trusted pet care advice.

All of our reviews and recommendations are based on unbiased research by our editorial team. Read more about us.

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