How to Make My Golden Retriever Smell Good? 13 Methods that Work

Golden Retrievers are very active dogs. They will jump into a bond of water (or mud) before you can even tell them not to. This will often lead to them having quite a few smells that can be described as many things, but not nice or pleasant.

Thankfully, there are effective and efficient ways that you can make your golden retriever smell better.

How to make my golden retriever smell good? You can make your golden retriever smell better with regular baths, grooming, and regularly washing their beds. Using high-quality shampoos will make them smelling amazing, and nutritious foods and supplements will keep the bad smells at bay.

This is the short answer, keep reading to know more about the process in detail.

13 Methods to Make Your Golden Retriever Smell Good 

Image of a golden taking a bath to answer how to make my golden retriever smell good

The following are 13 tips that will help you keep your golden retriever smelling fresh and awesome most of the time. Accidents will happen, but as long as you keep these routines in mind, you will be able to cuddle with them on the couch at the end of every day.

Find the source of the bad smell

Find where your dog smells the most if it is around their legs it could be a problem with their anal glands or it could be that there’s something smelly stuck in their coat.

Do they smell like fish? If so, you can learn why your golden smells like fish and how to treat it here.

If their breath smells bad it could be that they have gum disease but if they smell bad in general then they just need to take a bath, be groomed, and have their teeth brushed.

If their smell comes from the ears, in particular, you should inspect it and clean it first. You can learn the 7 reasons why goldens’ ears smell and the solutions here.

Bathe them regularly

The most common cause for the odor that your dog can secrete is the oils in their coat and to avoid that smell you need to bathe them regularly if you want to keep their smell fresh and clean you can bathe them once a week or at least once every three months.

You can learn more about how often do you need to bathe your golden retriever here.

Groom them 2-5 times a week

You can start with grooming them after every bathe and up to twice a week till you reach daily grooming.

Daily grooming is really important to avoid excessive shedding and to remove dead hair, debris, or dirt that could cause an odor in your golden retriever’s fur. You can check my recommended brushes for goldens here.

Brush their teeth

It is normal for dogs to have a smelly breath but not too smelly because it could indicate many problems. But first, how do you know if their breath is too smelly?

Easy; when your dog licks or even breathes in your face and you can not take it or it makes you sick a little bit then their breath is too smelly and it could mean that they have gum disease.

When they are cleaning themselves the smell could be stuck in their coat, and suddenly this smell is all over them. It could also spread through their saliva which can leave an odor in their coat.

However, if their breath is fruity or sweet is not always a good thing either because it could indicate that they have diabetes.

In conclusion, you should brush your golden retriever’s teeth at least three times per week and slowly over time move it up to daily.

I usually use regular dog toothbrushes for my dogs, but I’ve recently been loving this finger toothbrush which you can check on Amazon here.

Wipe down their ears

If you didn’t find the source of the bad smell then probably it’s their ears.

Fortunately, you can easily fix it, and here is how?

  • Make sure that your golden retriever is relaxed 
  • Wipe down down your golden retriever’s ears to make sure that there are no fungal bacteria behind or inside their ears
  • Use cotton balls to gently wipe any debris or dirt from the inside of their ears

Try new shampoos

Some shampoos can dry up your golden retriever’s skin and it will leave them with a dry flaky smell that will start to smell over time. You can learn more about the golden retriever’s dry skin problems here.

It is always a good idea to try new shampoos especially organic ones because natural products can help with dry and itchy skin. The shampoo pictured above is Bert’s bees and it’s one of the best Shampoos I’ve used. You can check it on Amazon here.

I have also been loving this Pet Pleasant Oatmeal and Lavender Shampoo. , and I really can’t recommend it enough. You can check the Pet Pleasant Shampoo on Amazon here.

Trim their nails regularly

You probably know all of the dirt that can be under your dog’s nails after playing in the grass, sand, dust, or even snow.

That’s why it is recommended to wash your dog’s paws after playing or taking them for a walk and trim their nails as soon as they grow back again and remove any dirt under their nails because it could build-up to bacteria.

Use freshening fragrances (sprays and colognes)

You can use sprays or colognes for dogs to improve your golden retriever’s smell, but first, you need to check on the ingredients and make sure that nothing in it can harm your dog’s skin.

The fragrant liquid can also be added to their bathing water and after the bath, you can still spray them if you want and you can also spray it in their bedding.

clean their bedding regularly

One of the most important methods is cleaning their bedding regularly because they spend most of their time in it rubbing their fur against it, bringing food, and leaving food crumbs all over it.

What do you think happens after a nice bath and grooming and they go back to their bedding? They will pick up all these smells that are now stuck in their beds.

Clean their bedding regularly, change the sheets as often as you can, and make sure they don’t bring food to eat in bed. They’re like children in this aspect as well, especially if they have a sufficiently large bed.

You can also check my recommended dog beds and houses here.  

Dry baths

If you do not have time for their regular bath you can give them a quick dry one which will be much easier and quicker for you.

A dry bath will also be a good idea if you want to keep their smell fresh and clean even if you already gave them their weekly bath. 

Here is a home remedy for dry shampoo, it is healthier and more organic.

A Dry Shampoo Home Remedy

  • Half a cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of cornstarch 
  • 5-10 drops each of lavender and tea tree oils (you can replace the lavender oil with any other scented oil that you prefer such as coconut oil)
  • Now mix them in a shaker.

It will leave them clean for a while and it will give them a natural and nice smell.

You should clean their bedding every 1-2 weeks, and here’s how you should wash it.

  • You can wash it with hot water and baking soda to kill any smells and odors
  • Or wash it with some hot water and vinegar 

But do not use fabric softeners because it can irritate your dog’s skin.

 Balanced diet

I will only say one thing and I think you will understand how a balanced diet goes hand in hand with their smell; what goes in is what comes out.

So if they eat something they are allergic to or foods that dogs can not eat such as chocolate, grapes, or raisins. They might be toxic but also it can cause an odor.

Cheap foods can also cause an odor because it leads to gas.

Ask your vet for a balanced diet that suits your dog and stick with it.

Get air filters

If all other methods failed with your pooch and you started to lose hope then you can try the obvious answer, get air filters, or air deodorizer to cover their smell.

I really like the LEVOIT Air purifier in the image above, and it does a reasonably good job of handling smells for its affordable price. Check the LEVOIT air purifier on Amazon here.

You can get a professional deodorizer that is built for getting rid of the bad odors.

Buy them an outdoor house

If you have a backyard, buying them an outdoor house will be a great idea for both of you especially in the summer, they like to play outside and enjoy the air and if they have a bad odor they will not leave it all over your place. 

Do Golden Retrievers have a smell? 

Yes, they do, golden retrievers have thick water-resistant coats and oils on their fur, so you might get an unpleasant odor that moves around your dog.

Related Questions 

Why does My golden Retriever Smell So Bad? 

They could smell because of an infection such as yeast and skin infections,  anal glands problem, or gums disease. Anal glands will not just leave them with an odor it will also leave a smell on your carpet or floor. However, if they smell so bad you should take them to their vet to consult them.

What is the least smelly dog?

The least smelly dog is Maltese because they are small and can easily be bathed also they do not have excessive skin folds and they are not prone to excessive wax build-up. Here are some of the least smelly dogs besides the Maltese

  • Bichon Frise
  • Basenji 
  • Whippet
  • Siberian husky
  • Alaskan malamute
  • Kuvasz 


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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