Best Shampoo For Golden Retrievers In 2023

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We did a study where we asked 600 Golden Retriever owners which shampoo they use for their Golden.

One brand had a dominating victory in this study, but it isn’t the best shampoo for all Goldens.

In this post, you’ll learn what the most popular shampoo for Golden Retrievers is, plus :

  • The best shampoo for Goldens with allergies or itchy skin
  • The best shampoo for Goldens with dry, flaky skin
  • The best shampoo for puppies
  • What makes a good shampoo for Goldens (and which ingredients you need to AVOID)

And at the end, you’ll see an easy way to make bath time more fun for your golden.

4 Best Shampoos For Retrievers

  1. Burt’s Bees Natural Oatmeal Shampoo (best overall shampoo and best natural shampoo for dry skin)
  2. Pet Pleasant Lavender Oatmeal Shampoo (best shampoo for smelly dogs)
  3. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Shampoo (best medicated shampoo)
  4. Burt’s Bees 2-in-1 Tearless Puppy Shampoo (best shampoo for puppies)

Below we’ll dive deeper into these shampoos, including their pros and cons, and who they’re best for.

Burt’s Bees Natural Oatmeal Shampoo


  • Has oatmeal and honey to moisturize and soothe your dog’s skin and coat
  • Doesn’t contain any of the bad ingredients you want to avoid
  • Made of natural ingredients


  • Very light honey smell (many people say it could use a stronger smell)
  • Doesn’t lather up well (like most natural shampoos), so it may feel like like your dog isn’t getting very clean


This natural oatmeal shampoo is soothing and moisturizing, so if your dog has dry or itchy skin, this product is for you.

But if you’re looking for a shampoo to make your dog smell great, this may or may not be the one for you.

A clean smell is not the main goal of their formula, although you will have a clean dog.

You can get this shampoo from Amazon here.

Pet Pleasant Lavender Oatmeal Shampoo

pet pleasure lavender oatmeal shampoo for golden retrievers


  • Deodorizes your Golden and makes them smell great (thanks to the lavender essential oil)
  • Colloidal oatmeal moisturizes your dog’s coat and skin
  • Doesn’t contain any of the bad ingredients you want to avoid
  • Tearless


  • Very thick, so it can be tough to get out of the bottle
  • Some dogs may have a reaction to the lavender essential oil
  • Comes in an 8 oz. bottle (smaller than most other shampoos)


If you want a great-smelling dog, this shampoo is for you.

It’s also moisturizing for your dog’s skin and coat, but in some cases it may cause itchiness.

You can get this shampoo from Amazon here.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Shampoo

medicated shampoo for golden retrievers


  • Medicated to treat seborrhea and parasite, fungal, and bacteria infections
  • Helps with itchy, dry, flaky skin
  • Colloidal oatmeal to moisturize and heal their skin
  • Affordable price
  • Vet recommended


  • Doesn’t smell great
  • Doesn’t work for every skin condition


If your dog has skin problems that need medicated treatment, this is a great, affordable option.

Although it’s not guaranteed to magically heal every issue, it may be worth a shot.

You can get this shampoo from Amazon here.

Burt’s Bees 2-In-1 Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner


  • Gentle enough for sensitive puppy skin and coats
  • Doesn’t contain any of the bad ingredients you want to avoid
  • Tearless, so it won’t bother their eyes
  • 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner


  • May be too gentle for very stinky puppies


If you’re looking for a gentle shampoo to clean your Golden Retriever puppy, this is the right shampoo for you.

You can get this shampoo from Chewy here.

Most Popular Golden Retriever Shampoos

In addition to us testing out these shampoos, we also did a survey where we asked 600 Golden Retriever parents what shampoo they use.

Here’s what they said:

  1. Burt’s Bees
  2. Earthbath
  3. Baby Shampoo
  4. Tropiclean
  5. Skout’s Honor

Burt’s Bees with a dominating victory here!

What Makes A Good Golden Retriever Shampoo

Here’s a simple way to find the best shampoo for your dog:

Ask yourself, “What does my Golden Retriever need?”

Are they a puppy? Then get them a gentle puppy shampoo.

Do they have dry, itchy skin? Then get a moisturizing oatmeal shampoo.

Do they have skin problems? Maybe they’ll be better off with a medicated shampoo (definitely talk to your vet about this!).

Or are they just a regular dog who needs to be clean? Then get a cleansing, deodorizing shampoo!

What Shampoo Ingredients To Look For

aloe vera in golden retriever shampoo

No matter what type of shampoo you choose, here are some skin-soothing, moisturizing ingredients to look for:

In addition to the above ingredients, you want to look for a shampoo that is properly pH balanced for dogs.

It’s better for their skin (because science) and can reduce itchiness and smelliness.

Another thing to consider is conditioner.

If you bathe your Golden more than once a month, then you should probably get a dog conditioner or a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.

This is because bathing them often can dry out their skin and fur, which is the total opposite of what we’re trying to do!

If you bathe them less than that (and you should be), you don’t necessarily need conditioner, but it can still help keep your dog’s coat in good shape and make it shiny and soft.

burt's bees oatmeal conditioner for golden retrievers

Check out this Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Conditioner.

What Shampoo Ingredients To AVOID

Here are some ingredients that you want to make sure are not in your Golden’s shampoo:

  • Parabens
  • Phosphates
  • Sulfates
  • Alcohol
  • Added colors and fragrances
  • Tea tree oil

Goldens already have enough problems with their food allergies and sensitive skin.

The above ingredients can make those problems even worse, damage their coats, or cause other health issues.

Golden Retriever Shampoo FAQ

golden retriever getting shampoo

How else can I keep my golden’s coat looking great?

Besides regular bathing, if you want to keep your dog’s fur shiny, thick, and healthy, here are two tips:

You can also talk to your vet about fish oil supplements, although many foods already contain enough omega-3 fatty acids for your pup, so they may not be necessary.

Can I use human shampoo on my golden retriever?

Dog and human skin have different pH balances, so it’s not great to use human shampoo for your dog’s skin and coat.

Human shampoo can also contain different chemicals and fragrances that are fine for people, but may irritate your dog’s sensitive skin.

Does my dog need conditioner?

Your dog doesn’t necessarily need conditioner.

But if you give them a bath more than once a month, that can dry out their skin and fur, so conditioner may be useful in that scenario.

Can I use shampoo with my dog’s topical flea medicine?

Some shampoos (including Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo and Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Shampoo) specifically state that they can be used in conjunction with flea medicine.

How long should I leave the shampoo in my dog’s coat?

If you’re using medicated shampoo, you need to let it sit in your dog’s coat for 10 minutes.

This will let the active ingredients do their job and heal your pup’s skin.

Even when using regular shampoo, letting it sit in can help get your dog extra clean.

Yes, those 10 minutes can feel like an eternity, but here’s a fun device that can make it a little easier to wait:

Get the Bath Buddy from Amazon here!

For more common questions about bath time, including:

  • Step by step instructions to give your golden a bath
  • How often to bathe your golden
  • When to start giving your puppy a bath

Check out this post about how to give your golden retriever a bath.

Which Shampoo Is Best For Your Golden Retriever?

dirty golden retriever needs the best shampoo

Every dog is different, and so is every shampoo.

If you want your Golden to smell great and they don’t have many skin problems, then give Pet Pleasant Lavender Oatmeal Shampoo a shot.

If your dog has dry, itchy skin, then try Burt’s Bees Oatmeal Shampoo.

If they’re a puppy and you want a gentle shampoo for their sensitive skin and coat, you’ll like WAHL’s puppy shampoo.

And if they have skin issues and need medicated shampoo, then you might want to try Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Medicated Shampoo.

Have any questions about the best shampoo for Golden Retrievers?

What shampoo do you use?

Let us know down in the comments!

And if you liked this article, you’ll love our guide to the best brushes for Golden Retrievers.

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