Unleashing the Scent Mystery: Why Does My Golden Retriever Smell?

Detecting an odd scent? Let’s investigate why does my golden retriever smell and find solutions to keep them fresh.

A Personal Anecdote About Smelly Golden Retrievers

I am a proud owner of a beautiful golden retriever named Max. Max is my loyal companion who is always by my side no matter what.

However, there are times when I cannot help but notice his somewhat persistent odor that fills our home. Despite giving him regular baths and grooming sessions, his smell seems to linger.

This experience led me to research why golden retrievers smell more than other breeds and what I could do about it. In this article, I will share with you what I have learned about the common causes of smelly golden retrievers and how you can prevent it from happening in your furry friend.

The Causes Behind Smelly Golden Retrievers

Natural Oils And Sweat

Golden Retrievers are known for having thick coats that require regular grooming maintenance. Their coats trap oils and sweat produced by their bodies leading to an unpleasant odor over time. Unlike human beings who sweat through their skin pores all over their body surface area at once when overheated or under stress; dogs release heat through panting which contributes to the capsulation of sweat under their coat.

To reduce excessive natural oils accumulation in your dog’s coat leading to growth of bacteria responsible for bad smells ensure that its fur is brushed regularly while long-haired ones should be trimmed or shaved down at least every three months. The dog’s skin should also be cleaned frequently since it secretes a lot of oil that may eventually attract dirt to the coat leading to musty smell.

Skin Infections And Allergies

Golden Retrievers are prone to allergies that lead to constant itching and scratching of their skin that eventually causes bad odor. When your dog scratches its skin constantly, it irritates the skin leading to an open wound or hot spot.

Hot spots are bacterial infections caused by open wounds caused by excessive scratching. If left untreated, the wounds can lead to further infections causing an unpleasant odor.

It is important to take good care of your golden retriever’s coat by keeping it clean and free from parasites like fleas and ticks which can cause allergies and other skin infections. Additionally, regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help diagnose and treat any underlying conditions before they become severe.


What we feed our dogs may also contribute greatly towards how they smell. A diet rich in fat or proteins can produce more oils on their skin leading to a strong odor coming from their coat. To counter this, it is recommended that you switch your pet’s diet as required by their needs after consulting with a veterinarian who will advise you on the best type of food for your golden retriever based on factors such as age, weight, activity level, and health status.

By doing so you will be able to maintain a healthy dog which ultimately smells better than one who eats poor quality food. In the next section of this article, we will discuss various treatment options available for smelly golden retrievers while also highlighting effective ways of preventing bad odor from occurring in the first place.

Causes of Smell in Golden Retrievers

Natural oils and sweat

Golden retrievers, like other dogs, naturally produce oils and sweat that can lead to a distinct odor. These oils and sweat are produced by the sebaceous glands located at the base of each hair follicle. While these natural oils help to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, they can also accumulate on the skin’s surface and mix with dirt, creating an unpleasant smell.

Golden retrievers have a dense double coat made up of an outer layer of long, straight hair and a softer undercoat. This thick coat can trap these natural oils and sweat closer to the skin, making it harder for them to evaporate into the air.

As a result, golden retrievers may emit a stronger odor than other breeds. Regular grooming can help remove excess oil and dirt from your dog’s coat, reducing odor.

Brushing your golden retriever daily is essential as it helps distribute natural oils throughout the coat evenly. Additionally, bathing your dog with a high-quality shampoo every six weeks or as needed can help maintain their hygiene.

Skin infections and allergies

Skin infections or allergies can also cause itching, scratching, and bad smells in golden retrievers. Allergic reactions are often triggered by environmental factors such as pollen or dust mites but may also be caused by certain foods.

Common skin issues that golden retrievers may face include hot spots or acute moist dermatitis (AMD), which is characterized by redness around raw sores on the skin’s surface that ooze pus or other fluids if not attended on time. Ear infections are another common problem among golden retrievers which produces an unpleasant smell due to waxy buildup around infected ears causing irritation in them.

If you notice any signs of an infection or allergy in your dog such as excessive scratching or biting at their skin, redness, or a bad smell, contact your veterinarian. They can diagnose the issue and offer appropriate treatment options.


Diet can also impact a dog’s smell. Certain foods or ingredients may contribute to odor in dogs.

Foods with high-fat content may lead to greasy skin and coat due to increased oil production while specific types of protein may cause bad breath in dogs. Additionally, table scraps or human food that is high in fat or heavily spiced can upset your dog’s stomach leading to more gas than usual, which smells bad.

To prevent odor-causing diet issues in golden retrievers, it’s essential to feed them a balanced diet that provides all the necessary nutrients they need. Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations on the best diets for your golden retriever based on their age, weight, and overall health.

Several factors can cause unpleasant smells in golden retrievers. Regular grooming practices such as brushing and bathing are crucial for maintaining hygiene and reducing odor caused by natural oils and sweat trapped in their thick coats.

Golden retrievers’ owners should also be mindful of potential allergies or infections that may lead to scratching and skin irritation resulting in a bad smell. Feeding your dog a balanced diet free from human food scraps will help prevent digestive issues that produce smelly farts/gas.

Prevention and Treatment of Smell in Golden Retrievers

Regular Grooming: A Key to Reducing Odor

One of the most important ways to prevent and treat odor in golden retrievers is by maintaining a regular grooming routine. This means brushing your dog’s coat at least once a week to remove any excess fur, dirt, or debris. Regular grooming helps distribute natural oils throughout the coat, which can keep your dog’s skin healthy and reduce odor.

In addition to brushing, bathing your golden retriever is also important for reducing odor. However, bathing too frequently can actually strip the skin of its natural oils and make odors worse.

Aim to bathe your dog every 4-6 weeks with a gentle shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. When it comes to grooming your golden retriever’s ears, it’s important to be extra gentle as their ears are sensitive.

Use a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian and gently wipe the inside of their ear flap. Never insert anything into their ear canal as this can cause damage or infection.

Other Treatment Options

If regular grooming isn’t enough to control odor in your golden retriever, there are other treatment options available. One option is using medicated shampoos or conditioners prescribed by your veterinarian to treat any underlying skin issues that may be contributing to the smell. Another option is adding supplements or essential fatty acids (EFAs) to your dog’s diet as they help improve skin health from within.

Consult with your veterinarian about which supplements would be best for your dog. If you notice persistent odor despite implementing these approaches, it may be necessary to check with a veterinary professional because it could indicate an underlying medical issue that needs attention.


Golden retrievers are wonderful companions known for their friendly personalities and loyalty; however, they can also be prone to developing smelly skin. Regular grooming is essential for keeping your golden retriever looking and smelling good. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help prevent and treat odor in your furry friend, ensuring they remain a delightful addition to your household.

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