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Do Golden Retrievers Smell?

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Golden Retrievers are adorable dogs with big hearts.

Golden Retrievers can be relied on for assistance and excellent for rescue missions.

But one notable quality of the Golden Retriever is its dense fur. Depending on the variety, the coat may vary in color from deep to golden brown.

The dense furs of Golden Retrievers might be all fluffy and cute. But it is not without drawback, such as its tendency to smell.

Do Golden Retrievers smell? Well, like all dogs, Golden Retrievers can smell.

In many cases, their fur, which is thick and water-resistant, happens to be the source of their unpleasant odor. Most dogs with folds or dense coats are prone to foul odors, especially when not groomed regularly.

So, if a Golden Retriever’s thick fur is not groomed regularly, it may become extra smelly.

close up photo of Golden Retriever

Interestingly, irregular grooming is not the only reason Golden Retrievers may smell.

In the rest of this article, we shed more light on the reasons Golden Retriever may smell.

We also discuss some tips on how to keep your Golden Retrievers smelling fresh.

Do Golden Retrievers Smell?

As we already mentioned, Golden Retrievers can smell. They have a scent that is customary among other dogs.

The skin and fur of a Golden Retriever are covered in oils, making them water-resistant.

This water-resistant fur is helpful, especially when they retrieve game. 

Although having an odor is normal for your dog. Sometimes, such odor may be a sign of a bigger problem. 

Some of these problems include a poor diet, natural metabolic secretions, and yeast infection.

All in all, your Golden Retriever can have an unpleasant doggy smell, but it should not be overwhelming. 

Before looking for a solution, it is necessary to look for the root of the odor.

Once you figure out the source, there are several techniques available to eliminate and prevent the smell. 

Golden Retriever sitting on the grass

What Causes Golden Retrievers to Smell Bad?

Here are some reasons why your Golden Retriever has an odor: 

Anal Glands

If your Golden Retriever happens to smell fishy or like poop, it means they might have issues with their anal glands.

Infection or impact to a Golden Retriever’s anal glands may result in a smelly odor. 

They Have Rolled in Something

This is a common reason why your Golden Retriever may be smelling.

If you notice your dog starts smelling after going for a walk, they have probably rolled in something odorous.

There May Be Grooming Problems

Washing your Golden Retriever too often can impede the natural balance of oils on their fur and skin.

Likewise, if you do not wash them sufficiently, they will begin to smell bad. 

Wash your Golden Retriever at least 3-4 times every year.

Ensure you only use a dog-friendly shampoo.

You should also brush your Golden Retriever frequently and ensure you remove any grime and dirt from their fur.  

They Are Wet

A Golden Retriever can smell really bad when it is wet.

If your Golden Retriever goes swimming or walking in the rain, they may smell unpleasant. The smell will persist until they are sufficiently dried off. 

Dental Problems

When a Golden Retriever has dental problems, its breath begins to smell bad.

Its breath may have a fishy odor or any other unpleasant smell.

To verify this, you may check the dog’s mouth for any chipped teeth, wounds, or sores. 

If you notice anything, get the dog to a veterinarian for a proper check.

They Have Got a Bad Diet

When your dog becomes allergic to the food you give it, it may begin to smell bad.

If the food given to the dog is of low quality, its breath will also smell unpleasant. 

Lastly, if your Golden Retrievers diet is inferior, it may pass gas more often.

This will eventually cause your dog to smell unpleasant. 

Bacterial Infections and Yeast Infections

Yeast and bacterial infections could be another reason why your Golden Retriever has a foul odor.

If your Golden Retriever has a cheesy smell, it likely has a yeast infection.

Bacterial infections may sometimes lead to yeast infections, producing the same smell.

Both types often occur in moist areas like the armpit and ears. 

Aside from the cheesy smell, the ears of an infected dog may become inflamed and red.

There may also be debris in the ears, and the dog may scratch them frequently.

Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine atopic dermatitis is a disease that can affect and make your Golden Retriever smell really bad.

Apart from the foul odor, you will also notice your dog losing hair.

The dog’s skin will become dry or oily-red, and skin lesions may appear.

You may also notice the dog itching more than usual.

Golden Retriever outdoors

Do they Smell More Than Other Dogs?

From the above information, you may think Golden Retrievers smell worse than other dogs.

However, you can rest assured that this is not true.

Golden Retrievers tend to smell really bad only when something is going on with their body that requires treatment. 

When your Golden Retriever is adequately looked after and sees the vets regularly, they definitely will not smell more than other dogs.

Do They Smell More Than Labrador Retrievers?

No, Golden Retrievers do not smell more than Labrador Retrievers.

Labrador Retrievers are one of the dog breeds with the worst odors.

Even with their foul odor, they are still a popular dog breed. 

Labrador Retrievers are bred as water dogs.

Most of the foul odor is due to a syndrome commonly known to many owners as wet dog. 

If Labrador Retrievers are dried thoroughly after a swim, there is a possibility of effectively getting rid of the odor. 

Golden Retriever swimming

9 Tips to Keep Your Golden Retriever Smelling Fresh

Here are some tips to keep your Golden Retriever smelling fresh:

1. Find the Source of the Smell

The first thing you need to do is find the source of your Golden Retriever’s odor.

Next, try bathing your dog using oatmeal shampoo.

It helps to remove any dirt or muck tangled up in your Golden Retriever’s fur. 

2. Keep Them Well Groomed

Ensure your Golden Retriever is always well-groomed.

Frequently brushing them is one way to remove dirt, grime, or anything that smells from their fur.

Also, consider washing your Golden Retriever every 3-4 months. 

If your Golden Retriever has rolled in anything with a foul odor, hose them down and try to avoid using shampoo if possible.

Frequent use of shampoo is harmful to their skin and fur. 

3. Brush Their Teeth

When your Golden Retrievers teeth are left unchecked, it can cause some severe issues.

If you notice any foul odors from your dog, do a mouth check to see if they require brushing.

You can start by using dog toothpaste and toothbrush to brush their teeth.

You should brush your Golden Retriever’s teeth at least three times each week.

You may even transition slowly to brushing every day. 

Ensure you have a routine, as this makes it comfortable for you and your dog.

Make sure your Golden Retriever visits the vet for regular dental check-ups.  

4. Use Doggy Deodorant

If your Golden Retriever has that unpleasant doggy odor, then using a doggy deodorant should suffice.

Using a doggy deodorant is one good way to mask any foul odors. 

5. Clean Your Golden Retriever’s Bedding

Cleaning your Golden Retriever’s environment is another way to ensure it remains clean.

The beddings of dogs are typically neglected when it comes to hygiene.

But remember that dogs are outside most times. They eat and pick up anything they find on the street. So, they are likely to litter their beddings with dirt and odor from outside.

Washing your dog’s bedding should help get rid of unpleasant odors.

You can wash it using baking soda & hot water or vinegar & hot water.

Any of these combinations will kill unpleasant odors or smells.

Do not use fabric softeners on the bedding because it may chafe the dog’s skin.

6. Ensure You Dry Them Properly

If you let your Golden Retriever swim or take walks in the rain, ensure they are thoroughly dried afterward.

If they are not properly dried, they will end up with a wet dog smell.

Golden Retriever with a stick on his mouth

7. Ensure They Do Not Roll in Anything Smelly

If you find your Golden Retriever rolling in anything with an unpleasant odor, you should stop them if you can.

The perfect way to do this is to train them.

By training them not to roll in smelly substances, you will stop future repeats of the same act.

However, in the short term, ensure you have enough dog treats to lure them back. Also, use games to keep them occupied whenever you take them outside. 

8. Change Their Diet

If you feed your Golden Retriever food that does not agree with it, you may need to change its diet.

This is your chance to see a vet and find out if it has any allergies that can make it smell. 

9. Take Them to a Vet

If your Golden Retriever has a persistent unpleasant odor, it is probably best if it sees a vet.

Your vet should be able to figure out the cause of the smell no matter what it is. 

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers can smell unpleasant, and several factors can cause them to smell.

It is essential to inspect your Golden Retriever regularly.

It will allow you to spot any potential problems before it is too late.

For your dog to remain healthy, you need to be observant and act fast when necessary.


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