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Why Does My Golden Retriever Smell So Bad?

Why Does My Golden Retriever Smell So Bad?
Golden Retriever Smell Bad

Let’s make one thing clear dogs smell, regardless of their breed, size, or gender. There are many possible causes why your Golden Retriever smell bad, but there are also solutions to this problem.

So, Why Does My Golden Retriever Smell So Bad?

Golden Retrievers have a thick, long coat that is one of their most attractive features. On the other hand, that coat is also the main cause of the bad smell. Their coat can trap bacteria, fungi, yeast, and dampness, which leads to bad odor. Here are some of the most common causes of bad smell in the Golden Retrievers.

Health Problems

Numerous health problems can cause a bad smell in the Golden Retriever. 

Most common are:

In case you can’t remove the smell by bathing and grooming or you can’t visually identify what causes this problem, visit your veterinarian.

Bad Diet

If you have recently changed your Golden’s diet and your dog’s smell started to smell bad since the change, that may be the cause. It’s a fact that some diets can cause bad breath and bad smell in Golden Retriever. If you suspect this is the case, you should consult with your vet to help you change and improve your dog’s diet.

It Came In Contact With Smelly Things

We all know how goofy and playful Golden Retrievers are and how much they love to play around with smelly things. The cause of a bad smell could simply be that your dog came in contact with smelly stuff while he was playing outside.

It’s Been In Water

Goldens and water are made for each other. They absolutely love to get wet and swim in a lake, river, pool, or, simply roll around in a muddy pond. This, of course, has its downside. That thick, long coat will be damp and instantly become the perfect substrate for bacterial and fungi infections. 

You need to wash and clean your dog as soon as the playtime is over. It also needs to be dried, especially the armpit, groin, and tail area, as well as the ears. These are the most common areas on your Golden Retriever where bacterial infection can occur.

How Can I Improve My Golden Retriever’s Smell?

We have already mentioned some of the steps necessary to keep your Golden’s smell in check, but let’s summarise them in one place.

Diet Change

If your dog started to smell bad after you introduced a new diet, try to change it. Consult your vet and introduce a new, improved diet.

Cleaning And Grooming, But Not Too Much

Your Golden must be clean, but it is also important that you don’t bathe him too often. Frequent bathing will leave your dog’s skin unprotected and prone to infections and dandruff. 

On the other hand, if you don’t bathe your Golden Retriever as much as you should, he will develop a bad smell. So, the main thing here is to find that sweet spot in the middle. 

Remember, this sweet spot is not the same for all dogs, your dog may be more active and spend more time outside. In this case, he will have more frequent baths. Maybe you have an older, less active dog that spends most time in the house, and you don’t need to bathe him as often.

Keep Your Golden Retriever Dry

Moisture is a big factor in infections that can occur on your Golden Retriever’s body. Water is an essential ingredient for bacteria, as it needs it to grow and spread. This is why keeping your dog’s coat, ears, and the tail is of utmost importance.

Ask Your Veterinarian

When you can’t visually find the cause of a bad smell, or you can’t remove it despite trying all of these methods, visit the vet. Maybe there is some underlying health issue causing the bad smell, and more detailed inspection needs to be done to diagnose it.


As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, all dogs smell. However, this can be fixed with timely bathing, proper diet, and generally good care you as an owner can and should provide.


Monday 29th of August 2022

My Golden sweats and gets BO. The stink is mainly in the chest/axillary region. She loves her play dates but I hate the aroma that goes along with playing with other doggos. ugh

James Kirkland

Tuesday 30th of August 2022

Yes, that is sometimes happening but a good care and enough water should solve the problem long way.