The coat of your golden retriever is what gives them their name. They are long, they are silky, and they are very distinct.
They also require a lot of effort to groom them and care for them to keep them healthy, shiny, and in great condition. It can also be quite expensive and time-consuming.
To help golden retriever owners keep their dogs’ hair silky soft, I have made a complete list of practical tips that you will find helpful.
How to make your golden retriever’s hair soft? You can make your golden retriever’s hair soft by bathing them regularly, brushing them, using oatmeal shampoo, herbal supplements, feeding them a healthy and balanced diet, using coconut oil, and adding omega fatty acids to their diet.
This was the very short and brief answer, but there is a lot more to it, of course. Keep reading to find out what you should do in-detail to make your dog’s hair soft and shiny.
20 Tips to Make Your Golden Retriever’s Hair Soft and Silky
Here are 20 tips that can help you keep your golden retriever’s coat in top condition and keep their hair soft and shiny.
- Bathe them regularly
- Brush them
- High-quality food
- Coconut oil
- Leave-in conditioner
- Make sure they are parasites-free
- Try herbal supplements
- Healthy treats
- Use good grooming tools
- High-quality dry food
- Burt’s bees shampoo
- Baking soda
- Feed them eggs
- Cornmeal or cornstarch for their coats
- Plain yogurt
- Lemon juice
Bathe them regularly
Basics are what’s going to make the biggest difference, and while things like bathing them sound like a give to anyone, you would be surprised how many dog owners actually fail at committing to doing the basic stuff regularly.
Try to make a regular time every month to bathe your golden retriever and you’ll see the results. You can learn exactly when and how to give your golden retriever baths there. There are a lot more details in this post on bathing golden retrievers than I can discuss here, so I do recommend checking it out after you’re done reading this one.
It’s not just about bathing them, it’s also about trying to keep their coat clean all the time, meaning that you should check for parasites in their coat and cleaning them whenever they get dirty such as playing in the mud, snow, or even grass.
You also shouldn’t leave them wet, so you should dry them after a swim or a shower because they have a thick coat and it can develop bacterial or yeast infection.
Regular brushing, even for just 10 or 15 minutes daily, can make a large difference. Not only does brushing them regularly remove dead skin and loose hair, it also stimulates the blood flow and distributes their natural oils in their skin.
Using the right tools can also make a difference, so make sure to check out my recommended brushes for golden retrievers here.
Their diet plays a vital role in the health condition of their coats, and a well-balanced diet is crucial to keep their coats in top condition.
Here’s what you can add to their diet to make their hair soft and shiny.
- Sardines (make sure it’s salt-free)
- Tuna (in small amounts and make sure it’s salt-free as well)
- Omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil
- Fresh food is the best friend of soft and shiny hair
- Feed them eggs in the morning
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
There’s nothing coconut oil cannot do, it’s the perfect oil for human hair, and it’s very useful to your pooch’s as well.
It’s the best natural moisturizer for their coat and skin and it can also help fight infections.
Here’s how you can use it
- Massage them with it after their bath, it will moisturize and it will leave them with a fresh smell that is going to last for a while.
- You can add a few drops to their shampoo
- You can add a teaspoon to one meal a day or even without food
Leave-in conditioner is great for their coat, it will leave your furry friend with a soft and shiny coat. You don’t always have to use it, but I have found that they do make a difference when used regularly.
One of the best leave-in conditioners I have tried recently is the Warren London Hydrating butter which can indeed leave their coats feeling as smooth as silk and it smells pretty great as well.
You can check the Warren London Hydrating butter on Amazon here. P.S: I recommend going for the Guava and mango, it smells SO GOOD!.
You can use a spray such as the bio silk for pet therapy, which is very useful in detangling their coats as well. If your dog likes to go into the water a lot and you find yourself constantly having to struggle with mats and tangles, a spray like this one is an essential.
You can check the BioSilk spray for pets on Amazon here.
Make sure they are parasite-free
Parasites can cause a big problem for your dog, they will cause hair loss and redness in their skin, it may make their skin dry and flaky, dandruff can be one of the side effects as well.
If your dog is suffering from hair loss, you can check out why your golden retriever is losing hair in clumps here and learn about the possible causes and solutions.
Try herbal supplements
Herbal supplements have proven to be quite effective in giving dogs a vibrant and healthy coat. I do recommend taking the time to do your own research before committing and maybe even discussing it with your vet.
What I would say is that I have tried it with my dogs and they did make a slight difference, and I have seen a more noticeable effects on my friends’ dogs, so they are definitely an option that’s worth considering.
Instead of giving them canned treats, maybe replacing them with some healthier options every once in a while could be a better option. If your dog likes berries, for example, you could use them as treats instead of biscuits.
Some dogs like fruits and veggies more than others, and it may take you some time to test out different options and find what your dog likes the most to use as treats, but it is definitely worth the effort.
One thing to take care of is to avoid foods that are not good for them, and you can check out the foods golden retrievers should never eat here and use that post as a reference in the future.
Use Good Grooming Tools
There are literally thousands of grooming tools out there, some of which are absurdly expensive and others that are relatively cheap and affordable. I always recommend you find the balance between price and quality, and to never choose a product just based on price.
The problem with very cheap tools is that they can often have sharp edges and parts that fall apart when using them on a daily basis which can hurt your dog’s skin.
Thankfully, there are great tools out there that really don’t cost a lot and will live for a long time. If you are looking for a high-quality, do-it-all tool that you can take everywhere, I highly recommend this 2-sided rake on Amazon which can do almost everything.
High-quality dry food
You don’t have to buy them the most expensive dry food so you can feed them high-quality dry food.
You just need to check on the first ingredients, such as look if the protein source is the first ingredient, then check if the main ingredients contain grains or animal byproducts.
It’s best if the main ingredients contain turkey, chicken, or lamb and avoid anything that has corn, wheat, chicken meal, and soy as the first ingredient.
Burt’s bees shampoo
Burt’s bees is an excellent shampoo for any dog, but they are amazing for goldens in particular.
I tried lots and lots of shampoos with my dogs and I finally settled on one, the Burt’s bees shampoo because it’s very effective in softening their hair and soothing dry and itchy skin.
It’s made of all-natural ingredients and it doesn’t irritate their skin or eyes when it’s used around them.
You can get any smell you want, I like to use lavender and green tea. It leaves a calming scent. You can check Burt’s bees shampoo on Amazon here.
You can sprinkle some baking soda all over their coat every once in a while, it will prevent the itching and can keep the parasites away.
You can also add some to their shampoo and you can mix it with some vinegar and rub it into their coat to keep their coat clean and shiny.
Here is a homemade home remedy to make their coats shine:
- Use one or two tablespoons of organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- Mix with 6 cups of water
- Add 2 tablespoons of chopped lavender leaves and chopped rosemary leaves (each)
- Boil the water
- After the water is boiled, add the leaves and vinegar
- Let it sit for a few hours
- Pour it into a spray bottle
- Use after their bath
Feed them eggs
For a soft, healthy, and shiny coat, eggs will be your best friend.
Add some cooked eggs to your pooch’s diet, but avoid raw eggs and eggshells because it could poison them, also you will need to check with your vet before adding the eggs to their diet just to ensure that they are not allergic to the eggs.
If your golden retriever’s coat is damaged, then the honey will be an excellent choice for them as it can repair their coats and make it go back to its best condition.
After a bath, massage them with honey and leave it for 20 minutes then rinse it with warm water,
Or you can add some olive oil if the honey is too thick and you cannot apply it.
Cornmeal or cornstarch for their coats
Cornmeal and cornstarch is one of the best ways to remove grease and oil from their coat
It can be used as many times as you want because it doesn’t really have any side effects.
However, if your furry friend is allergic to corn do not use it.
Here’s how you can use it.
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or cornmeal
- Add it to an empty salt shaker (or any shaker)
- When you feel that their skin is oily or greasy sprinkle it one their coat
- Wait for 10 minutes
- Brush their coat with a comb or a brush till you feel that you removed all the cornmeal from their skin.
Here is how you can use Plain Yogurt to make your golden retriever’s coat shine:
- Massage plain yogurt into their coat and leave it for 20 minutes
- Do not let them lick it because it may harm them and could upset their stomach
- Now, rinse the plain yogurt with warm water
- Use their shampoo to make sure that you removed the yogurt
It will clean any bacteria and will make their skin softer and if they have any scrapes or wounds it will help to heal them.
Lemon juice can also be useful in making your dog’s coat shine and sparkle. Here is how to use it:
- Mix some lemon juice, olive oil, and water (make sure they are all equal quantity)
- Massage it into their coat
- Leave it for 10 minutes
- Rinse with shampoo
It will get rid of any dirt stuck in their coat and will leave them with a clean, healthy, and shiny coat.
- Mash up avocado and massage into their clean coat
- Leave it for 15 minutes
- Rinse it with water and shampoo
- Repeat the whole process every two weeks
You can also feed them the avocado to help fight fizzy coats.
Also one of the most important things is to avoid moisture, don’t leave them wet for too long.
If they are swimming or after a bath, try to dry them and do not leave them wet for too long because it may develop yeast and bacterial infections. Hot and humid weather (looking at you, Florida), can also harm your dog’s coat.
You can learn how to help your golden retriever adapt to hot weather here.
15 things that could be harming your golden retriever’s coat
- Hormone imbalances
- Chronic diarrhea
- Parasites (internal and external)
- Metabolic problems
- Digestive disturbances
- Shaving them
- Feeding them the wrong food (such as anything they are allergic to)
- Cleaning products
- Stress and anxiety
- Lack of exercise
- Body soap
- Human Shampoos
- Tea tree oil (note to myself more than seven drops can poison your dog)
How to soften a dog’s coat?
You can soften a dog’s coat by bathing them regularly, grooming them daily, make sure that their coat is free from parasites, use an oatmeal shampoo, use herbal supplements, try coconut oil, add omega 3 to their diet, and finally feed them healthy treats, to see results you should make it a routine.
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