Golden Retriever Dog Lifespan

Golden Retriever Dog Lifespan

Golden Retrievers are known for their chirpy and happy-go-lucky attitude. These are medium-sized dogs with a double coat of luscious soft fur. Their playful nature and gentle temperamental make them a perfect pet to have around. In fact, Golden Retrievers are one of the most adopted dog breeds. 

However, before you adopt a Golden Retriever puppy, you should know a few details about this breed. The breed’s lifespan, health concerns, and signs of ageing are a few things you need to consider. Read the following to know more about the average lifespan of a Golden Retriever and other essential details.

Golden Retriever life expectancy

Up until a few years ago, Golden Retrievers lived up to 16 to 17 years of age. Today, the average lifespan of a Golden Retriever ranges between 10 to 12 years. One of the main concerns for the shortened lifespan of the Golden Retriever is directly linked to improper breeding. Wrongful breeding results in terminal illnesses such as bone cancer, lymphoma, and other variations of cancers, this has extracted almost five to six years from Retriever’s lifespan.

Yet, the world’s oldest Golden Retriever lived till the age of 20 years and was rehomed twice in its lifetime. August, also known as Augie, held the record for the world’s oldest Golden Retriever and was adopted as a senior dog at the age of 14 years by the Hetterscheidt family.

Golden Retriever lifespan compared to other breeds

The average life of a Golden Retriever is approximately 10 to 12 years. This keeps Retrievers at par with other medium-sized breeds. For example, Labradors live up to 10 to 12 years, whereas German Shepherds have an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

However, when compared to smaller breeds like Yorkies who live up to 11 to 15 years, Golden Retrievers have a shorter lifespan. Nonetheless, if compared to large breeds such as Great Denes which have an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, Retriever's lifespan is moderate.

Common health concerns that hamper Golden Retriever’s lifespan

The average Golden Retriever life expectancy is about 10 to 12 years. There are various common health concerns that adversely affect the Retriever’s lifespan and health. The following are a few common medical issues seen in Golden Retrievers:

  • Eye issues: Retinal dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, conjunctivitis, and cataracts are some of the many eye problems seen in Retrievers. Including vitamin-rich food and providing ample nutrition can help keep eye-related problems at bay. As a pet parent, you should get your pooch frequently checked by a vet, especially if the Retriever is prone to eye infections.
  • Ear infections: Golden Retrievers can be prone to ear infections because of their floppy ears. Certain ear allergies can turn septic if not treated on time. Regular cleaning, fur grooming, and getting a health check-up are suggested to avoid ear-related problems in your Retriever.
  • Joint concerns: Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are genetic health concerns usually seen in Golden Retrievers. These joint deformities can get painful as your pooch ages. However, if diagnosed early, these conditions can be treated with surgeries and physiotherapy.
  • Skin conditions: Ichthyosis and skin infections can occur in Golden Retrievers because of hygiene issues or nutritional deficiencies. If you notice flaky skin, excessive shedding, or bacterial/ fungal growth on your pooch’s skin, you should get it treated at the earliest.
  • Heart problems: Dilated cardiomyopathy is a serious heart condition that Golden Retrievers are prone to. This condition leads to enlarged heart, making it thin and weak for pumping their blood effectively. Yearly ECG can help diagnose this condition in time and avoid the terminal consequences of this illness.
  • Hypothyroidism: Hormonal diseases are common in Golden Retrievers. Hypothyroidism affects the thyroid gland of the Retriever and often results in a lack of thyroxine. This can lead to metabolism issues. Excessive shedding, dull and thin coat, loss of energy, hyperpigmentation of the skin, and difficulty losing weight are some common signs of hypothyroidism that pet caregivers should be mindful of.
  • Gut issues: Bloating and digestive problems are also common in Golden Retrievers. These gut and digestive problems can arise due to nutritional deficiencies or a lack of exercise. Providing a properly balanced meal and regularly visiting the vet for health check-ups can help identify and treat these concerns in time.

Common terminal illnesses in Golden Retrievers

These days, Golden Retrievers are prone to terminal diseases. And these illnesses conditions largely affect the Golden Retriever’s lifespan. Here are some of the commonly seen terminal health conditions that can adversely affect the average lifespan of Golden Retrievers.

  • Cancer: As a breed, Golden Retrievers have one of the highest counts of cancer deaths. This illness also plays an essential role in decreasing the average lifespan of the Golden Retriever. Hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumour, and osteosarcoma are some of the most common types of cancers seen in this breed.
  • Heart disorders: Sub-valvular aortic stenosis is one of the leading heart disorders seen in Retrievers. This ailment narrows the pooch’s aorta blood vessel. This blood vessel is responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to various organs. Any default in this blood vessel makes it difficult for the dog to push oxygenated blood to its organs.
  • Respiratory diseases: Chronic bronchitis, chest physiotherapy, and bronchodilators are some of the many respiratory diseases seen in Golden Retrievers. Sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and difficulty in breathing are some of the many symptoms related to respiratory diseases that you should be mindful of.
  • Infections: While infections are mostly curable, sometimes not getting them diagnosed and treated in time can be dangerous. Certain bacterial and viral infections can turn fatal or septic if not treated. However, regular health check-ups, dog vaccinations, and dietary control help in limiting these infections.

Signs of ageing in Golden Retrievers

Now that we know a little about the average life of Golden Retrievers, let us look at a few signs of ageing in them:

  • Low energy: Lethargy and lack of energy is commonly seen in senior pooches. The low energy is generally linked to their ageing body. If you notice your fur baby isolating itself, preferring quiet moments, and not engaging in playtime as it did in the olden days, then there are high chances that it is growing old. In such times, it is best to take care of their nutritional requirements and provide the right medical attention.
  • Loss of appetite: Senior dogs often eat lesser compared to puppies and adult dogs. If you notice a loss of appetite in your senior dog, then it might be getting old. Though the loss of appetite is normal, you should ensure that it receives all the nourishment. Consult a vet if necessary.
  • Troubled breathing: Heart and respiratory illnesses are common problems observed in Golden Retrievers. Lack of energy and age often leads to breathing difficulties in dogs. If you notice your pooch panting or drawing heavy breaths, you should get them checked and diagnosed to avoid serious respiratory diseases.
  • Isolation: Senior dogs often isolate themselves more than puppies and adult dogs. If you notice your pooch trying to avoid the hustle-bustle and looking for peace and quiet, it could mean that your dog is ageing.
  • Weight loss: Loss of diet and low energy play an essential role in rapid weight loss. As a dog parent to an old Golden Retriever, you should try and provide an adequate diet and attention to your pooch.

6 Tips to improve a Golden Retriever’s Lifespan

A Golden Retriever’s life expectancy is approximately 10 to 12 years. However, in the olden days, Retrievers lived up to 16 to 17 years. Yet, as a pet parent, you can take a few steps to improve your fur baby’s lifespan. Given below are a few tips that you can follow to improve your Golden Retriever’s lifespan:

  1. Regular exercise: You can improve your Golden Retriever’s life expectancy by getting them into a regular habit of exercising. Taking the pooch for a walk, playing a quick game of fetch, or simply climbing a few flights of stairs can play a major role in keeping your fur baby active and healthy.
  2. Regular vet visits: Taking your pooch to the vet’s clinic for regular health check-ups helps in identifying underlying illnesses. Other than diagnosing illnesses and giving updates on your fur baby’s health, the vet will also get them regularly vaccinated and suggest an appropriate diet to meet the pooch’s nutritional quota.
  3. Appropriate diet: Providing a well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential for adequate growth and development of your fur baby. Healthy eating can positively affect the Golden Retriever’s life expectancy as it will receive all the essential nutrients for better growth ageing. Pet parents can browse through PEDIGREE®’s collection dog food to provide the right amount of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates to their pooch.
  4. Spaying and neutering: Spaying and neutering help eliminate a few dangerous ailments linked to their reproduction system. These procedures also help in regulating the pooch’s temperament and urge to run away.
  5. Socialising: Golden Retrievers are a lively and playful breed that needs to socialise and meet other people and dogs. Regularly taking your pooch to the dog park and allowing it to meet new people helps in bettering its socialising skills.
  6. Dental care: Oral and dental hygiene is important for your pooch’s health. Offering PEDIGREE® DentaStix™ helps in reducing tartar build up and foul oral smell. Having a regular dental care routine also helps in eliminating oral infections and ailments.

While Golden Retriever’s lifespan is believed to be moderate compared to other breeds of dogs, being vigilant and taking a few preventive measures can help in improving its lifespan. A well-balanced diet, vaccination, and regular health check-ups are some of the many ways in which you can maintain your Retriever’s life expectancy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Golden Retriever Lifespan

Can a Golden Retriever live for 15 years?

The average lifespan of Golden Retrievers is between 10 to 12 years. However, the world’s oldest Golden Retriever has lived for approximately 20 years. So, adequate healthcare, proper diet, and regular exercise can extend your pooch’s life expectancy by a few years.

What is considered old for a Golden Retriever?

Do male or female Golden Retrievers live longer?

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