Skip to Content

Golden Retriever Life Expectancy

golden_retriever_life_expectancy-3297580Canine Concerns: Life Expectancy of Golden Retrievers

If you have a golden retriever or are thinking of adding one to your family, then you might have a few concerns about the life expectancy of golden retrievers. It is natural to wonder about how much time we can expect to have with man’s best friend, so don’t feel selfish in asking this question. For most family, a dog is not simply a dog but a true member of the family. They show us loyalty and affection and we try to do the same in return by providing them with a good life. In order to make sure that we get the very most out of the average life expectancy of golden retrievers, we have to understand the physical and emotional needs of this breed and provide them with the elements that create a healthy existence.

Typical Life Expectancy of Golden Retrievers

The typical lifespan for a golden retriever is around 10 to 12 years. This may not seem like a long time in numerical terms, but this is about an eighth of the average human life expectancy. And in any case, is it not better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all? One must think in terms of the value and memories we receive from the time spent with a furry companion, rather than the amount of time itself.

Provide a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is essential to any creature’s wellbeing, and that includes dogs. In order to have a profound effect on the lifespan of your golden retriever, you really need to pay attention to what you feed him. I don’t mean that you should buy a brand name—in fact many top brands of dog food actually contain items that are not very good quality. Look on the ingredients in your dog’s food. These items are listed in the order of content, meaning that the first item will be what makes up the highest percentage of the food and so on. Some products say “meat by-products” which could include anything from feathers to meal. Corn may also be high on the list. While this may sound like a healthy option for your dog, it is actually the opposite, as corn is the top suspect for a canine food allergy. Poor food could lead to skin irritation and itchiness, fur loss, lack of energy, and general unhappiness.

Encourage Exercise

Just as exercise is important to human health, it is equally important to a dog. Unfortunately for most dogs, they will adapt to the lifestyles of their family, even if it poses a health risk for them. A dog cannot simply “go play” or jump around the house while its owner pays the bills or catches missed shows on the DVR. If a dog’s master has an inactive lifestyle, the dog is forced to adapt to that which could lead to a shorter life. Try to take your dog for a long walk once a day or a short but brisk walk. If you don’t have the time or physical capabilities to go for a long walk then try playing fetch game with your dog where he can get the brunt of the workout.

Emotional Stability and Happiness

Dogs are pack creatures that crave stability. They need to know that the leader of the pack (namely you) has things in control. This includes having a regular schedule for feeding and exercise, as it will allow your dog to trust you and will keep him physically healthy because his body will never have reason to go into “starvation mode.” Happiness is another factor to consider. There is a huge difference between happiness and being spoiled. Although it can be extremely tempting to give your dog table scraps, treats, etc. this type of treatment can be a threat to your dog’s health, particularly if your dog becomes overweight.

Pay Attention to Your Dog

By “paying attention to your dog,” I actually mean that you should always keep an eye on what their body language suggests and any physical ailments they may have. Putting off a trip to the vet to see if your dog will get better may seem like a good idea at the time, especially if you can save a few bucks, but you could actually be putting your dog’s body through a lot of physical grief. In doing so, you may be shaving off time from his life. If you are worried about the cost of future medical bills, consider getting pet insurance which can help pay part of all of the cost for checkups and treatments.