Before adopting any dog, you’ll want to consider its life span so you can be sure you understand the commitment you’ll need to make. After all, you will need to care for your companion during all of its years.
What Affects the Life Span of a Golden Retriever?
The golden retriever lifespan can vary based on a number of factors. Two of the biggest factors come down to the genetics of the canine and your care. Some dogs have genetic markers which put them at risk of diseases and serious health issues. Some are carefully bred to be free of most genetic defects. To ensure the longest possible life span for your pet, always work with a reputable breeder who can vouch for the dog’s health.
One factor you can control is how well you care for your golden. You can ensure a high quality of life for your dog and make sure you spend as much time together as possible by:
- Reducing your dog's stress
- Taking your dog to obedience school and training
- Getting regular vet visits in and following vet advice carefully
- Maintaining your dog’s ideal weight
- Feeding your dog healthy, high quality food
- Ensuring your golden stays properly groomed
- Dog-proofing your house and yard to reduce the risk of injury
- Supervising your dog closely to minimize injury risk
- Neutering or spaying your dog
- Exercising your dog
- Establishing a good, loving relationship with your dog
In addition to these tips, remember to never shave your golden’s fur. Golden retrievers have thick fur which acts to protect them. When you shave it, you expose your friend to the dangers of UV exposure and skin cancer.
How Long Do Golden Retrievers Live?
The average life expectancy of a golden retriever is between 10 and 12 years. Some dogs, through good care and luck, manage to live comfortably past 14 years of age. There is no difference in expected lifespan between male and female goldens.
One interesting fact: the average life span of the golden retriever has actually declined. Decades ago, the average life expectancy for this breed was 16-17 years. Research is still ongoing as to why the lifespan has shortened, and scientists so far are not sure why this is happening. Goldens do seem to experience cancer more often now than in past decades, but researchers are still trying to determine why.
Improving Your Time With Your Golden Retriever
Ultimately, you never know how long the gift of your golden will last, so it’s important to treasure every day you get to spend with your dog. Consider the quality of your dog’s time, as well as how long you’ll get to be friends.
You can also improve your dog's chances of a long life span by working with a reputable breeder. For example, Golden Meadows Retrievers is an AKC Breeder of Merit with more than 25 years of experience. We guarantee that our golden retriever puppies will be free of genetic health defects for up to three years. If you’d like to learn more about how we provide exceptional puppies, reach out to us today.