Golden Retrievers are a popular breed of dog, but they can be hard on their owners. Here’s how to care for your senior golden retriever and keep them healthy and happy.

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It just seems like yesterday when your golden Max was a playful puppy. 

But it’s been ten years, and you’ve seen him slowing down. He still enjoys playing. But he isn’t as motivated as he once was.

Not only is he slowing down, but his golden face is becoming white, his eyes are clouded, and you have begun to refer to him as lumpy. These are unmistakable indications that Max has reached the age of a senior golden retriever.

Many dogs are enjoying longer, healthier lives as a result of modern improvements in veterinary treatment and canine nutrition. However, it is still up to us to ensure that our beloved elderly pets have the finest golden years possible.

I’ll go through several things to check for to see if your dog is slowing down in this post. And what you can do to properly care for your golden and ensure that he enjoys his golden years.

What Is the Life Expectancy of Golden Retrievers?

Our dog’s life expectancy is short in comparison to ours. Golden retrievers have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, according to the American Kennel Club.

Golden retrievers used to live to reach 16 or 17 years old in the 1970s.  

Due to the high prevalence of different types of cancer in the breed, many veterinarians now refer to golden retrievers as “cancer retrievers.”

The Morris Foundation is even undertaking a study of over 3,000 golden retrievers to figure out why they are dying at such a young age.

People used to think that a dog lived for seven years for every human year. It’s a little more complicated than that. 

Smaller dogs, on the other hand, tend to live longer than bigger canines. Larger canines age more quickly.

A 10-year-old golden retriever is about the same age as a 66-year-old human. A 12-year-old golden is about the same age as a 77-year-old human.

A dog’s lifetime is, of course, influenced by genetics, environment, diet, activity, and care.

So don’t be discouraged if your 10-year-old golden retriever is approaching the end of his life. He may live for many more happy, healthy years if he is well-cared for.

Augie, the world’s oldest golden retriever, died only a month before she turned twenty-one!

The Telltale Signs That Your Golden Is Growing Older

As you approach your cherished golden years, you’ll notice a variety of behavioral and physiological changes.

Your golden is approaching his senior years at the age of eight.

He’ll begin to slow down, just like the rest of us. He’ll spend less time doing things and more time sleeping.

Many of them are just the result of natural aging. Others will require extra attention from us, such as bringing our dog to the veterinarian. 

A vet visit is recommended if in doubt, particularly if there are any abrupt changes in behavior or health.

The following are some of them:

  • Slowing down: During or after engaging in activities, your golden may get more tired.  
  • Stiff joints, arthritis, or trouble moving about: Your dog may take longer to get up after a nap, stroll, or play because of stiff joints, arthritis, or difficulty getting around. It’s a health issue if he seems limp.
  • Cloudy eyes: His formerly brilliant amber-colored eyes may seem to be clouded.
  • Loss of hearing or vision: Your golden may start running away when you open a crinkly bag of goodies, or he may start bumping into objects or not listening to recognized instructions. He may be suffering from cataracts or lenticular sclerosis (a hardening of the lens).
  • Weight gain: Some elderly golden retrievers acquire weight as their metabolisms slow down and they become less active than they once were.
  • Skin and coat problems: As goldens become older, their once-glorious coats lose their shine. Their skin may also get dry. Wounds that refuse to heal may be cancerous.
  • Lumps and bumps: As goldens become older, they may develop a variety of problems. Some are benign, such as fatty tumors, cysts, warts, or other benign masses; others are malignant, such as non-healing masses.
  • Foul breath: A senior dog may have bad breath due to a variety of health concerns, including dental difficulties.
  • Senility: Dementia or canine cognitive impairment may cause a dog to forget familiar things, seem disoriented, or become oblivious of his surroundings.
  • An elderly golden may grow nervous in circumstances where he was previously unconcerned.
  • Less tolerance: As a golden retriever gets older, he may become less tolerant of things he used to love, such stroking or attention.
  • Face and muzzle graying: That attractive reddish golden colour may gradually fade into a whiter tint.
  • Incontinence and loss of bladder control: Some elderly goldens begin to have pee or excrement accidents. As dogs become older, their bladder muscles weaken. Females who have been spayed are more likely to develop urine incontinence as they become older. However, this may indicate a health issue that should be investigated.
  • Drinking more than usual: This may indicate a health problem like diabetes or renal problems.
  • Muscular wasting: As goldens become older, they may lose muscle mass.

Just a moment… Many of these also apply to me! I’m nearly 50 years old, so I suppose I’m in my senior years as well.

Ways to Keep Your Golden Retriever Healthy and Happy as He Ages

There are numerous things you can do to help your golden have a happy life as he gets older. It is our responsibility to take all essential measures to guarantee his happiness and well-being.

Veterinary Care Will Be Improved

Adult goldens should be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year. Our elderly pets, on the other hand, should be seen at least once every six months so that your veterinarian may detect any problems before they become life-threatening.

A complete physical exam, blood work, urinalysis, a thyroid profile, and an EKG may all be part of a geriatric visit.

Of course, if you see any significant changes in your golden, you should take him to the vet to make sure it isn’t anything severe.

Controlling your weight

It’s critical that we maintain our goldens at a healthy weight. They should have a distinct waist and visible but not visible ribs.

Too much weight may contribute to joint and hip issues, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer, according to some experts. Obesity puts a lot of pressure on the body’s systems.

There are diets designed specifically for older dogs to help them maintain a healthy weight.


You want to make sure he gets the greatest nutrition possible for his age. 

You might consider switching him to a senior diet. A senior diet may include less calories to prevent him from gaining weight.

For joint health, your golden may need nutritional supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as fatty acids for skin and coat health. 

For any health problems he may have, such as renal or liver failure, he may need a specific diet.

Always with your veterinarian before making any dietary or supplement modifications.

Dental Hygiene

Dental care is essential for a dog’s whole life. Periodontal disease affects 85 percent of canines over the age of six.

The gumline is where dental health begins. Gums that are clogged with tartar and plaque are more susceptible to infection. 

Bacteria may enter the bloodstream and assault a dog’s critical organs, resulting in heart, kidney, liver, or respiratory illnesses if left untreated.

These may be life-threatening, particularly in elderly dogs with compromised immune systems. 

Brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis may help avoid these issues. 

Your golden’s teeth will also be checked by the vet to see whether they need to be properly cleaned or if any teeth need to be removed.

His Body Should Be Exercised

Our dogs, like us, need exercise in order to stay in excellent health. It will also aid in the fitness and happiness of our elderly canine friends.

Of course, your dog should undergo a veterinarian check-up before starting a new exercise regimen. You may also inquire with your veterinarian about the kind of activities your dog is permitted to partake in.

He may have been a jogging companion in his youth, but his elderly arthritic joints and bones may not be up to the task.

Consider a decent walking program or perhaps swimming, both of which are less taxing on his body. 

Have some fun with him. Play that game if he can still fetch.

Going to locations to exercise may also help him keep his mind stimulated and avoid boredom.

His Mind Should Be Exercised

You must stimulate your golden’s intellect in order for him to have a happy and healthy life.

Continue to perform obedience drills that he is physically capable of. Teach him new skills and games.

Give him puzzles to play with.

He should be socialized.

Keep bringing him somewhere as long as he’s capable and has the beautiful disposition of liking others. 

He may like visiting shopping malls, parks, and pet stores to be stroked by new acquaintances. 

Make sure your veterinarian approves of him visiting areas where other dogs are known to congregate, such as pet stores. As a senior, he may have a weakened immune system and be vulnerable to illnesses. 

You want him to have a happy, healthy life. 

Even as a senior, my golden Spencer enjoyed visiting places and receiving a lot of attention. When he was stroked and told what a beautiful kid he was, he simply grinned.

Groom Him

Grooming him on a regular basis will maintain his coat and skin in excellent condition. Brushing also aids in the removal of dead hair. 

Brushing your dog’s skin with the right instrument may also stimulate it and offer him a massage.

Bathing him when he needs it is also an essential part of his overall care.

Check for lumps, pimples, and skin issues as well.

Doing his nails is part of grooming so he doesn’t get muscular tension or lose his balance. 

Some dogs’ nails naturally wear down. If they need to be trimmed, a little tip off once a week would suffice.

Ear cleaning and inspection are also essential for a golden’s general health. They have a tendency to have filthy, waxy ears.

If you need to, you can always get him groomed professionally.

Pest and Termite Control

Check for fleas and ticks on a regular basis as part of his general health. To keep your golden free of them, use products recommended by your veterinarian.

He Needs Assistance With His Mobility

If necessary, use harnesses with handles or mobility slings. He may require assistance getting up and walking.

Use a ramp to help him climb into your car. SUVs, trucks, and minivans are likely to cause the greatest issues.

I utilized a ramp to help my golden Spencer get into and out of my minivan when he was in his late years. He enjoyed traveling places, and the ramp allowed him to continue taking road excursions. 

You’ll also want to make sure he doesn’t slide about your home on smooth surfaces like tile, linoleum, or wood. 

To provide him traction, trim the hair between his pads. You may also assist him get traction by using nonslip items on his pads or dog boots.

Create a Senior-Friendly Environment in Your Home

Orthopedic dog beds may be relaxing to the joints and bodies of elderly dogs. Warming pads for mattresses are also available. 

Ensure that your dog is kept warm and out of drafts. If you live in a colder area, your golden may require a coat or sweater when the colder months arrive.

If your golden no longer uses stairs, he may need to stay on one level of your home.

Raise the water and food bowls for your dog. You may either raise his existing ones or buy some that are elevated. This will ease the strain on his neck and spine as he eats.

The End of the Road

Our excursions with our beloved goldens, however, never seem to last long enough. Their lives are so brief in comparison to ours.

You clearly care about your beloved golden if you’re reading this post. So you want the best for your canine companion. And will ensure that he has a happy and healthy life.

We will all have to make the ultimate trip at some point. Your dog may die quietly at home, or you may need veterinary aid to bring his trip to a close. This essay may assist you in making such important choices.

Your memories and connection with your cherished pet will live on. Keep in mind the wonderful moments you had with him.

Last Thoughts

We are the ones who look after our dog. We can–and should–take a number of measures to ensure that his last years are pleasant, healthy, and meaningful.

Do you own a golden retriever who is above the age of ten?

Please share any information you have about him in the comments area below.


Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. There are a number of different ways to care for your senior Golden Retriever, including feeding them a diet that is appropriate for their age and providing mental stimulation. Reference: old golden retriever for sale.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age is a golden retriever a senior?

A golden retriever is considered a senior when it has reached the age of 12 years old.

What should I feed my senior golden retriever?

I am not a vet, but I would suggest feeding your senior golden retriever a high-quality food with lots of protein and fat.

Is a golden retriever good for a senior?

No, a golden retriever is not good for a senior.

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