It is not uncommon for Golden Retrievers to live to 13/14 years of age or even longer. As they grow old, just like humans, Goldens need that little bit of extra care and attention. More regular check-ups with your Veterinary Surgeon are so important helping with normal aging problems such as tooth decay, stiffness and aches, joint pains and can also ensure early detection of the more serious conditions like disease of the kidneys, heart and lungs etc.
Particular attention should be paid to providing the older dogs with good bedding which will keep them warm and dry. Ideally the bed should be slightly raised off the ground, located in a draught free position and be of thick padding such as ‘’Veterinary bedding’’. This will allow moisture through, will keep your dog dry and comfortable at all times. After a walk or if your old one has been out in the rain, it is important that they are towel dried.
As your dog ages it is a good idea to use a ‘’senior diet’’ which is lower in protein and it is also recommended that the daily intake of food is spread over 2 or 3 meals. Never allow your dog to get overweight. Exercise is very important to keep joints free in movement. It will also reduce the risk of obesity and related illnesses. Shorter walks a couple of times a day will also keep your dog mentally stimulated. It is so important as they get older that you help maintain their interest in life such as taking them in the car, swimming, retrieving etc, albeit at a much slower pace.
Goldens Retrievers, as they age can become quite demanding. Human companionship is probably the greatest thing you can give to your Golden especially in their last few years. These years are the most precious of all for both dog and owner.