Golden Retriever Life Expectancy And How To Increase It

Golden Retriever Life Expectancy

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Golden Retrievers are an amazing breed. Intelligent, playful, kind, and friendly, they are perfect family pets. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Goldens are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. The worst thing about Golden Retrievers is their short life expectancy, comparing to humans. We are blessed with the companionship of these angels for only a fraction of our life and losing them leaves deep scars on our hearts. But what is the average Golden Retriever life expectancy these days, how long do they live?

How Long Do Golden Retrievers Live?

Golden Retrievers will reach adulthood somewhere around 15 months, while their average lifespan is between 10 and 12 years. Scientists have discovered a clear correlation between the average lifespan of the dog and its size. Golden Retrievers, as a medium to a large dog breed, have a shorter life expectancy than small breed dogs.

An interesting thing about Golden Retrievers is that their lifespan has steadily decreased over the course of the last five decades. Not so long ago, in the 1970s Goldens were expected to live between 16 and 17 years. Today, their life expectancy is around five years shorter. 

There is an ongoing study by the Morris Animal Foundation to discover why exactly did the average lifespan of Goldens drop so dramatically.

Augie, The Oldest Living Golden Retriever In The World

August, or Augie, a Golden Retriever from Tennessee is the oldest Golden Retriever in the world. Augie was born on the 24th of April in 2000. She is currently 20 years old, which is equivalent to 114 human years. You can read more about Augie’s incredible story HERE.

Golden Retriever Life Expectancy: How To Increase It?

There is one thing that all Golden Retriever owners fear the most, cancer. Goldens are incredibly susceptible to cancer, as a matter of fact, it is the number one cause of death for this breed. 

A study by the Morris Animal Foundation has discovered that a whopping 60% of Golden Retrievers will be affected by some type of cancer during their lifetime. Cancer deaths in Golden Retrievers are higher than any other dog breed in the world. 

The most common types of cancers that impact Golden Retrievers are:

  • Bone cancer
  • Blood cancer 
  • Lymphoma
  • Skin cancer

These are devastating data, and it makes you wonder why Goldens are so susceptible to cancer? The main reason is genetics. Years of irresponsible breeding have left the breed genetically weak and predisposed to this deadly disease. However, genetics is not the only “culprit”, environmental pollution and quality of food also play a big role in this. 

Cancer Prevention

Since cancer is a top cause of death in Golden Retrievers, it is only natural to try to prevent it. The prevention of cancer starts with buying a puppy. Buy a Golden Retriever puppy only from a reputable breeder and ask for the health checks of its parents. By doing this, you will not only get a healthy puppy, but you will also promote good and responsible breeding practices and improve the overall health of the breed.

Maybe you have adopted a Golden or already bought a puppy from a shady breeder. In this case, you can do much about the genetics and puppy’s predispositions to get cancer. However, you can focus on other areas and work on the prevention of cancer.

Spay or neuter

Spaying and neutering can be a great way to prevent testicular cancer or a cancer of the mammary glands. However, you need to be careful when to spay or neuter your Golden. There is a clear correlation between spaying and neutering too early and an increased risk of cancer.

Balanced, High-Quality Diet

Some people will feed their Goldens a commercial grain-free diet. Don’t do this, as there is evidence that links this diet with an increased risk of cancer and heart issues.

A balanced, nutrient-rich diet with high-quality organic ingredients will help your dog a lot. It is also advisable to use Omega 3 supplements as they help reduce inflammation, strengthen the joints, and improve the health of the coat.

Other Options For Increasing The Lifespan Of My Golden Retriever

Now that we have seen what you can do to try to prevent cancer, let’s take a look at other areas that can increase your dog’s lifespan and overall quality of life.


Keep your Golden clean, pay attention to dental hygiene, brush your dog regularly and keep its coat clean and dry. Pay special attention to keep its ears clean and dry to avoid infections. Regularly check dog’s coat for ticks, especially “hard-to-see” areas after a walk in nature.

Avoid Stressful Situations

Golden Retrievers are not doing well under stress. When in a stressful situation, the dog’s body releases adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones can have a negative impact on Golden’s body and may cause weakening of the immune system as well as diarrhea, urination issues, and loss of appetite. So, try to avoid stressful situations.

Regular Visits To The Vet And Health Checks

Regular visits to the vet will discover any potential health issues and give your dog a chance to fight. Many diseases are treatable and curable if discovered in the early stages of development. Therefore, visit your vet for regular checks at least twice a year. However, don’t mind calling or visiting your vet when you notice strange behavior and symptoms in your Golden Retriever. Proper and timely reactions on your behalf can save your dog’s life.


The average Golden Retriever life expectancy is between 10 and 12 years on average. There are many factors that determine the lifespan of your Golden Retriever. First and foremost genetics, but there is also the quality of the diet and environmental factors. To increase the lifespan of your Golden Retriever, you need to keep its hygiene, feed it a high-quality diet and regularly visit the vet to do health checks. 

Picture of Golden retriever eating in order to explain what hte best dog food for Golden retrievers is

Best dog food for Golden retrievers

Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue

Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue