Owing to their friendly attribute and kindness, Golden Retrievers can be your best friend. But it is a misfortune that your pal gets old very soon. If your dog is getting older, you might want to know some caring ideas for senior Golden Retriever dogs.
What are the caring ideas for senior Golden Retriever dogs? Some ideas for caring for older Golden Retriever dogs are veterinary care, age-appropriate diet, grooming, dental care, exercise, playing, and vaccination. Besides this, comforting and spending time with your dog is essential when your buddy gets older.
Like humans, the body functions of Golden Retrievers start declining as they get older. Therefore, senior dogs are susceptible to several illnesses that make them fragile and vulnerable.
Hence, to protect the senior Golden Retriever dogs, you should give special attention to their caring. Here, in this article, I will be discussing the ideas for caring for these dogs.
But before digging into the caring ideas, let’s us know at what age are Golden Retriever dogs senior.
When Are Golden Retriever Dogs Senior?
Being a large dog breed, Golden Retrievers will also accompany you for a short time. Although, the faster growth, maturation, and shorter lifespan of larger dogs are undeniable. But the scientific reason behind this is still unknown.
However, when your pal grows faster, it has a higher chance of developing abnormal tissues and tumors. Moreover, the average lifespan of Golden Retriever is about 10-12 years. So, they get old sooner.
Generally, most breeders consider Golden Retriever dogs as senior at the age of 7.5-10 years old. So, you can also say that a single human year is comparable with the seven dog years.
Furthermore, the age of Golden Retriever dogs depends on their size. Therefore, scientists concluded that with every 4.4 pounds of body mass, your pal’s life expectancy reduces by one month. Thus, the bigger your pet is, it is more likely to have a shorter life.
Therefore, it is essential to focus on caring for senior Golden Retriever dogs.
What Are Common Ailments In Senior Golden Retriever Dogs?
Even though you love your pal a lot, you cannot stop it from getting old. Aging and death are unavoidable for both humans and dogs.
Furthermore, humans show prominent signs of old age. But dogs like Golden Retrievers are much healthier, active, and mischievous than humans as they grow old. Thus, your pal only shows subtle signs of aging as they get older.
So, what do you think might be the signs that indicate your pal is getting older?
Decrease In Enthusiasm
The playfulness and energy of Golden Retrievers resemble with the kids. Thus, a healthy Retriever can play all day long without feeling tired. But as these dogs start getting senior, they might lose their enthusiasm and energy.
Besides this, their body functions start slowing down along with a decrease in immunity. Therefore, you might notice your senior dog is hesitating to run and walk in the stairs.
Along with this, the muscles and joints of older dogs are also weak. So, the activity of your pal reduces as it ages.
However, as these do dogs get older, they lose their natural charm and energy. So, you will find your pal sleeping more during old age.
Besides this, to rejuvenate your pal’s mood and energize them, your senior Golden Retriever needs more energy. Therefore, your pal is sleepy and tried more when they are old.
Graying is a common problem in humans. But surprisingly, it is also a common issue in senior Golden Retriever dogs. As your pal stops producing a sufficient amount of pigment after a certain age, its skin coat loses its color and becomes gray.
Moreover, the graying of your pal starts from the face and muzzle from the middle age of 5-6 years.
Reduction In Hearing Ability
Is your dog avoiding your commands? As we know, their body functions degrade as they get older, and some dogs might even lose their hearing ability.
Furthermore, you will get to know about your pal’s hearing disability only after the condition is more severe and complicated. So, you will be unable to resolve your pal’s hearing problem. Moreover, you will also notice your pal getting aggressive and anxious after its lost its hearing ability.
Aging affects different organs of your pal. Besides this, loss of immunity and reduction in regular body function makes your dog vulnerable to several health complications. And among them, eye disease is undoubtedly the most common one.
Since the eyes of senior Golden Retrievers are sensitive, a lack of proper caring can result in cloudy eyes, nuclear sclerosis, and cataracts. Moreover, Retrievers with nuclear sclerosis can see just fine. But the ones with cataracts cannot see much.
Therefore, it is necessary to visit the Vet more often when your pal gets old.
Variation In Nutritional Requirement And Weight
Golden Retriever loves food and is always hungry. But having said that, feeding your senior dog all day long isn’t a good idea. As discussed above, as your pal gets older, it becomes lesser active and burns lesser calories. So, it is more likely to gain weight that you need to manage.
Further, the diet plan of puppies contains a higher amount of protein, and that of adult dogs has more fibers. But due to reduction in metabolism, senior Golden Retriever dogs cannot digest these foods and suffers from constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and sometimes even allergies.
Therefore, you need to feed lesser and nutritious food to your senior pet.
Change In Skin And Coat Color
As your pal grows older, its lustrous skin coat and its color start fading. Furthermore, due to the lack of pigments and essential oils in your pal’s coat, it becomes dull and thin.
Besides this, in old age, your pal has lesser immunity. So, your senior Golden Retriever will also get bumps and lumps in its skin coat.
Dental diseases are common in larger dog breeds like Golden Retrievers after the age of two. Moreover, studies also show that nearly 80% of dogs are more susceptible to teeth and gum diseases when they are over three years old.
Furthermore, the reckless chewing habit and biting behavior make your pal five times more prone to dental problems than humans. So, if you fail to take good care of your pal’s oral hygiene, it will for sure suffer from health issues.
Loss Of Bladder Control
As your Golden Retriever gets older, the contracting and relaxing muscles in the bladder become weak. Thus, your pal will have accidents due to urinary incontinence.
Although, after aging, dogs are more likely to lose control of their bladder. But the incontinence of urine is more common in spayed females due to the lack of estrogen hormones. Thus, if your pal is under birth control and getting old, you must take extra care of them.
Further, apart from old age, Cushing’s disease, diabetes, bladder infections, bladder stones, hypothyroidism, and kidney disease might also be reasons for lack of bladder control.
However, all the above are the signs that tell your pal is getting old. Moreover, to prevent further complications of these issues, it is vital to look at some caring ideas for senior Golden Retriever dogs.
But do you know the more severe signs of aging?
What Are The More Fatal Signs Of Aging In Your Golden Retriever?
Usually, most owners have a misconception that the senior Golden Retrievers and geriatrics are the same.
But there is a difference between these two terms. Generally, a senior Golden Retrievers is a simple term for dogs at the age of 7.5 to 10 years, while geriatrics is the term for dogs over ten years with several health issues.
Moreover, some of the severe health issues of older Golden Retrievers are:
Golden Retriever has cancer-causing genes in its narrow gene pool. Therefore, they are more likely to get cancer.
But as these dogs get older, they lose their immunity and defense system. Thus, Golden Retrievers suffer from cancer during old age. Besides this, the studies also conclude that 60% of these dog breeds die due to cancer.
Further, your pal might suffer from various types of cancer as it’s older. And some of them are:
- Mast cell tumors, benign, slow-growing, low-grade skin tumors that are curable. But it can become aggressive and fatal that leads to the death of your pal when untreated.
- Melanoma, skin cancer found in the nails, footpads, eyes, mouths, and lips of your pal.
- Osteosarcoma: It is cancer that affects the limbs and bones.
- Lymphosarcoma: It is cancer that affects the lymph glands of dogs at any age.
- Hemangiosarcoma: It is an aggressive and malignant tumor in the spleen, lung, heart, and liver that affects the larger dog breeds like Golden Retrievers in their middle age.
Like Alzheimer’s in humans, when dogs get old, they might have senior dementia. Thus, your pal will lose its orientation and starts barking reasonably, loses interest in interactions, eating, and training.
Besides this, the mood and behavior of your pal might also change during dementia. Therefore, you need to consult with the Vet to resolve this issue through medication and supplements.
As you can see, most older dogs have lesser muscle mass in their legs, hips, face, or neck. Thus, you will notice your pal growing leaner and thinner with age.
As your pal gets older, the cardiac muscles become weaker and slow down. Thus, your pet finds difficulty in pumping enough blood in and out of the heart. As a result, your pal might die.
Thus, the signs of heart diseases are:
Although, you pal might suffer from digestion at any age. But since the pancreas loses its function to produce enough insulin after middle age, diabetes is more common for senior Golden Retriever dogs.
Furthermore, female Golden Retrievers are more likely to be obese after pregnancy. So, diabetes is more prone to those goods. However, the most common signs of diabetes in your pal are frequent thirst, lethargy, weight loss, sugary breath, and frequent urination in your Golden Retriever.
As Golden Retrievers have sensitive eyes, they lose the ability to see things. Besides this, the pressure also increases in your pal’s eyes. Thus, your pal suffers from glaucoma.
However, the early signs of glaucoma are difficult to identify. But the most prominent indications of glaucoma in your pal are:
- Variation in pupil’s sir
- Watery eyes
- Red eyes
- Appetite loss
- No interest in playing
Like humans, hyperthyroidism is also a common problem in Golden Retrievers. Moreover, your pal might suffer from thyroid disorders in middle age (at 4-10 years) due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Furthermore, a decrease in body function reduces the production of thyroid hormone in your pal. As a result, the body metabolism of your pal declines. Hence, you will notice signs of thyroid problems in your pal like:
- Loss of fur in the chest, back, and tail
- Dry skin
- Coat thinning
- Weight gain
Owing to the heavier body structure and bones, your Golden Retriever is more likely to suffer from arthritis when it gets old. As a result, you will observe, your dog is more inactive, limping, and shows lesser interest in playing, swimming, etc.
Generally, short walks, the difficulty of waking up, avoiding climbing the stairs, etc., are the earliest sign of arthritis in your Golden Retriever.
Further, after you are clear about the medical conditions of senior Golden Retrievers, you for sure want some caring ideas for these dogs. Don’t you?
Caring For Senior Golden Retriever Dogs
Unlike puppies or adult Golden Retrievers, senior dogs have different health care requirements to live a qualitative life. So, if you are parenting an older dog, you must be conscious about the following things:
Since Golden Retrievers are high maintenance dog breeds, it needs proper grooming. But as these dogs get older and become senior, caring for them is much more difficult and complex.
Moreover, the lustrous skin coat of these breeds starts thinning and loses their natural color and charm in old age. Therefore, you must be careful while grooming your Golden Retriever.
For this, you should regularly groom your pal using qualitative products for grooming. Furthermore, don’t forget to clear your pal’s ears while grooming.
Diet plays a vital role in managing the health of your pet. So, you must be attentive about the type, quantity, and quality of food your give to your pal. Moreover, with age, the digestive power of your pal also slows down.
Therefore, you must reduce the quantity of your pal’s meal after they reach three-year-old. Besides this, if you want to ensure your pal’s healthy lifespan, use low-calorie and fat-free meals for your senior Golden Retriever.
Along with this, give more attention to foods that are easy to digest and high in nutrition. However, moist dog foods mixed with chicken broth can be very nutritious for your senior Golden Retriever.
Focus In Oral Health
The reckless chewing, biting, and nipping behavior of your pal to explore and get familiar with the surrounding is not an unusual habit of Golden Retrievers. But this behavior might result in dental problems for senior dogs.
Moreover, since most dogs resent brushing, owners skip teeth care routines for their pal’s daily schedule. As a result, these dogs are more likely to suffer from oral health issues in old age.
Therefore, it is essential to clean your pal’s teeth. For this, you need to brush their teeth at least thrice a week and use mouthwashes, dental chews, dental care treats, etc. Along with this, taking advice from the Vet can also be helpful.
Sometimes to manage the weight of senior Golden Retrievers, owners fail to provide all the essential nutrition for your pal. Further, due to weaker digestive function, your pal cannot absorb sufficient nutrients from its meal.
Therefore, food supplements can be a great option to fulfill the nutritional requirement of your pal. Moreover, the senior dog suffers from skin problems. Thus, omega-acid supplements are beneficial to manage the lustrous and shiny skin coat of your pal.
In addition, herbal supplements can be a natural and healthy way to increase your pal immunity. However, it is essential to consult about the dose, time, and frequency of the supplements with the Vet before administering them to your dog.
Emphasize In Veterinary Care
After your Golden Retriever gets older than seven years, it will be more fruitful to visit the Vet after every six months. We are well aware that senior dogs are more susceptible to several health issues. And despite regular caring, your pal might suffer from health issues.
Therefore, visiting the Vet for a thorough physical examination to check the health issues, diagnose, and treat it can be beneficial. As we know, with an earlier prognosis, the success of treatment increases. Thus, frequent health checkups can be more effective in early detection and cure.
Usually, the tests in veterinary care include blood count, urinalysis, fecal flotation, testing kidney function, identifying and treating health issues. And all these tests help to mitigate the chances of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart, liver, and kidney disease.
Monitor The Lumps And Bumps In Senior Golden Retriever Dogs
Owing to its restless physical activities and sensitive skin, some types of lumps and bumps are common in your Golden Retriever’s skin coat. But skin mass with warts, cysts, fatty tumors, and foul-smelling discharge might indicate dangerous skin disease or cancer.
Therefore, you must monitor the lumps and bumps present in your pal while grooming or brushing it. And if you see the skin problems proliferating or growing, you must immediately consult your Vet for suggestions.
Games, Training, And Exercise Can Help Your Pet
Since the activity of your Golden Retrievers slows down with age, your pal will be prone to obesity and health issues. Furthermore, a healthy Golden Retriever needs at least an hour of exercise daily to maintain its health.
But as senior Golden Retriever suffers from joint problems, they are lesser mobile. Thus, try the simple exercises that are low in intensity and helps to keep your pal active, like swimming and long walks.
Usually, swimming helps to relax the tense muscles of your pal. Thus, it helps relieve the joint pain of your pal. Furthermore, consult with your pal for medication to improve the health condition of your pal so that it can exercise.
Vaccination And Parasite Protection
Since Golden Retrievers love playing, they run, roll, jump, and play all day long. And after they return home, they bring various infectious agents (ticks, fleas, parasites, bacteria, fungi, etc.) in their skin coat.
Furthermore, senior Golden Retriever lacks essential natural oils in their skin coat. So, they suffer from cracked, dry, flaky, and irritated skin. And that makes the condition more severe.
Therefore, it is essential to vaccinate your pal when necessary. However, the senior Golden Retriever needs a shot every three years. But in case of some health defect, you must consult the Vet before vaccinating your pal.
Make Your Senior Golden Retriever Comfortable
As your Golden Retriever gets older, it needs more comfort to relax and ease out its pain. Therefore, you should focus on making your senior dog as much comfortable as possible.
Thus, for this, you need to focus on buying qualitative and comforting appliances for your pal.
However, the supplies best for investing in are:
- Doggie socks and boots: As senior Golden, Retriever dogs have weaker joints and bones; they are more likely to slip or fall and injury themselves. Therefore, using doggie socks and shoes can be helpful to make your pal stable.
- Elevated food bowls: Senior Golden Retriever dogs might suffer from stiff joints and arthritis, so eating food leaning down on the floor might be uncomfortable for them. Hence, appliances like elevated bowls make it easier for these dogs to drink and eat food with ease.
- Dog stairs: Senior dogs love resting on the couch and bed. But reaching those high might be difficult due to joint problems. Therefore, you can invest in some dog stairs to make it easier for climbing into the bed.
- Ramps: With age, the bones of your pal become weaker. Thus, your pal finds difficulty in climbing the cars and beds. Therefore, using ramps can be a great option to ease out the struggle of your pal.
- Orthopedic beds: We are well aware the senior Golden Retriever is susceptible to joint problems, arthritis, and hip dysplasia. So, to make your pal comfortable while sleeping, you can use orthopedic beds with soft cushions that support the limbs of your pal to relieve the pain.
How do you care for senior Golden Retriever dogs?
Do you have more caring ideas for Golden Retriever dogs that are senior or old?
Are you aware that your pal’s health problems might vary with age?
What Are The Health Problems In Senior Golden Retriever Dogs At Different Age?
Golden Retrievers grow and age much quicker than most dog breeds. And like humans, you will notice different health hazards in pal at a certain age.
Further, as these dogs are one of the best family dogs, scientists are now comparing the ages of these dogs with humans.
Moreover, although comparing the shorter lifespan of this dog with humans seems insane, this comparison makes it easier to relate your pal’s life with you. However, the comparison and health issue of these dog breed at different ages are:
|Aging of Golden Retriever
|Equivalent age of humans
|10-year-old Golden Retriever
|11-year-old Golden Retriever
|12-year-old Golden Retriever
|13-year-old Golden Retriever
|14-year-old Golden Retriever
How old is your Golden Retriever?
Do you think you are caring for your senior Golden Retriever well?
Summing up, even though your pal lives a shorter life, it can become your special friend. Besides this, the kindness, loyalty, contagious smiles, and gentleness of this dog can allure you. Therefore, you might want to make your pet’s life as much healthier and comfortable as you can.
So, for this, you must give special attention to the grooming, diet, health care, and excise routine of your Golden Retriever. Besides this, always be attentive to the habits and behavior of your pet. And in case you notice some unusual behavior consult with the professionals as soon as you can.
However, you cannot stop your pal from dying. But if you manage to provide your pet a quality life, it is sure to live longer, happier, and active. Furthermore, don’t forget to take pictures with your beautiful friend to memorize and store every precious moment.
Were all the above ideas helpful in caring for your senior Golden Retriever?
Do you have more innovative ideas to improve the health of senior dogs?
If you do, please mentions those ideas in the comment.