How To Comfort A Dying Golden Retriever [14 Different Ways]

How To Comfort A Dying Golden Retriever [14 Different Ways]

Seeing your lovely friend dying is a devastating experience. Although it is hard to say goodbye, you should remember those beautiful memories with your Golden Retriever that will stay with you forever. Thus, you want to comfort your dying Golden Retriever with every possible thing. But how can you give comfort to your dying Golden Retriever?

Since the dying Golden Retriever is very vulnerable, it needs a lot of care, love, and affection. Besides this, a peaceful sleeping arrangement, warm temperature, comfortable bed, qualitative food, fresh drinking water, and medications can also comfort the pet. But especially if you want to give comfort to a dying Golden Retriever, you should always keep your voice low, comforting, and soothing. Further, with the suggestions of professionals, you can peacefully say goodbye to your pet.

Unlike humans, the Golden Retrievers live a short lifespan. Thus, you must bid them goodbye sooner. But still, you can collect several beautiful memories with your pet.

Besides this, the Golden Retrievers become family members after you bring them home. So, losing them will be painful. Although you cannot stop them from dying, you for sure can comfort your Golden Retriever in its last days.

Do you think your Golden Retriever is dying?

What can you do for your dying Golden Retriever?

How Long Will A Golden Retriever Live?

Since nothing is impossible immortal, everything needs to end one day. Similarly, your Golden Retriever will also die eventually. But, in comparison to humans, the lifespan of the Golden Retriever is shorter.

So, you must say goodbye to your Golden Retriever within 10-12 years of its birth. However, a healthy lifestyle does promote to increase the lifespan of your Golden Retriever. Along with this, the type of breeds also influences the life expectancy of a Golden Retriever.

Yet, these dog breeds live much less than us. On average, the lifespan of a Golden Retriever is seven times shorter than the of humans. Furthermore, the Augie, a 21 years old Golden Retriever, is an exception.

But, how to know that your Golden Retriever is dying?

Does the pet show some specific signs when it is dying?

How Can You Tell A Golden Retriever Is Dying?

Since the Golden Retrievers cannot use verbal communication to express their emotions, they use body language to show their feelings. Thus, when your Golden Retriever is dying, you may notice changes in its body language and behavior.

Early Signs That Indicates Golden Retriever Is Dying

Before dying the Golden Retriever shows some signs to indicate they are seriously ill. And those are:

  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Loss of interest in playing
  • Appetite loss and picky eating
  • Change in bowel habits (Constipation, Bloating, and diarrhea)
  • Lameness and limping
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Excessive shedding
  • Hiding in dark places
  • Smelly discharge from ears, mouth, skin, eyes, and rectum
  • Sudden change in breathing
  • Excessive pawing
  • Grunting
  • Decrease in physical activities

Signs That Indicates Golden Retriever Is Dying

When you ignore the initial signs of the illness, the Golden Retriever will show signs of dying. And, the fatal indications that show your Golden Retriever is dying soon are:

  • Bloating of abdomen
  • Seizures
  • Whining or yelping
  • Blood in urine and stool
  • No response to the command
  • Excessive discharge from eyes and nose
  • Breathing difficulties (short and forced breaths)
  • Excessive vomiting and diarrhea

You cannot control death. After your Golden Retrievers lives its lifespan, it is sure to die. But do you know there a transition phase of dying before your Golden Retriever dies?

How long do you think will be the transition stage of dying?

How long Will the Transition Stage Of Dying Last In Golden Retriever?

The transition stage is a stage in the lifetime of the Golden Retriever when it loses all the vital signs and shows clinical complications before dying. And according to my thorough research, two stages combine to form the transitional stage of dying in the Golden Retrievers. They are:

  • The pre-active stage- lasts for around two weeks.
  • Active stage- lasts only three days to four days.

But the stage does have exceptions and can be long or short according to the lifestyle and immune system of your Golden Retriever.

Furthermore, in this phase of two weeks, your Golden Retriever can change from being an active, enthusiastic, and playful pal into a grumpy, sad, and lazy pet. Thus, the Golden Retrievers need comforting and care during this time.

Do you know how to comfort your Golden Retriever when it is dying?

14 Ways To Comfort A Dying Golden Retriever

Like humans, the Golden Retrievers are also vulnerable and fragile when they are sick. And, during the transition stage of dying, your Golden Retriever requires a lot of comfort and care.

Therefore, here are some ways to comfort your dying Golden Retriever:

Optimal Temperature Can Comfort Your Dying Golden Retriever

When the Golden Retriever gets old, it loses all its body function. Thus, maintain its body temperature will be difficult. As a result, a slight change in the temperature of the surrounding can affect your pet.

Hence, you should try to regulate the constant temperature of its surrounding. Furthermore, the Golden Retriever prefers a moderate climate. So, maintain an optimal temperature of around 20-25ºC in the room to comfort your dying Golden Retriever.

Give Hugs And Pats To Comfort Your Dying Golden Retriever

The Golden Retrievers love the affection of the people. And they also enjoy physical contact like hugs and patting. Therefore, your gentle hugs and soft pats can comfort the dying Golden Retriever.

Furthermore, the pet feels secure, comfortable, safe, and reassured with your gesture. Besides this, the Golden Retriever experiences immense pain in the transition stage. And your soft and gentle strokes can help to ease the pain of your pet.

Maintain A Quiet And Friendly Environment

Golden Retrievers are always a peace-loving dog breed. And during the last days of their life, they may experience a lot of pain, hormone changes, confusion, and anguish. Thus, the dogs need a quiet and comfortable environment to relax.

While the Golden Retrievers are dying, they are very vulnerable. So, loud and chaotic noise can disturb them mentally. Thus, the dogs feel threatened, insecure, and stressed.

And I know for sure you will never want that, will you? Therefore, you should maintain a peaceful environment to comfort your dying Golden Retriever.

Stay Close To Comfort Your Dying Golden Retriever

Owners are the favorite person of the Golden Retriever. Thus, you should stay close to your pet. The pet feels safe and secure around you.

The owner feeds, plays, exercises, and cares for the pet throughout its lifetime. Therefore, the dog has an unbreakable bond with its owner. Due to this bond, the Golden Retriever trusts you in everything.

So, your dying Golden Retriever feels safe when you are close that comforts and relaxes the pet.

Stay Calm And Patient

I know losing a member of the family is very difficult. But would you like to fill the last days of your pet with grief and sorrow? I guess you do not. Thus, you must stay calm.

Besides this, caring for a dying pet is tedious. Change in bowel habits, uncontrolled urination, defecation in carpets, and vomiting will increase your work. However, being angry and punishing your sick friend will never help you.

Thus, instead of beating your pet and breaking your bond with your pal. You must be patient around your Golden Retriever to comfort your pet. Stay close to your pet and clean its mess.

Give A Comfortable Bed To Sleep

When the Golden Retriever is dying, the pet loses all its energy. Furthermore, the pet may be struggling with a lot of pain. Thus, to preserve energy, the Golden Retriever sleeps a lot.

Therefore, you should comfort your dying Golden Retriever with a nice, clean and soft pain. Moreover, check that the bed helps to maintain the optimal body temperature of your pet. Also, ensure the bed is comfortable enough to ease the pain of sore areas.

Provide Fresh And Clean Drinking Water

Since the Golden Retriever loses its mobility in the transitional stage, it does not drink enough water. As a result, the Golden may suffer from skin irritation and a dry coat. Thus, hydrating your pet is essential.

Apart from this, the dying Golden Retriever shows the following symptoms:

  • Panting
  • Salivating
  • Drooling
  • Discharge from different body parts (eyes, nose, ears, mouth, and rectum)

Thus, excessive loss of fluid occurs from the body of your pet. Therefore, to compensate for the fluid loss and comfort the pain of your dying Golden Retriever, clean drinking water is essential.

Keep The Golden Retriever Warm To Comfort Them

The dense fur coat of the Golden Retriever protects the pet from sunlight and extreme cold. But when the transitional stage starts, the Golden Retrievers lose a lot of hair. And due to the excessive shading, your Golden Retriever loses its ability to warm itself.

Furthermore, as the pet grows old, the body functions also gradually decline. So, your pal cannot maintain its homeostasis. Thus, you must keep the pet warm.

Covering the Golden Retriever with blankets warms and comforts your dying pal.

Give Nutritional Foods To Comfort Your Dying Golden Retriever

When the Golden Retriever is dying, the cell division stops. And due to this, the pet loses all its energy. Therefore, your pal needs more food. But since the Golden Retriever loses its interest in food, the pet stops eating.

Therefore, you should serve your pet all its favorite food and natural snacks to increase its urge to eat. In addition, the nutritional meals with food supplements will also promote health and ease its pain to comfort the dying Golden Retriever.

Do Not Introduce New People

During the transitional stage of dying, the Golden Retriever loses its interest in playing and socialization. And since the Golden Retrievers are vulnerable, the pet assumes an unfamiliar face as a threat. As a result, the pet shows aggressive behavior and attacks.

Therefore, if you want to comfort your dying Golden Retriever, you should not introduce new faces and visitors.

Schedule The Activities Of Your Golden Retriever

A routine of all the activities of the Golden Retriever is essential because it helps to keep life functioning. Also, the pet will not feel the difference in the environment if you keep doing all the scheduled activities.

Crying and wiping tears over your dying Golden Retriever will never comfort the pet. Instead, try performing most of the scheduled activities as much as your pet can.

Use A Soft Tone For To Comfort The Dying Golden Retriever

A soft and soothing voice will always calm your pet. And when the Golden Retriever is dying, your low and calm voice comforts the pet. Furthermore, your soft tone eases the pain of the pet.

As a result, your Golden Retriever feels safe, secured, and protected.

Give Pain Medications To Comfort Your Dying Golden Retriever

As the Golden Retriever meets the end of the transitional stage of dying, the functions of most organs in its body stop. Therefore, the pet may experience immune and unbearable pain. And the Golden Retriever starts yelping, whining, and crying.

So, to comfort your dying Golden Retriever, you can give some analgesics like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), corticosteroids, sedatives, etc. But consult the professionals about the dose and time before using the medicines on your pet.

Consult With The Vet

The Vet has knowledge and experience. You can use their advice while making diet plans. Furthermore, the Vet also prescribes medication to ease the pain of your pet.

Thus, the suggestion of the Vet can be beneficial to comfort the dying Golden Retriever.

Undoubtedly, all the above ways will help to comfort the dying Golden Retriever. But do you know why do Golden Retriever dies?

What Causes The Golden Retriever To Die?

The Golden Retriever originated from the interbreeding of two different dog breeds. Thus, these dog breeds are susceptible to several health issues. However, some of the causes of the Golden Retrievers’ death are:

  • Cancer (61% of American Golden Retriever and 38% of English Golden Retriever dies due to cancer)
  • Hip and joint dysplasia
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Skin disorders (Allergies and dermatitis)
  • Heart diseases
  • Accidents
  • Liver disorders
  • Infections (Ear infections, Parasitic infections, Fungal infections, bacterial infections, etc.)

All these are the leading cause of the death of Golden Retrievers. And if you want to know them in detail, you can read the article- Why Do Most Golden Retrievers Die Soon? [13 Reasons]

Is Your Golden Retriever Dying, Sick, Or Hibernating?

Unlike some of the animals, the Golden Retrievers cannot store enough amount of food and water in its body to hibernate. Therefore, hibernation is impossible for these breeds.

However, the behavior change in your Golden Retriever may sometime do occur due to disease and illness. And your pet may only be sick. Thus, to know whether your pal is ill or is in the transitional stage of dying, you need to consult with the Vet.

After some health testing, the Vet diagnoses the health condition of your pet and prescribes medication accordingly. However, the signs that show your Golden Retriever is sick are:

After the Vet confirms that the pet is dying, you should try to comfort the Golden Retrievers. For this, you can use all the above steps. But what to do about the emotional tornado?

Is It Ok To Grief Over Your Dying Golden Retriever?

You feel distressed and devastating when you lose your pal. The Golden Retriever becomes the family friend and playing companion of the kids once it enters the house. And losing such a playful mate will for sure be hard on you.

Furthermore, there is no definite time and amount to show your pain. Thus, show your emotions as you like. But if you have other pets, grieving around them will stress those pals.

Besides this, sticking to the same pain and grieving over a long period will make you emotionally weak. Hence, you should try to move on and normalize your life after the death of your pal. However, if you find difficulty overcoming the incident, you can take help from a grief counselor.

You should remember not to be too hard on yourself. Even though your pal is not with you, you have many everlasting memories with the pet.

How To Say Good-Bye To A Dying Golden Retriever?

After losing your lovely Golden Retriever, it is essential to say goodbye. However, sometimes the owners become so conscious of comforting the dying Golden Retrievers, they do not think about the dead body of the dogs. So, when the time comes to say goodbye, the owners cannot figure out what to do.

Thus, if your pet is dying, you should decide beforehand what to do. Generally, there are many options to say goodbye to your pet. And some of them are:


Burial is a permanent place that has the cemetery of your Golden Retriever. And you can visit and honor your lovely pal whenever you miss it.

Generally, the burial of a pet is at home in the backyard. But the USA government does not allow it. So, there is a specific section for the pet in human cemeteries in the USA.


After cremation, the Golden Retriever returns to its natural state in the form of ashes. And you can keep those ashes in your home or bury them in the backyard. Generally, cremation is of two types:

  • Private cremation- the cremation of each Golden Retriever occurs in an individual chamber. And you will get the ashes after the cremating of your Golden Retriever. Moreover, this method is expensive and costs $200- $250 for a 70-pound Golden Retriever.
  • Communal cremation- the method of cremating of many dead Golden Retrievers in a single cremation chamber. Further, the cremation service themselves dispose of the ashes. So, you will not get the ashes of your pet back. But this method is cheaper than the private method and costs only $20- $50 for the average size Golden Retriever.

Pet Urn

A pet urn offers a personal connection and includes the sentiments after the death of the Golden Retriever. And it helps to deal with the sorrow of losing a best mate. However, you should consider the size, design, measurement, and place to keep the urn while buying it.

  • The pet urn can cost from $30 to $1000 as per its size and design.
  • For an average Golden Retriever, you need a pet urn of 70-100 inches.
  • To keep the ashes of your Golden Retriever in the home, you should use a biodegradable urn. And for the garden, you can use either biodegradable or non-biodegradable urn.


Although your Golden Retriever lived a short life, you have a lot of memories with your pet. And I am sure you want to memorialize those memories. For this, you can opt the following ways:

  • Obituary writing- write the notice of death with a short biographical account.
  • Hold a ceremony to memorialize your Golden Retriever.
  • Make a photo journal including all the beautiful memories of your pet.
  • Create a memorial garden for a place of peace that reflects the memories of your Golden Retriever whenever you visit it.

However, goodbyes are always harder than hellos. And losing some close to you is very difficult. But still, you must live your life and move on.

Your Golden Retriever may not be there to hug, lick and cuddle with you. But I am sure that the memories of the pet will forever remain with you. And you will always smile when you remember your pet.

All you can do is provide a pet lifestyle for your pet and make memories as much as you can. It is because memories last for eternity.

I hope this article helped give you ideas to comfort your dying Golden Retriever.

And if you have suggestions, please share them in the comment section.

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