Why Do Most Golden Retrievers Die Soon? [13 Reasons ]

Why Do Most Golden Retrievers Die Soon

After you bring a Golden Retriever home, it becomes an essential member of the family. You always want a peaceful and healthy lifespan with your Golden Retriever. Don’t you? And the shorter life expectancy always fills your head with lots of questions. One of them undoubtedly is why do most Golden Retrievers die soon?

More than 61% of Golden Retrievers die because of cancer every year. So, cancer is the most common cause of death of these breeds. Besides this, the Golden Retrievers die due to various health issues, like heart diseases, urinary infections, hip or joint dysplasia, thyroid disorders, and seizures. Sometimes eye infections, panosteitis, osteochondritis, patella luxation, and skin disorders may also be fatal.

Despite all these fatal health issues, the Golden Retrievers still have outrageous fame in the USA. It is amazing. Isn’t it?

I guess you can get your answer when you see this beautiful creature. Undoubtedly, the perfect size, appealing body structure, and friendly temperament can allure everyone’s heart. And people end up taking the Golden Retrievers home bypassing their health issues.

As the Golden Retrievers are the perfect family friend and the best playing mate for the kids, you want to live longer and grow old with these dogs. Do these breeds live as long as humans?

Can you make a guess what might be the lifespan of the Golden Retrievers?

Do Golden Retrievers Die?

Nothing is immortal. Everything comes to an end after the beginning. So, you cannot expect that your Golden Retriever will stay for you forever.

Further, the lifespan of the Golden Retriever is much less than that of humans. But the lifestyle, type of breed, and health conditions influence a lot in the life expectancy of these breeds. On average, the Golden Retrievers can live a healthy life for 10-12 years.

Generally, the Golden Retriever that lives a healthy lifestyle eats nutritional food and exercises enough has a longer life. Besides this, the average lifespan of different breeds is:

  • English Golden Retrievers: 12 years
  • American Golden Retrievers: 10 years
  • Canadian Golden Retrievers: 11 years

Thus, you can see that the life expectancy of humans is seven times more than the Golden Retriever. However, there are some exceptions like- Augie (21 years old).

Death Of Golden Retrievers- Comparison Between Past And Present Situation

It might amaze you that in the early 1970s, the Golden Retrievers were not so popular. Moreover, there was no access to health facilities. Yet, despite all these, the Golden Retrievers at that time had a healthy lifespan of 16-17 years.

But although more health facilities, veterinarian, research works and foods are accessible today, the lifespan of the Golden Retrievers have somehow reduced by five years in past one century.

Don’t you want to know the reason behind it?

Of course, the breeding pattern, environmental change, and pollution might be reasons for this drastic decline in life expectancy. Yet, there are more causes of death of the Golden Retriever.

Don’t you want to know them? You must read further for detailed information about all of them.

13 Reasons Why Do Most Golden Retrievers Die?

Golden Retrievers are very susceptible to fatal health issues when they fail in caring. Thus, although they have a life expectancy of 10-12 years, the dogs battling with health issues may die earlier.

Here are some of the reasons why most Golden Retrievers die:

1. Golden Retrievers Die From Cancer

Cancer is the malignant growth of the tumor due to uncontrolled cell division that affects the body functions of the Golden Retriever. Besides this, the disease is very devastating without specific treatment. And it kills about 61% of American Golden Retrievers and 38% of English Golden Retrievers every year.

Further, there are different types of cancers affecting various organs and functions in the Golden Retrievers. And the most common ones are:


Osteosarcoma is the cancer of bones and affects the limbs of the Golden Retrievers. You will observe swelling and inflammation in the skull, jaw, ribs, or limbs in the initial stage. Later it gets worse that causes the Golden Retrievers to die. Although the lifespan after diagnosis of this disease is only one year, the dogs may survive for more than 5-6 years due to the advancement of technology and medicine.

Mast cell tumor

Mast cell tumor is the most common type of skin cancer in the Golden Retriever. Thus, about 16 -21% of the skin disorders of these breeds are due to mast cell tumors. You may observe slow-growing mass or itchy, diffuse lesions in the skin coat of the Golden Retriever in this disease.

However, surgery may remove the lumps or lesions from your body and reduce the chance of death.


Hemangiosarcoma is cancer that occurs in the vascular endothelium of blood vessels and affects the spleen and heart of the Golden Retrievers. Although the disease accounts for 0.2 -3 percent of dogs, it is fatal. And the Golden Retrievers die due to the catastrophic hemorrhage in worse cases.

But, the early prognosis of this disease results in better and quicker treatment.


Lymphosarcoma or lymphoma is the group of cancers affecting the lymphocytes in the blood cells of dogs. Since this disease degrades the immune system, the Golden Retrievers cannot fight against infections and die. However, only one of eight Golden Retrievers suffers from lymphosarcoma out of this 1/3rd cases affect the B-cells.

Yet, through regular monitoring of relapse of cancer and chemotherapy, the Golden Retrievers can live for years without intervention.

Furthermore, you can understand the cancer of the Golden Retrievers in detail through this article.

2. Due To Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastrointestinal diseases or digestive disorders are the affect the digestion process in the Golden Retrievers. Furthermore, the dogs experience immense pain and fail to absorb essential nutrients from the food. As a result, the tissue repayment process stops. And the Golden Retrievers die.

Moreover, the most common GI disorders are:

And these disease leads to following health problems in the Golden Retriever:

  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalance

3. Patella Luxation

The displacement of the kneecap from its groove in the Golden Retrievers is patella luxation. And the dogs experience immense pain during movement in this disease. Hence, they start limping or laming.

Furthermore, if you fail to mitigate this disease, your pet suffers arthritis or chronic inflammation. When the patella luxation worsens, the dogs develop stress cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). In addition, 10-15% of the Golden Retrievers suffering from patella luxation may deteriorate the CCL and die.

Generally, you can treat for grade 1 and 3 patella luxation through enough care and professional suggestions. But, the grade 2 and 4 need surgery.

4. Golden Retrievers Die Due Thyroid Disorders

Like humans, the thyroid disorders of the Golden Retrievers are also health conditions that affect the thyroid glands and cause fluctuation in the level of thyroid hormone in the blood. And generally, around 25% of the Golden Retriever is prone to thyroid disorders.

Moreover, the most common thyroid disorders of the Golden Retriever are:

As a result, the Golden Retrieves lost the functioning ability and die. For the mitigation of this disease, you can consult with the Vet for medications.

  • Hyperthyroidism- occurs due to the excessive production of the T3 and T4 hormones that induce thyroid cancer in dogs. Further, the Golden Retrievers die to the increase in metabolism at a fatal rate.

However, you can eliminate this disease from your pet through radiation therapy, surgery, or chemotherapy.

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis- affects the immune system of the Golden Retrievers in such a way that their body recognizes their thyroid gland as the threat. As a result, they start damaging their thyroid glands. So, the Golden retrievers die due to autoimmune response.
  • Goiter-  Goiter is a non-cancerous thyroid gland enlargement in the Golden Retrievers due to iodine deficiency. Although this disease is not fatal and nutritional meals with dietary supplements can mitigate it. Yet, the Golden Retrievers may also die from this disease due to ignorance.

5. Golden Retrievers Die From Urinary Disease

This disease occurs due to bacterial or fungal infections in the urinary tract. Further, the common signs of urinary disease are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Drinking excessive water
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Change in urine color
  • Lethargy and aggression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent pawing on the floor
  • Barking or whining

If your pet is showing the above signs, seek the help of the veterinarian immediately. Apart from this, clean drinking water, nutritional food, and regular brushing or cleaning will also mitigate the chances of urinary tract infection.

6. Due To Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

Hip or elbow dysplasia is a developmental defect of joints and elbows where the ball and socket of the bones do not fit in place for the movement. As a result, the friction in the joints deteriorates the bone instead of sliding smoothly. So, the dogs gradually lose the function of the joints and experience immense pain during movement.

Eventually, the pain becomes unbearable. So, the Golden Retrievers die. However, weight reduction, physical therapy, joint supplements, and anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful to stops dysplasia from getting worse.

7. Pan Osteitis Causes Death Of Golden Retriever

Pan osteitis is the inflammation of the outer shaft of the bones in the Golden Retrievers. The dogs suffer from unbearable pain during this condition and become stiff or lame. As the case gets worse, the Golden Retrievers will lose the mobility of limbs and die.

Generally, younger Golden Retrievers between the age of 5 to 14 months suffer from panosteitis due to improper bone development, trauma, or excessive intense exercise. Panosteitis can resolve after some rest. Yet, if your pet is suffering from pain, you can use analgesic ad anti-inflammatory medication to ease it.

8. Golden Retrievers Die From Skin Disorders

Due to the double-coated think fur of the Golden Retrievers, their skin coats are more likely to store different germs and bacteria. As a result, these dogs may suffer from various skin disorders like allergies, ear infections, eye infections, and dermatitis.

Furthermore, if you fail to take enough care of your pet, the pet suffers from alopecia, itching, inflammation, and skin damage. All of these deteriorate the charisma and health condition of the Golden Retriever. Eventually, the Golden Retrievers die due to various skin infections.

9. Golden Retrievers Die Due To Heart Diseases

The Golden Retrievers are very prone to heart diseases like cardiomyopathy and subvalvular aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis obstructs the blood flood in the heart of the Golden Retriever. And cardiomyopathy makes the muscles of the heart brittle, thinner and weak.

Thus, these diseases obstruct the breathing or blood flow in the various organs of the Golden Retriever. Since these diseases the regular blood flow in the heart, the dogs may suffer from breathing disturbance. And the Golden Retrievers die.

10. Due To Accidents

Since Golden Retrievers are very energetic, they never settle in a fixed place. Thus, they will roam and run all day. And, if you leave your pets unsupervised, to play on their own.

The Golden Retrievers will jump off the fences and chase cars or buses. When the dogs roam outside vehicles may hior other animals may attack them. Thus, the Golden Retrievers may die.

11. Golden Retrievers May Die From Seizures

Generally, the seizures of Golden Retrievers occur as a result of various infections or illnesses. Furthermore, seizures are the sudden excessive reaction of neurons. In addition, they are of different types:

  • Focal seizures- excitation of a cluster of neurons from one side of the brain to the other.
  • Generalized seizures- activation of neurons from both sides of the brain that affects the entire body function of the Golden Retrievers.

Without treatment, the seizures become fatal and worse. Thus, the Golden Retrievers die due to damage of organs. However, you can read this article to reduce the effects of seizures.

12. Because Of Diabetes

Since Golden Retrievers loves food, unhealthy food habits may result in diabetes. Further, diabetes is a chronic health condition that occurs due to an imbalance between the glucose and insulin level in the body of the Golden Retriever. Like humans, diabetes in the Golden Retrievers is also of type types:

  • Due to the deficiency of insulin: Damage in the pancreas or pancreatitis halts the production of insulin.
  • No conversion of glucose into energy: The cells of Golden Retriever fail to recognize the message to the insulin. Thus, utilization of glucose halts leads to diabetes.

Furthermore, the Golden Retrievers start craving energy and food during this health condition. But due to the inability of glucose utilization, the dogs become weak and fragile. And eventually, the Golden Retrievers die due to lack of energy.

13. Due To Liver Problems

The liver is a vital organ for both humans and Golden Retrievers. Furthermore, this organ has several functions like metabolism, digestion, excretion, and blood clotting. Therefore, liver damage has a fatal consequence.

But due to their body structures and immune systems, the Golden Retrievers suffer from a different liver condition. And unhealthy food habits, diabetes, bacteria, painkillers, and pancreatitis increases the severity of the liver condition. So, the liver collapses and stops all its functions.

As a result, the Golden Retrievers due to the accumulation of toxins in the body.

Your pet already has a short life. And I guess you never want to degrade it further. So, want can you do to promote a healthy life for your Golden Retriever?

How To Prevent The Early Death Of Golden Retrievers?

When you take a pet home, it becomes a vital part of the family. So, I guess you want your pet to live a life full of happiness. Therefore, here are some tips to help you prevent the early death of your Golden Retriever.

Supply Of Nutritional Food

Food is essential for longevity. And only nutritional and healthy meals can promote the lifespan of the Golden Retriever. Therefore, you should make the schedule and serve all the essential nutrition to your pet.

Apart from the meal, you can consult with the veterinarian for nutritional supplements. They are the best way to fill the void that may occur due to nutritional deficiency. Besides this, you should always reward your Golden Retriever with natural snacks as treats because it prevents deterioration of the health.

Adequate Exercise

The Golden Retrievers need at least an hour of daily exercising or training to develop their bones and brain. Therefore, the Golden Retrievers who exercise continuously are less likely to die or suffer from joint issues.

Besides this, training like potty trainingbite inhibition training, and the training method to calm the pet disciplines your Golden Retriever. Similarly, service training teaches the Golden Retriever to save a life in critical condition.

Birth Control (Spaying Or Neutering)

Birth control reduces the chances of cancer in the Golden Retrievers. Males Golden Retrievers will be lesser prone to testicular cancer while females will also have a lesser risk of mammary cancer. As a result, the dogs can live 2 or 3 years more than their lifespan.

Besides this, due to the decrease in hormone production, the Golden Retrievers will be calmer. And that also reduces the chances of accidents.

Minimize Chance Of Accidents

Supervision is the best way to minimize the chance of accidents. Besides this, you can put high fences and train your pets to stop them from escaping.

Apart from this, you can also use a name tag in the dog bandana of your Golden Retriever. Also, include the behavior, nature, name, address, and contact number in the card. So, it ensures the safety of your pet.

Use Sunscreen

Although the Golden Retrievers have a dense fur coat, the skin is sensitive. Thus, exposure to the direct sun can degrade their health and skin. So, you should apply dog-based sunscreen to your pet before taking it out in the sun.

The sunscreen moisturizes the dry skin of your pet that eliminates chances of skin disorders. And also, it prevents heat stroke.

Proper Grooming

Grooming is essential for promoting the health of the Golden Retriever. Besides this, regular grooming also strengthens the bond between you and your pet. Therefore, you should bathe your Golden Retriever, brush its skin coat daily, clean its ears weekly and groom it regularly.

However, you can visit a professional groomer once in two months. As professionals have more experience, they can groom the pet nicely.

Regular Health Check-Ups

The Golden Retrievers need regular health checkups at least twice a year. Apart from this, you can visit the veterinarian for suggestions about the diet plan and training methods.

Similarly, consult the veterinarian for the nutritional supplements and changes in the behavior of your pet. Take your pet for a checkup as soon as you suspect your pet is suffering from any health issues.

Early prognosis results in successful treatment. So, the treatment of Golden Retrievers will be convenient.

How often do you take your pet for health checkups?

How old is your pet?

If you want to know more about the ways to increase the lifespan of the Golden Retriever, read the article- Golden Retriever Lifespan – How Long Do They Live?

I agree parenting the Golden Retriever is not so easy. But it is your responsibility to give your pal a happy and healthy life. And in-return the pet showers with lots of love, devotion, and loyalty.

Furthermore, since the owners are their favorite people, the dogs replicate what you do. When you abuse or mistreat them, the dogs will also show aggression and destructive behavior.

Thus, choose what you want?

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