How Long Do Dogs Live?

Older golden retriever

Dog ownership is a lifelong endeavor, and as most of those who have owned pets will attest, no one thinks of how long their canine friends will live. Most of the time, you all you think of is how cute or adorable the dog is – especially if brought to the house as a puppy, as well as making sure that everything the dog would love to chew is not kept out of sight. On a more serious note, these furry friends provide companionship, unconditional love and smiles even much more than human friends. So, their lifespan becomes a cause for concern at times.

The question “how long do dogs live” is no doubt an intriguing one. Let’s see how we can answer this question.

The life expectancy of a dog is affected by several factors which include:

  • The dog’s breed
  • Environment
  • Its body size
  • Weight
  • Diet
  • Heredity, etc.

As a rule, the smaller the sizes of the dogs, the longer its lifespan and vice versa. Chihuahuas may live up to sixteen years while a dog like Border collie is expected to live up to thirteen years. Great Danes are known to live for seven to eight years. According to a recent study outlined by veterinary records which can be found in the State of Pet Health 2013 Report, dogs that are more than ninety pounds in weight get to live just eight years. Dogs under twenty pounds have an average life expectancy of about eleven years.

Two older golden retrievers

The bodies of large dogs typically work harder than that of smaller dogs. Another factor that also affects the lifespan of a dog is its heredity. For instance, the inbred characteristics of purebred dogs enable them to maintain purebred stock. But some purebreds tend to have unique health issues which play significant roles in their lifespan. Great Danes are known to suffer from heart problems while Shepherd Dogs usually develop hip dysplasia as they grow older.

However, despite the health issue, size, sex, etc. of a dog, the average lifespan of a dog is 11-12 years.

The diet your dog is used to can also affect its lifespan. When your dog is obese or overweight because of its food, it could promote several health problems such as metabolic syndrome, cancer or even cardiovascular issues. Keeping your dog as slim and fit as possible can prolong its lifespan.

How to Groom a Golden Retriever

Grooming your dog is a duty or responsibility that must not be taken for granted. Time and again, many dog owners, especially Golden retriever owners are not mindful of the fact that grooming their fluffy friend must begin very early when the dog is still a puppy. This should be done to facilitate proper coat development. If you want your retriever to be happy and healthy, then what your puppy needs are exercise, adequate training, affection, proper diet, and proper grooming. This is why this article will discuss how to groom a golden retriever as well as where to find the appropriate tools to make the job easier.

A golden retriever’s medium length double coat is very striking, but it is given to shedding. While the top coat is water repellant and dense, the undercoat is otherwise substantial. Gold retrievers go through seasonal shedding—this is known as blowing the coat. At such times, the undercoat thickens during cold weather and sheds in warm weather. Long fur covers the neck, underbody, back of the legs and the tail.

Grooming is a process that takes a lot of time and patience; therefore, you should spend at least one-half hour a week to groom your furry companion. The good news is that the more you do it, the less hair you’ll find around your house.

The grooming process can start off with brushing your dog’s coat. Make use of high-quality bristle brush and apply gently on its coat. Regular application and use of the brush helps to prevent the loss of hair. You can start the brushing sequence from the head to the tail, remembering to brush the body as well as the long and short length hair of its coat. Brush the hair that covers the tail area, the rear, under the body, and the back of the legs. If you spot any loose hair, remove it and then inspect your pet’s body. Look out for signs of skin irritations and ticks. You should take immediate action when you detect any form of skin problem as it could be dangerous if delayed. Be particularly aware of hot spots, which are known to impact goldens (there is nothing worse than watching your pup suffer with one of these).

You should also consider bathing your golden retriever to help in preventing ticks and fleas. Bathing also helps in reducing shedding and allergies since golden retrievers are naturally active and playful animals. They love participating in outdoor activities and don’t shy away from water. As a result, they are prone to getting very dirty, thus potentially attracting fleas, dirt and other allergies as well. This is why you, as a dog owner, must incorporate regular bath sessions for your golden retriever. But make sure the water is not too hot to avoid getting your golden retriever scalded. Be patient enough to allow your pet to adjust to the warmth and heat of the bathing water and rinse your furry companion with sufficient water pressure.

You can use grooming tools like slicker brush, comb, thinning shears and scissors to care for your golden retriever.