The Aging Golden Retriever

david - Posted on 29 November 2010

As your golden retriever gets older, they will obviously need a bit different treatment than when they are in the first blush of youth and vigor. They will become a bit more sedate – though many retain much of their energy as long as their health holds up – and will, of course, be much more familiar with you than initially.

More frequent vet checkups are probably advisable as one of the ways to care for the aging golden retriever. You do not need to run in every week, but you should discuss a slightly more frequent series of checkups with your veterinarian. Golden retrievers, like many large breeds, are a bit susceptible to arthritis in their joints, and you need to take precautions against that.

Many dog product companies, including such famed ones as Drs. Foster and Smith, produce joint care tablets with such flavors as liver to encourage your dogs to take their medicine – in fact, if you play your cards right, they may believe that the joint care tablet is some kind of treat for good behavior and accept it eagerly.

These tablets contain cartilage-building compounds to help keep the remaining cartilage padding in your pet’s joints strong and healthy, in addition to compounds which work as antioxidants, others which stimulate the production of lubricating joint fluid, and yet others that help to keep the bones stronger and prevent age from weakening them.

There are special senior dog foods, usually in the form of dry food (kibble), which are formulated for the aging pooch, and which you might well want to feed to your furry friend. These are made out of substances such as chicken and rice which are easy to digest, lessening the chance of stomach or other digestive problems. Furthermore, they contain antioxidants and, frequently, natural edible oils which help to keep the fur and skin in good condition.

Your aging golden retriever will naturally remain in better tone if they are kept warm and dry as well. If your dog has spent most of their life exiled to a doghouse outdoors, then it is time to allow them indoors when they begin to age a bit more. Of course, sleeping rough in this manner has probably already laid the groundwork for arthritis and other complaints, but in any case, an older dog should be allowed to sleep indoors to keep warmer and be exposed to less environmental stresses (biting insects, etc.).