Defying the Golden Retriever Life Expectancy Odds – A Case In Point: Charlie’s Story

As with most large breeds, Golden Retriever life expectancy is much less than that for a smaller breed or for most mutts. One of the underlying themes of Charlie: A Love Story, my book about my magnificent Golden Retriever Charlie, is how despite health problems Charlie defies the Golden Retriever life expectancy odds. He lived longer than anyone thought he would, far surpassing the Golden Retriever life expectancy of ten to twelve years.

Because Charlie: A Love Story (which you can find out more about by clicking on the following link: is in the form of a journal, you can read what was done for Charlie from day to day and how we cared for him as a family.

From the best dog beds, to the right food, to physical and mental exercise – both important for older dogs – to showering him with love and attention, to taking him on vacations and more, Charlie wanted for nothing.

Charlie had the best medical care possible. His primary veterinarian, Dr. Robert Olds, a master orthopedic surgeon and a veterinarian’s veterinarian, took care of Charlie with so much compassion all of Charlie’s life. Dr. Olds seemed to know every step of the way what was best for Charlie. Fittingly, Dr. Olds has written the foreword to Charlie’s story.

Whatever you can do preventively may improve the life expectancy of your Golden Retriever and the quality of his or her life. For example, omega-3 fish oil may be one of the best supplements you can give your Golden, in light of the breed’s tendency to develop cancer.

And please keep in mind that the even the best veterinarian’s diagnosis and prognosis are not always accurate. Don’t give up! Fight as long as your Golden wants to fight. You will know when he or she doesn’t want to fight anymore.

Golden Retriever life expectancy is short, no matter how you look at it. But there are things you can do to give your Golden the longest and best quality of life possible. Charlie: A Love Story is a lot about how Charlie and I did that. I wish you and your Golden the best!