It would be nice if your dog could live as long as you do, but with their shorter lifespans, they will inevitably pass away. A dog’s lifespan depends in large part on their breed, with smaller dogs living longer than larger ones.
Golden retrievers, for instance, live on average for 10 to 12 years. One golden retriever, though, is bucking that trend.
Living out her last days
Named August, or Augie for short, the golden retriever was adopted by Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt when she was 14 years old. The loving couple wanted to provide Augie with a home where she could live out her life.
Imagine their surprise as she continued to hold onto life year after year.
The oldest living golden retriever
Now, at 20 years old, Augie is believed to have set a new record for being the oldest living golden retriever. And you can tell just by looking at her. The hair on her face has turned a snowy white, signaling her advanced years. As for the couple’s adoption of Augie, the shelter where they got her, called Golden Hearts Retriever Rescue, had this to say on their website:
“They figured that most people wouldn’t want such an elderly golden, but they had no idea of the upcoming journey they would be on with Augie. They’ve taken her on RV trips all around the country, she’s got several canine and feline siblings, and she gets to play fetch in the pool.”
Augie is in good health
Despite her age, Augie’s mom says she is relatively healthy. And even though she is a little shakier on her legs when she stands, Augie still loves to walk around the yard outside her home. She has been fortunate that she has not suffered from the many ailments that a dog faces as they move into their senior years.
Medical issues with senior dogs
Most often, as a dog gets older, they start to lose their sense of hearing and sight. In many cases, they also develop joint pain in the form of arthritis. In some cases, a senior dog can also suffer from dementia. The list of health issues that senior dogs face is quite long. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to make your senior dog more comfortable.
Steps you can take to make a senior dog more comfortable
One of the easiest things you can do is buy them an elevated food and water dish. This will keep them from having to bend down to eat or drink, which many older pets have trouble doing. You should also keep your home warm, as older pets tend to lose their hair as they age, making them more apt to get chilly.
You will also need some puppy pads, because senior dogs can lose control of their body movements, including their bladders, which can lead to accidents. Finally, another step you can take with your older pet is to buy them softer foods to eat. As they age, their teeth deteriorate, and softer foods can help prevent damage to their teeth.
You can find out more about Augie and her amazing accomplishment in the video below.