Is the Goldendoodle the dog of your dreams? Before bringing one home, it pays to do your research about this crossbreed. One of the important things to know about them is their average lifespan at it will give you an idea of how long you are going to be with your pooch or the common health conditions that can affect this dog’s life expectancy.
On average, Goldendoodles can live from 10 to 15 years. This lifespan is the same as the life expectancy of its parents, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. As with other medium and large breeds, both dogs have an average life expectancy of 12 years.
In human years, a 10-year old dog is around 56 to78 years old. Contrary to myth, a one year old dog is not equivalent to being seven years old in human years. One can’t say a two-year old dog is around 14years old because we need to consider other factors in knowing a dog’s true age.
There is what we call senior and geriatric age in determining a dog’s true age. Both are determined by their weight. At aroundsix years of age, a dog weighing up to 10 kg may be called a senior. The term geriatric is more applicable for older pets with chronic conditions.
There are several factors that determine a dog’s lifespan. These are his breed, health status, weight, and height. It is believed that mixed breeds live longer than purebred dogs due to hybrid vigor. However, the belief that crosses are healthier due to hybrid vigor remains a subject of debate.
Common Goldendoodles Health Issues
Goldendoodles may live longer than their purebred counterparts. They may benefit from hybrid vigor or having better form or function due to crossbreeding. But that does not mean they are not at risk of any diseases because it is possible for them to inherit the problems often seen in their parents. These are common health issues of Goldendoodles:
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – this clinical condition refers to the deterioration of the eyes’ retinal cells. On the onset of the disease, a dog will find it difficult to see clearly at night. As PRA progresses, the dog will also lose its vision during daytime. In humans, this is quite similar to retinitis pigmentosa that occurs because of the breakdown of cells in the retina. In most dogs, particularly Golden Retrievers, clinical symptoms often show at around 4 to 5 years of age.
Hip dysplasia – a problem common in both parent breeds, hip dysplasia happens when the joint’s ball and socket do not fit well. Canines with hip dysplasia have joints grinding against each other rather than sliding into place. The pain that comes with it makes pets reluctant to move or do their usual physical activities.
Degenerative Myelopathy – this type of progressive disease normally begins during old age. More often than not, dogs will start showing signs at around 8 years of age although some can be affected by it once they reached 14 years.
Heart problems – one of the heart problems Goldendoodles may inherit from Poodles is theMitral Valve Disease. This condition refers to the thickening of the heart valves which makes some of the blood to flow backwards. Symptoms of the Mitral Valve Disease include difficulty breathing, fainting, and abnormal breathing rate.
Cataracts – thisis among the top health problems in the Golden Retriever breed. The opacity in the lens can be inherited although it can also happen when the dog experienced a traumatic eye injury or any other eye-related disease. As with humans, they are part of aging and may only start to show during the senior years. There is a belief that small cataracts don’t require surgery because they don’t really have any huge impact on a dog’s vision. The truth is thatthese “small cataracts” are senile lenticular sclerosis. True cataracts need surgical removal to help restore the animal’s vision.
Simple inherited disorders can be verified with the help of DNA testing. The parent breeds, the Golden Retriever and Poodle should both undergo testing to see any possible trait they might pass on to their offspring. There are animal testing centers that can identify a number of simple inherited problems using a single swab.
Caring For Your Goldendoodles
A dog’s health can impact his longevity. Fewer health problems also mean a longer life. To help your pooch become happy and healthy until his golden years, here are some caring tips for your Goldendoodle:
Brush his coat regularly. Your Goldendoodle’s coat should be brushed at least three times a week to prevent the dreaded mats. If you don’t have a lot of time for grooming, consider a short haircut for your pooch. Thiscan be done with the help of a professional groomer every eight weeks. For dogs with a wiry or wool-like coat, it is best to use a metal with teeth close together. Slicker brushes are fine to use as long as you choose one with soft bristles.
Bathe asneeded. Your Goldendoodle does not need frequent baths unless he always gets wet or dirty. Goldendoodles should only be washed once a month. If your pooch is quite active, consider washing him every three weeks. Don’t forget to brush your pooch prior to giving him his bath. When bathing, use a mild shampoo especially formulated for your dog’s coat type. If your Goldendoodle is at risk for skin allergies, use a medicated shampoo approved by your vet.
Trim his nails.Thisis one of the most overlooked aspects of grooming dogs but it’s important to trim their nails for two reasons. First, nails that are too long can be painful fordogs especially if they often exercise on hard surfaces. Second, they can damage your furniture. You definitely don’t want your chairs or couches to get damaged especially if they are made of leather.
Clean your dog’s teeth. Early dental maintenance is important to help your dog prevent periodontal diseases. Introduce brushing at around 6 months of age or until your pup already has his adult teeth. Never use you regular toothpaste in brushing your dog’s teeth because it contains fluoride that can poison your pet.
Exercise daily. Your Goldendoodle needs around 30 minutes of walk each day to keep his joints healthy. In addition to regular walks, it will also help to let him play freely on a yard or on a dog park. If you want a physical exercise that also combines mental stimulation, consider agility training. Avoid strenuous activities or too much exercise because they can make your pooch more susceptible to hip dysplasia.
Socialize your dog. A happy dog is one that gets enough playtime and opportunities to be with other pets. Introducing your dog to new places and people also makes them more secure and prevents separation anxiety. If your friends or family members have dogs, you can organize play dates with them to make thingsmore exciting for your pooch.
Feed a well-balanced diet. You have the option to feed your dog pure kibble or mix it with raw or homemade food. Whatever you are planning to feed your dog, make sure it is appropriate for his age, size, and health requirements. Kibbles are budget-friendly and not as time-consuming to prepare as homecooked meals. However, not all of them are formulated with high-quality ingredients. Raw food diet is gaining popularity but better consult your vet first before switching to this kind of diet.
Supplement as needed. A vet may recommend supplements if your pooch can’t get enough vitamins from his diet. Dogs that don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from their diet are at risk for malnutrition which can be a big problem. Dogs at risk of developing skin allergies will benefit from sources of omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed oil and fish oil.
Research about types of food your dog cannot eat. There are foods you should never feed your pet because they are considered to be toxic or harmful for them. Examples of foods you should not feed are fatty meats, salty foods, chocolates, and grapes as well as raisins. Fruits like apples, watermelons, and oranges are fine to feed dogs as long as the seeds were removed. Dogs should not also be given alcoholic drinks and coffee.
Avoid giving table scraps. Table scraps are bad for dogs because once they getused to them, they may not like the taste of regular dog food anymore. Leftovers may contain unhealthy amounts of salts or additives that may harm your pooch. The added fat or salt from table scraps can contribute to your dog’s weight. Besides being unhealthy for your pooch, leftovers can cause your dog to develop unpleasant behaviors like begging.
De-worm your dog four times a year. Once your pet reached the sixth month of age, he should be wormed every three months. Routine worming treatments can protect your dog from all sorts of intestinal parasites including roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, giardia, and coccidia. Follow your dog’s vaccine schedule which is recommended to start at around six weeks of age.
Get your dog vaccinated.It is important to get dogs vaccinated at an early age because pups or younger dogs are at higher risk of viral or bacterial diseases than adult dogs. Protect your dog from life-threatening viral diseases including rabies, distemper, canine hepatitis, and parvovirus. Vaccines against these diseases are considered the core vaccines. There are also non-core vaccines or shots that protect from bacterial diseases like bordetella and leptospirosis.
Goldendoodles are fairly healthy and that is why they can live up to 15 years, which is already longer than the average lifespan of most breeds. Heterosis or hybrid vigor may play a role in this, since mixed breeds are known for having fewer health issues than their purebred counterparts. Regardless of your dog’s breed, you can help him live longer through a well-balanced diet and right amount of exercise.