Daily beach trips 'helped' Golden Retriever outlive life expectancy

Golden Retriever, Bailey, 14 Portmahomack Beach, Scotland
Bailey, who turns 15 in December, ‘definitely thinks he’s human sometimes’(Credits: Mercury Press)
Golden Retrievers live, on average, for around 10 to 12 years. But 14-year-old Bailey has already surpassed the average lifespan by two years – and his owners believe this is down to his daily trips to the beach. Laura and Brian Oliver, both 41 and from Tain, Scotland, have long been taking their pet to swim in the sea at Portmahomack Beach, Scotland, which is right on their doorstep.

While he’s certainly past his prime, Bailey isn’t even close to outliving the oldest ever Golden Retriever, Adjutant, who died in 1963 aged 27 – and Bailey isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

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‘Bailey has always loved the beach, he’s a keen swimmer and will play fetch with the tennis ball when you throw it into the water,’ says Laura.

‘He just loves running along the beach, and is always happy to be in his favourite place, he definitely acts very young for his old age.’

Swimming is a great exercise for dogs: not only does it help with fitness levels, it also acts as a stress reliever and can help with age-related limitations such as decreased mobility, arthritis and stiffness.

The couple loves to spoil Bailey, sometimes feeling him ice cream after a long day at the beach, despite the mess he makes.

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Laura says that Bailey, who turns 15 in December, ‘definitely thinks he’s human sometimes’.

Golden Retriever, Bailey, eating an ice cream at Portmahomack Beach, Scotland
‘Spoilt’ Bailey even gets ice cream after a long swim and play in the sand (Credits: Mercury Press)

‘He loves to roll in the sand and then swim so his fur ends up being a little matted, and sometimes he doesn’t want to leave,’ Laura added.

‘But when we get home, he always hops straight in the shower.’

The ‘gentle giant’ is known around the village, where ‘everyone loves him’.

He’ll soon be swimming at a new beach when Laura and Brian take their ‘best friend’ on holiday with them in October.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Former Michael Vick dogs, Sox and Hector, are certified therapy dogs. They now spend their days cheering up people at hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

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