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Golden Retriever Health Guide

Just about every owner of a well-bred Golden Retriever has discovered the friendly, loving character of this breed that originated in England and Scotland.

By taking a healthy puppy and giving it plenty of quality food and a lot of exercise, people have been able to enjoy years of companionship with this popular dog.


Health Problems in the Golden Retriever

Keep in mind that with Golden Retrievers and other purebred dogs, it is very important to begin with, a puppy, or young dog from a top-quality breeder, one that has taken the time to socialize the pups and give them the best start possible. Proper diet, exercise, and regular visits to the veterinarian for preventive medicine will keep most of the major health problems away. However, some health conditions do exist with this breed.

Golden Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, a genetic joint disease related to various stages of arthritis. Because of the tendency in the bloodlines, dogs may develop arthritis in the joint cartilage and the problem can spread from this point. It is impossible to predict every case of hip dysplasia but the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has a radiographic process and standards that are of great importance to Golden Retriever owners and owners of other purebred dogs. Therefore, we recommend asking about the OFA certification when you visit breeders.

Golden Retriever Health Guide


Some canine medical experts recommend that you ask about problems with Von Willebrand disease. This hereditary bleeding disorder causes blood platelets not to clump together properly, thus stick to the blood vessel wall, a process necessary for normal blood clotting. The Golden Retriever also has some tendency toward congenital eye defects.

Hereditary cataracts are a common eye problem in this breed. In addition, the Golden Retriever is prone to Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which affects the light reception in the eye. The first problem encountered with this type of condition is difficulty with night vision and vision in low light.

As you visit breeders in your search for a Golden Retriever puppy, be prepared to ask questions about these conditions and about problems with the heart and other areas of the body. Another area of concern for some Golden Retriever owners is skin irritations and disease.

A veterinarian should check any sign of abnormal skin color, spotting, or irritation immediately. Remember a top breeder should be very open to these questions and should be able to provide you with the information you need.

Choosing a dog free of these serious health conditions provides a good opportunity for having this dog between 10 and 12 years. Of course, a few key things can help you achieve this goal. Quality food in the proper amounts should be at the top of your list of things to do for your dog on a daily basis.

Low-quality commercial food with large amounts of grain (wheat, corn, soy) is not good for most dogs. In fact, many dogs are allergic to these grains and develop skin problems and breathing problems from regular diets that include grain. Soy-based foods should probably not be included in the Golden Retriever diet.

Feeding lean meats, some vegetables, and a diet with a good amount of protein will give you the best results. Proper diet coupled with daily exercise and plenty of time to interact with family members, means having a loving, gentle, and faithful dog that can be enjoyed by the entire family.


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