It’s a sad fact that many Golden Retrievers don’t live as long as other breeds, and are prone to a lot of hereditary diseases. However, a Golden Retriever with a health conscious owner will have a much better chance of living a long and healthy life. Some simple preventative measures can make a huge difference. Here are some ways you can proactively keep your Retriever healthy.
Keep obesity at bay
Golden Retrievers can put on weight easily through a combination of poor diet and a lack of exercise. Keep your dog as lean as possible without being underweight, and you’ll be able to prevent a lot of secondary health issues which can develop as a result of obesity, such as diabetes, poor mobility and pancreatitis. Plenty of exercise is key, as well as a diet of high quality dog food. Keep treats to a minimum and don’t make a habit of feeding your dog scraps from the table – many human foods simply aren’t healthy for your dog.
Neuter or spay your Retriever
One way to prevent certain cancers from developing is to have your Retriever spayed or neutered once they come of age. In females, this can remove the risk of ovarian cancer and in males, prostate cancer.
Keep teeth and gums squeaky clean
Be sure to brush your Retriever’s teeth regularly, from a young age. This is especially important if you feed your dog wet, tinned food rather than dry kibble. Whilst tinned food is fine and tends to be a much tastier option, it doesn’t have the same abrasive effect as dry biscuit food. By giving your dog a helping hand with his teeth, you’ll prevent harmful bacteria from building up and entering his bloodstream, where it can cause a variety of more serious diseases.
Keep one step ahead of parasites
Make sure your dog is wormed and treated for fleas as often as is necessary. Worms can be especially harmful if they go undetected for long periods. So, keep an eye out for these critters and be proactive about treatment.
Keep your Retriever up to date on all his vaccinations. If you’re planning on taking your dog abroad, do some thorough research into the area you’re visiting and the health risks involved for your dog. If you’re putting your dog in kennels, make sure the dogs there look healthy and happy before you choose to leave your Retriever there as these places can be breeding grounds for infectious diseases.