A quality dog food makes a significant difference in the longevity and health of your dog. You should always look for dog food that has real meat as the #1 ingredient. We recommend Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Puppy Food.
We recommend using Sure Grow 100 during the growth stage of your puppy. Sure Grow 100™ is a tasty supplement formulated to help large breed dogs and puppies develop strong tendons, ligaments and bones. We also recommend it for pregnant and lactating females. In order to maximize joint health, we use Glucosamine DS with Chondroitin by NaturVet.
There are two brushes that we would like to recommend. The first is Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush and the second is a brush especially for times of heavy shedding. The “furminator” is claimed to reduce shedding by 90 percent, see www.furminator.com. You can also look for generic brands that will also get the job done. Other ongoing care for you English Cream Golden Retriever includes: brushing teeth, cleaning ears, and trimming nails.
Your English Cream Golden Retriever will inherit the genetic make-up of the bloodlines he/she comes from. This is why breeding practices are so important. Responsible breeders will conduct health testing in order to produce optimal health in their puppies. Southern Goldens has carefully selected the very best breeding lines from Europe. As a new puppy owner, you can build on an excellent genetic foundation by providing quality nutrition and age appropriate exercise.
Hips and elbows: There are 5 types of hip testing available for dogs. OFA, PennHIP, FCI (European), SV (German), and BVA (UK, Australia). The most common in the United States (the gold standard) is OFA. OFA stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. You can visit their web site at www.offa.org. Grades for hips are as follows: Normal (Excellent, Good, and Fair), Borderline, and Dysplastic (Mild, Moderate, Severe). Between 1974 and 2011, 4.1 percent of golden retrievers evaluated received a score of “Excellent,” while 19.7 percent were categorized at dysplastic.
Another option: PennHIP is a newer method of hip testing that is more expensive and detailed than OFA. Rather than just one x-ray view “Hips Extended View” (used by OFA) there are two additional x-rays taken (Compression and Distraction). Precise measurements allow this method of hip testing to be objective in nature. You will receive two pieces of information with results: the precise laxity measurement for each hip AND your percentile score when compared to other dogs of your breed.
The following article, Locating the genes for hip dysplasia in dogs, verifies what we have found to be reality with hip scores…the weight of you developing puppy and young adult is critical to excellent hip scores. The above study verifies that 50% of the hip score is dependent on the proper weight! Vets will rank the weight of your dog on a scale of 1 to 9. We like to see weights rated at 4 to 5.
Heart: At age one a heart exam should be done by a veterinarian with extensive training in cardiac diagnosis. The veterinarian should be certified to give an OFA grade for the heart. No number is assigned if the heart is clear of problems. In our breeding program, we have ONLY received OFA clear results. To learn more visit: www.offa.org/cardiac
Eyes: An eye evaluation can be completed even as your puppy is just 3 months old. You will need to locate a canine ophthalmologist. To locate a eye specialist in your area, visit www.offa.org. Additionally, we test our Goldens for eye genetic diseases: PRA-1 and PRA-2. If both parents are clear genetically, the puppies do not need to be tested since they are already cleared genetically.
Brucellosis: Another type of testing we do at The Golden Acres is for brucellosis. This is a serious disease that should not be taken lightly. This article provides excellent details on how brucellosis is transmitted and some of the effects of the disease. See more details here.