It’s difficult to imagine another breed of dog as loving, playful and gentle as the Golden Retriever. They are great family dogs who want to be part of your “pack” and will bend over backwards to please you.
Despite these highly attractive traits, you should be aware of some common health issues among the breed. Read on to find out how comprehensive pet insurance can save you from significant vet bills.
What do you want to learn about?
Retrievers are working dogs who were bred to fetch (or retrieve) birds that had been shot from the sky by hunters. In the late 19th century Scotland, there were a number of proficient retriever breeds, but none that were exceptionally friendly and gentle in the home. One hunter named Lord Tweedmouth decided to do something about that.
He bred a local retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel (now extinct) named Belle. The four offspring formed the basis of the Golden Retriever breeding program and are the ancestors of all Golden Retrievers today. Other bloodlines were later introduced including the Irish Setter, Bloodhound and St. John’s Water Dog (also extinct).
The Golden Retriever is a large-built dog with a distinctive, thick golden coat of wavy fur. However, the Goldie’s beautiful fur doesn’t come without its drawbacks, as the breed is prone to heavy shedding.
The Golden Retriever has a long, symmetrical body, a friendly demeanour and intelligent eyes. It is strongly-built and moves with graceful, yet powerful strides.
Because Golden Retrievers are big eaters, they can easily go overboard and put on too much weight. It is important to manage their diet and give them plenty of exercise.
Be prepared to spend at least two hours a day playing fetch with your pup and letting it run around outdoors, as Golden Retrievers have seemingly boundless energy and need to burn it off. They also love to swim, but keep a close eye on them when around questionable waters.
One thing to keep in mind: Golden Retrievers are extremely friendly toward strangers, so they don’t make the best guard dogs.
Is the Golden Retriever right for me?
|Tolerates being alone|
|Easy to train|
|Tendency to bark|
The good news keeps on coming for these loving and intelligent pets. Golden Retrievers cost only about $15 per week to insure with a comprehensive policy. That’s a small price to pay for a pet with such a big heart.
Health problems Goldies can experience
As with many pure breeds, some undesirable hereditary traits can be passed down through the lineage due to early inbreeding. These usually manifest themselves as health problems.
Lucky for us, the Golden Retriever has avoided many of these problems, but there are still some health issues you need to watch out for. These include:
- Hip/elbow dysplasia and other joint conditions
- Cataracts and other eye diseases
- Blood clotting
- Subaortic stenosis
When should you desex a Golden Retriever?
Desexing your Golden Retriever too early or too late could hasten some health complications. A study at the University of California Davis found that the risk of certain diseases can increase based on when Golden Retrievers are neutered.
Desexing your male dog too early (before one year) can hasten certain complications, while doing so too late (after one year) can hasten others. These study results are based on Golden Retrievers, but can differ from breed to breed and gender to gender.
The best thing you can do, no matter what kind of dog you own, is to check with your vet, who will assess your particular dog’s constitution to determine the best time to get it desexed.
How much does treatment cost?
Treating some of the health problems Golden Retrievers may inherit can be an expensive exercise. The table below is a rough guide to the treatment costs you can expect for a range of common conditions:
|Health problem||Average total claim|
|Epilepsy and seizures||$1,079|
Source: The Hollard Insurance Company (2016/2017)
Why you need pet insurance for your Golden Retriever
A properly raised Golden Retriever will create a lifetime of joy for all members of your family. That’s why it is important to make sure it stays happy and healthy.
A good pet insurance plan could protect your beloved dog with effective treatments for conditions like hip dysplasia, cataracts or allergies.
It will also cover accidents like getting hit by a car and snake bites. This might come in handy given the Goldie’s energetic and adventurous nature.
For a small price, you can rest assured your Goldie will get the best treatment possible and that it won’t break the bank.