Health and Diet Information

Generally speaking, Golden Retrievers are very healthy dogs. In twenty years of sharing our life with these amazing, intelligent, loving dogs, the times we have had to run to the vet with any of them have been few. Still, I hear from people across the United States that has just lost their Golden due to a health issue. Health Issues are facing all breeds today like never before. Just like health issues in people. Health problems are not as simple as being purely genetic, if so, we could have eradicated them by now if breeders, dog clubs and dog registries really cared about the health of dogs instead of profits. So we have to look deeper into what is causing any health problem and take more responsibility in the fight to learn what we can do about them. The biggest problems facing dogs today and ways to solve them, in my opinion, and that of science are indicated below.


Cancer is the #1 KILLER of all dogs. We have to look at the food, water, environment, vaccines, wormers, medications and everything that our dogs are being given to them and on them. Do not rely on information from traditional veterinarians concerning vaccines, wormers, heart worm medications and all medications all of which provide huge profits to veterinarians and medical chemical companies and harm your dog. Seek out a holistic veterinarian whose goal is "prevention" and not chemical "treatment".


The long term health of your dog and minimizing the cost of ownership over the life of your dog will depend on diet. Research on diet proves that a good biological diet of raw meat, vegetables, fruit, and raw bones of human grade form is the best way of keeping your dog healthy. A good quality dry kibble should be offered daily that contains NO GRAINS. A quality food should be low in carbs and high in protein. Most commercial kibbles are cooked and heated to temperatures that kill any nutrients and enzymes in the food that a dog needs to survive. Feeding a low grade dog food is like giving your dog cardboard to eat every day not to mention what the additives are doing to the dogs system. Most traditional veterinarians are not experts on nutrition and their advice on diet is not the best for your dog. Working toward a raw biological diet will keep them in optimal health.


Keeping your dogs weight under control is essential in health. Diet is also playing a role in keeping your dog from getting heart disease. Heart disease is the #2 KILLER of dogs. Overweight dogs will and do develop all kinds of health problems from young to old. Your dog's diet is in your hands. Keeping your dog; Slim and Trim is the goal. *Remember to always keep your dogs bowls clean when feeding a raw diet. *Good Clean spring water in clean bowls should be given to your dog to drink.


Research has recently proved that vaccines that are given routinely by veterinarians are causing cancer and other enormous problems in dogs ( we recommend titers), along with heart worm medications, wormers, flea and tick repellents, etc. Question everything you or your vet want to give your dog. Research the products first yourself before giving anything to your dog. Many holistic and natural products are available for dogs as well as humans. Offered here are some articles to read to develop your own opinions. Please do your own research. It could save your dog's life and give him/her many more years in health. *update-never let your vet or vet techs give your dog anything (vaccines or wormers) up the nose. Never let them be alone with your dog. Dogs are getting brain cancer at an alarming rate due to these nasal vaccines and wormers.


A very BIG problem is many breeders today are in the practice of "in-breeding" and "line breeding" their dogs. As dog groomers, we see the effects of in-breeding in all breeds on a daily basis. The American Kennel Club does not regulate in-breeding and so, in my opinion, they are inadequate and lacking in protecting the health of dogs. The results of in-breeding are devastating in the overall health of the dog. Dogs don't have a say in whom their parents are and that is why an organization like the AKC should. In-breeding and line breeding is a common practice with many, many breeders. It stems from an antiquated and unfounded notion to continue the practice. White Oak Golden Retrievers DOES NOT in-breed or line breed our dogs.

Hip/Joint Dysplasia

Many veterinarians and dog organizations today are pushing breeders for certifications for eyes, heart, hips, joints, etc., primarily for the enormous profit that is gained to these veterinarians and organizations.

There are many opinions concerning these certifications and the invasive procedures that our dogs must endure to get these certifications. Golden Retrievers and most large breed dogs have the ability to produce occasional bad hips/joints in their off spring. The recent research coming out both here and abroad is that genetics only play a 20-25% role in a dog having hip/joint dysplasia especially if a puppy/dog is in-bred and will show up in the first 8 weeks of life. Recently, research suggest that the distemper vaccine is a huge problem and causes joint and hip dysplasia. It has also been proven that neutering male dogs before 18 months to 2 years of age, brings on many cases of hip and joint problems. This means that owners of dogs assume 75-80% responsibility in their dog developing good hips/joints or bad hips/joints especially in the first year of a dogs life. Limiting vaccines to the core puppy vaccines and rabies plays the most important role in avoiding joint and hip dysplasia in dogs lives.

White Oak Golden Retrievers has certifications in the past on many of the dogs we own and raise, but recently we lost a prized Golden due to the anesthesia that was administered to get a "certification". It has been devastating to us as many of you know that we talk to everyday from all over the U.S that has lost a dog that you love dearly. We will no longer jump through any hoops or be pushed into getting these certifications (many times wrong and unreliable) to please other breeders, veterinarians, organizations or puppy owners. If you buy into the idea that the occasional genetic disease can be eradicated through only breeding dogs that "pass" these invasive procedures you need to consider what the effects of IN-BREEDING is doing to all breeds of dogs. Certifications on an adult dog does not guarantee that the dog will not develop hip dysplasia and other diseases and it certainly does not guarantee that the puppies produced by that dog will not develop hip dysplasia or other diseases. There are many, many factors that go into a dog developing a disease. Certifications really sound good in a sales pitch to sell puppies, but they mean nothing. Healthy dogs take a little more time, work and education than that. Stopping the practice of "in-breeding" and yearly routine vaccines given by traditional vets will stop many, many health problems in all breeds.

The likely hood of a puppy developing any genetic problem is very low considering the other problems that face dogs today; like cancer, No breeder anywhere can give you a guarantee that a "puppy" will not have or develop any problem whether certifications exist or not. White Oak Golden Retrievers offers a "Puppy Guarantee" covering any genetic problem up to one year of age of the dog.

We do not take any problems that affect dogs lightly. We offer the information here that we learn on a daily basis through research that is ongoing all over the world that is dedicated to the health of dogs. We strive daily to produce, in a limited number, the best and healthiest puppies we can and offer them to qualified people and their families that are committed to and will also strive to keep them healthy.

Information about dogs is everywhere, opinions are everywhere, and experts are everywhere, but always, always, always consider the source of the information before you adopt it as gospel. Most veterinarians do not raise dogs and have very little training in nutrition. They make money when your dog is sick. Don't get me wrong, there are some very good holistic veterinarians today that are into the health of your dog. Holistic means "prevention" and traditional vet care means "treatment". Drug companies that produce vaccines, wormers, medications, etc. are actively selling their products to you in all forums. Research everything before you buy and give to your dog. DO NOT give your dog anything "Made in China".

White Oak Golden Retrievers research on diet and health is ongoing and continuous. We strive to give you the very best and up-to-date information available to our dog owners and we want to be their first point of contact in every situation for the life of your dog. You can't get any more committed than that!!

Causes for hip/joint dysplasia and what you can and cannot do when you get your new puppy:

Genetics-- clinical findings say that only 20-25% of hip/joint dysplasia is genetic. In-breeding and line-breeding are the main culprits. Some research is now suggesting that it is completely environmental. Meaning that a dog develops these problems after birth due to the following;

Vaccines-- The three "core" puppy shots are all the vaccines that a dog needs in his entire life. Giving your dog yearly vaccinations is a waste of money and slowing killing your dog. The Rabies vaccine is given at 6 months of age, and then every three years. The Rabies Challenge Fund is now working to change the law for the rabies vaccines be given every 7 years. Research supports this.

Diet-- All dogs need to eat their biological diet. This means raw meat, raw bones, vegetables, and fruits. A quality, grain free, dry kibble is acceptable in limited quantities. Your goal should be to mirror their natural diet in the wild. Recent studies find that feeding a raw diet, limiting vaccinations to just puppy shots (no yearly boosters) and preventing obesity, prevents and helps dogs with hip dysplasia more than anything.

Overfeeding-- No Carbs, No Sugar, No Milk, No Grains, No Chocolate, No Grapes, No Raisins

Over exercise-- A gentle walk around the block when you get your puppy is o.k., letting him/her walk a couple of miles are going to cause injury. Sudden intense exercise after the dog has been sedentary most of the week and then goes out and plays, jumps, and runs on Saturday and Sunday is going to injure your dog. Your Golden is considered a "puppy" until it is 2 years of age. It will need protection until then. Slowly and routinely work up to more exercise with your puppy. When you get your puppy home, start off by giving him or her a couple daily short walks on the leash or playing ball in the backyard. This will help to begin to build a routine. Build up to more exercise slowly. Routine is the key word. Playing in the house is o.k. too (watch slipping on those hardwood floors). Playing with other dogs is good but do not let a puppy play to exhaustion. A puppy cannot live his life in a crate. He has to see the world and experience everything you can give him. Just do it slowly as not to injure his fragile bones and joints.

Stifling-- Especially in young dogs- letting your dogs jump. Jumping off anything; couches/sofas, beds, chairs, etc. Standing on the hind legs all the time like on a fence or coming down on them playing Frisbee or going up and down steps many times a day. Stifling of the front leg joints and hind legs will cause problems in your pup or adult dog and is the main reason for joint problems in young dogs and later in life.

Spaying and neutering-It has been proven now that early (before the age of 18 months - 2 years of age) neutering in dogs

interfere with their growth plates and can bring on hip and joint problems. Males can NOT be neutered before 2 years of age. There is a new procedure for spaying female dogs that leaves the ovaries and helps prevent cancer in female dogs but does not interfere with the growth plates. This is now the preferred method of spaying for females.

Owners themselves ultimately have the responsibility to maintain the health of their dog. Buy a puppy/dog from a breeder that does NOT in-breed or line-breed in any way. Many breeders today offer clearances on their puppy/dogs. This is mainly a smoke screen or sign that says; we in-breed our dogs (This is a common and accepted practice for most breeders). Healthy generations of dogs don't need clearances. Feed your dog "real food". Treat them the way you want to be treated. If your dog develops a problem along their life, research for yourself all treatments available including holistic health. White Oak Golden Retrievers is committed to the Golden Retriever breed and will continue to strive to give our families the best dogs that will live a very long healthy life.

Please make that commitment with us!

Additional Reading

The Monks of New Skete; The Art of Raising a Puppy This is an excellent book for experienced and unexperienced puppy owners. A must have! Dr. Jeff Feinman is your pet's home for holistic healing. He practices what he preaches. A valuable resource for every dog owner. My favorite site to look up real, no nonsense, up-to-date holistic information on dog care. This is a holistic dog site by Jan Rasmusen; author of Scared Poopless; The Straight Scoop on Dog Care. This site exposes myths, lies and outdated information affecting dogs. The Bark Magazine a good dog magazine for all breeds of dogs. They are the first to publish new research for healthy dogs. You can find out more about enrolling your Golden in a Lifetime Study or donating to help goldens live longer healthier lives in the future. The Morris Foundation is striving to help the lives of goldens for many years to come. Dana Scott is committed to holistic health for dogs and her magazine is a wonderful source for updated information in holistic information. If you are starting on your journey to keep your dogs healthy, naturally, click on the banner below and subscribe to this excellent magazine that will give you the truth and up to date info on holistic dog care and feeding.

Good Books available on diet

Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson
Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze, CN, C.N.C.
Raw Dog Food by Carina Beth MacDonald
The Barf Diet by Ian Billinghurst
Give Your Dog A Bone by Ian Billinghurst



Books available on Homeopathy

Don Hamilton's; Homeopathy For Cats and Dogs

Holistic Veternarian Information This site is a starting point to finding a holistic vet for your puppy/dog. White Oak Golden Retrievers can give you the information needed to test whether a vet is truly for the health of your puppy/dog or just out to make money for themselves, the chemical companies, the dog food industry and the products they represent. This is the most important decision you will make for your puppy/dog and it will determine how long your dog lives.

**A new database is being complied of "real" holistic veternarians across the United States. If you know of a holistic vet, please email us at so we can add them to the new database. This information will help all dog owners and new puppy owners to make the right decisions from the beginning.
Check this new database for holistic veternarians;

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