Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, the best dog food diet for feeding Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog breed

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Health Problems and Raising a Chesapeake Bay Retriever Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers:

The major health problem in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers is hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 10,000 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and found 21% dysplastic. That's extremely high, and the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. For comparison, Flat-Coated Retrievers have a 4% hip dysplasia rate.

Elbow dysplasia is also a concern in the breed.

Eye diseases in Chessies include cataracts at 6-24 months old, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) at 4-7 years old. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available for PRA in Chesapeakes, so you can find out at any time whether your dog has the disease, carries the disease, or is completely clear of it.

Other eye disease in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers include entropion, cherry eye, and retinal dysplasia.

Epilepsy has become a real concern in the breed.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).

According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 19% of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels).

Other health issues in Chesapeakes are heart disease (subaortic stenosis) and blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's).


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Chesapeake Bay Retriever lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The best diet for feeding your Chesapeake Bay Retriever is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy really need? Does your adult Chessie need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Chesapeake Bay Retriever.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.