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Flat-Coated Retriever Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Flat-Coated Retriever

Start your Flat-Coated Retriever off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Flat-Coated Retriever Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Flat-Coated Retriever puppy or adult dog:

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

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Flat-Coated Retriever are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Flat-Coat will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

NomNomNow homemade dog food service Feed Homemade Dog Food Without Needing To Make It
Would you like to feed your dog homemade, but don't have the time to make it? I have a solution for you... [read more]

Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet health insurance. The best pet insurance company I've found is... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Flat-Coated Retriever puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Flat-Coated Retriever be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Flat-Coated Retriever? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Flat-Coat suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

Flat-Coated Retriever

Complete list of Flat-Coated Retriever health problems

The Flat-Coated Retriever Club conducted a health survey which included nearly 2000 dogs.

They report that the most common cause of death (a whopping 69%) in this lovely breed is cancer.

This lovely breed suffers from malignant tumors of all kinds – most notably deadly histiocytic sarcoma, which occurs in Flat-Coats and Bernese Mountain Dogs FAR more than in any other breed. Also lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, mastocytoma, melanoma, fibrosarcoma, adenocarcinoma, and others.

Even more tragic is the young age (around 4 years old) at which cancer appears in so many Flat-Coats.

In addition to malignant tumors, many Flat-Coated Retrievers develop benign tumors – over 14% of the Flat-Coats in the survey had a benign histiocytoma.

NON-tumorous skin growths (sebaceous cysts and lipomas) are also common, affecting about 10% of the breed.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Flat-Coated Retrievers are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat. In the club health survey, about 6% of Flat-Coat deaths were attributed to bloat.

Epilepsy has become a serious concern in the breed. Heart disease is a concern, as well.

Cataracts and glaucoma are potential problems in the Flat-Coated Retriever. Other eye diseases include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), eyelash abnormalities, and eyelid abnormalities (ectropion and entropion).

Hypothyroidism has become more common and diabetes occurs, as well.

If you look at the hip dysplasia statistics of the Orthopedic Foundation of America, the X-rays of 4000 Flat-Coats were evaluated and only 4% were dysplastic, which would be a low rate for this size dog – except that the true rate is higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Confirming this, the club health survey reported that over 9% of the Flat-Coated Retrievers in their survey were dysplastic.

Less common orthopedic diseases in Flat-Coats are elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, osteochondritis, and panosteitis.

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

Other serious health issues reported in Flat-Coated Retrievers are laryngeal paralysis and megaesophagus.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Flat-Coated Retriever in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.