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Newfoundland Health Care & Feeding

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


Start your Newfoundland 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
Newfoundland Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Newfoundland 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 Newfoundland 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 Newfoundland are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Newfoundland 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]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Newfoundland 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 Newfoundland 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 Newfoundland? 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 Newf 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]


Complete list of Newfoundland health problems

At least six serious heart diseases occur in Newfoundlands – subaortic stenosis is the main one, but also pulmonic stenosis, cardiomyopathy, tricuspid valve disease, patent ductus arteriosus, and septal defects.

Orthopedic problems are extremely common in Newfs, especially hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. About 1 in every 4 Newfoundlands has malformed hips, and 1 in 4 has malformed elbows.

The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 16,000 Newfoundlands and found 26% dysplastic – an extremely high rate. Of 7600 elbow X-rays, 24% were dysplastic – the 11th worst rate of all breeds. Just awful.

In addition, Newfoundlands can develop osteochondritis of their shoulder, and luxating patella (loose kneecap that slips in and out of its socket).

Newfs are also prone to tearing the cruciate ligament in their hind legs, which requires expensive surgery.

All of the orthopedic problems mentioned produce pain and lameness and often requires very expensive surgery with a long recovery period – not always easy to manage in a giant dog!

Young  Newfoundlands are susceptible to a pain/lameness syndrome called panosteitis , which fortunately is usually self-limiting.

Cancer (especially lymphosarcoma and osteosarcoma) claims the lives of many Newfoundlands.

Urinary infections occur regularly in Newfs, and a serious urinary disease called cystinuria  is more common in Newfoundlands than in most other breeds.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Newfoundlands are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat – in fact, of all breeds, they are the 9th most likely to develop it. It can kill a dog within hours.

Eye diseases in the Newfoundland include cataracts, cherry eye, and eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion).

Hormonal/endocrine system diseases include hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, and Cushing's disease – the latter two being very tricky to manage.

Allergies cause itchy skin and scratching that can lead to bacterial infections (hot spots). More serious skin problems can be caused by an autoimmune disease called pemphigus.

Epilepsy is a growing concern in Newfoundlands.

Chronic diarrhea can be caused by colitis (inflammatory bowel disease). As you might imagine, chronic diarrhea is not something to look forward to in a huge dog!

Other health issues in Newfoundlands include blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's and thrombocytopenia), autoimmune hemolytic anemia, megaesophagus, myasthenia gravis, laryngeal paralysis, and inherited deafness.

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 Newfoundland 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.