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How High Is the Rate of Cancer in Golden Retrievers

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs? It’s heartbreaking to think about, but one breed of dog is particularly affected by cancer: the Golden Retriever. In this blog post, we will talk about the rates of cancer in Golden Retrievers and what you can do to help protect your furry friend.

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Golden Retriever Cancer Rate

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the rate of cancer in Golden Retrievers is alarmingly high. In fact, 60% of all golden retrievers will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. While this number is staggering, there are things that you can do to help your dog fight cancer.


The first thing that you can do is to make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. Exercise has been shown to boost the immune system, which can help your dog fight off cancer cells. Furthermore, exercise will also help to keep your dog at a healthy weight, which is important because obesity has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Golden Retriever with yellow ball
Image Credit: 825545, Pixabay

Healthy Diet

You should also make sure that your dog is eating a healthy diet. A diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer. Feed your dog fresh, whole foods and avoid processed foods whenever possible.

Here are a few tips for choosing healthy foods for your dog:

  • Choose lean protein sources, such as chicken or fish.
  • Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your dog’s diet.
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar or fat.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about whether you should supplement your dog’s diet with vitamins or antioxidants.
  • Choose treats that are healthy and low in sugar, processed ingredients, sodium, and saturated fats.
dog eating
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

Proper Hydration

It’s also important to keep your pet hydrated. Make sure that your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Bodies need proper hydration to flush toxins from the body throughout the entire lifespan. While it may seem too simple to make a significant difference, encouraging your dog to drink water is important to their overall health.

Tips to Get Your Dog to Drink More Water
  • Add some flavor to their water like broth or stock
  • Invest in a water fountain.
  • Freeze some of their food and add it to their water bowl (this is especially effective on hot days).
golden retriever puppy drinking water
Image Credit: kathleen collins, Shutterstock


Make sure that your dog is up to date on all of their vaccinations. Vaccinations can help to protect your dog from a variety of infectious diseases.

Regular Check-Ups

Finally, you should take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups. During these appointments, the vet will be able to check for any signs of cancer. If they catch cancer early, it will be much easier to treat.

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Cancer in Golden Retrievers FAQ

Now that we’ve talked about the rate of cancer in golden retrievers and what you can do to help, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

How can I tell if my dog has cancer?

There are a few signs that you should look for if you think that your dog might have cancer. These include:

  • Lumps or bumps on the skin
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice any of these signs, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Early detection is key when it comes to treating cancer.

senior golden retriever
Image Credit: Linoleum Creative Collective, Unsplash

Can I prevent my dog from getting cancer?

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to prevent your dog from getting cancer. However, you can reduce their risk by doing things like exercising them regularly, feeding them a healthy diet, and taking them to the vet for regular check-ups.

What are the treatment options for cancer in dogs?

There are a few different treatment options for cancer in dogs. These include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

The type of treatment that your dog will receive will depend on the stage and severity of their cancer. Your vet will be able to recommend the best course of action for your furry friend.

Veterinary by listening to a Golden Retriever dog in his clinic
Image Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock

Is Cancer a death sentence?

The short answer is no, cancer is not a death sentence for your dog. With early detection and proper treatment, many dogs are able to live long and happy lives. However, cancer is a serious disease that should not be taken lightly. If you think that your dog might have cancer, take them to the vet right away.

How Much Does It Cost to Treat Cancer in Dogs?

The cost of cancer treatment for dogs can vary depending on the type of treatment that is required. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can all be expensive. Bills can total thousands of dollars, depending on the type of treatment your dog needs. The good news is that there are many organizations that can help with defray the cost of treatment and assist with payment plans over a longer course of time. Talk to your vet about financial assistance options.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer Care?

Pet insurance policies vary, so it’s important to read the fine print of your policy before you decide. Some pet insurance companies will cover the cost of cancer treatment, while others will not. It’s important to do your research so that you know what your policy covers. And many pet insurance policies won’t cover cancer if you sign up after your dog is diagnosed.

woman holding pet insurance form
Image By: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

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By following these simple tips, you can help to reduce the risk of cancer in your Golden Retriever. However, even if you do everything right, there is still a chance that your dog may develop cancer. If you notice any signs or symptoms of cancer in your dog, please make sure to take them to the vet right away. Early detection is critical when it comes to treating cancer in dogs. We hope that this information has been helpful and that you will share it with other Golden Retriever owners. Together, we can make a difference.

Featured Image Credit: David Moynihan, Unsplash

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