Golden Gate to Health
I think everyone will agree with this sentiment. As our canine pals have a limited number of years with us, we need to make them productive, healthy, and happy. Of course, how we do that is where all the diligent work comes in.  
 Canine vs. People  Canine vs. People
      6 mths = 12 years   
       1 year = 15 years
     2 years = 24 years 
     3 years = 28 years 
     4 years = 32 years 
     5 years = 36 years 
     6 years = 40 years 
     7 years = 44 years 
     8 years = 48 years 
     9 years = 52 years 
   10 years = 56 years
   11 years = 60 years
   12 years = 64 years
   13 years = 68 years
   14 years = 72 years
   15 years = 76 years
   16 years = 80 years
   17 years = 84 years
   18 years = 88 years
   19 years = 92 years
   20 years = 96 years
   21 years =100 years

You will notice that your dog does his fastest maturing in his first two years, already equal to  that of a 15-year-old teenager after only one year. And, s/he is equal to essentially an adult after a mere two years. After that, four years in maturity is gained with each passing year.

Concerned about the effect of chemicals on health, we use no pesticides, clean surfaces with vinegar and mild soap, and treat our lawn organically.

Being prepared for emergencies is critical, so keep the Animal Poison Control Center number 888-426-4435 handy, and learn how to create a poison-safe home, what to do If your dog Is poisoned, and the 10 most common poisonous plants.

Also, print our pages on . . .
   What to Put in your Dog's First Aid Kit
   How to Perform Dog CPR.

There are many different kinds of veterinary specialists, and veterinarians can be certified in conventional (western) medicine or have additional more holistic (eastern) certifications in areas such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Homeopathy. In conventional medicine, the diagnostic techniques utilized are blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, Cat scans, EKGs, etc. Based on the test results and a physical exam, medications or surgery are typically prescribed. Less frequently, veterinarians will recommend changes in the environment, lifestyle or nutrition. When nutritional changes are recommended, they often involve switching from one commercial food to another.

Although holistic veterinarians do benefit from conventional test findings to provide baseline data, their interpretation of the results may be somewhat different. Rather, conventional medicine may view many chronic diseases as degenerative in nature and view the dog's outcome in a more pessimistic manner. The key to treatment is probably a marriage of the best from both worlds of conventional and holistic procedures and remedies. It is difficult to find talented diagnosticians and surgeons additionally possessing advanced holistic expertise. But, our simple remedy has been to incorporate the services of both types of veterinarian. The following listings should help in finding certified specialists in your own local area.

Making informed choices regarding vaccinations is important. We titer through Cornell Universitya high reading indicating adequate antibodies and no need for a booster (which can weaken the immune system). The Rabies Challenge Study may also show the need for less vaccinations. Learn more about vaccinations, when to spay or neuter, heartworm medication usage, thyroid testing, and immune system implications. 


Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life  
Now, in 2010 this wonderful book by veterinarian, Dr. Nancy Kay, is already in its third printing! It was honored in 2009 by the Dog Writers Association of America and her Speaking for Spot Blog won a Best Blog Award as well.

We love how Dr. Kay helps you come to grips with a cancer diagnosis, and explains the tough choices that are bound to follow. Plus, youíll find an alphabetical listing of the most common symptoms experienced by dogs and the questions your vet is sure to ask when you report themónot to mention hundreds of prevalent diseases and related points you should be certain to clarify before leaving your vetís office with a treatment plan in hand.

A labor of love, this book was fueled by her passion to teach people how to be effective medical advocates for their four-legged best friends. Gone are the days of simply following doc’s orderstoday’s dog lovers are confronted with health-care decision-making on many levels.

Have you ever wondered . . .

  • How do I find a vet that feels just right for me and my dog?
  • How will I be able to afford my dog’s health care? Is pet insurance the way to go?
  • Does my dog truly need all those vaccines listed on the reminder postcard?
  • What are the important questions I should be asking my vet?
  • Does my dog really need the surgery or procedure that has been recommended?
  • Are there other options I should be considering?
  • When is it appropriate to get a second opinion? Where should I go to get one and how can I avoid offending my vet?
  • Should I take my dog to see a specialist?
  • Should I consider treating my dog’s cancer?
    Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing this for him or for me?
  • Is my dog ready to say goodbye? Am I ready to let him go? What are my choices when it comes to the euthanasia process?

If you’ve struggled with these questions, you’ve come to just the right place! Dr. Kay and Speaking for Spot will help you answer all of these questions and many more. With warmth, candor, and humor cultivated over 20-plus years of working with dogs and their human companions Dr. Kay provides an insider’s guide to navigating the potentially overwhelming, confusing, and expensive world of veterinary medicine. The result is everything you need to know in one fabulous, fully illustrated book. Speaking for Spot is the consummate guide on how to be your best friend’s medical advocate!

*Draw the Dog, drawn by ex-Disney animator Jim George, posts a fabulous new cartoon every day, except for Sunday, when (Jim and Bruce) rest.

whole dogBe sure to learn about Going Organic and our pages on Food Glorious Food, as well as to learn The Whole Tooth. Honestly, there is so much to know when it comes to good care for our animal companions. And, that means knowing about key disease and behavioral issues.

One great overall publication that will help to keep you current on all things dog is The Whole Dog Journal., a monthly guide to natural dog care and training. This guide advocates natural and holistic feed, healthcare methods and successful nonviolent training . . . and does not accept commercial advertising. We have subscribed to this newsletter for many years now as it is invaluable.

We have collected many resources on areas related to disease conditions, aging, and behavioral problems. Be sure to explore the pages and materials below.

Treasured Golden Oldies With diligence and good care you will get your dog to senior status
Living with Life Challenged Dogs Help dogs overcome obstacles from birth, due to aging, or due to accident.
Dealing with Anxiety & Fears Learn about phobias, counter-conditioning, desensitization, and more.
Become Cancer Aware Learn to be proactive with respect to screening, and prevention.
Web Resources: Health Groups, Databases, Books & Articles

Sharing health experiences with others can prompt brainstorming and ultimately successful outcomes. Folks may also recognize the situation should it occur with their own dog. Here are some of these Golden Tales. (And, if you have a Golden Retriever health tale that you would like to share, just send it, along with photos, to:


        Bentley: ACL injury or not?
        Breaker: Food & Digestion Blues
Abbey: Casts of Many Colours
Charlie: Recognizing Heat Stroke
Florrie: Histiocytosis


Health and Well-Being

Leba III Dental Herbal Spray
This herbal for both dogs and cats stimulates the enzymes in saliva, so cleaning away plaque buildup.

Organic Wild Blueberries
A supreme snack for both you and your dog.
USDA rated as the #1 fruit in antioxidant activity.

Wild Sockeye Salmon & Tuna
Vital Choice 100% Wild Alaskan Red Sockeye in pouch for travel. Also, troll-caught Albacore Tuna.

Canine Liquid Net for Ticks Action 
Safe Money-back Guaranteed insect  repellant for you & your pets.

Organic Treats & Food
Barkwheats, Dr. Becker's Bison Bites, Primal Pet Chicken.

Organic Healing Honey
100% Organic Active 15+ Manuka Healing Honey and treats for health & immune issues. Web exclusive.

Colorado Elk Antler Chews
Free-ranging, ranch raised elk shed these naturally. Completely unprocessed, one can last months.

Organic Sweet Potato Chews
Organic Sweet Potato and Hemp Chews and Organic Sweet Potato Chips from Oregon. With Vitamin E.

Dancing Paws Pills 2 Go Pillcase for Pet Meds  FREE SHIPPING!

This new pillcase helps you organize your pet medications when you're on the road, and is great at home as well.
Remembering to give your dogs their supplements and medications each day is vital to their health. That's why this cleverly designed sturdy plastic pill carrier is such a great idea! We have never seen something this adorable as well as functional. And, the wonderfully large size makes the case great to use for people's daily medications as well. The entire unit is 9" L x 1.25" H x 1.75" D.

  • Convenient travel size
  • Easy to open and stays shut
  • Holds larger size pet tablets
  • Detachable Compartments
  • Key chain tab on each compartment
  • Durable
  • Daily pill organizer

There's a tray for every day of the week each with a paw print to remind you how important remembering medications is. There's plenty of room for medications and supplements. Plus, each compartment is detachable and has its own key chain tab. If you are leaving for 1 or 2 days, you can detach them and carry only the days you need! You do not have to carry the whole 7 day chain. Pills 2 Go is great for around the house too! It comes in either yellow or orange, but we like the yellow better. It is actually more translucent, thus enabling you to see the contents better. Price: $7.00 each.

Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Pure Sockeye Salmon Oil   
Our Golden Alfie has gotten 6000 units daily since 2007, before that getting 3000-4000 units a day. Boy, what a difference it has made. His coat is incredible, and at his now senior age of 9 (2008), the extra softgels keep down joint inflammation associated with increasing age and arthritis. It is a must-have supplement!

Derived exclusively from wild sockeye salmon caught in the cold, pristine waters off Alaska, this 100% PURE oil is not blended with any inferior salmon or other fish oils. Here's why this is unique: To achieve high ratios of EPA to DHA, commercially available salmon oil capsules are fortified with other fish oils. One benefit of Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil is that it has the lowest cholesterol levels, in contrast to the higher levels found in farmed salmon oil. The freshest and purest oils available, Sockeye contains the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids of any salmon.

It's orange color is due to the high levels of the carotenoid and astaxanthin (occurring naturally in sockeye) that helps the eyes and cardiovascular system. Alaskan sockeye salmon are the richest salmon species in the powerful biological antioxidant astaxanthin, a natural caroteniod that imparts a rich orange glow to the oil and eliminates the need for added tocopherols present in other brands. Astaxanthin is a natural carotenoid that gives our oil its rich orange color—and is up to 100 times more potent than Vitamin E at quenching singlet oxygen ‘free radicals’.

There are NO artificial preservatives, color or sweeteners; corn, dairy, starch, wheat, or yeast.