The first study of the Canine Lifetime Health Project is The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which will involve 3000 Golden Retriever dogs will be the longest and largest study of its kind to take place. The study will last for the duration of the dogs lives (study leaders envisage this to be approx 10-14 years) and will look at the dogs’ environment, diet and genetics as factors that may cause or increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.
This study is aimed specifically at this breed of dog as currently more than 50% of all Golden Retrievers die of cancer, although it is also the leading killer of all breeds of dog of 2 years and over. Those dogs that are eligible for the study have to fulfil specific criteria and their owners complete numerous questionnaires for the duration of the study, which is vital data when analysed. Click here to read the exact participation requirements for this study. The study is purely an ‘observational study’, which means there are no tests (other than basic blood & urine samples) on the dogs and no intervention in how owners raise, train or feed their pets.
The Morris Animal Foundation is contributing a large portion of the $25 million needs to fund the entire study, with donations from members of the public making up the rest. Each of the 3000 Golden Retrievers who will be involved in the study can be sponsored by the public, who can give monetary donations towards the cause.
It is the hope of all those involved that this study will make great headway towards understanding life threatening diseases for dogs and maybe even humans in the future. The study will use questions to assess areas such as a dogs sleeping pattern and place, how many children the family has, how often the dog is walked and the lifestyle of the owners to try and ascertain the impact factors such as a loving environment and a fun life have on the dogs’ well-being. Factors such as overweight dogs and the impact on developing diabetes will also be a focal point during the study.
If you would like further information on the study or are interested in participating, please see some helpful links below:-