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Cancer is all too common in dogs, especially golden retrievers: 60 percent of them die of it, more than twice the average rate for all breeds.

Limit a dog’s exposure to secondhand smoke, pesticides and phenoxy herbicides, which have been linked to increased risks of some canine cancers. Keep dogs lean and fit to lower risk for cancer, as well as bone, joint and other health problems.

Be vigilant about health during the first four months. “Many vets recommend following the ‘slow-grow’ plan, which calls for golden puppies to weigh just 9.5 pounds at eight weeks and 30 pounds at 20 weeks.
 
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