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August 2, 2021 – August 26 is National Dog Day and this year we’re heading on a road trip!

Come with us as we crisscross the United States, checking in with research teams tackling problems that affect our dogs’ health and finding out how their work could provide hope for thousands of dogs suffering from diseases such as skin and urinary tract infections, cancer and gastric bloat.

First stop – Colorado and the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Before we head out of town, let’s make a quick pit-stop right here in Denver and check out what’s new with the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

It’s hard to believe this groundbreaking study is entering its 10th year! The dedication and hard work of our Study participants and veterinarians, as well as our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study team, have made the Study a resounding success.

The Study remains one of the largest of its kind and continues to generate buzz from scientific and news organizations around the world!

Study key facts as of August 1, 2021, include:

  • 2,228 dogs remain actively enrolled.
  • Average age of Study dogs is 8.4 years.
  • 370 dogs have died in total, with 274 deaths related to cancer.
  • 227 dogs in total have been diagnosed with one of the four cancers of primary interest: hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, high-grade mast cell tumor and osteosarcoma.

Study highlights for this past year include the new Golden Age Project, the Golden Oldies Project as well as new partnerships and more:

  • We are in the process of analyzing DNA from blood samples taken from each Study dog.
  • We have partnered with the Purina Institute to track cognitive changes in our Study dogs as they age.
  • We have partnered with Elanco to collect information about osteoarthritis in the Study dogs.
  • We are partnering with AnimalBiome to conduct early research on the associations between gut microbes and cancer in our Study dogs.
  • We are partnering with Cellular Longevity Inc. (dba Loyal) for early research on epigenetic changes in DNA samples. These changes can be associated with a variety of diseases, including cancer.

Our team also updated and streamlined information collection on our Data Commons platform that shares Study data with interested researchers and will serve as an incubator for new scientific research questions. We also brought Study operations in-house and updated our questionnaire to improve the experience for our Study participants.

Time to leave Denver and begin our journey. Our next stop is the Golden State, California, where we’ll be checking in on a fascinating study focused on a unique way to treat urinary tract infections in dogs. Fasten your seat belt and get ready to head west!

Your support makes new advances in canine health possible

Our road trip would not be possible without the support of dog lovers like you. For almost 75 years, Morris Animal Foundation has been a leader in funding research to make the lives of our dogs healthier and happier.

Your support makes projects such as the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study possible. We fund high impact studies that help dogs everywhere live happier and healthier lives. Learn more about how you can help!