Studying cancer and other diseases poses a problem due to their protracted and multifactorial nature. Prospective studies are useful to investigate chronic disease processes since collection of lifestyle information, exposure data and co-incident health issues are collected before the condition manifests. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is one of the first prospective studies following privately-owned dogs throughout life to investigate the incidence and risk factors for disease outcomes, especially cancer.
Owners of golden retrievers in the contiguous United States volunteered their dogs in early life. Owners and veterinarians complete online questionnaires about health status and lifestyle; dogs undergo a physical examination and collection of biological samples annually. The data presented summarize the initial study visits and the corresponding questionnaires for 3044 dogs in the cohort.